[post twelve] Pope Siricius

THE FACTS

Pope Siricius was pope from 384 to 99 ad. He was the guy that started the whole no-sex-for-clergy thing. But take note, he wasn’t exactly a purist. He was married, and then left his wife for the church. So basically, the Catholic Church promoted him for getting a divorce? Interesting.

In 1985, sexual abuse by a Catholic priest became a national issue in the United States for the first time. Gilbert Gauthe, a priest from Louisiana, pleaded guilty to eleven counts of molestation of boys. He admitted to molesting at least three dozen more. They gave him twenty years. He got out in ten. Then he got in trouble again. Unfortunately, these cases are not uncommon. It’s time for sex-offender sentencing to include a lobotomy.

Four percent of U.S. priests ministering from 1950 to 2002 were accused of sex abuse with a minor. Roman Catholics spent $615 million dollars on sex abuse cases in 2007—remember that when you place a dollar in the collection tray.

[you] RIFE!

Did these “holy” sex offenders forget to ask themselves, “WWJD?” Seriously, can we ever trust our children with a priest again? Pope Siricius not only ruined it for priests, but more importantly, he ruined it for the alter boys. As for Gilbert, you are one sick puppy. How you made it out of jail alive is beyond me. A priest used to be a figure of respect and trust, but no more. Gilbert surely sacrificed that.

The Catholic Church’s halo isn’t exactly shining all that bright either. For years, it swept cases like these under its Roman tapestries. If a priest was caught, the church would slap him on the wrist and just transfer him to a different parish (where he would usually commit the same ungodly acts). Gauthe was transferred three times before he was finally brought to justice. It’s time for a change! Seriously, nobody is going to call a priest unholy if he gets married. At least promote promiscuity between priests and nuns so they can release some holy sexual tension! As for Catholic followers, be extra suspicious if your priest drives a windowless van.

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[post eleven] William Harley and Arthur Davidson

THE FACTS

Harley Davidson is an American motorcycle company that got its start at the beginning of the twentieth century. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s probably because its loud exhaust noise has made you go deaf. Many people (with the exception of a few men who really like leather) believe the two-wheeled chick magnet to be a sound nuisance. I’m sure you’ve had a peaceful outdoor meal in the summertime ruined by a gang of hog riders cruising by.

But, stories like that do not deter Harley Davidson from quieting its ride. In fact, the Milwaukee motorcycle maker loved its uproariousness so much they even tried to trademark its loud self-proclaimed “potato-potato-potato” sound in the nineties. A battle in court with a couple of Japanese motorcycle companies lasted about six years before Harley Davidson decided to throw in the bandana. But Harley claimed it had won in the court of public opinion anyway.

[you] RIFE!

So, if you’re a Harley Rider we just want you to know: you’re so macho—you ma-cho ma-cho man. I’m sure you notice that everyone turns their head when you ride by. But take a moment away from tightening up your leather chaps, wipe the exhaust from your biker goggles and focus on their facial expressions. Aside from the one guy who is winking and lickin’ his lips at you, I assure you, everyone has a look of disgust that nearly parallels the Speedo guy (see RIFE Nº003).

Okay, it’s like a state of mind, freedom, the open road and “screw the system” all wrapped up in an American-made grease bucket. I get it—I really do. I mean nothing shouts liberation like shiny studded jewelry, fringe, saddlebags and leather vests. But seriously, when you set off more car alarms than California’s earthquakes, it’s just too much. Ride AWAY from town and go explore your freedom on the open [dirt]road. Then afterwards, maybe you can meet up with your gang at the Blue Oyster Bar and showoff your shiny tailpipes.

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[post ten] The Yellow Pages

THE FACTS

Every year, 540 million phone directories are delivered in the United States. That’s nearly two books for every American. 19 million trees and 7.2 billion barrels of oil are used in making these over-issued directories.

The Reuben H. Donnelly Company claims that it published the first classified telephone directory for the Chicago area around 1886. The phone book was a great tool for a long time, but most of us have moved on. Unless you need a booster seat, or you are doing experiments on Myth-Busters, they are a complete waste of trees.

Thanks to advertisements, the publishers of these nearly obsolete directories are making $14 billion yearly in the US. Even if the phone book becomes obsolete, these companies will surely fight hard to keep them in circulation, because it accounts for 97% of their revenue. Only 3% comes from online directories.

[you] RIFE!

When is the last time you actually looked up a phone number in a phone book? If you are like me, it has been years! Our world has rapidly transformed into digital directories. For some Americans, old habits die hard. It’s fine if they want to send an “old-timer” his big phone-index, but I don’t need mine anymore, so STOP sending it to me!

There is a number to call to stop the delivery of the useless yellow book. I called it and opted out, but, it didn’t work, they still send me two. If you like, call them to see if you can get them to stop your delivery. Hopefully you get better results. In the meantime, here are some uses for unwanted phone books: recycle it, use it as a kindling for a fireplace or campfire, shred it and use it on your garden to prevent weeds, ball it up and use it instead of peanuts for packing, Use if for paper mache or use it for bra stuffing to save on costly surgery.

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[post nine] The inventor of plastic packaging

THE FACTS

Okay, after extensive and exhaustive research (twenty minutes of looking on Google), the inventor of plastic packaging could not be uncovered. Apparently the creator is so ashamed of his creation, he has gone to great lengths to conceal his identity. Well, whoever you are, we still loathe you.

The fact is, plastic packaging sucks. I am referring to the vacuum-sealed clamshell kind. You know the type, the one that appears to be super-glued around all the edges, making it nearly impossible to extract what’s inside.

This near-lethal packaging puts about six thousand Americans in the emergency room every year with sliced arteries and dangling fingers in critical need of stitches. With seasonal gift giving, a noticeable spike in emergency room visits occurs around Christmas time.

[you] RIFE!

Prior to opening these packages, you should consider calling the fire department for assistance, because you need nothing less than the Jaws of Life to break into the casing. If you do it yourself, you may still be speed-dialing emergency services after you sever your finger with a utility knife.

Apparently this type of packaging reduces theft. Whoop-de-fuckin-doo! Get some magnetic buzzers like everyone else. It is dangerous, consumers hate it, and the additional plastic is certainly not helping our environment.

And if anyone finds out who invented this shit, let me know.

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[post eight] Ronald Clark O’Bryan


THE FACTS

Every year, many rumors and myths of candy tampering and poisoning during Halloween time resurface. The delicious dark holiday has been plagued by worries of candy contamination for decades. Parents fear that some madman will poison and distribute candy to unsuspecting boys and girls during their yearly trick-or-treating. There most certainly have been some scares, as well as false accusations. However, rest assured, there have been no “true” cases of random Halloween poisoning.

Nonetheless, someone has used the myth to try to get away with murder . . .

[you] RIFE!

Okay, so Ronald O’Bryan did not invent the urban legend, but we have to blame someone, and he is about as nasty as someone can get. Long story short, he poisoned his own son with cyanide-laced Pixi Stix and blamed it on an aimless Halloween treat-giver. It turns out O’Bryan was just trying to collect on a large insurance policy he took out on the poor kid. He was found guilty and put to death, not so ironically by lethal injection.

Murder is one thing. Murdering a child is another. But putting the hit on your OWN son? Jokes fail me in this instance.

Another young boy, five years old, “supposedly” ate cruel counterfeit confections on All Hallows Eve. But it turned out that story was just a cover-up. He had accidentally poisoned himself with his uncle’s all-too-accessible heroin stash. To throw off the police, the family had sprinkled the drug on some candy after the child had died. This brings the tally up to zero random psychos giving out tainted goodies on the frightful holiday. Which, statistically speaking, actually makes it safer to take candy from a stranger than your own family. Nevertheless, parents still spend countless hours checking the safety of their kids’ sweet stash every year for apparently no reason. Some even go to the airport to get the candy X-rayed. It has all been fueled by rumors, assumptions, and assholes like Ronald Clark O’Bryan.

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[post seven] Dr. Robert Atkins

THE FACTS

The Atkins Diet plan is a low-carb, high-protein strategy for shedding unwanted pounds, made popular in the early 2000s. About thirty million Americans have tried the diet. If you haven’t heard of it, maybe you’re that kid in the news who can only eat six foods without dying?

Here’s the skinny: When you cut out carbohydrates, your body is forced to burn its fat stores. You burn more calories when your body burns fat as opposed to carbs. In turn, you lose weight faster.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s because it is. Short-term effects may include bad breath, weakness, insomnia, nausea, and constipation. Potential long-term effects include heart disease, liver failure, kidney problems, osteoporosis, premature aging, and cataracts. Keep in mind, the inventor, Dr. Atkins, died at seventy-two. He had a history of heart attacks and congestive heart failure. Not to mention, he weighed two hundred and fifty-eight pounds at the time of his death. In case you were wondering, toast won! Thank God this no-carb bullshit is over.

[you] RIFE!

Dr. Atkins, we all really wanted to believe your diet worked. But deep down we all knew there had to be something wrong with a diet that labeled nutritious foods like fruit and whole grains the devil. After all, a slice of bacon can’t be healthier than an apple. Right? You ruined it for sure. Now we have to get back to the old way of thinking: “You are what you eat.” Oink oink.

Chew on this, America: Enough food is produced in the U.S. to supply thirty-eight hundred calories every day for every man, woman, and child. The average adult only needs two thousand to twenty-five hundred calories per day.

Do you want to lose weight? Then stop eating so much! Eat small, healthy meals, exercise regularly, and avoid piggin’ out. And then guess what? You WILL lose weight. If you don’t, then just get your stomach stapled.

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[post six] Ruth Handler

THE FACTS

The Barbie doll was invented in 1959 by Ruth Handler. Ruth was a cofounder of Mattel and named the doll after her own daughter. She noticed that most dolls were infants and felt that it was time for a change. The invention was simple: a grown-up doll for children to play with. Barbie was an instant success.

Barbie’s supposed to be a “real” woman, but, aside from having no nipples, her measurements originally were 39-18-33 (bow-chicka-wow-wow). This sparked much controversy with critics, their argument being that Barbie was modeled after an “adult” toy, and the measurements were based on male fantasy. Barbie’s bust and hips were later adjusted due to criticism. However, the proportions are still impractical and will set you back about thirty-five grand in plastic surgery.

[you] RIFE!

Mrs. Handler is responsible for crushing prepubescent aspirations. Barbie’s measurements create unrealistic expectations for young girls to live up to. Ruth claimed that Barbie’s busty bosom would build up a girl’s self-assurance. However, since it is physically impossible to have these measurements, it actually has a negative effect on a girl’s self-esteem. Don’t worry boys: I hear there are talks of reducing Ken’s bulge size as well.

Come on, Ruth! The world is superficial enough. We don’t need to encourage little Jane’s bulimia and boob job, nor to promote young Billy’s steroid use and penis pump.

Ruth Handler was not all bad. Ironically, after she had breast cancer and a mastectomy, she invented a prosthetic breast called the Nearly Me. Many breast cancer victims found relief in the prosthesis as it matched the weight and density of a natural breast. Karma’s a bitch, but we forgive you.

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[post five] Thomas Monaghan

THE FACTS

I want my pizza hot and delivered to my stoop in under in thirty minutes or I ain’t paying for it, DAMMIT! When we were kids, we used to wait by the door with a stopwatch! Those were the days of pizza hot and fast. Too bad—that era is long gone.

Domino’s Pizza was founded in 1960, and it began the “30 Minutes or It’s Free” campaign in 1973. Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza, decided to pull the twenty-year-long campaign in 1993. At that time, a couple of lawsuits were decided against his company because the guarantee promoted reckless employee driving. One accident, resulting in death, fetched $2.8 million, while another driver, whose head and back were injured, was awarded $78 million.

[you] RIFE!

Thomas shouldn’t have caved in so easily. And he should have hired better lawyers. Don’t get me wrong, I usually root for the little guy, but hell, so many large companies become such magnets for huge lawsuits that you can’t help but feel a little remorse for them. Regardless, he’s the reason you can’t get fast pizza anymore.

It sucks when your stomach is growling and you know the pizza is going to be late, and most likely cold. Nonetheless, try to give Domino’s a break. I know it’s hard, but try not to take it out on the delivery guys, as they are only human. Besides, you’d lose your appetite anyway if a family of four’s blood ended up splattered on your pizza box.

And, if you STILL want pizza in under thirty minutes, move to India, Israel, or Mexico, because Domino’s still has the guarantee there!

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[post four] The U.S. Treasury and Mint

THE FACTS

If a penny saved is a penny earned, then a penny made is a taxpayer played! Allow me to elaborate . . . actually, let’s let the United States Mint director’s cost analysis explain:

• Cost to mint a penny: 1.26 cents
• Cost to mint a nickel: 7.7 cents
• Cost to mint a dollar coin: 16 cents
• Cost to make a dollar bill: 4.2 cents

[you] RIFE!

In case you need it spelled out for you: It costs MORE to mint the penny and the nickel than the coins’ actual worth. And, if you forgot fourth-grade American history, your taxes pay for minting. Does this upset you? Well, now you finally have a good reason to smash that piggy bank!

That stupid annoying little penny . . . it and everything below the quarter need to go away. Let’s start dissolving as many as we can in bottles of Coke. And besides, except for buying a hotdog at the ball game, who the hell uses cash anymore? The U.S. Mint says 33 percent of all transactions use cash. That seems a bit high. The mint must be including all of Washington’s untraceable private escort transactions in its statistics.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, start lobbying your congressman and the March of Dimes. And be sure to max out your credit as often as possible to deter coin usage. I am sure we will experience some resistance with the bleeding hearts and conservatives. But don’t worry—just tell them we can still use coins for circuit breakers and weddings, instead of throwing rice. Rice does kill birds, you know. And the next time you see Obama, tell him to fight for NO CHANGE!

A side note: Someone please tell the $1 bill to wipe that smirk of its face, because it only has a life expectancy of twenty-one months. So it can go away too. In fact, if it were replaced with the $1 coin, taxpayers would save over $500 million per year since coins last at least thirty years!

I wonder how long it takes a dollar to dissolve in Coca-Cola?

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[post three] Al Gore

THE FACTS

The world, as we know it, is coming to an end. By the year 2023, all ocean water will have boiled away. Al Gore tells similarly shocking information regarding global warming in his painfully revealing movie An Inconvenient Truth. If you haven’t seen it, don’t. Your time will be better spent building a fallout shelter for when the sky starts raining lava. If you hurry, you might just make it.

[you] RIFE!

History tells us, “Don’t shoot the messenger.” But you kind of have to in this case. It’s not like he was handed a letter and read it; he actually did the research and uncovered the facts about global warming. Thanks a lot, Al, it’s your fault we can now fry an egg on the polar ice caps.

Quite frankly, this global warming business isn’t the only way you ruined it for everyone. You could have pushed a LITTLE harder in the 2000 presidential election recount! You could have also made your energy-guzzling home a bit more efficient (it uses about twenty times more energy than the average home and it’s only four times bigger).

And by the way . . . no, you did NOT invent the Internet.

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