Last night on Awesome  Talk I read these words. Please hum the theme from E.T. as you read it, but switch to the theme from Jurassic Park when I start talking about dinosaurs. Then switch back to the theme from E.T. They’re all in the key of John Williams, it’ll be a nice mashup.


Sometimes the best solution is to bury all of your problems in a New Mexico landfill. The creators of the Atari 2600 E.T. video game knew this, as the game was so shitty and sold so poorly that the only way to fix the problem was to dig a very large hole in the desert, chuck the unsold games into the hole, then figure out a way to light the hole on fire.

Documentary filmmakers excavated the cartridges last week to confirm that yes, this thing that happened? This thing that Atari workers in the 80’s said they did? They sure did it, it happened, and here’s the garbage covered proof.

For some reason, I owned E.T. as a child. And it was barely a game – you would move him from one shitty green screen to the next shitty green screen, and he would fall into holes looking for parts to his… thing that he needed parts for. Repeat until he has all the parts, wait for some indecipherable rune to appear at the top of the screen, press the button on the joystick, and win, I guess. My older sister, the owner of the Atari, was determined to beat this piece of shit game. And one night, on the 13 inch black and white tv in my bedroom, she did it. She woke me up in the middle of the night so I could see E.T.’s spaceship buzz and fart around the screen and watch a pixelated Elliot run in circles, I’m guessing out of joy. The game was sold at a garage sale a few years later, and I’m sure it’s also rotting away in a landfill somewhere as we speak.



Apparently there were more E.T. cartridges in existence than there were Ataris to play them on. And throwing them in a hole was the easiest, most cost effective way to get rid of them. Now, throwing shitty shit into a landfill, doesn’t this sound familiar? It should, because history often repeats itself. Millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth. They had a pretty good run, but god threw them in a landfill because he couldn’t figure out a way to market them to his next creation – humans. Humans would be like, we already have cars, these things are slow as hell, and there’s not enough leather on earth to make comfortable dino saddles. So into the landfills they went with all of god’s other failed creations. Interesting postscript to that parable – eventually the dinosaurs turned into oil and god saved the day and became employee of the month.

I think everyone deserves a chance to landfill something. Everyone has their own E.T.-like debacle that they need to disappear… have yourself one of those peyote-fueled vision quests in the New Mexico desert and figure it out. Bills piling up? Landfill. Car won’t start? Landfill. Economy’s in the toilet? Throw the economy and the toilet in a landfill. Eventually we’ll have so many problems buried in so many landfills that we’ll have to bury the landfills in bigger landfills. Waterways choked with huge barges schlepping away our pianos that we never learned how to play, our decks that we never finished building, our 3-D printed monstrosities. Away with you, 3-D printed prosthetic arm with tiny swords for fingers! What the hell was I thinking?

It doesn’t matter. It’s buried in the ground and it never happened. Until documentary filmmakers dig it up 30 years later. Will the prosthetic arm with tiny swords for fingers light up like E.T.’s heart? Probably not. But I can guarantee you’ll say “ouuuuuch” when you touch it.

Youtube Friday Timesink – 3.11.11: I hate videogames for about 30 seconds.

Terminate Rudeness. When sending your Terminator back in time and out into the world, it’s important that he minds his p’s and q’s. Did he really need to yank that gigantic bearded man that looks like a character from Punch Out out of the phone booth? No, really, look at that guy… he’s straight out of Punch Out. Did Nintendo send him back in time to test the public’s reception of mountainous bearded dudes?

Super Mario Bros. Next Gen. I’m sick of shooting things in games. I played the demo for Bulletstorm and 5 years ago I would have been like, YES. But now I’m very much, NO. See, you can shoot people in their butts and get bonus points and launch them into the air and sodomize their corpse and your guy says stuff like, “Skullfuck my shitlog you fucking titbutt shitcock” because he’s extreme and good at compound naughtiness. Anyway, Super Mario Bros. Next Gen replaces all the bleepy bloopy sound effects with the realistic sounds of today’s games and exemplifies the type of shitfart fuckpow assthing I’m talking about and you know what? Fuck video games.

Nevermind, I love videogames again. Thank you Fantastic Mr. Star Fox.

Twangy Wacky Country Music Presents: ODDLY ENOUGH

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been updating the site every Tuesday and Friday! Yes, congratulate me, thanks so much. And the site is picking up steam! All without mentioning “Charlie Sheen tiger blood winning breakdowns #teamsheen,” “hot lolita springbreak fuck adventures” or “iPad 2 specs unboxing Steve Jobs death grip.” None of those hit-generating phrases were mentioned, and they never will. This week, let’s take a look at some of the stories that haven’t been getting as much play – let’s mine Reuters’ Oddly Enough for content and feel great about ourselves.

If this was a news magazine show, this first story would come fully equipped with twangy “this is wacky” country music. The kind of music that’s usually associated with crazy Christians handing out doomsday tracts to cosplaying pirates, or an exposé of an old tyme general store that sells nothing but antique whoopie cushions. Oh ho ho, people sure are dumb and this “aw shucks” diddy should really drive that point home.

Why is this headline asking a question when it clearly has all of its facts straight? Man Speeds With Wife on Hood of Minivan? Yes. Fact. Man speeds with wife on hood of minivan. Have some confidence in your reporting Reuters Oddly Enough, you’re doing great. We’ve all been here – living in Manteca, smoking some meth on a Saturday morning, wife is bitching about something or other (ooh, go pick up some sea salt from Trader Joe’s even though we have a full canister of regular salt just sitting in the pantry, ah duh duh duh). You know what? I’m Christopher Carroll, 36, and I’ve got things to do, and none of those things involves purchasing exorbitant salts for my wife. And now we’re fighting.

Oddly enough, this horse owns 90% of the tri-state area. CRAZY RIGHT?

Now again, if this was a news magazine show (a classy one like Hard Copy or A Current Affair), the twangy country music would kick into high gear once the reenactress playing Christopher Carroll’s wife climbed onto the hood of the minivan. Like, overalls with no shirt underneath, blowing into a brown jug marked XXX, spitting chewing tobaccee into a rusty Folgers can levels of twang. Yee-hawwwww, we’re goin’ for a ride darlin’! A 40 mile ride at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour with your wife clinging to the hood of a minivan, Death Proof style, and you’ve smoked as much meth as Tarantino has snorted coke this morning. I did some detective work of my own and verified that Manteca, CA really is 40 miles from Pleasanton, CA, where Christopher’s wife finally rolled off the hood. Thankfully no one was hurt becau- twang-a-lang doopity-doot-doot-twang faaaaaart.

California Woman Sues After Slipping on a Banana Peel. This happens every few years, right? Some old Looney Toons comedic staple happens in real life, like an Acme safe falls 100 stories and liquefies a pedestrian, or a man sees an attractive woman and his heart literally pounds itself out of his rib cage, grows angel wings and flies up to heaven. Banana peels can be just as deadly. Just ask Ida Valentine, 58, who was minding her own business at her local 99 cent store when all of a sudden whoooa-whoooa-whoooa, arms flailing backwards CRASH into a shelf of leaking Duracille batteries and expired baby food.

Now she’s going to sue the everloving shit out of the 99 cent store, Chiquita, and gravity to the tune of $ALLTHEMONEYINTHEWORLD.99. And she’ll probably win because, your honor, if it pleases the court, we’re going to play a few rounds of Mario Kart. And we’re going to PROVE, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ida’s experience at the 99 Cents Only store is not an isolated incident, as seen here at the Coconut Mall, Rainbow Road and even the lowly Luigi Circuit. Bananas littering the roads; karts (sic), motorcycles and adorable dinosaurs spinning out of control and sometimes into oncoming traffic. When asked for comment, Ida Valentine’s lawyer replied, “It’s bullshit that whoever’s in first place gets stuck with bananas and green shells while the rest of the losers tied for 12th place get blue shells and lightning bolts. Nevertheless, despite these unlawful circumstances, I’ma gonna weeeeeen!”

Hidden Kafka Papers Revealed to Israeli Court. According to the giant byline, “Writings by Franz Kafka and his friend Max Brod which have been hidden away for decades have been brought to light at an Israeli court and could reveal more on the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest authors.” After visiting the Franz Kafka Museum in Prague last year, I’m totally okay with knowing less about the life of one of the 20th century’s greatest authors. The first few rooms of the museum were pretty typical – newspaper clippings and photos documenting Kafka’s life in Prague. A few rooms later you’re walking down a stairway into hell, featuring rooms filled with oversized filing cabinets and telephones that never stop ringing (Kafka didn’t love his office job). There’s a circular room in the middle of the basement that you can peer into through small slits and watch a film of skin being slit over and over. Oh, and a tiny model of a man being crushed in a vice. It’s like walking through Eraserhead’s apartment. When you finally reach daylight, there are two statues standing in front of the museum – men facing each other, peeing into a pool with rotating hips. Here’s a video walkthrough (not mine).

Will these hidden papers add another wing to the museum? Maybe there can be a dark room where a gun is held to your head while you watch 8mm abortion documentaries. Or they could build a planetarium where the night sky is ripped in half by a half man half insect that descends from the roof and flicks your ear for an hour, vomits on you and then eats your skin. Way to go Kafka! Your museum is batshit fucking crazy.

The Apparent and Inherent Lack of Logical Casino Management Decisions in Sonic the Hedgehog 2


Most levels in Sonic the Hedgehog games (and I’m strictly talking about the first two because those are the only two that matter) make sense, or, as much sense as a game starring a blue hedgehog that runs really fast on two legs can make. You’re either outdoors, underwater, in a factory that produces nothing but fire, etc. But something always bothered me about Casino Night, a game-of-chance themed level from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It’s a gigantic outdoor casino, so they already broke the first rule of casinos – gamblers need to forget that the outside exists. There are pinball plungers and flippers all over the place, no one’s taking my drink order, and I’m fighting robot crabs. The only available games in Casino Night are two-story tall slot machines, which I can play by curling myself into a ball and throwing myself INTO them.  If I win, gold rings are thrown at me, and if I lose I’m pelted with spiky balls. This casino kind of sucks!

Why was this casino built, and who’s supposed to be gambling here? My first thought was Dr. Robotnik, the evil egg-guy that hates Sonic for whatever reason. After a long day of turning chipmunks and bunny rabbits into robot monstrosities, who doesn’t like to unwind with a few thousand rounds of slots? But what’s the point of gambling in a casino that you built for yourself and winning or losing your own money from yourself? Hey, three bars! I won 100 gold rings, I guess? I can’t do math, but it doesn’t sound like Casino Night is ever going to turn a profit. Plus, Dr. Robotnik can barely walk, and the only way to play slots in this cockamamie casino is to jump into an oversized slot machine. Here’s a real world comparison – Larry Flynt spends $150 billion building the world’s deepest swimming pool, rolls his wheelchair over the edge and drowns. I regret everythgurgle gurgle gurgle.

So, this wasn’t some casino paradise built by Dr. Robotnik for Dr. Robotnik. And it can’t be for his henchemen because they can’t jump, and jumping is necessary for both gambling and navigating this casino. I’m forced to believe that Dr. Robotnik built this casino solely to torture Sonic by throwing his gambling addiction in his face.

That’s pretty low. Like that level in Mega Dana Plato Adventure World III where the mini boss is a giant pill that spits out smaller pills, and the smaller pills shoot streams of alcohol down her little 8-bit throat. It’s sick, and no matter how much I love videogames based on the world of Diff’rent Strokes, I feel dirty every time I play it. Don’t get me started on Mr. Horton‘s bicycle shop level.

Maybe Casino Night doesn’t exist. Maybe it’s like a mixture of Leaving Las Vegas and Groundhog’s Day… a drunken nightmare that Sonic must live through day after day until he realises that he can conquer his addiction by running really fast and jumping on shit. If that’s the case, then Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was like 5 or 6 years ahead of its time. If that isn’t the case (and let’s face facts here, this totally isn’t the case) then the makers of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 have no idea how to run a casino, and I want to be removed from their Casino Night mailing list immediately. I’ll keep my ringtone though.