Friday, December 24, 2010

Cocaine is Good for What Ails You

Since everybody is always asking me about the history of Coca-Cola, here you go--courtesy of the fine folks at wikipedia:

Fascinating History In-Brief

"The prototype Coca-Cola recipe was formulated at the Eagle Drug and Chemical Company, a drugstore in Columbus, Georgis by John Pemberton, originally as a coca wine called Pemberton's French Wine Coca. He may have been inspired by the formidable success of Vin Mariani, a European coca wine.

"In 1886, when Atlanta and Fulton County passed prohibition legislation, Pemberton responded by developing Coca-Cola, essentially a non-alcoholic version of French Wine Coca. The first sales were at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains, which were popular in the United States at the time due to the belief that carbonated water was good for the health.

"Pemberton claimed Coca-Cola cured many diseases, including morphine addiction, dyspepsia, neurasthenia, headache, and impotence. Pemberton ran the first advertisement for the beverage on May 29 of the same year in the Atlanta Journal.

"By 1888, three versions of Coca-Cola — sold by three separate businesses — were on the market. Asa Griggs Candler acquired a stake in Pemberton's company in 1887 and incorporated it as the Coca Cola Company in 1888. The same year, while suffering from an ongoing addiction to morphine, Pemberton sold the rights a second time to four more businessmen: J.C. Mayfield, A.O. Murphey, C.O. Mullahy and E.H. Bloodworth. Meanwhile, Pemberton's alcoholic son Charley Pemberton began selling his own version of the product.

"John Pemberton declared that the name "Coca-Cola" belonged to Charley, but the other two manufacturers could continue to use the formula. So, in the summer of 1888, Candler sold his beverage under the names Yum Yum and Koke. After both failed to catch on, Candler set out to establish a legal claim to Coca-Cola in late 1888, in order to force his two competitors out of the business. Candler purchased exclusive rights to the formula from John Pemberton, Margaret Dozier and Woolfolk Walker. However, in 1914, Dozier came forward to claim her signature on the bill of sale had been forged, and subsequent analysis has indicated John Pemberton's signature was most likely a forgery as well.

The Most Difficult Gift to Buy This Christmas

Tickle-Me Elmo, eat your f***ing heart out--first Amazon pulls the book for some reason and now Phillip Greaves just sold his last copy of The Pedophile's Guide to Love & Pleasure to the Sheriff of Polk County, Florida.

How are all those lovers out there supposed to get their hands on what everybody wants this holiday season? Who the hell do they have to molest to get a self-published first-edition copy so they know what they should and should not be doing in the sack this winter? How can any substitute gift even approach the utility of this indispensable guide? Will the world drown itself in tears of disappointment this Christmas?

Stay tuned and put everything you value up on milk crates just to be on the safe side...


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Estimated Market Price of a Rental Baby in Johannesburg

Is three dollars per day, according to the Harper's Index in the Jan.2011 issue.

Who rents these babies, you ask? Why, panhandlers, of course! Who else would you rent your defenseless baby to? It makes perfect sense--the panhandlers rent these babies to increase their daily wages by preying on sympathetic strangers and I guess the cost outweighs the benefit or there wouldn't be a market for it.

I also guess that for the most part these babies are returned unharmed or there wouldn't be a steady supply of babies, although that is just a guess. For all I know, the odds are 50/50 and the parents' desire to have the child/burden back is 50/50.

What sort of person rents out their baby to a panhandler in Johannesburg for the day? Is this person so desperate that they don't have any other choice and have thrown caution to the wind in the hopes of mere survival? Is it easier to let your baby do the work while you chill at home eating a $3 package of protein-enriched (hopefully) bonbons?

Or is this proof of yet another impending global movement backward--engineered by a bitter father named Karl Rove, most likely--where the babysitter pays the parent/s and the baby gets exactly the kind of crash-course in life he will need to survive, the Right gets an unregulated, cheap supply of labor/altar-boys, and everybody's too tired and malnourished to mount an effective rebellion?

Or is this baby rental thing all about the economy and I'm an idiot? Is this bonus baby-rental money allowing the impoverished parent/s of these children the luxury of purchasing a carton of "so cool" American cigarettes every week and it's so good for the American economy that all the rich people and their duped grassroots puppets will shoot you in the face with their concealed weapons if you try to be all communist and poke a hole in what is a mostly sorta-fine scheme they have going on? Well, if you discount the visceral discomfort experienced every waking moment by every single baby involved, that is--especially by those poor souls that never make it back to the rental house.

You know what? I should probably stop talking about it right now, lest I be branded un-American by the uneducated. I can't:

Will these poor children grow up at a record clip? What sort of indignities will they witness while lying on the sidewalk, teething on dirty broken beer bottles and used condoms, covering themselves in their own filth, occasionally getting yelled at by their smelly drunken homeless master, on whom his/her survival depends? What manner of squalor will they one day consider luxurious by comparison to their daily existence?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Think I Know Who Should Accidentally Die Next, Oh Just and Mighty Lord

Ladies and gentlemen of the void, I hereby encourage you to feast your eyes on the most smug little *%^&@$# I've seen in a looooong time and then thank everybody you meet for the rest of your life that you were not cursed with her as your mother/sister/daughter/wife/self. Unless you were. [Sorry--but we won't take anything back and you know we shouldn't. -Ed.]

Once again--thank you, Katie Couric, for bringing us the hard news, the news nobody else has the stones to get out there and have somebody else point a camera at while you pretend to give a shit off-screen.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

People in Mexico Must Be Afraid of Being Fed to Dogs for No Reason At All

The somehow-always-escalating violence in Mexico over the last decade has just got to stop being so crazy. Thankfully, despite their brutality, our era's thugs still pale in comparison to both the brutal conquistadors and the psychopathic tyrants they supplanted, but still--come on.

It's like Mexico is an episode/season of Breaking Bad--the best show on television--so no matter how bad you think things are going to get they always get much worse and keep you on the edge of your seat.

One day you're a respectable family attending a provincial bullfight, feasting on all manner of delectable street meat, and dozing in the cool shadow of a mountain of used plastic silverware and putrid diapers trucked in from Texas, the next day you have a sack thrown over your heads, get fed into a sausage grinder, and become a hasty buffet for a pack of alpha-male pitbulls raised to ruthlessly erase all evidence of your existence. For no reason. Well, other than the fact that some asshole druglords want to send the government agents and their employers (aka taxpayers) a message that they are not to be fucked with or everybody will die eventually die a horrific, carnival death.

Mayors getting kidnapped and stoned to death in the woods, their corpses lying in the back of a pick-up truck for days before being found?

Wacko lieutenants becoming famous for dissolving bodies in vats of lie? Headless bodies hanging from bridges when the President comes to town?

People's faces being peeled-off and sewn onto soccer balls?

Danny Trejo's severed head riding atop a turtle's shell?

It's like the Mexican druglords have spent the last ten years one-upping each other, hell-bent on bringing home the Most Sadistic Would-Be Batman Villain Ever hardware every year at their annual, always-fabulous Mexican Druglord Conference in Cancun and things are really coming to a head here, the fate of a nation in flux until one of the longtime favorites (or will it be a darkhorse?) is finally cast by Christopher Nolan in his next movie already. [C'mon, Chris, don't be selfish here--think of the people of Gotham. -Ed]

Only then will a winner be declared. Only then will these men tire of the game and get back to being productive members of society, stop destroying whatever they can get away with.

If Christopher Nolan fails us here (he will), no living soul in Mexico is safe. People invited to dinner parties will start making ridiculous excuses like "Oh, I'd love to come, Sandra, but I'm afraid my entire family might be fed to dogs for absolutely no reason if somebody happens to see us in the street" and it won't be funny because they would totally mean it.

Dogs and cats will be murdered in cold blood and often later eaten by starving Mad-Max scavengers--or used as bait to lure a meatier human out of hiding if they feel strong enough for a struggle.

Even budding flowers will fall victim to the casually lethal boot-heels of restless warriors.

Harmonicas can be quite deadly

Eventually the Wild West will reign again, as all men remaining in Mexico will be pitted against each other in a relentless series of unscheduled, unregulated, him-or-me machine-gun duels.

In the end, some Mexican-Jeff-Goldblum eccentric-billionaire type (or perhaps total-Bond-villain Carlos Slim?) will square up against a rough-and-tumble bully from the other side of the tracks and smile knowingly as he smites him with a remote-controlled missile to win--finally--the entire vacant blood-soaked nation as his playground/torture chamber.

Hey, whatever--heavy is the head that wears the crown, right? Jeff/Carlos will kill 'em all, eat 'em, play the game, and figure the rest out later! Once he wins the competition!

After all, if the end result of all his efforts is for whatever reason less than ideal, he can always just drink himself to death at an abandoned luxury resort in Acapulco while writing one hell of a suicide note. If that is indeed Jeff/Carlos' path, I hope that he also has the foresight to attach the lengthy missive to a particularly-burly trained seagull's foot before he dies and send the winged slave to find A Living Person in America Who Would Open a Random Piece of Mail Delivered by a Seagull and Be Able to Make Some Sense Out of Nearly-Illiterate Post-Apocalyptic Pidgin Spanish with no delay.

Once I get my hands on that suicide note (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease) I can finally publish my (unrelated) bestselling novel about the unsympathetic, stomach-churning trials and tribulations of a notorious, suddenly-repentant-at-the-end, murdering asshole that The New York Review of Books will call "Lyrical, raw, and positively breathtaking--an astonishing debut focusing on a megalomaniacal prick who is so delusional he actually thinks he is a normal person, a person with strengths and weaknesses you can weigh, despite all evidence pointing to the fact that if he is not the spawn of Satan he may as well be."

That kind of success being something I could immediately take to the bank, I will probably set up direct deposit to an account in the Cayman Islands and never be seen or heard from again once the raucous celebration--for the humble but well-appointed launch of what will turn out to be the groundbreaking novel of a burgeoning Golden Era of Literature, the captain of the elite avant garde--winds down and I seize the perfect opportunity to sneak away unnoticed.

I will disappear in plain sight and live on the lam under the assumed identities of a series of retired international playboys who share a voracious appetite for women, adventure, and the fruits of the sea.

I will rewrite my memoirs for the rest of my life--on stained cocktail napkins stapled together--until I accidentally fall off a hotel balcony in paradise and nobody ever even figures out who I was, much less what wisdom I wanted to impart to the Earthlings I left behind.

But enough about me--what will all of you do, America? Will it even affect you? Will you even notice that your drunken trips to coastal Florida are not taking place in Cancun, a beloved resort you will never be able to visit for the rest of your life because murderous warlords own the streets? Will you join them or fight them when the furious, probing tentacles of their violence become too much to bear?

Please send me your well-reasoned answers and I shall peruse them with casual interest while traveling aboard one of my many identical yachts speeding in different directions across the vast watery stretches of globe, while wearing a clever disguise that just makes you want to weep for its beauty.

Thank you,
Goodtime Charlie