Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #117 — 7/24/14

comic72414

Mama & Eejit’s Cartoon Craziness Challenge

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Live For Today

More 80's lameness than you could ever hope to handle...

More 80′s lameness than you could ever hope to handle…

tuesday tvFame is fleeting.  Just ask any has-been who was once famous enough to date a supermodel, but these days can’t even find anyone who wants to flirt with them on Zoosk.  One day, you are the idol of the masses, the cream of the celebrity crop, the trending hashtag on Tweeter Twitter.  Then before you can say “Milli Vanilli”, you’ve suddenly found yourself  crashing on people’s couches, pawning off your Best New Artist award, and applying for employment at Mecca.  Nobody wants to put you in the spotlight anymore, and the only people who even remember who you once were are those who enjoy mocking the overbloated celebrity persona you became…

What were we thinking in the 80's???

What were we thinking in the 80′s???

Eventually, though, a random thought will enter someone’s mind… and they’ll wonder, “You know, what ever happened to so-and-so?  He was such a big deal back in the day and had a huge hit song, yet I haven’t heard a thing about him in years!”  Sometimes, this person will be told by the caretakers that he’s special, and put back in his padded cell to continue chewing on the strings of his straightjacket.  But occasionally, that person will find themselves working for VH-1… and that stray shot of nostalgic curiosity will inspire an episode of “Behind the Music.”

Discover Card rammed both of these ideas together in 2000 and gave us this classic commercial featuring a 30 second documentary about the fictional heavy metal band Danger Kitty:

So our fictional heroes Danger Kitty had a heavy metal hit in 1983 with a song called “Love Rocket”…

It's a good bet that A Flock of Seagulls and Wham kept "Love Rocket" off the top of the charts.

It’s a good bet that A Flock of Seagulls and Wham! kept “Love Rocket” off the top of the charts.

Great research work there, Discover Card.  Long haired heavy metal may have been all the rage in Los Angeles in the early 80′s, but it hadn’t exactly gone mainstream yet in 1983.  Here is a list of the Top 100 songs of 1983 according the the magazine that makes the charts, Billboard.  Cruise on down that list and let me know when you get to a hair band.  The only artists who are even close are Loverboy, The Tubes, and solo Sammy Hagar… and they all appear towards the bottom of the countdown…

quiet riot

Apparently Quiet Riot wasn’t mainstream enough for Billboard…

And how shitty of an act must Danger Kitty have been to have already shot their wad tanked and become irrelevant the very next year, especially when the very genre they were involved in was just about to explode onto the national scene?  That’s like having some success as a grunge band in 1990, only to have everyone think you’re ripping off Nirvana when you’re playing the county fair in 1991.  Damn, even Andy Warhol would have admitted they got cheated out of some of their fame time.

Even punk rock squirrels have a longer shelf life than that!

Even punk rock squirrels have a longer shelf life than that!

Perhaps they were just too busy buying “mansions, cars, and the finest women’s clothing” to bother actually going out on tour or recording another fucking album.  Everyone likes to mock the many androgynous musicians of the 80′s, who had no qualms at all about wearing the opposite sex’s clothing back when Mark Knopfler could still call them faggots without everyone thinking he was a homophobe.  Steven Tyler thought they looked like a lady before he bothered getting a good look at himself in the mirror.  And even Buster Poindexter, formerly of the glam rock band The New York Dolls, dedicates the first part of his video for “Hot Hot Hot!” getting a shot in at the posers who copied his style by calling them “heavy mental bands” who “dress in their mother’s clothes”….

Well, now we know where he came up with the song "Hot Hot Hot!"

Well, now we know where he came up with the song “Hot Hot Hot!”

Of course, the real affront to common decency in the Danger Kitty story is that it’s one of those types of scenarios we hear of all the time that make us want to kick some egotistic douchebag right in their Giorgio Armani designed codpiece.  Someone hits it big, comes into a great deal of money, then somehow manages to blow it all and end up in worse financial shape than they started out in within a few years.  How we’d all like a shot at making a million dollars… by golly, we’d make sure to live within our means and sock some of that dough away so we could rest assured we lived comfortably for the rest of our lives!

Like hell we would...

Like hell we would…

But not here in America where we’re all living in a material world.  If we got an instant infusion of big bucks like Danger Kitty did, we’d also buy mansions, cars, and hell, probably even the finest women’s clothing… and I’m obviously not talking about that shit off the rack in Mecca that was made in Bangladesh either.  Look at all of the lottery millionaires who have gone broke once the fortune they suddenly gained was gone and no more checks were due in the mail…

OK, maybe that 24 karat gold litter box was a bad idea...

OK, maybe that 24 karat gold litter box was a bad idea…

Keeping an eye towards the future is not one of humans’ most polished talents.  I loathe the saying, “Well, you can’t take it with you when you die!”… which I hear a lot since I’m a tightwad miser bit frugal.  And while that’s true unless you believe in a religion with some strangely cool version of the afterlife, the fact is that I don’t plan on dying anytime in the immediate future, and as this year is proving to me time and time again, there are going to come rainy days where that money not spent on those high class hookers in the past is going to come in handy.

ES has the squirrels at his feet!

One day you’re gonna wish you hadn’t spent all those acorns on MBRS…

And to have this lesson being presented to us by a credit card company, who make their billions in executives’ bonuses on the concept of keeping people in debt for life, is either a refreshing case of corporate ethics, or a baffling decision by a company who had it’s gimmick flat stripped from them by Capital One a few years later.  Seriously, how many people remember that before Alec Baldwin and Samuel L. Jackson came along that Discover was the original “card that paid you back?”  You got served, Discover…

Get your mothafuckin' card out of my mothafuckin' wallet!

Get your muthafuckin’ card out of my muthafuckin’ wallet!

Every strange concept in this ad all comes together in the end when Discover flaunts the “spending management tools” the company offers to help you better understand just what you are maxing your card out with.  It’s kind of quaint these days to have a company get all excited about its card’s expense tracking, email alerts, and online payment capabilities… but remember, this was the turn of the millennium when the internet was still in the dark ages and we still thought this was cool…

The Hamster Dance is still not as evil as Facebook...

The Hamster Dance is still not as evil as Facebook…

Eat, drink, and be Merby is wise advice to an extent, but tomorrow you may not die after all, and actually have to pay that all important internet bill.  So for offering us a touching public service announcement by exploiting the misery of a made-up hair band, we at The Nest salute the Discover Card for taking the moral high ground when it comes to fiscal responsibility, prudent living, and fashion sense.  We also raise our furry paws in a “Rock On!” gesture for the one and only Danger Kitty, who were played in that commercial by an actual heavy metal cover band based out of LA that now goes by the name Steel Panther.  Oh, and yes, they actually recorded the song that was featured in the ad…. so put on your eyeliner, crank the amps up to eleven, and enjoy that number three hit from 1983, “Love Rocket!”

 

 

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The Ghost Of Mecca

Write a brilliant song, have it turned into muzak... that's the American way!

Write a brilliant song, have it turned into muzak… that’s the American way!

meccamuzakmondaysIt’s Monday, and DJ Scratchy’s queueing up another most excellent track from the Mecca CD’s that have been providing your audio enjoyment on those shopping jaunts to hell for the past year and a half.  This week, we have another personal favorite of mine from a group that before my research I had only heard of half of…

Broken Bells is a duo that formed in 2009.  The band consists of guitarist and vocalist James Mercer of some band called The Shins, and renowned musical genius Brian Burton, who goes by the best nickname in the entire music business….

He probably even composed the cartoon's awesome theme!

He probably even composed the cartoon’s awesome theme!

Burton is best known for being the creative half of a more famous duo… namely Gnarls Barkley, where he partnered with the singer who later gave us the best tribute song to an unrequited love evah…

Well ain't that some shit?

Well ain’t that some shit?

But back to Broken Bells, they had a catchy little number that appeared on both the Winter and Fall CD’s last year that took a long time for me to really notice how absolutely wonderful it sounded to my ears.  I won’t post the video to the song, because it has a lot of extraneous music before and after the main song, as well as a lot of other sound effects that take away from actually enjoying the song.  But it’s pretty goofy, and if you’re into interplanetary chicks selling off fake body parts in outer space, well, knock yourself out!

But here is just the song itself, from Broken Bells’ 2010 self titled album, “The Ghost Inside”…

Like most of the songs Burton is involved in, this one has a killer backbeat that pleasures the brain rather than giving it a headache.  Mercer’s falsetto singing somehow makes it even better.  I don’t even know or understand most of the lyrics to the song, nor do I care… I can listen to this every day!

Meanwhile, on the subjects of ghosts….

No, not these guys...

No, not these guys…

Back when I first started at Mecca, everyone on the overnight crew loved to talk about our store’s resident ghost… simply referred to as “The Indian.”  Anytime merchandise would mysteriously fall off the shelf, or something would move without explanation, or stuff would just disappear… we would chalk it up to The Indian.  The Indian was borne of the belief that our store was built atop an ancient Native American burial ground… a legend which was given a hell of a lot more credence when the construction for our remodel began in 2009, and a shitload of actual Indian artifacts were found in the excavation!

But if you give white man land, he will bring tribe box box store, and rollbacks, and squaws dressed in pajama pants...

But if you give white man this land, he will bring tribe big box store, and rollbacks, and squaws dressed in pajama pants…

That find delayed our expansion by a year and a half so the archaeologists could have a field day… but at least it gave us something solid to back up our Indian spirit story with.  Our Mecca really does have a ghost inside, and we’re not about to give him up!

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Saturday Tree Rat

I'm waiting to be stroked...

I’m waiting to be stroked…

It just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

You’ve probably heard that less than complimentary name applied to squirrels before, most likely by someone who doesn’t appreciate the finer points of the species like we all do.  But there is certainly some truth to that epithet… after all, squirrels come from the rodent family just like rats do.  One of the main things that distinguishes squirrels from sqturday squirrel logoother rodents are their very thickly furred and fluffy tails.  Remember how sad Buster looked in my most recent comic because he didn’t have a fluffy tail like everyone else did?

Well, beneath all of that frizz, squirrels don’t look any different than Buster does.  Every once in a while, I can get a good shot of a squirrel where its fuzzy caboose is much more transparent than it normally looks… and there in that picture above you can clearly see the naked little wiry tail that we so associate with the rat.  You wear that cute, majestic tail oh so well, Mr. Squirrel, but sometimes, even that thick fur can’t hide the puny little wagger underneath…

That’s alright, you’re still beautiful enough to be this week’s see-through Saturday Tree R…. er, Squirrel!

Have a soft and fluffy weekend, everyone!

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The Least Interesting Squirrel In The World

Even this man's autobiography is not longer than my Millionaire Saga will be.

Even this man’s autobiography is not longer than my Millionaire Saga will be.

Live from New York, it’s Friday morning!  That can only mean one thing, it’s time for the latest installment in the neverending tale known as My Millionaire Journey!  Last week we had fun sitting around backstage in the green room, which was full of contestants, producers, continental breakfast delicacies, and strange phone calls.  As would seem to be the theme in this story, I managed to get put on the back burner by being the last contestant whose associate producer eventually got hooked up with.  But Brent did finally find time from his busy day to say hello, though it took him a while to identify his target by my nametag I was wearing…

I actually still have my real nametag from that morning, but in a testament to my wonderful organizational skills, I can't find the damn thing... though this is a good replica.

I actually still have my real nametag from that morning, but in a testament to my wonderful organizational skills, I can’t find the damn thing… though this is a good replica.

Brent has a seat in front of me and my Dad and gives us a big friendly introduction.  The first thing he does is look over the paperwork that was in my orientation packet I was given back at the hotel.  I’ve already managed to fill out one of the papers incorrectly…

Strike one, dumbass!

Strike one, dumbass!

No need to worry about that, Brent assures me.  He didn’t come by to mock my ability to fill out simple fucking information correctly.  He was there to get that all important info for my blue card.  No doubt you’ve seen many a game show host with these blue cards in their hand that have all of these interesting nuggets about each contestant written on them so the host can waste valuable playing time pretending they’re at an ice cream social rather than running a contest with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes at stake…

It says here on your blue card that you like to stall on game shows so that your opponents don't have enough time to make up a $7,200 deficit...

It says here on your blue card that you like to stall on game shows so that your opponents don’t have enough time to make up a $7,200 deficit…

And so it was Brent’s daunting task to try to find some interesting talking points about me for Regis to use should I make the Hot Seat.  Of course, no matter what was put on the card, the first thing Regis would discover about me via his own line of questioning is that I was a single guy without a girlfriend.  The Reege would always give that stunned look every time one of us loners landed in the chair across from him.  “Well, what’s wrong with you that you can’t find a nice girl?  Are you even looking?  Should I give you the phone number of Gelman’s sister?”  Regis seemed to live to pick on the poor single guy.

Kelly, there was something wrong with this fella we had in the Hot Seat last night... hey, you aren't dating anyone at the moment, are you?

Kelly, there was something wrong with this fella we had in the Hot Seat last night… hey, you aren’t dating anyone at the moment, are you?

So Brent goes to work by digging out the first interesting tidbit from my questionnaire I filled out way back at the audition.  Namely, the fact that I was forced to grow up with four younger sisters.

They post pictures of me on Facebook, so I can post pictures of them on my blog!

They post pictures of me on Facebook, so I can post pictures of them on my blog!

Oh yes, Brent thinks that Regis will have a ball with this fucked up factoid… right after he’s done riding me about not having a girlfriend.

So what else is there about me, Brent asks.  Well, since it was brought up by my audition inquisitors, I mention how much I love baseball.  I mention how it sucks a little bit that I get a trip to New York and it happens to be in January so I can’t take in a Mets or Yankees game.  Brent could absolutely care less about my misfortune…

D'oh!

D’oh!

Brent’s not about to be intimidated by my lack of belief in pulling out an interesting conversational piece.  This is our first time in The Big Apple, so he asks what fun and exciting things we’ve done so far.  Oh dear… me and Dad look at each other and confess that the only exploring we managed to do in NYC our first day there was walk about 10 city blocks trying to find fried chicken for dinner last night.

Brent’s eyes light up and a smile comes back to his face… this is going on the card!

No doubt the inspiration behind this video game.

No doubt the inspiration behind this video game.

My picky ass trying to track down real fried chicken would be a riot of a story Brent thinks.  Regis would no doubt give me some suggestions of restaurants where fried chicken is served on a silver platter with sparkling wine and a side of escargot…

While Brent’s managed to come up with a couple good between-segments bits from my dry past, the one thing still missing entirely is the one nugget that will define me as a contestant.  The tidbit that viewers will always associate with me and will likely end up going on my tombstone.

Just from some of the people from my message board who made it on the show, their defining hooks included the big guy who once wore a pink tutu…

Underwear optional.

Underwear optional.

The nude art model.

YESSSSS!!!!  Oh wait, this contestant was a middle aged guy...

YESSSSS!!!! Oh wait, this contestant was a middle aged guy…

The lady who wanted to build a golf course with her winnings.

It's not a real golf course unless it has a windmill.

It’s not a real golf course unless it has a windmill.

In a desperate attempt to get that big story they could run with, Brent asked me about my weather background.  After all, that’s what wound up getting me on the show in the first place… but I really didn’t have anything of particular interest to add about it.

Not that I wound up doing much of the talking anyway… my Dad was quite vocal during the interview.  And he was the one who threw out what would come to be the main point on my blue card…

A fitting bolt of inspiration!

A fitting bolt of inspiration!

If you live in the Midwest, you have to deal with a lot of severe weather.  Lightning, winds, tornadoes…

Hail the size of batting practice homeruns.

Hail the size of batting practice homeruns.

And you either learn to fear the storms, or come to be fascinated by them.  With the exception of my crippling phobia of lightning, I was definitely the latter.  My Dad liked to jump in the truck and check out any big storms that came through from outside the city.  My Mom usually went with him, but every once in a while it was me who tagged along.  And so Brent intended to round out my blue card with the legend of….

stormchaser

Coming to a reality channel near you this Fall…

Well, Brent seems happy with what he was able to get out of me and my Dad.  Make no mistake about it… these guys are damn good at turning even the stiffest of stiffs into someone who could be the talk of primetime TV.

And speaking of primetime TV, it’s almost time for rehearsal!  But before we go, we get another speech in which we are told:

1. The record for the quickest time in the Fastest Finger round is 0.87 seconds by Shannon McGhee managing to randomly luck into putting Elizabeth Taylor husbands in order.  Don’t try to break her record, because it will never be done…

Shannon's record, that is... not Liz's record.

Shannon’s record, that is… not Liz’s record.

2. We were guaranteed that we would get at least one fastest finger question, but almost positively at least two chances at the Hot Seat.  To date, there had only been two hour long shows that had time for only one fastest finger question, leaving nine unhappy campers to die in the Ring of Fire…

In case you ever wondered what unhappy campers looked like.

In case you ever wondered what unhappy campers looked like.

And 3. If there is any dialogue we have with Regis that we are so uncomfortable with that we really don’t want it to be aired on TV, just let them know, and they “almost always” could get it edited out.

Could we leave out the My Little Pony fascination Regis brought up after he found out I was single?  Thank you.

Could we leave out the My Little Pony fascination Regis brought up after he found out I was single? Thank you.

And now it’s time to line up to head down to the studio for rehearsal!  The line forms in front of the continental breakfast buffet, and we are told the order we line up in will be the order we are to sit in once we get to the studio.  The first taping group gets called first.  I already know I’m dead last in my group, so I was completely and totally unprepared when my name was called out ninth…

NINTH!

Oh shit…. THE CURSE!!!!

Yerrrrrrrrrrrrr Outta Here!!!!

Yerrrrrrrrrrrrr Outta Here!!!!

And now the survey says it’s time to close this unfortunate chapter in my Millionaire Journey.  Join me again next week, as we head downstairs to the actual, real, live studio where the game show is filmed!  Oh, and Seat Fucking Nine….

Let's go!!!  Fire this puppy up!!!

Let’s go!!! Fire this puppy up!!!

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