Mohawk Squirrel

Tail? What tail?

Squirrels can do some amazing things with their bushy and very flexible tails… and I’ve covered tail oddities before in past editions of this series.  Here’s one I see often enough, but don’t think I’ve ever really pointed out before.  Check out how this squirrel has his tail tightly formed to the shape of his back on a slightly chilly autumn day.  From his shoulders all the way down to his rump, it almost looks like the squirrel doesn’t have a tail at all… but a spiky stripe of excess fur running right down the center of his back!  I have to admit, I love the idea of a badass squirrel mohawk.  Maybe those old ladies who try to chase the squirrels away from their birdfeeders will think twice about threatening this guy!  This Saturday Squirrel is a punk, and we mean that in the nicest possible way…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

CHIP: Welcome back to the 69th hour of our telethon to raise money to support Shelf Critter Theatre.  I know you’re all wanting to get back to the reruns of Cop Rock and Rainbow Donkey test patterns that would normally be airing on this station right now… but we’re going to stay on the air as long as it takes to reach our fundraising goal!  Speaking of, Fuzzy…. how’s the tote board looking right now?

FUZZYWIG: Well, Chip.  You might want to get another vat of Red Bull…

CHIP: Seriously!?!?  After almost three days of taking donations from readers, that’s ALL we’ve raised?  That total can’t be right!!!

TROLL: Oops!  You’re right!  There… now the total is correct!

CHIP: How can we be DOWN money!?!?  We’re collecting funds… not giving them away!

TROLL: Dude!  We’ve been locked up in this studio for three days!  Me and the phone operators finally ordered some pizza and put it on the Shelf’s tab!  You should be lucky I get an employee discount!

CHIP: We should still be raising more money than this!  Aren’t the phones ringing?

ZAC: OMG!  I’ve gotten about a million billion trillion calls from unknown callers!  I’ve already signed up for four home security systems, got threatened by the IRS, and consolidated all of my credit card debt into a low interest loan by giving out all of my personal information!  Yep yep yep!!!!

TINA: I don’t even think this is a REAL phone!  It doesn’t even have a screen!!!

CHIP: Where did we find such inept operators!?!?

RAINY: You try sitting at this table for 69 hours and answering some of the calls I’ve gotten!  There’s this one guy who….

For timely comedic purposes, Rainy’s phone begins ringing…

RAINY: This is the Shelf Critter Theatre telethon call center.  How large of a donation may I put you down for?

All that can be heard is the sound of heavy breathing….

SNUGGLE: (In a low, creepy tone) You’ve got a sexy voice! What are you wearing, babe?

Rainy hangs up the phone and begins fuming…. in that way only skunks can.

RAINY: I’m tired of this!  I feel like Jake from State Farm without the khakis!

CHIP: OK, I can see we’re going to be spending the next year living out on the street.  Unless…. oh wait, we have a big corporate donation coming in?  Great!  Let’s take it to Fuzzy with the presentation!

FUZZYWIG: I’ve got Uncle Sam here, CEO of America, Inc.  I assume you have our bailout money?

UNCLE SAM: Well… it was a good year for our economy, but of course that’s all for me and my cronies to divvy up.  But we also had a bumper crop of legalized MARIHUANA and thought it would be fitting to make a large donation to your fine organization for helping to promote the wacky weed for us.

FUZZYWIG: You’re too kind.  I hope you have your gift in nonconsecutive unmarked bills.

SAM: Of course not.  The only way to properly do this is with a fake check that can’t actually be cashed in any bank…

FUZZYWIG: Only $4.20?  Way to bogart the profits, dude!

SAM: It was a symbolic gesture.  I thought you would be amused.

FUZZYWIG: I’m not… but I guess that’s enough to buy another refill for my vaping bong at least.

BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!

Everyone’s favorite mutt runs on stage to desecrate the fake check.

FLEABAG: BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! VOID! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK! BARK!

FUZZYWIG: I’ll bet I could get more than $4.20 for selling you to the Chinese buffet!  And it would cut down on our food bill…

CHIP: Maybe we could guilt some more donations out of people if we showed them where their money goes to.  It doesn’t just buy us critter actors new light bulbs for our dressing room mirrors… it goes to help the down and out members of the troupe like Buster here.

CHIP: Buster.  As one of Chippy’s Kids, tell the audience out there how money raised during the telethon benefits you.

BUSTER: Oh, it helps me in so many ways, Chip!  SCT Charities subsidizes my sky high life insurance premiums, pays for bulk bottles of embalming fluid, gets me a very nice cardboard box to be buried in….

Crash!

CHIP: Well, son of a bitch!  Now we’re gonna have to spring for a new stage light!  We’re never going to get off the air!

LUNA: (Out there in TV land) Oh dear…. look at that poor possum.  I simply must help him!  Maybe I can donate some of this billion dollars I just won in the lottery to help him and the poor critters out…

Luna picks up her phone and makes the call…

LUNA: Hello, is this the critter telethon?  My name is Princess Luna… that’s P-R-I-N-C-E-S-S.  And I’d like to make a tax deductible donation in the amount of $25,000,000 to your foundation.  Where do I send my money?  Hello?  Hello!?!?  Is anybody there!?!?

MR. FOX: ……………………

Luna hangs up the phone in frustration and blows all her winnings on booze and loose stallions instead.

CHIP: Maybe some of our celebrity entertainment will help loosen up the pockets of the tightwads who watch us.  So ladies and gentlecritters…. please enjoy this delightful dance number from the one and only Mitzi!

MITZI: Yaysies!!!  I, like, made it rain!

RAINY: That is NOT rain!!!

CHIP: No, but it oughta be at least enough to cover the pizza bill and get us out of the red…

FUZZYWIG: (Collecting up the singles) I’ll go put this in my lockbox for safe keeping.

CHIP: Yeah, you do that Fuzzy and we’ll hold your bag of Good Stuff as collateral.  Now, getting on with the business at hand…….

CHIP: I don’t think you were part of the show’s entertainment lineup…

SHADOW: Of course I wasn’t.  I’d never participate in such a grade school production as this travesty of a telethon is.

FUZZYWIG: Well, the door’s over there, Clark Gable.  Not that you’d use it…

SHADOW: I dropped in because I have an important message for everyone!

CHIP: Great.  Now we’ll get sued for not providing equal time.

Shadow looks down and realizes he’s showing the wrong message, and quickly flips the card over…

FUZZYWIG: Dude, give it up.

SHADOW: No!  The Contest of Whatever is a vital part of this blog, and provides the necessary funds the Shelf needs to pay the bills during the year…

CHIP: No it doesn’t!  The Contest COSTS this blog money in prizes!  We’d be better off if nobody played your silly game!

SHADOW: Then I guess you two ruffians better up your begging game then…. because I’m going to see to it literally hundreds of people play the Contest of Whatever this year!

And with that, Shadow and his stupid reminder card vanish into the thick air of the Shelf…

CHIP: Certainly we’ve had to have more donations by now!  Let’s check with the phone bank…

CHIP: What’s going on here!?!?  Why is that squirrel asleep?  And where’s Tina!?!?

RAINY: Tina got bored and went outside to play in the street, and Zac just had a major sugar crash… or maybe a heart attack.  And as for me… I got tired of trying to collect donations for this stupid cause and started soliciting for RAIN donations instead.  LOOK WHAT PEOPLE SENT ME!!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

CHIP: We are going to soooo get fired by the boss when he finds out we haven’t raised a dime!  I guess it’s time to bring out the big guns… nobody can say no to helping out little kids!

CHIP: These two poor children are starving, and they need your…

ZEEBA: We’re not starving!

BEARCAT: Heck no we’re not!  We both just had a healthy dose of titty milk!

ZEEBA: Straight from Mommy’s tap!

CHIP: You’re not helping matters here…

ZEEBA: I got a squirrelback ride!!!

BEARCAT: No fair, Sis!  I’m next!!!

CHIP: Mitzi!!!  Will you come get your two little hellions off of me!

MITZI: Now now, little grrls… be nice to Chippy Wippy!  He’s trying to raise money so Mitzi can get a new boobjob!

CHIP: What!?!?

BEARCAT: Mommy!  Can I get a boobjob too?

MITZI: Lulz!  You’re, like, totally too young for that, baby!  Maybe when you make it to second grade…

CHIP: Mitzi!  We’re on live TV!  You can’t be telling everyone you use the Shelf Critter fund on frivolous things like breast augmentation!  Now nobody is going to want to donate….

RAINY: Yes?  You’d like to donate HOW MUCH?  $5,000!?!?

ZAC: Will we accept your credit card for a $25,000 gift?  Yessir!  American Express will do nicely, thank you!

TINA: $50,000…. on the condition Mitzi gets double D’s?

MITZI: I totally will!!!!

TROLL: When is this going to stop?  I don’t think I can count this high without taking off my boots!

CHIP: Well, it’s not the most ethical way to raise money for our yearly budget… but I think we’ll have enough left over for food, beer and porn even after Mitzi gets her work done.

FUZZYWIG: Boobies make the world go round….

MITZI: (Shaking what she’s got) Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Meet Tina

It’s time for another Thursday backstage meet and greet with your favorite stars of Shelf Critter Theatre.  This week, we’re going to take an extended peek at the Shelf’s spunky little sparkplug of a filly Tina… and hopefully be able to do so without digging into Uncle Snuggie’s secret stash of Polaroids…

Is this how you wanted me to pose on your car, prevert?

NAME: Tina

SPECIES: Unicorn(let)

SHELF PERSONALITY: Tina plays a seemingly innocent, yet very streetwise young girl who know what it takes to stay out of real trouble in the very corrupt Shelf Critter Theatre universe.  A real pip, she has a side that’s even wilder than her Aunt Scratchy… and is a heartbreaker for all of the little boys (and even big boys) who try to win her love.

You all can look, but don’t touch!

RUNNING GAGS: Tina’s most common misadventure is running into the gang’s creep, Snuggle Bear… who has an unhealthy and completely illegal crush on her.  Tina loves to string him along… even seemingly falling for Uncle Snuggie’s candy bribes.  Tina is extremely excitable, and bravely stands up to even the most hideous of threats the Shelf may throw her way…

Get out of my way, Bedhead!

Tina claims to always smell like Disney Princesses bubble bath, and is usually listening to her Foalz Bop CD… which she likes much better than the music her Aunt Scratchy prefers.  Tina is a greedy little thorn in the side of the Shelf’s Bad Santa.  She also looks up to Mitzi, who… as you would expect, is a terrible influence on her…

Mistress Mitzi is, like, the best teacher ever!

ESN PREMIERE: Tina was first pulled off the shelf to play the crippled young Cratchit child in my five part parody of A Christmas Carol back in 2015.  Her personality in that story was that of a kindhearted little girl who was slowly dying from a dreaded unicorn disease that was causing her horn to grow backwards into her head.  That may be one of the must fucked up situations I ever accidentally created…

Or maybe it was an episode of My Two Moms.

WHAT’S IN A NAME: Like a number of her castmates, Tina’s name came from her appearance in my besmirching of Dickens.  Since she was playing the Tiny Tim role… I changed the name to Tiny Tina for a girl.  When she began appearing in later posts, I simply used the name Tina for her.

ICONIC SCT ROLE: As great as Tina was at playing Little Red Riding Hood, I have to give the edge here to her series of adventures walking to school in the episode “I Missed The Bus.”  Just about every classic Tina encounter can be found in that post… including making off with all of Uncle Snuggie’s candy.

So easy, it’s like taking candy from a prevert!

WHAT IS SHE?: Tina is a mini My Little Pony figurine that came in one of those collectible blind bags that are all the craze these days.  While the more well known MLP characters of today were supposedly in that collection, Tina was not one of those rare to find more famous ponies… making the whole thing kind of a ripoff.  She was then a generic unicorn thrown into the series named Cherry Spices… who apparently (Yes, I had to look it up) later made her way into the canon of the MLP cartoons.

Yeah, I’m like all famous and shit!

WHERE DID SHE COME FROM?: The blind bag was an impulse buy one morning after work at Mecca in 2015 when I was getting other stuff I actually needed.  Three years ago, the blind package mini collectible trend was just getting started… so it seemed like a novel idea and I put out about three bucks to buy one.  It was three dollars well spent to get a pip like Tina…

You gotta love that strut!

CAN I GET ONE TOO?: If you can Google “MLP Cherry Spices,” you can find all kinds of little Tinas for sale for various prices.  She may even be in some of the current minifig sets you’ll find in your local toy department… though I’d imagine only the 2015 version would look exactly like my Tina.

I want every design of MEEEEEE for Christmas, Santa!

I’ll give you the inside scoop on another colorful SCT character next Thursday…

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So What?

This screenshot came from the video for today’s song…. which is about to get skewered on Cupid’s arrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Yeah fucking right.  The Nest is not a fan of either the commercialism or the sentiment of this unholiest of holidays (usually)… unless it involves VD unicorns that I can turn into blog stars.  But needless to say… since the day that men everywhere dread happened to turn up on a Wednesday this year, you can bet we’re going to ironically douse another chocolate covered turd of a song with a thick coating of red velvet hate for the next entry in our Top 30 Iconic Songs I Can’t Stand countdown!  Today we enter the Top 10 by smacking the shit out of a thoroughly boring silly love song that the radio just won’t stop playing…. even after a couple of blasts with a shotgun.

#10. “In Your Eyes” – Peter Gabriel

There may be no pop/rock musician I have more of an extreme love/hate relationship with than the man who nobody remembers was once the creative force behind Genesis before Phil Collins sold them out, Peter Gabriel.  “Sledgehammer” was one of my absolute favorite songs when I was an 11 year old boy, and he followed it up with “Big Time” which I liked almost as much.  “Shock the Monkey” and “Games Without Frontiers” from earlier in his solo career are also pretty good efforts…

The monkey’s behavior is quite shocking.

But almost everything else Gabriel did on his own is an enormous pile of steaming, burning, festering sewage.  I do not use such descriptively vulgar words like that lightly (usually, anyway).  He teamed up with the equally eardrum stabbing Kate Bush to record the ultimate cure for insomnia “Don’t Give Up.”  His ode to leaving Genesis, “Solsbury Hill,” is literally one of the worst songs ever written and is damn near what I chose to “honor” Peter Gabriel with in this countdown.  But in the end… radio overplay won out and I had to go with this five and a half minutes of utter claptrap that is the worst music to ever come out of a boombox in the 80’s…

Amazingly, this song came off the same album (So) that gave me such great pleasure with “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time”… and was even released as a single in between those two songs in 1986… at least only in the US.  He spared his fellow Brits the torture of having to listen to this utter rubbish.  Well… until the movie Say Anything came out in 1989 and took this song from a long forgotten black sheep into one of the decade’s most iconic movie songs in a decade that was already chock full of iconic movie songs.  Commercial radio hasn’t stopped playing it to death 30 years later…

I hope the neighbors call the fucking SWAT team…

Not so coincidentally… this was the same year US troops smoked out Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega by blasting his compound with loud rock music.  Yeah right… we just sent John Cusack down there to put this fucking song on 11 and even a hardened dictator like Noriega had to think that was unnecessarily cruel and inhuman torture…

Much like Manuel Noriega’s face.

I’ll return next Wednesday with another song I love to hate…

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Shiny Things

Ooooooooh! So pretty!

Is the prospect of another gloomy Monday taking the luster out of your week?  Well, it’s time to treat your ears to something fancy that won’t require you to make another hole in them.  This is the day The Nest digs deep to find another lost pearl of pop music out of that clammed up oyster we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy isn’t expecting much from you this Valentine’s Day… only to listen to this gem of a lost song she found buried under the jewelry box full of cubic zirconium.  As for the Sponkies…. well, they get Ring Pops.  Here’s a diamond in the rough…

MTV became one of the most popular and influential cable channels of the 1980’s, and seems like such an icon of the decade that it’s hard to remember that Music Television wasn’t exactly an overnight sensation.  It took a few years for MTV to establish itself within the music industry with its dedication to playing nothing but music videos… a format that was relatively new to its viewers and not all that well thought of by many of the established acts in rock.  Because of this, MTV was forced to fill its early on air time with a wide variety of videos attached to songs that were well out of the mainstream…

The production values were nonexistent… but the cheese factor was through the roof.

It’s a shame that my family didn’t get cable until 1984… by which time MTV had largely escaped the weird variety of its growing pains.  But VH-1 Classic, in its glory days of showing nothing but classic videos early in this millennium, helped catch me up on a lot of what I missed by being too young and too poor to enjoy the TV version of a college radio station.  One such curiosity that I discovered and grew to love was this acid trip of a song and video by a British outfit that never caught on in America by the name of Haysi Fantayzee.  Here is their 1983 effort “Shiny Shiny.”

The song is a bizarre mishmash of music backing up largely nonsensical (and even gibberish) lyrics… but I find it to be catchy as hell.  The video is somehow even stranger.  Haysi Fantayzee was a pretty odd group… whose other song of note was the exquisitely titled “John Wayne Is Big Leggy.”  The group was fronted by Jeremy Healy and Kate Garner, whose stage presence was unique even by the fucked up standards of the 80’s…

A quarter of a century before Pirates of the Caribbean, believe it or not.

The performance given by Garner in this video is almost impossible to ignore.  When Jessie J was reminiscing about the days when there weren’t hos in videos, she apparently missed this lost treasure.  Forget Madonna, Tawny Kitaen, Grace Jones…. Kate Garner was the pioneer when it came to the iconic art of being a video vixen.  She may not have the looks of Samantha Fox, the charm of Susanna Hoffs, or the ass of George Michael… but she gives a sultry and seductive performance in this old relic that was years ahead of its time and was rarely seen outside of your local gentlemen’s club.  You go, girl!

Please, do not throw dollar bills at your computer screen.

I’ll return next Monday with another shiny old toy from the past…

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