Previous “Lists” posts

First Draft Candies

Monday, May 16th, 2022

My grandfather was a candy maker1, and I recently uncovered some fascinating papers while going through his things.2 One particularly interesting document focused on the value of persistence. It included a list showing an assortment of very bad name ideas for various confections. While none of these first drafts ever saw the light of day, with time and iteration, the creators of these candies eventually found success.

Initially Rejected Ideas For World-Famous Candies

  • Drudgery Dip

  • Neverlasting Gobstoppers

  • Minor League Chew

  • Buttfinger

  • Oh Henry! It’s Time to Admit I Never Loved You at All.


Footnotes:

  1. This is true! ↩︎

  2. This is not. ↩︎

The Ever Loving Hell

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

You may recall that last March, a container ship named the “Ever Given” blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week. Recently, a sister ship from the same Evergreen Marine shipping company joined it in infamy. The hilariously named “Ever Forward” ran aground in the Chesapeake, and it stopped moving forward, or indeed anywhere at all. This time around, the transport was outside the shipping channel, and thus didn’t interfere with any other vessels. As a result, it was much less of a major news story. Still, I’ve been following it, and after more than a month of work, the ship is finally free.

This will surely not be the last giant boat to get stuck somewhere, and the odds are decent that the next one will be an Evergreen vessel too. The company operates a fleet of approximately 200 ships, and many of them follow that same rather strange “Ever ______” naming convention. Some are bland, like the “Ever United” or the “Ever Leader”. But many others are quite amusing. Let’s take a look at the names of a few of the Evergreen crafts we might see stuck in the not-too-distant future.

A Look at an Assortment of Names Given to Evergreen Vessels

  • Ever Ample, Ever Burly, Ever Mighty, Ever Strong
    Many of the names are like these, positive adjectives that are fitting when given to a massive ship.

  • Ever Dainty
    This particular ship is 294 meters long, and that is not any dainty.

  • Ever Clever
    It’s a container ship, so I doubt it’s very clever at all. Still, I appreciate the stupid rhyme.

  • Ever Forever
    Now that’s just redundant.

  • Ever Full, Ever Loading
    I hope not, as these names would imply container ships that are not very good at being container ships.

  • Ever Lasting
    Willy Wonka would like a word.

  • Ever Cozy
    My gosh but that sounds cozy!

  • Ever Chaste
    That sounds very boring. I think I’d rather go with the Ever Vulgar.

  • Ever After
    This is surely the happiest of ships.

  • Ever Unicorn
    As far as I can see, this ship doesn’t have a horn on the front of it. That’s a real missed opportunity.

  • Ever Clear
    If this one has a mishap in the future, odds are it will be because the captain was drinking.

  • Ever Alot
    “A lot” is a phrase. “Allot” is a word. “Alot” is not a word.

  • Ever Lucky
    “Ever Forward” might be the worst name for a ship that runs aground, but “Ever Lucky” is right up there too.

The above list is all real, save for one name, which I invented. Can you guess which one?

Click to reveal the answer

At present, the “Ever After” is not a ship in Evergreen’s fleet. I’m surprised!

If you’d like to explore the world of goofily-named “Ever ______” ships, you can head on over to VesselFinder.com just as I did.

Phone Number Brain Storage

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022

When a friend’s parents ended service on the home phone number they’d had for decades, an interesting question came up in conversation. How many phone numbers do you have memorized?

A (Possibly Complete) List of Phone Numbers I Have Memorized:

  • My own cell phone
    It’s been the same for over two decades.

  • My mother’s landline
    It’s been the same for coming up on four decades.

  • My mother’s cell phone
    This number, previously my father’s, has been in the family for at least a decade. Still, it might be the newest number I’ve managed to commit to memory.

  • The old, no-longer-functional number for the library where my mother works
    This will not come in handy at all.

  • My middle school girlfriend landline
    This will presumably will not reach Kerry 25+ years later, but it ended in -0749, and 7 squared is 49, so that one’s never going to leave my brain.

  • My current partner’s cell phone
    So now you know I’ve had at least two girlfriends. Humblebrag!

  • Mattress retailer (1-800-MATTRES)
    Leave off the last “S” for “Savings”.

  • Car donation organization (1-877-KARS-4-KIDS)
    That is not how you spell “cars”. Why use a misspelled mneomnic? Everything about this is awful.

  • The former number to get tickets to Yakov Smirnoff’s Branson Missouri show (1-800-WHA-TACO)
    The full number was “1-800-WHAT-A-COUNTRY”, but that’s an absurd five extra digits, and it’s fun to say “Whaaaaa Taco”.

It would seem my count is nine. I have nine phone numbers memorized, at least one-third of which are non-functional or out-of-date. Keep up the work, brain.

Thanks for Very Little, Target

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

For several years now, Target has sent me a birthday “gift”. Specifically, it comes from “Target Circle™”, their loyalty program I apparently signed up for at some point in 2019.1 While writing this post, I checked in to see just how much I’ve used Target Circle™:


Apparently, I used it $0.00 worth.

I don’t shop at Target very often, but I’ve certain spent a bit of money there in the past three years, That said, I’ve also never done anything to make sure my reward information is linked to those few purchases I did make. Nevertheless! Despite my obvious disinterest (or perhaps because of it), each year Target emails me near my birthday with this offer:

A 5% discount from Target
This is superior to only four discounts they might provide.

5% off is better than nothing, but it’s not really very enticing. However, what I do enjoy is the carve-outs listed in the fine print.2 Target excludes nearly 100 products and brands, including alcohol, Apple, Google, Hasbro, LG and Samsung TVs, video game consoles from Facebook, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, and even Weber grills. Basically, if you’re interested in it, you probably won’t get 5% off. But hey, feel free to stock up on, I don’t know, deodorant and toothpaste at a not-so-fabulous discount, unless those fall under “clinic & pharmacy”, which they very well might.3

An Assorted List of Amusing Items Which Target Will Not Allow to Be Discounted by a Measly 5%

  • HALO Baby, Honest Baby, and Hudson Baby
    There’s no restriction listed for DEVIL Baby, Liar Baby, or East River Baby.

  • Galactic Snackin’ Grogu
    “Grogu” is apparently the real name for “Baby Yoda”. And I guess he snacks, possibly even galactically.

  • Plan B
    People in need of the morning-after pill are stressed enough. Does Target really need to add to their woes by not providing 5% off on this item?

  • Elf on the Shelf
    I don’t think this little snitch belongs in children’s lives at even 95% off.

  • Dairy milk
    This is interesting, as it indicates they have a better profit margin on the trendy alternative milks like almond, oat, and even pea milk (Yes, that’s a thing).

  • Polder
    I’d never heard of this brand, which apparently makes home products that are “useful, beautiful and better”. I can’t say their name is very appealing.

  • Thomas Tranes (sic) & Cranes Super Tower
    I like to imagine an alternate reality where Thomas is not a British tank engine, but an AC condenser with a Wisconsin accent. Or an Irish one. Or both!

  • Tylenol PM pain relief
    This bizarre item stood out to three different people who skimmed the list. Is Tylenol PM a luxury brand, and if so, when the hell did that happen?

I hope I can remember to check on this next year, to see what’s hot and what’s not.


Footnotes:

  1. Said program has a trademark the company seemingly hasn’t even registered, as indicated by their use of ™ rather than ®. ↩︎

  2. Here’s the full list of excluded items:

    Excludes alcohol, Apple products, Barbie (Camper, Dreamhouse, Dreamplane, Malibu House and Townhouse), Beats Fit Pro, Beats Flex, Beats Powerbeats Pro, Beats Studio Buds, Bose, Cards Against Humanity, Casper, clinic & pharmacy, Cricut, dairy milk, DockATot, Dockers, Disney Ultimate Princess Castle, Do-a-Dot, DSLR cameras & lenses, Dyson, Elf on the Shelf, Elvie, Facebook, Oculus and Portal, face masks (Dolan, Sanctuary & Sugar Fix brands), Fisher Price Laugh n Learn, Fisher Price Little People Frozen Elsa’s Enchanted Lights Palace, Fitbit, Galactic Snackin’ Grogu, gift cards, Google, HALO Baby, Hasbro Games (Classic Monopoly, Connect Four, Jenga, Rubik’s Cube, Sorry, Trouble), Hatch Maternity, Hot Wheels (Ultimate Garage, Action Massive Loop Mayhem, Mario Kart Rainbow Road Trackset, Volcano Arena Playset), Honest Baby, HP Inc., Hudson Baby, Imaginext Transforming Bat-Tech Batbot, Infant Optics, Instant Pot, JBL, Lamaze, LEGO, Levi’s Red Label, LG OLED TV, limited-time designer partnerships, Luvable Friends, Masters of the Universe Masterverse Ultimate Battle Cat, Mega Bloks, mobile contracts, Monica and Andy, Nerf Ultra and Hyper, Ninja, Nintendo hardware and Switch games, Polder, Peg Perego, Philips Avent, Plan B, power shave, power dental, prepaid cards, PlayStation consoles and accessories, Quincy Mae, Revival, Samsung TVs, Shark, simplehuman, Sonos, Sony Electronics, Take Action, Target Optical, Tempur-Sealy, Thomas Tranes & Cranes Super Tower, Touched by Nature, Trading Cards, Traeger, Tylenol PM pain relief, Ulta Beauty at Target Brands, Unlocked phones, Vera Bradley handbags, Weber, What Do You Meme?, Xbox consoles and accessories, and Zoe Doll. ↩︎

  3. But not electric toothbrushes, if I understand what “power dental” means.↩︎

Dumb Text

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021

In recent weeks, while wandering the outside world, I’ve noticed several inane bits of text. Here is a short list:

  • A hat with the text “I LOVE YOU SAY IT BACK”

    This appears to be from a…clothing line (?) called “Lonely Ghost”. I don’t really know what to make of any of this, but if you’d like your own goofy hat, you can get it for just four interest-free payments of $7.50. Or you could, if it weren’t sold out.

  • This exact bumper sticker, which states “My cat is a Democrat”

    It would be easy to read this as an insult to Democrats. However, as I saw it on a Prius in deep blue Massachusetts, I assume the cat’s owner is a Democrat as well. As such, it’s just a rather senseless sticker.

    More importantly, it’s also wrong. All cats are anarchists who just want to watch the world burn.

  • A shirt which read “I have two titles: Aunt and Dogmom and I rock them both”

    It was not this particular shirt, but the message was the same. I can’t understand someone who identifies themselves by these two roles, and yet apparently at least two different people in the world have decided to sell shirts with this message.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief collection of stupidity.

Two Reasons OFT Isn’t Being Updated Today

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Two Reasons OFT Isn’t Being Updated Today

Update (February 22nd, 2018): Here’s a not very comedic accounting of the matter at hand.

Conversation Cough Drops

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

This Valentine’s Day, please allow me to share a list of ten inspirational phrases said to me by the wrappers of Halls sugar free cough drops as I struggled with a cough.

Halls cough drop wrapper

  • Don’t waste a precious minute.

  • You’ve survived tougher.

  • Fire up those engines!

  • Flex your “can do” muscle.

  • Dust off and get up.

  • Inspire envy.

  • A PEP TALK IN EVERY DROP™

  • March forward!

  • You got it in you.

  • Don’t try harder. Do harder!

Halls actually paid someone to come up with this idea, as well as to write and/or crib these little phrases. What a world we live in.

You Really Do

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Recently, while sating my desire to eat food out of a cylinder, I stumbled upon something rather disturbing. It seems Pringles has a new social media campaign. On the top of each tube is this message:

ALT NAME

Once I saw this, I was forced to wonder if I’ve been using Pringles wrong my entire life. I contemplated how else one might make use of Pringles, and came up with a brief list. I recognize that even mocking this ad campaign is enhancing the mindshare of Pringles, and thereby playing right into the hands of the Kellogg Company, but so it goes.

An Incomplete List of Things You Do With Pringles Besides Eating ’Em

  • You use ’em to duck yourself.

    Yours truly, ducking himself
    Quack.

  • You use ’em in the bedroom. I don’t know how, and I don’t wanna know how, but rule #34 ensures that someone has found a no–doubt–deeply–unsettling way. Frankly, that’s immediately what I assumed this meant, and I was fairly grossed out.

  • You share one with that dog who’s sitting patiently at your feet.

  • You teach a geometry lesson with ’em. (OK, that’s actually pretty good.)

  • You eat ’em, then you digest ’em, then, well, you deposit ’em into the sewage system.

Ultimately, however, the results of a Twitter search for the hashtag “#YouDontJustEatEm” prove that people mainly do two things with Pringles. First, they eat ’em. And second, they tweet to ask just what the hell else folks are doing with ’em.

An Incomplete List of Lengths of Time for Which One Can, and/or Ways One Might, Chill

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

An Incomplete List of Lengths of Time for Which One Can, and/or Ways One Might, Chill

  • …for a sec(ond).

  • …for a minute.

  • Netflix and…

  • …for awhile.

  • …’til the next episode.

That’s all for now. Until the next post, you should chill for one of the above lengths of time, and/or in one of the above ways. Or perhaps you’ll chill in some other as-yet-unlisted fashion!

Perverse Incentives

Monday, September 7th, 2015

In China and Taiwan, drivers who’ve hit someone with their car may attempt to kill the person. Why?

[I]f you cripple a man, you pay for the injured person’s care for a lifetime. But if you kill the person, you “only have to pay once, like a burial fee.”

Because the legal system has often failed to prosecute these murders, a perverse incentive has been created. Once a driver hits an individual, the financially prudent move is for him to kill the injured party, rather than allowing them to live with a severe injury.