A Giant Rebar Silhouette of a Chicken 

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

It’s a story about a chicken, not a turkey, but it’ll do for this Thanksgiving day. In the town of Fitzgerald, Georgia, Jim Puckett is the soon-to-be former mayor. He got demolished in his recent campaign for re-election, with 95% of voters voting against him. Why? Well, it seems certain he lost at least a few votes because he spent almost $300,000 of the town’s money building an as-yet-incomplete giant topiary chicken that will serve as a rentable Airbnb.

OK, so you’ve got the chicken almost built. What if the new mayor decides he’s going to have it put down?

He won’t do that…. If he did, then, I mean, there’s nothing I could do then. That would be tragic. It would kill me, but that’s the new administration’s problem.

He’s already said that we’re definitely too much into the chicken to not finish it.

Today, I’m thankful for friend-of-the-site Ya’ir A., who shared this with me, and has a great sense of what makes a story perfect for OFT.

Poor Bill 34 

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

My late father would undoubtedly enjoy a chuckle at this story of ineptitude by West Point cadets. Go Navy! Beat Army!

Thanks are due to friend-of-the-site Chris D., who also pointed me toward yesterday’s story about New Jersey’s new jerseys.

Update (November 25, 2021): In an amusing postscript to this story, I discovered that the New York Times story on this incident includes this correction:

Correction: Nov. 23, 2021
An earlier version of this article misidentified the retired Navy mascot goat that was stolen last weekend by Army cadets. It was Bill No. 34, not Bill No. 35.

Yes, it seems that like the Army, the New York Times also got the wrong Bill.

New Jersey’s New Jersey Says “Jersey”

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

When done well, an alternate jersey can be a fun change of pace for a sports team and their fans. When done poorly, well, it can at least be a source of amusement and mockery. In the National Hockey League, teams all have two jerseys, for home and away. Nearly all teams also have an alternate third jersey for fun, for special occasions, and of course, for the purpose of selling more merchandise to fans.

After nearly 50 years in the NHL, that group finally includes the New Jersey Devils, which leads to this amusing and true sentence: New Jersey’s new jerseys are their first third jerseys. Those just-unveiled new jerseys land somewhere in the middle of the quality spectrum, neither great nor comical. Have a look:

On the one hand, the black is a really good look. On the other, the stripes (one for each of New Jersey’s 21 counties) wind up looking excessive in number. The elephant in the room, however, is the fact that this a uniform top that literally labels itself. It’s a jersey that says “Jersey”, and that has already led to plenty of lampooning since the update leaked this past weekend.

As a long-time resident of the Garden State myself, I’d have loved to have seen them say “Jerz”, or even better, “Dirty Jerz”. As it stands, however, it’s a little on the nose.

The 2021 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

I don’t know how I missed the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards before, but I’m certainly well aware of them now. NPR has a great run-down of many of the winners. My favorite is below, but don’t miss Ken Jensen’s overall winner. Every male reader will be able to relate to the seeming look of pain.

A raccoon attempting to enter a windowIt looks like Mario on a fence.
[Photo credit: Nicolas de Vaulx]

Even in Clemency, This Was Cruel and Unusual 

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Yesterday, Julius Jones was scheduled to be executed for a crime he has always maintained he did not commit. At nearly the last minute, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt commuted Jones’s sentence to life without parole. This will, of course, allow Jones to continue to fight for his freedom. But take a moment to consider the mental anguish he no doubt went through, as he was taken through what seemed to be his last day on Earth. It’s likely your mind will rebel at the very notion of being walked to your own execution. It’s sickening to even try to contemplate. Now ask yourself if that seems like a system we should support. For me, the answer is a clearly and resoundingly negative.

Every story about capital punishment in America makes it painfully clear just how horrible it is. An end to executions simply can’t come soon enough.

Everything Is Dumb, So Let’s Get Drunk on Roast Beef Vodka

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Here is a sentence which should not exist:

  • Follow @Arbys and be one of the first to know when Arby’s has more vodka news.

And yet, in 2021, ArbysVodka.com is a real thing that is really happening. Thanks to friends-of-the-site Kelan C. and Kim B., I am aware of this abomination. Now, I’m awakening you to the misery of our reality as well. At noon eastern today, you’ll be able to purchase a bottle of Crinkle Fry or Curly Fry vodka, for just $59.99 (shipping included). Don’t worry if you miss out, as there will be a second “drop” on Monday.

Arby’s Vodka will surely be served at the finest establishments.

Marketing in the modern era seems to consist of little more than smashing words together until you find the right “collab” to go viral on social media. Muppets and insurance! Crocs pots! Dunkin Donuts dog toys! Can you even spot the fake? Now that I’ve seeded the idea, how much longer will we even live in a world where cookware featuring brightly colored rubber handles with holes in them doesn’t exist?

Because I enjoy novelty as much as the next moron, I can’t deny that I’d try Arby’s vodka if someone had it on hand. But am I going to pay $60 a bottle for it? No. No, I am not. No one should. It shouldn’t even exist.

A Boat For Samuel Whittemore 

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

In the past few years, a new ferry service started in Boston. It runs between Boston’s North Station, a major commuter hub for folks who live outside the city, and the Seaport district, an area of rapid growth with many offices. This ferry runs in the harbor near me, so I frequently see the boats going back and forth.

Initially, this service used two boats which had previously provided passage around New York City and New Jersey. Those two ships were the Moira Smith and the Douglas B. Gurian, named in honor of two victims of the 9/11 attacks. While that’s a lovely tribute, it’s a bit incongruous for Boston.

Earlier this year, I spotted a ship named for Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the American Revolution. Attucks was shot during the Boston Massacre, which took place a stone’s throw (or two) from the waters where this ship travels. It’s a very fitting name, and I was glad to see it.

Yesterday, however, I spotted a new ship that delighted me even more. Have a look:

[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

This is the “Samuel Whittemore”, and it’s named in honor of one of my very favorite Revolutionary War figures. I wrote about Samuel back in 2014, and I encourage you to read that post to learn the details of his excellent revenge. I suppose now we might add “, before eventually having a ship named in your honor” to the list.

Both Wasteful and Harmful 

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

It seems possible the Danes don’t understand how tides work.

Beyond Biblical 

Monday, November 15th, 2021

Flash floods can be terrifying and devastating. In Egypt, they can apparently also lead to hundreds of scorpion stings.

More than 500 people were stung by scorpions who sought refuge from thunderstorms and torrential rainfall in the southern Egyptian city of Aswan over the weekend.

There are conflicting reports as to fatalities as a result of this swarm of scorpions, but it’s certainly hellish either way.

750 Chicken Balls 

Friday, November 12th, 2021

Since 2014, a California man named Dylan has been saving thousands upon thousands of dollars by eating most of his meals at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Currently, a season pass is $82, while a 2-meal-per-visit add-on is another $110. For that $192, you can get an enormous amount of food.