Picking Up Where Your Search Engine Leaves Off

Here are some of the words and phrases people typed into their search engines, and wound up at my blog. These are all for real! Since my actual posts don’t provide the answers or information the readers were looking for, I thought I’d do it here.

1. Can rose petals in a bath kill you?
Well, that depends. If you sprinkle a few rose petals over the surface of your bath water, I think you’ll survive. However, if you fill the tub with petals, only allowing room for a small amount of water (enough to make them soggy) and then get into the tub, ducking your head to inhale the flowery aroma; then YES, I think rose petals in the bath can kill you – when they fill up your mouth and nostrils and cut off your air supply. So be really careful about doing that.

2. Funny thoughts on what animals think
What do you think a dog thinks? No matter what your answer, if you are not a dog, you have no way of knowing whether you’re right or wrong. Despite that, all the pet owners I know have an annoying habit of providing voice-overs for their pets’ activities. So when the dog comes over carrying his leash in his mouth, the owner says, “He’s thinking, take me out for a walk,” when it’s just as likely the dog is thinking, “Mary spilled chicken gravy on my leash and it tastes really good. Do we have any more of that chicken gravy?” So my thought on what animals think is: don’t be so sure!

3. Rose petal cells for 11 year olds
I suppose this person was searching for a source of rose petals to use in a school project for her 6th grader. She had already bought the “Junior Scientist Mighty Microscope Kit” and was now looking for neat things to view at the cellular level. Why she needed the internet to find rose petals when she could just go to her neighbor’s yard and steal a few, is beyond me, but hey, I’m here to help. So here is my response: go to your neighbor’s yard and steal a few. On the other hand, if this person is looking for cartoon film cel pictures of rose petals that appeared in some Looney Tunes episode back in the 50s, to use as decoration for her 11-year-old’s bedroom wall, then here’s an idea. Since antique rose petal cartoon cels are probably going to cost you plenty, and a pre-teenager isn’t going to appreciate the value, go to your neighbor’s yard and steal a few. Press them between two pieces of clear cellophane, and put them in a frame. Voila! Rose Petal Cels for 11-year-olds. (My apologies to the neighbor, but we’re dealing in practical solutions here.)

4. McDonald nugget chicken heads
This presents an interesting dilemma. Do McDonald’s chicken nuggets have heads? Is one side the top and the other side the bottom, so that when you flip one, it either lands heads or tails? You’ll have to check the McDonald’s website for the answer to that one. But here is another take on the question. I have always thought McDonald’s chicken nuggets were made from all the parts of the chicken that other chicken restaurants throw away. In one of my posts, I said that I thought the nuggets were composed of beaks and toes (clearly the reason the person who typed this phrase ended up at Rose Petals). But it never entered my mind that they might also contain the heads. That must be the piece of information this reader was hoping to find. Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m still scratching my head on that one. I will say this: if it has occurred to you that the nuggets may contain chicken heads, DO NOT EAT THEM.

5. Is newspaper toxic to dogs?
If all your dog does is pee on the newspaper, then probably not. But if he eats newspaper, and keeps eating it until he’s dead, then clearly he had a suicide wish, and it’s not about the newspaper. What dog in his right mind would eat newspaper, when there’s a perfectly tasty chicken gravy covered leash in the closet? Now, if you’re asking whether reading the newspaper is toxic to dogs, then I would say YES. With all the bad news they’re reporting these days, it’s toxic to everybody.

6. Good conclusion sentences
This comes from my other blog, Writing English. The person who typed this one into the search engine believes that after he’s written his letter, or story, or the great American novel, somebody on the internet is going to be able to tell him how to finish the thing. So here are a few suggestions for the last line.

This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.
And away we go.
I’ll think about that tomorrow.
Now go do the right thing.

 

Bdeah, bdeah, bdeah, that’s all folks!

Published in: on October 9, 2006 at 8:36 pm  Comments (3)  

NEWS FLASH – DOGS CAN READ!

…at least that’s the inescapable conclusion I came to when I opened Sunday’s newspaper.

I spend a lot of time thinking about writing, and on occasion, I’ll spot something relevant in the paper that’s worth sharing. Today’s subject isn’t an article or an editorial. I found it in the coupon circular. It’s an ad for a new product called Fortune Snookies – doggie cookie snacks. Each one has something written on it, like those candy hearts you see around Valentine’s Day that say BE MINE or I LOVE YOU. Only these say things like “the bark stops here” or “I only fetch Snookies.”

I know you’re going to say that this product is aimed at the human who actually goes to the supermarket and shells out the money. But I am convinced that the manufacturer truly intends for the cookies to be read by DOGS! Because right there in the ad, in big bold print, it says: “WOW! Different fortunes in every box. Read ‘em and eat ‘em!” So what other conclusion can I draw?

Still, I’m left with a few questions:

1) The ad includes a coupon for $2.00 off. If they’re willing to knock $2.00 off the price, just how much do these things cost? The package is only 8.4 ounces. By my calculation, that makes the price at least $4.00 per pound. I can buy top sirloin steak on sale for $2.77 per pound. It may not have anything written on it, but we’re talking about a treat here. If I were a dog, which one would wake up my salivary glands – cookies or steak?

2) If, as I conclude above, the messages are intended for dogs, wouldn’t your pooch have to be very near-sighted to read them while his nose is in the bowl? Are these cookies going to spawn a whole new industry in doggie reading glasses? Will we be seeing doggie optometrists selling fashion eye-wear for Fido? What if you’re just tossing the cookies to him one by one? Can he read them on the fly? These are some practical considerations that don’t appear to have been addressed by the manufacturer.

3) Some of the messages shown in the ad are “Life is Like a Box of Snookies” and “You Had Me at HERE BOY.” When was the last time your dog sat through Forrest Gump or Jerry McGuire?

4) Why are these things in English? It’s highly disputed whether dogs understand English at all. Wouldn’t it make more sense to print WOOF, or RUFF RUFF, or YIP on the cookies? If these messages are supposed to be amusing, how’s poor Fluffy supposed to get the joke if the cookie is written in a foreign language? It’s just not fair.

I think I have to write to the CCLU (Canine Civil Liberties Union) about this.

Hey, Bowser! Come here and translate this for me.

Even I need help with writing sometimes!

Published in: on August 28, 2006 at 6:21 pm  Comments (9)  

Think Twice About Ordering This!

 

I happened on an article today that brightened my day, not because it contained good news — on the contrary. It was about a serious subject, I suppose; the dangers of eating too much fast food. But the way the writer (Dan Neill, writing on LATimes.com) described some of the offerings of restaurants like KFC, really made me laugh. You have to register with LATimes.com to see the whole article, so I will save you the trouble and just share the best parts.

On KFC’s new Famous Bowls (tub of mashed potatoes or rice, topped with yellow corn, fried chicken nuggets, gravy and three varieties of grated cheese), Neill says:

And now, in the interests of participatory journalism, I take a bite. Hmmm. Uh-huh. OK. It’s like throwing up in reverse…

A couple of questions immediately present themselves: Why not go all the way and top the Famous Bowls with an apple pie and pour Coca-Cola over them? To save customers the struggle to pocket their change at the drive-thru, why not throw it on top as well? If the product developers thought Famous Bowls were a good idea, I have two words for them: chicken smoothie.

On some of the competitors’ menu items, he says:

To keep pace with McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s pumped up their dollar-priced menu offerings. Wendy’s, deciding its Biggie drink wasn’t biggie enough, recently began offering sodas in 42-ounce cups. Great, a beverage I can swim in…

The Southern California restaurant chain The Hat serves French fries in a paper grocery bag and a Pastrami Burger the size of a moose’s head. It’s the only place I know where meat is a condiment.

He’s funny, no? The article makes the point that most of this stuff is just awful for you.
I remember when MacDonald’s original chicken nuggets came out. They were so terrible (kind of slimy inside), I suspected they were made from beaks and toes, rather than any of the more edible parts of a chicken. I’ve heard they’re better now. One of the executives must have tried them. On the other hand, I do like the taste of KFC’s popcorn chicken. The coating is nice and crispy, and there’s even a little bit of chicken in each one, although on some of the smaller pieces, you have to search for it. They could save a lot of overhead by just serving the crisped coating all by itself. Oh my, I think I just invented the next craze. I’d better head for the patent office right away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on August 2, 2006 at 6:46 pm  Comments (1)  

Alzheimer’s Delay Device

I discovered this game on the computer called Super Bounce Out. You are presented with a screen filled with all different colored balls. You line them up into rows of at least three of the same color by clicking on two balls, which exchange places. When you’ve formed a line of three, those three will bounce out of the screen and send the neighboring balls ricocheting against each other to form new patterns. There’s a time limit, and if you don’t clear enough balls during the limit for that level, the whole screen explodes and gives you this little “nyah nyah” sound, just to make sure you know you stink at this game. (Michael thinks the sound is more “beep boop” but whatever it is, it still means you stink.) If you clear the required number of balls, then you advance to succeeding levels, where rows of three (or four or five, if you’re good enough to make them) are worth more points. Of course, higher levels require you to clear more balls, so the excitement builds. Got it? Oh, and there’s this guy saying “boing, boing, boing” while all the balls are bouncing around.

You may think this is a colossal waste of time, but I can think of three good things about it:

1) I enjoy it, and the better I play, the more I enjoy it.

2) Playing seems to release a part of my brain that does its best work when I’m not watching. So I come up with good ideas while I’m playing.

3) The other part of my brain (the part that’s playing the game) has to be alert, and has to look for patterns, and anticipate patterns that will form as balls bounce out of the screen. There’s also hand-eye coordination from using the mouse. This is good exercise, i.e., an Alzheimer’s Delay Device.

If all that sounds like too much justification, then stop after No. 1.

When I first started playing Super Bounce Out, I couldn’t find the patterns fast enough. I got “nyah nyah-ed” very quickly. I was lucky to score 3,000 points (baby stuff). Naturally, the more I played, the better I got. I learned to recognize set-ups for aligning four or five balls and my scores started to reflect it. On the day I first reached 100,000 points, I felt like a teenager. Now, 100,000 points is routine. I am writing this post to announce to the world that I have scored 369,938!

But I have no objective idea whether that’s fantastic, really good, average, or still baby stuff (compared to an actual teenager). So you people out there who play Super Bounce Out, please tell me how I’m doing? I really need to know.

Published in: on July 17, 2006 at 9:27 pm  Comments (1)