Frosty The Snowman’s Bitch Was My Nickname In Junior High

So some kids are bored
normally this would not be a big deal
but these kids are apparently friends with satan
so they’re like hey satan
we’re bored and it’s winter
give us something cool to play with
and satan is like okay guys
here’s a hat

at first they figure satan is just fucking with them like usual
so they build a snowman
and they put the hat on the snowman
just to get rid of it basically
and the snowman COMES TO LIFE

they suspect that there must be some magic in that old silk hat
and they are right
specifically it is a type of magic known as necromancy
the hat probably belonged to jack the ripper
and probably jack the ripper’s ghost is now inside the snowman
so the snowman is like FUCK YEAH KIDS LET’S RIDE
and he starts thumpity-thumping across the tundra with un-snowman-like agility
and the children are terrified
but they are also not bored
so what the hell
they follow him

now it is a pretty hot day out
and “Frosty” knows that he doesn’t have long to live
so he barrels into town with a psychopathic charcoal grin on his face
and just keeps going
a police officer attempts to stop him
but bullets just pass right through
as does frosty
he passes right through town and keeps going
because now the po po is after him and he is not going back to jail
so he’s like hey kids
uh
i’ll … i’ll be back
some day
trust me
then he leaves and no one ever sees him again
at least no one who’s still alive

so the moral of the story
is that snowmen are really shitty friends

the end.

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Let Me Ruin a Christmas Thing for You:

So there are these animals in a hostile environment
they have wickedly hooked chitonous growths sprouting from their heads
and their feet are edged with a thin rim of razor sharp bone
these animals are called reindeer
and they have basically cornered the market for living in terrible places
I mean polar bears live in terrible places too
but what if a polar bear and a reindeer are living in the same place huh?
obviously the place you are living is significantly more terrible if there is a bear in it
and you are not the bear
REINDEERS WIN THIS DUBIOUS PRIZE

so anyway these animals are just chilling out in winterhell
digging craters into the tundra with their weaponized hooves
so they can slurp the lichen from between sheets of uncaring ice
(terrible places)
when they notice that something is amiss in the herd
because
you see
one of the reindeer
IS DIFFERENT

now what you have to understand
is that reindeer can see much further into the spectrum than humans
The world basically looks like a perpetual blacklight party to them
or maybe a crime scene
bodily fluids all conspicuously spattered over everything
especially places where you like to eat food
reindeer see ultraviolet light is what I’m trying to say
and it appears that one of these reindeer
has a SUSPICIOUS APPENDAGE
this dude’s nose is emitting ultraviolet radiation at a goddamn alarming rate
to the other reindeer this makes the nose appear very, very shiny
one might even say
it glows

This reindeer (let’s call him Rudolph, for convenience) is shunned by his comrades
this is because they do not want fucking skin cancer
and here’s this mutant reindeer with a tiny chernobyl going off inside his face
and he’s wondering about why he doesn’t have any friends
(oh yeah
in this story reindeers have the ability to wonder
there is no research to support this
but this is what is known as narrative convenience)

luckily for Rudolph
a local entrepreneur is looking to take his freight-delivery business global
he is not a very good entrepreneur
seeing as he has set up business at the north pole
and also he carries his packages jumbled together in a huge burlap sack
tenuously secured to an open-topped sled
basically he is hoping that the novelty of his operation will outweigh any disadvantages

anyway what this guy
(let’s call him Santa)
is looking for right now
is a cheap and renewable source of energy to propel his stupid sleds
and he has heard about this reindeer with the carcinogenic nose
so, on the assumption that anything that causes cancer must do something cool
Santa goes and hits rudolph up
he’s like hey man
i hear you are some kind of mutant
can you like
run really fast
or fly or something?
and Rudolph is like hey yeah
I can totally fly
that’s not really that special though
all reindeer can fly apparently
and Santa is like holy shit how did I not know about this
I’m going to be fucking rich

But santa feels like he’s sort of commited to rudolph
so he hires him anyway
and when the other reindeer find out that rudolph has a job and money and shit
they all start trying to be his friends
and he is so starved for affection that he ends up getting them all jobs towing the sled
and they use his freakishly glowing nose as a form of radar or something
and at some point santa starts giving out all his shit for free
which is pretty irresponsible because who knows where that shit came from in the first place
there are a lot of holes in this story to be honest
what’s important to remember
is that everyone died of skin cancer

the end

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The Lady or The Tiger???

So there’s this king
he’s … kind of a barbarian?
at least that’s what the original teller of this tale assures us
I remain unconvinced
his armor does not seem to have any human skulls on it
or even skulls of any kind
over the course of this narrative, not a single raw mutton leg touches his lips
OR his teeth
NOR does he swallow an entire raw leg of mutton whole
at no point does he demonstrate the ability to rage once per day
plus once more per day for every four additional levels
in short
the only barbaric quality possessed by this monarch
is a tendency to do whatever the fuck he wants at all times
which
if you’re only gonna pick one barbarian trait
is a pretty good one
i guess

oh, you need an example of the kind of shit this king gets up to?
well okay
let’s talk about the legal system
this king has heard some vague rumors about the roman empire
and how they have these things called “gladiatorial arenas”
which they use to punish their criminals/amuse themselves
because I guess a fundamental conceit of all these old stories
is that nobody can afford the internet
so king hears about these arenas
and COMPLETELY misses the point
but being as he is a barbarian
missing the point does not stop him from building his own arena

Here’s how this guy’s arena works:
a criminal gets thrown into the arena by himself
there are two doors in the arena
behind one of the doors is a FEARSOME TIGER
totally a thing you might expect to find in arena
behind the other door is A REALLY REALLY HOT BABE
if the dude picks the hot babe, he immediately gets married to the hot babe
like vegas fast
and if he picks the tiger
he gets married to the tiger
in a much more entertaining and permanent way
(it’s worth noting that only dudes seem to commit crimes in this kingdom
although this may be due to the fact that women are so helpless that they can be used as prizes in weird judicial game shows)

This is the entire legal system
it goes on for a long time, and no one can find any problems with it
either because it’s technically fair
(the dude gets to choose his own fate, kind of)
or because anybody who criticizes the system gets put in the arena
either way, matters come to a head suddenly
when a hot and semi-eligible bachelor in the court of the king
is discovered banging the king’s hot and EXTREMELY eligible daughter

Now I know what you’re thinking
you’re thinking “oh this is going to be fucking adorable
the king is going to put the dude in the arena
and behind one door is gonna be a tiger
but behind the other door is gonna be his daughter”
my friends
does the word “barbarian” mean NOTHING to you?
I mean yes, it is a pretty meaningless word in this story
but at the very least it means that the king is not about to pull punches
instead what he pulls is the kingdom’s FIERCEST TIGER
and also the kingdom’s FIERCEST BABE
(OTHER than his daughter)
and puts them behind the doors in the arena
and is like alright, showtime

but here’s the tilt
the princess has used her considerable influence to discover which door is which
she knows!
she is the only one who knows!
and her lover
well
he knows she knows
that’s why he loves her
because she is the only female in the kingdom with any agency
so as he walks into the arena he looks up at her
like “oh fuck, which door do I pick?”
and the princess is presented with a quandary:
WHICH DOOR DOES SHE INDICATE?
Her options are not awesome:
option 1: my true love gets eaten by a tiger
option 2: my true love gets auto-married to a skank I hate
she only has a second to decide
so she pulls herself together
makes up her mind
and indicates the door on the right

but my friends
I am sure you are wondering
WHAT IS BEHIND DOOR NUMBER ONE??
well see the problem is
the guy who wrote this story IS TOO MUCH OF A WUSS TO TELL YOU
He’s like “bluh bluh bluh
moral quandaries are interesting
who am I to say what the lady decided
even though i’ve already decided the fates of every other lady in my narrative”
chill out dude
we all know what you’re really saying
you’re saying you’re too dumb to figure out the only logical solution
so lemme step in and save your ass:

the dude in the gladiator pit goes through this whole dilemma in his head
and immediately realizes that he has no idea what his honey’s motives are
whereas his own motives are exceedingly clear:
NO TIGERS
so he does the only sensible thing
which is to open both doors at once
and then escape while the lady is getting eaten by the tiger
PROBLEM
SOLVED.

The end.

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This is Not a Myth. This is Some Real-Ass Shit.

There will be a myth tomorrow, I promise. But something happened to me yesterday and I have to tell you guys about it and this is basically the only website where people come to hear me tell them about shit (other than this website, but that website is for faces only.) So chill out, and let me tell you a story:

(Forgive me if I don’t do the line break thing today.)

There’s this building in Downtown Chicago where I go every week for therapy. It’s a tall building with lots of offices in it. One of those offices belongs to a market research company. I know this because every few weeks I am accosted by the same cheerfully frumpy woman with the same beat-up clipboard, asking me if I want to be paid fifteen dollars to participate in a 30-minute marketing survey.

I desperately want to be paid fifteen dollars to participate in a 30-minute marketing survey.

Wanted, I should say. It’s not that I particularly needed the fifteen dollars. Part of my motivation was that I thought it would be a fun opportunity to lie to some marketers. Mostly, though, I was just insanely curious about what a thirty-minute marketing survey consisted of.

The problem was that I never seemed to be part of the demographic they were looking for. I simply didn’t buy enough things. The lady on the street would ask me a series of screening questions, and time after time I would fail out for not spending enough on shaving products, or not spending enough on cookies, or not being a thirty-one year old female who regularly dyes her hair. I knew what I had to do: Next time I saw the woman and her clipboard, I was just gonna say yes to fucking EVERYTHING.

Yesterday I finally got my chance.

“Wanna make 15 dollars by doing a marketing survey?” she said.
“Shit YEAH I do,” I said.
“How old are you?”
“TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD, BABY.”
“Do you buy any of these products?” she asked, holding out a creased color photograph of a supermarket shelf stocked with salty snack food.
“ALL OF THEM,” I said, “EVERY DAY. ESPECIALLY LAYS BRAND POTATO CHIPS.”
“Perfect,” she said, “Come with me.”

I was in. She lead me to the 8th floor, where her office was marked by a logo on an 8.5/11 sheet of paper:

 

 

and down a corridor into one of about a dozen tiny interview rooms. She asked me more questions, about what specific types of salty snacks I preferred, how often I bought toothpaste, what my average household income was, etc. I lied about half the time. I’m not sure why I told the truth when I did, but when I lied it was because I felt like I had entered a life-or-death game with this cheerfully frumpy woman and her clipboard, a game that was scored based on who walked away with the most information. I was determined to win this survey.

The woman finished her questions and told me to wait in the waiting room for the actual study to begin. I had thought that the questions were the actual study. I was suddenly nervous. Almost immediately a young woman appeared and asked me to follow her. She lead me down a different corridor and into … well it took me a second to figure out where I was.

I was in a supermarket, looking down the hair care aisle. These terrifying people had constructed an exact replica of a bare-bones supermarket, complete with jazzy christmas muzak on the PA, and a little red shopping cart just for me. The woman told me to place items in my cart as I normally would while shopping, and promised to meet me at the exit. I had no choice. I began to shop.

This was complicated by the fact that I had lied about most of my product preferences during the survey, and was now attempting to act natural as I struggled to remember what I had said. Luckily they did not seem to have most of the products I’d claimed to prefer. I put a box of Swanson’s chicken broth in my cart, since it seemed like the type of thing I might actually buy, and in the midst of this weirdness I desperately needed to do something natural. Then I rounded the corner into the salty snack food aisle.

The first thing I saw was a WALL of Lays Brand Potato Chips. Fully a third of the left side of the aisle was full of them, ludicrously more than were necessary. I noticed some salt-and-vinegar chips among them, and immediately grabbed a bag for my cart. I like salt and vinegar chips. This was not a lie. I was not capable of lying. There were too many bags of Lays Brand Potato Chips. As an afterthought, I noticed some bags of pretzel bites on the opposite side of the aisle. I actually stopped to consider which flavor I preferred, forgetting that I was not going to be allowed to taste either.

At the end of the aisle I stopped to consider another product. I don’t remember what it was, because in the middle of my examination I looked up and noticed a video camera pointed down the aisle I’d just navigated. There was no camera on me now. My actions were meaningless.

And yet I STILL PRETENDED TO SHOP THROUGH THE REST OF THE FAKE STORE. I made sure to buy soup and toothpaste, because these were two types of products I had claimed to enjoy.

The young woman met me at the exit, as promised, and lead me back to one of the interrogation rooms. On the way I passed what appeared to be a replica convenience store. The woman sat down at a computer and asked me to recall my experience of the salty snack food aisle.

It was at this point that I realized how much information I was actually giving them. I remembered almost nothing about the salty snack food aisle, other than the wall of Lays Brand Potato Chips and the pretzel bites I had stumbled across accidentally. I had been completely blind to any other food. She showed me pictures of a series of products and asked if I had seen them in the aisle. I answered Yes, No, No, No, No, Yes, No, No… I had seen less than a third of the products she showed me. I asked her whether all of those products had even been in the aisle, and she assured me that yes, they had. She showed me a video of myself in the snack food aisle. In the video I walked confidently to the wall of Lays Brand Potato Chips and jauntily tossed a bag into my cart.

“Why didn’t you hesitate?” she asked.
“Because …” I had no fucking clue.

I told her I liked salt and vinegar potato chips, but she didn’t seem to believe me. I wasn’t sure I believed myself. She asked me a battery of other questions, about how I thought the products in the aisle were organized (by brand), whether I thought the aisle contained a wide variety of products (I assumed so, but I had only seen the Lays Potato Chips), and whether I agreed with the statement “The products in this aisle taste delicious.” (I wanted to explain that I had eaten maybe three of the fifty or so products in the aisle, but somehow I don’t think that was the point of the question.) She asked me if I chose things based on where they were on the shelves, and whether I thought the shelf positions of various items made sense. She showed me different sectors of the aisle, and asked me to rate how logically they were organized. They all seemed more or less the same, and yet I found myself intuitively assigning different number values to each of them. Then she asked me the same battery of questions AGAIN, in a different order, presumably in order to catch me in one of my numerous lies. Luckily, I had all but stopped lying at that point. My will was mud. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Why had I decided to lie before, I wondered? Why some lies and not others? How had I managed to make a series of real decisions in a fake grocery store?

As the interrogation progressed, it became clear that the purpose of this study was to figure out how to effectively market Baked Lays. More and more of the questions began to focus on Baked Chips and why I didn’t seem to like them. I was helpless to answer these questions. It had simply never occurred to me to purchased Baked Lays Potato Chips. Yeah, I’m cynical about their supposed health advantages, but really I just don’t want to buy them and I have no idea why. I would rather eat a bag of snakes. And to me this says that whoever paid these marketing chumps to do this survey are on the right track.

We’ve all heard that food giants fight tooth and nail over their position on grocery store shelves. But until now, I had no concrete proof that they were doing this. THEY ARE FUCKING DOING THIS. This study contained no blind taste test. No electrodes were strapped to my head. They just put me in a people-sized rat maze and STARED.

Today I went grocery shopping. It was harrowing. The food in the aisles was gerrymandered beyond mortal comprehension. Cheese was located in two different sections on opposite ends of the store. All of the tomato puree was grouped together, except for one brand of tomato puree, which was elsewhere. Every time I selected a product, I frantically scoured the aisle to make sure I hadn’t missed a competing brand. I could not bring myself to even enter the salty snack food aisle. As I entered the checkout line, I noticed that I had put a carton of Swanson’s chicken broth in my cart, despite having plenty of chicken broth at home.

I feel as if I will never be able to shop normally again. Then again, they told me I was qualified to participate in another study in ninety days. Maybe that’s how long it takes for the effects to wear off. That’s why I’m writing this. I need to preserve this revelation. We are all rats in mazes, my friends, playthings to trillion-dollar gods who reach out with snaking tendrils to rearrange the products on our grocery store shelves. There is nothing we can do about this. We are stupid in their hands.

Is it like this in other countries? Please tell me it’s not.

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