November 2003 Archives

Cathy: America's Sweat-heart

cathyCathy has been in the funny pages for over 25 years. I don't know if she'll ever fit into that stupid bikini, and I don't really care. What I'm possessed by is just how much she sweats. Frankly, I'm worried about her.

Whenever I happen to see a Cathy strip in the paper, she's not just sweating, she is projectile sweating. Beads of perspiration are literally launching themselves off of her head like tiny suicide jumpers. I'm convinced she has some sort of disorder. It is not normal for one to be sweatier than Oprah's thong on a daily basis.

I looked up "heavy sweating" on WebMD and what Cathy has is a condition called "hyperhidrosis." According to this medical website: "If you find yourself sweating all the time, and all over -- not just on your palms, soles, and underarms -- it may be a sign of a serious illness like tuberculosis, some kind of cancer, or thyroid disease. Talk to a doctor immediately. "

HOLY CRAP, CATHY! Put down that pint of Haagen Dazs and get your soggy ass to an emergency room!

I was curious as to just how much good ol' "Cath" was sweating it up, so I bought one of her compilation books and worked up some statistics.

The book contained 330 comic strips. 312 were 4-panel weekday strips, and 18 were full-page Sunday strips. Of the 312 daily strips, Cathy sweated in at least 1 panel 124 times! Wow. On any weekday there is a 39.7% chance Cathy will sweat like a beast. Cathy, seriously. The hospital. Go.

Sundays are usually associated with relaxation. Not for Cathy the Human Sweat Shop. With the additional panels in a Sunday comic, the chances of Cathy getting wet rise dramatically. Of the 18 Sunday comics I checked, she turned on the waterworks 12 times, for a whopping total of 66.7%.

"But Steve, doesn't she sweat more in some strips than others?" Why, yes. She does! Above is a breakdown of how many panels in a weekday strip Cathy will sweat (in those strips where sweating occurs.)

The majority of the time it's only in 1 panel, but on the rarest of occasions she will actually be sweating in ALL OF THEM. In the competitive world of Watching Cathy Sweat, this is the grand slam. It's the holy grail. And when it happens, I can't help but think to myself, "Wow, it's gonna be a great day."

Oh, and "Cathy's got tuberculosis and now she's gonna die."

The Dreaded "C" Word

When I started up The Sneeze way back in 2003, I played around with Google's "Adwords" service to try and get a few eyeballs to the site. Basically, you write your little ad, it starts appearing on Google, and you pay whenever someone clicks on it.

The first ad I wrote was pretty pedestrian. Here it is:

ad #1

Not very many people were clicking on it. (Bastards.) So, I tried a few other standard sounding ads without much success either. I needed to write an ad that stood out from the other ones a little, so I thought I'd take the honest approach. I finally hit upon the following:

ad #1

Within minutes the click rate rose dramatically. But even as I was typing it, I wondered if Google would eventually pull the ad. Not only did it say "Sweet Jesus," (which I guess somebody out there could find offensive) it was also basically saying the Adwords service was too much money.

Sure enough, a few days later I got the following CLASSIC email:

Hello Steven,

Thank you for advertising with Google AdWords. After reviewing your
account, I have found that one or more of your ads or keywords does not
meet our guidelines. The results are outlined in the report below.

Action taken: Suspended - Pending Revision
Issue(s): Unacceptable Phrases***

Fair enough. I had expected it. Then I read the rest of the email:

Your ad(s) contains the following unacceptable
phrase(s): "Click". Please remove these phrases from your ads, as the
limited text space should be used for concise, informative language
that will entice users to click on your ad.

My unnacceptable phrase was the word: "Click"?!!! So, what you are saying is, you want me to remove the word "click" so I could better entice users to "click on my ad." Fine. But first please allow me to remove my "underwear," so I can better entice you to "eat my balls."

My Virgin Interview

I want to thank Derek and Romaine at Sirius OutQ Radio for being the first people to ever want to interview me about The Sneeze. It was fun. They were very nice, and Derek definitely knew a lot about the site.

We talked about Barbie as Rapunzel, The Letter To My Hair, The Woman Who Writes Checks, Steve Don't Eat It, Jessica's Apology and a bunch of other stuff.

The Derek & Romain Show can be heard on the Sirius Sattelite Radio Network (and is streamed on their website) Mon-Fri from 7-10 pm ET. Despite the fact that OutQ is a gay/lesbian talk station, they were quite content speaking to a straight/dumbass like myself. Give them a listen!

Warning: their language can get even worse than Jessica's. I didn't know they cursed freely on their show until after the interview was over, otherwise I might have dropped a few F bombs myself.

(That means say "fuck.")

An Interview with DON NOVELLO


Most people might know Don Novello as "Father Guido Sarducci." But I don't think nearly enough people know that he has also been writing collections of brilliantly funny letters to politicians and corporate America as "Lazlo Toth" for the last 30 years.

Lately a lot of extremely similar books have been published, and I feel compelled to let the world know that when it comes to this stuff, Don Novello is the trailblazer, the godfather, and the original gangsta of the prank letter.

He recently published his latest edition called "From Bush to Bush: The Lazlo Toth Letters," and I had the great pleasure of speaking with him.

Project Green Paint: Phase 3

Last week I took a bunch of digital photos of the actual Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots as reference for Eric, following his instructions for camera and lighting placement.

sketchAbove is a photo of Eric putting the finishing touches on the final sketch before the actual painting begins.

Click on the small black and white sketch to the right to get a better view of it. The finished painting will be approximately 32" x 26".

Note that the knocked out robot (it will be The Blue Bomber) has his head popped up now.

And while it's not there yet, my wife has requested a patented yet subtle Eric Joyner donut lurking somewhere in the final painting. If you look at his other toy robot paintings carefully, you will often detect the presence of donuts in them.

You can find all 3 phases right here.

Ask The Old

The old are all around us. They're in parks, doctor's offices and retirement homes. At this very moment, thousands are on buses to Atlantic City, and Florida is lousy with them.

The weird thing is, they used to be young. I swear to God.

I know it's hard to believe, but odds are you will one day join their ranks. One day that will be you hobbling around, with fake teeth in your head and your rotten grandchildren gunning for the inheritance.

Wouldn't it be nice to know what to expect, instead of getting caught with your pants down around your sagging, leathery ankles? I decided to find out.

I started my information gathering on getting old with my Aunt Carol. She's 75. So come on along as I ASK THE OLD...

1. When I was 17, people in their 30s seemed ancient to me, but now I magically find them attractive. Do you always find people your own age attractive?

Let's put it this way, I could never date an older man -- someone my age. They have pot bellies. They're unkempt. Once in awhile you'll get a person like me-- I don't look my age, but a woman can camouflage her age with makeup and get away with it.

If a man is past 70 they look it. I could never go out with that guy. I see them as old. They haven't got a chance with me unless they got money and one foot in the grave. (LAUGHS)

So what's the cut-off?

I actually would go for a 50 year old man.

2. People are always saying as you age, "this is the first thing to go," or "that is the first thing to go." What really is the first thing to go?

I think as you get older, right now my eyes are going, my hearing is going, the memory isn't as sharp. It started in the 70s. It's a mental block with me. I started to really concentrate on am I seeing good and hearing good.

But which one is it?

I'll have to say sex.

3. As you get older, is farting still funny?
No. My father would eat at the supper table, and he would do two things. He would lean over and he would let that out while we were eating. And we would also wait for him to burp. With my father I guess I laughed, but that's it. I don't find it funny.

So you're telling me if I ripped one right now, you wouldn't laugh?

Okay, I'd laugh at that.

Steve, Don't Eat it! Vol. 3

Beggin' Strips

Beggin' Strips are bacon-shaped, bacon-flavored treats for dogs. In the commercial a dog runs around the house like a maniac shouting BACON, BACON, BACON, BACON, BACON! It's weird, because I do the exact same thing.

Beggin' Strips slogan is "Dogs don't know it's not bacon!" Newsflash: Dogs are retarded. Mine used to eat his own vomit, and wag his tail while he did it. I'll be the one to decide if this stuff tastes like bacon or not.

I know these snacks aren't made for human consumption, but while I was in the store the ingredients list looked pretty tame so I wasn't too concerned. Somehow I had missed one extremely dubious word sitting there all by itself. "MEAT". That's all it says... meat.

Meat is a pretty large umbrella. Beef is meat. Pork is meat. Horses, monkeys, and allegedly Arby's roast beef are meat. Even Bea Arthur's ball sack is meat. Okay, maybe I've gone too far. I have no idea what that is they are serving at Arby's, but you get my point.

Alas, there is no turning back now. Despite the fact that I am a grown man with children, I'm off to go eat dog food. And what better way to have Beggin' Strips than in a Beggin', Lettuce, and Tomato Sammich!



I'm back. And I'm sad to report that I did not run around the house yelling "Bacon!" I did, however, run around the house yelling "Call 911!"

GodDAMN these are foul. Don't try this at home. I'm not sure it's safe, and I am sure your tongue may kill itself.

While they were a little too artificially colored red to pass for real bacon, I was pleased to see they were not all the same shape. Similar to slices of real bacon, they each have their own curvy and shriveled identity. (Just like my aunts and uncles.)

And somehow these Beggin' Strips also managed to smell just like bacon. Oopsie. Typo. I meant to say "the smoky puke of a thousand maniacs."

To put it simply, this is the devil's bacon. Even a healthy dose of bread, mayo, lettuce and tomato couldn't come close to masking the evil. The bitter nastiness literally got worse with every chew, and I was overcome by the urge to go in the backyard and eat grass until it was all out of me.

The following is a message to all dogs who read The Sneeze: First, sit. Sit! Good boy. Now listen to me. Beggin' Strips do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT TASTE LIKE BACON. You are all being played for chumps! Alright, now give me your paw. Okay, roll over! Good boy! Now go take a steamy dump in your master's shoe. Go on! Get!

In closing, the only silver lining to this dark dark cloud is I have figured out why so many dogs lick their own assholes. They are trying to kill the taste of Beggin' Strips. (By the way, it doesn't work.)

(All Steve, Don't Eat It's can be found here.)


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