Raisins v. Drum Set

Late Christmas Eve, my wife and I were preparing for Santa's arrival. She felt bad when she realized we didn't have much to put in our three-year-old's stocking.

I asked if I could wrap up a tiny box of raisins, just to see if he would be excited or not.

He's generally a very good recipient of gifts and as many of you know, the kid likes to eat, (ear medicine, vaseline, sprinkles, etc.) so she was on board.

You should know that this wasn't even an ordinary box of raisins. It's the tiniest box of raisins they make. There are seriously, maybe 12 raisins in it.

One present we had gotten him was a cool electronic drum set that I was pretty sure he'd flip out over. I was very curious to see how the tiny box of raisins would fair againt the high-tech competition.

It's not unlike Paul Bunyan and his trusty axe going up against the chain saw. (With the part of Paul Bunyan, of course, being played by 12 to 15 dried up grapes.)

The following is actual audio, pulled from my video camera on Christmas morning.

First, the reaction to the raisins:

The quiet part at the top is him saying, "I don't know what's in here..." as he was struggling to unwrap the tiny box.

He seemed genuinely excited about the raisins. At the end of that clip, he even happily shook the box at the camera. All in all, I'd give the raisins a 6.

Up next is the drum set...

It's not often you get to hear unbridled joy.

The drum set scored HUGE. He's was literally dancing uncontrollably as he said "I GOT A DRUM SET!"

I'll give the drums a very solid 9.

Now before we call it a landslide, consider this:

The drums cost 60 bucks. The box of raisins: 21 cents.

Based on this information, I asked my buddy Rob over at Cockeyed, to do a little number crunching for me. Here was his response:

Sure! I hope you want the long-winded version.

If your son's base level of excitement is zero, then we can calculate what the cost of each level of excitement is.

What your experiment shows is that there is not a linear relationship between price and level of excitement.

Each successive level of excitement is almost exponentially more expensive than the last level...as the desired level of excitement increases, so does the cost of breaking through to the next level of excitement.

With your two data points, I calculate that to reach excitement level seven, you'd need to spend 6.6 times as much as the raisins, which is $1.38. To reach level eight, you'd again have to multiply your expenditure by 6.6, and find a gift priced at $9.11.

As you know, excitement level 9 comes at a price of $60, and you'll be pleased to know that excitement level 10 can by bought for $396.06.

Here is the breakdown:

Excitement / Cost
1 / 0.00002
2 / 0.00011
3 / 0.00073
4 / 0.0048
5 / 0.031
6 / 0.21
7 / 1.38
8 / 9.11
9 / $60.10
10 / $396.05
11 / $2,610.03

Thanks, Rob! I can't wait 'til next Christmas to see how the raisins do. I have a feeling the price of excitement will be going up every year.

UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot to add this. He totally ate the raisins.

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive


Hey Steve--

A few months ago, I bought a kitten. All of my animals have been spayed or neutered. But I'm kind of broke right now, so I figured, how bad could it get?

My cat has recently decided that she is sexually mature and she is now in heat. If you've never had a cat go into heat, it is perhaps the single most annoying and disturbing behavior I've ever witnessed.

She is turned on by EVERYTHING. She rubs herself all over each and every surface of my apartment. She howls these horrible, ear drum shattering howls. Even when I'm just petting her, she gets...excited. And sticks her butt in my face and throws me a glance over her shoulder. All because she wants sex. "I'm not having sex either, cat! You don't see me crying about it! (Usually...)"

Anyway I don't have enough money to get her spayed, so I decided to use the good ol' internet to see if there was anything I could do to make her shut up so I could get some sleep/not be evicted due to neighbor complaints. And I was absolutely horrified by what I found. It was actually suggested that you get a Q tip or a thermometer...and...use it...on your cat. One even went so far as to explain the cat orgasm so that the reader would know when s/he could stop.

I don't think I can bring myself to do it. It feels wrong. And...ew. Just wrong. What are your thoughts? Is this crossing the line? Would I ever be able to look myself in the mirror again without thinking, I gave my cat an orgasm?



The first step in correcting this situation is letting my wife know she can stop reading now. She's very sweet and won't want to hear anymore about this. So, here's a link to Pottery Barn.

Okay, she's gone.

Brittany, I've given careful consideration to your problem and there's only one logical solution. I think it's obvious. You must pleasure yourself in front of your cat. While you wear a cat costume.

Something like this should be fine...

Just don the costume and really give it to yourself good.

The benefits are two-fold. You will tend to your own self-professed needs while teaching your cat how to rub one out at the same time.

It's like the old saying goes. "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach that man's cat to fiddle with its cooter, and it'll stop rubbing up on stuff."

I have complete confidence this solution will work. (Unless your cat goes crazy and tries to tap your giant Tabby ass.)

Be well.

-- Steve

P.S. Send photos.

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

All Hail the Honey Thing

While chomping on some Honey Bunches of Oats, it occurred to me that they've taken that beehive-shaped wooden Honey-Stick Thing and actually made it their mascot.

I love how proudly it's featured on the box. If Honey Bunches of Oats was a TV show, it would definitely be starring the honey thing.

It didn't take much looking to see what a nice career this utensil has carved out for itself.

Over the years the honey-stick thing has appeared in a long-running series of boxes with fellow cereal star, the Honey Nut Cheerios bee.

The honey thing can also be seen co-starring (and drizzling) with Dig 'Em the Frog in the big-budget buddy comedy, "Honey Smacks."

The stick even scored a guest-starring role in the critically acclaimed cruncher, "Golden Grahams."

Despite working with industry heavy-weights, it is certainly not beneath the Honey-stick to slum it for a quick check.

Here he can be seen in the straight-to-video cereal equivalent "Honey Bumpers" as well as playing an embarrassing dual-role in the breakfast aisle flop, "Mighty Bites."

You have done well for yourself, little wooden honey thing. I suspect you have a kick-ass publicist, since NOBODY ACTUALLY USES YOU.

If I were that cute bear-shaped squeeze bottle of honey in my kitchen, I'd be on the phone with my agent right now, tearing him a new one.

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive


As if AIDS and tsunamis weren't enough, along comes this bottle of iced tea.

From the Ito En company, the label features one of their Haiku award winners:

Where's the good ol' haiku 5-7-5 syllable structure? This one is 4-5-5.

According to their website, this is the "New-Style Haiku" where you don't have to bother with the whole 5-7-5 thing or even try to make it 17 syllables. They say this is to encourage as much participation as possible. It encouraged Charles Rodning to save 3 whole syllables, apparently securing his title as the bad-boy of iced tea poetry.

Chuck, I'm sure you're a nice guy, but I reject your new-style haiku. (And since I'm a nice guy too, I still give you the award for Best Brief Sentence About a Teapot.)

My buddy, Steve, wrote an old-style haiku to express his feelings about the new-style haiku:

New Haiku is bad
Changing things can make them worse
Like Tara Reid's boobs

That's some good haikuing.

Since anyone can now change the rules of anything, I've made a few official changes of my own:

The New-Style Working Out is scratching myself.

The New-Style Jessica Alba has a crush on me.

The New-Style Paying Taxes is having a little pudding.

The New New-Style Haiku is the old haiku.

And the New-Style Really Big Penis is 4 inches. (That's so when Alba makes her move, she won't be disappointed. But it doesn't really matter, because the New-Style Disappointed is horny, naked and psyched.)

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Green is the Color of Going Off Script

I apologize for the back to back kid entries, but I thought this was slightly awesome.

My son (who is finishing up 1st grade) was part of a school assembly a few weeks ago. For reasons beyond our control, my wife and I were unable to attend, but we finally got our hands on a DVD of it.

Basically, several different classes were each assigned a color and each kid said a sentence about that color into the microphone. One after another in painful succession.

My son's class was assigned "green" and the audience got to hear an endless stream of insightful nuggets such as, "Green is the color of a green apple."

Apparently the boy's big line was "Green is the color of my shirt," but he decided to take a fantastic detour. My guess is he was inspired by boredom.

The actual streaming audio is below, but I'm including a transcript as well because parts are hard to hear. (I also included the two kids before him to help put the whole thing in context.)

(Click arrow to play)

A group of kids in green shirts stand on an auditorium stage. A teacher works his way down the line, holding a microphone in front of each kid's face.

Girl #1: "Green is the color of icky, mushy slime."

Girl #2: "Green is the color of a green stem."

The microphone arrives at my son for what should be, "Green is the color of my shirt."

(TAPPING MICROPHONE) Is this thing on?

(GRABS MICROPHONE) Okay, I have a lot to say...

After a brief false start...



It's the biggest, greenest, SLIMIEST MONSTER EVER! AAARGGHHH!!!

As the audience applauds and the teacher tries to wrestle the microphone away from him, he quickly squeezes in:

Green is the color of my shirt!


Right before we watched his part for the first time, he said, "When you see this, you're going to come over here and hug me."

He was right.

* * * * * *

(In case you're wondering, I've been able to determine that the phrase "Turn your faces to the southwest" was inspired by something Plankton said to an audience in an episode of SpongeBob ("Turn to face the southwest corridor!"), but I have to give the boy credit for tying it in to the whole "green monster" thing on his own.

I also credit him for leaving out Plankton's follow-up line, "The other way, imbeciles." Although, that might have been even more than slightly awesome.)

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Look Ma, No Han!

How do you secure your nerd-cred for eternity?

By acquiring a life-size replica of Han Solo in Carbonite, having Han's face removed, and replacing it with your own.

At least that's how you do it if you're my friend, Rob.

(In case you're not familiar with Carbonite, in The Empire Strikes Back it's the substance Han Solo was frozen in until he was rescued by Luke and Leia.)

Rob explains how this all came to be...

Hello, nerds.

Yes, that is me, finally fulfilling a mother's dream by being encased in Carbonite. It is cold, it is hot, and worst of all, it is being loaded onto Boba Fett's ship, so stop reading this and help me!

Actually, this is a full-sized replica of the famous "Han Solo" in Carbonite. It is made from fiberglass, and the short story is that a friend who is a special effects guy owned the piece, which was a direct casting off the original prop. He was moving, (aka getting married and yelled at) and asked me if I wanted it. I screamed a huge lispy "Yes!", and picked it up, but knew I wanted to do something cool with it. So I called my other nerdy special effects pals, and they offered to replace Harrison Ford's face with mine. I was so tired of hearing this offer in my daily life, but decided to finally consider it, so off it went.

KNB Effects in the valley took an algae mold of my entire head, then cut off Han Solo's, and replaced it with mine. They even added the frozen saliva that rushed out when Han got frozen.

The one thing I didn't know until later was that my friend Dana had been holding his bare ass and balls directly in front of my algae covered face while my head was encased. Talk about a missed opportunity.

Anyhoo, the full size me in Carbonite now resides in my garage, where it has successfully scared off many ladies, and one creepy dude who keeps coming by wearing some stained "Punch it, Chewy" underpants.



Here's the far less charming Han Solo version, for comparison. You can take a closer look at Rob in Carbonite, right here.

Thanks, Rob!

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

The Great Pizza Orientation Test

Regardless of your feelings about Domino's, the fact that you can order it online without having to talk to a human being is fantastic.

Type a little on your computer and magically a pizza shows up at your door. It's the closest thing we have to Star Trek's food replicator. Only it takes about 25 minutes to work. And the food delivery unit at my Domino's has a bad mustache.

But I also love the amount of control they give you. Beyond choosing your crust, each topping comes with your choice of "light," "normal," or "heavy." Just like tampons. (Am I right, ladies?)

But what I've become obsessed with is that when you only want a particular topping on half of your pizza, they make you specify WHICH HALF. LEFT or RIGHT.

I had ordered from them a few times but never paid attention to see if they got the halves correct. I was curious to see if it really would arrive the way I ordered it.

Last night I performed a test.

I placed my order, requesting PEPPERONI on the LEFT and MUSHROOMS on the RIGHT.

They also offer a "NONE" option on all toppings. It's even available on the "CHEESE" and "SAUCE" rows -- so just to be a dick, I also ordered a 6-inch individual "NONE" pizza with BEEF (on the left).

25 minutes later there was a dude at my door with food. (Someday that dude will be a robot with a bad mustache and my life will be perfect.)

It is flat-out sad how excited I was to open the boxes.

Did the Domino's food synthesizer honor the options I was forced to choose?


The dividing line was exactly 90 degrees up the middle, but mushrooms were on the left!

I realize it's all arbitrary and the options are presented for clarity, but if they're going to force me to make the choice, then they could at least give me what I wanted and put it in the box correctly.

And as far as the "NONE Pizza with Left Beef"...

It was close, but the whole pizza was so small and light it must have shifted during delivery. And the little beef pellets didn't have any sauce or cheese to hang on to, so a few lost their footing from the left half.

After we ate most of it I saw on the box that my satisfaction was "guaranteed," and that if I wasn't completely satisfied -- they would "make it right" or refund my money.

Unfortunately it was too late for me to call and request that someone come back to my house to rotate the pizzas and re-position my beef pellets.

I may be writing a letter to the president of Domino's this weekend.

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

How To Draw a Face

You may have recently seen my father's drawings of "The Face" which have appeared on my birthday cakes and cards over the years.

For my birthday present this year, all I asked him for was a step-by-step guide explaining exactly how to draw it.

I scanned what he sent. Here are the results...

As fantastic as this guide is, I was left with more questions than answers, so I got him on the phone for the following EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW...

* * * * * * *

Okay, Dad. Tell me the story behind you learning how to draw a face.

Well, I used to sit next to a boy named Mario -- he reminded me of Fat Albert, you know?

How so?

Well, he was really heavy, but a very pleasant guy. Very nice and he was gifted. Mario's talent was he could draw so well. And I used to sit next to him in grammar school and I wanted to draw too, but I couldn't draw a circle -- so I got an art book. I think I sent away for it. And what you see is as far my talent took me. This face was in the book and when I was successful at it, I quit as a winner.

Did you and Mario form a band in a junk yard? Fat Albert did that.

Unfortunately, no.

Let's get back to the face. You're telling me that this book said this was, "How To Draw A Face"?

It was a cartoon book on how to draw all faces and different kinds of cartoons.

Was this a famous cartoon face or an ordinary face?

No, it was just how you see it! C'mon, this looks good!

Do you remember anything about the book?

It was kind of thick.

What year was this?

I'd say it was about... 1947 maybe. 1948. I was about 7 or 8 years old.

Where were you at the time?

I was in Brooklyn. When I lived on Herkimer Street. Bedford Stuyvesant.

Do you remember the name of the book?


Do you remember what was drawn on the cover?


Do you know who you're speaking to right now?

That's very funny. I think the book had a soft cover and was red and white. You know, now that I'm thinking, it could have been an alphabet book, since the drawing starts out with an "F." So maybe it was to draw by the alphabet, but I'm only guessing on that.

Let's look at the face. Is he wearing a hat?

It's like a hat. A cap. That's just the way they made the face. I guess it's a hat. It could be his hair.

In step 3 you've added an eye. That's an eye right? The thing with the dot in it.

That's an ear.

AN EAR??!!

Oh yeah.

You realize this is the greatest day of my life, right?

What are you doing with what I'm telling you?

I'm putting it on the website.

So you're going to embarrass me in front of everyone?

I'm just bringing your artistic genius to the world. Back to the drawing. If that's his ear, what are the 2 things to the right of it.

I guess that's his eyes.


To me, this is a guy. I just followed the picture. There were no instructions. They gave you step-by-step. No written instructions.

And those 2 things are his eyes?

Yes .

Why do they look like that?

That's the way they had it! It's not my design. I just copied it out of a book.

If those are his eyes, do you think it's weird that the mouth isn't under them?

I never thought about it.

Well, then what is shooting out of his face? A nose? Is he sneezing?

That's the way they finished up the picture. Now that you ask me, I don't have a clue.

Well, what do YOU think that thing is? A nose?

It can't be a nose. It's a design to show the picture was finished at the end.

Like a signature?

It was a wishbone shape with 3 lines going down. That's all I know.

When you see people's faces, do they look like this to you?

I think my face looks great.

I think it looks great, too! Now answer this honestly. How close do you think this resembles the original drawing from the book.

Oh, 100%. It's like a xerox.

This day keeps getting better for me. You realize that.

I'm glad I'm making you happy, but I think you're embarrassing me. This is the limitations of my art.

So, Dad. Now that you're telling me the thing with a dot in it is an ear, someone named Lauren who reads the site tried to recreate what she thought the original art might have looked like, based on your cake drawings. (I send my dad a link to the following...)

Nah, I like mine better. This looks like part of The Scream. You can't have real eyes. This is different. No resemblance at all. She's got square eyebrows. It's nice, but it has NO resemblance. And the mouth is a regular circle. I'm closing this window. I like mine better.

(At this point, my mother interrupts us)

My Mom: Can I tell you what I think. He drew this picture for me many times. Originally I thought that was a pipe that he had in his face.

Dad: Sticking in his neck?!

Mom: It used to be a pipe.

Dad: No, no, no.

Me: You know that game "Telephone" where one kid whispers something into another kid's ear and it goes down the line until at the end it's completely different? I think that's what this is. A crazy game of Telephone that's taken place over 60 years in one man's mind.

Mom: I agree. But I think it got better over time.

Dad: That's what it looked like in the book!

Thanks, Dad.

* * * * * * * *

And now you know "How To Draw A Face."


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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Face to Face - 60 Years in the Making

In the previous post I interviewed my father about the curious "Face" he has been drawing on my cakes and cards for years. If you haven't read that post yet, DO NOT READ ON. Click here right now and go read it, then come back. I'm serious. This is an order from the top brass at Sneeze HQ.

After I posted that interview, a miracle occurred and some kick-ass Sneeze readers managed to track down scans from the ACTUAL BOOK from the 40s, including the original face! I still can't quite believe it.

I called up my dad and conducted a follow-up interview in which he viewed the original "Face" for the first time in 60 YEARS...

* * * * * * * * * *

Okay, Dad. A bunch of Sneeze readers saw our interview and it looks like a few of them found the actual book AND the original face.


Now before I send you the link, how do you feel about seeing it?

Well, a couple of times I went back to my old reunions and it was not as nice as I thought it would be to go back. But this won't be a problem. It's only a book.

Okay, are you ready to see the cover?

I'm ready.

Here's a link. It's called "How To Make Faces" by Frank Webb...

This is so much pressure...

Yeah, that's it! That's it. Wow. How did you guys find it? That's amazing!

I think your guess that the pictures were drawing by the alphabet helped. So, what does it feel like to see it again?

You're bringing back my childhood memories. Back to before I learned how to draw that excellent face. I told you the cover had red on it.

Are you ready to see the face?

Yes. I want to see how far off I went. We need a drumroll.

Here it comes a link...

I'm clicking on it now...

(You can see the whole page here.)

Oh yeah!! See?! It looks like I stopped at Step 3. I guess 4 was too hard. I did put the triangle on his neck.

Yeah. It's a collar. The collar actually looks a lot like how you drew it, especially considering you haven't seen it in 60 years. Overall, how far off do you think you were?

Obviously I left off his nose.

What happened there?

I don't remember. Somewhere along the way I left it off. I hope you're not putting this on your site.


This is not for publication.

Are you crazy? This is ABSOLUTELY for publication. The only reason the internet exists is for this conversation to be on it!

All right.

Your picture is closer to the original than I thought it would have been. Especially if you look at your Step 4 and his Step 3.

I left off the nose and I didn't have the eye right.

Yeah, you had those 2 lines that were supposed to be the eye. The real face has a line for the eye, another one for the eyebrow and then a little crease.

I was little and I guess I didn't know what I was drawing, I was just copying it. I drew a face all these years and he couldn't smell anything! And he couldn't see! He was a poor blind bastard with no nose. But he could hear and he could eat.

I think he's like the Sphinx. The nose was lost somewhere along the way, but that didn't make it any less important to the world.

Absolutely. But I like it with the nose.

Whose is better? Yours or the original?

I like mine. But his has more features on Step 4 and you could see a real face. After you picked mine apart, I could see I was leaving some parts out. But I always saw a face. I'm drawing mine right now with a nose. Yeah, he looks better with a nose!

No! You have to promise to always draw it your way.

Maybe I'll make my original drawing and then add a friend with a nose.

That sounds okay. Hey, did you see the "Komik Note" on the bottom of the page? It says, "Take the pointers this book offers, but develop your own individuality."

How about that? I wish I could tell you that I read that and left off the nose on purpose, but I don't think that's the case.

So, do you have any message for The Sneeze readers?

Thank you for bringing back a lot of nostalgia for me. As soon as I saw it I knew that was the book. And now it's back and it's real. So thank you. The Face lives after all these years!

It does. Thanks, Dad.

(15 minutes later my Dad calls me back:)

Hey, I just remembered why I stuck with the "F" picture.


Well, I was just a kid and I remember thinking that a lot of the pictures looked kind of like men's body parts.


The nose on the A face looked like a man's private parts. And I thought the B picture looked like a behind AND more privates.

This actually bothered you?

The kids in my neighborhood were really tough. I didn't want them to pick on me. So when I got to the "F" face, that one was pretty safe so I stuck with it and stopped. Hey, maybe that's why I left the nose off!

That is beyond fantastic. Thanks, Dad.

* * * * * * * * *

I have to give a HUGE thanks to animator Michael Sporn for miraculously having scans from this obscure Frank Webb book on his blog! (And thanks for his blessing to repost those scans here on The Sneeze.) You can see more details from the book right here.

Secondly, thanks to Andrea, Paul and Shane for managing to track down Michael's site.

And most importantly thanks to my dad. Not only for all the fun we've had with this, but just for being the greatest.

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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive

Uncle Steve's Laffytime Doodlefest



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By Steven • PermalinkThe Sneeze Archive