Category Archives: Three Stooges

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Why You, I Oughtta….

Do not ask me why this fascinates me, but it does. I learned last night that one Morton Horowitz, a gas station operator in Los Angeles in the 1940s, developed the idea of the self-service gas pump and had them installed at his 18 locations.

Not only that, Horowitz’ stations also featured pretty dames, often on roller skates — he called them “Change Girls,” whose duty was, natch, to bring customers their change.

Allan Grant Photo

[Allan Grant Photo]

So the fact that several entire generations have grown up not even knowing that at one time you drove into a gas station, ran over a bell tripper, and waited for a gas jockey to come out to fill your tank, check your oil and water, and even wash your windshield is attributable to some anonymous LA small businessman.

Only he wasn’t totally anonymous. He was, in fact, the son of one Samuel Horwitz*, born March 11, 1895, in Manhattan. Sam Horwitz became better known as Shemp Howard.

Yes, the Stooge. Weird, huh?

Shemp Howard

Happy Father’s Day, Shemp!

* The family name is cited as either Horowitz or Horwitz in different sources

[h/t to Mental Floss and the site’s Amazing Fact Generator, which got the dope from Find A Grave.]


My soulmates at Wonkette tell us that a couple of Republican Congressbeings’ sons have proven recently on social media that the asshole doesn’t fall far from the tree.

The spawn of House members Jeff Flake (Ari.) and Joe Heck (Nev.) have waxed poetic about homosexuals, dark-skinned folk, and Mexicans on the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

From Wonkette

Heck’s kid posits that god has a plan for population reduction that incorporates gays, because “[F]aggots can’t have babies.” He also feels that the New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is not as fast at getting rid of the ball as he is at “hop[ping] the border.” Oh, and that Barack Obama must be good at spear-chucking and rock-skipping because those are “the sports they do in his home country.”

Quite the little philosopher, eh?

The fruit of Flake’s loins firmly believes that the thief or thieves who stole his dirt bike (from a church parking lot, no less) are “faggots.” The kid also uses the terms “nigga” and “nigger” fairly regularly in his Facebook posts.


Flake & Heck

Flake’s boy, BTW, also is an aficionado of the online game, Fun Run, wherein his screen name is “NiggerKiller.”

Talk about fun!

Both Congressbeings have apologized for the sins of their progeny (oddly enough, they won’t apologize for their own legislative sins which are far more injurious than their kids’ sticks-and-stones misdeeds.) And both members of this holy land’s premier lawmaking bodies insist their sons are swell eggs who’ll grow up to be pillars of society.

To which I can only reply, Point of order, Mr. Chairman…!

I’m Bugged At My Ol’ Man

The Pencil Today:


“The average citizen knows only too well that it makes no difference to him which side wins. He realizes that the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey have come to resemble each other so closely that it is practically impossible to tell them apart; both of them make the same braying noise, and neither of them ever says anything.” — Will Rogers


Wait, Will Rogers said that in 1928?


The story behind every homicide is complicated and often contradictory.

Don’t get me wrong — this George Zimmerman character is one ultra-weird customer. Mix that with a deranged Florida gun law and you get Trayvon Martin on a slab in the morgue.

But it’s not at all hard to imagine a scared kid acting on impulse and jumping this creep who’s been following him at night in a strange neighborhood.

It’s no capital offense, natch, but it adds a layer of nuance to the narrative.

The problem is our corporate media loath nuance. They dig black and white, good and evil, an unhinged racist versus a black teenager carrying a bag of Skittles.

Oh wait — it was an unhinged racist versus a black teenager carrying a bag of Skittles.

Here’s the real nuance the slick news stenographers are missing — Trayvon Martin died because this nation can’t let go of its Wild West mythology. High Noon, baby. The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. We aim to protect our womenfolk and churrens.

Book it — George Zimmerman saw himself as the hero saving his neighborhood from the savages. The state of Florida put the gun in his hand. He ain’t the only one unhinged in this case.


Your Reagan/Bush/Bush Supreme Court at work: yesterday, the Goths who make up the court’s usual 5-4 majority have affirmed the right of jailers to strip search you repeatedly should you have the misfortune to be nabbed for something even so trivial as riding your bike without a bright enough light at night.


“This Is Gonna Hurt You A Lot Worse Than It’s Gonna Hurt Me.”

Yep. Some poor schmo who was cuffed because of a clerical error and was strip searched twice while in custody for a week, sued a New Jersey county for his ordeal. The guy was arrested for not paying a petty fine (he actually had paid it but his record was mismarked) so he was thrown in with the rest of the hoodlums, gangbangers, homicidal maniacs, child molesters, arsonists, and other assorted thugs that called the county jail home in 2005.

Naturally, jail officials wished to protect their aforementioned guests from such a vicious character so they inspected his anus and rectum a couple of times to make certain he wasn’t smuggling a submachine gun into the joint.

“Yeah, We Found This Up A Jaywalker’s Ass.”

Little did his jailers care that he was a nice, stable, professional man, a finance executive for a auto dealership with a family.

But who knows what such a man might stash in his trunk. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, cited cases of people being arrested for the likes of disorderly conduct and public nuisance hiding tobacco and lighters in their rectums. Naturally, an accused person’s dignity and and decency must be disregarded in the face of such imminent dangers.

So, the five justices who gave us the Citizens United ruling have now determined that your ass is ours should you be suspected of even the most minor transgression.

Hey, did I mention the guy who brought suit was black?


The Loved One and I are fast approaching our two-and-a-half year mark here in the garden spot of Indiana, beautiful Bloomington.

I still don’t know my way around a lot of this sprawling megalopolis. And many things still puzzle me. For instance, why is there a That Road?

That’s why I like to read the big glossy, full-color Monroe County map that my neighbor and pal Tom Thickstun gave me about a month ago. And — swear to god — I look up Bloomington things on Wikipedia.

See, I’m a trivia junkie and I look things up at random on Wikipedia. Oh, I know it’s not an authoritative resource. Still, it’s got a lot of cool and fun things in it.

So last night I looked up Lake Monroe. I love the fact that I live five minutes up the road from this fairly good sized, pretty lake. I enjoy taking Steve the Dog down to the Cutright and Paynetown ramps at dusk so we can watch people pull boats out of the water. (Yeah, I’ll admit it — my evenings aren’t as scintillating as they once were.)

Do you realize that the entire project to dam Salt Creek, saw down all the trees in the river valley, and even buy out the town of Elkinsville in order to create the lake cost a mere $16.5M. Man, that’s nothing.

Anyway, I kept scrolling and I came to a Trivia subhead. It reads: “According to the List of countries by beer consumption per capita, the total world consumption of beer is approximately 1/3 of the volume of Lake Monroe at maximum capacity.”

Now, I so want this to be true for the simple reason that someone had to calculate the world population’s intake of beer and then compare it to the volume of Lake Monroe.

One-Third Beer

Who in his right mind would do that?

I mean, if it were you, wouldn’t you look for a lake whose volume matched exactly the world population’s intake of beer?

And is that what’s imbibed in a year? A decade? Since the historic “Tastes great — less filling” debates?

I clicked on the List link and saw nothing in the main article to indicate this startling factoid. If such proof exists, it must be in one of the reference articles cited at the bottom.

Believe me, I wasn’t going to click on all those links in search of this bit of hypertrivia.

Oh alright, I know it was probably some smart-assed college kid who was drunk on an amount of beer equal to 1/3 the volume of Lake Monroe at maximum capacity who pranked this Wiki edit.

And Then He Passed Out On The Back Stairs

Still, I wish it were true.


Uh huh.

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