Tag Archives: News

A round of applause for the guy who counted Vanna White’s claps 

hand with pen writing tally marks.

Apparently, someone actually counted the average number of times Vanna White claps during an episode of “Wheel of Fortune.” And you thought you had a tedious job.

In a recent issue of Women’s World magazine (and please don’t ask why I’m reading Women’s World magazine), they cite a fun fact from the Guinness Book of World Records about Vanna White, the famous letter-turner from TV’s Wheel of Fortune. 

According to the magazine (well, actually, according to the Guinness Book of World Records), Vanna White is “Televisions Most Frequent Clapper, averaging 600-plus claps per show.”

OK. I have a question.

And I imagine you can guess what it is.

Who in the world is quantifying the number of claps Vanna White averages in a given show?

Immediately, I picture some guy in a bathrobe with way too much time on on his hands, sitting with a clipboard in his lap and tallying each individual clap.

And it’s not like he arrived at his total by watching only one episode. “Average” implies that he watched a number of episodes, counted the individual claps in each one, then divided the number of claps by the number of episodes he watched to arrive at the 600 figure.

Not to sound judgmental, but that’s downright weird.

Forget about the number of times Vanna White claps — I want to know more about this guy. Who is he? How did he get a job with The Guinness Book of World Records? Does he hold a patent for his amazingly effective tallying methods?

My journalistic instincts tell me that he’s the real story here.

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The 10 people who really rule the world

Mt. Rushmore photo with dog's face

I’m not sure how it happened, but I ended up winning the presidential election. I always dreamed of achieving great things, but now that I’m a politician, I guess I’ll have to put that dream on hold.

So I won the election for President of the United States.

I know; I was surprised, too. Especially since my campaign just consisted of me and Downstairs Neighbor Dave calling random people during dinnertime. Many folks screamed horrible, rage-fueled obscenities at us when we asked for their vote, but others liked my plan for nationalizing breweries to dispense free beer to the public.

I had planned to order some bumper stickers, but Dave spent our limited funds on a box of red, white, and blue skimmer hats. So instead of promoting a message, we simply helped people shield their eyes from the sun.

Between that and the free beer, I think that’s what won me the election.

So on my first day in the Oval Office, I was spinning around in my swivel chair when an aide appeared in the doorway. She stood there for a moment, then coughed politely into her fist.

“Mr. President?” she asked.

I leapt to my feet and straightened my clip-on bowtie. “Yes?”

She held up a clipboard. “It’s time for your 10 a.m. meeting, sir.”

“Right. I was just preparing my notes.” I shuffled some newspapers that were lying on the desk.

“That’s the comics section, sir,” the aide said.

“Right,” I said. “I was just flipping past them to get to the international news. I wanted to brush up on world affairs.”

“I see.”

“World affairs is an important topic when you’re president of the United States.”

“Yes, sir.”

I pointed to the phone. “By the way, do I have to press 9 on this thing to dial out?”

The aide motioned to the doorway. “Mr. President? Your meeting.”

“Ah, yes. Coming.” I grabbed my rubber vomit from a drawer — as well as a piece of paper with scotch tape on the end — then left the room with the aide. Together, we started walking down the corridor, tromping through the hallowed halls of the West Wing.  Keep reading…

Yellen farts; markets surge

U.S. stock markets rallied on news that the Fed is going to protect short-term speculators by ignoring long-term structural problems in the overall economy.

U.S. stock markets rallied on news that the Fed is going to protect short-term speculators by ignoring long-term structural problems in the overall economy.

Stocks rallied Wednesday, closing at record highs on the news that Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen blew gas out the back of her ass.

The sonorous — and, by some reports, odorous — explosion provided a welcome relief to investors, who have been hanging on every syllable the Fed utters in anticipation of a September rate hike.

“These days, it’s all about watching the Fed,” said Morgan Smithers, investment strategist for Rich Prick Financial Services Inc. “Whenever they speak, write — and yes, even fart — it can carry enormous ramifications for the market at large.”

Market analysts said Yellen’s horrific flatulence is bullish for the overall market, as it signals the rebound of the American economy.

“Let’s put it this way,” Smithers said. “If you’re farting, it’s a sign that you’re eating. And the richer the food you eat, the more you’re going to fart. So if we have members of the Federal Reserve blasting ass trumpets, it’s a positive sign that the economy is on track, and that current asshole bubbles — excuse me, asset bubbles — will remain intact.

“In fact,” he added, “the only thing better would be if members of the Federal Reserve shart their pants during the September meeting. That would indicate that they’ve been gorging on a veritable feast, and that a cornucopia of fortune awaits American consumers.” Keep reading…

Motivational speaker relies on ‘feel-good fluff’ to inspire corporate audiences 

“Life is completely meaningless — especially if you’re a corporate drone,” says motivational speaker Iggy “The Eye-Opener” Davidson. “My job is to help people come to terms with how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things. I like to use the old water-drop-in-a-bucket analogy. If they were to quit, retire or fall into an irreversible coma and slip into death, it wouldn’t make one iota of difference to their company. Someone would simply come in to replace them. It’s a message I firmly believe in, and I promote it with the goal of inspiring office-dwellers everywhere.”

“Life is completely meaningless — especially if you’re a corporate drone,” says motivational speaker Iggy “The Eye-Opener” Davidson. “My job is to help people come to terms with how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things. If they were to quit, retire or fall into an irreversible coma and slip into death, it wouldn’t make one iota of difference to their company. Someone else would come along to replace them. It’s a message I share with all my audiences, and my hope is that they walk away inspired.”

Iggy “The Eye-Opener” Davidson, a motivational speaker living in Las Vegas, said Monday that his unique blend of vague and meaningless advice has helped him win the hearts and trust of cubicle-dwellers across the country.

Davidson, who often speaks at corporate events and is also the author of two bestselling books, said when it comes to problem-solving and self-improvement, audiences want “feel-good fluff”  rather than specific solutions.

“A solution often requires hard work, and hard work isn’t going to motivate anybody,” he said. “So I just tell people to think positively and to visualize goals. You know, useless crap like that.

“That way, they can feel a sense of triumph as they return to their bland lives and run-of-the-mill careers,” he added.

Davidson said most of his business comes from corporate speaking engagements, where executive managers count on him to “breathe life into disgruntled, burned-out employees.”

“Let’s face it: Most corporate employees are nothing more than cogs in a machine,” Davidson said. “They make dismal wages and lead pointless lives. My job is to make them feel empowered — to trick them into thinking they can rise above the tedious grind and accomplish great things.

“They can’t, of course, because they’re merely worker bees,” he added. “But if they feel good, even for a short while, they’re less likely to whine and complain and piss off their managers. After all, employees oblivious to their plight tend to be happier.”

Davidson said audiences typically respond with enthusiasm to the bland, motivational gibberish he peddles.

“They want to believe there’s more to life than a 9-to-5 schedule and a cramped cubicle,” he said. “And there is — but only for the CEO and the corporate officers. Those guys are entitled to high salaries and enviable stock options, for sure. But for the minions who hold it all together, all life has to offer is the guarantee of eventual death. And in their case, death is something they should be looking forward to, because it’s the only relief they’ll have.”

Davidson said his advice is general enough to sound genuine, and vague enough so that audiences will forget about it and not hold him responsible when it doesn’t work.

“My job is to instill them with inspiration and euphoria,” Davidson said. “They get all excited and start waving their arms around, like little kids at a school assembly. Some even cry. But once they return to the tedious humdrum of their hamster-wheel existence, they quickly forget everything I said.

“They forgetting part is key,” he added. “If I were to dispense specific, concrete methods for self-improvement, people might actually try them. But the problem is that once you’re a corporate drone, you’re always going to be a corporate drone. No amount of self-improvement or positive thinking is going to change that. And I don’t want people to blame me for their pathetic lives and meaningless careers. It’s not my fault they weren’t born into upper-crust, white-collar families. That’s on them.”

Davidson said he considers himself a showman who provides temporary relief to the unremarkable masses.

“I make people feel good — that’s all it is, really,” he said. “I’m no different than a musician, a magician, a juggler. And I’m not offering false hope. Deep down, most people know they’re average and unexceptional. And when I ask them visualize goals, they don’t have any.

“But,” he added, “for a brief moment, they feel totally empowered, like they can accomplish great things. They’re never going to, obviously, but it’s that feeling of exultation they’re looking for — something that makes sense of all the memos and meetings.”

Davidson said he considers himself more of an entertainer than he does a wisdom-giving icon.

“It’s all show,” he said. “I’m just an ordinary guy. But unlike most people, I found a profitable way to escape the soul-crushing drain of corporate servitude. That’s what makes me different: I escaped. More power to me, right?

“Heck, my middle name isn’t even ‘The Eye-Opener,’” he added. “It’s Wayne.”