The Last Word

Issue #484

January 2015

Dogshames and Domino Clocks...Consumed by the fires...
Aaah! January! The month when many a youngster gets bored with all their glossy new toys they got as
holiday gifts!
Memories are long, and I recall receiving my share of memorable playthings on Christmas in years past.
We were a working-class family, and we didn’t have a bottomless Christmas budget. But there were some real
winners over the years. I’ll never forget Stretch Armstrong, and how the jelly-like goo leaked out of him after a
few hours. When I saw this ooze, I didn’t know whether to cry or go fix a peanut butter sandwich. (According to
one website, the marmalade inside Stretch Armstrong attracted ants like there was no tomorrow.)
When I was about 5, I briefly enjoyed
a toy with Peanuts characters and Colorforms
featuring various picnic items. It was
designed so one could arrange Charlie Brown
and his kick-ass crew in front of a beautiful
park-like setting as they put all their political
differences aside and indulge in a tasty
luncheon together. One of the Colorforms
depicted a small drinking cup, but I couldn’t
figure out what it was, because it was cocked
at an angle on the sheet. So I coined my own
word for it—a dogshame—and had it floating
upside-down in the air above the picnic. But I
lost interest in that toy after a few
milliseconds, because I outgrew it.
In later years, life experiences—or
maybe just being older than about 9—sapped
the joy out of Christmas gifts. At some point,
you get too old for toys. But toy producers
must have been pretty good at marketing,
because the oldsters continued to spend their
hard-earned income on playthings that I was
too old for. Some of them were briefly
interesting, but a lot of them probably
impressed parents more than they impressed
kids. Once when I was about 12, I got
something called a Domino Clock. It was a
device that told time using the dots on
dominoes that a small metal ball would topple on a minutely basis. It was interesting to put together and have set
up for a little while, but the sound of the ball clanking around and dominoes falling over every 60 seconds kept
me awake at night, so I didn’t have the Domino Clock for very long before I sold it.
Around the same time, I received a few extras that I had little use for. But I guess they were eye-catching
enough that Santa Claus couldn’t resist buying them. One of them was a pencil that was supposed to be the
greatest thing ever produced because it had my first name pre-printed on it—which is hardly unusual, because I
have a name that’s rather common in this fine land—and because it didn’t need to be sharpened. When the tip
wore down, it had extra tips inside—unlike a regular pencil. Wow. Like totally awesome to the max. But
seriously, I don’t think I ever used this pencil. I suspect it’s still stashed away in my closet somewhere after 30
years.
Trust me, by the time I received that pencil and the Domino Clock, I’d seen and heard everything. By
then, I wasn’t some innocent child. I received those presents during the era when people tried to turn back the
clock in the futile hopes that I would somehow regress to an earlier age, and that’s why they tried getting me gifts
that were for kids who were much younger. Plus marketing. Retailers and manufacturers must have marketed the
living shit out of this stuff, because I don’t see what else could have possibly possessed the oldsters to buy a

pencil with a very impractical design just because it had my name on it.
We’re all victims of this aggressive marketing. My parents each busted their asses 50 hours a week to
afford to buy this stuff. However, good public schools didn’t seem to be as good at marketing. Christmas toys
usually either break, become outgrown, fail to generate interest, or make noise that keeps you awake—but a good
education does none of those things and lasts a lifetime. Just think if all the money spent in that era on things I
couldn’t use was spent on better schools instead. Instead of me languishing in Campbell County’s broken school
system, the money spent on strange pencils and other gadgets I never used could have covered out-of-district
tuition to pretty much any other public school district in the area. That’s a gift that lasts forever.
On the other hand, bad private schools are much more adept at marketing—and since The Media hates all
things public or secular, they were always happy to help. As my longtime readers know, after I was expelled from
a public school, much hard-earned dough was squandered on a disastrous experience in a Catholic school. Fuck it,
I’ll take the pencil and Domino Clock instead!
One thing there’s a consensus about is that holiday shopping in my day usually meant buying American.
These days, it’s much more likely that toys and other goods are produced in overseas sweatshops that scoff at
American labor laws. But lots of spoiled brats today don’t appreciate these products. They break them faster than
a child half their age made them.
Welcome to the cult of consumerism!

Sea-Monkey business
You may remember the old department store toy catalogs.
They were as thick as a phone book for a major city. You may also
remember that these catalogs were sprinkled with words to the
effect of, “These toys are not just for Christmas.”
THEY’RE NOT?!?!?!?!?! But today’s not Christmas,
dammit! I don’t want any presents if it isn’t Christmas! My
birthday?! THAT’S NOT CHRISTMAS!!! Waaaaah!!!
But seriously, this was an open enticement for parents to
just spoil their kids rotten—just so a giant retail chain could Make
Money. Hey, so the holidays are over? And it’s not your birthday?
And no graduations, weddings, funerals, or expulsions? Oh well, kid, here’s another present. Just because. And
think how children reacted when they read that the toys in the catalog “are not just for Christmas.” There’s no
doubt that many a child promptly begged their parents to shower them with toys just because the catalog
encouraged it.
I can think of one toy with such a dismal reputation that I can’t imagine parents today buying it for their
kids—because they probably got
scammed by it themselves
growing up. Most of its sales are
probably to kids who order it for
themselves
after
seeing
it
advertised in comic books. Of
course, I’m talking about the
infamous Sea-Monkeys.
Sea-Monkeys are a brand
of brine shrimp. Now, I know a
little about Sea-Monkeys, because
a family member fell for that trap.
The slick ad made Sea-Monkeys
look like actual miniature
monkeys who were almost
mermaid-like. The drawing with
the ad showed the Sea-Monkeys
dancing, playing baseball, and
performing circus tricks in their
aquarium. The Internets has a scan
of a 1971 print ad in which the
Sea-Monkeys appeared to live on
a sandy beach with a purple castle.
Amusingly, the tail of one of the

Sea-Monkeys is positioned to cover up its naughty bits.
You could probably buy Sea-Monkeys at toy shops, but I think mostly it was mail order. It wasn’t me who
ordered them. But I grew curious over the months it took for the Sea-Monkeys to arrive, and I was eager to see a
bowl full of small, aquatic chimpanzees.
But it was not to be. After the packet of Sea-Monkey eggs hatched in the small aquarium on the bookshelf
in the den, I don’t ever remember any of the Sea-Monkeys growing to be larger than a speck of dust. And they
didn’t live very long—despite proper care. They never reproduced—probably never even fucked!—so they
quickly became extinct in our household.
Perhaps worst of all, the guy who held the patent on Sea-Monkeys was a white supremacist. He was the
Steve Scalise of mail order toys! He also devised other scams. One of his products was called Invisible Goldfish.
The Invisible Goldfish kit consisted only of a fishbowl, fish food, and a manual. The fish were invisible because
there were no fish. And people fell for it.
Years after I was introduced to Sea-Monkeys, the company that owned the product planned to change the
ads so they appeared leaner and meaner—but still misleading. This change was never made.
Surprisingly, people still buy Sea-Monkeys. Not surprisingly, Sea-Monkeys get bad reviews. What’s
strange is that most of the negative reviews result not from the fact that Sea-Monkeys bear no resemblance to the
primates in the ad, but from the fact that the Sea-Monkeys quickly die or don’t hatch at all. One reviewer says
they had planned on using SeaMonkeys for their senior thesis,
but their failure to hatch caused
them to flunk the whole class.
Another rip-off once
sold in comic books was the
Frontier Cabin. I never had one
of these, but I’ve heard about
them. The ad made it look like
an actual log cabin and said it
was big enough to hold 2 or 3
people. But actually it was
nothing but a tablecloth with a
drawing of a log cabin on it.
You were supposed to put it on
your kitchen table and then
crawl under the table. Hell, you
could do that with the Elmo
tablecloth from your little
cousin’s birthday party! Except
not many cabins on the frontier
had Elmo on them.
As the guy on Channel
9 would say: It’s a scam!

When the CIA tried to castrate Castro’s beard (a poopyism)
The Central Intelligence Agency should be renamed to the Central Poopyism Agency!
The CIA is one of the most untrustworthy organizations around. And you know they’re financing the Tea
Party, because that’s exactly the sort of thing the CIA does.
But this story, my friends, is a poopyism.
Some years back, one of the CIA’s biggest goals was to publicly embarrass Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
This was their Holy Grail. One day, the CIA hatched a plot. Castro had planned to speak to the Cuban people in a
televised appearance. So the CIA tried to sneak into his office before the speech and spread around chemicals that
would cause his trademark beard to fall out. The chemicals were the same ones found in Nair.
The CIA failed to comprehend that the chemicals would make Castro’s beard fall out only one hair at a
time. They mistakenly thought his beard would suddenly fall off all in one huge clump—right at a critical point of
his televised speech. It appears as if the plot was never carried out.
The CIA also once tried assassinating Castro by feeding him a poisoned milkshake. But this plan fell
apart when the poison capsule froze to the inside of the freezer. They tried assassinating him literally hundreds of

times, in fact, and failed each time.

Google still gobblin’ and guggin’
Uh-oh. Google has been caught with its Incredible Hulk Underoos down around its ankles stealing from
writers. Imagine that!
For 5 years, I’ve been trying to get back the money Google stole from me when it canceled my AdSense
account because of my blog’s political views. I’m talking about an untold amount of money that I earned before my
account was yanked—which Google refused to pay me. Now I’ve found an article from this past April that describes
how a Google employee passed along information about a meeting at which Google fucketyfucks ordered AdSense
accounts closed for no defensible reason...
http://thenextweb.com/google/2014/04/29/google-denies-alleged-leak-claiming-adsense-stealing-money-publishers-calls-complete-fiction

As of the time of that writing, Google’s AdSense was still ripping off writers. In fact, it had only gotten worse.
The scandal dates back at least to 2009—the year before my account was closed. Early that year, AdSense head
honchos conducted a meeting in which they said they were going to “carry out extreme quality control on AdSense
publishers.” The long and short of it was that Google was going to just purge accounts by the barrelful.
The first mass purge was in March 2009. The policy was to yank accounts that were getting close to reaching
payout time. That way, the ads would already be posted, while Google would have an excuse not to pay writers. Never
mind that the contract I agreed to in 2007 said that even if my account was pulled, I’d still be paid what I’d already
earned. If that contract was changed, Google changed it unilaterally without telling me.
Similar purges followed. Perhaps the biggest was in April 2012. In that cleansing, Google didn’t even bother to
investigate or justify revoking the accounts. They just pulled any account that had a large payout coming. As a result of
these purges, Google got money from the advertisers but also didn’t have to pay writers anything for displaying the ads.
Even some Google employees were so angered by this incident that they quit the company.
Afterward, these orgies of revoking publishers’ accounts started to become problematic for Google, so they
came up with a new policy. One AdSense executive boasted they would “shelter the possible problem makers and fuck
the rest.” AdSense would assign each account a color code that would flag “troublesome” accounts. For example, any
publisher who earned $10,000 a month was flagged automatically—unless it was someone who Google feared might
create negative attention for AdSense if they lost their account. If they had this policy a few years earlier, my account
probably would have survived—because that was around the time it became clear that I was the wrong guy to fuck
with. Just ask Pathway Family Center and the Campbell County Tea Party what I did to them.
A later policy resulted in many publishers not earning any money from the ads they displayed—even if their
account wasn’t pulled.
Google says none of this ever happened. That’s a lie. It happened to me. Plus, after that article appeared in
April, Google said it was investigating to find the whistleblower. Isn’t that really an admission that the allegations are
true? If it wasn’t true, there’d be nothing to leak!
And did I mention a class action lawsuit was finally filed against Google after that story broke?
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