Friday, May 30, 2008

May's List: We've a Winner! And The List for June.

Congratulations to Annika Anderson of Des Moines, Iowa! She correctly identified all of the quotes from this month's List. For those of you who were playing along, here are the correct answers:

"Stuck in rut, stuck in a rut..." The Third City Gent (Eric Idle) in the sketch, episode 24 of Monty Python's Flying Circus, 1970.

"Khartoum...Khartoum." Jack Woltz (John Marley) to Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) in The Godfather, 1972.

"The Horror. The Horror." Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) in Apocalypse Now, 1979.

"Bueller? Bueller?" The Economics' Teacher (Ben Stein) to his class in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986

"Sure, sure..." Sidney J. Mussburger (Paul Newman) in The Hudsucker Proxy, 1994.

"...for a while, for a while." Bob Destepello (Michael Cudlitz) to Martin Blank (John Cusack) in Grosse Pointe Blank, 1997.

It would appear that there's very little to do in Iowa except bone up on obscure trivia. Good on ya, Annika! A Garretson Wine t-shirt and hat is coming your way soon! And judging by the sparsity of entries - and the fact that Annika's was the only correct entry - I guess this last rendition of The List was a bit too tough/obscure for most readers. Might I suggest moving to Des Moines?

I think that The List for June will be a tad bit easier for you...if you know your hellish references. Here is is:

"The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions"

"The Road to Hell is Paved With Adverbs."

"The Road to Hell is Paved with Un-bought Stuffed Dogs."

"The Safest Road to Hell is the Gradual One..."

"We're on the Highway to Hell!"

Best of luck!

And speaking of lists, go check out the list of gut-busting funny blogs at

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words...or Two Ta-Tas.

I saw this bumper sticker (pictured to the left) in the parking lot of a bar in Mesa, Arizona. That's right, it reads, "Save the Ta-Tas". I was immediately reminded of The Mug, a guy who lived in my dorm my freshman year. The Mug so loved his pipe that he often wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase, "Save the Bales". Remember those shirts?

Turns out that "Save the Ta-Tas" is more than just a classless sticker. They also attempt to present itself as a serious charitable movement.

Checking out their website I read that Julia Fiske, the designer behind Ta-Tas, saw the perfect opportunity to make some moolah by creating a series of wearables...all of which are emblazoned with her oh-so-catchy Ta-Ta phrase. Fiske obviously embraces the idea that humor helps in life-threatening situations. While I heartily agree with the sentiment, the sad reality is Fiske does not have a good sense of humor.

Ta-tas® Brand Clothing cares about women and their families" claims Fiske. Uh-huh. That may very well be...but do you really think being tacky shows that you care more than others? That using a sexist term for breasts is the way to convey that message?

I can't see where the shirts pictured above would be considered apropos in any public setting. At least any setting that doesn't involve a stripper pole. As if to ensure that nobody gets the wrong idea (namely, that the wearer is a world-class asshole), Fiske embellishes her catch phrase with the pink ribbon of breast cancer awareness. I guess that means that you can't hate the shirt, the sentiment or the wearer. Wow, that Julia really knows how to design, huh?

And before you go off half-cocked (now couldn't you just see THAT on a t-shirt promoting awareness of testicular cancer!?!), and label me a prude, a prig or an old man grumpus, save it. I've given plenty of time and money to events/auctions/events that raise funds for breast cancer research (and you can too by clicking here). I just prefer to support worthwhile causes that get it. To my mind, Fiske and her ilk don't.

Just my two, cents.

I'm all for a t-shirt promoting the awareness of

The Kids (These Days) Are Alright.

I'll admit to indulging myself in an occasional bout of nostalgic longing for things past. Where have all our heroes gone? Dr. King gets replaced by Al Sharpton, Mark Twain with Oprah, and Teddy Roosevelt with W.

I often feel the same way about culture. Come on, is Elizabeth Berkley considered the modern day equivalent of Ginger Rogers? Nope...shouldn't even be mentioned in the same paragraph.

But I THINK I may have found the modern day equivalent of Gene Kelly. And as hard as it may be to's Christopher Walken.


My weapon of choice for funny?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fur Traders.

Just got back from a week in Arizona. I had wanted to post - really, I had - but the wireless network in my hotel room wouldn't allow me to upload photos, and I ask you: what is writing without pictures? I'll tell you what it is: positively Peer Gynt.

I drove up to Flagstaff early yesterday morning, attired for what I assumed would be yet another day of stifling hot weather (the mercury hadn't dipped below 100 all week long). So it was that I was driving in my rented Nissan Clown Car (similar to this one pictured) wearing a Tommy Bahama shirt, jeans and loafers sans socks when I began to notice an occasional snow flake on my windscreen. Turns out the locals in Flagstaff knew something I didn't: they were expecting a good six inches of snow within the next 24 hours...and they were all dressed for just such a likelihood. I can say from firsthand experience that nothing screams "I ain't from around here" like a Tommy Bahama shirt on a cool, overcast, snow-threatening day in Northern Arizona.

My last account call of the day was on the outskirts of Sedona in a town called Cottonwood. There I caught up with Paula Woolsey, owner of Cottonwood's New Valley Verde Wine Company and Recovery Room Restaurant, as well as The Asylum restaurant in nearby Jerome. Paula and her staff are great fun...and her establishments a must if you find yourself within a 150-mile radius. As she and the team navigated their way through the eight wines I was showing, Paula's staff popped a cork on a white wine called TAZI made by Arizona Stronghold Vineyards for my perusal. After getting my nose in and around the glass, I took a sip. It's easily the best white wine I've had from Arizona. And, despite what you might think, I have had a number of white wines from Arizona...and many of them good.

About twenty minutes into my visit I got the opportunity to meet the man behind TAZI, a one Maynard Keenan. Paula had called him down from his vineyard to meet up and taste with me. You don't need to spend much time with Maynard to know that this guy is passionate about wine, winegrowing and winemaking. And, even better, the guy has a seriously great sense of humor.

Take, for instance, another one of his labels: Merkin Vineyards. To my mind, any winemaker who has the good sense (I'd say 'balls', but it feels so contrived) to label a wine that pays tribute to the pubic toupée is the kind of winemaker you need to keep an eye on...and not just around your kids.

I shared with Maynard one of my favorite Merkin-related pieces of trivia, which just so happens to come from one of my favorite movies of all time, Dr. Strangelove. In this movie, Peter Sellers plays (among other roles) the President of the United States, Merkin Muffley. Turns out Maynard already knew that. Of course he did...I shouldda known.

And here's another Strangelovian piece of trivia: when Slim Pickens' character, Major T.J. "King" Kong* describes for his airman the contents of their survival kits, he finishes by saying, "Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all this stuff." Next time you watch the movie, focus on Slim's lips when he says "Vegas". In actuality he says "Dallas". The movie was filmed in 1963 and released in '64. Seems after JFK was shot, the producers had Pickens loop in "Vegas" so as not to offend anyone. Shoot.

Turns out I wasn't the only one with a penchant for truly useless has Maynard. At the request of Andre, I brought out my iPhone to show him images of some of the labels I produced under my Negocé Wines' label. When he saw the one for Space Cadet, he instantly pegged it as an altered cover from an old L. Ron Hubbard book.

How'd he know that?

Not only was Mr. Keenan passionate and funny...the guy's also generous. As I was getting ready to leave he handed me two bottles of wine: a 2005 and 2006 "Primer Paso", a Syrah-based wine (a Paso Robles' Syrah-based wine) he crafts under the Caduceus label. Can't wait to try them...and I'll be sure to post my notes on them in due time.

And until I post these notes, go check out the links I've provided to Paula's establishments and Maynard's wines. And, oh yes, please do me the favor of clicking here on Thanks!

* And here's a THIRD Stranglovian trivia nugget: the role of Major Kong was originally to have been played by Sellers as well. Turns out three characters were Sellers' self-imposed limit. He protested to director Stanley Kubrick against playing a fourth - Kong - so loudly that the role was finally given to Slim Pickens.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wither The List?

Two months ago I introduced a new feature to this site...The List. The idea was that every month I would post a random list of five quotes. Each of these quotes would come from either a movie, television show or a classic work of literature. It was your job to determine the source of all five of these quotes. The first person to correctly identify all five quotes would win their choice of a Garretson Wine Company t-shirt or hat.

You see, I reasoned that since so much of the content of my blogging required no use whatsoever of your brain, the least I could do is provide one feature on this site that actually stimulated your synapses.

While our initial List was eagerly worked on by scores of readers, our current List has resulted in surprisingly few takers. That's got me wondering 'why?'. I've boiled the reasons down to three possibilities:

1.) This month's List is too difficult for most readers.
2.) The prize of a t-shirt or ball cap is not enough of an incentive.
3.) You're really only here to check in for photos of clam plate orgies, Lutefisk, and Tevaite Vernette.

If your reason for not entering our little contest this month falls under possibility #1, my apologies. Obviously, you're not spending enough time on useless trivia. If, instead, it's #2, sorry. As much as I'd love to include a bottle of my wine as part of the winnings, our friends in both Federal and State governments would have a tizzie if I gave away alcohol. Sadly, we live in a country where it's easier to transport both nuclear waste and handguns across state lines than it is a bottle of wine.

And, if it's all about #3, there's not much I can do to help you, my friend.

I welcome you to spend some time reviewing this month's List (which may be found here), and give it your best shot. This month's winner receive both a t-shirt AND a hat. I know, I know...but it's the best I can do. if you prefer, maybe I can scrounge up some depleted uranium?

Good Luck!

And good luck not busting your gut when you check out!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Clam Plate Clarification.

Judging by the number of emails I've received about my post of two days ago (which may be found by scrolling down a bit, or by clicking here), it would appear some clarification is needed. Most of the emails I've gotten follow a similar vein; namely, "Mat, what the hell is a 'clam plate orgy'?" Please allow me to explain.

Back in the 1970s a man named Wilson Bryan Key was dining at a Howard Johnson's restaurant. Looking over the establishment's board of fare, Key came upon a photograph depicting one of Ho-Jo's most-famous dishes: fried clams. Whereas most customers saw the picture for what it was (a plate of fried clams), Key saw something far more carnal. To his trained eye, the clams in the photographs were substitutes for naked bodies in the midst of an orgy. That's right: it was a bivalve bump and grind. Key surmised that the photo on his menu was just another in a series of subliminal use of erotica to increase sales.

Wilson Bryan Key also saw subliminally disguised in this photo something even more sinister: a donkey partaking in the humans' hedonistic fête of touchy-feely. I would have loved to be in on the ad pitch of the new menu to Ho-Jo's execs: "Our research shows that a large percentage of your customers enjoy dining out...oh, and bestiality."

Key's belief in Madison Avenue's use of the sensual subliminal led to his penning a 1980 book, The Clam-Plate Orgy and Other Subliminals the Media Use to Manipulate Your Behavior. It was during the promotion of said book that I had the chance to meet Wilson Bryan Key. He came to the University of Georgia to speak about subliminal advertising...and, in a not-so-subliminal way, flog sales of his book. Of course, as a college freshman, I was all about anything with the word 'orgy' attached to it, so I eagerly attended his lecture.

I left his presentation unconvinced...and slightly amused that a grown man would so publicly proclaim his wacko conspiracy theories. Key suffers from the same malady of Mark Dice, whom I wrote about here. Whereas Dice sees spread-legged prostitutes on a coffee cup, Key sees orgies in fried food. Admittedly, Dice's delusions are much more wacked in that he has the bad form of bringing religion into his diatribes.

For those of you who, like Key, find truth in a Clam Plate Consiracy, let me indulge you with a little bit of food porn:

I know, it gets me just hot looking at it!

Instead of taking that cold shower, why don't you chill over at

Friday, May 16, 2008

Too Much Information.

A few months ago I registered my humble blog with This service allows bloggers to view some pretty useful and interesting statistics about the visitors to their sites. Statistics like how many people visit each day, what country they reside in and what they're looking at are among the benefits.

One BlogPatrol statistic I recently viewed still has me laughing. Other than those of you regulars who've bookmarked this blog (and thereby come here directly), most newcomers - over 60% of them - happen on nowthatssick while searching for Tevaite Vernette. I wrote of Miss Vernette in early February (you check it out here). A cinematic 'one hit wonder', Tevaite Vernette stared (half-naked) as Mel Gibson's love interest in the 1984 movie, "The Bounty".

I held then - and still do hold - that Tevaite Vernette bears a more than striking resemblance to Tiger Woods. Without the breasts.

Can it be that there are millions of people out there who still fantisize about a bare-chested woman that was in a movie twenty four years ago?!? Appears that there are.

Irregardless of how you got here, I welcome you! And, no, I don't have any more photos of her, so please stop asking.

And if I may ask YOU to click here on I'd really appreciate it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First There Was the Clam Plate Orgy. And Now...

This just into our "if you ever doubted that some born again Christians really need to get laid" department: it appears that a man down in San Diego is getting a little extra, uh, stimulation every time he drops into his neighborhood Starbuck's.

The source of his new-found arousal? This newly-introduced Starbuck's logo which you see above.

I know. She's hot, isn't she? Of course she's coffee, after all. But apparently your latté is also slut-tay in the eyes of one Mark Dice.

Mr. Dice, founder of a quaint little self-proclaimed Christian group called The Resistance sees "...a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute..." Uh-huh. And you would know how a spread-legged prostitute looks like how? If this logo 'piques his interest', how much you want to bet that Mark Dice takes matters into his own hands every time he watches the movie, Splash?

"Need I say more?" Dice asks...and then answers his own question with a resounding yes. "It's extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks." Dice is calling for a boycott of Starbucks. Appears he doesn't see this coffee cup half-full...he sees it in dire need of two cups, size double D. This guy obviously isn't getting any...and it's altering his view of the world.

But seeing things that aren't really there goes hand in glove when you're Mark Dice (and, yes, that's really him pictured right). After surfing around his website I found that he also subscribes to some amazingly idiotic conspiracy theories; most notably, that 9/11 was an inside job. Dice is also convinced that many of the military bases around the U.S. harbor concentration camps.

It also seems that everywhere he looks he sees the devil. He holds that a majority of the world's political leaders are part of a secret satanic group, and that attendees of the Californian conservative retreat Bohemian Grove, members of Yale's Skull and Bones, Freemasons and Mormons are all really secret Satanists. He even thinks that the layout of streets in Washington DC were influenced by the bifurcated tongued one.

Okay, he might be onto something when it comes to Mormons.

If you believe what's written on his website (and you'd be a complete idiot if you did), Mark Dice isn't even Mark Dice...his website lists him as the man "formerly known as John Conner". Oh, I get it! John Conner, like John Connor, the fictional character in The Terminator? It's this character who becomes the leader of the future human rebellion against the cyborgs, thereby necessitating Arnold Schwarzenegger to perform some truly bad acting. Wow, Mark. That's deep. Judging by the way you dress, I'm also betting that you'll soon be hatching some theories based on The Matrix next. Guess this what happens when you allow an impressionable youth too much time in front of a movie/TV screen.

I call him a 'youth' because Mark's MySpace site lists him as 30 years old. Amazing. It only took him 30 years to become a complete and total nut job. Good on ya, Mark! At the rate you're going, in five more years you'll be old enough to run your very own religious cult.

Next stop Waco!

Mark Dice has a devil of a time believing that isn't sinful.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The self-righteous reverend Al.

I read in the newspapers today that the Reverend Al Sharpton has once again come under the investigative eye of the Federal government. It would appear that the righteous reverend may owe Uncle Sam $1.5 million in back taxes and related fines. Accusations of financial improprieties are nothing new to Al...he's 'been there, done that'. He's used to such claims, and has become all too comfortable claiming it's 'The Man trying to bring stop his crusade'.

I am no so much interested in knowing what the outcome will be as I am in a more salient question: why in the hell does anyone listen to this moron? His entry into the collective American consciousness took place 20 years ago, when he appeared screaming to all who would listen (and there were a LOT of folks willing to listen) that 15 year-old Tawana Brawley had been raped and otherwise defamed by a gang of white males. Turned out that the story Sharpton was selling was completely untrue, but what did it matter (to him)? He gained his bully pulpit.

Now, certainly, some of the issues Sharpton has rallied around are valid. But can we please have a better representative for civil rights than this buffoon? They say that heroes are a reflection of their times. I grew up with the likes of Martin Luther King and Malcom X. Sadly, today's generation has the likes of Al Sharpton.

The story of Sharpton is truly Shakespearean in its telling. He is "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

And if you came here to read something funny today, sorry...I'll get to that next week. In the meantime, get your funny at

Monday, May 5, 2008

Why It's Called Dope.

I have never understood the allure of smoking Marijuana. While I've known many friends throughout my lifetime who've enjoyed firing up a joint/a bong/the one-hitter, I most often passed when I'd been offered the same. Those times that I didn't left me wondering, 'why did I even bother?' All it did for me was make me sleepy...and stinky. And all it seemed to do for my friends was make them stupid. And stinky.

Smoke dope = become stupid...and in dire need of a bath.

As if to remind us all of this fact, let's take the case of 21 year-old Charles Ray Fuller. Charlie Ray had big plans (BIG Plans) to be a somebody in the record industry. His dreams of greatness were no doubt given free reign when Charlie Ray partook of the herb. So great were his dreams that, he reasoned, all he needed was a little folding money to bring this dream to fruition.

So it was that Charles Ray Fuller - possessed of a dream and some weed - borrowed a blank check from his girlfriend's mom...obviously thinking he'd be so successful so quickly that by the time she noticed the check was missing, our hero would be able to repay his 'loan' many times over. He filled the check out, forged her signature, and presented it at a local Ft. Worth, Texas bank.

As he filled it out he no doubt though to himself, "What's it gonna take? $36,000? No, more. $360,000? No, that's just chump change. $3,600,000? As a big-time record exec, I'd spend that much on dope in a year!"

No, what Charlie Ray needed was to be liquid. So it was that he presented a check to the bank teller for $360,000,000,000. That's right: Three Hundred and Sixty Billion. With a "B".

After presenting his check, Charlie got to meet some new friends...all of whom just happened to be in the employ of the Ft. Worth Police. He was arrested for forgery, carrying a concealed .22, and being in possession of - you guessed it! - marijuana.

What a total dumb shit, huh?

Let that just be a lesson to us all...step away from that one-hitter, friend.

Studies have found repeated use of has caused a severe case of the munchies in lab rats.