Note: This is an archive of the old Quick Hitts Blog. The new Quick Hitts blog is here.

12.13.04 Reduce Registration Frustration

Lots of people send me links to articles from newspapers and magazines that demand I sign up for an account before I can read anything. Sometimes they just want a zip code and date of birth, but more often they want your name, address, e-mail, age, and date of last vaccination. Until recently, I just skipped the articles on obnoxious sites unless it was something I really wanted to read. In that case, I'd enter gibberish into the fields to get past the dumb design.

But there's a better way. If you're not one of the millions of people who have switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox, do it now. It's a free download, and it's not only loaded with handy features, but it's far less susceptible to the nasty viruses and trojans that I.E. will gleefully (and silently) download into your operating system.

Then download the BugMeNot extension add it to Firefox. The next time you're faced with a log in screen, right click on the ID field and it will automatically insert a valid ID and Password. It doesn't work with every site, but it works for most of them, and will significantly reduce your frustration level.

11.25.04 The World's Oldest Joke

Last Saturday, after an Improv show, one member of the troupe led us to an ancient seedy bar. The moment we walked in we knew it was one of those places where the only safe thing to order was bottled beer.

The back room contained two jukeboxes. (Each weighed less than the barmaid.) One was broken, the other had a weird mixture of records that seemed to have been picked from random garage sales. The tags were all hand written.

I started playing pinball back when it was ten cents a game, three for a quarter, and always, always five balls per game. I quit playing when the games went to fifty cents, three balls per game, so I was delighted when I saw a ratty pinball game that only charged a quarter for a five ball game.

I got some quarters from the bar maid, wondering how I could keep my beard as neatly trimmed as hers. The machine ignored the first two, so I tried the other slot, and it responded with a loud "Click."

It was an old Dolly Parton pinball game, with a 1979 date on the glass. Evidently it hadn't been serviced since then, because all the high sounds, the bells and whistles and dings, were broken. The lower registers worked fine, though. As a result, instead of the bouncing ball generating the familiar Ding, Ching, Dong, Bong, Bing Bing sounds we expected, the machine responded to every action with a fart: Phhhht, Buuuuuft, Thhhhhhhhht. When you lost the ball and the specials and bonuses tallied, it sounded like the winners from the cabbage eating contest sitting naked on a marble countertop.

I don't care how mature, sophisticated, or educated you are, farts are always funny. We played it for a half hour, took a break, and returned to it several times during the night, just to listen to it.

Dolly's picture on the back glass made it even more amusing:

She's couched down to let out a big one, extending her right hand while singing her hit song, "Pull My Finger." Being a star, of course her farts are star shaped. Although the butterfly nearest the emission doesn't seem to mind, the one on the right hand side is zooming away for dear life. And those weren't just normal, petite girly farts – they made her burst into flame.

If you're ever in downtown Albany, walk a few blocks past the more well known Lark Street strip, on to Elm street. Find the woefully misnamed Palais Royale, grab some quarters, and laugh yourself silly with a few games of Fartin' Dolly Parton.


11.03.04 Healing The Nation

Now that the nasty, bitter election is over, some of the nasty, bitter people are asking what we can do to heal the nation. How can we get the people on either side to stop spitting venom at each other and start talking?

Back before a few well financed nannies conned the government into treating smokers like shit and banning us from every public place, I belonged to a group of cigar smokers who got together one or two or sometimes three times a month for smokes and drinks and food. We'd all meet at a brewpub, fire up our stogies, order a round of drinks, and laugh and talk and joke together for an hour or so. Then we'd order food, enjoy a meal, and then have another round of cigars and drinks.

There were about a dozen of us, and we came from all walks of life. We were mostly middle class, but a couple folks were well off, and a couple were, if not poor, close to it. There were liberals and conservatives and moderates. There were religious folks and atheists. Blacks and whites. There was one vegetarian, the rest of us were carnivores. (Cigars contain no meat!) We were mostly men, but there were several women in the group, two who were cigar smokers, others who were the spouses of cigar smokers who came for the fellowship.

We talked, and talked, and talked about everything, including religion and politics. More importantly, we listened to each other. And although we often disagreed, sometimes in very spirited conversations, it never, ever got nasty. Not once in the four years that we did it. Once or twice things got snotty in e-mail, but once we met face to face and the cigars came out any acrimony just melted away. I don't know what it is, but there's just something about enjoying cigars together that takes all the venom out of your soul, at least for a little while.

Based on that experience, I'd say the best way to heal the nation is to have everyone smoke cigars.

10.16.04 Nanny Nation Notification

For years smokers rights groups have been warning that nannies want to make it illegal for people to smoke in their homes. Most nannies claim this is outrageous; they'd never do that, even though one of their most prominent leaders admitted it years ago.

The next two obvious steps, already in progress,
are restricting smoking on beeches, parks, lines, doorways,
where people have to go through what they call the gauntlets
of tobacco smoke, and then restricting it in homes, particularly
where there are sensitive children.

- John Banzhaf, CBS Good Morning, April 22, 2001

(Banzhaf is one of the most hateful of the anti-smokers. He sells a kit to help a nanny get a smoker kicked out of his apartment, and another to help make custody cases even nastier. In a nation-wide interview, he compared smoking and non-smoking sections in a restaurant with masturbating and non-masturbating sections. He's also jumped on the Food Police bandwagon.)

Several states are now being besieged with nanny movements "encouraging" parents to smoke outside. But signs that it will become mandatory are all around us. In England, which is trying to catch up with our SHS paranoia, this memo encourages social service workers to report anyone with the audacity to smoke in their own home.

Meanwhile, several pharmaceutical companies are hard at work creating vaccines that will inoculate kids, for life, against any politically incorrect substances. Tobacco and opiates are the focus of their energies at the moment, but can there be any doubt that if they are successful alcohol will be next? Imagine never, ever being able to have a beer with your friends because mamma decided, when you were five, that you needed to be protected from booze.

10.12.04 So Long, Superman

I saw Christopher Reeve do "Love Letters" at the Williamstown theater a few months before his accident. It's wasn't a very demanding part: The actors (him and Julie Haggerty) sat next to each other reading the letters they had sent each other over the years. But sitting in a small theater is very different from watching someone on the big screen, there's at least a bit of a connection. When he got hurt I felt worse for him than I would have if I hadn't been in a room with him a few months earlier.

I never admired him for his acting, which was competent but nothing special. I never admired him for becoming a spokesperson for spinal cord injury – it's not uncommon for someone to become an advocate for an illness or injury they've suffered. Sure, he did a lot of good for other people with the same injury, and his involvement may mean we'll have cures and treatments sooner, but there was nothing heroic about it. If he had contracted a different illness, it would have received the benefit his attention instead.

What made him heroic, what makes everyone else in his situation heroic, is getting up in the morning. That, I admire the hell out of. Getting up every day when you're helpless and can't do much of anything and each breath is a struggle, now that's heroic. I'm sure that if I were in the same situation I'd say good-by to everyone, have them feed me one last Jack Daniels washed down with a Bass, smoke one last cigar (Either a Cuban Montie #2 or a Hoyo Epicure #4), then have them pull the plug. I just wouldn't have the courage to face a life like that, and consider everyone who does, heroic.

Creature Costumes

Visit the seasonal department of any Target and you'll find an end cap full of dog costumes. Each package bears a photograph of a very miserable looking costumed pooch. In every photo the dog looks pissed or embarrassed. Most of them are wearing an expression that says "For the love of God, please, please kill me now."

Rather than kill the suffering dog, who is a helpless victim, we should execute the owner, who intentionally subjected their pet to such misery. Let's do it by dressing them up in an inappropriate costume, then dropping them off in hostile surroundings. We'll put one in a Klan outfit and kick him out of the car in Harlem. We’ll give another one a fat suit and a Michael Moore mask and plonk him in the middle of an evangelical convention. And the simplest, most deadly costume will go to the worst offender: We'll drop him off at Wal-Mart wearing a t-shirt that says, "Only Fags Wear Mullets."

10.01.01 Dumbest product of the year - so far.

Febreze, who made their name sucking nasty odors out of things, has recently marketed a Scent Stories, a $35 device that spews a sequence of scents, which, they claim, tells a story.

Each disk contains five different, related scents, which are "played" in sequence, one half hour per smell. For instance, "Explore a Mountain Trail" provides the smells "Following the Winding Creek," "Walking Beside the Wildflowers," "Exploring the Mountains," "High in the Mountain Pass," and "Gazing at the Tall Firs." Other "stories" include "Wandering Barefoot on the Shore," "Strolling through the Garden," "Shades of Vanilla," (I wasn't aware that odors came in different shades) and "Celebrate The Holidays."

This thing is obviously designed for women - there are no pictures of men anywhere on their sappy web site. But Quick Hitts has learned that disks for men are currently in beta testing.

"Morning at The Bachelor's Apartment" features "What is that smell?" "Whose Underwear is in the Refrigerator," "Cold Pizza for Breakfast," "Cleaning Up Last Night's Beer," and "Which T-shirt is Clean Enough to Wear Again."

"Taxi Driver" features "Picking up the Sweaty Guy From The Gym," "Grandma Buys Her Perfume at Wal-Mart by The Quart," "Stuck in Traffic Behind a Garbage Truck," "I shouldn't have eaten lunch at Taco Bell," and "Please, not in my Cab!"

Disks that have been tested and rejected include "Humid Day at The Hog Farm" and "Visiting Grandpa at the Nursing Home."

Related Link: It's almost guaranteed some slick bottom feeder will line up people with "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity" and sue Febreze over this. There's only one problem - MCS is an entirely imaginary disease.

09.26.04 Worth a Click

Don't try this at home.

08.30.04 Worth a Click

I made this sign with the Church Sign Maker. Don’t like it? Make your own.

Making a Name for Yourself

He's a suggestion for the country's hyperactive state attorney generals: Go after spammers. The feds have given you the ammo with the Can Spam act – it's a pretty pathetic piece of legislation but it's strong enough to go after these miscreants.

The beauty of it is that you don't have to go after them, they come to you, every single day. State agencies are pounded with spam just like the rest of us, and you can use that as evidence to extradite these miscreants. Then go after them, not just for Can Spam violations, but for theft of government services, harassment, creating a public nuisance, and anything else you can come up with. And here's the real fun part – hit them with 100 counts of everything, one for a hundred of their e-mails. If, by any chance, you fail to get a conviction, do it again, with the next hundred. And the next, and the next. Even if they can beat the rap, they can't beat the ride.

The Massachusetts AG has gone after one spammer. Just one guy. Bad move. Bring a few dozen to town. Do it up big. Your name will become a household word very, very quickly. You'll be a hero to tens of millions of people.

And maybe we'll get a little respite from these dirtbags.

08.18.04 Worth a Click

There are plenty of media watchdogs out there who claim to be bipartisan, but most of them are heavily biased toward some particular ideology. Spinsanity stands out because they don't seem to care who is spinning - they go after the right or the left whenever they see any nonsense.

Not Too Swift

My ears perked up the first time I heard the claims of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." They've made some very serious charges, and at first glance seemed to have the credentials to back them up. But a little digging shows they've engaged in enough spin and exaggeration to make their credibility questionable. The Spinsanity site is a good place to start.

I'm not voting for Kerry, no matter how heroic or chicken-shit he was thirty years ago. I'm more interested in who the man is today than who the boy was back then. Thirty years I did things I'm not proud of (and thirty days ago, well, I'd rather not talk about it).

But the real bottom line, for me, is more of a gut reaction than a logical conclusion. Something about this just feels wrong. The word "truth" any organization's name immediately sets off my bullshit meter, and their entire approach strikes me as a sleazy sucker punch from behind.

Although I don't like Kerry's politics at all, I can respect him for simply being a decent human being. If I saw him in a bar I'd buy him a beer and shoot the shit with him. ("Hey, John, how can I marry money?") If I saw any of these swift boat guys, I'd be more likely to leave and find another tavern.

08.13.04 Worth a Click

If increasing wealth decreases health, we must take bold action now.

Brush with a Bonehead

Just when you think people can't get any stupider, someone writes a scary story about a rubber ducky and induces another fool to pay over $100 for it.

(Well, not really, the winning bidder ducked out without paying.)

08.08.04 Nanny Nation Notification

Occasionally, (very occasionally) the ACLU gets something right.

Dude, who stole my title?

Robert Reich is promoting his new book "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle For America." According to the reviews (I haven't read it, and probably won't) it's an attack on the far right (which should be attacked) and an explanation that liberalism is good and true and pure (which is goofy.)

But it was the title that caught my attention. "Reason" is the name of a magazine that promotes libertarian ideas and ideals. Why didn't Mr. Reich choose a different title, one that would not be confused with this well-established magazine? Is he trying to steal their thunder?

This is a fairly new pattern among many of the far left - relying on well recognized names and phrases from the right to increase their own recognition. Al Franken's first bestseller was "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot." That would have been an appropriate title if the book were specifically about Rush, but it was just a collection of Franken's ramblings, including a few aimed at the fat man. Putting Rush's name in the title made it a best seller. His recent book title steals Fox's "Fair and Balanced" slogan. (Fox's lawsuit to stop him was stupid – it had no chance of succeeding and got him even more publicity.) His radio show is called The O'Franken Factor. Does this boy have any ideas of his own?

Smear merchant Michael Moore named his latest movie after one of the countries best loved books, by one of our best loved authors. Bradbury heard about the name long before the movie was released, and asked Moore to change it. Moore ignored the request. He contacted Bradbury six months later, when it was too late to change the name, and made apologetic noises. Bradbury is pissed, and rightly so. The only consolation is that his book will still be popular hundreds of years from now, while Moore and his ilk will be forgotten.

At least David Brock's title "Blinded by The Right" steals from an artist who is also a lefty, but why wasn't he creative enough to come up with a clever title of his own? The same can be asked about Molly Iven's "Who Let the Dogs In?"

I can only think of two authors from the right who have done this, and their titles don't really fit this phenomenon, because they are specific rebuttals aimed at specific people. "Rewriting History" is a rebuttal to Hillary's "Living History," and "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man" is about Michael Moore. (Although it could be argued that the latter is stealing from Frankin. But Frankin stole Rush's name in that title. And thus, Simba, the circle of plagiarism continues.)

Bookstores are having great fun with this phenomena, putting battling books next to each other on the shelves. Customers sometimes over react by moving the books around and occasionally defacing them. Here's a little bit of harmless rearranging you can do. Target is currently displaying Moore's "Dude, Where's My Country" right next to "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man." Turn MMISBFSWA around, so the back is displayed, and then step back to enjoy your handiwork. You see the cover picture of Moore saying "Dude, Where's My Country" next to a picture of Moore framed with the words "Dude, Where's Your Integrity?"

07.17.04 Worth a Click

Sometimes, the best thing about a web site is it's URL.

07.12.04 Worth a Click

I just discovered I'm a retrosexual

07.07.04 Fan Mail and Hate Mail

I receive lots of e-mail from my site The Facts. It's about a fifty-fifty spilt between those who love it and those who think I'm evil for putting it up. The letter to the editor had the same effect, although I received more hate mail than love letters on that one.

The love letters cover the full spectrum of IQ and writing ability. Most are well written, some are full of poor grammar and misspellings, and many are just short one or two sentence kudos. The hate mail, though, is almost always poorly written, poorly punctuated, rambling and ignorant. I've received hundreds of them over the years, and nearly all of them contain scatological references. Smoking is compared to peeing in a pool (ever hear of anyone dying from second hand pool pee?), defecating on the street, farting in your face, etc. One recent persistent AOL user kept referring to smokers as "smelling like a dog's ass." I'll take his word for it; he's evidently done the necessary research.

Most of us went through a scatological period as toddlers – obsessed with pee and poo and farts. Most of us outgrew it (although farts will always be funny). Nannies never have. They are immature children who never grew up. They must get their own way or they'll subject us all to their temper tantrums.

And the worst part of this is how Big Brother, that ever incompetent parent, consoles them by giving in to their screaming.

Scum Sucking Bottom Feeder for VP

Walter Olson, a lawyer who is easily the country's best writer on the subject of trial lawyers excess, has this to say about the nomination of Edwards, who made his millions by suing people.

Olson's excellent blog is available here.

07.02.04 Letter to The Editor

The Times Union printed my letter to the editor today. They rewrote the first paragraph (I have no problem with that) and left out my nasty last paragraph, but the gist of the message was intact. You can read what they published here. I'm reproducing it here because the link will expire in a week.

The text they edited out or changed is in italics.

There's no diplomatic way to say this: When Jeanne Walsh of the American Cancer Society says the tobacco companies are pushing for an amendment to the smoking ban, and calls the tavern owners who support the change a front group, she is lying. This is a favorite lie of the anti-smoker crowd. Every time someone opposes them, they pull out this broad brush and try to smear them with a it.

In reply to the June 17 letter by Jeanne Walsh of the American Cancer Society that said tobacco companies are pushing for an amendment to the smoking ban and called tavern owners who support the change a "front group," this is a favorite ploy of the anti-smoker crowd. Every time someone opposes them, they pull out this broad brush and try to smear them with it.

The people pushing for this change are small-business owners who have been devastated by the smoking ban. Hundreds have gone out of business and thousands are on the brink of going belly-up because of this intrusive law. A recent study proves it has resulted in thousands of people losing their jobs and tens of millions of dollars' worth of business being lost.

I maintain a Web site ( that lists hundreds of business that have been affected by smoking bans. Many of them are already closed. I have contact information for most of them, which I would be happy to share with Ms. Walsh. I challenge her to get in touch with them and accuse them of being part of a "tobacco front group," then share their replies with us.

Her claim that waivers are a viable alternative is disingenuous at best. Her own organization admitted that of 65,000 taverns, only 132 waivers have been issued. And if someone is going out of business, a temporary waiver is only a stay of execution.

State-of-the-art filtration can make the air inside a tavern cleaner than the air outside. Ms. Walsh's insistence that these units, which are good enough for hospital operating rooms, can't clean the air in a tavern proves that this is not, and never has been, about the health of hospitality workers. Their real goal is to force smokers to quit by making it impossible for them to smoke anywhere.

It's a shame to see once venerable organizations like The American Cancer society trade their credibility and honesty for a ticket to the anti-smoker jihad. But then, fanatics and zealots have always believed that the ends justify the means as long as the cause is righteous.


Dave Hitt

Dave Hitt is a member of NYC C.L.A.S.H. Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, and operates the website The Facts. (

Round Lake

Cigarette Taxes Kill Korean Store Owner

In a barely related story, high cigarette taxes result in the death of a store owner.

07.01.04 Worth a Click

Of Love and Lust by Cat Farmer. I liked this article, and think you will too. Plus, the stained glass kitty is cool.

6.28.04 Quote of the Week:

From a bloger discussing Michael Moore: "Watching mainstream media coverage of Moore, one reflects how fortunate the man is to have so much kissing space on his ass."

Moore presents a dilemma for fact checkers, because each new project of his contains fewer and fewer actual facts. But if you're interested, here's a list of people devoting time to debunking Moore.

06.26.04 Worth a Click

A news satire site that's actually funny. Not as funny as The Onion, but then, what is? I especially liked this article, a new twist on all the overdone Martha Stewart jokes.

06.23.04 Nanny Nation Notification

A rather good article on the subject by Paul Campos

6.17.04 A Supreme Cop Out

The Supremes, presented with a controversial case, bravely ran away from the issue. They refused to rule on the constitutionality of "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because the man bringing the suit isn't the custodial parent of his kid. (His kid, who has to say the pledge in school, is his excuse reason for bringing suit.) So rather than tackle this emotionally charged issue, they wimped out, citing the legal principle "non dominus canis decerto"* which means "he doesn't have a dog in this fight."

"Under God" is clearly religious, so it shouldn't be in the pledge. That should be blatantly obvious, but people are getting bent out of shape over it on both sides of the issue. The Supremes will probably make the wrong decision, so why not just do it now and get it over with?

"Under God" was added in the fifties, at the height of McCarthyism, as a slap to the "godless communists." That alone is reason enough to take it out. But if we're going to modify the pledge again, maybe we should give it a complete makeover so that it reflects the reality of our times.

"I pledge allegiance to the idea of the United States of America, and to the republic, which screws it up, one nation, under delusions, deeply divided, with decreasing liberties and justice for all who can afford it."


*I don't know enough Latin** to make this joke work. If one of our readers does, please let me know what the prhase should be.

**Let's be honest. I don't know any Latin. I just plugged some words into an online dictionary.

6.12.04 How to Solve All the FCC's Problems

Declan McCullagh presents a very simple solution: Abolish it.

You Just Can't Please Stupid People

Hydrogen powered vehicles have the potential to drastically reduce pollution and our dependence on foreign oil. So a filling station for hydrogen powered cars should delight environmentalists, right? Don't be silly. The Green Party is demanding the station buy a $1,500,000 life insurance policy for every kid in a nearby school.

I have a counter proposal. Let's insure every member of the Green Party for ten bucks. That's almost a dollar per brain cell.

The Swiss Army Knife for Geeks

Sure, you can fix your hummer with it, but why oh why can't you store data on your Swiss Army Knife? Now, you can.

6.11.04 Class is Canceled for the Left

When a popular leader dies, anyone with even the slightest bit of class or style would wait a week or so out of respect and common decency before attacking his record. But decency isn't very common on the left. Their viciousness has been in full display this week, and they started attacking him with both barrels before his body was cold. Wait, let me change that, because it's inappropriate to describe lefties with a gun metaphor. They started snapping around his ankles like yappy little throw-pillow dogs.

The most amusingly offensive and cluleless yappy dog works for the LA Times. (Surprise surprise.) Robert Scheer claims, "Reagan allowed AIDS to spread for the same reason he pointedly savaged programs to help the poor." Allowed? Allowed? That means Reagan had the power to stop it, and refused to. Was this some magical power he could have called up with a wave of his hand? Did Scheer expect him to personally visit bath houses and gay bars, seek out those exchanging bodily fluids with complete strangers, point at them and yell, "Stop Doing That!" (Imagine how the left would have reacted to that.) How about a "Just Say No To Rump Ramming" campaign? Or is it more likely that Scheer is just an anencephalic* idiot?

We're honoring Reagan with a national day of morning, conveniently being held today, on a Friday. Let's cut the bullshit and call it what it is – a national day of bar-b-q.

This day off will cost nearly fifty million dollars in New York State alone. Across the country it will cost hundreds of millions. Lefties, wouldn't you love to have that much added to your favorite program? And since you hate Ronnie, isn't it hypocritical for you to take the day off?

Ronnie loved to work. Throughout his entire life he worked hard at whatever job he held at the time. So, government workers, if you really want to honor the man, you shouldn't just be working today, you should show up Saturday as well. That would be a far more appropriate tribute.

*(Definition supplied for stupid people who may have accidentally wandered in here.)


None of the many Reagan retrospectives I've seen so far have mentioned something I remember vividly from back then.

We had been through a decade of shit that left most people embarrassed to be Americans. We lost our first war, ever. Nixon threw an election, then resigned in disgrace. His replacement was a milquetoast little man of no accomplishment. Carter, the most incompetent president of the century, allowed a bunch of shitty little barbarians to hold Americans hostage and laugh at us. He finally authorized one poorly planed attempt to rescue them which failed miserably. His economy sucked even worse than Nixon's. It was more than a decade of constant embarrassment.

And then Ronald came along. He held his head up high, so very proud to be American and so very sure of himself that he inspired the same reaction all over the country. He had a clear vision of what he wanted to do. You may not have liked it, but he had it, and it was his, not some shifting response to the latest poll. He didn't bullshit about it. He said what he thought. He was charming. He was handsome. He was charismatic. He was, in short, a leader, which was something the nation had not seen since Kennedy.

He gave us a renewed sense of pride in being American, which was badly needed after LBJ, Nixon, Ford and Carter. And that, more than anything, may be why he's so beloved among members of my generation. It's an almost subliminal reason, but it goes deep to the core of what and who we are.

06.06.04 Farewell, Mr. President

Back when Ronnie was president I despised him. I was young and liberal, and saw the world with the ignorance that accompanies those two handicaps. Now that I'm much older, a little wiser and have lived though the history he made, my perspective has changed.

I still disagree with many of his beliefs and many of the things he did, but all of that is overshadowed by his most significant accomplishment.

I grew up with "duck and cover" drills. My kids didn't.

Thank you, Mr. Reagan.

Rest in peace.

06.03.04 Nanny Nation Observation

The Nicotine Nazis are spreading their disease of hatred and intolerance world wide. This article in the Toronto Star offers some excellent advice on the proper way to treat these vile creatures.

06.02.04 E-Mail From a Friend

This is silly and goofy and made me laugh:

Subject: Scam Alert Read Right Away

I hate hoax warnings, but this one is important. Please send this
to everyone.

If a man comes to your front door and says he is conducting a
survey and asks you to show him your ass, DO NOT show him
your ass.

This a SCAM! He only wants to see your ass.

I wish I'd gotten this yesterday. I feel so stupid and cheap!

05.31.04 Brush with a Bonehead

Our store ran a promotion on the latest "Lord Of The Rings" DVD. They were marked down to fifteen bucks, and came with a box of popcorn and a free package of batteries. We ran out of popcorn, and one customer indignantly informed me he was going to another one of our stores for it. It was a 30 mile round trip. The popcorn retailed for $1.49. But this story isn't about that particular mouth-breather.

A woman asked about the promotion. "I can understand why they give you free popcorn for a movie, but why batteries?"

I answered, "you know all those thunderstorms we've been having? The batteries are for your flashlight so if you lose power, you won't have to watch the movie in the dark." I figured she would either laugh or roll her eyes. Instead she said "That's a great idea!"

You can not joke with stupid people.

05.27.04 Worth a Click

Eric Idle starts off "The FCC Song" with a blast against that dubious agency, and then continues on to lambaste just about everyone in the current administration. Click here for the MP3 file.

05.20.04 Not a prediction, after all.

My prediction, in the entry below, has come true. Well, it came true on the twelfth, six days before I made it, but I just discovered this today., a site devoted to proving every stereotype about dopey liberals, is advocating using the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" to cultivate the left's Chicken Little Syndrome. They claim this is "The Movie the White House Doesn't Want You to See" once in their headline, and twice in their press release. Funny, I don't remember hearing anything like that from the White House. Could it be they're just pulling yet another claim out of their ass? Naw....

Al Gore is featured in not one, but two articles on their home page. They just can't get enough of him. Back in August 2000 I wrote this review of his book "Earth in The Balance." And even though I read the book twice in order to do the review, I still can't pass this test.

5.18.04 Hot Air

In the 70's we were warned that Global Cooling would be the death of us all. The only solution was to shut down industry, become more socialist and force everyone to live a simpler life.

For the past decade we've been told, by the very same people and organizations, that Global Warming will be the death of us all. The only solution is to shut down industry, become more socialist and force everyone to live a simpler life.

But Global Warming hasn't been embraced by everyone, so the eco-freaks are adjusting both the theory and the terminology. Now, rather than predictions that the change will come gradually, we're told that it will be sudden and irreversible, so we better wise up immediately, shut down industry, become more socialist and live a simpler life. The new information driving this theory is…well, there isn't any. There are a couple of bad movies about it, (and probably many more in the works). The enviro-gurus infesting Starbucks will consider them documentaries. While sipping hideously overpriced coffee concoctions they will insist that the opinions of a few experts, along with the opinions a million "experts," should be enough to shut down industry etc.

The change in theory is accompanied by a change in terminology. It's no longer Global Warming, nor is it Global Cooling – now it's "Climate Change." Isn’t that cute – any time we see any trend, no matter how big or small or in which direction, Chicken Little can yell "Climate Change! Climate Change!"

Living in the often brutally cold Northeast, I want my global warming and I want it now. I want palm trees in Saratoga, and picnics in December with parrots in the back yard. And if the oceans rise and engulf Florida, that will just be a nice little bonus.


The box below contains a comprehensive list of the Arab political and religious leaders who have, as of this writing, spoken out against the beheading of an American citizen proudly displayed on an Islamic web site.


Do we need any more proof that we're dealing with barbarians?

5.07.04 A Gift for Andy Rooney

Andy, if you ever need a 60 Minutes monologue in a hurry, here's one for free.

"Have you noticed how many band names have numbers in them? (cut to a picture of his desk, littered with CDs.) Here's one called D-12. I don’t think that's a valid Bingo number. Here's Blink 182. That's a lot of blinking. Sometimes they spell out the number, sometimes they don't. I wonder why that is?

"This has been going on for a long time. Look at these names: Maroon five, .38 Special, Matchbox Twenty, 98 degrees, Timbuk 3, Boyz II men, 2Pac, 3 Doors Down, Five For Fighting, Eiffel 65, Eve 6, Aztec Two Step, U2, The B-52's, Three Dog Night, King's X (I think they mean ten there), 10,000 Maniacs, 10CC, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, Heaven 17, MC5, UB 40, Nine Inch Nails, and Third Eye Blind. Here's one called Finger Eleven. As near as I can figure, that's three extra fingers.

"It started when some bands took their name from the number of people in it, like The Four Tops or The Dave Clark Five. He's a group called Ben Fold's Five. There were only three people in it. Maybe Ben had trouble counting. Maybe he should borrow some extra fingers from Finger Eleven.

"Here's a band that doesn't use a number. They're called "Rooney." I don't care for the music, but it's a really nice name for a band."

Voiceover: "Join us next week when Andy discusses Simply Red, Pink, Pink Floyd, Green Day, Shocking Blue, Deep Blue Something, Yellowcard, and on and on and on…"

5.04.04 Worth a Click

This guy can drive,

5.01.04 Worth a Click

Good article on smoking and drinking in Modern Drunkard Magazine. If you can't trust a drunkard...

4.20.04 Slap Happy

New legislation, introduced by senator Phil McBribe, will allow people in menial service jobs to decrease their own stress while encouraging better behavior from their customers. The law allows retail clerks and restaurant workers to slap one customer per month. This is a federal law and company policies must not interfere with this right.

Customers who have been slapped will have no recourse. They will not be allowed to file criminal charges or sue. If they attempt either route, the law requires police officers and judges to slap them again.

In order to avoid abuse, the law only allows one slap per month. The slaps are not cumulative - an employee must use it or lose it. Customers are advised to be on their best behavior at the beginning of the month, when employees have earned a slap, and toward the end of the month, when employees who have saved their slap are looking to use it. Customers who get slapped by more than one employee during a single visit to an establishment are advised to get a clue and stop being assholes.

People working as drones in more than one service job get one slap per job, making their lives just a bit more enjoyable.

There is one exception to the law - no one is allowed to slap a misbehaving child under the age of twelve. However, if the child has been crying or whining for more than five minutes, and the parent is not heading for the checkout counter, the employee may bitch slap the parent. A bitch slap is one slap with the palm of the hand, followed immediately by a backhand.

There is also a bonus for Wal-Mart employees. Because of the quality of both their employer and their clientele, Wal-Mart employees will get to slap two customers per month. "I was recently in a Wal-Mart," said McBribe, "and I walked out of there feeling glad that tornados hit trailer parks."

4.17.04 Worth a Click

Scroll down to the first "Spotlight Review" of this classic children's toy.

4.08.04 Worth a Click

Unfortunately, the auction is over.

4.06.04 E-Mail From a Friend

A few years ago a friend of mine, Mike Harling, went on an European vacation that was supposed to last for two weeks. He met a very nice woman, fell in love, and eventually sold most of what he owned and moved to England to marry her.

He's been there for a while now, and in a recent e-mail conversation I asked him if he felt more free over there than he did in the states. Here's his answer:

To: Dave Hitt
Subject: Land of the Free . . .

>> Question for you, now that you've settled in a bit. Do you feel freer over there, or did you feel freer over here?<<

Good question; you are the first person to ask me that so now I have to think about it.

Unquestionably, yes. Even ignoring the recent smoking hysteria, which may or may not spread to Sussex, I feel more, for want of a better word, freer. And that may seem odd, as we are the most watched society in history. Nearly everywhere you go, there are camera's watching you here; in the town centres, in the shopping malls, on the roads. But, strangely, I don't mind. I would rather they not be there, but as long as I'm not doing anything untoward I don't even think about them. It's mostly to keep an eye on the yabbos (meaning Juvenile Delinquents, it's a variation of 'Yob' which comes from the cockney slang for 'boy' being, naturally, boy spelled backwards). But when I think about living in NY, the thing I remember is always being on the look out for the cops. If I was speeding, or if I had had a drink earlier in the day or if I was simply walking around in the mall there was always that underlying fear that a cop would come up to me and say, 'Come along' and there would be nothing I could do about it. I rarely see cops here, and when I do, they don't have guns so they don't really count. ("Hey you, stop, or I'll shout 'Stop' again!")

I don't worry when we hike about trespassing--they have public right-of-way here. In the pubs and restaurants, if there is an ashtray, I know I can smoke a cigar. They make no distinction like they did back in NY even when smoking was legal. No one here has ever asked me to put out my cigar for any reason.

I also feel freer because I don't have to rely on a car. The UK Public Transport System--the worst in Europe--can get us to almost any place we want to be. This cuts down on driving after drinking, as does the fact that I walk to my regular pub.

If you look at the Chronicle I posted last night, you'll get a flavor for what it's like here, I hope. The fact that we can get up on a Saturday and walk to all the shops, pubs and restaurants is extremely liberating. Also, the life style is slower and there isn't that urgency about everything that I remember from NY. And the Continent is even more relaxed.

That said, we're heading to Spain tomorrow for a week's holiday. That is another thing I love about living here; you can hop on a plane and in an hour or two be in any one of dozens of exotic locations. Over the past two years, I've been to Belgium, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France (I'm not too proud about that, but . . .) The only one of those destination we flew to, now that I think of it, was Ireland--the rest we took trains to. Spain is only 2 hours away.

So, aside from being 'freer' I find the world in general more accessible here than I did in the US.

There are disadvantages--the cost of housing is comically high (to buy a two bedroom apartment in my town you need the equivalent of $600,000), bureaucracy is slow, the medical system may be free, but it's worth every penny, and forget about dentists (the 'bad teeth' cliché is there for a reason)--but over all I would choose to live here rather than in the States. Wait a minute, I already have.

For more of Mike's views from across the pond, check out his web site: "Postcards from Across The Pond."

4.02.04 Nanny Nation Notification

Like dancing? Enjoy going to clubs? How about concerts? Congress is considering legislation that would pretty much put an end to all that. Under this new law, the penalty for holding any kind of event where someone uses drugs would be huge fines and jail time. You can find more information about it here.

Think you'll just download the music instead? Better not get caught. They're also working on legislation that would provide draconian punishments for that, too. You could get up to three years in jail for sharing files.

Oh yeah, it's a free country, all right.


Can't get enough parody, satire and bad puns about Mel's move? Me neither. Here is the poster for the next improv show by The {Insert Something Funny} Players:

For details on this (or other) shows, click here.

3.30.04 E-Mail From a Friend
New Survey shows New Yorkers Love the Smoking Ban More Than Anything Else in the Whole Wide World

New Yorker are crazy about their smoking ban. In a poll released today by Toddlers For a Smoke Free New York, it was found that New Yorkers like the smoking Ban better than everything.

70% of the respondents said they have a favorable view of the ban. When asked about anything else they held a less favorable opinion. The Beatles only got a 65% favorable rating.

"These are astounding numbers" said Russ Sciandra, president of the antismoking group responsible for the poll. "Don't you get it? If the ban is more popular than the Beatles and the Beatles are more popular than Jesus, then the smoking Ban is more popular than Jesus. Now granted, critics are going to say that our poll was biased but I say nonsense. Maybe we weren't specific about which era of the Beatles, mop tops or psychedelic, but who cares? The people have spoken and they like the smoking ban better everything in this world. The media buys this and that's all that matters, right?"

In an earlier poll the ban was shown to be more popular than the Yankees. When asked about this fans on line at the Yankee stadium box office put it this way. "We're OK with the Yankees, but that smoking ban, IT'S GREAT!" As a matter of fact many die hard Yankee fans were lamenting all the years they wasted rooting for the Yankees when it was the smoking ban that really got their juices going all along. A few had their faces painted with the international No smoking sign of a slash through a cigarette.

The poll featured asked questions like "Do you think it is right for smokers to stink up the place and endanger the health of every living being on this planet or do you support the Smoke Free Air Act?" A followup to this question was, "Are you a total Scumbag and support smokers who will shorten your lifespan by decades?" The poll which was commissioned by the group Toddlers for a Smoke Free New York has a margin of error of about 5% and a believability factor of 0%.

- Harold Kramer

3.29.04 The "What Happened to our Generation?" Conversation

Last week, while sitting in the oldest coffee house in the country at a Bob's concert, we were reminiscing about the sixties and lamenting that the promise of our generation was unfulfilled."We were so earnest. And we were going to change the world. Instead we became the most greedy, self-centered, easily offended, big brother kissing generation America has ever seen."

But later I realized our enthusiastic juvenile expectations did come true. Our generation has changed the world. Our only error, back than, was assuming we'd change it for the better.

Online Petition

Think Online Petitions are useless? This one might change your mind.

Or maybe not.

3.27.04 Worth a Click

Wait for it..

The Best Congress Money Can Buy

Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch are deeply concerned that the record companies aren't making enough money, so they're introducing legislation that will allow the Department of Justice to sue copyright violators in civil court, instead of just hitting them with criminal penalties.

Congress has been doing the bidding of the entertainment industry for a long time. The DCMA was an outright gift to the recording industry (among others), at the expense of every American citizen. The RIAA had bankruptcy laws modified to cater to their whims. When a recording company bankrupts an artist, screwing them out of the meager royalties they've agreed to, the artist often finds they are still indentured to the company.

Now they want the government to finance their civil lawsuits. You've got to admire the sheer chutzpah of their approach. You, the taxpayer, get to pay for them, the second most greedy and dishonest industry in the country*, to attack other taxpayers.

In the recent past Orrin advocated attacking file sharers with viruses that could erase their hard drives or destroy their hardware. "If we can find some way to do this without destroying their machines, we'd be interested in hearing about that," Hatch said. "If that's the only way, then I'm all for destroying their machines. If you have a few hundred thousand of those, I think people would realize the seriousness of their actions." After his remarks created a firestorm of public outrage, he pretended he didn't really mean it.

Orrin received $152,000 from the entertainment industry so far this year. (His biggest contributors are Scum Sucking Bottom Feeders, followed closely by Big Pharma.) Leahy received $178 K from the entertainment industry. The industries are certainly getting their money's worth.

*The most greedy and dishonest industry is, of course, Scum Sucking Bottom Feeders. Note who is at the top of the list of contributors to both of these congress critters.

3.25.04 E-Mail From a Friend

"As a result of this new bomb found in France the French have raised their terror alert level from 'run' to 'hide', with possible escalation to the next alert level soon. Following 'run' and 'hide' the next levels are 'surrender' and then 'collaborate'"

3.19.04 Bonehead Bulletin

Man treated after attempting to nail himself to cross

E-Mail From a Friend

Someone just sent me this alarming note:

Think about this:
A. The number of physicians in the US is 700,000.
B. Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year is = 120,000.
C. Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
(US Dept. of Health & Human Services)

Then think about this:
A. The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000.
B. The number of accidental gun deaths per year is 1,500.
C. The number of accidental deaths per gun owner 0.0000188.
Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than
gun owners.



Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand. As a public health measure, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear that the shock could cause people to seek medical attention.

Nanny Nation Notification

New York State has initiated legislation to make breathalyzers mandatory in all vehicles. If this passes, you'll have to breathe into a machine to prove you're not drunk before you start your car. Every. Single. Time.

The law doesn't just apply to people with a history of drunk driving. It applies to every vehicle in the state. Even if your a tea-totaling asthmatic, your car must be equipped with a breathalyzer. Used vehicles would have to be retrofitted with a breathalyzer before they could be sold.

This will create a new job opportunity for teenagers and the unemployed: hanging around outside of bars and offering to blow into patrons breathalyzers so they can drive home. It will give new meaning to the phrase, "five dollar blow jobs in the parking lot."

This may not pass, but the fact that it was even introduced, and had no problem attracting nearly a dozen sponsors, shows just how paternalistic NY's government has become. And we're not alone. New Mexico has a nearly identical law worming its way through their legislature.

The machines will have to be adjustable downward to compensate for future Blood Alcohol Continent (BAC) levels legislated to appease the nannies. At first they'll be set to the current ridiculous .08 BAC, a level that makes a 120 pound woman legally drunk after two glasses of wine. But nannies never stop. In another year or two temperance groups will be lobbing to lower the BAC to .06 or .05. Then, after a few years, lower still. They won't be satisfied until you can be jailed for inhaling too deeply while applying your Old Spice or using Stridex Medicated Facewipes. (Although you could easily argue that wearing Old Spice should be a jailable offense.)

3.17.04 A Note From the Store

If you are a female, and you return $200 worth of unopened, unused batteries for a refund, everyone working in the store will hear about it, and after you leave they will make jokes about you finally finding a boyfriend. Don't ask me how I know this, just trust me, it's true.


Last week I bought a new CD by a new artist for the first time in about three years. Back in the days of vinyl, I bought new music religiously. As I got older the purchases tapered off, but I was shocked to realize how long it's been since I bought someone new.

Two things got me to take out my wallet. First, the artist really impressed me. For the past several years most of the music industry's offerings have been tired and predictable. They're either unlistenable immediately (i.e. rap), cheap imitations of much better music (like the horrible The Darkness, an ersatz Queen) or just stuff that gets boring quickly. I'd only heard this artist, Joss Stone, on a single video, and she blew me away. The video was simple - her standing in front of a band, singing. There were no midgets, dancing policemen, fireworks or cheesy effects - her simple performance was good enough to stand on it's own. Secondly, the CD was priced at $8.99. That wasn't a sale price, it was the sticker price. I don't know why it was so cheap, but I was delighted to find it, and bought it immediately. I hadn't downloaded a single song to check her out further - the CD was cheap enough, and her performance impressive enough, that I didn't feel the need.

So there you have it, Record Companies. You want me to start buying music again? Just give me someone impressive, who makes music I can listen to over and over again, and sell it for a reasonable price. Wouldn't that be easier than suing grandmothers and twelve-year-olds?

And here's how to sell music online. I'm not going to pay a buck for songs hampered by clumsy digital rights management. I want a clean, straight MP3 that I can use however I like, and I want most of the money to go to the artist. Just before I wrote this, I stopped by Joe Jackson's site and bought several of his songs. I only spent a few bucks, got real MP3 files, and am listening to them as I type this. I thought I was buying some tunes I already had, just for the fun of giving him a few bucks directly, but discovered that what I bought were live recordings, which is very cool. And I love his "In 23-0-4," which is a scathing attack on Bloomburg's nanny smoking law. (Joe moved from New York City to England as a result of the law - he doesn't like living in our Nanny Nation.)

You can hear Joss Stone here. Click on "Media" to hear some song snippets. And after listening and being blown away, chew on this - she's only sixteen. "The Soul Sessions" is selling it for $8.99 (at least at Target).

Related Hittman Chronicle Article: The Party's Over

3.13.04 Brush with a Bonehead

The "Baby Einstein" series is a big seller in my store. It's a series of books, flash cards, and videos designed to make kids brilliant. They have names like Baby Einstein, Baby Galileo, Baby Bach, Baby Beethoven, etc. If being a genus isn't enough, there's even Baby Neptune, to turn your kid into a minor deity.

Here's a tip from a parent whose kids turned out smart: back off. If your kid is going to be an Einstein, nothing in the world will hold him back. If he's not, nothing is going to make him into one. If you still can't resist, try this test: Buy him just one of these books, then see if he reads it, or chews on the cover.

One customer asked me where to find the series. I showed him, and said "Here's Baby Einstein, Baby Bach, and Baby Galileo. But be careful not to bring home Baby Rasputin, or you'll have some real trouble on your hands." He gave me the kind of look you usually only see on the face of a Special Olympic athlete. Yeah, his kid is going to become the next Einstein.

3.11.04 Nanny Nation Notification

Yesterday's headlines were full of the CDCs war on obesity. Just as the war on tobacco has turned into a jihad on smokers, we can expect that the war on obesity will become a jihad on fat people. The nannies behind it are not just using the same tactics as the nicotine nannies - in some cases they are the same people!

By coincidence, on the same day a friend sent me this:

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming - - WOW - - WHAT A RIDE!"

For a related Hittman Chronicle article, check out Porkys, a fat guys view of the fat acceptance movement. And see what professional junk debunker Steven Milloy has to say on the subject.


I've been neglecting The Hittman Chronicle, so it seems like a good idea to start another project instead of pounding out a seriously overdue article. There aren't enough blogs on the Internet, so here's one more. I'll be adding a few new paragraphs every week, until I get bored with it and it becomes yet another abandoned blog. Until that unhappy day, be sure to check back at least once a week. It's the only way you can get Smartenized®.

Next week ABC will run a made-for-TV movie about Judas, cleverly titled "Judas." Now that Hollywood that has discovered controversial films about religious icons can make big bucks, expect to see titles like "Bite Me Mohammed" and "Buddha You Fat Fuck."


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©2004 by Dave Hitt
as if anyone is going to steal this drivel


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