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Welcome to another Derp Roundup, the feature where we turn a pressure-washer on our browser tabs and skim off the weird, just for you. Please read responsibly and do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of Derp.


  • Our Lead Derp is one of those things that we didn't know was a thing until it was banned: the New York legislature voted last week to prohibit people from getting close enough to big cats to take pictures with them, which has the effect of banning "tiger selfies." Which is a thing that exists, or existed: Dudebros attempting to attract a mate (and perhaps boost their mana stats) by taking a picture with big captive jungle kitties. Stephen Colbert mentioned it last week, and at first we thought it had to be a hoax, but no, this is real. There's a collection of Tinder dating photos of Bromeos showing their manliness by cuddling with creatures that might decide to make them a snack. So far, the dudebros have only been potential candidates for the Darwin Award, and New York's interference has now prevented this experiment from proceeding. Ah well -- they can still be the control group.
  • In Oklahoma, some responsible gun owners took things to a whole new level when a 105mm howitzer shell fired during a gun show flew away from the range it was aimed at, traveled three miles, and plunged through the wall of a house. Homeowner Gene Kelley and his wife were in another room when the shell fell through some trees, bounced off their lawn, and crashed through an outside wall into a bedroom. The "historic artillery cannon" was fired during the Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show, and was aimed downhill at some wrecked cars on the gun range, but something went a little off kilter with the 14-inch long, 3.5-inch wide shell. Needless to say, the owner of the range explained that everything was set up safely:

    “It was not on a level plane, but on a downward trend, pointed downhill in the bottom of a valley,” said Mike Friend, Owner of Fast Machine Gun Shoot. “For that thing to rise and go far northwest of the range, it’s just unheard of" [...]

    “As far as the safety end of everything, we drill every one of our shooters before it ever begins,” Friend said. “We have 30-45 minute drill.”

    And of course there's video:

    KOAM TV 7

    The gun range owners will pay the full cost of repairs for the damage to Kelley's house, at least, so he won't have to be singin' in the rain of shrapnel. Also, we should probably mention that everyone at the gun show firing line was almost certainly wearing appropriate eye and ear protection, so you can't say that those firing the heavy artillery were cavalier about safety.

  • Back to New York now, where New York Post columnist Fred Dicker went on the radio and called state Sen. Neil Breslin a "spear chucker." This might seem a bit puzzling, seeing as how Breslin, an Albany Democrat, is white.

    But you see, this is all perfectly innocent, says Dicker, who just doesn't like Breslin's close work with New York City's mostly black Democratic delegation on gun legislation. And so he merely got a metaphor mixed up with a racial slur while he was on the air:

    “Has anyone heard anything from Neil Breslin in the last few years? He's just like a spear carrier, spear chucker, for these New York City Democrats, but he doesn’t say anything about what’s going on around here,”

    We can believe that he meant only the slightly archaic metaphor and that his brain added in "spear chucker" because brains do funny things sometimes, especially when a microphone is near them. And sure, his insistence that he didn't even know that the second term was racist is very credible. If you use a racist insult toward someone who's not in that group, you can't possibly be racist, like all those times we called Asians wetbacks before we were told to stop.

    Yr Editrix also wishes to use this opportunity to remind folks of the gloriously finished political career of Robert "B-1 Bob" Dornan, who infamously said, regarding a female primary challenger in 1992, "Every lesbian spear chucker in this country is hoping I get defeated." It's just one of Dornan's "colorful" contributions to the discourse collected in "Shut Up, Fag!": Quotations from the files of Congressman Bob Dornan. They just don't make 'em like Dornan anymore. OK, sure, they do, but seldom do they get beyond state-level offices anymore. (Also, too, while in the Air Force, Dornan "starred" in The Starfighters, one of the few movies so dull that even Mystery Science Theater 3000 had a hard time livening it up.

  • Okay, this next one isn't Derp; it's really more Folklore Today: In East Tennessee, there was a string of sightings of a mysterious "Woman in Black" throughout early June. She was dressed in a black robe from head to toe, appeared along roadsides all over the state, and refused all offers of assistance, explaining only that she was on a "Bible mission." She also told deputies in Rhea County that

    she was originally from an “Islamic nation” and that she formerly worked at the Pentagon, a claim that law enforcement officials doubt.

    Mental illness? A quixotic evangelist? Some reports of sightings have been at great distances from each other, so ... a gh-gh-ghost? An angel, sent to test people's kindness to strangers? (Angels have to be exotic, so go ahead and kick a homeless guy, though). Mostly, it's just an intriguing bit of modern folklore, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Pam Geller posting a panicky warning about wandering Muslim terror operatives in Southern Appalachia.

  • With vacation season upon us, Christianists who are fearful of pervasive secularism can at last visit one of our great National Parks without their innocent children being exposed to evolutionary propaganda: Ken Ham, the dimwit creationist who runs Answers In Genesis and the Creation Museum in Kentucky, (and who Bill Nye mopped the floor with), is partnering with an outfit called "Canyon Ministries" to offer tours of the Grand Canyon that will "combat the lies" of science:

    No matter where you go when visiting America’s national parks, city zoos, and other attractions, the religion of evolution and millions of years permeates the culture. To help combat these lies and proclaim the authority of God’s Word, every year Answers in Genesis partners with Canyon Ministries to hold creation raft trips through the Grand Canyon.

    And now, they're also offering day tours of the South Rim, blessedly unpolluted by the filthy lies of jackbooted Government Park Ranger thugs:

    Now, rather than go to the rim and hear the anti-God, evolutionary explanation of the Canyon’s formation, I encourage you to consider a tour with Canyon Ministries. It will provide you with a Bible-based presentation of the geology of the Canyon and how it confirms the Bible’s account of a global Flood and belief in a young earth. The teaching is very similar to what you would receive on a raft tour, and it is done in the comfort of a vehicle.

    And that vehicle is powered by unicorn farts, not by the carboniferous remnants of ancient forests. Canyon Ministries is the same outfit that a few years ago tried -- unsuccessfully, thank the Park Service -- to get its creationist books stocked in Grand Canyon visitor centers.

    Our favorite Grand Canyon story: Yr Doktor Zoom was hiking the Bright Angel Trail with a Christian friend in college, and he swept his arm toward a canyon sunrise, saying, "How can you look at that view and not believe in God?" I just replied, "How can you look at that view and not believe in erosion?"

  • And finally, a bit of Open Carry Derp, and a brilliant reply to the whole ridiculous spectacle. Derp first: A group of four white "open carry advocates" filmed themselves walking around a neighborhood in Cincinnati last week. Videographer and gun fondler Jesse Deboard jubilantly exclaimed his joy at being able to walk around with a muthafuckin' AR-15 and proclaimed "This is going on YouTube, nigga, world star!" as the group passed a group of black people; another man in his group happily observed as they passed a police station, “Open carry in the state of Ohio, the cops can’t do nothing!” They seem nice. Mr. Deboard was later arrested and "charged with menacing by stalking and violation of a protection order."

    And now the excellent counter-trolling: In Texas, a bunch of rock-n-roll fans plan a July 4 "Open Carry Guitar Rally" to reply to all the open-carry gun humping the state has seen lately.

    The event was organized by musician Barry Kooda of Austin (of course), who explains,

    “I’m not anti-gun at all. I’m a fifth-generation Texas veteran. I have guns, (but) leave them at home. You have rights -- you just don’t have to express them all the time in people’s faces.”

    “You should be able to carry your guitar in public without the fear of retribution. That’s what we’re here for -- America -- and Les Paul (is) made in America.”

    The group plans to stage events where they take photos of themselves fearlessly carrying stringed instruments in fast food restaurants and retail stores.

    We are generally supportive, but are concerned about the possibility of accidental "Stairway to Heaven" discharges. Despite the desire to be inclusive, fans of Medieval music have been warned to leave their instruments at home, since no one wants to see an outbreak of luting.

  • Doktor Zoom

    Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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