Monday, September 18, 2017

Dumbing Down

Let's be reasonable, folks:

We can't do everything you ask. That's the long and the short of it. 

And that goes double when it's stupid stuff.

What do we mean? Here ... let me show you:

Dear Unbelievables:
My husband comes home in a couple hours and I don't know what to fix for dinner. Can you come over and whip something up for him?
In Anticipation, Dolores

No, Dolores ... we can't.

Dear Unbelievables:

I'm just too tired to take out the trash this week. They come Tuesday and Saturday. A little help over here would be appreciated.
Thanks! Marjorie

Uhm, nope.

Hey Unbelievables:

Seriously, Mickey D's needs to stay open past midnight. I have huge Big Mac attacks several nights a week. Work your magic and talk to those corporate boys for me. Thanks. 

I don't think so.


I have 12 kitty cats. I can't snuggle all of them at once but I bet, with a little help from a couple of you guys, you could satisfy their need for closeness. How about it?
Beverly (purr)

Not in this lifetime, Beverly

Dear Unbelievables:

The sun comes up way too early for me. Is there someone in your vast network of stooges and compatriots who might alter this daily grind?

Yes ... but he's busy next week.

See what we mean? Come on, people. You're not schlubbs and we're not at your beck and call for every whim and desire. (And let's face it - some of your whims and desires are questionable at best.) Life is hard, reality isn't always shiny and bright and full of promise and we have lives, too. It's not that we don't care. But ... sometimes? We don't. You've come this far, you can go a little further.

Post Note: You may have noticed Jeff didn't conclude last week's Back To School Top Tips theme. That's because he was busy with Best Man duties at a wedding, a most esteemed position in the grand scheme of wedding chores. There is not better man for the job of Best Man than our pal Jeff. So, you see? We do have things "just as important" as some of your requests. Remember that.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Top Tips: School Safety And Stuff

Now that we've learned (or relearned in some cases) a few of the tried and true classic old mealtime sayings ("You gotta feed your kids dinner! What are you, nuts?" is my favorite. Thanks, Clark!) I thought I'd lend a little wisdom concerning parent toleration.

It's important stuff! Seriously, if you can't master parent toleration you risk going nuts. You don't want to lose the ability to venture out of doors and communicate normally with the outside world, do you? Face the fact you're just going to have to hitch up your jeans and act like a grown up every once in a while, despite the fact your kids will do their best to drive you borderline insane.

So here are a few Top Tips to get you through various 24 hour periods without going off the deep end.

Top Tip: Don't obsess over the hand sanitizer

The best thing you can do is just throw the stuff in the trash. Kids don't need hand sanitizer. They're prone to eating dirt and picking dropped food off the ground and popping it in their mouths anyway, 5 second rule be damned. It's a natural, time-honored right of passage aimed at bolstering your young ones' immune systems. You can't stop Nature, it's just not going to happen. So relax, give the heave ho to those goopy "cleansers on the go." (Look at it this way: If any germs do cause some perverse reaction to your offspring, you have a handy dandy local emergency room nearby. That's why they were created in the first place.)

Don't believe the hype! This isn't going to happen if you don't use hand sanitizer.

Top Tip: Scrapes and minor flesh wounds are going to happen

Again, don't stress. Be prepared. That's why our ancestors created band aid type bandages, for those minor cuts caused from climbing trees and the occasional road rash. It's kind of like that classic old saying: "Quitcher cryin' and put a band aid on it." (Or that other classic saying "Duct tape. Because band aid type bandages don't always staunch the flow of an open vein.")

You're in the top 5% of parents if you keep a role of duct tape handy. Good job!

Top Tip: Safety strap your refrigerator

As the school year progresses, those burgeoning Picassos, portraits of summer vacations and the like will fill the face of your fridge in pretty short order. And, before you know it, your appliance is suddenly in danger of tipping over from the bevy of artwork. So, while it's fresh in your mind - yes, right now, this very moment, while it's fresh in your mind - it's best to stop what you're doing and strap that sucker to the wall, preventing any future danger. You never know when the weight of those cherished drawings could result in an untimely tragedy to Bowzer, Kitty Puss Puss or, God forbid, grandma.

Not a recommended method for strapping down your fridge. Use discretion, folks.

Top Tip: There's nothing wrong with bringing back clothing patches

Little Jimmy takes a tumble from two stories up on the jungle gym. (It happens.) Luckily, his knee broke the fall. But, in the process, said knee of his jeans receives a gaping rip the size of a silver dollar pancake. Not to worry. Do what your grandmother did when your parents were kids: Apply a fashionable patch to the area to prevent further aggravation to the tear.

Lots of fun designs and colors to choose from!

Hey! Don't turn up your nose at patches! They can be fashionable as well as fun! They come in all kinds of sizes and styles for the new generation - emojis, LOLs and WTFs, clever sayings ... even superheroes and musical artists.

What ...  you can't sew? No problem! They're now made with no-iron, aggressive, wash-resistant adhesives! Just peel and stick. Boom! Instant clothes savers! 

Top Tip: Parent conferences and open houses

No one really likes these things, least of all teachers. (They're obligated by contract to tough them out during the year.)

Want to be a hero in their eyes? The day before the meeting or open house, stop by the classroom and slip them a couple of those single shot adult beverages to take the edge off. Imagine the surprise on the teacher's face when a couple miniature bottles of Fireball are slipped in their hands on the sly. You just might receive a "You get me ... you really GET me!" response, setting you up as the hip parent of the semester.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner ... !!!

I know, I know! I can hardly wait for Jeff's contribution Friday! Stay tuned ... !!!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Back to school top tips

By now, all of your school-aged kiddies should be back at the daily grind of readin', ritin' and rhythmajig. If not, it's because you're bad parents and it's not our fault if you've been waiting for us, The Unbelievables, to furnish you with another installment of Top Tips designed for the annual return to scholarly pursuits. At any rate, here they are now so get those wee ones back on the bus already!

I'm going to cover nutrition. The guys will have input on other areas later this week.

START THE DAY WITH A GOOD BREAKFAST - It's kind of like that classic old saying; "Start the day with a good breakfast!" Unless you're grooming your young'uns for a long career as a truck driver or maybe a private detective (both worthy and admirable pursuits), you shouldn't be sending them off into the world on a tummy full of fried eggs, greasy meat and black coffee. Instead feed them a breakfast like the one pictured above.

  • Minced green something or other
  • A quarter of an orange
  • Brown package of whatever
  • Three shiny dough columns in a puddle of syrup
  • Thimble of fruit juice

LUNCH TIME IS A TIME FOR EATING LUNCH - It's kind of like that classic old saying; "Sit down and eat some lunch because it's lunch time!" Unless you're grooming your whippersnappers for a long career as some drone who toils away in an office doing spreadsheet reports (a somewhat worthy pursuit), you shouldn't be leaving their mid-day refueling to a bunch of things crammed into a brown paper bag. Instead feed them a proper school lunchy lunch.
  • Corn
  • Minced orange something or other
  • Potato nuggets
  • Meat nuggets
  • As obelisk of low-fat milk

DIN DIN IS AFTER SCHOOL (but still important) - If you think your child-feeding obligations end at lunch, you are sadly mistaken. It's kind of like that classic old saying; "You gotta feed your kids dinner! What are you, nuts?" Unless you're grooming your moppets for a long career as somebody who doesn't eat right, such as a writer or a stand-up comedian or a comedy writer (none of which can be considered worthy pursuits), you should be feeding them a meal when they get home from school. Specifically, creamy tuna casserole.
  • Tuna
  • Noodles
  • Creamy-ness
  • Green
Now that we, The Unbelievables, have covered how to nourish your kids, we'll move on to other areas where you need help.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Rockin' It

By far, though, one of the most "interesting" things we did (though, I rather did enjoy the dunk tank Clark mentioned last postcame courtesy of losing a bet. (It was all Jeff's fault for making the bet in the first place and allowing the conditions of said wager result in a "winner's choice" outcome. But that's a tale for another time ...)

Fortunately for us, the bet was contingent upon a one shot deal. But it was weird. We were once fashion models at a local rock and gem show.

And here's the weird thing: The organizers of the show didn't want it known The Unbelievables were the ones doing the modeling. No celebrity publicity whatsoever. They wanted us only for our masters of disguise abilities. (I told you it was weird.)

Take a look ...

Believe it or not, this is Jeff blowing extremely fine gold dust from his hand. 
Yeah ... we didn't get it either ...

 They made me dress up as a little girl rock hound ...

 Clark made a rather "smashing" run-of-the-mill female geologist.
(So they said.)

Legend has it someone called "Amethyst Girl" is a real showstopper.
Here's Jeff as that icon ...

This? Was one of the interactive photo booths.
(Jeff is on the left, Clark on the right. I played the rock.)

There was lots of hand modeling just like this. Go figure. 

For some reason this was a popular scene at the event ...

... and The Organizational Powers That Be highly encouraged these types of close ups
as fans walked up and down the aisles ... 

Yes. This is Clark. In this get up. (You can totally tell it's him.)

I don't remember if this was Jeff, if it was Clark or if it was me.
Bottom line? Great disguise!

By the time the shindig closed its doors
(6 hours of ultra boring geological mumbo jumbo talk)
I was ready to kill one of its directors. (Almost got away with it, too.)

In the end we survived. The show producers were pleased, noting we were a hit. (How? We still don't have a clue.) They even asked us back. We politely declined, pointing out the terms of our bet had been met to the letter.

At least for this type of rock show, we're done.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What's it gonna take to get you into this Unbelievable car?

Not so much anymore, just because we're busy with our actual jobs, but we used to do appearances at car dealerships.
"Come on down to Harrison Ford for our annual Labor Day Inventory Blowout Sale! Bring the kids! Have a hot dog! Meet The Unbelievables!" 
That kind of thing. We didn't have to actually sell the cars. The idea was that our presence would draw people to the lot and that they might be interested in purchasing a vehicle while they were there. We were just supposed to shake hands, pose for pictures and sign autographs. But being the "get involved" kind of guys that we are, we often would do more than what was requested of us.

As it turns out, Jeff actually has a knack for salesmanship. He looked forward to these things, not only for the chance to use his "gift", but also to wear some of the blazers normally stored in the back of his wardrobe.

Michael's disdain for wearing pants made him a natural and eager participant in the dunk tank. Most dealerships didn't want the extra expense of changing the water in those tanks, so Michael was often the only participant.

As for me, my contribution to these outings was the invention of the item that got us out of having to do them...
Renting inflatable Tube Unbelievables is far less expensive than hiring actual Unbelievables, so win-win!

Monday, September 4, 2017

What's In A (Baby) Name?

Y'know, it's difficult being Unbelievables sometimes. As major celebrities we often get asked to do things that are not in our job descriptions purely because of our level of famosity (famousness? famadociousicleness?). We've had to cut ribbons, open supermarkets and health centers, launch ships, etc., the list goes on.

Well, long story short, we have on occasion been asked by new parents to come up with names for their babies, and while this may have seemed fun to begin with, we named three that suddenly saw the baby-naming business dry up for us. Here is photographic evidence of the three names in question.

Don't blame it on the sunshine, moonlight, good times or boogie. Blame it on us listening to many repeat plays of Beats International's "Blame It On The Bassline".

Sorry, folks, but he really was (and still is) a handsome little guy.

Anything less than the best is a Felonie. Truth be told, we were kinda fed up with the whole baby-naming biz at this point, so we thought this was an appropriate name for a kid whose parents had been behind bars several times before. Her parents didn't mind, but the school truant officer sure did.

So there we are. We gave up after that. Parents should be the ones to name their wee ones, after all. 

More weird things we've been asked to do on Wednesday! Ciao!

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Girl Scout Cookie Caper, Part Three and Conclusion

"What's with these start-up villains just popping up and announcing their presence via mail? Maybe we should start staking out post offices", I offered through a mouthful of cookie carnage.
Jeff and Michael shrugged their shoulders.
"Well, this guy is off on the wrong foot if he assumes that just because he sent us all these cookies that we're going to sit around eat them all", I said as I opened yet another sleeve of Thin Mints.
"Regardless", Michael replied. "We should start by figuring out who this 'Turgider' is."
I shot up in my seat and exclaimed, "Wait a minute! Turgider? Traditional spelling?"
Jeff said, "Presumably, yes."
"You guys, Turgider backward is Red Igurt!"
Jeff and Michael looked at each other then responded in unison, "Red Igurt? That doesn't make any sense."
"Exactly. Nothing about this case makes any sense", I said and sat down, self-satisfied.
Jeff said, "Okay. Great. Thanks for the contribution" with an unnecessarily aggressive eye-roll.

We went about working on the case which involved high-speed car chases, fist fights, explosions etc., none of which we have time to talk about due to the space wasted on the verbal exchange above.

Eventually, we found out Baron J. Turgider was indeed trying to put the Girl Scouts out of business. Why? To benefit his baked goods-makin' baby mama, none other than...
We let both of them off with a warning (seemed fair since they did give* us all those cookies) to stop trying to destroy cherished institutions dedicated to developing young people and never involve us in any Jerry Springer-esque family matters. We would go on to cross paths with Little Debbie again later in spite of this.

* Jeff pointed out that we actually had to pay for all those cookies.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Girl Scout Cookie Caper, Part Two

When I looked at the bill of lading I almost lost control of my bowels. 56 pallets, each containing 24 cases, each containing 18 boxes, each containing 24 cookies (approx), that makes... what? Almost 600,000 cookies, by my reckoning. We wouldn't need that many biccies if we were stockpiling a nuclear shelter. Who in their right mind would think we would even require the over a million cookies we now had? (Yes, I signed for them. I think the driver tricked me into it.)

"If you ask me," said Clark, showers of Thin Mints crumbs exiting his mouth as he spoke, "I think somebody wants us to have them for some ulterior purpose."

"Like what?" retorted Michael through a beard full of Samoa chunks.

"Like for example, say if you're in the cookie business and you don't want the competition from the Girl Scouts every year, and you somehow devise a plan to send ALL the Girl Scout cookies in America to one individual!"

"...or individual organisation!" I yelled. "These cookies weren't ordered  by us, but they showed up at our gaff. The Girl Scouts didn't know it wasn't us who ordered them, and since we took them anyway, they're probably none the wiser!"

"But who is so desperate to sell their own baked treats that they would try to remove all of a competitor's cookies from the marketplace? Who would concoct so devious a plan?" inquired Michael.

Just then, the mail plopped onto the mat (remember, this was back in the day, and we hadn't got ourselves a mailboy just yet). Clark picked up the pile and there, on top, was this note:

Well, now. If things up until this point had been a bit weird, then this note had made sure things were downright freaky. Who was this Turgider fellow? And if he made cookies, how come we'd never heard of him?

More of this story on Friday.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Unbelievable Girl Scout Cookie Caper

From the "Now It Can Be Told files ...

It was some years ago. The Unbelievables had hit their stride. 

Fashion icons. Super crime fighting studs. Upstanding gentlemen about town. Faithful keepers of the peace who were idols to multitudes from coast to coast. Our status of same internationally was quickly spreading as well.

Things were going well. Very well.

I was at the Unbelieva-Base alone when I heard the doorbell ring. I answered the door. There, standing in front of me, was a Girl Scout.

"Hi! Would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?" she asked. How could I refuse? I had a dozen boxes of treats in my arms by time all was said and done.

"My buddies will love these! Thank you very much ... and good luck selling!" I told her as she bounced away, seemingly pleased at making a few sales.

The next day, I heard the doorbell ring again. From down the hall in one of the offices, I heard Jeff answer. I paid no heed until he passed by ten minutes later with more than a few cases in tow. 

Oh, look ... more cookies ...

"Look what I got: Girl Scout Cookies!" He exclaimed. 

"Heh! I forgot to tell you guys I bought some yesterday. Their in the kitchen cabinet.

Then, the following day when Jeff and I had come back from some errand, Clark greeted us excitedly: "Guys! It's Girl Scout Cookie time! One of them was hear earlier and I stocked us up for the season!" he boasted.

Clark, Clark, Clark ...

"How many did you buy?" I asked.

Clark beamed. "A dozen cases! I told you, were good to go for months!"

"Crikey! We could start our own cookie business," Jeff stated. "I bought a bunch just yesterday!"

The NEXT day the doorbell rang yet again. Surprise ... it was Girl Scouts. "Cookies?" they offered.

"Nope, thanks" Clark told them. "All of us have bought plenty. We'll be eating cookies until the end of summer!"

A stark, no-nonesense woman in Girl Scout attire came striding up to the door. "The girls have mentioned you were one of their best customers this past week. They have a quota to fulfill and they were hoping you could help them out. You'd like to help them out, wouldn't you?" she asked, already knowing the answer.

Clark "opened the door" so to speak: "What kind of quota? How close are they to hitting that number?"

"They're just a pallet away from hitting the mark. Think you could find your way to going that extra mile? I hear The Unbelievables are a pretty hot item nowadays and the Girl Scouts would certainly be appreciative of the effort. And this would be the last time we'd bother you with the trouble." The woman smiled as she finished ... and it was almost a devious smile.

Clark swore the Girl Scout den mother
looked sort of like the woman in the middle above.

But it was enough for Clark to relent. "Let me hit up the guys ..." he told her and partially closed the door.

"No!" Jeff sounded off. "We're so deep in Thin Mints we'll keep our dentist busy with all the extra appointments we'll be making!"

"Don't you dare Clark," I told him.

"But, guys, they promised ... his is it. No more. And we'll get something out of it, too: The Girl Scouts' seal of approval for upstanding community contribution. Come on ..."

Holy Samoas and Trefoils, Batman!
This is just a taste of what went into our shed ...

In the end, our outdoor storage shed was packed to bursting with Girl Scout cookies. "That's the last of them," I said to the guys when we were done putting them away later that afternoon. "I swear, it's a conspiracy ... blackmail or something. If I didn't know any better I'd say someone's pulling a fast one on us. Look: No one is answering that door for Girl Scouts again ... right?" The guys agreed.

This should have been Jeff's first clue to close the door immediately.

It wasn't a couple days later when Federal Express showed up with a double trailer parked in front of the headquarters. The delivery dude handed Jeff a bill of lading. 

It was from the Girl Scouts ...

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sartorial Assistance

When it comes to assistance, we've never needed much, you know? Armed as we are with our knowledge of Unbelieva-Zen, Unbelieva-Fu, handling weaponry (including the incredibly useful Lobster Rage Fist), making things go KABOOM,  and our use of witty barbs and sarcastic put-downs courtesy of Dag Nabbit, we're pretty much unstoppable, as our many foes will testify. 
Now available in Russian!

But there is one more weapon in our arsenal that is like the cherry on top of the bun, the icing on the cake, the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas (get on with it! - Ed.)in short, the dog's bollocks, it is our sweet, sweet style.

It's no secret that we have been fashion icons since before fashion icons were even a thing. 

You may laugh and scoff, but let me tell you - being armed to the teeth and skilled in martial arts is one thing, but being armed and dangerous while looking amazing is quite another.

We may not look armed, but do not fool yourself into thinking that you are safe for even a second.

Think of all your action heroes - Van Damme, Schwarzenegger, Seagal, etc. Ever see any of them pull off ponchos and cardigans quite like us? No. Because they can't handle the cravat and the belted cardigan, the corduroy and the jumpsuit. But us - well, you know we can. 

Only we can look this cool and relaxed after having booted Henri Petit out of a window or thrown Little Debbie's henchmen down six flights of stairs while mixing a pitcher of Moscow Mules and flipping on the latest from Esquivel!

So, make no mistake, evil-doers! We will get you and stop you from doing evil, and we'll look immaculate while doing it. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Verbal Assistance

Theodore "Dagworth" Nabbit.
Just one in The Unbelievables' expert circle of professionals.

You know ... not everything we do has to have dramatic physical effect. That's not to say we don't dig the explosions and special features that enhance our often fabulous derring-do activities, something Clark detailed Monday.

Not every situation requires punching a bad guy in the face or throwing a deserving foe out a 15th story window ... often though those cases might appear to be. 

All I'm saying is there's value in a well placed quip, put down or insult, too. And, while the three of us are also experts in the verbal jousting arena, there's always room for improvement and advancement. 

That's where our old buddy Theodore "Dagworth" Nabbit comes into play. 

He's a coach extraordinaire when it comes to verbally putting people in their places. And, honestly, I don't know how we've gotten along without him all these years.

You see, cold-cocking a ne'er-do-well is one thing. Calling them out (literally) is something else all together.

For example: Not too long ago we were in the throes of a week's worth of continual head bashing and extreme physical activity, pitting our expert fighting abilities to their limits against a seemingly never-ending barrage of bad guys. It was as if a memo went out to all our foes: "Everyone! We're going to hit The Unbelievables with continuous and ferocious contention, endless brawling and unceasing hostilities until they're just too exhausted to battle us effectively. It will be their ultimate downfall!"

The fighting was fierce and constant and both sides tired after days of conflict. A rare break in the action came in the form of a lunch break at some no-name fast food joint where we bumped into Dag by chance. 

"Hey! You're The Unbelievables! I'm a big fan! But ... you guys look exhausted. Can I buy you a refreshing beverage?" he asked. 

We got to talking and of course our latest activities came up in conversation. "You know ... you don't have to resort to fisticuffs all the time. You could baffle your enemies with some well-placed barbs ..." Exhausted as we were, we were intrigued. Dag walked us through a few preliminary exercises which ended up being our saving grace that day. 

That fifteen minute break was just what we needed. We went forth, back into battle against our counterparts, well stocked with all manner of catchy insults to trip them up.

Two guys approached Clark menacingly: "Man, that artillery looks heavy. You should trade it in for something a little more user-friendly. Wear and tear on the body, you know ..." Clark's foes were receptive. They took off to find something easier to carry.

A trio of mutant apes threatened Jeff on the open street. "Come on, chaps! A bit of decorum is in order. Where are your trousers? You weren't born in a barn, were you? Are we not men?" That really got to them and they wandered off in mid attack scratching their heads in puzzlement at what Jeff had asked.

An Amazon Viking woman towered over me at one point. I complimented her on how her bangs stayed out of her eyes while fighting. She blushed like a schoolgirl and turned a couple shades of red. (Later, a date was arranged at a fancy restaurant ... but I never showed.)

"This stuff really works! That Dag is a genius!" we all agreed.

Ever since that fateful day, Dag Nabbit has been one of our go-to expert specialists, someone we can call in time of need for advice, and a key player in The Unbelievables' circle of professionals.

Still, though ... the explosions from blowing up our foes are pretty cool.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Expert assistance

Many people wonder if we, The Unbelievables, do everything ourselves. The answer is, yes, yes we do. We are completely self-contained, masters of every skill we ever need to employ, and we always handle every single detail of every single situation by ourselves.
Except when we need help.
In which (very rare) cases we have a network of expert specialists upon whom we can call.

For instance, explosions.
We're very good at making all kinds of things blow up, when we need to.

Bad guys (they looked different prior to this picture being taken)

Bad guys in offices
Cars (belonging to bad guys)
Things to jump over while driving, because we look really cool when we do that.
The guy we learned all that from is somebody we still call on today if we're just too darn busy to do it ourselves is the legendary demolitions expert. Louie K. Bluéé.
He's French
He's very good at his job, and if there's anything that's a drawback, it's that he's a little too enthusiastic. He'll call us in the middle of a case and offer his services, whether we need them or not.
LOUIE: Unbelievables! Ze zituation you are currently dealing with calls for zome explosions. Beautiful displays of pyrotechnic destruction to show ze bad guys you mean, 'ow you zay, busy-ness?
US: Thanks, Louie. But we're just trying to find a lady's lost dog.
LOUIE: Call me back eef you want to blow up ze dog. Or ze old, 'ow you zay, lay-dee?
US: Sounds good, Louie. We'll let you know. Thanks.
LOUIE: I love you.
US: ...
LOUIE: ...
US: What did you say?
LOUIE: Zay? Nothing! I did not, 'ow you zay, zay? anything! (click)
There are other people we call on from time to time who are experts in their respective fields. Michael and Jeff will shine spotlights on them later this week.