Tuesday, June 24, 2008


We now come to the last of the Major Vowels, U. U is a weird letter. It's one half of a W, which in this font, looks like a Double V, but it doesn't have the same ring to it I guess. It's also a letter used to abbreviate "You," especially when someone is in love, or needs to save space on those little heart-shaped tums that say "Hug Me" one them.

Here are some words that start with U.

Unwrapped: One of my favorite shows on Food Network. Mark Summers (of Double Dare fame!) narrates how several kinds of food are made. From the inspiration, to the tour of the factory, to it winding up on your plate, the show left no stone unturned. From Summer Food, to Fast Food, to Ice Cream, to BBQ, to condiments, to Food of The Future, Country Cooking, Comfort Food, Hot Dogs, Doughnuts, etc. Every genre of food production is covered.

The fact that Mark Summers hosts the show in the first place is one of its main draws. For those of you wondering where the hell he went after he jumped ship at Nick when Double Dare & "What Would You Do?" ended, here's your answer. He's kind of like the Mr. Conductor of Food production, if you will. He hosts the entire show in the confine of a fake diner, with possible fake food that served the episode's theme served in front of him. It's not really known that Mark is obsessive compulsive, so it makes sense. Have you watched and episode and see him actually try to grab the food that wasn't on cutlery? I don't think so.

UHF: A favorite movie of mine, and it was made by Weird Al to boot! This 1989 movie stars Weird Al as George Newman, a man with a lot of imagination but no job stability. When he gains control of a small UHF TV station won by his uncle in a Poker game, he fills the programming with all sorts of crazy crap to make it the #1 station in town. Channel 8, a network affiliate (possibly Fox), gets wind of this and tries to shut them down. Also, Weird Al's Uncle attempts to settle a $10,000 gambling debt from the Mob, but I won't get into its connection to the main plot without spoiling anything more.

Besides being the only movie to actually star Weird Al, it also featured before-they-were-famous performances by both Michael "Kramer" Richards and Fran "Fucking Annoying Helium Voice" Drescher, not to mention roles filled by Gedde Wantanabe (Long Duck Dong from 16 Candles), Billy Barty (famous midget) and John Paragon (Jambi The Genie!).

I don't know why I love it so much. Perhaps it's Weird Al, he makes anything instantly better. It's probably the plot, which is dumb, but oddly captivating. Will the good guys win? What will Weird Al parody next? What silly will Michael Richards do next? This happens to be the movie that gave us the Twinkie-Weiner Sandwich, The Wheel of Fish, Drinking from "THE FIRE HOSE!" and the scene where Raul teaches Poodles how to "fly." It's also said that the "Burger World" that Beavis & Butt-Head work at was directly inspired from this movie.

Perhaps it is this:

So much of a missed opportunity to not mention "Spatula" 27 times. I counted it being seen & heard a total of 24 times.

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader: I love this series of books so much. They are named such because a vast majority of them are the size & weight of bricks. To tell you the truth, many "real" books bore the hell out of me. But give me one of these and I'll be enamored for weeks.

The draw of these books is its Useless Facts. The 50+ books in the series tell you about anything & everything. This is most evident in "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader About Anything & Everything." Even though a majority of the books are a collection of random topics, several books have specific themes ranging from Hollywood, The Universe, Love, History, The Presidents, Christmas, Dogs, even National Parks. There's a topic for everyone.

There seems to be a new edition out every few months, with the most recent being "The Golden Plunger Awards," detailing competitions and such. It's a good sign that I'll eventually pick it up when the first topic is about Competitive Eating.

This segues into the book I have: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader "Extraordinary Book of Facts & Bizarre Information." I love Useless Facts. They're like normal facts...but serve minimal purpose. It's only real purpose seems to be helping one win trivia contest, get famous on Jeopardy, and amaze your girlfriend who exasperatedly responds "why do you know this?" to me...er, you.

Someone has to know these facts, and I think they're all fascinating. For instance "#" is actually called an Octothorpe. It's derived from the Norse word for villiage "Thorpe," with the symbol originally describing a village on a map with eight fields surrounding it. Yep. I have no idea who named it "The Pound Sign," nor where that person got inspired to call it such.

Major Vowels sounds like a good band name, doesn't it?

"Shut it, Umberto!"


Denise said...

Oh no, you're almost done with the alphabet! I'm going to miss daily blogging. (Seriously, I check all my friends blogs religiously. My name is Denise and I have a problem.)

Anyhoo. My friend was got a hold of a copy of Marc Summer's autobiography, I think it was called Everything in it's Place. ::conceals laughter:: I loved reading about his Double Dare days when kids would be covered in slime and he'd be so freaked out.
I think he actually got control of his life though, so I wouldn't read much into Unwrapped.

Dan said...

I love UHF, it's one of those movies I can watch over and over again. I was actually considering doing a post on Weird Al so I guess I pretty much have to now!
And the Uncle John books are awesome! I'm like you, I am a wealth of useless information, so much so that no one will play me at Trivial Pursuit.
And as for Unwrapped, in the early days of the show it was filmed at Heritage Square which is just down the road from me. Sadly I never met Mark but I still keep an eye out for him in case he comes back this way