How to Self-Publish Your Terrible Book on the Internet…

… is the name of a terrible book that I have self-published on the internet. Then again, for 75% of the price of a Starbucks cappuccino, what do you expect?

Please enjoy.


The 10 Worst Things About Buzzfeed Articles

They say “necessity is the mother of all invention.”

Well, they’re right. The necessity of posting something on Facebook in order to garner a few reluctant Likes from one’s 952 closest friends has become the mother of a really stupid invention: namely, Buzzfeed, an alleged website groaning under the weight of humanity’s most botched attempts at humor and a lifetime’s supply of shitty animal gifs.

But they also say “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” So, here is a Buzzfeed guide to The 10 Worst Things About Buzzfeed Articles. 

1. Reading them is more painful than getting kicked in the groin by this goat. 

The Terrible Truth About Adorable Baby Goats

2. They’re written by the kind of person who thinks a semi-animated photo of some cartoon cats is side-splittingly hilarious. 

The 26 Stages Of Learning To Play The Guitar

3. They labor under the misapprehension that referencing someone else’s humor is the same as actually being funny. 

You are constantly using this excuse.

4. They induce somnolence among everyone who reads them, thereby reducing national productivity. 

27 Things You'll Only Know If You're A Freelancer

5. They tenuously connect the following image to whatever it is they’re talking about, because apparently no article will be published by Buzzfeed without it. 

27 Things You'll Only Know If You're A Freelancer

6. That new article? Totally written by someone who failed fourth grade spalling.




7. They are easier to write than to read. Seriously, you just troll through sites like this one – – find 10-20 images, and then “write” an “article” around them. 

8. They make every sane person want to do this.

9. They purport to cover thought-provoking topics, in order to pique your interest as you browse your mini-feed. But then instead of telling you something interesting about Third Culture Kids, they end up being a bunch of unbelievably obvious observations extracted from turn-of-the-century Hallmark cards, with another 30 stupid gifs thrown in for good measure.

“Now you feel incredibly lucky to have loved ones and memories scattered all over the globe.”


31 Signs You're A Third Culture Kid

10. I refuse to dignify them with a 10th thing. 





A cover letter I will send if all else fails

Service Manager – Reproduction Farm (Des Moines, Iowa)

Dear Tami Nichols,

Edgar Allen Poe once famously wrote: “Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term ‘Art’, I should call it ‘the reproduction of what the senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.” Similarly, if I were called on to define Horse Husbandry, I should call it ‘the reproduction of horses through the veil of a plastic pipette held by someone who flunked out of community college.’

My name is Daniel, and it is with indescribable and inexplicable gusto that I wish to submit my application for the role of Service Manager at Reproduction Farm.

“Wean, Finish, Sow, Farm Management, Vaccinating, Animal Husbandry.” Not only is that a list of the required skills for this role – it’s a verbatim quote from that recurring nightmare I keep having where I’m a dog. Truly, we are on the same wavelength.

This job and I are a perfect match. You need someone with experience as a manager in the sow and swine industry? I once ate some pancetta. You need someone who’s extremely detail oriented? I’m extremity detail oriental. You’re looking for someone who’s “very hands-on with the wean to finish process”? I think I need to lie down for a minute.

Let’s not fight fate, Tami: this was meant to be.

I must admit that I am also enticed by the array of benefits on offer at Reproduction Farm. Indeed, I can hardly begin to imagine all the pizza restaurants I will visit in my Company Vehicle, all the pizzas I will order with my Company Phone, and all the pizzas I will pay for using my Company Credit Card. I like pizza, I guess that’s what I’m trying to say here.

Tami, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding my application. Unless you want to ask about that thing. You know, that thing three-quarters of the way down the first page of my resume in block capitals. Don’t ask about that.

May the animals never rise up against us with their sharp little hooves,


Jobs of Last Resort [Part 1]: Cover letters I will send if everything else falls through

Water & Wastewater Operator (Casa Grande, Arizona)

To whom it may concern,

Water: what it is it good for? Absolutely everything.

For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about water. Like any patriotic American, I enjoy drinking water – whether still, sparkling or tap. I am an avid swimmer, and I bathe with considerable frequency. At times, I have been known to be as much as 65% water. I believe that all of these things qualify me for a job as a Water & Wastewater Operator in Casa Grande, AZ – the cultural and olfactory capital of the American South-South-East.

Ever since I was a child, I have longed to independently operate, maintain, repair and inspect water and wastewater treatment systems at an industrial wastewater treatment reuse facility. “Mother!”, I used to exclaim, “when will I be old enough to operate, maintain, repair and inspect the treatment systems?” “Not yet, Daniel,” she would say, reproachfully. At last, my time has come.

In the interests of full disclosure, let me say this: I do not have a minimum of 3 years experience in the methods of water and wastewater treatment. On the contrary, I have a maximum of zero years experience in said treatment. However, I believe that my youthful enthusiasm and aquatic intuition will more than compensate for this lack of ‘formal’ experience. Moreover, while I do not possess a state-certified driver’s licence at the present time, I am certified to perform animal marriages in both North and South Dakota.

As for my professional capabilities, let me assure you that I am quite able to perform the following tasks (per your advertisement):

  • Read gauges and meters
  • Gauge meters and readers
  • Meet gaugers and reeds
  • Lift and/or carry 50lbs (with the assistance of a forklift truck)

In summary, I believe I am the ideal candidate for this role – both from a professional and an unprofessional perspective. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours in moisture,


3 promising start-up ideas that occurred to me while eating lasagna

1. LasagnaBuddy – An iPhone app that finds other people in your city who are also eating lasagna. Chat function enables you to share comments with other users (e.g. “loving this tuna lasagna!”; “who wants lasagna?”; “are there any foods that wouldn’t be improved by stacking them in interlocking horizontal strata?”). Users can take photos of their lasagna, add artistic flourishes (e.g. filters, borders, bolognaise-reduction), then share with friends over Facebook.

2. MyLasagna – An immersive social media platform, built around three core principles: (a) social inclusivity, (b) open information sharing, and (c) durum wheat-based Mediterranean entrees. Users can form groups (e.g. “We Love Lasagna”), post messages on each other’s “Dough Sheets”, and “Poke” each other with lumps of frozen beef moussaka. Expect user base of ~500 million within 2 years (conservative estimate).

3. Love-Sagna – A dating app designed to bring lasagna-lovers together. A complex matching algorithm developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Alvin Roth will be used to match users according to their personal preferences – e.g. meat vs. vegetable, bechamel vs. ragu, piping hot vs. room temperature, etc. Look to generate revenue through advertising partnerships with pasta makers, sauce-resistant apparel manufacturers, etc.

File:Lasagne - stonesoup.jpg

Chicago Signspotting: Spring Edition Episode II

An American Chef’s Recipe Book Part 2: The Empire Strikes Backfat

Finished digesting the recipes I posted in late-September 2011? Congratulations – you’re one of the lucky few! Why not celebrate by making some more easy-to-follow, impossible-to-digest recipes?

Please note that all of the following are actual foods (at least technically) – readily available in the stripmalls and drive-thrus of this great nation.

Sonic’s Supersonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Shoot three pigs and two cows. Cut off all the gristle, fat, connective tissue and other gross bits. Keep them. Sell all the good bits to Burger King.

Stir assorted meat bits in boiling cauldron with potatoes, mead, frying oil and granola bar wrappers until firmly smoodged. Coagulate into the shape of a biscuit. Slop haughtily between two pieces of bread so white it proves eugenics. Add synthetic lettuce, mashed tomato and tenderized cheese blintzes.

Serve with enough fries to cover 53% of New Mexico.

Looks innocuous – like an axe murderer wearing a Snuggie.

 Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Cheese Dressing 

Aussie Fries: Combine 10 parts Aussie with two parts Fries. Mingle until intimate. Dunk in deep-fryolator and cover with canola oil, vegetable oil or Midnight Oil. Wait patiently. 

Cheese: Assemble 250 pounds of reduced fat American cheese (Craigslist is probably your best bet; otherwise just make it by combining cheese curds with lashings of whitening toothpaste and high-dextrose mayonnaise). Use a pipette and a plastic funnel to add the reduced fat back in, only this time even more powerful and hell-bent on revenge. 

Ranch Cheese Dressing: Combine 10 parts cheese (as above) with three parts rancher. Roll into an enormous ball and drop down a flight of stairs. Smear everything together. Add massive chunks of bacon, pork rinds, steak, aluminium foil and that coffee table you’ve been trying to sell for the last few weeks. 

Serve with extreme prejudice. 

This photograph has been digitally resized to fit your screen. Lumps of meat and cheese may be closer than they appear.

Blimpie Special Vegetarian Sandwich

This one is just like grandma used to make it – if grandma was an enormous sub-sandwich called “Blimpie” with the power of speech who charged you $4.99 everytime you ate at her house.

Heart-Healthy Vegetable Medley: Head to your local farmer’s market and leisurely browse the vegetable stalls. Purchase 2 beets, 3.5 caulifowers, 16 heads of broccoli, 24 feet of broccoli, 20 feet of copper wire, 8 red cabbages, 2 brown cabbages, 3 round baggages, 7 ham sammiches, 1 square meter of horseradish, 1 horse and 1 radish. Skip gaily back to your abode.

Special Delicious-Nutritious Blimpie Saucey-Paste: Take all of the abovementioned vegetables and lay them on an altar. Supplicate yourself and pray to Satan to create a substance that embodies pure evil and represents the diametrical antithesis of every vegetable you have purchased. Sleep soundly. Awaken to find that Satan has taken the vegetables and bestowed upon you a vile sludge with negative health qualities inversely proportionate to those of the vegetables.

Smear sludge liberally on a baguette so white it could be mistaken for Julian Assange.

Serve with a tennis racquet.

America’s first sandwich with its own insurance disclaimer (it’s written in tiny letters on the middle slice of provolone cheese).

More poignant back-stories behind seemingly banal ‘office worker’ stock photos

Back-stories behind the ‘office worker’ stock photos I sometimes insert into presentations for visual interest

More accidentally amusing photos I found while continuing to flick through ads for honeymoon destinations