Radio Theatre For the Masses

Radio Theatre for the Masses
The long-lost last cassette tape of RTM Episode 1 surrounded by contemporary crap that I found in my storage unit such as 1.44 MB floppy disks and headphones the size of hockey pucks. Not pictured: lots of flannel and Duck Boots.

Being cooped up during a pandemic can make you do crazy things. Things like sort through your old storage unit boxes to find the last extant analog copy of an embarrassing old radio show you did 25 years ago, and then digitizing it and uploading to the Internet. Because, reasons. Also because the Internet.

Radio Theatre For the Masses was… a… thing. That happened. It was aired on the University of Richmond’s college radio station WDCE, but in retrospect I can’t remember if someone at WDCE actually asked us to do it or if we just did it and put it on the radio because we could. Possibly just because the on-air booth was never locked and the DJs were frequently absent on smoke breaks. That latter scenario would not surprise me in any way.

I don’t even remember what year we did this. 1994, maybe? 1995? Many of the UR Theatre folks at the time were involved so I can only assume that some form of intimidation or blackmail was employed. I could tell that Robert Zehner was involved when I listened to it again because he had a Macintosh Quadra AV that was the only personal computer that could do actual digital sound editing. I was absurdly jealous because I had a black and white Mac Classic II that had virtual coughing fits trying to run the “Flying Toasters” screensaver from After Dark.

I think it was part of the plan Paul Caputo and I had to somehow get rich and famous by saturating the marginal media outlets of Richmond, Virginia with comedy and somehow assuming that talent bookers for Saturday Night Live were searching the hinterlands like minor league baseball scouts. They were not.

I… I don’t remember why we did this. If you’re reading this, I can only assume that you were sent a link or you have been terribly rickrolled by someone. If you listen to it and recognize your voice, I’m sorry to have involved you. If you listen to this and were not involved, then 1.) I’m sorry you had to listen to it and 2.) I’m still sorry in general. I do still think that “Bryn MacMuffin” and exploding cats were funny, though.

Click below to listen or scroll down for more information about the guilty parties responsible:

Radio Theatre For the Masses, Episode #1, 1994-1995 or whenever?


  1. Intro
  2. Genital Hospital
  3. Drake Croneweather
  4. Celebrity Advice Columnist
  5. Word From Our Sponsor
  6. Artsy-Bohemian Hospital
  7. Painting Made Easy
  8. Mysterious Theatre
  9. RTM Sports Center
  10. Restaurant Sketch
  11. Return to DCE
  12. Philbert Roberts Tobacco
  13. Wacko Mulligan
  14. Conclusion

“Credits” in Alphabetical Order

Julie Amos

Jeffrey Carl

Dan Culbertson

Paul Caputo

Jeff Eastman

Bill Knight

Katie Massa

Bill Rohan

Branden Waugh

Robert Zehner

The Man In the Long Black Coat (1990)

This started out as a Central Bucks West high school student project, although I can’t remember for which class. My friends and I had done a video project for our AP English class, a retelling of The Romance of Tristan and Iseult updated to modern West Virginia. I still don’t remember why that was something that I actually got class credit for in an actual functioning secondary school. It was predictably awful but it merely whetted our appetite to be bad in a more original and ambitious way.

Neil Binkley, Luke Irwin and I started the project in the fall of 1990 and haphazardly recruited assorted friends as actors and extras. Armed with a box of props largely scavenged from Neil’s farmhouse and a budget that encompassed buying 8mm videotape and frequent trips to the Montgomeryville PA Taco Bell, we set out to create an original horror/comedy film.

Man In the Long Black Coat, 1990
A heavily armed, tobacco-spitting posse prepares to hunt down the mysterious killer

The title and the titular villain came from a wonderfully atmospheric song on Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy album. The plot, insofar as it can be said to have one, came from my lingering fascination with Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The railroad track was a stretch of the SEPTA line between New Britain and Doylestown.

Our actors were chosen based on who was available for filming after school on the particular days we needed someone to get killed, redshirt-style, on camera. Sets were the houses of whichever parents were most willing at the time to tolerate us. The presence of a shower scene was both a conscious homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and a shamefully gratuitous abuse of our friend Libby’s willingness to stand in a shower wearing a bikini and be filmed getting killed. Our special effects were high on ingenuity value and essentially nonexistent on production value (pumpkins do not make effective head stand-ins and Heinz’s ketchup is not convincing blood). I got a hat that says “Ernie’s Liquor Barn” from a thrift shop (I still have it) and today I’m amazed that we were able to legally purchase chewing tobacco as 17-year-olds back then.

Man In the Long Black Coat, 1990
The “fearsome symbolism” in question

I think that Luke, Neil and I had collectively gone by the name “Hippy Industries” before this, but the name “Fearsome Symbolism Productions” came out of Man In the Long Black Coat, based on our inserting phallic imagery wherever possible on the theory that it would incite the feminist repudiation of Freudian theory espoused by one of our teachers. (It seemed to make sense at the time.) FSP would go on to be our collective nom du film for the next few years, and I still have a registered business license in that name in case I ever figure out what to do with it. I imagine that a line of FSP merchandise on Etsy is probably the next big project for me.

The Man In the Long Black Coat, 1990
A pinup-ogling yokel is about to be surprised by the Man In the Long Black Coat

Our schedule left us time to basically shoot at each location once, and we learned painfully in retrospect how important proper lighting is (We had none, proper or otherwise, so some already washed out scenes were largely rendered invisible.) The “Richard Cranium” who shows up often in the credits was how clever 17-year-olds try to sneak the words “dick head” into the credits of a school project and I’m not sure how that didn’t get edited out when this eventually made its way onto local access cable TV.

It was shot and edited on Neil’s 8mm video camera, so back in that analog world every generation of edits lost some quality. (Not that there was a lot of quality to begin with.) Later this version was transferred to 3/4″ tape for broadcast and a few additional edits, and recorded on VHS. From there I eventually transferred it to interlaced Standard Definition digital video, so alas it won’t be being re-released in a 4K director’s cut UltraHD BluRay anytime soon. YouTube won’t let me show it because of all the copyrighted music we used, so excuse the MP4 video file hosted on my server if it’s slow to load.

All things considered, our first bona fide Fearsome Symbolism Productions effort was a lot of fun, even with all the cringe-worthy elements in retrospect. And if you have half as much fun watching it as we had making it, then we’ve had twice as much fun as you.

Click the image below (or the link below it) to watch:

Man In the Long Black Coat, 1989


Joe Auger – the Man In the Long Black Coat

Libby Beard – Bobby Sue

Josh Blaker – John Lennon

Neil Binkley – Bob

Mike Bowen – Bob

Jeffrey Carl – Bob

Brian Eldon – starring as Sheriff Jeb

Lucas Irwin – Bob

Andy Kessler – Andy Warhol

Doug Klumpp – Deputy Bob

Rob Lorch – Big Bob

Justin Wirth – Truck Drivin’ Bob


Neil Binkley – Director of Cinematography

Jeffrey Carl – Assistant Cameraman, Sound Engineer

Luke Irwin – Editing, Graphics, Assistant Cameraman, Sound Engineer

FSP – Effects, production, writing

Fearsome Symbolism Productions Presents (1991)

Fearsome Symbolism Productions Presents was our second FSP show and represents an escalation of cringe worthiness that has not aged gracefully on nearly every front. It starts with the violent armed takeover of the local community access TV station studio by white domestic terrorists to a soundtrack of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” and I think that’s probably the high point of the whole thing.

FSP Presents was our first show done specifically for broadcast on local access cable rather than for school. As a courtesy to our millennial viewers I should explain that local access television was how crazy people distributed videos before YouTube, except that it could only be seen by insomniacs and chemically impaired people tuned to a specific unpopular TV channel late at night.

FSP Presents, 1991
Posing as a male stripper was about as funny a thing as we could think of to make our friend Scott do

FSP Presents ended up as a grab bag of topical comedy sketches, TV parodies and three musical numbers thrown in for good measure. Oh, and we even ripped off the David Letterman “Top 10 list” format, too. The quality of content was not measurably improved from The Man In the Long Black Coat, but at least it was all the hell over the place. Yay?

Luke Irwin had moved mostly behind the camera, and Brian Kehs and Doug Klumpp stepped in. Neil Binkley and I carried the bulk of the on-camera embarrassment, although this time around we reached further afield for cast members and included actual grown-ups. We expanded our locations from half a dozen to “wherever in the Doylestown PA area there was not someone in the background messing up the shot,” including an actual Chinese restaurant and a comic book store.

The band “Chromatic Aberration and the Hippies” was a group of friends who were willing to record in front of Neil’s barn in exchange for, I believe, snacks. And yes, the version of “Proud Mary” that runs over the end credits does in fact hold the record out of the more than 1,500 recorded versions of that song as “pitchiest.”

FSP Presents, 1991
Doug Klumpp and Neil Binkley editing at the Suburban studios

Having Suburban Cable’s 3/4″ video cameras to shoot with and their community access studio for editing meant that the technical quality of the product at least was significantly improved over Long Black Coat. We had to stretch out our ending credits to cover the aforementioned “Proud Mary” rendition so we availed ourselves of the text editor to keep churning out credits to fill up the time. That, for example, is why you find a food & beverage credit for Sung Ik Song, a kindly old Korean grocer in Germantown who only sold malt liquor and thought we were Temple students so he never checked our IDs.

To be fair to ourselves, at the time it was still funny to be suburban white kids obsessed with Public Enemy and wanting to co-opt rap culture and have a whole segment pay off with a joke about an angry Chinese director named Spike Li. I swear that back then it really was actually mostly kind of okay! Or at least it seemed like a good idea at the time. And I got to strap fireworks to the back of a cardboard cutout cat and set it off, which is sort of a life highlight, so there’s that.

Click the image or link below to watch:

FSP Presents, 1991


Neil Aldridge

Rob Berthold

Bob Binkley

Neil Binkley

Andrea Bulera

Jeffrey Carl

Ben Chong

Lauren Crouthamel

Yvonne Evans

Wayne Fry

Sue Fabry

Luke Irwin

Denise Kapeczynski

Brian Kehs

Doug Klumpp

Jill Miernicki

Stan Ruddick

Scott Schneider

Dickie Sidon

Chandra Theesfeld

Crystal Theesfeld

Maggie Wallace-Cullen

Tammy West

Lee Woulfe

Chromatic Aberration members: Sairam Menon, Keith Atkins, Tim Eggleston, Brian Miller, Brian Russell and Brian Denner


Directed by Jeffrey Carl and Neil Binkley

Produced by FSP

Written by Jeffrey Carl, Neil Binkley, Brian Kehs and Luke Irwin

Edited by Neil Binkley and Luke Irwin

Cinematographer: Neil Binkley

First cameraman: Luke Irwin

Peon cameramen: Brian Kehs and Jeffrey Carl

Script editor: Bob Binkley

Special effects by Industrial Exploding Cats & Magic

Art direction by Jeffrey Carl & Brian Kehs

Citizen Payne (1992)

Citizen Payne was FSP’s ultimate creation in both a chronological and qualitative sense, as well as in a “oh God I can’t believe we did that on camera please don’t let this get on to Twitter” sense. It was also, hands down, the most fun I have ever had being not very funny with my friends.

Summer 1992 was, for most of my friends and I, our first summer “home” after freshman year of college, and most of us knew that it was likely to be our last time together as a group before we gradually went our separate ways for good. With that added poignancy and urgency to spend our remaining time together in a meaningful way, we then proceeded to dick around and waste most of the summer.

Citizen Payne, 1992
It’s like picture in picture except not

Because the FSP crew were film nerds, we all had greater or lesser fascinations with Orson Welles’s 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane. As a result, we planned to use the summer to make our own epic – and storyboarded an absurdly ambitious plot that touched on Kane, Superman, Saturday Night Fever, Charlie’s Angels and everything in between. Had we actually finished it all, it would have easily run an hour long.

Citizen Payne, 1992
Neil and Winnie Binkley

Neil Binkley’s house became the locus of our scattered filming efforts that took place whenever we could coordinate our schedules (in and around our summer jobs), but progress was never adequate to meet our ambitious storyline. By late July it had become clear we would never finish it in time before the end of summer. I went home one night determined to salvage the project and holed up in my parents’ basement with a six-pack of Mountain Dew and my trusty Sears typewriter.

Citizen Payne, 1992
Neil Binkley and Brian Kehs

N.B. to our younger readers: a typewriter was like a computer running a very, very old version of Google Docs that had no screen, only one font, required applying viscous fluids to delete words once typed, and couldn’t copy, paste, add images, markup text, change layout, use emojis, save versions, reply, forward or retweet. It basically represented the midpoint in human communications capabilities between cave paintings and WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS.

Libby Beard at the Montgomeryville Taco Bell. A lot of my photos from that summer take place there for some reason.

N.N.B. to our younger readers: DOS was ostensibly an operating system for computers in the sense that it would let you play very blocky pirated versions of SimCity if you entered the proper commands. Sears was like Amazon if Amazon sent you a 400-page book three times a year to order from; also you could drive there and be bored while your mom shopped for clothes. WordPerfect was neither a word, nor perfect; discuss.

At any rate, I emerged with a revised script where we would basically make the show an extended promo for the real Citizen Payne, showing off the bits of the original story we had filmed and adding some new “behind the scenes” features, combined with a few clips from older FSP productions, in order to flesh out our requisite 30 minute slot. We even went so far as to make a trailer for Citizen Payne that ran on Suburban cable that summer – a teaser for a show which was itself a teaser for a longer, nonexistent show. Such meta. So wow.

Click the image or the link below to view the trailer for Citizen Payne:

Citizen Payne, 1992
Filming the “Bikini Warriors” segment of Citizen Payne

Just as before, our cast was made up of our friends who would work for tacos, and our prop budget was severely impacted by the overhead costs of malt liquor acquisition. The looking-at-it-30-years-later cringe factor has reached apocalyptic levels, especially due to our taking full (figurative) advantage of our attractive female friends who were willing to run around in bikinis on camera.

Some of the skits are pretty broad parody of common tropes popular in TV or movies at the time. Other parts of it make almost no sense if you aren’t familiar with Citizen Kane or the parodied source material, but pop culture solipsism is a time-honored tradition for teenagers. Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a big influence of mine at the time and a lot of the self-referential humor is cribbed from there.

Tom Brunt of Suburban Cable who graciously let us use his cool gear

We once again had the run of the Suburban Cable community access video equipment for filming and editing. The closing credits sequence took a disproportionately long time but it was assembled from clips of all the FSP films (including the “lost” Tristan and Iseult) and plenty of outtakes so it functions as a three-minute FSP “greatest hits” themed to the Beastie Boys. The version I put online is a digital transfer from a VHS copy that was recorded direct from the 3/4″ tape deck, so today you’re able to view it in something approximating the interlaced 30 fps Standard Definition glory that it once appeared in to residents of Southeast Pennsylvania (and later Richmond Virginia).

All in all, Citizen Payne was a wonderful experience and a great way to ride off into the sunset for Fearsome Symbolism Productions. By finally making it available online, I hope to introduce a whole new generation of people from all over the world to not care about it or watch it, and probably live happier, more fulfilling lives as a result.

Click the image or link below to watch Citizen Payne:


Libby Beard

Dave Beardsley

Neil Binkley

Jeffrey Carl

Margaret Fabry

Brian Kehs

Doug Klumpp

Sharon MacNair

Sharon MacTough

Andrew “Conan” Marcus

Holly Merritt

JoEllen Perry

Kelly Stratton


Written and directed by Jeffrey Carl and Neil Binkley

Director of photography: Neil Binkley

Chief lackey: Brian Kehs

Edited by Neil Binkley with Jeffrey Carl


The Richmond State + BLAB TV: a deep, rich vein of pure comedy gold.

In the summer of 1996, Paul Caputo and I decided to use our runaway lack of success at The Richmond State to conquer the next rung up the ladder of comedy fame: local access television.

As a courtesy to our millennial viewers I should explain that local access television was how crazy people distributed videos before YouTube, except that it could only be seen by insomniacs and chemically impaired people tuned to a specific unpopular TV channel late at night.

We rounded up our friends Branden Waugh and Julie Amos to co-star, and somehow ended up with a collection of hyper-topical comedy skits that have aged very poorly and a musical number that somehow came out even worse. I am still pretty proud of the opening credits song, however. We assigned Branden to be the salesperson who would enlist local sponsors and I don’t remember how that all turned out except that it somehow involved “Myrna’s Bits ‘n’ Boots” and we only lasted one episode.

If someone at YouTube reviewed this video for objectionable content it will have doubled the BLAB TV lifetime viewing audience.

Cast and Crew

Julie McCabe Amos

Paul Caputo

Jeffrey Carl

Branden Waugh

The Inaccurate Reception

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, September 26 2012

Bloggers To Be Named Later was Paul Caputo’s fabulous sports-blogging empire of the mid-2010s. My role in the enterprise was to promise to write humor articles and then not do that, or at least not remotely on time. Ultimately, after a flirtation with viral Internets fame, the site basically turned into an excuse for Paul to get free baseball tickets, which is actually about the only good reason to run a blog of any sort. After the BTBNL site wound down, I realized that I hadn’t kept local copies of most of the stories I had written, so I ended up scouring through The Internet Archive to find as many as I could in order to prevent a tragic loss to the world’s cultural canon of blog posts complaining about the Seattle Mariners. You’re welcome.

Unlike other sports blogs, only BTBNL has the courage to a.) take on hot topics like the controversial call that gave the Seahawks a victory over the Packers Monday night, and b.) do it after everyone else has stopped caring and moved on to other topics. That’s the kind of quality journalism that explains why we have gotten fewer hits in the site’s entire history than pictures of Pokemons drawn as sexy Anime girls or Overly Attached Girlfriend got in the last 10 minutes.

The Fail Mary
Touchdown! Or maybe not.

It’s important to send a message not to bow to peer pressure, like everyone else in the country thinking you were wrong about it being a touchdown.

BTBNL set up an exclusive live chat session to answer questions from its literally hundreds of avid readers who do not technically exist. BTBNL Grand Poobah Paul Caputo decided that the best person to give a reasoned, unbiased response to all these reader questions was the site’s lone Seattle blogger resident/sportsfan, me. Which should tell you all you need to know about Paul Caputo’s editorial judgement.

BTBNL Blogger Jeff from Seattle: Hi everyone! Looking forward to answering your questions about the exciting Seahawks win from last night. Here we go!

BTBNL Reader Neil from Chalfont, PA: What should the NFL do after such a terrible call ruined the game by giving the Seahawks an undeserved win on an purported Hail Mary touchdown from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate that was really an interception by M.D. Jennings?

Jeff: Assface says what?

Neil: What???!?

Jeff: Exactly. Next question?

After further review, the runner did not touch second base
Look, they are working as hard as they can, so BACK OFF. Okay?

BTBNL Reader Amy from Baltimore, MD: Should Golden Tate be fined for his egregious pass interference that wasn’t called on the final play of the game?

Jeff: Only if by “egregious pass interference” you mean “unbelievable awesomeness.”

Amy: No, I don’t mean that at all.

Jeff: I’m pretty sure you do. And he shouldn’t be fined for it, he should be awarded this nation’s highest honor, the Congressional Not Being Arrested For Stealing Donuts Medal. Next question?

BTBNL Reader Branden from Atlanta, GA: We all saw the replays, and the facts are very clear about what happened. Let’s be fair and put our team affiliations aside here to discuss the issue rationally like adults. Can’t we just logically agree to the obvious statement that this call was incorrect and the Seahawks didn’t really deserve to win?

Jeff: What color is the sky on your planet? Is it green? That seems lovely.

In the spirit of compromise, I will agree that you blow goats during your free time when you are not actively assisting Al-Qaeda and/or selling crystal meth at preschools.

BTBNL Reader Greer from Mobile, AL: Shouldn’t we all be boycotting NFL games with these terrible scab replacement referees?

Lingerie Football League
Do these ladies deserve the best in referees? We think they do. And we are ready to volunteer any time necessary.

Jeff: I think these replacement referees are just fine.

Greer: But it was revealed recently that some of these referees actually got fired for not being good enough for the Lingerie Football League. Not that this is any kind of linkbait to get people to read this article due to a question on the LFL.

Jeff: First, I am going to say “shame on you,” and link to the Lingerie Football League website as an apology. Second, I am not going to dignify your slurs on the Lingerie Football League. That would be almost as bad as casting aspersions on the Canadian Football League cheerleaders of the British Columbia Lions. Third, I have forgotten what the original point was.

BC Lions cheerleaders
The CFL British Columbia Felions being cheerful. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Also, we have a picture of the CFL British Columbia Lions “BC Felions” here, which is somehow related to something in this post about the Seahawks/Packers game. It has nothing to do with driving hits and trying to make this website profitable. Just saying.

That’s all the time we have for tonight – join us again next week when we answer nobody’s actual questions about the Philadelphia Phillies or the Washington Nationals!

The Magic of Redonkulin

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, June 12 2012

Bloggers To Be Named Later was Paul Caputo’s fabulous sports-blogging empire of the mid-2010s. My role in the enterprise was to promise to write humor articles and then not do that, or at least not remotely on time. Ultimately, after a flirtation with viral Internets fame, the site basically turned into an excuse for Paul to get free baseball tickets, which is actually about the only good reason to run a blog of any sort. After the BTBNL site wound down, I realized that I hadn’t kept local copies of most of the stories I had written, so I ended up scouring through The Internet Archive to find as many as I could in order to prevent a tragic loss to the world’s cultural canon of blog posts complaining about the Seattle Mariners. You’re welcome.

Most athletes are actually pretty smart people, despite the fact that many of them had college majors in non-subjects like “sports medicine” or “communications.” But there are a few tell-tale signs that your favorite athlete may not be a brain surgeon in their spare time:

  • They went to school at a fake-sounding diploma mill like “Mount Saint Ringo College,” “East North Chattahoochee Tech,” or “Miami University.”
  • They take retirement investment advice from Warren Sapp or handgun safety courses from Plaxico Burress
  • They are named Manny Ramirez
  • …or they wear Phiten necklaces.
The Phiten (necklace) Texas Rangers

Phiten, for those unfamiliar, is a line of necklaces and sports garments which were briefly a huge fad among Major League Baseball players and to this day are still worn by many sports stars. The company claims – I am not making this up – that they have a unique process to create a metal called “Aqua-Titanium,” a “hydro-collodial metal” which produces “Micro-Titanium Spheres.” The company said – or at least it did until they lost an $11M FTC lawsuit about their “scientific” claims – that fatigue in the body is caused by an “imbalance of ions.” A Phiten Aqua Metal “interferes [with] the bio-currents of the body and realigns them … This provides a sense of rejuvenation and calmness in the wearer.

But lest you doubt its effectiveness, they have Actual Science backing up their claims, published by the independent “Society for Aqua-Metal Research.” All this can be yours for prices ranging from about $40 for a basic necklace to $230 for a pure titanium bracelet. (If you want a quick picture of what the profit margin on this is like, you can buy a non-Phiten titanium bracelet here for $35.) They also make – I am still not making this up – a line of lotions and hair care which feature “Aqua-Gold.” Because your hair needs gold … that removes ions … or something.

So what do we have here? The intersection of athletes with lots of money and not a lot of critical thinking skills. My friends, this sounds to me like what one of my business school professors called “an opportunity to make a f–k ton of money.” And frankly, it’s about time someone here at BTBNL figured out how we were going to get rich off this. I still think Paul Caputo’s business model for this site was that eventually Ryan Howard would adopt him and make him his heir.

That’s why today I am announcing availability of new sports-enhancing miracle trinkets made of a wonder metal: Redonkulin.

Redonkulin bracelets cause friendship!

These may – to the untrained eye – look like cheap German-branded “My Little Pony Friendship Bracelets.” But no – they are made of 13% pure Redonkulin – a rare pseudo-metallic compound forged in the depths of Mount Doom that provide greater energy, faster reflexes and Minty Fresh Breath. I will now take some made-up questions from the audience:

Q: Redonkulin sounds awesome! But how does it work?

A: It’s a well known True Fact that all body problems are caused by excess neutrons. Neutrons are invisible particles that hate America and are responsible for things like nuclear fission and poor SAT scores. But Redonkulin creates a bio-electric necker cube of anti-neutron repagination that literally beats up neutrons and takes their lunch money. In addition, it repels dangerous chemicals like dihydrogen monoxide, shields the wearer from most asteroids, and is washable on permanent press. Best of all, it works immediately through the power of the scientifically proven and impressive-sounding placebo effect.*

Q: Those frigging neutrons! I hate them!

A: I know, right?

Q: The neutron menace must be stopped, I can feel them getting all over me right now and causing fatigue, muscle cramps and itty bitty thigh pimples. How can I buy it?

The Amazing Twist-A-Thing! It is endless and just blew your mind.

A: Cool your jets, I’m not done. Best of all, if you act RIGHT NOW we will send you a free special gift:

The amazing Twist-A-Thing bracelet! Made from a secret compound of unobtanium, the animal they made the Ribwich out of, and petrochemical by-products, it contains highly scientific unstable molecules which sound like a real thing! Bend it in any shape – and it will snap right back to its original form. Put it around your wrist – WHO KNOWS WHAT CAN HAPPEN? Maybe something good for you or something.


A: Exactly. I think we can safely say with absolutely no exaggeration that this is the most awesomest thing ever in the history of anything that has ever been awesome.

Q: I must have it now. How oh how can I purchase this marvel of “science?”

A: You can buy it TODAY through this very website! Your very own sporty Redonkulin pony-friendship-themed necklace is available for only $174.99, or purchasable in three easy installments of $129.99 each. We will include FREE SHIPPING if you just mail us your credit card, and you will get it back eventually!

So don’t delay! Emulate your favorite naive or unscrupulous celebrity athlete endorser and buy your Redonkulin bracelet and amazing Twist-A-Thing today. All our products are scientifically proven to exist by research from the independent “Redonkulin Research Council**,” and we absolutely guarantee our products to not be radioactive as far as you know.

* May cause allergies in people sensitive to ponies or love. Do not use Redonkulin if you are currently taking Benzobrist.

** This institute is my dogs Spencer and Holly wearing adorable white lab coats. I asked them if Redonkulin is awesome while waving some Bacon Bits up and down and they nodded.

The NFL Super Insider #1

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, February 26 2012

Bloggers To Be Named Later was Paul Caputo’s fabulous sports-blogging empire of the mid-2010s. My role in the enterprise was to promise to write humor articles and then not do that, or at least not remotely on time. Ultimately, after a flirtation with viral Internets fame, the site basically turned into an excuse for Paul to get free baseball tickets, which is actually about the only good reason to run a blog of any sort. After the BTBNL site wound down, I realized that I hadn’t kept local copies of most of the stories I had written, so I ended up scouring through The Internet Archive to find as many as I could in order to prevent a tragic loss to the world’s cultural canon of blog posts complaining about the Seattle Mariners. You’re welcome.

It is an immense honor for a podunk blog of this type to add The NFL Super Insider to its roster of writers. The NFL Super Insider has a hidden identity because he, she—or it—is constantly in contact with the league’s most elite and powerful. That’s why the NFL Super Insider is privy to the biggest scoops, the deepest secrets, and the hottest insider knowledge that prick Jay Glazer can only dream about.

Agent 66
WHO is it??? Is this the NFL Super Insider???

With that being said – on to this week’s NFL Super Insider Report!

Maybe THIS is the NFL Super Insider! Could it be???

Hot Item: At least one of the Green Bay Packers is spending his offseason well: B.J. Raji is starring in a new set of TV commercials. In these commercials, he has even invented his own dance, called the Disco Double-Check! Personally I don’t think the dance is very good, but I’m just happy to see an under-appreciated offensive lineman like Raji getting work. Rumor has it that in future commercials a certain Green Bay quarterback (maybe Matt Flynn!) plus a Packers sideline dancer with a beard will make a guest appearance as well!

BC Lions cheerleaders
Is THIS the NFL Super Insider??? Probably not but you should check closely.

Breaking NewsChicago Bears fans have been looking forward to next year, as their legendary offense returns in healthy form. But I’m hearing from those “in the know” in Chicago that quarterback Jay Cutler may not be 100% next year as he continues to struggle with what one team source called a “hurt vagina.” I’m not familiar with with the injury but from what I’m hearing it has been a recurring problem throughout Cutler’s career—stay tuned!

Wonder Woman
Is this the NFL Super Insider? Unlikely, but do you notice a trend? Keep reading to find out if your answer is correct.

Flash: Very highly placed League sources tell me exclusively that a blockbuster trade is on the way for the Indianapolis Colts! According to these Mega-Insiders, the Colts are set to deal away Peyton Manning to a dark-horse suitor: the St. Louis Cardinals! It’s said that new Colts General Manager Bill Pullman is pulling out all the stops to deal the longtime Indy quarterback for the Cardinals’ first-round picks in 2012 and 2013. The last holdup to getting a deal done is the Cardinals’ request for a “left-handed reliever” which may be a code name for a cornerback, or it may be some slang reference to gay sex. Best of luck to Peyton with the Cardinals either way!

Megan Fox
Yeah, at this point it’s just gratuitous

Hot Item: One of the NFL’s most prolific tweeters has caused a scandal yet again! Fox on NFL’s beloved robotic mascot Cleatus (@CLEATUSonFOX) ignited a firestorm last week with this verbal barb:

Infamous Cleatus tweet

Whoa, big guy – let’s leave the politics out of things. I prefer the “classic” Cleatus, known for his hilarious insightson everyday life covering the NFL like:

Like we all haven’t thought that before!

That’s all for this week! Keep your ears to the ground, keep reaching for the stars, and keep your hands to yourself – just like famous bluesman Leonard Skinnerd used to say!

How Mutants Can Save Major League Baseball

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, February 26 2012

Bloggers To Be Named Later was Paul Caputo’s fabulous sports-blogging empire of the mid-2010s. My role in the enterprise was to promise to write humor articles and then not do that, or at least not remotely on time. Ultimately, after a flirtation with viral Internets fame, the site basically turned into an excuse for Paul to get free baseball tickets, which is actually about the only good reason to run a blog of any sort. After the BTBNL site wound down, I realized that I hadn’t kept local copies of most of the stories I had written, so I ended up scouring through The Internet Archive to find as many as I could in order to prevent a tragic loss to the world’s cultural canon of blog posts complaining about the Seattle Mariners. You’re welcome.

Since the runaway success of Bloggers To Be Named Later, every week I get hundreds of e-mails from avid fans asking me common sports-related questions, like “Do you need C1AL1S or V1AGRA cheap???!?”

Wonder Woman
Apparently she’s very excited to meet me and just needs a credit card!

But occasionally I get actual questions from readers, and by far the most common one is “how to save Major League Baseball?” Each time, I patiently explain that it’s complicated, because you have to have pitched at least three innings unless the lead in the game was less than three runs, in which case you only have to pitch one inning. Then they tell me that I misunderstood their question and we start over.

So here are the most popular questions I get about how Major League Baseball can be saved and the honest answer to each one:

Q: Is MLB suffering from the lack of a roster of fan-friendly superstars in the post-steroids era? What can be done to restore a pantheon of baseball players with mass market appeal like there were in the ’90s?

A: There is a lack of big-name baseball players today that hurts the sport as a whole. (Unless you are looking at key growing fan demographics, such as “Venezuelan families with 12-year old Yankees pitching prospects” or “Puerto Ricans who hope to come to the mainland under the name Bruce Wayne.”)

The fact is that the league has tried belatedly banning Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) with little real result. (True fact: the official MLB test for PED use is looking straight at the players with a very serious expression and asking, “Did you take any drugs, son?” So far only Manny Ramirez has been caught that way, although they blood-tested Ryan Braun because he couldn’t answer the question since he was so high on Angel Dust.)

Manny Ramirez
If Cheech or Chong ever dies, there’s your replacement.

So what does that tell us? Simply that PEDs aren’t really the problem, and to regain its popularity MLB should go completely in the other direction: mandating the use of PEDs, but taking it to the next level. A competition between ‘roided-up hulks to hit 70 home runs a year? Boooring.

Instead, we need a close 12-way race between full-blown mutants, doped up on elephant aphrodisiacs and freebasing Ben-Gay, trying to break the 140-home run barrier … while struggling with the societal prejudice brought on by their third arms and occasional feeding on the blood of children.

This Island Earth
The Yankees will pay this guy $25M a year for 10 years, even after he has turned 300.

Just think of the competition between this new breed of hitters vs. a new generation of pitchers throwing 110 mph change-ups while hallucinating from their massive infusions of Velociraptor Growth Hormone and horse tranquilizers. Not to mention the first base coaches high on Orangutan pituitary secretions mixed with Day-Quil and constantly waving all the players from 3rd base in, the wrong way around the bases.

That is must-see baseball, my friends, and I challenge anyone who disagrees with me to fight after I take my next intravenous shot of Armadillo liver and Grape Ludens Coughdrops.

Q: Do you want cheap drugs from Canadian Pharmacy to Enhance Male Performance tonight??!?? Rare Chinese herbs Three-Penis Wine for low cost!!!!

A: Sorry, I think I put this question in the wrong pile.

Q: What can be done about the chronic competitive imbalance in the AL East?

A: The obvious answer is to create a special two-team league with just the Yankees and the Red Sox in it so they play each other every day. This will create three key benefits:

Red Sox Fans Are From Mars
Can you imagine a book like this written by a Royals fan about the Indians? That’s why these people need to be quarantined.
  1. It will generate huge TV ratings for MLB, and allow ESPN to stop pretending like it cares about any other team in the league.
  2. Having the Sox and Yankees play each other constantly will lead to enough stadium brawls to thin their respective herds of devotees a little.
  3. Best of all, it will prevent the legions of unruly Red Sox Nation acolytes from crowding out the home fans at every other team’s away games, drowning out the local 7th inning stretch song with “Sweet Caroline” and complaining loudly about the lack of “lobstah rolls” at the stadium cotton candy stands.

Q: Can’t we just fire Bud Selig somehow? That would fix a lot right there.

A: Bud Selig cannot be fired. He cannot be made to retire, and he cannot even be killed. Bud Selig can only be destroyed by casting him back into the fires of Mount Doom in the Land of Mordor, where he was created.

The Shadow Land of Mordor
The Lord of the Rings doesn’t specify the exact location of Mordor but from the pictures I’m guessing Pittsburgh.

So if any of our readers live in Mordor, you might try to do that if you have some free time.

Seattle Sports Insecurity and Why the NBA Is Dead To Me

By Jeffrey Carl

Bloggers To Be Named Later, February 1 2012

Bloggers To Be Named Later was Paul Caputo’s fabulous sports-blogging empire of the mid-2010s. My role in the enterprise was to promise to write humor articles and then not do that, or at least not remotely on time. Ultimately, after a flirtation with viral Internets fame, the site basically turned into an excuse for Paul to get free baseball tickets, which is actually about the only good reason to run a blog of any sort. After the BTBNL site wound down, I realized that I hadn’t kept local copies of most of the stories I had written, so I ended up scouring through The Internet Archive to find as many as I could in order to prevent a tragic loss to the world’s cultural canon of blog posts complaining about the Seattle Mariners. You’re welcome.

Seattle Skyline
Oh, your city doesn’t look like this at night? Suck it, Cleveland.

Sometimes I will tell a friend how February and March are my least favorite months of the year because there are no professional sports to watch. They will say, “but what about the NHL?” And we will both laugh and laugh and laugh.

After a few minutes of convulsive laughter, though, we pick ourselves up off the floor and they will follow up:

Friend: Seriously, what about professional basketball?

Me: I don’t think the WNBA season starts until September. Or maybe that’s the Curling Premier League.

Friend: No, I mean men’s professional basketball.

Me: I don’t know what cable package you have, but mine definitely doesn’t include the Italian-Serbian All Stars League.

Friend: No, the NBA.

Me: Who?

That’s right, the NBA has been on the official Jeff Carl Dead To Me List since July 2nd 2008 when the Seattle Supersonics officially left town to become the Oklahoma City Ford F-250 With Optional Towing Packages or the Oklahoma City Trailer Park Tornado Debris Scavengers or whatever they are now.

Please understand that this was not an ill-considered or capricious decision to add the League Who Must Not Be Named to my highly select Dead To Me List. After spending 10 years in Washington DC subjected to the “basketball” practiced by the Washington Wizards, I was already pretty disposed to stop caring about the NBA. To me, NBA players seemed like little more than a horde of spoiled prima donnas and feckless thugs who starred in terrible genie-themed movies and occasionally had NRA-sponsored gun shows in the locker room.

That just happened.

But the factor that pushed me over the edge to permanently “un-friend” the NBA was an issue that I call Seattle Sports Insecurity Syndrome.

Seattle sports fans have a chronic insecurity problem. Despite the facts that Seattle is the 13th largest media market in the country, a thriving technology industry growth area and inarguably the most naturally beautiful major city in the nation, its sports teams seem to be perpetual also-rans or transplant candidates.

This is due to a variety of factors. Sure, Seattle does have some disadvantages in attracting sports teams: we have one rain shower a year (it starts on November 15th and ends in late May); the looming threat of multiple nearby volcanoes seems to turn off a few timid souls; and some people get jittery after their 14th cup of coffee in the afternoon. I have even heard a local sports radio host suggest that Seattle fans don’t have the same rabid sports interest seen in other cities because “people in Seattle have actual things to do besides watching sports.” (I think he was talking about you, Cleveland.) But none of these can adequately explain how Seattle and its teams are forever outside the “cool kids club” of the professional sports world.

This first hit home for me when I was watching a Fox NFL pre-game show in 2005 and Jimmy Johnson was discussing why the Seahawks’ running back Shaun Alexander wasn’t a national media star despite the fact that he was on pace for a 2,000-yard rushing season. “I think,” said Mr. Bob’s Big Boy Hair, “that it has something to do with the fact that he plays in Southeast Alaska.” TRUE FACT.*

Bob's Big Boy
Jimmy Johnson before he lost all the weight

In fact, Seattle sports teams have an unfortunate history of frequently being on the brink of moving out of town. The first major league sports franchise in Seattle, the MLB Seattle Pilots, left town after one season in 1969 to become the Milwaukee Brewers. Their replacement, the Seattle Mariners, were almost moved to St. Petersburg Florida in 1993, before the team was sold to a Japanese ownership group led by Super Mariothe chick from Metroid and Godzilla. The Seattle Seahawks were almost moved to Los Angeles in 1996 (just like every other team in the NFL that has wanted a new stadium).

That was bad enough to give Seattle sports fans a permanent case of the relocation jitters. But then, to top it all off, in 2006 the SuperSonics were sold to an ownership group led by Tom Joad or whoever the hell lives in Oklahoma. This was especially galling since the Sonics were Seattle’s only championship-winning team.** (The city came close twice when the Mariners lost the 2001 ALCS to the Yankees and the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL in 2006 to the referees.)

The city of Seattle had a strong case against the NBA and the Sonics’ new carpetbagger ownership for breaking their lease. But Seattle’s doofus elected officials fumbled the trial strategy, and ultimately let the team go for a $45 million lease termination payment and a vague promise from NBA commissioner David Stern that Seattle might get a team again someday once they had filled up all the long-time proven basketball markets. You know, like Toronto and Charlotte.

Mayor McCheese
Seattle’s then-mayor, Greg Nickels

Seriously, the team left for Oklahoma City. I’m sure it’s lovely there and crap like that, but… really? Oklahoma City? That’s a little like having the following conversation with your girlfriend:

Girlfriend: We have to break up, I’m leaving you for another guy.

You: What? Is it the tall blond jet fighter pilot I saw you talking with earlier?

Now Ex-Girlfriend: No… it was the guy next to him.

You: The brilliant wealthy neurosurgeon?

Ex-Girlfriend: No… the guy on the other side.

You: The little kid with a backpack?

Ex-Girlfriend: He’s not a little kid, he’s 4’2″. And that’s not a backpack, it’s a hump.

The point of all this being that until such time as the “Why Does Anyone Care What Team Juwan Howard Wants To Play For?” league returns to Seattle, they are on the official Jeff Carl Dead To Me list. Until then, I will know Kobe Bryant only as “that guy who’s in the commercials with Tom from Parks and Recreation” and February/March will be the Months Without Professional Sports.

Except for the NHL.


* P.S. Screw you, Jimmy Johnson.

** Yes, Seattle has an actual championship-winning pro sports team, the WNBA Seattle Storm. They are awesome and deserve mad props and lots of fans, but it ruins the narrative of my rant. Go Storm.