Saturday, March 29, 2014

What Up, Droid?

So ... you might be wondering:

"I wonder what Clark's doing today?"

Well ... he's listening to the "weird vibrational multi-sonic effects and electronic melodies created for the ears of androids."

What else would he be doing?

... and, of course, Clark approves!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Testing Our Patience

Clark and Michael have already talked about some of the products we have been called upon to test - some successful, others not. Below are some of the ones that were instantly rejected, along with the case notes. Some of these products are actually available, though. Seems some people get upset when you tell them their invention is worthless, and they go ahead and market the thing anyway out of spite. So here goes...

#1 - The Watermelon Knife
Inventor: Mr. U. Sliss
"This product, while made of sturdy materials and having superior cutting abilities, is essentially the same as any other sharp kitchen knife, with the exception of the brightly coloured handle, and is therefore superfluous to human requirements."
  #2 - The Giant Condom for maximum protection
 Appeeniss Corp.
"oh come on... for real? Geddouttahere."

#3 - Butter Stick - for people with no knives

"Sheesh! Just go to the store and buy a knife!"

#4 - Picnic Pants

Invented by Phil Yerpants
"Never heard of napkins? Tablecloths? I mean, really!"

#5 - Tandem Toilet
"Looks very cool, but impossible to open. Who has more than one toilet in their bathroom anyway? What is the point?"
#6 - Tissue Head - for people who constantly need to blow their nose and don't want to go through all the hassle of carrying a Kleenex pocket pack in their damn pockets
"It would seem that your life would be made instantly worse by wearing one of these ridiculous contraptions. Bumping into things and getting openly mocked by your peers, to be specific."
#7 - Ctrl-Alt-Delete tool - for use by people with only one hand who are still running Win98.

"Kind of a niche market, don't you think? Plus, it would have to be adjustable for different size keyboards - how would a one-handed person accomplish that?"
#8 - DVD Rewinder, for idiots
"This is a joke, right?"
#9 - Lipstick Aimer
"Lady, if you're not aware of where your lips are by now, then it's spectacles you need, not this thing."

#10 - Tidy Slippers
"Gag gift only."
So there you have it. We not only test products for their usefulness but we (try to) keep stupidity from invading your local store shelves. You are welcome.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Testing Must Go On

Product testing.

You wouldn't believe some of the things we've been asked to test. And test. And test.

Again. And again. And again.

Regardless, product testing has come to be an attractive aside (and, in some cases, lucrative side business) for The Unbelievables. And it can be a pleasant little distraction from busting bad guys.

Here are a few of the many things we've been involved with ... some of which are downright head scratching ...

Jan Jankowitz of Needles, CA requested our assistance in promoting "water fountains to deter Jehovah's Witnesses" from soliciting. Simply put, he asked us to field test said fountains placed in positions as seen the photo below. Set where they were in the direct path of the doorway, they caused solicitors somewhat of a dilemma on their way to enlighten residences. Mr. Jankowitz' arguments were that if the sheer physicality of the fountain didn't deter you, the soothing trickle of water coming from it would certainly do the trick. Result? A big, fat fail:

It's not always about location, location, location.
Here we have "Red-SAM" - an acronym for "Redirected Self-Awareness Module" - a new-age self-contained, portable sensory deprivation system developed by some two-bit start-up company out of Georgia. Much to our surprise, this thing actually worked ... on Jeff. He was the testing guinea pig (meaning ... he drew the short straw so he won the privilege of donning the thing). Unfortunately he got stuck while trying it out. To be fair, the only thing it did was panic him when it was time to remove it ... thereby causing him to "forget" it was Whipped Potato Tuesday. So ... it "worked" ... but it didn't ...

Now you know where it came from - testing.

The "Sawing For Teens" campaign was a complete wash when we were approached by a fund raising organization looking to make some quick dough for several youth clubs. We didn't even go through the motions when this one was explained to us - there was just too much room for error.

We got a letter one summer asking if we might be willing to fund some "creative underground water piping" project and this, as well, was given the kibosh. You can see why from the photo below:

Look: Who doesn't like voodoo dolls? We were practically collecting them at one point when Jaques Lu Roux contacted us out of the blue via telephone one day. As far as we could tell they worked. You have to admit, they were cuter than cute:

Cute didn't translate too well to the "Hurricane Simulator" Casper Cane, LLC wanted to install in malls and other public areas. As you can see from the pacifiered tot, it was doomed to failure. (Though, the local psychiatric facility got a new customer ...)

What could possibly go wrong?

... nor did "Mysticismical Gods of Old" either. This monkey business utilized a skylight "pyramid" with Aztec gods painted on opposing walls who would channel ancient powers to those who stood beneath them. Complete sham.


Not so with the "Love Is All You Need" campaign, however. This one was right in our wheelhouse: Simply distribute hand-printed cards to random passing unsuspecting ladies (Hello, Ladies!) and, once they read the card, they broke out in huge smiles (and sometimes hugs!) for the remainder of the day. A very worthy and charitable endeavor to be sure.

Then there was the "I Do Dumb Things" clothing line. We experimented in a statewide marketing campaign to see how effective handing shirts out for free to the crowds worked. Pretty well, in fact. "Wearing is Believing" was the line's motto ... and once that shirt was put on, it's all she wrote.

Jeff has more favorable (and floundering) tales to be told about some of our sideline testing ventures. They'll be coming to you Friday.

Stay tuned ...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Testing, testing, 1,2,3...

One of the drawbacks of being bad-ass yet stylish gents is that those less inclined turn to us to do their dirty work. That  means that people feel that we're better suited for certain tasks than they are so they come to us to do them. It's impossible to argue with them because they're correct. An area where we're asked for assistance time and time again is product testing, especially (but not always) in terms of weapons testing. For example, here we see Michael and Jeff demonstrating the effectiveness of a bullet-proof vest the only way you really can...
We couldn't really complain because this was a product we had actually created (The Unbelieva-vest; it's reversible!) and were marketing to police forces around the country. Still, this situation was dicey because Michael and Jeff had been in a pretty intense argument the night before over who kept leaving dirty dishes in the sink and when we got to the range that day, they couldn't agree on who would wear the vest and who who would fire the pistol. I intervened by admitting that I was the dirty dishes culprit. The demonstration itself went off without a hitch but I was somehow accidentally wounded by an errant shot fired when it was over.

It wasn't just weapons. Here are some products that we tested personally and, well, we put the kibosh on them for reasons that should have been self-evident. I'm not sure why we felt it necessary to test them anyway. Just being thorough, I guess.
We like sandwiches, we like loafing, we were pretty sure we'd like this. Thanks to us, nobody will make that mistake again.
We found out firsthand that oily teeth are not clean teeth

All we need is the world's ugliest adult baby (Henri Petit) getting his grubby little snackhole around a bottle of THIS stuff.
There's lots and lots of other stuff and the guys will tell you all about it later this week.

Friday, March 21, 2014

St. Patrick's Day? Accomplished.

Ah, yes ... the Irish St. Patrick's party. 

But of course the party boasted plenty of food. (You stick with the basics first and foremost at an Irish shindig hosted in Ireland lest the locals become restless.) 

... and drink ...

... and the usual party games to go along with (or promote) a festive social atmosphere ...

And, of course, there has to be a DJ.

Now ... you might think it wise to have one of the locals stand behind the turntables when in Ireland. But The Unbelievables know an opportunity when it presents itself. So ...

Yep. Furious D. Because nothing will start-startle a party than a DJ who comes directly out of left field. And Furious D was nothing less than that.

Dressed accordingly in blue (above, as is his signature) "D" had everyone scratching their heads right from the get-go. You start off with a little Lawrence Welk tune and play it out for 30 seconds - just enough for everyone "not in the know" to begin to get a little heated beneath the kilt, so to speak - and then put the kabosh on that nonsense by bringing it to a screeching halt with the likes of Tag Team's Whoomp! (There It Is) and House Of Pain's Jump Around. Then? The party was just this side of out of control.

Naturally, Laura and Marissa were the hit of the party in their get-ups. Especially on the dance floor. (Jeff sat out his dance moves - his bruised ankles were giving him problems ...) Clark was in his glory discussing the finer points of professional hockey to anyone who was willing to allow a bending of his/her ear (surprisingly, that was quite a few). Me? Well ... I introduced the throng to the first "No Trousers St. Patrick's Day" which, I am assured, is now an annual mid-March tradition. Enough said.

Amazingly, we were able to recreate this party photo during a break in the music:

See if you can see any differences in the following shot from the one above:

Pretty uncanny, isn't it? It's just what we do.

At the party's end, everyone got a green-tinged Krispy Kreme to munch. As the brood made its way out the door, we heard various choruses of Danny Boy wafting from up and down the lanes as everyone stumbled (and otherwise) home. (We're pretty certain most of them made it to their intended destinations, some with a little help from their friends.)

Was a good time had by all? Per the ladies who originally asked us, absolutely.

Thank you, Ladies!

Let's just say we convinced quite a few new friends to join us at our digs in Stiletto Flats for Cinco de Mayo this year. 

They're getting their passports in order right this very minute ...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

And what a party it was!

First of all, when we party, we do it right. And if the theme of the party is "Kiss Me, I'm Irish", it only makes sense to actually go to Ireland! But while we're used to these kinds of festivites...

It turns out the folks in real-life Ireland tend to prefer a somewhat more subdued celebration...
It makes sense; an actual Irish person doesn't need some stupid t-shirt to get someone to kiss them once a year. Still, needless to say, we all felt a little awkward in our get-ups. Attempts to talk the locals into ramping things up a little were not met with enthusiasm.
"Leprechauns and shamrocks? Save it for the tourists, lad."
"What is the point of turning perfectly good beer green?!?"
"We don't even like the color green!"
We were all quite depressed about the situation, when some players from one of the local football (that's what they call soccer, you know) team showed up...

"We heard there were Americans here! Are you the Americans?", they asked. Jeff replied, "Ye-ow! N-ow!!-Yes!" as he was kicked once in each leg, first by Laura and then by Michael. The girls were excited because - who knew? - "America" is apparently a popular party theme in Europe right now. These girls were throwing their first American Party and having actual Americans (plus Jeff and Laura) was sure to make their bash the best of its kind. That's when... well, I'll let Michael finish the story.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Erin Go Kablam!

Apologies for being a day late, folks... but as you can see, we got caught up over a long weekend dealing with these guys.

Well, I say dealing with. I should I suppose be more technically accurate and say partying with. And what a party.

I mean, if there is one bunch of people on good ol' Planet Earth that know how to have a serious shindig, it's cosplayers. Like for example...

Partee animals!

Beer in hand = quality.
So anyway, you might be asking, what was the occasion? Why, St. Paddy's Day of course! And how did we dress for the occasion? Well, here's me...

Faith and begorrah!
Exterminated several pints of Guinness.

Marissa and Laura!
and Michael was the hit of the party.

I think I can see his Lucky Charms.
More info on this party weekend to come...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Total Effects, Part 3

We were less than thrilled to be running up against Uncle Bill again. Sure, he looks like an affable fellow but he's got a seedy, dark side ("I ain't got no nephews!", he once revealed to us during an interrogation).
We'd always pegged him as a relatively small-time operator, but we also kept an eye on him as someone ambitious and nefarious enough to expand his operation. Good thing too, because as it turns out, through a series of super-complicated and secret agreements between shadowy un-sanctioned government organizations, ol' Uncle Bill had arranged to be the key US distributor of knock-off products produced by China on behalf of Russia. Why? Mostly to make Americans sad, to lower their morale. How is that possible? Well, take a look at just how awful these products are...

Is this one of the lesser known J.R.R. Tolkien tales? It stars Christopher Judge; that sounds like somebody I've probably heard of. The artwork on the cover looks pretty cool and there's the word 'hobbit' right there. It's probably pretty good, right? Wrong. It's a piece of crap that never saw the inside of any respectable movie theatre and Christopher Judge mows the director's lawn.

Mm-MMM, Americans DO love their snack cookies! Especially ones made of chocolate with a sweet, creamy filling...unless that sweet, creamy filling is whipped Boron. That's right, a chemical element with symbol B and atomic number 5, produced entirely by cosmic ray spallation and not by stellar nucleosynthesis, it is a low-abundance element in both the solar system and the Earth's crust. Yucky. You leave our regular sweet, creamy filling of sugar-saturated lard alone!

There are reasons that the $100 iPhone is so hard to find. One is that the apps work but don't really perform very well. For example, all the months in the calendar app have 30 days. Also, the game Angry Birds is represented here as Angry Borios.

There's only one Superior Powered Thunderbolt Overlord Top King and he doesn't dress like that. Nor does his chest light up.

What if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were One-Eyed Sword Wielding Ninja Frogs on Horseback? Then you'd have these characters, playing their favorite game, "Let's terrorize our horses by threatening to chop them in half while we're riding them!"

Titanic-Bot actually seems like a good idea... He transforms into a giant robot and walks right over those pesky ice bergs!... until you realize that the passengers and crew all wind up plunging hundreds of feet into an icy ocean either way.

This is over the line. To portray the lovable Mickey Mouse, the Bob Hope of cartoon characters (used to be entertaining a long time ago, I guess, but now doesn't really do much besides some hosting gigs), as some kind of vicious, rabid monster? Well, we simply won't have that.

And we didn't. We broke that whole thing right up. We didn't put Uncle Bill out of business, but now he only sells horrible, soul-crushing, American-made junk.

Hopefully, he's learned his lesson.