Friday, August 29, 2014

A Double Dose Of Ky-Bosh

No matter the manner in which you put an explanation out there, there's always going to be a Doubting Thomas who will attempt to refute it.

I was going to expand on the posts from Clark and Jeff this week with additional tales of daring-do and our "team-ups" as such, when our threesome becomes a twosome as called for.

But then THIS letter showed up in the mailbox yesterday:

Hey, Unbelieva-Dorks:

Imagine the irony of your moniker regarding this week's "theme" (if that's what you want to call it).

News Flash: You can't fool us. There might be a few out there who take everything you say as gospel but believe me when I state you jerks have a huge following who revel in calling you on your bullshit. And specifically on one of you being a "third wheel" on select "cases."

You see, we read between the lines. We see through the hogwash and know you are in the midst of some pretty engaging turmoil where your group stands. We know the three core members of The Unbelievables - Clark, Jeff and Michael - are continually at odds with each other; it's a power struggle of rather larger proportion that creates a big mess within your ranks whenever any two of you head out without the third. Toes get stepped on ... egos get bruised. And what you guys do is either ignore those hurt feelings or pretend they don't exist.
Well, sorry. We don't buy it. It's just a matter of time before you stooges implode from all the backstabbing. And we'll be there with bells on to witness it all.
In anticipation, Trevor

Isn't it a kick how some people take things and run with them? A few tales in this week and "Trevor" has ascertained our trio is so fractured we're on the verge of collapse.

Don't worry, folks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jeff, Clark and I are rock steady and solid through and through. There isn't any pending social shake-up, no jealousy chipping away at our veneer. There's no oneupsmanship and there certainly isn't any backstabbing. (Well, there is ... but it's all in good fun. And we've never let it well up to a point where it could do any damage.)

"Trevor" is winging it and simply has some warped ideas.

Dream on, Trevor ... dream on. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Los Unbelievables en México

One of the greatest examples in Unbelieviana* where two heads are better than three is The Case Of The Evil Luchadoras, otherwise referred to as Michael y Jeff patear algunos burros graves.

Yes, that's right, this was the time when we Unbelievables suspected that Mexican Lady Wrestlers (or Luchadoras) were secretly fronting a Portmeirion Pottery smuggling ring. Sounds bizarre, doesn't it? But the truth is far stranger than fiction. Serious collectors would pay top peso for a single teacup made by that famed pottery (that used to be in a Welsh village where they filmed The Prisoner but then moved to Stoke-On-Trent). 

Oh, the price they could get for a single mini-ramekin or flan dish would make your head spin.

900 pesos.

Loads more pesos.

So Michael and I decided to don our wrestling duds and head South of the Border for a little tag-team time. And of course, disguise is dead easy when all you have to do is don a mask and a cape. Presto! We were luchadores.


And Michael... Amigo Tóxico!
We fit right in with the other luchadores and had a great time fighting in the ring and hanging with them after work. We were, of course, pumping them for inside information into where we could locate the one they called...La Madonna con los pechos grandes!

One fateful Martes afternoon, we were doing a spot of shopping in between wrestling shows in the little village of Poco Inferior, when we ran into some luck. All of it bad. 

We were approached by these, ahem, ladies...

who began taunting us and suggesting that our wrestling prowess was perhaps not all it could be. Well, ladies and gents, we were not going to back down from this kind of threatening behaviour, ladies or no ladies.  We gave them a good sound thrashing. Unfortunately, the local federales  came and broke the fight up and we found ourselves tossed in the local hoosegow with these nefarious characters who all looked like Danny Trejo, or relatives of Danny Trejo. One of them even had a Danny Trejo tattoo on his arm - or was it his leg?

Well, we immediately befriended them by eagerly participating in the knife game and eventually told them about our quest to locate La Madonna con los pechos grandes.

This group of ne'er-do-wells had all met her before. Twice. One was even married to her for 18 hours in Las Vegas. And yes, he knew where she was.

So after a mysterious benefactor (Clark, who had received our emergency homing signal back at the Unbelievabase) paid our extortionate bail money, we were back on the trail of La Madonna con los pechos grandes!

Once we found her hideout and flushed her out, it was time for a little tag-team magic. We hadn't reckoned on the three lady luchadoras who had so cruelly taunted us to reappear, but we were ready. If traditional wrestling moves failed, then it was time for some butt-kickin' Unbelieva-Fu. Half-nelsons, full nelsons, pin falls, triple suplexes, we used them all. But Unbelieva-Fu got the job done. Cuffs on, cops called, warehouse of stolen crockery discovered, crime ring destroyed, bish-bash-bosh. 

But if it had been different, say if it had been Clark and Michael, or me and Clark, it might well have been a failure. Because Clark may be many things, but he is no wrestler. He hates the sport. He has no time for it. It fails to light his fire.

That's not to say he can't fight, oh no no no. He can whoop a punk's candy ass like you would not believe, he's skilled with weaponry like we all are, but if it came to wrestling his heart would not be in it. His head would not be in the game. He'd much rather be down at the local cantina hoisting a few with the locals and getting the lie of the land, so to speak. He's our intel guy, and that's the point of this story. Sometimes you need two to kick ass, and one to make the long-range plans.

I'm sure Michael has another 'two heads are better than three' story to tell...

*Unbelieviana - noun. Stories associated with the Unbelievables.

"Several important box-files of Unbelieviana..."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sometimes, less is more

Clark & Jeff with dining companions. Not pictured: third wheel.

We, as a team of three, are badasses.
Everybody knows that.
Sometimes however, it suits us to pare down and pair off. In other words, we're actually more effective with fewer members (so to speak). The most obvious example is that it's much easier to get a table for four than a table for six at most swanky uptown establishments. But beyond that, some situations call for one of us to stay back at headquarters or in a van, drinking cold coffee and monitoring the situation via radio, if not sitting things out entirely. That's because our individual skill sets sometimes work best in a 50/50 ratio rather than 33/33/33. Consider this:
Clark = violent
Michael = naked
Jeff = British
Infiltrate an underground S & M circuit? Me and Michael.
Go undercover at a fancy dinner with international dignitaries present? Jeff and Michael
Beat up a bunch of dirty hippies? Me and Jeff

You get the idea. I'm sure Jeff and Michael can cite other examples where it takes two to make a thing go right.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Onesie 'Pon A Time

I love the onset of Fall (or as we Brits refer to it, Autumn). The sizzling temperatures of the summer begin to cool. There's a definite chill in the air. The leaves change from verdant green to a myriad of yellows, browns, oranges and reds. They drop, like a fresh sea-spray in your face when going out in your dinghy to your luxury yacht, onto your carefully manicured lawns and have to be raked up and made into a pile so your snot-nosed kids can then jump in it and ruin the fruits of your labours. Holy terrors.

The cooler weather means we have to cover up a little from our preferred semi-naked state, lest our manly flesh gets covered in goosebumps and scares all the maiden aunts down at the library. Being international playboys who just happen to be butt-kickin' crimefighters, speed and comfort are of the essence. This is when the one-piece jumpsuit comes into play, as noted by Michael on Monday.

In these modern times, however, the jumpsuit has been hijacked by the youth, who have changed the name of it from 'jumpsuit' to 'onesie'. We Unbelievables have a problem with this change for a couple of reasons. 

  • Firstly, the terminology is all wrong. This

is a onesie, a one-piece shirt-with-crotch-snaps for babies. Why the crotch snaps? To hold that burgeoning diaper in place while the parent runs around like a headless chicken looking for the baby wipes, the fresh nappy and the butt cream, that's why. A true 'onesie' for adults doesn't really bear thinking about, but it might be useful for those guys who are so chubby that they have trouble keeping their shirts tucked in at work. Eeesh.

  • Secondly, what now passes for a onesie is actually a pair of 'footie pyjamas' without feet. Trouble is, they are available in a myriad of wild and silly designs, which might be amusing the first time you wear it, but soon gets old. All that comes of this is that your friends and family now believe you to be a ginormous dork.

This girl (I assume it's a girl) has watched Charlie and The Chocolate Factory one too many times and now wishes to become Violet Beauregarde.
No, if you want to do the jumpsuit right, you have to go back to the classics. It's not a pair of jammies, snug and warm for Fall though they may be. It's a suit, practical and stylish, where the trousers are joined to the shirt and (in some cases) jacket. 

Clark and I showing off our stylish suits. We are ready for action!
And I know the festive season is just around the corner (only 18 Tuesdays away, folks!) but seriously -  Christmas onesies are even worse than the normal kind.

Except for this one, of course.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Football Fashion For Fall!

As the air gets cooler and the leaves turn browner, it's almost time to put away the summer fashions.
If you own this in more than just white, you're good.
Lest we forget, the sports calendar moves along as well. That means after a summer when the whole world was watching football (and rooting for the upstart and dearly departed nation of Unbelievia to bring home The World Cup), it's time to start watching football! The two most powerful retailers in the world (J.C. Penny's and Sears, of course) have fantastic fan wear that will allow you to root for any of the 26 NFL teams in style! 
A rain slicker is a must-have. Might as well get one that supports your favorite team. As you can see, this item is available for black people too!

What would it look like if one really fast player played for every team? Buy all 15 of these sweatshirts and find out!

Simple. Understated. Classy. Nothing conjures up what the NFL is all about like the iconic football helmet, the shoddy, ineffectual headgear that shortens the lifespans of real former football players, often by rendering them suicidal!

What better way to show your support for the greatest football player of all time, O.J. Simpson, than with a shirt with his picture on it? Other teams available too.

The key to any good workout regimen is a sharp looking track suit, as shown on this page by former Pittsburgh Steeler Dan Tackwad. Dan is in the pro football hall of fame as the last white defensive back to play in the NFL. He starts his days now just like he did when he played, with a very slow two mile run. Top off your ensemble with a douchey Ashton Kutcher cap!

Time for bed. Even the most intense 'roid rage will be quelled by these comfy, cozy jammie sets. Nighty-night, all star!

Here's the ultimate! An actual NFL team uniform! You and your friends can put together your own versions of the Los Angeles Rams and Houston Oilers. All uniforms are available in the "home" (dark) version only and are numbered either 33, 44 or 55 for maximum confusion and mayhem on the gridiron. Best of all, you know these uniforms are authentic NFL caliber; $9.99 is the same amount the NFL invests in the on-field safety of each of their players!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fall Approacheth

"There's a brand new dance
but I don't know its name
That people from bad homes
do again and again ..."
- Fashion, David Bowie

Yes ... that time of year is headed for us quickly.

Labor Day Weekend.

Less than two weeks away, it heralds the all-important call for fashion hints of Fall. Yes, summer is still in full swing, but it doesn't hurt to think about preparing the sweaters and jackets and scarves and other adornments which will usher in the inevitable cooler temperatures. Don't worry though - there are still plenty of sunshiny days left in the year. You have plenty of time.

Of course I can still get away with crocheted shorts for a while longer. No one wears them quite the same way I do. It's not just anyone who can pull them off, you know ...

But we thought we'd put a bug in your ear, a little niggle as a courtesy reminder about fashion change. While the (official) last day to wear white comes knocking at the door, The Unbelievables thought it might be a good idea to toss around a couple "do" and "don't" notations regarding clothing configurations ...  

It's your last chance to don classic summer swimwear. Just do it.

And while there's nothing wrong with a "classic" look, remember gentlemen:
Remove those unsightly tags.

As the summer days wane don't forget: No socks with sandals. Period.
Cooler weather means time to store this type of footwear until next year.
No one gets away with this look.

Don't even think about it ...

Same goes for the ladies. This "trend" failed long ago.

You might get away with this in the far climes of Alaska. Or Siberia.
Feel free to express yourself like this after you move there.

Conan tried "jeggings" once and promptly fell on his face, metaphorically speaking.
That lesson has been learned.

Practical for attracting blind porcupines, maybe, but little else.

No reptiles on sweaters. Ever.

We get that you have love for your particular brand of cartoon character.
But you don't have to express it in public.

From the failed Chestburster Collection of 1979
when the film Alien was all the rage.

Yes, The Unbelievables are into recycling.
But we're only willing to go so far ... 

Fall is coming. This won't work for Fall.
(Or Winter. Or Spring. Or Summer.
Or morning. Or Sunday brunch. Or ever for that matter.)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Six degrees of The Three Degrees

Oh boy, The Three Degrees. Three beautiful ladies, combining for one super sexy sound. Those were actually very confusing days for The Unbelievables, but very fondly remembered.
For starters, like many musical acts over the years, the roster of TTD was in a near constant state of flux. As a result, there are actually no fewer than 15 women who held the mantle of Degree at one time or another. Of course, your question is was there ever any, um, dalliance between any members of The Unbelievables and The Three Degrees? Ahhhhh yup. Lots and lots of not only dallying but dillying as well, with ALL of The Unbelievables and ALL 15 of The Three Degrees. In addition to the dillying and dallying, there was also a great deal of swapping and sharing going on. There are thousands of possible different combinations of U's and D's and we did them all, most more than once. Before we met, there may have been six degrees of separation between us and The Three Degrees, but before long there were zero degrees of clothing between us. Mind you, the ladies always comported themselves with nothing but class and style. Still, there was many a night at the Unbelieva-base when the traffic pattern in the hallway during the late evening hours looked a lot like this...
Only with people, not cartoon characters
 Yes indeed, we loved those ladies. But we're not alone; Quentin Tarantino paid tribute in his "Kill Bill" opus when the titular Bill declared that "When Will I See You Again" was his favorite soul song of the '70s. I don't know why he felt the need to date-stamp the tune, as it's as great today as it ever was.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Oh, What Webs They Weaved

Ah, yes ... The Three Degrees.

It's come to our attention many of you out there might not know of The Three Degrees. Sad ... but easily correctable. Here's a quick primer which will no doubt jar your memory ...

Now, as Jeff mentioned, all three of us contributed to their eventual expertise in crime-fighting. But a major part of their acumen came from their natural talents: Beauty and deception. While you can tell the gals were obvious lookers, this fact was instrumental in sidling up to the bad guys. Cooing up to some guy with an arsenal of weapons, destruction and mayhem will get you far, you know, and that's exactly what The Three Degrees did. Often.

They were good at it. Really good.

But, when the chips were down and their natural charms couldn't sway ne'er-do-wells, that's when they busted out the moves.

Gee Baby I'm Sorry usually got the guys cooled off (or heated up as was sometimes the case). Cuffed, cornered or otherwise in a predicament, When Will I See You Again was the order of the day that brought the softness out in bad guys, opening a door for the girls to surprise them when they let their guard down. (And they usually let their guard down at some point. Men are so predictable.) And Giving Up Giving In? A sort of last resort song crooned in the event things looked grim. It caught baddies unaware every time. What a bunch of lunkheads.

Probably the biggest prop in The Three Degrees formidable bag of tricks, however, was TSOP* (The Sound of Philadelphia). Bust out that tune and criminals thought a dance party had just broken out. Talk about getting caught with your pants down! 

The song's secret? Virtually zero lyrics. Nothing but smooth disco goodness until the very end. I don't care who you are - you can't help but begin toe tapping to TSOP, followed naturally by exaggerated disco dance floor moves. Once caught up in the sound and rhythm, the girls simply stifled their opponents with handy duct tape or scarves or belts.  << BOOM! >> Utter devastation. 

That's when the "Doot doot doo-doo-doo doo, doot doo ... Let's get it on!" (the only lyrics of in the song) came into play. By that time, boondoggled and surprised they were thus fooled, the criminal element could do nothing but hang their heads in shame with the realization they'd been duped, all the while forced to listen to the girls taunt them with "Let's get it on!"

But ... duped by some fine foxy female fortitude.

There's nothing quite like getting the wool pulled over your eyes by women of power.

And The Three Degrees were definitely that. 

*The version of TSOP provided here is the extended 12" version of the song which includes "People all over the world" lyrics. The Three Degrees did not use this particular version when apprehending brigands and hooligans. It has been provided solely for your dining and dancing pleasure. You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Three Degrees of Kickin' Butt

Phew! Sorry for the lateness of the hour folks, just flew in from Muskoka, ON where I was a guest judge at the Lake Of Bays Brewing Co.'s Morgan Freeman Impression contest. I like going up there because it's handily close to my buddy Bryan Dearsley's pad, but let me tell you - this year's contest was tough. 

The competition was fierce, with contenders from all over including Charlie Hopkinson,

 Josh Robert Thompson,

 Jake Foushee

and the real Morgan Freeman himself, in one of his old costumes from "The Electric Company". 

Gawd, we loved that show.

Even Bryan stepped up and tried out a few choice Freeman phrases such as 

  • "Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'. That's goddamn right."
  •  and "Multiply your anger by about a hundred, Kate, that's how much he thinks he loves you." 
Things almost came to blows after a few craft beers were inside the contestants, but it was Charlie that eventually won out. Morgan Freeman himself came second.

Another of the reasons I enjoyed the competition this year was because another guest judge was the lovely and talented Sheila Ferguson, who as you well remember was 'the one in the middle' of The Three Degrees.

The other guest judge (and the one that ruined the party for Morgan Freeman) was that utter tool Ryan Seacrest, so the less said about him, the better.

Anyway, back to Sheila. Sheila has been a friend of the Unbelievables since the early days, when in their spare time, The Three Degrees would come over to the Unbelievabase and jam till dawn, or sometimes just chill in the hot tub drinking gin rickeys and playing Hunt The Cannoli (a very complicated word game involving hot tubs and gin rickeys). There was even one time when all six of us went shopping in downtown Stiletto Flats' most groovy clothing boutique, Flatfoot Jimmy's...

and kitted the girls out in some seriously cool gear.

But it was only a matter of time before the girls decided that they wanted to become Unbelievababes and go fight crime internationally as part of our network of informants, moles, decoys and general butt-kickin' type folks.

We sat with them for many a long hour imparting wisdom, knowledge and tips, training them in the art of Unbelieva-Zen and Unbelieva-Fu, until they were ready to help us thwart crime wherever it may appear.

I'm sure Michael and Clark will tell you more about our Three Degrees adventures later in the week.