Monday, November 30, 2015

We're Inventive

One thing you may or may not know about us Unbelieva-chaps is that in our spare time (which is few and far between, let me tell ya) we like to tinker with ideas and invent stuff. The same creative blue sky out-of-the-box thinking that leads us to create remarkable weaponry or insane defensive skills (such as the memorable Lobster Rage Fist) also helps us to invent things that can be used by the general public, hi-tech businesses or even law enforcement agencies. Here's a few exciting examples of ones I myself have created.

You've all heard of 'telecommuting', right? What used to be known as 'working from home'? This little setup is something I came up with to help the home worker to feel more relaxed and ready to work - after all, you can't do your best work unless you've had plenty of rest, can you? So this idea ensures that at the slightest hint of drowsiness, you can catch forty winks without having to go anywhere, letting you wake refreshed and raring to go. Of course, the bedsores are an embarrassing side effect, so a quick walk around the house once a day makes sure you don't end up with any muscle wastage or suppurating thigh issues.

Want to open a motel but strapped for cash? Get a few old caravans and trailers for cheap and weld them together. Then simply sit back and let the money roll in. You are welcome.

The 'Motor-Cage' lets motorcycle cops cuff'em and stuff'em just like the guys in the cruisers. Just a simple sidecar conversion and you are good to go.

Another simple sidecar conversion, and covert surveillance now comes on three wheels. I call this one the "Motor-Rollei", geddit? Anyone? Is this thing on?

The ladies of the Pickle-On-The-Wold Women's Institute were very keen to try out my designs for kitchen safety goggles. Cake making can get so messy - all that flour and butter and jam flying all over the place.

Of course, it's very easy for a filmmaker to simply mount a camera on the front of a car for those action scenes, but I managed to convince the makers of The Fast and The Furious that a camera alone lacked that human touch, so together we devised a rig so that I could film the action myself while on board a moving vehicle. It was quite a rush, and I think the results speak for themselves.

Joshua Heap and Company bought my design for an apple peeler-corer-slicer, but then went ahead and did something completely different with it. Ah well, I got paid, so everyone was happy.

Here's a preview of my "Robo-Gyno" design for busy obstetricians - still a work in progress, but it's got potential.

(Not sure what this is doing here.)
The guys will tell you all about some of their inventions later in the week. Meantime, I'm off to strap myself to the front fender of a school bus - we're doing a Partridge Family reboot in which the bus is involved in a high-speed chase against Henry Rollins and Haley Joel Osment across Nevada.

What can I tell ya? They've downsized.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


As one third of The Unbelievables, for me half the fun of the cooking process leading up to Thanksgiving itself is the socialization. The preparation of all things edible demands discussion ... suggestion ... and the display and implementation of the vast knowledge gained during comestible formation. (More fun? Passing along some of those culinary tricks and recipes, too.)

While Clark got us stuffed and Jeff breaded us, in the same (sort of) vein it rests on my shoulders to put the cheer in everyones' "Cheers!"

Yep ... I'm talking cocktails.

Sure, you can uncap your favorite brew or pop the cork on a bottle of wine, but where's the adventure in that? With a minimal of effort you can put a few imbibical concoctions to task and wow guests who have gathered in your home to mooch a free meal! Added bonus! The processes involved in putting these aperitifs together are so simple even our "directionally challenged" foes can whip them up. Here we go ...

Sangria. Who doesn't like sangria? (No one I know of.) It's a no-brainer to elevate this popular fruity wine into a tasty cocktail ...

Carlo Rossi Sangria (Available in various size bottles as well as humongous jug containers practically guaranteed to prevent running out!)
orange juice
crushed ice
fruit garnish: slices of orange / lime / lemon, strawberry or, really, whatever trips your fancy

Directions: Into a tall glass with ice, fill 3/4 full with sangria. Add Squirt and orange juice in equal measure to top off the glass. Stir. Add fruit garnish directly into mix. (Or get all fancy and arrange on the glass rim. Fancified!) Makes 1 serving. You can also make a full pitcher (or more!) portioning the ingredients accordingly.

Ginger Cocktail (Not for redheads only!) Perfect for Thanksgiving, the night before Thanksgiving, during dessert, Black Friday morning inspiration, whatever.

2 fresh cranberries, washed and patted dry
2 pieces crystallized ginger
2 ounces chilled cranberry juice or its varieties
Chilled prosecco or champagne

Directions: Add cranberries and ginger to decorative champagne flute, add cranberry juice. Top with prosecco or champagne. Makes 1 serving.

Classic Cape Codder

6 ounces chilled cranberry juice
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 lime wedge

Directions: Pour liquids into a tall glass filled with ice. Squeeze lime into mixture and stir. Makes 1 serving.

See? Incredibly simple stuff. You'll be a hero! And ... ply your guests (or that annoying relative who does nothing but complain) with enough pre-dinner drinks and they'll forget all about the fact you forgot to make a green bean casserole with those crunch onions on top.


And Happy Thanksgiving from The Unbelievables ... !!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Get Saucy

Today it's my turn to share my culinary pièce de resistance, my coup de grâce, my je ne sais quoi... and for me, being English born and raised, it's not about the turkey, the veg or the potatoes, it's about sauce. Cranberry is well-known to most Americans, so I'll focus on my favourite sauce, which is also dead easy.

It's called bread sauce and this is because it is the sole remaining remnant of medieval cookery that we Brits still make on a regular basis.

You see, back in the day, medieval cooks would use up day-old bread by adding the breadcrumbs to sauce in order to thicken them. Sensible idea - waste not, want not.

Bread sauce is made with milk, onion, cloves, butter and bread. Here's what you do. 

I take a couple of decent-sized onions, cut off the tops and bottoms and peel them. Then, take some cloves and use them to stud the onions in a ring around each one, about a third of the way up the side. Sit the studded onions in a saucepan and fill it with milk to about two-thirds of the way up the side of the onions, and then simmer on a low heat until the onions are soft. This is the bit that throws people off now - discard the onions. What you have now is hot milk infused with clove and onion flavour. 

Take some slices of white bread and remove the crust, then break the slices into little pieces and add to the hot milk. Stir every so often till you get a sort of thick custardy consistency, then  take a potato masher and mash the mixture a few times to break up any large bread pieces. Add a knob of butter and stir in. Et voila! Bread sauce! The best thing for turkey and taters, believe you me. Try it, you'll wonder how you ate turkey without it.

If that sounds too complicated, you can buy bread sauce mix in a packet, ready-made, but really, how lazy are you? 

How about you just go all-out and open a can of something made by Dinty Moore? 

Better still, just skip straight to the after-dinner drinks - here's a good one to get you going, a recipe by that famous English loon, Fanny Cradock.


1 lemon
6 cloves
1 bottle red wine
1 pint weak tea

Stick cloves in lemon and bake in oven at Gas Mark 1/4 or 225F until light brown. Heat wine, dunk lemon in and add hot tea and sugar. When sugar is dissolved, raise heat to just below boiling and serve.

Cheers (hic)!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Unbelieva-Thanks, 2015!

The holiday season is upon us once again and we're in full celebration mode. Even Jeff, who is British and legally not allowed to have Thanksgiving because they lost the war. But he simply loves the whipped potatoes too much to exclude him.

Which brings me to this week's theme: We, The Unbelievables, are going to share our favorite recipes with you! These are the actual recipes we will be using when we prepare this year's feast for Marissa's Home for Wayward Showgirls

  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 3/4 cups margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 8 cups, soft bread cubes, divided
  • 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet; cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown, about 10 minutes. Remove sausage from the skillet and let drain on paper towels. Combine melted margarine with the sausage drippings until there is 1 cup of drippings and margarine combined.
  2. Cook and stir onion and celery in the margarine-dripping mixture in the same skillet over medium heat until onion is tender but not browned, about 10 minutes . Stir in about 1/3 of the bread cubes. Pour onion mixture into a large bowl and stir in remaining bread cubes, sausage, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Mix well.
  3. Insert stuffing into the turkey's gaping orifice and throw the turkey in the oven . Or use a casserole dish, cover it with tin foil, and bake in the oven at 325°F for 30 minutes. Then take off the foil and bake it another 15 minutes.
  4. While waiting for it to cook, go over to Henri Petit's house and put some rotten eggs in his mailbox.
  5. Get back home and take a phone call from an upset Henri Petit, saying "Why would you do that? It's Thanksgiving!"
  6. Reply with "Do what, you disgusting, mewling, cabbage-headed infant? I'm over here making stuffing."
  7. Hang up when he says "I saw you, you dolt! And for the thousandth time, I AM NOT A..."
This recipe serves you and 11 hungry showgirls. Increase ingredients proportionately if you have more showgirls.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Hot Roddin'

The Unbelievabase, sometime yesterday morning. Breakfast is on the table.

MICHAEL: So, any word on Rod and The Conductor?

CLARK: Nada. Zip. Smoke. Nuttin'. Not a peep. Nary a flicker on the radar scope. Not heard a word. No--

JEFF: We get it! I have, however, done some research--

C: Wikipedia, Ask Jeeves, Bing...

J: THANK you, yes, Wikipedia etc., (ahem) and I can safely say that with the combined age of The Conductor, Ryūzō and The Seven Henchmen being approximately 636, depending on whose birth certificates are accurate, Rodders should have comparatively little difficulty escaping their clutches.

M: So... we don't need to worry?

J: No.

C: And the ransom? 

J: Paid.


J: I know it sounds almost impossible to believe, but we have Kip The Mail Boy to thank.

C: Oh come ON! That little snot-nose?! What the--

J: Believe it or not, but all this time working as our mail boy has had a positive effect on Kip. He has learned how to hack computers. 

M: You're putting me on.

C: On what planet exactly?!

J: On this one, mi amigos. I sorta... suggested to Kip that perhaps he could hack into the finances of a very rich, very stupid person and use their money to procure the ransom. After all, being very rich, a transaction like that would be a drop in the bucket. And being very stupid, they wouldn't think to look. 

M,C: Come on though! Rich and stupid, sure, but still a person...

J: Not a good person. Not a nice person. A rich, dumb asshole who deserves to be stolen from. 

M: Oh, an asshole. That makes it alright then.


J: I believe I'll get that.

Jeff opens door to reveal Rod Stewart, alive and well.

ROD: Alright lads?

M, C: Hi Rod! What the heck?!

ROD: Relax, guys. Although I could have easily overpowered Ryūzō and The Seven Henchmen, not to mention The Conductor, the ransom got paid and I just walked out, but not before hiring Ryūzō and The Seven Henchmen to be my staff. They're all great cooks (Pan-Asian Fusion is the best!) and Ryūzō himself is now my chief bodyguard. I had them clean out my attic for old spare bits of railway track, gave that to The Conductor, and then made my way here.

M, C: Wow.

M: That explains that, then. 

C; Yeah, except for one thing. The name of the rich, dumb asshole Kip hacked?

J: (slyly grinning) Oh, I'm sure if you think hard enough, you can come up Trumps.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What DO we know about Ryūzō and his henchmen? Plenty

Jeff:  "So ... anyone know anything about these thugs The Conductor hired?"
Thugs. Goons. Henchmen. Whatever you want to call them. They're all pretty much the same. Why? Well, because those who operate in the realm of muscle-for-hire are actually certified professionals. In fact, without that board certification, it is not legal for them to operate illegally in most countries and 48 of the 50 states in America (Florida and Texas, shockingly, have no standards in this area, among many, many others).

So, what do we know about Ryūzō and his crew? Basically what we know from the Fraternal Order of Underlings, Goons, Henchmen & Thugs (F.O.U.G.H.T) Standards and Practices manual...

All certified professionals must:

  • Possess the ability to blindly follow orders
  • Be willing to wear the uniform as determined by the boss.
  • Have the ability to carry multiple sacks of loot.
  • Be big and strong, yet generally kind of 'doughy' in appearance
  • Remember to attack one at a time, regardless of how many of them there are.
  • Learn the phrase, "Uhhh, what now, boss?"
  • Not be able to hit the broadside of anything with any kind of weapon

"Seriously, why do we even have guns?"
That's just the minimum job requirements. There is also an exam...

A boss tells you to do something that is sure to end with you being arrested, crippled and or dead. Your response?

  1. Do it.
  2. Incorrect.
The boss tells you to wear this as a uniform
You say:
  1. "What do the initials and numbers mean?"
  2. "Turtlenecks make me itch."
  3. "Whatever you say, boss."
You're emptying a bank vault. How many sacks of loot do you grab?
  1. One. So I have a hand free to open a door or fight if necessary.
  2. Two. Because that's enough.
  3. Four. Two in each hand.
You can lift
  1. Another henchman, to help him scale a wall.
  2. A safe.
  3. The rear end of a sedan.
  4. Whatever.
The last time you exercised...
  1. Haw haw! What's exercise?
  2. I did crunches once when a hero punched me repeatedly in my face. Well, I heard crunches.
You and six of your buddies have a hero cornered in a blind alley. You...
  1. Smile and politely say, "after you" to one of your colleagues.
  2. Dial 9 and 1 on your cell phone, knowing how this will end for you.
  3. Say, "All right guys, just this once let's try overpowering him by all attacking at once, using the clear and obvious advantage of our numbers to... Carl, wait! Wait! Carl!! Oh damn it,"
Something goes terribly wrong. You return to the hideout and say...
  1. Oy, my ribs. Such a pain I'm feeling in my torso region!
  2. Uhhh, what now, boss?
  3. You know, I tried to get everybody to attack at once, but did anybody listen to me? Noooo! Nobody ever listens to me. Especially Carl.
You spy a hero trying to sneak into your hideout. You pull out your gun and...
  1. Fire a warning shot harmlessly into the air. Fair is fair and safety first.
  2. Fire every shot in your clip at him, hitting nothing but getting the attention of nearby law enforcement officers who were just standing around doing nothing until they heard gunfire.
  3. Tilt it sideways and fire, gangsta-style. But hitting nothing.
  4. Just put it on the ground at your feet because you know what's coming.

So while we know nothing about these henchmen, we know everything we need to know about henchmen. 
But what of Rod Stewart and The Conductor?!? 
Jeff will tell you on Friday!

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Conductor Conducts Once More ...

The Conductor ...
... after picking himself up and dusting himself off after his recent ass kicking ...

"But anyway, we beat the living pulp out of The Conductor (note to would-be villains: spring for some hired muscle henchmen and at least make it a challenge), rescued Rod, who came back to Stileto Flats with us where he performed a free concert that still somehow raised a million dollars for charity." 

So said Clark in last Friday's post.

But that wasn't the end of it.

As it turned out, The Conductor was listening - beaten, battered and bloody such that he was. But he was coherent enough to take Clark up on his "note to would-be villains." 

We found out about this little turn of events in a note he sent us:

Jeff: "Uh ... guys? We might have a problem ..."

Michael: "Are we out of Grape Nuts again?"

Clark: "I paid the electric bill, so don't blame me!"

Jeff: "No ... it's The Conductor again. He left us a note. He
hired muscle. And some pretty formidable (albeit elderly) muscle at that. He procured none other than Ryūzō and The Seven Henchmen ..."

Ryūzō and some of his henchmen
"... and they absconded with Rod Stewart as soon as he landed. And The Conductor wants a ransom for his return this time. Plus some vintage odds and ends for his model train collection. AND he wants his demands met in 48 hours."

Clark: Son of a ... that's the first time one of our foes has EVER taken our advice!"

Me: "Well ... it's a fine time for this to crop up. I had plans to get my Christmas shopping done this weekend. Now it looks like we need to save Rod's ass once again ..."

Clark: "... as well as the rest of him."

Jeff:  "So ... anyone know anything about these thugs The Conductor hired?"

We'd find out soon enough ...

Friday, November 13, 2015

The end of the line (this time)

We disembarked at Death Valley where we were met by this guy...
THIS GUY: "Greetings, Unbelievables. I am... The Conductor!"
MICHAEL: "Yeah... And?"
JEFF: "What do you want? It's hot out here."
THIS GUY THAT WE NOW KNOW AS THE CONDUCTOR: "Oh. Well, yes. I have brought you all here..."
ME: "Come on already, what's your deal? You're a conductor. So, what, you lead orchestras or something?"
THE CONDUCTOR: "What? No! Trains! I'm a train conductor. You came here by train. There's a whole theme here!"
MICHAEL: "Ugh. We hate trains."
JEFF: "Yeah. Hate 'em."
CLARK: "I'm kinda ambivalent towards trains, for the most part. I hate this one though, because it brought us out here to you, and I definitely hate you. Already."
THE CONDUCTOR: "I'm going to ignore all of that and just tell you that I have kidnapped the world's greatest entertainer, Rod Stewart! That, and I am going to harm him. And there's nothing the vaunted Unbelievables can do about it! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!"

MICHAEL: "Okay, I am completely lost."
JEFF: "Me too. What exactly is your point here?"
ME: "Yeah. What does Rod Stewart have to do with trains?"
THE CONDUCTOR: "Are you kidding me? Rod Stewart loves trains. He loves them! The irony here is palpable!"
MICHAEL: "He has one song about a train. Big deal."
JEFF: "Well, to be fair, he also covered 'People Get Ready', which is pretty thick with train metaphors."
ME: "That doesn't qualify any of this as ironic, though."
THE CONDUCTOR: "You guys are nuts! I'm not even talking about his music. Rod Stewart is a renowned model railroader!"
Huh. Who knew?
That was an interesting reveal. It's always fun to learn about the hobbies of celebrities. But anyway, we beat the living pulp out of The Conductor (note to would-be villains: spring for some hired muscle henchmen and at least make it a challenge), rescued Rod, who came back to Stileto Flats with us where he performed a free concert that still somehow raised a million dollars for charity.
What can we say? The cat is good!
He was so appreciative and gracious that we arranged for his travel home; via the Unbelieva-Jet, NOT by train.
"Ready for boarding when you are, Mr. Stewart."

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

That (Death) Train, Rolling Down The Tracks ...

Jeff hit the nail on the head: "Oh, how we hate trains."

Current challenges in taking them today present more of a struggle than a pleasure. Just as the nature of flying has changed over the last few decade (excessive luggage charges, food effacement, more) iron horse travel isn't what it used to be.

We've resigned ourselves, however, to put our discomfiture aside and do what we need to do to get to this "top secret meeting" via locomotive transport under our belts. Besides, it's a free trip on our part and filled with incentive.

What? Jeff didn't mention that fact?

Yes, our jaunt comes filled with bonus extras tailored to entice us into the venture in an effort to make our journey a bit more agreeable all around.

Booze, broads and victuals are all "on the menu" so to speak. And while sophisticated cocktails during happy hour, stimulating intellectual companionship courtesy of the fairer sex and exquisite subsistence may be the order of the trek, we're still "on the job" and alert to the possibility the entire affair may be one big trap.

But we don't think so. There are too many overt amenities someone has gone out of the way to provide for it to be your household, garden-variety bait and switch ...

Lavish accommodations (of which we admit are eye-wideningly surprising on a train) ...

Fresh towels and linens ...

Bidets ...

Comely personal assistants ...

Even mints on our pillows when we retire.


What could possibly go wrong?

Well ... how about the fact we noticed two-thirds into the trip the train was headed for Death Valley, California?

It might be a long trip after all ...

Monday, November 9, 2015

Highly Trained Professionals

Oh, how we hate trains.

Don't get me wrong, we used to love trains, back when train travel used to look like this...

Sumptuous food, panoramic vistas, and crew cuts...

A lounge car that was akin to a gentlemen's club (no, not that kind of gentlemen's club, get your mind out of the gutter please)

and women who would pine for us after we got off the train.
We have been called to a top-secret meeting in a far-flung yet totally tip top secret location. Because of the current situation in the world re: flying, we thought it best that we travelled to our totally tippety toppety secret meeting in an equally undisclosable location by the old chemin de fer, the choo-choo, the locomotive.

The only problem is, we don't usually travel by train because the last few times we did, it was more like this...

On a ski trip to Alaska we were unlucky enough to find ourselves sharing a compartment with Red McSkeeterson and his Hootenanny Seven. Eesh. That was a long journey.
On a quest to find the world's finest Lamb Dhansak we got trapped on a board a Pakistani "cricket special".

and on a trip to the Orient to battle the Triads, the Korean Mafia and a plague of Iron Chefs, we had to rough it with a bunch of people who were feeling the effects of the slightly dodgy Imperial Shrimp.
So as you can understand, we are not looking forward to boarding that train tomorrow.

And what, I hear you cry, is the purpose of our top secret meeting in an undisclosed locale?

Truth be told, we don't even know ourselves. But the guys will tell you what they can on Wednesday and Friday. I cannot wait -the suspense is killing me!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Where's Michael THIS time??

Michael didn't check in with his chapter in this week's saga, but we aren't that concerned. We're pretty sure he tinkered with the stealth cloaking feature of his Unbelievasuit, dialing it up to 11, and may very well be right here; we simply can't detect his presence at all.
Here are some of the last times we saw him (using our Unbelievaspecs, we can see things that you folks might think are truly invisible)...
Sitting on his favorite "thinking about things" bench
Enjoying sand and surf
This one is at a distance but there he is, halfway up the summit. Hello-o-o-o-o!

That's simply a testament to how good the technology is and why one shouldn't mess with it. Our hope is Michael sees this, realizes there's a problem and un-tinkers his way back into visual existence.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

We Won't Be De-Feet-ed

Sure, our Unbelievasuits are handy. But our feet need protection, too. We have specially designed footwear which not only have all sorts of handy additional gizmos on board to aid us in our world-protecting, crime-fighting daily lives, but are designed to reflect our personalities (what with us being stylish gents and all).

Clark is a sneakers and hi-tops kinda fellow. Here are some of his shoes...

(A) onboard GPS-enabled tracker, and (B) Wi-Fi hotspot.

(A) Looks like a fastener but in fact unfolds to become a Ninja Throwing Star. (B) Hipster man-bag actually converts into rubber dinghy. (C) Sole is actually made of deliciously seasoned halloumi cheese and can be eaten in a dire emergency, like getting stuck in an elevator or when adrift at sea (in the rubber dinghy, natch)

(A) Orange patterned section actually contains sleeping gas, which can be released by scratching with fingernail. Handy for disabling crooks or when suffering from insomnia. (B) Ridged rubber toecap is useful in a variety of situations, from adding extra grip when climbing fire escapes or brick walls, to adding swirly patterns to the tops of cupcakes.

(A) Another foodstuff to be used in an emergency - this time it's a Fruit Roll-Up. (B) Slots in soles are useful for hiding USB drives, microfilm, microchips, etc.

Myself, I'm more of a dress shoe type of chap. Here's some of my special shoes.

There are mini cameras installed in one of the little holes on the brown section of shoe. (E) denotes the laces which are actually made of high-tensile steel/nylon cable which comes in handy for tying up bad guys,  fixing things, swinging from stuff, etc.

My lil'snazzies, replete with (A) micro-missile launcher, and (B) tear gas dispenser.

The "Babe Magnets", with (C) titanium toecap (viciously sharp), and (D) walkie-talkie.

Some people have mood rings. I have mood shoes. These DM's are designed for butt-kicking when in certain moods: (A) pensive; (B) reckless; (C) depressed; (D) furious; and (E) dark and gritty.

As for Michael, he tends to spend a lot of the time pantsless, which makes his choice of shoes all the more curious. They are specially designed to confuse, distract and disorient a would-be criminal. He simply calls them "Unbelievablinders".