Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day Lunacy

You recall a little earlier in the year we discussed that group of lame-o wannabe criminals known as The Leapers? The bunch of Crash Bandicoot-obsessed Aussie ex-athletes who cause mayhem once every four years? Well, in case you were wondering, we are prepared for them. We've gone and acquired ourselves this little custom-made beauty...

a bunch of controllers...

and a ton of Crash Bandicoot games.

And we set them up like this...

Fig. 1: Just a simple mock-up, but you get the idea. It really will be this easy. The Leapers are not the brightest bulbs in the lamps department. You could strangle them with a cordless phone, you know what I'm saying?
There have been many other instances of catching criminals in the past where the simplest and sometimes silliest-sounding solution  has been the best approach. 

We once had to track down and capture the Small Faces (don't ask why, it would take too long). Simple yet nutty solution? One of those late 60s globe chairs that were kicking about ten-a-penny.

Serial hugger Stacie Contrapuntal was ensnared easily by the use of a fake spangly snake.

Fur filching Fannie Firenza was the problem - Clark and myself with stockings over our heads was the solution.

And The Small Faces - again - were captured with the aid of an oversized comedy overcoat.

I'm sure the guys will have more stories of unusual methods of capture later in the week.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Trouser Trouble

You've seen it instance after instance after instance: I rarely wear clothing from the waist down.

Ever wonder why?

No ... it's not because I'm a closet nudist. (Though, there is something to be said for the freedom one maintains in so being.)

The reason is because I used to have a major problem with trousers. Just as Clark and Jeff have confessed theirs, "chino collecting" used to be my personal accounting free-for-all.

I got jacked over jodhpurs. I couldn't say "No!" to corduroy. I died for the denim. And I looked chill in the chaps ... and I knew it.

Slacks simply "did it" for me. And I bought them by the ton. 

I'd plunk down a grand easily for a pair of Earnest Sewn Custom Fits without a second thought ...

Come on: Who wouldn't?

Truth be told, I couldn't purchase just a single pair. Half a dozen was the least amount I could walk out the door without feeling slighted.

In dressier moods, a go-to slack would be my beloved Santorelli "Luxury Serge" Double Pleated Wool Trousers.

Yeah ... these babies make me look  g o o d  ...

And those front wools ... HELLO!
Comfort and good looks. Woof ...

I could go on and on and on.

And on.

So ... what's a guy to do?

I'll tell you what a trouser glutton like me did: I went cold turkey. 

"Michael ... you're out of control tops ..." my accountant told me one day. "See what I did there? I tried easing into it by cracking wise ..."

"I'm not amused," I responded.

"Seriously," he straightened and looked sternly at me. "Your slack purchasing mannerisms end TODAY. It's criminal how much you spend on pants, unconscionable. You can't possibly wear that many in any given week. It's left no room for anything you actually need like food, gas, beach volleyball magazine subscriptions. Think man: How will you amount to anything but a one good looking dude in Loro Piana Cashmere without a dime to his name?"

He had a point.

"I'm going to give it to you straight ... and this is in no way meant to be a come on: You'd 'have it going on' even if you didn't wear pants. And you'd have a whole lot more pocket change, too. Just without any pockets to put the change in ..."

I wasn't convinced. 

But he showed me the numbers, he spread the spread sheets before me and proved his point in glaring detail.

Numbers don't lie.

So I made a decision before walking out of his office: I went cold turkey on the trousers. I doffed my drawers, right then and there, and took the plunge so to speak.

"What the hell are you doing?!?" my account cried out, surprised.

"If I'm going to do this, I need to start now," I reasoned.

"Dude ... *yeesh* ... at least keep your underwear on so you don't get arrested for indecent exposure ..." he suggested.

And then? After "adjusting" as it were, I walked out that office in nothing but boxer briefs from the waist down, my trousers left on his office floor.

And I must admit: I'm a better man for it today.

Now ... I'm not the complete fool. I wear slacks when the occasion calls for it. I'm not some weirdo, after all.

But I realized an important lesson that day: I had just as much confidence out of pants as I did in them.
After all ...when you fight crime? You have to be confident.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

An Account Of My Accounts

If there's one thing I hate more than Tuesdays without whipped potatoes, it's having to deal with personal finances. Paying bills is bo-o-oring! Let the accountant deal with that crap. I can think of nothing more stultifyingly dull than reading a bank statement or a credit card statement. So I talked to my accountant, a half-Cherokee named Dances with Calculator (although he prefers being called Reg), dumped all my bills and receipts at his tepee and asked him to tell me what I could trim from my personal budget. What he came back with was somewhat of an eye-opener.

It seems I am into interior design in a big way. Who knew? I mean, I knew, but I guess I was just in denial. What can I say? I just like good, cool stuff in my living space. Here are some of the excesses Reg pointed out...

My beautiful New York City desk. Handcrafted and accurately detailed. 27 grand well spent, I thought. And useful for if we ever have to plan a sting operation in NYC.

My King Arthur Knights of the Round Table Swing table. For when you have 11 poker buddies over. Or 11 guests for dinner. Or when you have eleven friends dressed in knight's garb and you want to hold a jousting contest. Personally, I think $17k is a steal.

One always needs a decent coffee table, and since I only ever serve the best coffee, this The Abyss table by Duffy London was something I needed! Reg said $24,000 was excessive, but he is a philistine!

And one always needs a comfy place to sit and drink the amazing coffee that's on the hella cool coffee table in front of it. So I needed this KiBiSi Brick sofa. So what if it's $13k, as long as it's comfy?

Sorry, but I don't do boring. Shelves don't have to be straight horizontal things. Tangrams are cool puzzles, so tangram shelves make sense. And they were a good deal at three-and-a half grand.
Cocktails are exciting, but they're even more so when your cocktail table does cool tricks with the light. Twelve large is not that much, really.

I hang this Storm Cloud Light over my bed and pretend I'm sleeping outdoors.  It's got a Bluetooth-enabled speaker in it, too, and different coloured lights that can react to the music. Wouldn't you pay $3.5k for this baby?

Reg seems to have it in for me. I like cool stuff in my home, I can afford it, so I don't know why wigwam boy has to wind me up about my home furnishings just because he hasn't got anything but a freakin' tent. Even stuff for my bathroom and garden didn't escape his notice.

A good shower can help you feel really refreshed and ready to face to trials and tribulations of the day, and when you're a butt-kicking crimefighting machine like me, the better the shower, the better the refreshment.  The Raindance Royal 350 AIR Shower Head with its 14-inch spray face can't be beat. And it's a bargain. $1900.

I bought a dozen of these Chill Slings at $180 a pop just in case we ever have nine other people over for a beach BBQ.

And this - well, I admit this was frivolous. But how cool is a Globe Fire Pit? Hand crafted, individually numbered, one quarter inch thick  carbon steel, 36" in diameter... I really wanted it, and I just happened to have $1700 in my wallet...
Long story short, I'm quite happy with my spending habits, but what I really do need is a new accountant who doesn't complain every time I open my checkbook. Reg, you're fired! One new accountant, pronto, please!

You'll do!

Monday, February 22, 2016

A time for a personal accounting

"I spent HOW MUCH on hand-tooled leather mouse saddles?!?"

While you may heave heard that Kanye West revealed that he has accrued some $53 million in personal debt, you probably didn't hear that he came to us for help first. Unfortunately, we weren't able to offer the assistance he needs. A cursory glance at his spending habits revealed that what he needed was a financial adviser or an accountant or simply an adult to sternly shout "NO!" once in a while.

None of those things are what we do in terms of services rendered so we had to turn him away. But the experience did open our eyes to the possible financial perils that international jet setters like ourselves could face. Yes, the Unbelieva-base is somewhat opulent (in the lower levels, beneath the laundromat that you see from the street). From the toilets with hot and cold flush capability to the ice maker that fashions cubes in our own individual likenesses to the shag-carpeted basketball court, we don't lack for amenities. Nor should we! We need that stuff!

Still, we decided it's probably a good idea to take a look at some of our personal spending habits and see if there is any pork that can be trimmed with the solid gold pork-trimming sheers we got each other for Christmas two years ago.

Here are the areas where it would probably be good for me to cut back...

$700 a month, spare robot parts
In all these years, I haven't created a single fully-functioning robot (YET!). I'm not going to give up but, all things considered, I can't honestly justify the need for so many spare parts.

$19.95 a month, dues, Licorice of the Month Club

The fee is fairly nominal, even though they only send out two kinds of licorice. If you receive black in January, you can bet with confidence that it will be red in February. Care to guess what's coming in March? Exactly. No, the real problem is that they insist on running it like an actual club, where you're supposed to fly in (at your own expense) and attend meetings. And those always break down into arguments over which kind of licorice is better, red or black.

$145 a month, remote controlled Sleep Number® memory foam underpants 

Only remote controlled Sleep Number® memory foam underpants adjust on each side to your ideal level of firmness, comfort and support - your remote controlled Sleep Number® memory foam underpants setting. I've heard that some people are able to live active and healthy lives without this technology. I don't know how or why but I guess I should probably give it a try.

$850 a month, Air Defenestrators® (shoes designed for kicking people out of windows)

Special shoes designed for kicking people out of windows? Yes! Sure, you could wear regular shoes and kick someone out of a window. But why would you want to? You're simply not going to get the arc and distance and just general oomph you would get from shoes designed specifically for that purpose. Once, I wore a pair in Chicago and some punk tried to steal them. Guess what happened?
Notice what he doesn't have in his hands: my shoes.

But since I can't justify buying a new pair every single month aside from indulging my taste for fashion, this number needs to come down. 

Wow, looks like I need to make some serious adjustments to my lifestyle!
I wonder what Michael and Jeff learned about their own personal spending habits?

Friday, February 19, 2016

All Rapped Up At The Grammys

When we got to the Grammys, we learned pretty quickly that the threat of ceremony disruption type thingies was due to a message Mr. Portnow had received from one Eli Porter.

You're all familiar with Eli Porter, right?

You must all have seen the video of "Iron Mic" wherein a rap battle between Eli and Envy takes place. In the video it is clear that Envy isn't freestylin', he's spittin' a written. So Eli drops him stone cold with the line "I'm the best man... I did it."

It was a message via voicemail that Mr. Portnow had received. We took a listen to the recording, which seemed to say, "How you want me to? I'm the best man, I did it."

Luckily, Michael's keen ear for current hip-hop and rap acts came into play and he immediately spluttered, "That's not just Eli - that's Riak too!"

"WHO?!?" I cried, along with Clark and Neil.

"You guys never heard of Riak? Only the dopest rhymer straight outta the Sudan," replied Michael. 
"Homie got some wicked skillz."

"Why are you talking like that, Michael?" we inquired.

"Cuz I grew up on da street, innit, blud? There wasn't no food in ma silver spoon, so I grew up hard and I grew up soon, I'm a righteous king, but I'm hungry too, and I eat up chumps that rap like you! Boo-yaaa!"

Eyes rolling, we asked Michael what the score was.

"I reckon he's gonna pull a Kanye. He and Eli are gonna rush the stage during Tay-Tay's acceptance speech and do the whole "Bitch Imma let you finish..." thing.

So we immediately decided to search the entire vicinity.  We figured Eli, with his disability in the leg department, and Riak, with his lack of ability in the dancing department, wouldn't be too far away from the stage, not with the clock counting down towards the ceremony.

Long story short, we discovered Riak hiding in a janitor's closet with Eli, planning their onstage surprise.

"Okay bruh bruh, you jump on stage, grab the mic and say HOW YOU WANT ME TO, real loud like", said Eli.

"Yeah, and then when everyone's confused and distracted, you grab the award and say I'm The Best, Man, I Did It!, then we leg it!"

When we carted them off to the paddy wagon, Michael was yelling at them, "Why, homes, why? Y'all got mad skillz up in here. Why y'all need to do dat?"

As they packed them into the van, Eli looked Michael square in the face and said...

"Cuz I'm the best, mayne. I did it."

The van drove off into the night, and the last thing we heard was Riak shouting "How you want me to?"

To thank us for solving the case so quickly, Mr. Portnow put us at the best table, where we caroused and drank heavily with all our famous pals during the whole show. And let's not forget the after-party...
Clark and friends relax post-Grammys.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Onward to the Grammys


"My grammy is dead, you jerk." I yelled back.
"Not her. I'm sure he meant the other one." Jeff said.
"Oh." I replied.
"Come on, you guys! Get packed! We have to get going!" suggested Michael.
"Wait a minute. Both of my grandmothers are dead!" I remembered.
"You've given us virtually no information here. What do we need to bring? How long are we going to be gone? What do we face when we get there? Most importantly, why are we going? Exactly what is our premise here?" Jeff queried.
"I was just on the phone with Neil Portnow! We had a long conversation! Neil Portnow!!" Michael expressed, as he kicked a can down the road.
"I miss my grammy." I sniffled.
"We know that. Well, I know that. It appears Clark has checked out. But the fact that you had a lengthy conversation with Mr. Portnow in and of itself does not provide us with guidance on how to proceed." Jeff explained.
"We're going to...go. And do...things. With...people. And stuff. The gaps can all be filled in later. You know the routine." Michael offered.
"My grammy used to bake the most delicious muffins. I miss those muffins. Now I'm hungry. Do we have any muffins?" I inquired.
"Go look in the kitchen." Jeff advised.
"Come on, let's just get going!" Michael prodded.

I packed a basket full of muffins. Blueberry, zucchini, lemon-poppyseed, apple bran, banana walnut, chocolate, cranberry-orange, cinnamon, pumpkin, cheese, raspberry-buttermilk, Other things too.

Then we went to the Grammys.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Off To The Grammys

The Unbelieva-Phone rang thrice before I was able to catch it.

"Hello ... this is the Unbelieva-Base, Michael speaking. I don't usually answer the phone, that's usually the job of one of our vivacious Unbelieva-Babes. So consider yourself lucky. How can I help you?"

"Oh my gosh. Wow ... well, I'm glad I got hold of one of you directly, Michael. This is Neil Portnow at The Grammys. I hope The Unbelievables can help us out over here ..."

"Wait ... 'The Grammys' ... ??? As in The Grammy Awards? Aren't they being telecast later this evening from the Staples Center in Los Angeles? What seems to be the problem?" I asked.

"Yes, one and the same. I ... we ... need your help ..."

"Hold on ... 'Neil Portnow' ... ??? Neil 'President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' Portnow?"

"Yes, that's me!"

"I'm going to need some proof you're actually Neil Portnow before I can do anything for you. For all I know this could be a crank call ..."

"Anything. Ask me anything."

"Hokay ... you were the vice-president of what company before becoming NARAS head honcho?"
"Jive Records ..." he answered.
The real Neil Portnow, current NARAS President
The Real Neil Portnow
current NARAS president

"North coast or south coast division?" That should have tripped an imposter up. There aren't any north or south coast divisions of Jive Records.

"What? There aren't any north or south coast divisions of Jive Records ..."

"Oh, my mistake. You're right, sorry. I meant east coast ... you were the east coast vice-president ..." He was actually the west coast vice-president.

"No! I oversaw expansion of Jive's West Coast operation and I was vice-president there, not on in the east ..."

"Got it. One last question: Who was awarded Best New Artist in 1961?"

"Bob Newhart."


"Well ..."

"Never mind. 1996?"

"Hootie And The Blowfish."

"Really? That's terrible ...

"I know."

"How about 2013?"


"'Fun' ... ??? That's not a band."

"Yes it is. They beat out, among others, Alabama Shakes and The Lumineers which baffles me to this day."

"Wow. 2014?"

"Hey I thought you said there was only going to be one more question! Macklemore & Ryan Lewis."

"Last year?"

"Sam Smith."

"That was terrible. I saw that show. You awarded the Best New Artist Grammy to someone who ripped off Tom Petty! That's just as bad as when you gave Milli Vanilli the award back in 1990."

"Don't remind me. I still have a bad taste in my mouth about that. Besides, that was C. Michael Greene's tenure, not mine. And trust me, the Sam Smith thing is still under investigation ..."

Everything he said seemed legitimate. And he answered me without any hesitation. "All right, you passed my test. What can I help you with?"

Neil sighed and gathered himself. "Something terrible is going to go down at The Grammys tonight. Something I think only The Unbelievables can handle. Can you guys make it out to L.A.?"

"We don't have tickets ..."

"I'll have some there for you, compliments of the house of course."


"I can arrange that ..."

 "Make sure there's whipped potatoes. Jeff will love that. Girls, too? You know, escorts for us at the show? Appearances and all that, you know ..."

"Sure. Done."

 "I'll tell the guys. We'll be there in a few hours ..."

"Thank you."

I hung up the phone and I yelled down the hall.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

How Not To Woo

This Valentine's Day, even if you get everything else wrong, at least get the card right. Here's a few examples of how to get it creepily wrong...

Sure, everyone loves a  pun.


Girls, this might be sending the wrong message.

I don't even understand this one.

For more examples of Valentine's card wrongness, hit the link below....

Mitch O'Connell: Unintentionally Hilarious Vintage Children's Valentine's Day Cards! The top 100 Risque, Rude and Sexy examples of all time!

Friday, February 12, 2016

So long Len, hello Linda!

Rankled as I was by the notion that we would ever take a lead from Kip, top-notch rankler and world class buffoon that he is, it was still something that needed to be checked out. Turns out Kip was almost on to something.
A simple phone call confirmed that the animal abusing nudist Doris Gumph was still under maximum security lockdown, after we busted her for trying to swindle the carnival industry and traumatize young children with her line of Whack-A-Mole games using real moles. But it also revealed the existence of her non-evil twin sister Delores (we deal with so many twins that it's almost like they exist for the sole purpose of bailing out lazy, unimaginative writers who rely on hack-y, shopworn plot devices who can't otherwise resolve their storylines!), who is also a nudist minus the tendency to harm little furry creatures.
This is Doris...
and this is Delores. Easy to spot the many, many differences if you're a trained professional.
As it turns out Delores is a certified gender identity counselor and is working with our old pal Len, soon to be known as Linda. That's right, Len is transitioning from male to female and simply doesn't have time to devote to photography, hence the retirement notice. The note sent was meant to be taken at face value and the photo was to illustrate the progress Len had made up to that point. Apparently, once started, things can proceed quite rapidly because here's an even more current photo of Linda:
Of course we, The Unbelievables, are totally supportive and wish Linda nothing but the best. If/when she decides to resume her career, we will be here for her.

Now, as to Kip and his creepy nudie magazine obsession that he tried to deflect by implicating Len, that's something best handled internally over a nice severe beating. In my opinion, anyway.