back to the Black Table

That whole U2 iPod thing seems like a really great gift idea. It's sleek and black. It has that cool red wheel thing. It holds 5,000 songs. But there's a problem -- it comes with U2's new album on it. Fear not! Perhaps the fine folks at Apple can take some inspiration from this page and roll out some new artist-inspired iPod goodies. Personally, we can't wait for the GG Allin iPod.

Maybe you're having a crap day. Maybe you had too much to drink this week and have been stuck with a rolling hangover for months now. Maybe you're convinced the boss is about to fire you. Maybe your landlord called to say the rent check bounced. Maybe this is all happening at the same time. All you need to do is watch this bunny sing a song called "Everyone Has Had More Sex Than Me" and you'll feel better. We promise.

While trying to determine exactly which creatures made up the River Bottom Nightmare Band from Emmett Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, we stumbled across another prime example of what the Internet is good for. The Rocklopedia Fakebandica takes you from The A Men (featured on King of the Hill) to Zorak, the keyboardist on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. What could lead you on more pointless tail-chasing than a site about fictional bands and musical acts on fictional TV shows? Just the sort of afternoon activity for your I-got-drunk-at-the-office-party-and-made-out-with-Doug-from-accounting

Every holiday season, you get roped into that game of Monopoly. At first, it's pleasant -- you get to be the the thimble. Weee! Flash forward seven hours later, well after the apple pie, brownies and sugar cookies have been demolished, and you're still in some basement rec room calling Uncle Larry a "fucking douchebag" and telling him he can stick those little green houses up his ass. We know how it is. This year, use mathematical probability and kick his teeth in.

If you ever sat around wondering why Canada has produced so many incredible comedians, Ann Coulter is here to reveal the answer. Because we provide our neighbors to the north with such amazing material to work with. In this clip, Miss Coulter explains why Canadians are lucky to be on the same continent as America, you know, even though we stole their national sport and railroaded it straight into the ground.

There's nothing better than playing a game of "superhero." Running around the backyard, arms spread wide, homemade cape flapping in the breeze as you pretend to fly and vanquish the evil monsters that threaten the safety of the free world. There's nothing better than that ... when you're five years old. But when you're 55 years old and living on a steady diet of Hot Pockets, weekend visitations and alimony payments, it's probably time to give up the ghost.

When we have grandkids, we'll try to explain the concept of the one man band and how entralling it was that one dude with a big drum, some cymbals between his thighs and a harmonica could play little tunes while shuffling around asking for change at tourist spots. Then, they'll look at us like we're insane because they live in the far-off future, a time where a magical mullet man named McRorie is worshipped as a god.

Show your love to friends and relatives this holiday season by hanging your balls around their neck. In the form of a sterling silver scrotum pendant, that is. Or, to use the brand name, buy 'em some "ballsies." Because the person who has everything sure as hell doesn't have testicle-themed jewlery.

Bug out, man. Today, after you chug half a bottle of Robitussin at work, go and visit this site. Use your mouse to pull yourself into the pretty picture and weeee! You'll wake up sometime around lunch, when it's time to chug the rest of the Robo, you can drag the mouse in the other direction and fly backwards. And people say the Internet is a total waste of time.

It's always great to teach lesser species new tricks. We fully support apes who know sign language and dogs for the blind. But why would you teach a chimpanzee karate, a form of self-defense? Who, exactly, does the chimpanzee need defense against? No one ... except us! The proliferation of karate knowing chimps has to stop before they band together and enslave humankind. This is exactly how Planet of the Apes happened. You have been warned.

Of all the things the Internet is good at, celebrating less acceptable hairstyles may be the best. It was the Web, and the Web alone, that drove the mullet revival. And since then, we've seen shines to combovers, people who look like Kenny Rogers and white people with afros. With this in mind, we proudly present this month's "Samson." Take note of his hair care tips... and please, check out the rest of the site.

Birthday clowns have a 20-to-1 shot of traumatizing a kid. This is a fact. Las Vegas keeps odds on these kind of things, we're sure. But it's a little known fact that petting zoos can be equally traumatic. One minute you're feeding smelly brown pellets to the goat and the next ... well ... we just can't talk about that right now.

Sometimes, you just have to know when to say when and turn your back on the things that you love. Whether that be leaving your eight-year-old standing at a truck stop with a melting ice cream cone begging for change, or neatly folding up those acid-washed jeans and handing them to the nearest destitute human. Yes, it really hurts to let go and walk away. But you must do it anyway, because society can never improve unless we shed old skin to make room for a new layer.

If you haven't seen "Sorry Everybody" yet because nobody sent you the link -- or they did send you a link and the site was down -- consider yourself a somebody, because the site has been redone and now anybody and everybody can once again revel in its brilliance. And so without further ado...

Terry lost his frog. The frog's name was Hopkin Green Frog. Have you seen his frog? Who took his frog? Terry will find his frog. He is engaged in a coast-to-coast campaign -- with a very fine illustration of Hopkin Green Frog -- to find Hopkin Green Frog. Have you seen his frog? Did you take his frog?

Sometimes the title of a movie gives the whole joke away. And other times, the title is merely an indication of how good the joke truly is. When it comes to the five-minute short film, "A Ninja Pays Half My Rent," the title scratches the surface. Oh, go ahead. Take that big break today and watch TV on your computer at work. Tell them we said it was okay.

Billy's mom was willing to overlook the subtle whiff of Southern Comfort eminating from Chuckles the Clown, because the kids were having a real good time honking his nose. And she was able to ignore the fact that Billy's dad completely missed the party, never even called and caused his little boy to cry before the guests showed. But after Garry, her new boyfriend, showed up with that pinata, well, no amount of Xanax and white zinfandel could make things feel okay again.

As the crushing reality of four more years of Bush begins to set in, one freedom we all have is the right to forego underpants. And this group, the Freeballers of America, is interested in protection and promoting this right, which may or may not be covered by the Second Amendment. The punchline here, obviously, is that freeballers have a support group.

In this post-modern, irony-drenched, insta-kitsch, futuristic wasteland of hip we're forced to wade through, new things that seem old are cooler than new things that look new. That is, until the new-old things become popular and turn into old-new-old things and then people check out the new-new or newer new-old things as potential sources of cool. Confused? So are we. Here, look at this. Some motherfuckers made a retro looking cellphone with a cord.

This link has nothing to do with baseball, curses, World Series wins or any of the other nonsense that has hijacked lives over the last month. All that crap is blissfully over and we can get down to the really important thing: Planning our Halloween costume.

If you're ever in the market for a frozen dead animal, be aware that there's an Internet superstore that caters to your needs. At, you can get it all. Big animals, little animals, snakes -- all of which are extremely dead and very frozen. The prices are reasonable, too. Valentine's Day is coming up fast. Why don't you plunk down $25 for a frozen baby skunk? After all, who doesn't love baby animals! Us? We're gonna buy us a mountain goat nanny for $800, then take turns riding it in the living room while watching DVDs. Yeehaw!

As political commentary, this little clip really doesn't add much to the debate. Yes, Republicans chronically invoke all kinds of scary language to remind us all of how dangerous the world is. But the Democrats do too -- and really, the world can be a scary place, especially if you live in a hipster neighborhood. (Legwarmers are back. Again.) And yet, somewhere towards the end of the end of this clip, hearing the word terrorist over and over and over and over and over becomes the funniest thing ever. Proof that repetition makes the hard grow fonder.

Jay J. Armes is not a household name, but he should be. You see, Mr. Armes' hands were blown off in a dynamite accident when he was a kid and now he goes about his business using a pair of hooks instead. And what is that business? Mr. Armes is a private investigator -- he rescued Marlon Brando's kid when he was kidnapped -- and likes to take care of his pet tiger and pet cheetah in his spare time. Once upon the 1970s, Mr. Armes was a cultural icon, with his own action figure and appearing in Hawaii 5-0. We pray he makes another comeback.

"Ah what a beautiful day. Smell the salt air. That's a big one. Glad I wore these pants. Okay, there's that mushroom. Maybe if I stand perfectly still he'll pass right by me. That was awkward. Okay Steve, just stay cool. There's that cat … in a tuxedo … surfing. Moving on. Oooh. Aerobics dance challenge. Nice moves. Boo-yah! Oh Steve, you have got moves..."

Tupac Shakur isn't dead. He's just stuffed inside of a purple dinosaur costume, entertaining children and laying low for a while. If the fact Tupac has released 38 records "posthumously" wasn't enough to convince you he was very much alive and well, take a good long look at this little rap video he shot while on a break at his new job. Convincing, no? And if we're wrong about the whole "Tupac Lives" thing, then that means Barney is one thug-ass motherfucker. And if that is the case, we'd like to apologize to Barney for any jokes made at his expense. Sorry, B. Don't kill us.

Is there a more indavertently funnier human than Gary Busey? For starters, the man is 47% teeth. When he talks, you have no idea what kind of madness is gonna pour out of his mouth. He's like some kind of freakish mutant hybrid of Nick Nolte and Christopher Walken. And that makes us really happy. So does this magical little video, which harnesses the power of Gary Busey for the forces of good, as part of a political satire called "Leave it to Busey."

His name is Frank DeLarzelere, but you might know him as the "Biker Fox," male model and bicycle enthusiast. What Biker Fox lacks in muscle definition and hair on top of his head, he makes up with a plucky, "Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride, ain't nothin' gonna slow me down..." mentality. Consider Biker Fox's philosophy: "The secret to happiness is telling yourself you are happy, even when you are not." Is this is a sign he's utterly delusional, or is the true secret to shrugging off the blues? With a grin like that and his overwhelming enthusiasm for posing -- check out the cheesecake photos! -- maybe the Biker Fox is on to something.

Universal Comedic Law #23,741: "People slapping each other in the face is funny." Everyone knows this is a true fact. But when you combine this rule with Universal Comedic Law #5,095: "People from other countries are funny." you get twice the laughs. Test the theory and watch this little clip, with not only combines these two laws and has foreigners slapping each other, but adds a tasty new wrinkle: All the slappers are women -- and some of them hit HARD.

Ghetto is as ghetto does. And this site, Hot Ghetto Mess, shines a MagLite into the wonderful world of impoverished Americans, revealing all the gap toothed smiles, ill-advised outfits and general mayhem that comes with being ghetto, in the non-fabulous meaning of the term. Or, in the words of the site: "Ghetto, its not where you live, its how you think. Ghetto is a state of mind. So, before you write your letters to the NAACP, know that the site is all in fun, but not really. It's a funny site and I love my people dearly, but y'all, we have GOT to do better..."

This just in: They actually make and sell the other end of the CPR dummy, the part where all the naughty bits are. And as you would expect, heat-injected, molded plastic booty never looked so good. But how else are medical students going to learn how to do such horrible things as "dry catheterisation" or "rectal examination?" Clearly, there's not going to be a line of practice victims volunteer patients waiting to have someone cram tubes up their wee wees. Stock up now! Christmas is only 73 days away!

Most people think that Carl Lewis was such an amazing track star because of some combination of natural ability, hard work and professional coaching. But the truth is that Mr. Lewis was so fast because he was always trying to outrun a humiliating and embarrassing past. Consider this reggae-infused music video "Exhibit A." The song is total cheeseball 1980s crap. The video is set in someone's basement gym. And Carl Lewis has the kind of high top fade Bill Cosby would have grown, that is, if the Cos had actually tried.

Remember when you were in high school and the teacher sprung some kind of pop quiz asking you about, say, the French Revolution. And you went blank and decided to give the obvious, dopey answer. "The French Revolution was a rebellion, set in France, against the leaders." Whenever the George W. Bush robot answers a question that he is not fully programmed to answer, don't you get the same kind of feeling? If you don't, then by all means, click this link and check out his answer to a question about tribal relations with the government. We're giving him an F-minus in the ol' blue book.

We live in a time of hunky carpenters, faux finishes, painted ceilings and a you-can-do-it-yourself! ethos that might -- just maybe -- be getting out of hand. An example: There are TV shows and entire superstores that are wholly dedicated to the art of scrapbooking. Yes, yes, while slightly dorky, it's hard to generate much loathing for those who want to take their junior high Sassy collages to the next level. We love Brad Pitt's abs, too. They're shiny. They're taut. So glueing paper to paper is great. No issues. Glueing feathers, rhinestones and making clothing for a piece of horse shit? Issues. Big ones.

There's highbrow. There's lowbrow. And then there's monobrow. This site celebrates the latter, featuring the best in unplucked eyebrows from around the world. The kinds of brows that would make Ernie proud. Why, there's Arjan Amir of Nepal, whose monobrow is a two inch wide swath of destruction that has clearly never seen a pair of tweezers. (Do they even have those in Nepal?) Spend your day not working at this site, which includes monobrow-related games, links and movies -- a swath of content so complete it's only a matter of time before the monobrow replaces the mullet as the latest socially unacceptable, yet oddly hip, fashion faux pax to emulate.

You think rednecks like tricking out their trucks? As per usual, the Japanese take this art to a magical, shiny new level of total awesomeness. While Americans sit back and think a pair of naked lady mudflaps, big-ass rims or a Calvin pissing window decal is tops in customization, these dudes are out there creating Maximum Overdrive meets the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers monster machines. Vehicles so large, they look like Godzilla's roller skates. When it comes to rides, clearly, the Japanese have an extremely strong pimp hand.

Last night, sometime before the hallicinogenic mushrooms kicked in, but almost certainly a very long time after we'd plowed through the second case of Bud Light we decided to surf the Web for entertainment. As luck would have it, the mushrooms kicked in right as we visited this page, triggering a number of IMAX-worthy visuals that left us unsure what was reality. Hours later, when the drugs wore off and the balloon animals galloped home, it was hard to tell if we imagined the whole episode. Luckily, we didn't. But that doesn't mean "Poodle Story" makes any more sense this morning.

Dan Rather has to stop sending us links. While that whole "God hates Bush" theme from yesterday may, in fact, be true, using the paths of hurricanes to prove it is not true. Hurricanes are not partisan. Oh, well. Sometimes, like when you want to justify an invasion of an Arab nation whose leader tried to kill your dad, you end up believing what you want to be true, like, say, some Arab nation has scary, mysterious, unseen stockpiles of bad things they shouldn't have. So, in conclusion: No more links, Mr. Rather!

Florida has been hit with so many hurricanes, you'd think it was some kind of Biblical curse ... WAIT, A MINUTE! It's precisely this line of thinking that led Bob Morris to do some research, overlaying Florida's voting patterns from the 2000 Presidential election against the paths that Hurricanes Ivan, Frances and Charley took. Morris' conclusion: God hates George W. Bush. (A note: This is a rather large image, so in some browsers it will come up all small and unreadable. You have to enlarge it to see it at full size.)

The Depression really messed up old people, didn't it? It's the reason why Grandpa has six dozen rolls of toilet paper and enough canned food to equip a neighborhood bomb shelter. It's why Grandma always comes home from Burger King with a five-inch wad of paper napkins, a half-finished Diet Coke and 46 ketchup packets. And the Depression, we're betting, is the reason why someone kept a bottle of Seven Seas Creamy Russian dressing in their refrigerator for the last three decades. You know, just in case someone came over and felt the urge to toss spoiled, toxing dressing over their greens.

It always sucks when co-workers go away on vacation. For starters, there's the jealously factor. One of your fellow drones gets to sun on some beach, safely escaping the crack of your dark overlord's whip. This jealously quickly turns to simmering rage when you end up with twice as much work, forced to "cover" for that colleague and do double time. But don't sit there and simply simmer. Get even. Take a cue from these practical jokers and make sure your co-workers know how much you really missed them when they finally get back to work.

Babies are cute. Grandparents are cute. Photos of babies with their grandparents are so cute, little rainbows and candy hearts spontaneously shoot out of our ass when we see them. But some twisted Photoshop genius got the idea to swap the babies' heads with their grandparents' in photos ... and now ... not so cute. In fact, it's really icky, some creepy combination of hilarious and horrifying. Suddenly, all those little rainbows and candy hearts are trying to come from whence they came and they're not taking no for an answer.

When Dave finally got his crap together and decided to dump Laura it was hard to explain exactly why she deserved to spend the rest of her life utterly alone, wandering around supermarkets buying pints of milk and single-serving frozen dinners for the rest of her life. And this is where Microsoft Power Point comes in. You see, to break down the crippling dysfunction in their relationship, Dave made Laura a 16-slide presentation detailing everything that went wrong, including charts and graphs and bullet points.

Every guy who watched cartoons in the 1980s loves talking about The Transformers. And why not? The good guys are led by Optimus Prime, the bad guys are called Decepticons. You can't get much cooler than that. But you can get a little more obsessive than that, like the not-so-secret genius who wrote "Transformers: A History." Take this passage: "Back on Junkion, the Quintessons discover that they have been sending the wrong subliminal message since Superion's attack, causing the Junkions to broadcast the Subliminals all over the Galaxy, throwing worlds into chaos." You said it, broseph.

Joey the Midwife is some kind of online advertising genius. We're just not sure what kind of genius. Is he the "so bad it's amazing" kind of genius? The "mad genius" genius that is so far ahead of us all that he's actually seems behind? Or is he the "cry for help" genius, using his messages to win the attention he's been seeking for so long? It's really hard to tell. All we can tell you is that Joey the Midwife is rated "US-48 State-to-State" and you can call him at 212-OH-MY-GOD.

What do you get when big, drunken, smelly, bearded hippies with an inability to stay conscious are cross-bred with snarky, biting, fans of the movie Star Wars? You get "Passed Out Wookies!" Thrill to page-after-page of the exploits of intoxicated beardos and assorted bead-wearing Frisbee chuckers, who do things like urinate in front of cop cars and pass out in the middle of a field wth a raging erection. Ah you dirty Wookies. Will you ever learn?

Happy New Year, Jews! And your Jewish pets, too! Ring the new year in style with these special products for the lucky Members of the Dog Tribe. Now you and your pooch can have matching Star of David tags, or put your dog's name in Hebrew on its collar. Because, as we all know, Jewish pets say the Sh'ma before crapping on the couch and study the Haftorah for their Dog Mitzvah. Have the coolest Jewish dog in town with these fun pet gifts for the super Jew in all of you.

Cartography, or rather, the art of map making, goes back thousands of years. Babylonian maps dating from 2300 B.C. have been found, revealing rudimentary city layouts from an ancient time. The Greeks, who discovered that the Earth was round, improved upon the Babylonian effort, using cartography to show subjects the power and reach of the mighty Greek empire. Halfway around the globe, the Chinese did the same thing. But the field of cartography has never seen an achievement like the one reached by Jerry Lerma and Terry Hogan, who have created an incredibly detailed map of a fictional place: Springfield, home of the Simpsons.

Florida vacations are pretty fun, that is, when there aren't massive hurricanes destroying the pennisula. But these people take the whole idea of "hanging out" on sunny beaches literally. They drive thick fish hooks into the flesh in their backs and string themselves up while other tattooed people frolic around them and pose for photos. A lot of motherfucking photos. This 17-page gallery contains hundreds of the freakiest pictures we've ever seen -- and that's saying a lot, considering all that Bea Arthur Photoshop porn we've been collecting over the last year. Don't view these while eating.

Have you heard the news today? George W. Bush does a pretty mean cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Another reason to love the Internet. The Party Party, electronic music savants, took the time to cut and paste together speech fragments to make this cover song. Usually, the finished product ends up sounding like a bad Radiohead outtake, but in this case, the song is actually toe tappingly good. Granted, it's no John Ashcroft Sings the Christian Hits Live, but it has undeniable New Wave hipster charm -- especially when the kazoos come in. It's all about the kazoos. Click here to get your Bush on.

Senior class portraits are up there with the electric slide on a list of things you simply can't look cool doing. Which is why people try to get "creative" with them, a universally horrible idea, up there with getting plastic surgery eight seconds before getting your driver's license photo taken. This site catalogues some of the better, err worst, tactics graduates have used to leave a lasting image that will ensure they'll be ridiculed by former classmates for decades to come. Further proof that teenagers aren't as cool as they think they are.

Being single sucks. As soon as you get used to the other person -- disciphering what all those noises mean, figuring out how they take their coffee and understanding that their moments of psychosis aren't a symptom of deep mental illness, but a sign that it's just Tuesday -- the relationship ends. All that painstaking, hard-fought interpersonal research rendered useless and you're there alone, left to cuddle with your pillow set. There's really nothing that can cushion the blow of discovering your other half would rather be sucking face with anyone but you during the shot special at the local bar, but, you know, there's this fine product to keep you sane.

Teabagging. Antiquing. Drawing on someone's face with a permanent magic marker. Bunny ears. There are all kinds of hilariously mean things to do to someone in photos by now. And now, there's the "Lynndie," proving that our capacity to care and remain outraged at atrocity lasts about as long as Skeet Ulrich's film career after 1996. Doing a Lynndie is as easy -- all you do is make a thumbs up and then point, then have your picture taken. You get all of the hilarity, without any of those messy Geneva Convention violations.

This just in: Life sucks. This link will take you to the saddest story in the whole world. No, that's not quite right. It will take you to the saddest story ever heard in the history of mankind. The kind of sob story that is so outrageously depressing, so shocking in its tragedy that you may find yourself laughing, not because it's funny, but because your senses will be so overwhelmed that a light chuckle and a soft "holy fucking shit that's horrible" whispered into your morning coffee is the only way to handle something like this. Everyone knows life isn't fair. But does life have to be this relentlessly cruel?

With the convention finally behind us, The Black Table has taken a moment to reflect on all the things we've learned about the politics and protesting and policework. After that moment passed, we promptly went to the airport to suckerpunch and rob unsuspecting delegates who had the rosy glow of those who never, not even for a second, had a single real New York experience over the last four days. After blazing a trail of carnage through LaGuardia and J.F.K., we promptly returned home to sort through whatever pictures we hadn't run yet. Here they are.

The initial salvo of protest that welcomed the Republicans was like a cuddly basket of puppies, with the cops making smoochy woochy faces and patting political dissenters on the heads. But like a basket of animals that constantly needs to be fed and walked and played with, the cops became annoyed with the endless prospect of wrangling thousands and thousands of people holding wooden signs. As of Thursday, the protests got a bit more heated and more than 1,000 people have been arrested. Granted, we didn't take pictures of policemen in RoboCop mode, but we did take pictures of New York's Finest doing other policey things.

On Tuesday, about 1,000 protesters gathered outside the Fox Studios on Sixth Avenue to hold the “Fox News Shut Up A-Thon.” Like a Mardi Gras for anarchists, they came in silly costumes, yelled at suit-wearing passersby and took turns beating up a three-foot tall effigy of Bill O'Reilly. Police in riot gear were on hand to control the crowd, making the occasional arrest, and we were on hand with our digital camera making the occasional picture.

Don't stop 'til you get enough. And we simply cannot get enough amusing photos from that little protest on Sunday. In today's installment, we turn our cameras on photographers, protest fashion choices and the role that Cubism has played in costume design during this year's convention.

Protesters are funny. This was a rather obvious takeaway from Sunday's big welcoming party for the R.N.C. that was held all over New York City. We also learned that free speech and the F-bomb go hand-in-hand, that some people mistakenly believe pachouli can mask overwhelming body odor, and that paper mache dragons are voting Democratic this year. We were in the streets taking photos on Sunday. Here's a look at what we saw.