Today’s Lazy Comedy Retread: “Chopped” Basket Tweets

I am traveling and don’t have time to craft fresh original comedy for you today. I did, however, download my Twitter archive and have something special to share: Tweets of made up baskets for the Food Network cooking competition show “Chopped.”

It really is a great show. In three rounds, chefs prepare an appetizer, main course and dessert using four unknown and often incongruous ingredients under ridiculous time constraints. Four chefs start, with one voted off by guest chef judges in each round until a winner is crowned. It’s frantic fun, with some impressive culinary craftiness under pressure. (And a few years ago, Atlanta’s iconic, beloved (and tragically prematurely departed) chef and friend Ria Pell won the show in a particularly inspired performance.)

A few years ago, I would join a weekly Twitter party to mock the preposterous ingredient combinations in the Chopped baskets. I actually made a few close friends bonding over Chopped. So here are some favorites:

  • Chefs, your basket contains: Linseed oil, pre-chewed ostrich, shirt buttons and a tarantula. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Persimmons, angry bees, chlorine tablets and pure cocaine. Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Pony filets, Anbesol, a prosthetic hand and a rock tumbler. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Pop rocks, a rabbit’s foot, eye drops and a Shake Weight. Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Pumpkin seeds, most of a cow’s head, mint flavored dental floss and a toupee. Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Rice, conjoined twin pelicans, a rotary phone and deodorant spray. Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Tang, transmission fluid, drywall and a transgendered armadillo. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A cremated bison, bong water, marigold petals and an abacus. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A goat’s hoof, Silly Putty, Vicodin and a glow stick. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A jar of trout eyes, whey, mascara & a pleading Princess Leia hologram. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A raccoon, Pixy Stix, eye drops and a tire pressure gauge. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A rusty saw, pecans, Play-Doh and a Polaroid of Steven Tyler’s junk. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A syringe of botulism, Aqua Velva, a ping-pong paddle and an owl. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A tin of Skoal tobacco, pepper spray, artificial sweetener, and Yahtzee dice. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A veal cutlet, Epsom salt, single-ply toilet paper and a Tae Bo video. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A vial of my tears, a turtle, Vick’s Vap-O-Rub and a deadly black widow spider. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A white-winged dove, a wind machine, a cape and modest Wiccan powers. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: An Atari 5200, pickled bison testicles, a balloon of heroin, and MSG. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A gerbil with glaucoma, eyebrow wax, leeks and a macrame owl. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A goat’s stomach, Rogaine, pine needles and “cheese.” Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: An obese canary, four Cialis tablets, a toilet brush, and plutonium. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: An origami swan, potted meat, cauliflower and a parking ticket. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains a blackbird, savoy truffles, a glass onion and hot sergeant peppers. #beatles
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Poison ivy, Elmer’s glue, a mitten and one of my teeth. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains squirrel bladders, a Speedo, lint from my dryer filter and clam juice. Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A bald eagle, talcum powder, plasma and a soldering iron. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A raccoon’s paw, bok choy, shampoo and fleas. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A rattlesnake, Oil of Olay, Flintstones vitamins and a tank of nitrous oxide. Time starts now! 
  • Chefs, your basket contains: A boa constrictor, Liquid Paper, an adult diaper and peyote. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Apple butter, wet moss, a bruised rabbit and cyanide. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Armadillo bacon, chocolate sprinkles, antifreeze, a Cabbage Patch Kid. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Bone-in coyote loin, nasal spray, paint chips & a contraceptive sponge Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Boysenberries, seaweed paper, hand sanitizer and a live blue jay. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Carrots, goat cheese, quick grits, pomelo and Oxycontin. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Cheetos, toothpaste, Kalamata olives and Ryan Seacrest. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Egg yolks, sheep gums, a kaleidoscope & a season 2 DVD of Designing Women. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Ginger snaps, banana peppers, a photo of ginger snaps & Ben Gay. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Ground pork, camembert, sweet vermouth, haricot verts, Axe Body Spray. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Heavy cream, a Magic 8-Ball, cigarettes and a quail with Avian flu. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Licorice whips, malt liquor, gun powder and Insulin. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Two pelican feet, paint thinner, udon noodles and a ThighMaster. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: War Horse, marigolds, silicone implants and Tang. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Yak jerky, Canadian pennies, turtle broth and a Thighmaster. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains: Yarn, a book of haiku about pudding, a chipmunk and model glue. Time starts now!
  • Chefs, your basket contains:Tylenol Liquid Gels, a jelly fish, dentures and a Sudoku puzzle book. Time starts now!

Will Gardner Comforts a Fan From the Grave: Why Twitter is Worth More Than You Think

I'm serious about being dead.

I’m serious about being dead.

“The Good Wife” on CBS is a terrific show. I watched the first couple of seasons, then drifted away to only watch sporadically since. I have caught a few sensational episodes this season, including the bombshell a few weeks ago that killed off main character Will Gardner, played by Josh Charles.

Today I stumbled across this gem from a N.Y. Times piece covering a promotional “postmortem” panel of the show’s stars and creators. It refers to the overwhelming emotional response of the viewers:

“Mr. Charles, a Twitter devotee, said he noticed when a follower wrote that her mother was upset by Will’s death. Asking for the mother’s number, he called her, saying, ‘I just wanted to check in with you.’

‘She was devastated,’ he said,’ ‘But I talked her through it.’”

First of all, this makes me an even bigger fan of the talented Charles. He’s deftly emotive onscreen, convincing in swift turns as powerful, passionate and playful. And although I haven’t followed him on Twitter before today, I’ve heard he’s genuine and enthusiastic in connecting with fans there.

This all also reminds me why, through all of the clutter and self-indulgent blather of social media, Twitter and other sites can connect us in such remarkably personal ways we couldn’t have conceived of even a few years ago.

And this stuff matters. I posted about this among a small group earlier, and a good friend replied with this:

“I was afraid to bring this up because I thought I would sound ridiculous, but I was devastated about his departure. I look at his twitter occasionally because I have been a huge fan since his role on In Treatment and of course I loved his work going back to Sports Night. I am seriously questioning my sanity over how upset I got during the past two episodes. R.I.P. Will Gardner!”

I appreciate how Charles recognizes exactly that very real emotional connection the audience forms with characters, especially ones drawn with such depth and passion and spirit as Gardner on “The Good Wife.” From him the phone call seems like a completely earnest, heartfelt gesture, not a self-serving gimmick. To be a little more corny, it seems like something that could be part of Charles’ own process of mourning a character he has invested so much in over five seasons.

This blurred line of our reality and our dramatic entertainment fantasy is astonishingly cool–Will Gardner reached out from beyond the grave to directly console an emotionally despondent fan. That’s just cool.

No, DerpApp, I Will Not Give You Access to My 401(k)

I don’t play Facebook game apps or use many social media connection apps. I don’t take “Which Full House Character Are You?” surveys. (Answer: John Wayne Gacy.)

But some apps linking music or feeds with social media make sense. I am tinkering with feed pages to try to organize the 6,000 daily news and content resources I jam into my cluttered skull. I was checking out NetVibes.com, which lets you set up and customize pages and tabs with stuff from sites you’re interested in.

So apps to display my Facebook and Twitter feeds make perfect sense for a personalized NetVibes.com home page. I selected the Facebook widget and clicked connect. It prompted the list of permissions for me to grant the app access to my Facebook account:

  • NetVibes.com will receive the following info: your public profile, friends list, News Feed and likes.

Uh, ok, sure. NetVibes will need access to my public profile and feed to share them in the widget. Friends list and likes…not sure but seems harmless and unintrusive enough. Go.

  • Netvibes.com would like to post to Facebook for you.

Ugh, really? Like the way I get continuous updates that Kelli is listening to Cyndi Lauper on Spotify? Now you’ll be able to notify friends that “Doug just created an RSS Feed of ‘Cats Eating Pudding’ on NetVibes”? Oh good grief, fine. Next.

  • Netvibes.com would like to manage your Pages.

What? Why is this even a consideration? Would NetVibes.com also like access to my Gmail and my checking accounts? I actually turn down any app request that asks for permission to post on my behalf. But this is excessively ridiculous and doesn’t make any sense to serve the user or Netvibes.com. Seems providers would do better to offer the least intrusive options that encouraged the most people to use their services. If all the widgets on NetVibes.com are this invasive, I’ll look for another option.

The logical extension of the uncomfortably inquisitive app:

FunApp would like to:

-Have access to your friend list
-Post to your timeline
-Manage your pages
-Change your hairstyle
-Buy you a new wardrobe
-Put your “art” in storage

We’re Missing the Best Part of the Matt Adams Fan Shove Video

This trending clip shows St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams giving a little glove shove to a Cincinnati Reds fan who caught an up-for-grabs foul ball. The reaction and analysis overblows the incident, surprising in this time of measured, thoughtful commentary delivered through restricted media channels.

What’s the big deal? Adams gets mildly frustrated and taps the guy with his glove. The guy gets the satisfaction of both catching the foul ball and becoming a two-day celebrity by flipping Adams off. Big deal, play ball.

But we’re overlooking the best part: Watch the girl next to bird fan prove that Cincinnati fans are class squared by calling Adams a “pussy.” Ah, I love when the spring winds signal the return of our beloved national pastime.

CNN Headline: “Could Flight 370 Wash Ashore in South American Tsunami?”

OK, former news network CNN hasn’t linked the Mystery of Flight 370 with the tsunami off the coasts of Chile and Peru. Yet. But let’s not put anything past the editorial judgement of the folks who keep us informed with expert analysis no other news outlet can offer:

20140401-221436.jpg(Photo originally posted at Shit Pilots Say on Facebook.)