Archive for July, 2009

A model sports the "nobrow" look on the Balencia runway.

A model sports the "nobrow" look on the Balenciaga runway.

Here in the expressive but not loquacious offices of The Curmudgeon,  we are trained professionals in the observance of females, not only of your typical “She’s hot!” variety but of women’s cultural issues as well, their fads, their interests, and their penchant for dressing funny.  My normal position is, “What ever floats your boat.”

But the latest trend in female fashion that came to my attention doesn’t thrill me at all: the newest thing to hit the fashion world is shaved eyebrows.  Not plucked eyebrows, not separation of the uni-brow, but honest-to-god-shaved-completely-off eyebrows.  It’s the “no-brow” look.  I shiver with crawling skin.

What you get when you shave a woman’s (or a man’s, for that matter) eyebrows is an alien.  An expressionless alien, since eyebrows are

Models Katrin Thormann, Iris Strubegger, & Ranya Mordanyova. Photos curtesy of Catwalking.com

Models Katrin Thormann, Iris Strubegger, & Ranya Mordanyova with bleached eyebrows. Photos curtesy of Catwalking.com

critical to most of our facial expressions.  Put some clothes on them and stick them in the store window with a sale sign and you’ve got a living mannequin.  But who is responsible for this outrage?

As usual, the fashion designers are to blame, who are well-known to shove their beauty corrupting ideas down the throats of women so they can sell more product.  While model Kristin McMenamy has been sporting this look off and on since the early 90’s (she’s so maaaaaahhhhvelously edgy, don’t you think, love?), but the designers are now pushing the non-expressive, android look into the mainstream.

In the fall of 2009, Balenciaga and Prada pushed the look onto their runways, convincing even the top models to bleach their eyebrows so at least they’d look like they came from the planet Zoltran, causing the elite observers of fashion to – dare I say it – raise their eyebrows.  Thankfully, they had some to raise.  Next, Brazilian bombshell model Adriana Lima shaved hers for the Givenchy campaign.  Now McMenamy is at it again on the August cover of Italian Vogue.  Not that anyone cares what old Crusty thinks, but uugggh.

Will this horrid turn of style make it’s way into the mainstream?  Let’s hope not.  Call me old fashioned, but I like women to have eyebrows.  Otherwise, I’m afraid to ask where they’re from.  It just might be Zoltran.  So ladies, trim, pluck, thicken, and all that voodoo that you do, but don’t shave your eyebrows.

Save us from the “nobrow.”  That’s no way to express yourself.

SOURCES: Amid repeated claims that I have it wrong about women shaving their eyebrows, here is a list of some of my sources.  Read them if you don’t believe me, and if you don’t believe them, then write to them and accuse them of being mistaken instead of me, Crusty, who is never wrong (except sometimes.)

According to the N.Y. Times, “The August issue of Vogue features an otherworldly Steven Klein shot of a model epilated above the eyes.”  The article concludes, “Before shaving off both eyebrows, we suggest doing just one to see if it suits you.”


According to The Times Union/U.K., in an article titled, “New fashion trend: shaving off your eyebrows,” it is stated,  “Women spend big money shaping and maintaining their brows. The latest trend, though, means no styling necessary — because you shave them right off.” (They use the exact picture as the top pic of this blog as an example.

blog.timesunion.com/…/new-fashion-trend-shaving-off-your-eyebrows/ – Cached – Similar)

From the Daily Mail/U.K., “…the Givenchy campaign have all had their brows bleached or even removed, creating a startling uniformity amid male and female faces.”


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Painting by Clovis Trouille

Painting by Clovis Trouille

Here in the worshipful offices of The Curmudgeon – what we’re worshiping I’m not saying – we have spent many a long night in dives and pool halls arguing about religion. Many of the staff were raised Catholic but are non-practicing or estranged from the church.  I can’t wait for tonight’s meet at Paddy’s Pagan Pub to share the following news item:  An Italian novice nun is suing her ex-boyfriend for posting naked pictures of her on Facebook.  This is an outrage!   There are naked pictures on Facebook and I didn’t know about it?  Call my lawyer!

The 31-year old novice nun from Italy is obviously undressed – er, distressed – to find pictures of her and the boyfriend from a vacation several years ago, which he published to put an end to this silly nun business.  It’s a typical spurned boyfriend reaction: his feelings are hurt and he can’t see what the woman sees in that new guy, Jesus.  “You’d think he could walk on water or something,” the boyfriend was never quoted as saying.  “Capische?”

Weird Nun by Norrit

Weird Nun by Norrit

Apparently, a bunch of horny Italian guys are now considering the priesthood.  I say let ’em in; at least they like girls.  I don’t think it’s an uncommon sexual fantasy for men (or women) to fantasize about a sexy woman in a nun outfit, and I could imagine it would be a popular costume in a strip joint.  Hmmm, I detect a market here.  Now, I was raised Catholic, and I still find myself kneeling till my knees bleed on occasion (like when somebody gets married or croaks,) and I gotta tell ya, I have never seen a nun I would want to see naked.  Not one Flying Nun or Maria in the whole bunch.

As far as I’m concerned they should still let her into the . . . nunhood? . . . nuness? . . . um, be a nun.  She was human and she still is as far as I know.  Isn’t that what the church is supposed to be about?  Forgiveness?  Human frailty and weakness?  Besides, lately the church’s marketing has sucked.  They need to get with it or get off their cross.  This is the perfect opportunity for them to appeal to a totally new demographic and revive their shriveling membership, and bring much needed funds to cover all these “sexual abuse of young boys” settlements.

Heck, they could give her a brand new order:  The Order of the Bustier

Sign me up.

(Top Photo: Clovis Trouille’s nun art)

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Photo by Tom McCauley (WiTI-TV, Racine)

Photo by Tom McCauley (WiTI-TV, Racine)

Here in the Curmudgeon offices we appreciate a good wiener.  I generally have them grilled nowadays, but I’ll always have an empty spot in my stomach for a New York City Street Dog with kraut on a steamed bun.  Mmm…now that’s fine dining, and there’s nothing more American  than a delicious juicy hot dog.

Perhaps this is one reason why the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile captures our interest.  Plus it’s just darn funny to see a giant wiener driving around on the streets.  For fans of advertising and promotion, the cleverness of the thing is a study in advertising basics, and harkens back to the old days of sandwich boards and Burma Shave.

And so the offices of the Curmudgeon were all abuzz when we heard the tragic news: the wienermobile had crashed into a house.  Oh my gawd!  Was it alright?  Had it been damaged?  Did they rush it by emergency towing vehicle to the wienermobile hospital shop?  Forget the driver, that human moron, tell me how the wienermobile is!

The report came in.  The wienermobile was fine.  A few broken bones and a mild case of shock, but after a weeks rest in the hospital shop, it would roll along the streets again, thrilling children and amusing adults.  Okay.  Whew.  Now, who so carelessly drove the wienermobile into a building?  Give me his name.  Surely that was the most incompetent handling of a wiener…uh oh.  The identity of the driver came over the wire.  It was a woman.

Don’t they know you can’t put a woman in charge of guiding the wiener?  Maybe she thinks the wiener is only interested in her buns, or perhaps she thinks she’s being used, nothing more than a chauffeur – albeit a dangerous one – who does no more than provide a parking space for the wiener.  Well heck, that would piss anybody off.  You might crash the wienermobile into a brick wall too.  I think it best to let a man guide the wienermobile in the future.  At least you know he’s not going to smash it and hurt it.

And remember, all you wienermobiles out there…if a woman is handling you, be sure to wear your condiments.

(Note: I am sure the wienermobile is a difficult vehicle to drive and this story is not meant to perpetuate the stereotype of  “bad women driver’s.”  Anyone might have stepped on the gas instead of the brakes.  Right?)

This story was first reported by WITI-TV in Racine, WI.

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Photo by Topato on flickr

Photo by Topato on flickr

Here in Curmudgeon offices, which as regular readers know have been moved to Maui for the summer, we are very familiar with beaches.  We often have office parties on the white sand while swimming with the dolphins and enjoying a cold cocktail or two, so we were not surprised that a recent study that concluded: there is bird poop on the beach. Okay.  We were moderately surprised, heretofore believing that birds used the toilet just like we do, though that seems silly now.  No, what surprised us was that they spent $63,000 dollars on the study.

The joint study conducted by the EPA and University of North Carolina, concluded that “you risk getting an upset stomach and diarrhea if you dig into the granular stuff to fill toy pails, build sand castles or bury yourself. You’re better off walking along the shore or swimming in the surf,” according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Okay.  So there’s bird poop.  What are the dangers?  The report said that beach-goers who dig into sand are about 13 percent more likely to suffer from a stomach ailment than those who don’t and they’re about 20 percent more likely to get diarrhea.  Burying yourself in sand is even more risky, those folks being up to 24% more likely to have gastrointestinal illness or diarrhea than those who don’t.

Of particular importance is after playing in the sand, to keep your hands away from food or your mouth or to use a hand sanitizer or wash your hands.  So no more burying your lover in the sand, kids.  You might put them in your mouth later.

What is going on in this world when a kid can’t even play in the sand at the beach without getting sick anymore?  No sand castles?  Why, that’s un-American.  I guess you’ll have to put a sand box in the back yard now and let the kids build their imaginary worlds of sand there.  Just one thing:

Keep your cats out of the sandbox.

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tramp stamp 1

Here in The Curmudgeon offices, we are no stranger to tattoos, either on men or women.  Of course we’re very liberal here, and we do not frown on inappropriate dress for the office.  What I have observed is a slow but steady increase in ladies sporting tattoos on their lower backs, just above the belt line of their low-rise jeans. These tatts are sometimes derogatorily referred to as “Tramp Stamps.”  Or “Arse Antlers,” or “Slag Tags.”

tramp-stamp 3I am not a fan of tattoos.  When I see a tattoo on an attractive woman, I cringe a little.  It’s like taking a portrait of a beautiful woman painted by one of the old masters and drawing on it with a Sharpie.  The painting is ruined – or at least marred – and it is a long, slow, painful process to remove it, which surely must be done if we are to restore the painting to its original value.

What makes the Tramp Stamp doubly problematic, is its negative connotation as to the morals of the woman who sports one, now associated with sexual promiscuity, which may or may not be true. In short, while some will see her as an open-minded, strong-willed woman, most will view her as a hussy.  A slut.  Well….a tramp.  Think of it as the Good Trampkeeping Seal of Approval.  If that’s the image you want to project, then stamp away.

Dress For Excess

The Tramp Stamp is not solely responsible for the skanky image.  Mind you, for others to see the tattoo, the woman must be wearing low-cut jeans and a half-shirt or similar, so already she’s dressed on the wild side.  It’s just that with the addition of the tattoo, you are saying, “Look here.”  And from here we can’t help but look at her bum, which of course we would do anyway, but that gives us an excuse (not that we need one – that’s just what we do.)  Just please don’t shoot us that look that says, “What the hell are you looking at.”  We’re looking at your ass.  You hung a sign on it, for chrissakes.
tramp stamp 5
Barbie Gets Tatts

They have permeated popular culture too.  Witness the Totally Stylin’ Barbie, which comes with tattoo stickers girls can stick anywhere, including Tramp Stamps for Barbie’s impossibly skinny waist that say “Ken.”  Never mind that numerous studies have shown that Ken prefers GI Joe.  If that’s not bad enough, the set comes with a tattoo gun so little girls can give washable tattoos to themselves.  Consider it “tramp training.”  In spite of pre-production protests, Mattel didn’t back down and the doll is now available.  In 2002, they did cave, when they came out with  Barbie’s pregnant friend with a pop-off tummy and a little plastic infant inside.  That makes me feel just a little uneasy.

Barbid "Tramp Stamp"

Barbid "Tramp Stamp"

Perhaps I’d like them better if they showed a sense of humor.  A mushroom cloud maybe, or an arrow with a sign that reads, “Eat at Joe’s.”  Or better yet, how about “Kilroy was here?

I know one thing:  One day these ladies are going to be old, and they’re going to find that their “Tramp Stamps” have become “Gramp Stamps.”  Now that makes me feel uneasy.

kilroy2  print

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Here in the aesthetically pleasing offices of The Curmudgeon, there are several attractive women who are bewitching but not witches.  That’s a good thing because I’d hate to lose one of them to this job offer that just came across my evil desk.  In Wookey Hole, Somerset, England, they are looking for one good witch.

Famous for it’s beautiful limestone caves, Wookey Hole features a family theme park, and they want someone to play a witch at the park for a cool £50,000 ($81,000) per year to cackle at visitors and teach a few magic courses.  Hey, that sounds like good money.  According to local legend there really was a witch who loved in the caves during the middle ages, and being unlucky in love herself, cursed a young couple so they could never marry.  Hmmm, sounds like Crusty’s mother-in-law.

The young man was so despondent that he swore revenge and ran off and became a monk, which is the same thing Crusty did.  Then one day he crept back into the cave, blessed the river that ran through it, and then splashed the blessed water on the witch, and we all know that wicked witches and water don’t mix.  This one turned into a stalagmite which can be seen to this day.  So all in all, it sounds like a pretty cushy job, with this one catch:  the hired witch has to actually live in the caves.

Why in the world does she have to live in the caves?  Can’t she live in an apartment and just show up at 8:00AM?  Does she get an apartment in the caves, or does she have to sleep on the ground?  So many details, and until they get them ironed out, I don’t suppose I’ll be losing any staff.  I don’t think any of them would be leaving anyway.

I put a spell on ’em.

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Kawagoe manhole cover by Compound Eye / flickr

Kawagoe manhole cover by Compound Eye / flickr

Here in the posh pad that is The Curmudgeon offices, I see texting going on all the time.  The youngsters particularly seem to enjoy it, and they traipse up and down the hall, on their way to the restroom or the copy room or the conference room or O’Reilly’s Pub, the little place I run on the second floor with an outdoor deck overlooking Puget Sound.  Make a pretty penny too, but my point is, texting texting texting, sleek little fingers tap tap tapping their vital messages such as HOWRU? GO N 2 P and IM@WRK & MY BOSS Z HOT :-P.   My point is that is exactly what Alexa Longueira was doing when she stepped into an open manhole.

Alexa Longueira - Dangerous texter.

Alexa Longueira - Dangerous texter.

As reported by channel 2, local N.Y. CBS news, Miss Longueira was tap tap tapping when she fell into the sewer, suffering deep cuts and bruises.   The manhole had been left unattended by a N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection worker.  She was helped out of the stinky confines by an apologetic DEP worker.  Nice work protecting the environment, boys!  I think eliminating the streets of 15 year old texting girls is protecting the environment.

“It was just really gross and it was shocking and scary,” CBS quoted her as saying. “Because of their careless mistake I got hurt.”  When pressed further she confessed to her mindless texting activity and added, “Regardless of whether I’m texting or not if there was a cone there I’m gong to see a big orange cone,” she said. “I walk that sidewalk every day, I don’t expect a big hole there.”  That”s right, sweetie.  You don’t have to pay one bit of attention to where you are walking.  Everyone else will take care of you.  The world is just a big, soft, fluffy cloud.  Why, last week when your mom drove into that brick wall, WTF?  That wall didn’t used to be there.  Somebody is responsible for that wall!

You and I both know what comes next.  The lawsuit.  The girl dreams about falling now, so that’s like mental anguish and loss of sleep.  And the mother confirmed they might sue.  “It could have been an elderly person, a mother pushing a stroller. It could have been anyone.”  Yes, but it wasn’t.  It was your dumb ass daughter.  True, the manhole should not have been left open and someone could have gotten hurt, but the girl has to share some responsibility as well.  Put your damn phone in your pocket and watch where you’re going.


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herbie printHere in he tipsy but not inebriated offices of the Curmudgeon, we are no stranger to hangovers.  Right now, we imagine Lindsay Lohan has a big one.  Firstly, I have often growled to the staff here that “It will be a cold day in hell before we write about Lohan,” so put on your overcoats and mittens as we join Lindsay on her fun-filled career spiral downtown.

Lindsay Lohan - A wreck about to happen.

Lindsay Lohan - A wreck about to happen.

When “The Hangover” script made the rounds in Hollywood, some saw it’s potential as a big film.  Lohan’s agents was one of them, and he campaigned for Lohan to get the role of the stripper ‘Jade’.  “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips was not enthused by the prospect, but the mutual agent, being a good one apparently – down boy, down – didn’t give up.  He hemmed and hawed and cajoled and sent the director a stripper in a cake for all I know, until director Phillips finally agreed.

So, triumphantly, the agent presents the script to Lohan who, full of gratitude for getting her such a great part in such a great film when hardly anybody else will touch her, said to the agent, no.  Whaaaa?????  She didn’t see the film’s potential and she just didn’t like the script.  After all, this was no  Herbie Goes Homo.

Instead Lohan opted to do “Labor Pains,” a straight to DVD dog, while “The Hangover” is a bonerfide boffo box office bonanza.  Probably thanks in large part to Lohan not being in it.  Instead the role went to Heather Graham.  And the Curmudgeon loves him some Heather Graham crackers.

We like Heather Graham crackers!

We like Heather Graham crackers!

I am happy to see Lohan fading away.  I’m sick of her dramatics.  Graham on the other hand, is a delight in every way.  She is so special I think she was made by Keebler elves.

To further view Lohan’s drive into oblivion, check out her movie next summer:  Herbie Goes To Hell in a Handbasket.

(With apologies for use of “Homo.”  I, in no way, mean to disparage homosexuals.  People should be free to make their own choices.  Long live tolerance!)

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The Lollipop League Harry Doll, Jerry Maren, and Jackie Gerlich / MGM photo

The Lollipop League Harry Doll, Jerry Maren, and Jackie Gerlich / MGM photo

Here in the full-sized offices of The Curmudgeon, we think that various groups who “demand” they are referred to as this or that, or that a particular word is never used, are quite often overly sensitive.  Such is the case with little people and their recent cry to the FCC asking them to ban the use of the word “midget.”

What particularly outraged the wee little things was an episode of The Apprentice in which a contestant proposed that in an advertisement for detergent, midgets would be bathed in the detergent and then hung up to dry.  They were offended.  Actually, I agree with them that it was offensive, but it wasn’t the use of the word “midget,” but rather hanging them on a clothesline that crossed the line.  There’s a lot of that stuff on television, but while we are hearing from a group called “The Little People of America,” we are not hearing from the tiny folk who get these jobs.  Maybe they are happy for the work and it’s okie doke with them.

To be honest, I have never found midgets particularly funny, either the people or the name, and do in fact think that many of the things for which the miniature men have been employed are in very poor taste.  Midget tossing contests comes to mind, the bar craze that went around several years ago.  I felt so strongly about it that I canceled a television show I was producing at the time called “Bowling With Midgets.”  But again, the offense was in the activity, not the name.

So little people, I say chill out.  Of course I’m sure many of you don’t agree with me and would gnaw my ankles if you had the chance, but am I guilty if I don’t think you’re funny, but rather real people with real feeling just like me?  No.  I don’t think so.  Embrace the word “midget.”  It’s your very own word and it’s been around since 1865, and not all of you have embraced your agenda.  Actor Herve “The plane, The plane” Villechaize insisted on being called a “midget” as opposed to a “little person.”

So mix yourself a cocktail in a Smuckers jar and relax.

Let’s end the depictions, but long live the word.

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Bet they wouldn't have forgotten to get gas if they were working.

Bet they wouldn't have forgotten to get gas if these gals were working.

Here in the Curmudgeon offices, we have good days and bad days.  This is true of everybody, everywhere, pretty much, and as is often the case, the littlest thing can come along and perk us right up.  Lift our spirits.   Put a smile on our faces.  Stop and smell the roses.  Walk on the sunny side of the street, and other assorted “feel good” axioms.  For me, nothing gets the wrinkles out of my morning like a good bit of irony.

Todays irony comes courtesy of 29 year-old Lonnie Meckwood and 51 year-old Phillip Weeks, of Tunkhannock, NY.  The AP reports that these two ruffians used a knife to rob a clerk at a Convenience store/gas station.  While the clerk wasn’t hurt, you can bet he was s**tting his pants, what with the knife poised and ready to stab him in his gizzard.

The clerk called the cops, as clerks who have been threatened with a gizzard stabbing will do, and the cops were on the case…for a couple of minutes.  They found the ersatz Bennie and Clyde about a mile away…their car on the side of the road.  They had run out of gas just after robbing a gas station.  Did they think they could get a better price somewhere else?

There is no shortage of stupid crooks.  You have the TV shows “America’s Dumbest Criminals,” “Ridiculous Robbers,” “Moronic Muggars,” “Stupid Shit Lawbreakers,” “Thilly Thieves,” and “Wascally Wabbits.”  The lesson they teach is, even if you’re a crook, you can’t get away with “stupid.”

I could have gone with the story of the burglar who used the victims cell phone to make a call…and accidentally took a picture of himself, then left the camera behind, but it was the irony of this story that convinced me.  Well, I’ve eaten a full breakfast and am ready to face the day.

The irony was delicious.

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