Feb 29, 2016
Feb 23, 2016
Des Moines, IA
While renovating a small performing arts center called The Iowa Talent Factory, workers discovered a wallet that was lost in 1944 hiding in the floorboards. It contained family photos, boy scout cards, and other items carried by the 15 year old boy who lost the wallet 72 years ago. Incredibly, the theater managed to track down and return the wallet to its owner, an 87 year old man living in nearby Des Moines.
Feb 21, 2016
This is the port city of Cádiz, Spain. It was founded around 1104 BC and is one of the oldest continually-inhabited cities in the world. It also seems to be one of the best places in the world to get a civil service job if you don't want to work too hard.
According to an article from The Guardian, engineer Joaquín García was hired by local deputy mayor Jorge Blas Fernández in 1996 to work as a supervisor for Agua de Cadiz (a municipal water company). García stopped going to work in 2004, but he still earned an annual salary of €37,000 for the next six years. The water company believed that García worked for the local authorities and was assigned to another project, while the local authorities thought he was being supervised by the water company, so nobody noticed that he was missing.
It wasn't until 2010 that someone noticed that García hadn't been to his office in six years, and it was only discovered because his name was mentioned as a candidate for an award for his many years of service. As a result, he was recently fined €27,000 by the courts, which is a small fraction of what he earned during his extended absence from the job.
I've worked at places that were disorganized before, and I've gotten away with being lazy at work before, but... wow. Joaquín García has just raised the bar for slackers around the world.
Feb 20, 2016
The Jellybean Prayer
Scripture Candy (2016)
These jellybeans are hands down the creepiest thing I've ever found at the grocery store. The only thing that might make it scarier is if it had a picture of Jim Jones on the label. Even without his face, it looks like his spirit was channeled by the product development team.
This is far spookier than any Halloween candy I've enjoyed over the years, and not in a good way. The stuff I used to bring home after a fun night of trick-or-treating had pictures of vampires, witches and skulls, but they were designed to be light-hearted and fun. There's not an ounce of fun in these jellybeans. Check out those flavors. Gee Mom, do you think I could have a handful of Sin and Jesus' Blood before dinner? And what the hell does clean taste like? Soap? Bleach? I'll let someone else go ahead and find out.
If you think it doesn't get any more bizarre than this, boy howdy, are you in for a surprise when you flip the bag over.
My mother's side of the family is Mormon, and my father's side is Roman Catholic and Protestant. They're not all strictly religious, but I've had my fair share of exposure to different religious practices. For example, my maternal grandfather will give a blessing before Thanksgiving dinner. It's a very pleasant prayer in which he gives thanks for the food we are about to eat, and may it provide us nourishment and keep us healthy. I'm very happy to say that it doesn't include any references to our black and sinful heart. I'm also reasonably sure that each food item doesn't have its own prayer on the package, though I'd be interested to learn what might be included in the Purdue Turkey Prayer or the Libby's Pumpkin Prayer. I'd like to think that the latter would be written by Linus from the Peanuts comics.
As whacked out as this product and its packaging are, at least it's gone after the season is over. All you've got to do is thank the lord for these jellybeans, which are apparently so tasty that they mean more than words can say. Then after you eat the candy, you toss away the package and begin making appointments for the therapist you're sure to need after growing up with a family who would give you this candy...
...unless they got you the collectible tin.
You'll find these at K-Mart if you really want them, though you might want to wait until after Easter Sunday when they go on sale. I have a hunch they'll have plenty of them left over after the season.
Feb 16, 2016
Jalapeno Chicken Fries
Burger King (2016)
BK is really going all in on the marketing for their Chicken Fries. I don't know how I feel about a chicken mariachi band member that carries its own cooked flesh in its sombrero. They're pretty good, but nothing is as tasty as the Chicken Tenders they used to have back in the 80's and 90's. Those had a pepper breading that made them tastier than any chicken at any fast food restaurant I've ever eaten.
Speaking of Burger King gimmicks from the past, they seem to have brought back two more of my favorites. The BK Broiler was my favorite menu item when I worked at Burger King as a teenager in the mid 90's. They brought it back in 2002 as the Chicken Whopper, but it was marinated in some kind of glaze and didn't taste as good. Now it appears to have been rebranded as the Flame Grilled Chicken Burger. It's not the most appealing name they could have chosen, but it's less weird than the other blast from the past on the menu.
The Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger may be the strangest name for a fast food sandwich I've ever seen. It reminds me of a hybrid of a Whopper with Cheese and the Chopped Beefsteak from the early 80's. It's served on the same bun as the Specialty Sandwich and International Chicken Sandwich line.