I've probably seen A Christmas Story a thousand times, even before TBS put it on an endless holiday loop, but to this day I have no idea what “you'll shoot your eye out” really means. One minute Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) is shooting at Black Bart and the next minute he's on the ground.
The story, of course, revolved around Ralphie who wanted nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas and is thwarted around every turn. But in A Christmas Story, the phrase “you'll shoot your eye out” is such a common place warning that its along the lines of “tie you shoes” or “don't run with scissors.” His mom said it, his teacher said it, a department store Santa said it. Was it that common? In the 30's and 40's, were eyeballs just popping out left and right? Were the streets littered with the eyes of BB gun accident victims? The Great Depression, of course, referring to all the sunken in eye sockets.
I understand all the stats and figures of Christmas related eye gouging. Toys with points are dangerous, toys with projectiles are dangers, toys with small pointy projectiles are doubly dangerous. But are they more of a danger to the child or the child's little brother who's just standing their like a dumb goon practically asking to have his eye poked out? My point being projectiles are designed to move away from the projector, and while a projectee is very much in harms way, the projector is relatively safe. Of course, accidents do happen, and some kid will inevitably find a way to shoot his or her own eye out, but you can't warn about a freak accident because that's why it's an accident (as in it is unforeseeable). Saying don't shoot your eye out is like saying don't get struck by lightning. Still there are several plausible “shoot your eye out” scenarios in A Christmas Story:
As a kid I've shot air rifles at paper plates, tin cans, birds, the dirt, rocks, metal fences, trees, straight up in the air, apples on the heads of small neighborhood children, basically anything that could be shot at was shot at. I was the Rambo of BB guns. And while I've never managed to hit any of these targets, I've also never managed to have a BB ricochet back at me either.
Are we suppose to believe that all these adults were warning Ralphie about a magic BB? A magic BB that bounced off the target, off the roof, headed downward toward Ralphie at an angle of 17 degrees, then moved upward—where it waited exactly 1.6 seconds, turned right and continued into Ralphie's left eye. And if this was the case, if this was what the entire town was truly scared of happening, his cover story about the BB hitting an icicle was essentially the same principle except instead of the BB ricocheting back into his eye, it ricocheted into a far more deadly icicle which then plunged toward his eye.
It's impossible to gauge how much force is precisely needed to dislodge an eyeball. It depends on the eye socket size and relative depth of the eyeball, and the size, shape, and speed of the object hitting the eye, in this case the Red Ryder BB gun as it recoiled into Ralphie's cheek. Recoil is a matter of caliber size of bullet vs the weight of gun, so a large caliber on a small gun creates a huge kick back. A BB has virtually no size at all (it's like firing a piece of lint), and a BB gun is incredibly heavy by comparison creating virtually no recoil. So, unless Ralphie's eye was already partially hanging out of his face then the Red Ryder's minor recoil was probably not the cause.
Around the World
Most BB's probably top out at about 200 yards, but given the right circumstances, the right angle, the right trajectory, what if the BB was able to achieve escape velocity from the atmosphere and travel around the world? It's conceivable then for Ralphie to fire his BB gun into the air, for that BB to travel around the planet, then hit Ralphie on its way back. Completely plausible. My only problem with this is that if it takes a bullet about 2 seconds to travel a mile, and it would take that same bullet over 13 hours to travel the circumference of the Earth (that's, of course, if it maintained that same speed the whole time). That's for a bullet shot from a high caliber rifle, too, a much slower moving BB would take even longer. Now I'm more than willing to believe firing a BB that travels around the world, but Ralphie standing in the same place over 13 hours later is a little hard to swallow.
The Red Ryder model BB gun was well known for opening wormholes through the fabric of space and time. The problem with wormholes though is that they can reopen just about anywhere—the Alpha Quadrant, in the middle of a Peacekeeper dogfight, the Kaliem galaxy on the far side of the known universe—this means it's even possible for the wormhole to reopen right in front of Ralphie's face. Space was actually folded in such a way that Ralphie was facing himself. Also, given the unpredictable nature of wormholes it's entirely possible for the portal to open up into a parallel mirror universe, where Ralphie's evil doppelganger (Ralphie 2) just so happens to be pointing his evil Red Ryder at Ralphie 1. Ralphie 1 shoots Ralphie 2 and vice versa. This same unpredictable nature though makes it difficult to calculate the odds of this cosmetic event actually occuring, however, it does seem like the most plausible explanation of shooting his own eye out.
Maybe, though shooting your eye out is inevitable and instead of cryptic warnings, it might be better for parents to just invest in eye patches.
I was just thinking about how many websites—websites that make a very good living, a much better living than your friendly neighborhood Wolf Gnards—that don't really do anything. They are vestigial tail of the web or the net's inflamed appendix. You know who I'm talking about. They don't really make anything or create anything, they just show you things. The internet equivalent of “What's that over there?” Maybe, they put their own spin on things, maybe, they don't, no one seems to mind. And the beauty of the internet is one site reprints an article, some other site references that reprint, and still another site cites the reprinted reference.
And here sit on my couch, covered in Cheetos, and I think, I'm totally lazy, I could do that.
So, what's that over there!?
12 things you didn't know about Home Alone. But what if I liked Buzz's girlfriend (played by now I find out a chubby little boy) what does that say about me?
Hot Chicks in Batman Shirts. Kevin Smith tweeted about this site so you know it must be quality.
Dinosaucers Fan fiction. If there's a cartoon more obscure than ProStars, it's Dinosaucers. The question isn't though why someone would write Dinosaucers fan fiction, your question should be what traumatizing life events could lead me to finding Dinosaucers fanfic.
Go forth, check it out... and citation? We don't need no stinky citation.
A new federal report has found:
While, vampiric love in and of itself may cause only minimal personal harm, it is a dangerous habit because it leads to the use of "harder monsters" like Frankenstein, Godzilla, and Cthulhu. Suburbia has come to gripes with a growing concern over a vampire’s role as a "gateway monster," which makes subsequent use of more potent and disabling creatures more likely. The gateway monster theory has found that the younger children are when they are first exposed to vampires, the more likely they are to become infatuated with werewolves or mummies, and become dependent on monsters as adults. Individuals who liked nosferatu by age 17 had odds of other monster love, zombie dependency, and monster abuse that were 2.1 to 5.2 times higher than those who did not see nosferatu before age 17 years. The Center on Abominations and Creature Abuse at Columbia University found adolescents who love blood suckers 85 times more likely to worship Cthulhu than their non–blood sucking loving peers. And 60 percent of youngsters who use vampires before they turn 15 later go on to use Cthulhu.
While I don't understand why the government would take the time to put this study together, they do raise an interesting point. The market has become over-saturated with Vampire books, movies, TV shows, and just as it seems the public has gotten sick of vampires, suddenly Hollywood latches onto zombies. What's next? If it's just a matter of the living dead, then the next logical step would most likely be mummies of some sort.
Progression of living dead monsters:
Vampires ⇒ Zombies ⇒ Mummies
Why are vegetarians almost always constantly naked? Almost every PETA advertisement features some semi-nude celebrity in a highfalutin veggie related double entendre. Somewhere along the line their message went from savings animals to vegans are sex crazed. Or is it something about the act of eating vegetables that causes spontaneous nudity? Fruits need to be peeled, maybe, that goes for clothing, too. Or broccoli might be choked full of natural streaking enzymes? The argument though seems to have definitely shifted from an ethical appeal against animal cruelty to Live Nude Girls.
It's strange that animal rights has virtually the same advertising campaign as beer. Drink this beer, you get this girl... and twins. It's the same thing for lettuce: sexy girls eat salad and if you'd like to be a sexy girl or pick up a sexy girl the place to do it is a salad bar. However, this goes beyond PETA ads, because it's not just a simple subliminal message. It happens in real life, too. Most PETA protests somehow inevitably involve women half naked wearing only cat ears trapped in cages. It's as if they're finding excuses to get naked.
Some of my more jockish friends don't seem to realize that the geekiest thing I've ever seen is them managing their fantasy baseball rosters. Fantasy teams takes away any actual physical aspect of sports and adds math to it. I cannot think of anything nerdier than that. That's like adding interpretative dance to camping. Which brings us to a strange nerd/jock connection: two supposedly opposing impulses coming together in a marriage of mathematics and competition. Fantasy sports brings together the most analytical parts of the geek brain with a healthy dose of competitive douchiness (or douchitude). But the crossover does not end there: enter the Viking.
The Geek/Jock/Viking Venn Diagram
As you can see, it doesn't stop at fantasy sports, when you add Vikings to the mix all sorts of relationships start to emerge. Geek meets Viking at D&D, Viking and Jocks become the Minnesota Vikings, and all three meet at the cross roads of Heavy Metal. Heavy Metal combines Jock aggression with a Geek loner mentality and the mysticism of the Viking (thus the axes and dragons and chains and long flowing blond hair [mostly on guys]). The same type of rich fantasy life is at play in Dungeons & Dragons as in fantasy football as in listening to Iron Maiden.
Can you tell the difference between a character sheet and a team management screen?
Which one is the Dungeons & Dragons guide and which one is the heavy metal album?
While not exactly identical, they do have striking similarities.
So, what's the allure? Perhaps there's a Viking in all of us, a tiny Viking living inside each and every one of us. It's not the Id that drives our desires, but an out of whack marauder. We raid, we explore, we pillage, we feast, we drink vast amounts of mead. At least, we want to. But at the same time, we don't live in 9th century Scandinavia; raping and plundering are simply not socially acceptable behaviors. Ax wielding is just not a useful skill anymore. Former viking kings now find themselves at 9-to-5 jobs, sitting at computers, staring mindlessly at Excel spreadsheets. And this is where we are at: the Viking in us pulling one way (“pick up that ax,” “slay that dragon”) and the corporate stooge pulling us in another direction (“crunch those numbers,” “analysis those stats”).
Or, maybe, dragons are just cool and stats are fun to track.
Like a certain wolfman, the time has come to ask: Do Aquamen have gnards?
Yes. Men have gnards. Fish have gnards. It goes to say that Aquaman does indeed have gnards. However, a penis is a trickier issue.
Surprisingly little has been said about the mating habits or anatomies of many of our favorite mermen and -maids. Much depends on the origins of the mermaid, are they aquatically evolved humans (or would that be de-evolved)? Or are they some unknown intelligent subspecies of fish? A mutant of some kind? A human/fish hybrid? If we examine the classic mermaid imagine, the head and shoulders of a human with the bottom half of a fish, this would definitely suggest both fish genitalia and most likely fish mating (or doing it fishy style). However, the merfolk of comic books—Aquaman, Tempest, Namor the Sub-Mariner, Aquagirl, Namora, Lori Lemaris, Aspen, Abe Sapien—are a little more human looking and harder to make that call.
Most male fish do not have penises, their anatomies being very similar to those of the female fish (at least, on the outside). If you didn't know or slept through 5th grade biology, fish reproduce externally. The lady fish lays the eggs and the male fish comes along and fertilizes these eggs. And much like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, there's rules about no kissing or eye contact. This is why tuna is called the high class prostitute of the sea, but I digress.
We have to imagine this is how merfolk spawn, too. However, oceanic mammals do have penises, and if anything a mermaid or -man would fall into a mammal category. This would suggest more traditional internal sexual reproduction. However, since most merfolks have features like gills (The original Golden Age Aquaman for example originally had gills), one would have to consider any entirely different evolutionary track apart from humans.
Both Aquaman and Namor are Atlanteans (both royalty, too [aren't there accountants or dishwashers (dishunwashers?) in Atlantis]), however, the Atlanteans of Marvel comics are a little more like squatters in the ruins of the Atlantis. Homo mermanus are a separate offshoot of humanity that simply stayed in the water, and are not people of Atlantis who magically grew gills. This definitely gives Namor a higher chance of having fish equipment. With no penis, Namor's spacious speedo would most likely then be filled with sea shells and broken hypodermic needles. This would also explain the often wielding of overly large tridents or fearsome hook hands... someone's overcompensating.
Both Sub-Mariner and Aquaman have backgrounds wherein their daddy's were drunken sailors who got scaly with a friendly fish lady (which would also call into question their "royal" linage). Half man, half merman equals about a quarter fish (a merman is already half fish), which gives Namor and Aquaman about a 75% chance of possessing human genitals. Those odds are good, but not definitive. This sort of genetic roulette would also bring rise to a third option: the fish/man hermaphrodite.
For the sake of science, I turned to the source material. I spent several weeks (this is why there's been so few posts... yeah, that's why) combing through the National Comic Book Archives and finally found an answer:
And there you have it—manginas. Disgustilating. And remember, kids, Aquaman isn't lame because talking to fish is a useless power to have during a bank robbery (and most every world domination type situation), Aquaman is lame because he has no penis.