That's Something You Don't See Every Day, Chauncey

Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat!


Q: What’s up with the name of this site?

A: The site’s title and URL are from Rocky and Bullwinkle. Chauncey and Edgar were two old guys who would comment on the bizarre antics in Frostbite Falls. Edgar would say, “that’s something you don’t see every day, Chauncey.” Then Chauncey would say, “what’s that, Edgar?” Edgar would then usually say something like “a talking moose and a flying squirrel” or “a giant robotic mouse eating a TV antenna” or somesuch dreadfully obvious observation. Basically it’s a quasi-obscure pop culture reference.

Q: Why Rocky and Bullwinkle for your quasi-obscure pop culture reference?

A: Because Rocky and Bullwinkle are deeply embedded in my psyche. They are one of my earliest entertainment memories. When I was maybe 6 or 7 one of the crappy local UHF channels – a phrase which I realize probably means nothing to anyone in this city under the age of 23 or so – had a weekend-long Rocky and Bullwinkle marathon one Labor Day. I remember my father went NUTS when he heard about it. He loved Rocky and Bullwinkle and he was determined to make me love it as well. For a week prior he got me pumped up for it and, when it finally came, it did not disappoint. I sat and watched it with him and it was the first time I realized that some shows on TV are smarter and better than others. And even at that age it was fucking HILARIOUS. Also, in an era when my father was taking me to see things like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ghostbusters, and James Bond movies all before I hit double digits, it was just about the only age-appropriate material he ever exposed me to.

Q: Are you sure you’re not imagining that?

A: Fucking A right I am. The very distinct memory I have from that time of Dracula calling me on the telephone, that was a dream. (At least I hope it was.) The Rocky and Bullwinkle marathon, that shit definitely happened. It was on Channel 57 and it was hosted by some dude with red hair and glasses and a mustache who looked a little like Martin Mull. This was back when stations had hosts who would actually introduce programming – kinda like the dude on TCM – and this guy just intro’d Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons for three days. He was clearly a fan and it was awesome. This would have been around 1985 or so. Somewhere there is someone else from Philadelphia who remembers this. If you are that person please drop me a line.

Q: Are you actually going to pull a rabbit out of your hat?

A: I am not.

Q: Do you even have a hat?

A: Funny thing. I used to wear TONS of baseball hats in high school. I mean we are talking fucking TONS of hats. I would collect them. I had, literally, maybe two dozen baseball hats that were hanging in nested stacks from my bedposts. Then for some reason in college I just stopped wearing hats, and in the intervening years all of my baseball hats mysteriously disappeared. I have no idea why or what happened to them. I now own precisely two baseball hats, each of which I have worn once, and only then to protect my head from the ravages of the southern sun. One is a Chelsea Football Club hat that I got in Los Angeles and is autographed by Paul Oakenfold, and the other is a hat that simply says “England” on it that I bought in EPCOT last summer when I realized if I didn’t wear a hat in Florida I would die. Until I go to Florida or Southern California again I have no plans to wear a hat in the future.

EDIT: as of 2018, I wear hats again.

Q: Is this what the website is going to look like forever?

A: No, I’m working on the layout. I’m not vey good at this stuff, though, so give me some time. Eventually it will look less like crap than it does now.

Q: What is the purpose of this site?

A: Back when I ran the Quizo at the Dark Horse I sent out a weekly e-mail every Monday to players that would relate to questions that I would ask at the game that night. Early on I started posting those e-mails to a website because some people couldn’t get at their personal e-mails while they were at work. These e-mails evolved from short missives of the “hey, what’s with the fucked-up weather” variety to 3,000-word novellas about my often-bizarre social life. Over the years I got a bunch of compliments from Quizo folks about how much they enjoyed reading the e-mails, and eventually I learned that people who didn’t even go to Quizo were reading and enjoying the website (which was very gratifying, thank you). When I stopped doing Quizo I stopped updating the site, and since then I have actually gotten multiple requests from people to start sending out the Monday e-mail again (because, in a hilarious circle of life bit, people’s workplaces started blocking the website). I’m not going to send out e-mails every Monday again, mainly because I don’t have access to my e-mail at work anymore either, but I have been feeling the urge to get writing regularly again and I’d like to move past the limitations of the “one story on Monday morning about the weird thing that happened over the weekend” format of the old Quizo site. Also because, fucking hell, anything that makes people tell me how good I am is totally worth it. God, I’m such a whore.

Q: What sorts of things do you write about here?

A: Primarily just whatever interests me. In no particular order that includes: video games, sports (soccer especially), comic books, regular books, science, theatre, history, television, culture in general, I suppose. The only two things that I will never write about as a rule are music, because I don’t really know anything about it, and politics, because writing about politics on the internet is a fool’s errand. For the record, the sum of my feelings on the two subjects is that I have devoted my life to the teachings of Bruce Springsteen, and my politics have been charitably described as “anti-corporate liberal terrorist.”

Q: Will you ever write about [topic X]?

A: If I naturally come across it and find it interesting or amusing, sure. But, in pure probabilistic terms, likely not. I have enough things to occupy my time. Too fucking many, in fact. I’m not going to go seek out new ones just so I can bang out 500 words on them.

Q: You drop the F-bomb a lot.

A: That isn’t a question, but yes, that’s accurate.

Q: Why?

A: In speech, because it’s an effective way to call attention to your point. In writing, honestly, mostly just because it’s funny.

Q: Why was my comment deleted?

A: Understand something: I HATE COMMENTS. I hate them. And I don’t mean your comments on this site. I mean all comments on every internet site everywhere. I absolutely despise them. Comments are, for the most part, the pond scum of the internet, only without the environmental benefits of pond scum. Sturgeon’s Law, people. Me and a computer-savvy friend once talked about how great it would be to have a Firefox extension that would be like Adblock for comments – you could read webpages, but the comments wouldn’t even show up in your browser. I seriously considered learning the requisite programming languages for the sole purpose of making ONLY THAT. However, I do not want to quash all discussions about the inanities posted here, just the stupid ones, so commenting is enabled but with Horrifyingly Ruthless Moderation. I will swiftly and mercilessly delete anything that irks me even a little. You’re welcome to keep commenting after a deletion, and eventually you’ll learn what does and doesn’t piss me off. Just don’t TRY to piss me off, because I will also swing the banhammer like a Space Marine Librarian.

Q: What are the environmental benefits of pond scum?

A: I just learned this! You can make biofuel out of it. Pretty neat, huh?

Q: Why do I have to register to comment?

A: Because I hate anonymous comments only slightly less than comments in general. You want to say something? Put your name on it. Doesn’t have to be your full name, but at least a name. No one is Deep Throat or a fucking FBI informant here. It’s a website with pictures of lightsabers and soccer players. Anonymously commenting on sites like this is the ultimate in cowardice and, as we all know, cowards die in shame.

Q: What does [reference X] mean?

A: Google is your friend.

Q: Anything else?

A: Nothing right now, though as some questions actually become frequently asked I will add them in here.

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