Don't fear the weasel

Brian, Suzan, and Jeff are currently curled up in the living room, watching Cowboy Bebop. Me, I'm sitting back here in the back of the house, tapping quietly on an unfamiliar keyboard. It's such a shame, really; I've tried my hardest to like anime and I just can't, so I'm hiding and writing while they watch TV.

Brian has managed to prove yet another one of the theories that underscore my universe: namely, that TVs are limited by the amount of 'quality' programming they receive. In other words, the sum total of 'quality programming' on a 56-channel standard cable install and a 500+channel satellite install are the same.Say that the total amount of quality available is "foo." The problem becomes evident when you realize that each channel on cable will have a quality level of (foo÷56), and a satellite channel will have a quality level of (foo÷500).

In other words, Mr. Springsteen wasn't kidding when he said there were "fifty-seven channels and nothing on." Multiply that by a power of ten and you're not looking at "nothing on," you're looking at a great sucking void of quality-free television programming. Bad, bad news, especially if you just want to blow away an hour or two on a weeknight. A typical satellite user will spend most of the hour scrolling through the five hundred channels only to determine that, yes, there's absolutely nothing worth watching on ANY of the channels.

So what's this weasel I'm referring to in the title? Well, you see, someone started this bad little joke a few months ago. You have to understand: bad jokes go through a pretty vicious cycle of natural selection, the kind that make the dinosaurs-and-asteroids thing look like a frolicking romp through the park. The worst jokes die off in the first ten minutes after their first telling. (On the evolutionary scale, we're talking about the plants that said, "Bah, chlorophyll? Green is for weenies." They lasted real long.) Some more jokes get told once or twice, surviving a little longer in the world of jokes (think dinosaurs: they have their day in the sun and then all decide to turn into fossils on a Friday night, just for fun).

The bad ones are like cockroaches. You can't kill 'em, you can't get rid of 'em, and they spread like bloody wildfire.

That's the level of the weasel jokes. Cockroaches.

It originated with some garden implement. Was it even called a "garden weasel"? I think it might have been, but I'm too lazy to look it up to make sure. Given our silly group of friends (and our propensity for quality-testing nearly unwatchable TV shows after doing some social imbibement on Friday or Saturday nights), someone undoubtedly spotted this product (see influence of aforementioned Saturday nights and imbibements) and thought that this was the

Funniest. Thing. Ever.

Suddenly everything advertised in an infomercial got the "weasel" nickname. You had the Bug Weasel, the shower-puff-on-a-stick gadget that sucked bugs up into a stick so that you could dispose of them without killing them. You had the Ab Weasel, which was a little roll-around-on-the-floor gadget that might or might not have positive effects on your abdominal muscles but guaranteed you'd look like an idiot. The Telephone Weasel supposedly applies a weasel-like smackdown on telemarketers.

But tonight we found a new one: the Shower Weasel. It's basically a smaller, gentler version of the circular brush used to scrub cars, except that this is supposed to scrub humans. (Ow?)

Jeff yells, "Shower Weasel!"
Brian yells, "Why don't they just call it a masturbatory aid and get it over with?"

I found the device more than a little disturbing. Especially the little repository in the middle where you could put shower gel or moisturizer or something like that. Maybe I just associate that kind of brush too strongly with car washes, but I kept envisioning turning my shower floor into the automated moving tracks in car wash places…step in one side (all nice and dirty) and pop out on the other side, so squeaky that even the Stepfords are envious.

The Ab Weasel is still my favorite, though. Bonus points to any marketing company that can make people buy a product when we (the consumers) know exactly how stupid we will look when we use them.

I should market the Web Weasel. I wonder what such a tool would do?


You should call your new content management system the Web Weasel.

/me collapses in a fit of uncontrollable laughter ...

Comming to an infomercial near you: The Weasel Weasel!!!!

I still like the Wonder Wesel. It washes, it scrubs, it takes out the garbage. It even writes code. bad...that's a wonder geek.

Only the male version of the Wonder Weasel takes out garbage. The female version cooks.

I think Amy simplified my TV suck theory a bit (she got the most salient points). When a new channel is added, it degrades the quality of every other channel, even if the new channel is not seen on your system. This causes people to crave new channels to bring their viewing experience back to it's original suck value. In other words, you have to combat the lower average by adding new players ...

Hockey geeks among us will point out the quality of the Original Six ca. '42-67 as compared with the quality of a league whose number of teams can be expressed in scientific notation. There is a finite quantity of quality (heh) players/shows and that those are distributed more-or-less evenly among an increasing number of teams/channels. This opens up more room in the roster/schedule for second rate entertainment.

RIGHT! /me roots for an Original Six team