Sunday, October 27, 2002

IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE THAT I ANNOUNCE THE DOCTORS HAVE AGREED TO LET ME PLAY WITH SHARP OBJECTS AGAIN.

THEREFORE I HEREBY PROCLAIM THAT MR HELPFUL HAS MOVED FROM THE RELATIVELY DULL SAFETY OF BLOGSPOT TO MY OWN DOMAIN. YES, THIS IS A SCARY MOVE YET IT IS EXHILIRATING TO BE OUT ON MY OWN. WITH YOUR SUPPORT AND A WHOLE BOATLOAD OF JACK DANIELS, I KNOW THIS WILL BE A "WIN/WIN" SITUATION FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED.

SEE YOU THERE!!

www.mrhelpful.com

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Well....here it is Saturday night and I am busy reacquainting myself with some rock n roll nuggets as I slash and burn my way through a field of some 650 online tournament poker players. Currently there are 218 players left...your intrepid host comfortably resides at #88 but that could change at any moment...for good or bad.

I hadnt listened to Neil Young's "Freedom" cd in a long time until this fine evening. My goodness, what a pleasure it was to revisit the genius of this particular compilation....I had forgotten just how good it is. Good on ya Neil!! If you are interested, here is a review I wrote on Epinions a while back...it was generally well received although a couple of people took me to task for my descriptions of good ole Neil back then...so what else is new....

I just dipped my toe into REM's "Murmur"...man...what a great follow up to Freedom. Anyone jealous yet? heh heh heh....
From the "We Like Getting Emails And We're Not Just Saying That" department comes this tidbit of interest. Here at Mr. Helpful Central, we have received a couple of emails which asked if we really got a letter from Terry McAuliffe, DNC chairman asking us not to buy a bunch of stuff to help the economy.

Folks...if there is anyone out there who actually thinks Terry McAuliffe does anything with his spare time other than sit around counting his millions much less send emails to peons like me then I am so sorry but I dont have a cure for what ails you....heh heh heh
The hostage situation in Russia is now officially over.

You have to kind of admire the clarity of the Russian government's actions in ending this crisis. There doesnt appear to have been any discernable public waffling about what to do; replaced, instead, by a clear understanding that the government wasnt going to give in. Not giving in immediately takes you to square number twenty four in which a rescue attempt must be made; albeit with the possible loss of some of the hostages lives. Driving this was the knowledge that time was the enemy...the longer the wait to do so, the more likely the chance of a resolution which a lot of us thought was going to occur anyways; that being a bunch of huge explosions and the loss of some 800 lives.

The government acted quickly and decisively. They did every thing they could to minimize the danger to the hostages; all the while knowing it was impossible to guarantee there wouldnt be innocent loss of life. They did what they had to do; the result was 67 dead hostages (not a good thing) and a bunch of dead terrorists (a very good thing). There may be some political fallout now that it is over but judging from early reports, it doesnt seem to be too bad...everyone seems to understand this had to be done.

It certainly wont be like the firestorm which would occur in our country if something like this had happened. You take that exact same situation and the exact same result and place it in the United States instead of Russia. Even before the last dead terrorist was being carried out of the building, there would be interminable howls for someone's head. Politicians would be lining up to dine on it for weeks; putting together commissions, holding hearings, spouting enough hot air to destroy the ozone layer many times over. Then there would be the media...my God...the media woulda had a month long collective orgasm what with the presentation of a long line of so called "experts" and others who would have a whole bunch of "helpful" issues to raise about the whole thing. The story would be continually hammered with the journalistic battering ram until there would be nothing left except the blood on the ground.

Dont even get me started on the lawyers and their three ring circus.

All of this would occur in the name of "finding out what REALLY happened" and "how can we keep it from happening again". Folks, there is a certain nobility in having the strength to review one's own actions in order to better act in the future...there is not, however, anything good which can come out of beating something into the ground just for the sake of a misguided agenda, ratings and/or political gain. That is exactly what happens in most cases in our country nowadays and it flat out stinks. No wonder everyone runs for cover when unavoidable shit happens...make no mistake about it...shit has always happened and it always will. The difference now is there is a GROWING number of people who actually think it can be avoided in the future if you just blame enough people now.

I have a link on the left of my blog to a guy named Jack Dunphy. Mr. Dunphy is a Los Angeles cop who writes the occasional column for National Review Online under an assumed name because it is entirely likely his opinions dont come anywhere near those of LAPD management. For a definitive look at just where all the "blame game" takes us, check out this column.

Friday, October 25, 2002

I guess they could always hold some sort of "Farm Aid" benefit to help the cause. I bet Willie Nelson would be more than happy to help out....
Phil Donahue is an idiot.

There...I feel so much better now.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

So now we have suspects in custody in the Beltway Sniper case. Our gratitude that the perp(s) have been caught is tempered by the dawning realization that we are now going to have to suffer through interminable bullshit; coming in the form of the ever elusive search for "what caused this?" and "why did they do it?". Even as we are deluged with theories and speculation from "those who know", we will also be bombarded with the inevitable crap spewed from defense attorneys who, realizing they are stuck with a case they cant possibly win, will spend most of their time trying to convince the public (especially prospective jurors) that their client(s) really arent bad people and if they are then it is because of circumstances beyond their control...in other words, it is someone, anyone's fault except their own.

The trail of these two wonderful examples of human life apparently leads through Tacoma, Washington as well as Bellingham, Washington. The city of Tacoma seems to have a legitimate claim to some notoriety here as they spent several years there and were known to delight in the shooting of firearms in their backyard.

The city of Bellingham is another story altogether. Williams...ooopss..I am sorry..I mean Mohammed and Malvo lived at a homeless mission in the city for about six months up until a year ago. That's it.

Of course, in this age of "it's all about me", this miniscule connection to the case didnt stop the mayor of Bellingham from holding a news conference this morning and assuring citizens that they are "safe". I live about an hour from Bellingham and I know he did this because it carried on almost every local radio station this morning as I drove to work....I couldnt escape this stupdity no matter how hard I tried so I finally turned the damn radio off.

Let me repeat this...the mayor of Bellingham, whose only connection to Williams/Mohammed is he happened to flop there for six months, held a news conference this morning to assure citizens they are "safe".

I say we round up any Bellingham inhabitants who actually thought they were in danger before this morning and match them up with this mayor and send them all off for an all expenses paid vacation to some distant island so their idiocy doesnt infect anyone else.
Since our pal Skippy over at Skippy The Bush Kangaroo seems to always be complaining about the current state of the economy, I thought I would step up to the plate and be...er...helpful.

Therefore, let it be said here and now that, in the next month, I intend to purchase the following:

1. A queen size mattress set as well as a spiffy headboard and footboard.
2. A sofa
3 A recliner.
4. A new entertainment center
5. And the piece de resistance...one of those gargantuan 36" television sets.

Do I need any of this stuff? Nope...not even the television set.

Still, being helpful is the very essence of my being, therefore it is my duty to assist the economy any way I can. If that means buying a bunch of new stuff then so be it; no sacrifice is too big to make if it means lifting our country out of its economic doldrums.

You're welcome.

UPDATE:
I just received a letter from Terry McAuliffe (Chairman Of The Democratic National Committe). Mr. McAuliffe has respectfully requested that I NOT make these purchases until AFTER the upcoming elections...he even suggested I even wait until after the 2004 presidential elections. He said the economy was doing just fine and didnt need any help right now but to check back after the elections...it may be a good time then to buy all this stuff.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Microsoft's Windows XP continues its march toward world dominance.

In a related story, earlier tonight, Mr. Helpful certified Jack Daniels as the official "embedded liquor in the brain" at his household. Officials at Jack Daniels expressed satisfaction upon hearing the news.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Since it's Monday morning, it must be time to nitpick.

What better target than the news, eh?

This story makes reference to a "breakthrough" in the Beltway Sniper situation because police found a lengthy note in the woods near the latest shooting.

I realize anything, up to and including a written note from the perp himself, could lead to his eventual apprehension however I would consider leads developed from continued analysis of the situation to be a "breakthrough"....not something the sniper left purposefully for the coppers to find as an obvious part of some sick game of chicken.

In addition, there is a quote in the article from the wife of the latest victim in which she asked everyone to pray there wont be any more people hurt AND to pray for the attacker. I have to assume she means pray the attacker gets caught...right?

Saturday, October 19, 2002

It is beyond my comprehension that a priest who is accused of sexual molestation would do anything except bow to the wishes of the Church, resign his position, accept his punishment and then throw himself at the mercy of the very God he once proposed to represent. It seems to me priests are supposed to be made of of much higher moral fiber than the rest of us poor slobs; how else would they draw upon the moral authority needed in the performance of their duties.

Then it occurs to me that any priest caught sexually molesting parishioners has long ago let his moral fiber fall by the wayside; therefore it should come as no surprise to any of us that they would frantically grab at any straw available in order to save their pathetic skin.

The net result of this astonishing behavior on the part of the Catholic Church and its leaders is to beg the question that if THEY dont believe in God enough to realize all of this is fundamentally wrong then why should the rest of us?
From the "Inquiring Minds Want To Know" department comes this question regarding that now infamous sniper "witness" who apparently gave police a completely false description of the sniper after last Monday's shooting:

"WHY DID MATTHEW DOWDY, SILLY BASTARD THAT HE IS, DO THAT???!!!"

I have heard numerous "top of the hour" news reports about this on the radio. Ive now read a couple of newspaper accounts regarding this problematic situation. Unless I am missing something, not only does there seem to be no attempt on the part of the police to explain this guy's motivations but there also seems to be no effort on the part of the journalistic community (ding!) to find out.

In my opinion, this is rather stunning. As I have followed news coverage of the sniper's reign of terror, it seems EVERYONE is falling all over themselves to make sure NO ONE gets the wrong idea as to what the sniper looks like; skin color and all. I think this is generally a good thing; after all, why put out inflammatory information which may or may not be the truth (of course that has NEVER stopped the media from doing so in the past). Yet, amazingly enough, we now have a supposed witness to one of the shootings who has done JUST THAT and done so in a deliberate fashion and no one wants to know why. Even more amazing, this is fresh stuff....the sniper has cooled his heels for a couple of days and the media bloodhounds have been reduced to saying the same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over again ad nauseam (something they are very good at)....you'd think this story would be the equivalent of throwing 10 lbs of fresh meat into a pit of starving rottweilers.

Not a chance.

I really try not to over-generalize; especially about something as vast and diverse (ding!) as the national media, however the thought does come to mind this could be political correctness cannabalizing itself. Just as no one seems to want to identify the sniper as a part of a certain race (unless there was a 10% chance he is white and appears angry...then not only would he be identified but he would also immediately be assumed as representative of all white males everywhere), it would appear no one wants to dig too deep into Matthew Dowdy's motivation for naming an olive skinned or Hispanic type person in a false witness statement. Sure....he was arrested for his tomfoolery however that seems to be the extent of anyone's interest in him.

Matthew Dowdy is black. I can say, with all the confidence in the world borne out of watching our national media at work for some forty years now, that if Matthew Dowdy were white and had purposely identified a black man as the possible sniper, the dumbass woulda been the lead headline in every publication and newscast faster than you can say "no good, racist, shit eating bastard".

Friday, October 18, 2002

From the "Thanks For The Emails, I Really Like Them And I Am Not Just Saying That" department, I got an email a couple of days ago which had various things to say about various things I have written; none of it complimentary. That's nothing new. The interesting part is it was signed "the staff at Lake Oswego Orthodontia". It wasnt signed "mary at Lake Osweog Orthodontia"...it was signed THE STAFF at Lake Oswego Orthodontia. I wrote back and thanked them for taking the time between orthodontic fittings to write.

Of course I also thanked them by sticking a quote over in the "endorsement" section.
In a move which shows just how desperate VH-1 is for ratings, theyve decided to take their "Behind The Music" thingy behind the walls of prisons everywhere.

This is vile and disgusting in so many ways, it is difficult to choose which one to approach first. VH-1 has been getting a nightly beating from O'Reilly who is like a rabid pitbull when he sniffs out something he doesnt like. It appears there are zillions of people against this little series yet no one from the network seems to be willing to stand up and take the heat. I cant find any "for the record" comments from any VH-1 execs which can only mean a couple of things...either the dumb bastard/bastardess who originally thought the whole thing was a good idea is now dust in the winds of history OR they are soaking up all the free publicity; after all, it is a given that no publicity is bad publicity. All I can say is there may be a bunch of curious Americans tuning in tonight to see what the hullabaloo is all about...I most certainly wont be one of them.

Perhaps the people who are doing all the complaining about this series should change their name to Mariah Carey.. Despite the fact Carey is a washed up, used up, blithering idiot, apparently the folks over at VH-1 still take her seriously enough to bow to her every whim and demand.

They must be doing some really good drugs up there in the ivory towers, eh?

Wednesday, October 16, 2002



Sniping At The Sniper News

These are strange times indeed. I guess it should come as no surprise someone has already put together a website "celebrating" the lives of the sniper's victims. I can understand the individual family and friends grieving for their loss but a dedicated third party website? This strikes me as another feel good "we are the world" type of endeavor; held together by the notion we are all victims. Ugh...not to mention there is no indication the sniper is done with his horrendous activities...is the site going to keep adding the names of new victims as they pop up in a macabre sort of death watch? Double ugh....

And then there is the virtual sanctification of the latest victim, Linda Franklin. At least three national newspapers have run a variation of this story; she had so much to live for, she was an expectant grandmommy, she was adored by all who knew her and, worst of all, she had been battling breast cancer. Please correct me if I am wrong but I dont believe I have seen ANY type of this in depth reporting for any of the other victims...why this one?

It's real simple. All of these people were worthwhile in every sense of the word and none of them deserved to die.
A couple of days ago, I believe Intel posted some decent profit news. Today, their main competitor, AMD, shared a not so rosy earnings report. The news release is full of cautiously optimistic statements from AMD executives heralding a shift of this revenue and a revitalization of that revenue and a bunch of other blah, blah, blah pronouncements. Needless to say, Intel execs must be drinking a bit of the ole bubbly tonight; not that anyone would wish a competitor ill will, of course.

In a related story, Mr. Helpful received a letter from Intel yesterday in which they said I could keep my desktop computer with its genuine Intel Pentium 3 processor as their profits were good and they didnt need the extra revenue. Not surprisingly, a letter arrived today from AMD appealing to my good samaritan nature and asking that I consider giving back my laptop computer (powered by AMD Athlon) so they could try and resell it because they could use the bucks.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

It's been a slow news day.

Time to trot out another installment of HealthWatch in which your intrepid host brings health related news to the forefront of your attention. Today's subject is warts.

First we have a new way to get rid of the little buggers. Mr. Helpful can neither confirm or deny the effectiveness of this treatment.

Mr. Helpful CAN, however, affirm the effectiveness of using Compound W in dealing with the little bastards. This is a review I wrote awhile back on Epinions.

Once there, feel free to poke around some of my other reviews of things that struck my fancy. Hopefully you will find some of them interesting and, dare I say it, even helpful.

Youre welcome.

Monday, October 14, 2002

I guess poor, developing countries suffer not only from increased smoking tendencies but also a distinct lack of foaming at the mouth activists.

We all know that the presence of foaming at the mouth activists translates into improved living conditions for everyone; including mommy earth.

Thus it falls to surrogate activists such as WHO (World Health Organization) to tell the world's peoples how to behave. I find it particularly funny that WHO has to actually tell the governments of developing nations to levy more taxes. Since when do government bodies ANYWHERE need a reason to suck more money from the blood supply of its citizens?
When Joni Mitchell opens her mouth, this comes pouring out.

I dont know if her words can be considered significant as Joni Mitchell lost any semblance of significance a long time ago. The most time I have ever spent thinking about her was the occasional..."hey, wasnt she the one who did "Both Sides Now"?....nawww...that was Judy something or other".....or....."wasnt it Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell who did that Eagles song? Nawwww...that was good ole what's her name".

For that matter, I've already forgotten what this post was supposed to be about....heh heh heh...

Sunday, October 13, 2002

I hereby direct your attention to this column in the Washington Post by someone named Colbert King. Mr. King has made the earth shattering discovery that the so called "Beltway Sniper" is not God.

Whoa...stop the presses!! Can you imagine the fever pitch of excitement which must have ran through the Post's newsroom when King made this discovery?

"Chief, Chief!! Hold EVERYTHING!!". Colbert King rushes into the publisher's office, out of breath. "I've been working on this Beltway Sniper story and I just found out that he ISNT GOD!!"

The publisher leaps out of his chair; banging his knee on a metal drawer, ignoring the pain. "Did you tell the FBI yet?"

"No, no...I came straight to your office when I found out."

"Good, good. Let those bastards find out on their own. Got any proof?"

"Yes...he is acting in a most un-God-like fashion!"

"Wow," the publisher exclaims. "That's enough for me! Good work son! Now go write me a Pulitzer Prize story!"

"YES SIR!!". With that, King rushes out of the office and back to his keyboard...ready to tell the whole world of his discovery.


Arrggh...I cant go on. Needless to say, God rests easy tonight knowing he hasnt been mis-identified.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Well, we've hit the big time, folks. As evidenced in the comments section, apparently The Guess Who reads us (either individually or collectively; possibly when they get together and try to remember the chords to "American Woman"). As a way of saying thanks, I've quoted them over in the endorsement section.

From the "I'm actually being truly sincere and not just a sarcastic back stabbing bastard" department, I'd like to toss a great big thank you in Colby Cosh's direction for the link on his site. Thank you, sir.

Finally, while I am thanking the Academy, I would give Rachel Lucas a great big wowzer of a hug except somehow I dont think anything comes between her and her guns. Her willingness to devote considerable time and effort in dealing with my relative lack of computer knowledge may eventually allow this site to actually resemble what I picture in my mind's eye....at least what I picture after I've had fifteen shots of good ole #7, Jack Daniels. Thank you Rachel...youve been very...er..helpful!
Due to the demand of 25% of our readers (1 out of 4), we've decided to try and write about something nice. What better subject than Mother Nature, eh? Thus we welcome you to another installment of NatureWatch. You're welcome.

Today's subject is the mighty Manatee. This harmless, lovable, uglier than batshit, lumbering behemoth grows to a weight of 1500 lbs and has really small eyes that can see at least a foot into the murky depths. They inhabit the 3 to 7 foot deep waters of south Florida; migrating further up the Eastern seaboard toward the coast of Virginia for God only knows what reasons.

NATURE ALERT NATURE ALERT NATURE ALERT

The Manatee is an ENDANGERED SPECIES!! Oh my, like we are really surprised. NatureWatch bets a fresh jelly donut that every species known to man will end up on someone's endangered species list at some time or another; if for no other reason than that means some well intentioned nutbag can start a "Save The Whatever Endangered Species" campaign.

One of the hallmarks of such campaigns is a desperate attempt on the part of the organizers to somehow equate the intelligence of the target animal with that of humans; with humans usually coming out on the short end of the stick in some way or another. This is done so the humans will see the value of not continuing on whatever course of action threatens the aforementioned species; thereby learning to love that which is not us.

In the case of the Manatee, the main threat comes from motorboats. It seems Manatees put the S back in Slow and Stupid. This combination means they dont do a very good job of getting out of the way when a power boat comes flying down the waterway in their general direction. In fact, it could be argued they dont get out of the way at all. Thus there is a collision between boat (man) and Manatee (manatee); the result being either the Manatee is killed outright or it is knocked off whatever course it was on.

Imagine Mr. and Mrs. Manatee on a little trip over to Brother In Law Manatee's house for a nice seaweed dinner when...KERBAMMM!!! they are struck by a motorboat. They survive but, oops, instead of heading for the brother in law's pad, they are now heading toward Dr. Evil Manatee's humble abode inside a buried statue of Big Boy. What started out as a fun family outing has now turned into days of torture at the hands of a mad Manatee and it's all the human's fault, those dirty, rotten bastards.

So, naturally, someone has to save the Manatees. At SaveTheManatee.org, you can learn all about Manatees, donate money and even adopt a Manatee. About the only thing you cant do is pet a Manatee; primarily because you would cut your hand on the barnacles which grow on the Manatee's back. The site is kind enough to point out this is no different than the barnacles you find on the underside of a boat; the inference being, I guess, that manatees are just like boats; except they dont move nearly as fast and arent quite as smart either.

The site even has a Manatee FAQ which contains one of the stupidest questions I think I have ever seen on a FAQ:

"Is it possible to teach Manatees to do tricks?

The baby Jesus weeps silently. The first thought one has when viewing a picture of a Manatee is NOT "Wow...I wonder if I can teach that thing to do tricks". The first thought is, "Holy Christ, I hope it doesnt sit on me" and/or "I had better keep the children away from that monstrosity else little Mutambe has nightmares for the rest of her life". Of course the site doesnt agree. Here is what they have to say about the trickster aspects of a Manatee:

"Manatees are definitely smart enough to train. Manatees don't have convolutions on the surface of their brain that are usually associated with higher intelligence. However, they have a higher gray matter to white matter ratio than any other mammal known, including humans! Since gray matter is the area of the brain where thinking occurs, it could be that manatees are a lot smarter even than us!"

The baby Jesus weeps silently again. Notice the hoops these folks go through to somehow arrive at the conclusion that Manatees are very possibly smarter than humans? You used to see those kinds of contortions only in circus freak shows...now they show up on mainstream web sites.

The question begs another question:

"If yes, what tricks can they perform?"

The baby Jesus cries loudly for days on end. The answer is even worse than the question:

"As far as what tricks they can perform, we think the Manatee's ability to survive in a hostile environment is a pretty neat trick in itself!"

You just know that someone in the site's organization asked that question just so they could give a "clever" answer which has nothing to do with anything. Sigh...

Anyways, there you have it. Another foray into NatureWatch; another waste of ten minutes of your precious day; courtesy of a commenter named "guess who".

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Every now and then it is necessary to dive into the sea of ugliness. This is one of those times.

What this story doesnt tell you is the deceased was missing for two weeks before her body was discovered. At the time she was being beaten at the house, there was at least one person there who didnt participate but witnessed the attack as well as the loading of the still alive girl into the trunk of a car. That person is the girlfriend of one of the attackers. She did nothing to stop the attack and she didnt notify police at any time in the subsequent two weeks before the body was found. She only came forward after the arrests were made. Her reason for not helping the victim or speaking up was fear for her own life as well as that of her seven year old daughter.

In my opinion, she is a putrid excuse for a human being.

I will never have to answer the question of "well Mr. Helpful, what would YOU do in that situation?" I will never, ever be in that kind of situation because I will never, ever associate with the kinds of bastards who would do such a thing.

They arent that hard to spot.

They are the ones who cant keep a job; who spend their spare time figuring out how to pay for their next cache of drugs; who seem to spend all the rest of their time fighting with everyone around them, even their so called friends, the friends who change names and faces by the hour because no one is truly their friend; the ones who think everything is solved with violence, not because they actually think that hard about it but because it is the only way they can find to express themselves; the ones who steal from everyone, even their friends; the ones who have no concept at all of life and how to live it because their very existence is that of a loser, someone who will never win because they are too friggin stupid to recognize true opportunity even if it came up and kicked them in the teeth with steel toe boots; the ones who do nothing but take from those around them and, when there is nothing left to take, succumb to the darkest of the dark before finally descending into the scorching fires of pure evil; if only they would do this to themselves but, no, that is impossible; hence we end up with the death of a beautiful 18 year old woman and the perps responsible scurrying for the cover of darkness like stinking cockroaches bent on self survival and damn everything else.

Not only did the witness associate with these types but she presumably was sleeping with at least one of them. I am fascinated by the thought she actually saw something worth keeping in him; she certainly didnt bother to pay attention to any warning signs of which there had to be many; after all, you dont just wake up one morning a homicidal maniac.

She didnt just suddenly find herself in a bad situation with no choices except bad ones on a dark, hellish evening; she was on the path to that event long before. Once can only hope that maybe, just maybe, she will somehow figure out how she managed to be so fricking blind; not for herself because I could care less about her; in fact I hope she has nightmares for the rest of her life.

No, I hope she figures it out for the sake of her daughter; maybe there can be something of value offered to that poor seven year old so she doesnt end up clueless and hapless like her mother.
Way back when intelligence was a commodity and not something to be disdained, Mr. Helpful liked to test his ability to reason by engaging in "logic puzzles". These puzzles used to show up occasionally in old school "crossword puzzle books". These have become something of a dinosaur nowadays (no...I am NOT THAT OLD!) however the memory of such does provide a nice warm, fuzzy feeling...sitting by the fireplace on a cold, winter night; trying desperately to figure out the "if this then that equals something else" part of these puzzles.

They generally took the shape of a short story which gave the reader a certain amount of information which was then used to make certain conclusions about the characters in the story. The trick was to use one's logical reasoning (as well as the occasion "quick" glance at the back of the book where the answers were) to arrive at the proper results. Mr. Helpful did fairly well but not nearly as well as his mother who ran rings around her son; logically speaking.

Unfortunately, Mr. Helpful's reverence for his mother's logical thinking processes kinda disappeared whenever he would ask questions such as "Can I go with my friends to the big party after the big football game" and the response was a completely illogical "NO, DAMMITT!!". Oh well...

At any rate, I thought we would play a stripped down version of this puzzle; hopefully to the reader's delight. Here is the scene:

Earlier this week, I had occasion to catch a matinee showing of Red Dragon, the totally unnecessary remake of the wonderful flick Manhunter which was the film version of the Thomas Harris book Red Dragon. Let me just say here the latest reincarnation of Red Dragon sucks almost more than anything has sucked in a long time. When Mr. Helpful arrived at the theater, there was a line of five people in front of him...three females and two men, now three with my presence. From the following conversations with the cashier, I wish my dear readers to determine who went to which movie. In doing so, you will want to consider the weather (overcast with a slight drizzle), the location of the theater (in the parking lot of a giant mall like monstrosity) and, finally, the distance between the cashier and the snack counter (approximately forty feet).

Cashier: Hi, welcome to Regal Cinemas.
PERSON #1: One please for Red Dragon.

Cashier: Hi, welcome to Regal Cinemas.
PERSON #2: One please for The Banger Sisters

Cashier: Hi, welcome to Regal Cinemas.
PERSON #3: One please for Red Dragon

Cashier: Hi, Welcome to Regal Cinemas
PERSONS #4 and 5: Two please for The Banger Sisters

Cashier: Hi, Welcome to Regal Cinemas
ME: One please for Red Dragon

Good luck, dear readers!! May the best person win!!

P.S....this actually happened...I laughed all the way into the theater....