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In the Tradition of the Pioneer Woman–Announcing the First ABDPBT Sucky Sweepstakes!

In the Tradition of the Pioneer Woman–Announcing the First ABDPBT Sucky Sweepstakes!

[singlepic=76,320,240,,right]Don’t worry, the gloom and doom will continue tomorrow–but today I’d like to announce the latest in a series of transparent self-promotion techniques: A SWEEPSTAKES GIVEAWAY!! I think you know by now that I’m not above copying what works for other people in order to advance my own agenda. It’s the American way, and oh yeah I’m going for the gold! And besides, as a former academic I can assure you that all knowledge is shared. Whether the people who are sharing know it or not.
In my continuing quest to understand the widespread appeal of the Pioneer Woman, I was over there perusing the archives when it hit me! that she might have been tapping into the most primal of primal desires in her audience, viz. that drive for FREE STUFF. Like Oprah, the Pioneer Woman is always giving away free stuff. And sure, now she gets shit like HP Printers and cameras from PR companies to give away, but she started out small–her first contests consisted of cleaning out her junk drawer. Do you know that the Pioneer Woman’s page views are–aw, shucks–like double dooce‘s? Sure, content is important, but based on these statistics and the meteoric success of Oprah, I think that perhaps giving shit away is more important.

So listen, I have a thing with gift cards. I am pretty good about using gift cards, but it drives me nuts that there will be money left over on things and then you either have to buy more than you wanted to buy to use it up, or lose that extra money. So the store you buy it from is like, guaranteed to make extra money off of you–and that’s not even counting all of the gift cards that people buy and then lose, or that languish in somebody’s junk drawer indefinitely.

So I’m left with glut of gift cards languishing around with random amounts on them, and aren’t these something that somebody else might use–like if you are going to buy something from Macy’s anyway, wouldn’t a $43.30 coupon sound nice?

So I thought and thought what I should do to run this contest . . . how can I decide who wins this? So I came up with a contest that deploys a practice near and dear to my heart: the ongoing quest to prove that people are stupid and getting stupider. This contest, aka “This Week in Stupid,” requires this of you:
by this time next week (Wednesday, August 20, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., you can post your suggestions for news stories/popular culture references that you think take the prize for stupidity this week. You may use the news as a source, or simply relate something that you observed, or something that happened to you that you think reflects a wider cultural paradigm of stupidity that needs to be dissected so that it might be eliminated. It is up to you to sell it to me, and I will absolutely be biased in my judging of people, so you’re best off psychoanalyzing my particular dislikes in popular taste.

So now, in the immortal words of Jeff Probst, wanna know what you are playing for?


The aforementioned Macy’s merchandise credit card in the amount of $43.30.
Secondly, a Starbucks card in the amount of $3.80:

Thirdly, a bliss card in the amount of $15.61:

That’s right, a veritable cache of gift cards totaling over $62! A whole $0.71 over $62, in fact!

Good luck!

[Edit: Oh yeah, and you should post your entries in the comments to this post. Just wade through the accusations of theft of intellectual product, & c., and be sure to leave your email so I can contact you.]

Comments (22)

  1. Aug 13, 2008

    Are you nakedly stealing the New York Times’ copyrighted content? The Times has its own applet and doesn’t give the puzzle away to anyone. Not to worry. Will Shortz reads the Rex Parker blog, so he’ll be able to pass your URL along to the Times’ legal department.

  2. Aug 13, 2008

    I seem to get this question a lot. I guess I look a lot stupider than I realized. Without going into details, let me just say no. But I invite you to submit my url to whomever you want. Please, spam the entire NYT legal department, and throw in Debevoise & Plimpton while you’re at it–they may have some people who are interested in doing the puzzle as well.

  3. Aug 13, 2008

    Perhaps there is an independent counsel who can get involved, as well. She’s paying to syndicate the crossword! DAMN HER. HOW DARE SHE?! Somebody please ALERT RALPH NADER.

  4. Aug 13, 2008

    man checks into hotel, smokes some pot, phones a sex hotline and runs up 7,000 Euros phonebill. Then explains to the cops that he doesn’t have the cash to pay the bill. Maybe you should send him one of those cards!


  5. Aug 13, 2008

    John Edwards, Rielle Hunter (gag), ’nuff said.

  6. melissa
    Aug 14, 2008

    An Ohio Burger King employee is fired after he was recorded taking a soapy bath in the restaurant’s utility sink. In a video that was posted online, the mohawked man, who’s apparently naked, says he’s celebrating his birthday.

    Uh? Huh? and oh yeah, Ewwww!

  7. Stephanie
    Aug 15, 2008

    Topping the news of mother after mother leaving their young children to die inside locked cars this week, is a mother who puts a spin on neglecting kids in the car….


  8. Jennie
    Aug 15, 2008

    How about W. holding the U.S. Flag backwards at the Beijing Olympics? Or do “Look What Stupid Thing Bush Just Did” stories even make interesting news anymore?

    Here’s the picture from a conservative website:

  9. Aug 17, 2008

    Well, there is no link to my stupidest story of the week, as it was printed in the hometown paper I contribute to. We are low-tech Okies, so they have no website. The story is totally legit. You can call the Elk Citian 580 225 9400 or the Elk City Police Department for confirmation, 580 225 1212.
    So, these two parents get tee-totally drunk and everybody knows that kids love nothing more than being stirred from their warm beds to roadtrip with their drunken parents. So, these 2 gems load up the babies and drive around until they don’t remember what they were doing in the first place. They don’t remember what time they took off, so they, naturally, don’t remember what time they went to sleep.
    Sometime around 6 am, the police found them passed out in the middle of an intersection. That’s right, not at the intersection, in the middle of it. The two little babies, ages 2 and 3, were sleeping in their car seats. Momma was half-naked in the passengers seat and Daddy was out cold in the drivers seat. The police banged on both window for five minutes as both parents snored unbothered. They realized the doors were unlocked, so they just got in and removed the crying babies. Of course, they went to jail.

  10. Aug 17, 2008

    These are some good entries so far–don’t forget to submit yours before Wednesday!

  11. AKD
    Aug 18, 2008


    (“Olynpics Rings”) cake. I love the parantheses, like that makes it better somehow.

  12. Aug 19, 2008

    Author is on a terror watch list making his traveling complicated. On today’s CNN news.


  13. Aunt Kathie
    Aug 19, 2008

    Well, I’m a blood relative but I didn’t see a rule that disqualifies me from winning so how about the guy who called 911 twice to complain about the missing special sauce from his Subway sandwich.

  14. Aug 19, 2008

    Must. not. comment. lest. I. betray. biases.

  15. Aug 19, 2008

    And no, blood relative does not disqualify. 🙂

  16. Coasty
    Aug 19, 2008

    Man “elected” president after failing at everything he’s ever done before (running baseball team, drilling for oil, you know, the usual stuff). First acts in office are to refund government excess/rainy day money and then to cut taxes. Reaction to 9/11 (that rainy day) is to invade country that had nothing to do with it based on lies of WMD and to give massive provision contracts to private firm once headed by VP; then he kisses the cheeks (literally) of the emirs of the country (Saudi Arabia) that bore most of the terrorists and where woman cannot drive or vote or walk around without a chaperon. Approves torture as “ok”. Gas prices rise to 4.50/gallon and oil companies report record profits. Government broke, borrowing money from China. America loses gold medal race to China in Olympics as a symbol of said debt. Nothing could be stupider than this other than being anyone who voted for that fool twice (once shame on him).

  17. JerseyJo
    Aug 19, 2008

    I never thought I would miss public transportation until I moved to New Jersey, south Jersey to be exact. Everyday is an adventure in road courtesy or lack thereof, as we travel circles with constant merging traffic, just to make a left turn. Who thought this was a good idea? The adventure continues with some of the street names, what’s up with hyphenating all these street names? Hurffville-Grenloch Road, Hickstown- Turnersville Road, Turnersville-County House Road, Hurffville -Crosskeys Road, Berlin-Crosskeys Road. Break it down: Hurffville -Grenloch Road runs through Grenloch and Turnersville, but not Hurffville; Hickstown-Turnersville Road is in Sicklerville and does not go near Turnersville and for that matter neither does Turnersville-County House Road, but(just plain) County House Road will take you to Turnersville though Washington Township of which Turnersville is a part. Hurffville -Crosskeys Road will take you to Hurffville, and Berlin-Crosskeys Road does run through Berlin, also through Sicklerville, Turnersville and ends up in Williamstown where another bunch of other hyphenations only indicate but don’t really define where you are.

  18. Amy
    Aug 19, 2008

    Seriously, J-lo?
    Quote off air after GMA interview about training for a triathlon
    “couldn’t understand why everyone is talking about that swimmer,” according to a GMA source. “She couldn’t come up with (eight-time gold-medal winner Michael) Phelps’ name, and then she yammered on about how she was the one training for a triathlon just six months after giving birth, and how that was the big story right now, not ‘the swimmer.’ ”

  19. Aug 19, 2008

    Ok, here’s my stupid little entry:
    So, apparently there’s some massively popular, high-end cupcake chain called “Sprinkles Cupcakes” that delivers cupcakey fabulousness to the anal likes of Martha Stewart, and even to the obscenely large mouth of Regis Philbin. And apparently they’re distinguished by the “modern dots” that they place in the center of their cupcakes, rather than by, umm, sprinkles?! Like, way to false advertise. I mean, the chain name isn’t “Modern Dot Cupcakes,” right?! Anyway, so some supposedly lesser-known competitor cupcake company (CCC), ironically called “Famous Cupcakes,” had the freakin’ audacity to stick a god-forsaken DOT on top of one of their cupcakes, thus causing our dear SprinkleCakes to get their pastry tubes in a wad and file a lawsuit. The Yahoo.com article stated that “[u]nlike other cupcake imitators around the world who ceased using Modern Dot after being caught by Sprinkles, Famous Cupcakes has not responded to repeated requests to ‘promptly stop using its trademarked design,’ the lawsuit said.”

  20. Aug 19, 2008

    ps) just in case you want picture-perfect clarity of Sprinkles’ “Modern Dot” trademark:

  21. […] wanted to win for being stoopidist. 🙂 There were lots of hysterical entries, which you can find here. In typical ME fashion, I entered at the last minute. And I didn’t win top prize, but I *did* […]

  22. Mik
    Oct 6, 2008

    Although we all might have heard this one before it does bear repeating in this strange financial times……

    WILL THE REAL DUMMY PLEASE STAND UP? AT&T fired President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked intellectual leadership. He received a $26 million severance package. Perhaps it’s not Walter who’s lacking intelligence.

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