Tag Archives: Australia

Everything You Need To Know About the 2014 World Cup

In which, for no good reason, I disparage a bunch of countries that probably have lots of nice people in them.

You guys, it’s World Cup season, which means it’s time to laugh at the rest of the world for caring so much about this event. Unlike the Olympics, which are our biennial (not biannual. That’s different.) chance to stick it to China and/or the USSR, America could not give a shit about this event. Like, it’s fun when we win, but then you have to celebrate with the kind of Americans who follow soccer, or as it’s known here in America, soccer. Because this is inevitable, let’s get all the soccer fan insults out of the way. They wear stupid scarves, inexplicably use “side” to mean “team,” “pitch” to mean “field,” “pace” to mean “speed,” “kilometer” to mean “0.621371” miles and annoyingly pluralize team names, as in “On a kilometer by kilometer basis, Brazil have the most pace on the pitch of any side.” Speak normally!

But back to the soccer. There are a lot of countries to keep track of in this tournament, so here’s a handy guide to the teams of the 2014 World Cup.

Group A

Brazil

For a country with such a rich musical tradition, somehow this is still the song I was most quickly able to associate with Brazil.

Win or lose, Brazil’s hilariously corrupt World Cup will go down in history as being hilariously corrupt, that is, unless an interesting soccer thing happens, in which case everyone will forget the billions of dollars used to construct useless stadiums across the country, including one in the middle of the Amazon that is only reachable by plane. Even if Manaus has two million people, it shouldn’t feel like you need Indiana Jones or that adventurer dude from Jumanji to get to a soccer stadium.  On the soccer side of thing, they’ve looked underwhelming so far, struggling to finish on their scoring chances and generally looking tight in front of their home crowds. (That might be the only bit of actual soccer analysis I have to give).

Mexico

Did you guys know that Mexico hates America’s soccer team? It’s true! In any case, Mexico wouldn’t even be in this tournament if it weren’t for America scoring late against Panama in qualification, so you’re welcome, Mexico. I’m sure whenever the Americans make it back to Mexico, they’ll be given their traditional welcome of a golden shower.

Croatia

Cameroon v Croatia: Group A - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

On the plus side, their uniforms double as picnic blankets when they’re not using them (the checkerboard element is taken from the Croat Coat of Arms, which is quite the tongue twister). On the downside, I’m pretty sure that every player on their team’s last name ends with ivicisevicicicic, which can be confusing.

Cameroon

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The Great KFC Jewel Thief Caper of 2013

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 6.46.48 PMThere are few professions that I think I have a less realistic impression of than that of jewel thief. Here’s what I think being a jewel thief is typically like:

You start off as a rough and tumble kid, then you’re taken under the wing of a Crusty Older Jewel Thief who had left the game, except for this one last chance. At the big score. Then you train in his hideout for a while, eventually winning his respect and learning from the greatest thief of his generation. Or maybe you gather a dozen or so of your closest friends, each with their own expertises and back stories that will all prove essential. Even the explosives guy, who, you would think is really not that important in a field that demands minimal detection. Or maybe you’re just a mischievous rich guy looking to have a little fun, perhaps to settle some sort of wager or win a contest with your other rich guy friends, but really to impress an ex-girlfriend who you never stopped loving.

The point is, for this job, a little lock picking, spraying security cameras and shutting down alarm systems isn’t going to be enough to get it done. You’ll have to get on a sexy skintight catsuit. Or maybe a $5,000 suit. You’re also going to have to do that kickass thing where you lower yourself from a building like in Mission Impossible. And then go through an electronic version of those things that football players high step through to increase their agility as Crusty Older Jewel Thief continues to stare at your ass. And come the day of the actual thievery, you’ll put all your training to use, then hang glide out of the top floor of the world’s tallest building in Kuala Lumpur to freedom.

After we entirely skip over the part where you somehow convert some of the world’s rarest, most valuable jewels into cash by presumably selling them at the local pawn shop or to an eccentric billionaire–nobody can bail you out of a jam quite like an eccentric billionaire–you settle into a beach-based retirement. If this is a small indie film: a robot takes care of you in your old age.

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Are There Taco Bells in Mexico?

Map of Tony Roma's Locations Worldwide

The topic of today’s investigation: national pride. Specifically: does your country allow a crappy Americanized version of your food to be sold within its own borders? If so, then your country has no pride whatever.

The above picture, you may note, does not have Italy highlighted. You know why? Because Italians don’t want any Tony Roma’s. Tony Roma’s–whose motto is “Famous for Ribs”–has a location in Saudi Arabia, where, generally speaking, pork isn’t such a big product, but none in Italy. Because Italy does not want Tony Roma’s. They have actual Italian food.

In addition, there are not only no Olive Gardens in Italy, there aren’t any in the whole of Europe. But of course, Italy is not the only country to have its food bastardized in America.

Here’s a mostly complete list of countries that have managed to keep American chains out of their borders.

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