how-to

professional tattooing tips for the first-time customer

You wake up one morning and find yourself wanting a tattoo. Maybe you think a Celtic armband will revive your sex life and improve your football throw. Or maybe all your friends have butterflies inked on their ankles, and the shame of a naked ankle is slowly corroding your self-esteem. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: you need a tattoo.

But how often have you gone for a tattoo, only to be laughed at by the tattoo artist and the assistant needler? Or worse, end up leaving with an iron-on transfer on your skin instead of a genuine tattoo? These are the risks you run if you're perceived as a newbie, or as some say, 'tattoobie'.

In order to avoid these and other degrading fates at the tattoo parlour, be sure to remember these tips:

Get the words right. It's not pronounced tah-too. It's 'tah-toe'. The needles used by the tattoist are called 'jammer-jammers'. And the woman who sits in the back room smoking cigarettes and scratching absently at her arm is called Lucy.

Be forceful. Instead of flipping through books of tattoo art or attempting to describe what you want, walk in and demand to see 'your finest tah-toe'. Insist on the good ink. Sometimes it helps to be vaguely racist.

Avoid cliches. There's no quicker way to out yourself as a total novice than to ask for shopworn college-student favourites like the 'full-body narwhal' or 'tiger buttock'. Go for innovative designs like the 'Rothko tongue' or the extremely complicated procedure that will produce the illusion of Willie Nelson's braids descending from your head to the tops of your shoulders - even while showering.

Insurance. Even if you use each one of my tips, you may still end up with a tattoo that does not satisfy your lifestyle needs. It's often a good idea to wear someone else's skin to your appointment. If that proves a bit too complicated, send in someone else to get the tattoo, then remove their freshly inked skin.

How to Tell when your Neighbours Are Cannibals Who Want to Eat your Children

Increasingly these days, people are cannibals who want to eat your children. Tough times in the economy and disillusionment with mass farming practices (thanks, Michael Pollan! thanks a bunch) have lead ever-larger numbers of people to choose cannibalism over just going to the grocery store. After all, why go shopping when your food source lives right next door, visible from the small holes you've bored in the fence to better observe your prey?

Today's cannibals invariably target children – not because they are presumed to have more flavourful or tender flesh, but because the habit of cannibalism disposes them to see people purely in terms of muscle and bone mass (the bones make a nice stock). Therefore the typical cannibal believes that children, being smaller, will not be missed as quickly.

It only takes a few cannibal families to deplete a neighbourhood of its children and drive down property values. Here are a few ways to tell if your new neighbours have a taste for long piglet.

They run an affordable daycare. Daycares are like candy stores for cannibals. Except children are made of meat, not candy. So daycares are like bacon stores for cannibals. Sure, some daycares are not run or staffed by cannibals, but even the few non-cannibal places out there still charge way too much. Beware of affordable daycare. Telltale signs include:, empty bottles of barbecue sauce in the parking lot, missing extremities on your child, 'self-grilling' games and activities, swimming pools full of marinade.

They have frequent outdoor barbecues. Cannibals hide their habits in plain sight. See a barbecue chained to the deck? Find that you're never invited over for one of their weekly backyard get-togethers? Think about it.

Coded language and slips of the tongue. If your neighbour refers to your kids as “fall-off-the-bone cute,” there may be a problem. And that problem involves your child getting eaten.

Plenty of other signs are discernible to the vigilant parent. Do your neighbours stay in all the time? Or go out too much? Are delicious smells wafting from their kitchen windows? Or even more suspiciously, no smells at all? Do they react with defensiveness or hostility when you call them out on their cannbalism? Do they refuse a reasonable request for regular searches of their home? How about when you put up signs warning everyone that the Bilsons next door are suspected child-eaters? Observe their body language carefully when they discover the signs and the burning effigies on their front lawn. Each little detail adds up.

You know what? Your neighbours are cannibals, and the only thing a cannibal respects is cannibalism. Eat one of their children, just to show you mean business. They may be angry at first, but they'll have a newfound respect for you. And you'll pleasantly surprised at the size of your next grocery bill.

weathering the coming financial crisis the hacker's way

Everyone, except for the cyborgs, is nervous about the storms that are raging through the global financial system. Giants of finance and insurance have keeled over in mid-step or been picked off by bigger dinosaurs. Even trusted banks such as Washington Mutual are hemorraghing assets. What should we do? cry the humans. Should we grab all our funds and turn them into gold? And weapons? Whom will save us?

First of all, it's who, not whom. Come on, humans. Second, in times of crisis, do like the cyborgs do: hack your way to riches and fame and financial security.

Step 1: Hack your Bank!

For the unitiated, hacking sounds formidable. Fortunately Hollywood has provided a complete guide for 'newbies'. Posing as an up-and-coming executive for your bank, call the night security guard at the place where your bank keeps its big supercomputer. Tell the guard that you need the IP address on the bottom of the modem (the IP address is the modem's 'phone number') in order to access your files. If he or she balks at your request, tell him that your ass is on the line. Then say, "C'mon, man, help me out here". This works every time.

Once you have the IP address, type it into your computer somewhere. If you do it correctly, your computer screen will start turning all kinds of colours and Greek symbols and numbers will fly across the screen. This is your cue to start typing madly. I'm not sure what you're supposed to type at this point, but in all honesty I don't think it matters. Eventually you will break through the symbols and come to core of the supercomputer. The core will look something like this:

Congratulations! You have successfully hacked your bank's computer.

Step 2: Find your Files!

Do not worry about security at this point. Unless the designer of the system happens to be on the system at the very same time, your presence will likely go undetected. If you do happen encounter this man, though, run like hell. Above all do not ask him any questions:

Anyway.

'Hack along' through the corridors until you locate a file called "Your Savings Account" or something similar. Select the file, right-click and select "Copy".

Step 3: Show Yourself the Money!

Now that you have your funds, you want to 'deposit' them on your computer - which, as everyone knows, is way more secure than some giant bank of cooled servers with multiple backups. Am I right? You don't know those servers, but you sure know your home computer, with its gigabytes of storage capacity. Right-click on the desktop, select "Paste," and voila: your money is now safe and secure on your computer.

Step 4 (optional): Protect yourself!

Up until now, everything I've suggested has been with the intent of protecting your money in these uncertain times. But what if you need even more protection? As all rich people know, the best protection you can buy is more money. While you were hacking through the supercomputer core of your bank, you probably noticed many other accounts. But which accounts should you take notice of? The ones with the most money, obviously. A rule of thumb for finding the accounts with the most money is to look for the largest file. Duh.

Congratulations on your newfound wealth and security! You'll need it to buy yourself a place in the cyborg society of the near, near, so very near future. Ah crap, here they are.

making a porn from common household objects

So like everyone else in your postal code, you want to make your own pornography. Disappointed by the little pictures on the internet and the general low quality of cheap gonzo porn - the erotic equivalent of reality TV - you've decided that it's time to take control of your own sexual entertainment. There's no shame in the impulse, but like most others, you really don't know where to start. You don't have a hot tub in the backyard or an outpatient recovery room in the garage. Have no fear. This is a guide to making a low-cost, entertaining porn in your own home out of cheap, easy-to-find materials. At worst, a quick trip to the hardware store will solve your problems.

The first thing you'll need is a roll of chicken wire. Unroll a section and shape it like a cone, with a depression at the top. Make sure the depression is relatively deep, let's say 1/5 of the total height of the cone. I'm not going to tell you how big to make the cone, but since this is porn, the bigger the better.

Next make a paste out of equal parts flour and water. Alter mixture to desired consistency. Add white glue for extra stickiness. Don't worry about not making enough, because you can always make more if you run out.

Soak strips of newspaper in the paste and begin to lay the strips over the chicken wire. Continue until the surface area of the chicken wire is completely covered. Keep covering the cone with the paste-soaked paper until you can no longer see the pattern of the chicken wire and you're fairly sure that you'll be able to handle the cone without puncturing it. Let dry in a well-ventilated room.

Once your paper cone is dry, it's time to get busy with the tempera paints. Mix some brown tempera in water and start painting the cone brown. Let dry. For added flourishes, you may want to paint the tip a nice fiery red. Paint the base of the cone green if you like to indicate plants. Get creative!

Now it's time to decorate your cone. I like to use old Monopoly houses and pieces of real greenery to glue around the base. This step only takes a few extra minutes and really pays off in production values when you get to the shoot.

Now that your cone is ready, it's time to find a woman. Women are available just about anywhere, except for certain mosques, some conservative think tanks, and wherever dough-faced white men are paid ridiculous amounts of money to do screw-all except make us miserable. Women are so prevalent that you yourself may be one (make sure to check). If you are a woman you may decide to use yourself, but in porn, as in most creative endeavours, much of the joy comes in sitting back and enjoying what you've created.

N.B.: Some people believe that a woman is not necessary for pornography, citing the 'gay male' genre as evidence. In fact gay male porn is largely a myth, and most entries in the genre are the result of management oversight combined with packed shooting schedules.

Once you've found your woman (again, make sure to check), you should dress her in a sexy outfit, like a bikini and cowboy boots, or - my personal favourite - a neon yellow unitard with a football helmet. That's probably the best.

Still with us? You're almost ready to make your own porn!

The final step comes in preparing the money shot. This is the most important element in porn, the bit that signals that the scene has come to the end. Most porn consumers will not understand that the sex act has finished unless you show a great burp of ejaculation all over the place. Otherwise they will stare at the screen until it gets dark out and they start to snooze.

For maximum effect, the woman should actively participate in the money shot. First, she should approach the cone, probably sexily, and pour baking soda into the depression. Then, with a sexy flourish, she should pour vinegar into the baking soda. The resulting chemical reaction will cause oodles of frothy, acidic foam to erupt from the cone and pour down onto the base of the cone, where the Monopoly villagers live their quiet lives. The woman should raise her fists (sexily) and say, "I am your God! Die, puny villagers, die!" You can imagine the reaction of the villagers: some run, some pray, others realize that their last moments are at hand, and they start fucking like mad. Disaster sex, that's the hottest kind.