Friday, August 21, 2015

Pheaturing David Ackert

Hey, kids, good evening and welcome to another entry of the Phile. How are you?  A sorority kicked out a student for posting this bikini pic.

What has the world come to? A 19 year old college student had to leave her sorority after wearing a bikini... the wrong type of bikini. Belmont University rising sophomore Lauren Forsythe posted an Instagram photo that showed her wearing a bathing suit top with fake nipples. Forsythe told "Cosmopolitan" that she wore the bikini to fight double standards about women's bodies (specifically: men can wave their nips around in public; women can't). She told the magazine, "I know that had my boyfriend posted this photo, there would be no backlash whatsoever... even though it's the same cartoon nipple." Forsythe's sorority, Phi Mu Theta, said she would either have to take down the photo, resign, or go through a disciplinary process when school starts. Forsythe stuck to her nipple beliefs and opted to leave. The bathing suit Forsythe was wearing is called, perfectly, the TaTa Top. TaTa Top founder (which must be awesome to have on a business card) Michelle Lytle told "Cosmo" in an email: "it's unfortunate that a sorority would shame a member for taking a stand for something they believe in especially when that stand is for women's rights." It's crazy to think we live in a time when sorority sisters can't even post bikini shots. What has the world come to?  Have you heard of Dismaland? Banksy's new theme park, Dismaland, will teach you all about society's ills, but are there novelty popsicles? Graffiti artist Banksy has unveiled his most ambitious takedown of modern life and consumer culture yet: Dismaland, a full-scale parody of Disneyland. Situated in the rundown English seaside resort town of Weston-super-Mare, "the U.K.'s most disappointing new visitor attraction!" is the result of a collaboration between Banksy and 50 other like-minded performance artists and installation artists. There are 18 incredibly depressing and unsettling attractions that send up theme park offerings to force patrons to stare at society's ills unblinkingly and just, like, deal with it. Attendees can visit Mini Gulf, an oil caliphate-theme miniature golf course made out of an old field hockey field; Water Cannon Creek, a water slide made out of an armor-plated vehicle once used to quell riots in Northern Ireland; Guerilla Island to take a workshop on how to hack billboards; and The Jeffrey Archer Memorial Pit Fire, in which a large ceremonial fire keeps burning thanks to books written by the area's former member of Parliament who was convicted of perjury in 2001. Run the Jewels is also scheduled to play a show there. Dismaland, which Banksy calls both a "bemusement park" and a "festival of art, amusements, and entry level anarchism" is open from this weekend until September 27. Unlike the real Disneyland, admission is cheap (£3, or about $5), but like the real Disneyland there will be very long lines to learn about how people are horrible and society is collapsing. But if you've been to the real Disneyland, you already know that.  Jared once went to a restaurant called Sticky Fingers and took a photo that hasn't aged well.

If it were possible for Jared Fogle to look worse, this photo would do it. This picture was uploaded to Twitter yesterday by a user called @BarstoolBigCat. It was taken at Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, a barbecue restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. A few years ago, Jared Fogle came through town, and because nobody at the time knew what a sicko he was, the staff of the restaurant was all too happy to grab this sweet photo. Luckily, @BarstoolBigCat was able to immortalize it before Sticky Fingers very wisely took it down. For the record, this should not be seen as an indictment of the restaurant. In fact, a Charleston local who shared the photo on Reddit gave this ringing endorsement: "…its good stuff and cheap." There you have it. Sticky Fingers Ribhouse: good barbecue at a great price that knows when to distance itself from perverts.  Caitlyn Jenner won't have trouble staying in headlines if she's charged for deadly Malibu crash after all. Her show "I Am Cait" is halfway through its 8 episode run, but Caitlyn Jenner may be in headlines much longer if her car crash case isn't dropped like we thought. Detectives concluded in July that Caitlyn Jenner was not texting or talking on the phone at the time of a Feb. 7 car crash on a congested Malibu highway, in which Jenner's car rear-ended a white Lexus, sending that car into oncoming traffic, killing driver Kim Howe. As a result of those findings, most media outlets and experts assumed that was the end of this chapter for Caitlyn (except for civil suits, of course), who has dominated headlines recently for much different reasons. That may all change now, however, as the LA County Sheriff's department is officially recommending that she be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Although Jenner was traveling below the speed limit for the road, the Sheriff's department says she was driving "at an unsafe speed for the prevailing roadway conditions." It's up to prosecutors to make the final call, however, so experts say that even with this recommendation, it's a fifty-fifty chance she'll actually be charged. The recommended charge is only a misdemeanor, and although it carries a maximum penalty of a year of jail time, Jenner would be unlikely to serve due to a clean driving record, however there is also the possibility of a fine. Technically, I cyber-promised Perez Hilton I wouldn't be reporting Kardashian news this week (I probably forgot at least once, though), but I thought this merited an exception since it's about a story in the real world.  With yesterday's data dump, Ashley Madison hackers have officially put out more than the site's users. Are these additional 20 gigabytes of husbands cheating on you? The hackers behind the big Ashley Madison security breach just released another 20 GB of data, twice the amount of their last leak. According to Motherboard, the data seems to include emails from Avid Life Media's CEO Noel Biderman (Avid Life Media is Ashley Madison's parent company). It's not yet clear how much of the data is user information. The data, uploaded to the same dark web site as the last dump, was sent with the message "Hey Noel, you can admit it's real now." This is probably a reference to Biderman, who, let's be honest, can probably admit it's real now. Sorry, Noel (but also you're the person we probably feel least sorry for in all of this, so). Hey, denial is something a whole bunch of people are probably practicing right now as their email addresses turn up on sites like, where you can search for yourself or anyone you know. Here's how to check if your spouse was part of the Ashley Madison leak without ever speaking to them again. Ever since hackers released the secret data of 36 millions users of Ashley Madison... the dating website for cheaters... millions of Americans have been wondering: "Is my husband or wife one of those people? And which is it: husband or wife? I need to know!" Well now you can find out without googling "What is the dark web?" Trustify, an Internet investigation site that seems to cater to people who think their partners are cheating, has a simple tool (so do a bunch of other sites) where you can enter an email address to see if you or your partner (or your friend or your ex) was stupid enough to use their real email address and name on a cheating website. Here's how it works. First, you enter the email address you want to search. Then, you either find out you weren't breached (or your hubby was never on the site) or you find out you were breached. At which point you have the option to tweet that information ("I took the Ashley Madison Hack QUIZ and I got 'I'm a cheater!'") or hire Trustify to investigate further or weep softly while wishing you'd never read this story.  Okay, so, you know those kinda fliers that people post on telephone poles where you rip off the bottom part? No, you will in a minute. Check it out...

Haha. Now do you get it?  Okay, so, I love my Mercury Milan, but if I was gonna get another car it'll be this one...

That's so freaking cool! I. want.  Speaking of cars, have you seen the picture of Trump driving down the road campaigning? No? Well, do I have a treat for you.

Hahahaha. That really made me laugh!  So, did you ever go to summer camp?  Remember when you'd go to summer camp as a kid and they'd make you write a letter home, so your parents would know that you're not dead? Well, for the rest of the summer I am gonna show you some real letters children wrote from summer camp.

A letter from their dauter. Okay, I haven't had a new pheature here in awhile so I thought I should debut one tonight. Let's see how this turns out. It's called...

1. Flying spiders are a real thing now, not just the premise of the latest Michael Bay movie. According a study published Wednesday in "Journal of the Royal Society Interface," large arachnids who live in the American tropics can glide with more agility than cats. They're known as "flatties," since their flat body helps them glide, probably into your face while you're sleeping. Scientists tested their abilities by dropping them from tall trees. Some could navigate their way to nearby trees after falling just 13 feet. In other words, run for your lives.
2. Lightning came down from the heavens and shat all over an airplane minding its own business. 
Being in an airplane on the ground is also scary now. Lightning struck a Boeing 737 that was just chilling at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Tuesday. A guy inadvertently filmed it on his phone while making a weather report for his wife, and this still shot at the moment of impact will probably mean the makers of Xanax can buy a new yacht this year.
3. A 15-year-old prank presidential candidate is more inspiring than any real presidential candidates. 
Brady Olson from Wallingford, Iowa, is running for president under the name Deez Nuts, and he's actually doing pretty well in comparison to other candidates. You can check out his official website here:, where he lays out his libertarian party platform, which is actually pretty consistent and well-thought-out for a meme who is trying to run our country. Even though he knows it's silly, he'll take the joke "[a]s far as America wants to take it." If things keep going the way they're going now, it looks like that's pretty damn far.
4. Dolphins are the latest addition to the list of things that are invading your privacy.
According to a Palestinian newspaper, Hamas caught a dolphin "outfitted with a camera and an underwater monitoring device capable of firing small arrows" off the coast of the Gaza Strip. They're accusing the Israeli government of spying on them, and have also accused them of using sharks, squirrels, and vultures in order to spy. Animals have historically been used by countries for espionage, so it is possible. Is this a Zionist conspiracy? Is Austin Powers becoming real life? Or did Hamas catch a dolphin who just happens to be an archery/photography hobbyist?
5. You can now discharge high speed lead projectiles and have a beer at the same establishment. Volusia Top Gun in Daytona Beach, Florida was approved the city commissioner to serve alcohol at their gun range's restaurant. It's only for people who want to drink after shooting, but still, any combination of guns and alcohol is a bad combination.

This is a real hard one. Let me know if you figure out out.  So, earlier I mentioned Jared that Subway douche. Well, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and say something about him. He's a patriot, singer ands renaissance man. You know what time it is...

So... it would seem that Subway pitchman Jared Fogle pleaded guilty to having sex with children over the course of many years and being in possession of child pornography. Several of the children were as young as thirteen years old. I have a deeply personal connection with child molestation. I, myself was the victim of it at the age of thirteen. My mother's best friend, the woman who introduced my parents, babysat for me and changed my diapers, aged thirty, took my virginity when I was barely a teen (with my mother's permission) So... yeah... I've got a huge problem with this type of predatory behavior. I think anyone who has sexual contact of any kind with a child should be sentenced to spend five years locked in a room with me. No cameras, no TV, no phone, no bed. Just him, me, a chair, a toilet, shackles, a blowtorch and a pair of needle nosed pliers. I would take great pleasure in teaching this piece of shit the absolute limits of pain the human body is capable of enduring. At the end of those five long years I would NOT kill him. I would release him back into society carrying the mental and physical scars of what I forced upon him... mind, body and soul. Now... that's all I've got to say about that, you sons of bitches.

Yvonne Craig
May 16th, 1937 — August 17th, 2015

This is a cool deal. Today's guest is the author of "40 Years in a Mousetrap" which is the 38th book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club. Please welcome to the Phile, my good friend... David Ackert!

Me: Dave!!!! Welcome to the Phile finally, how have you been?

David: Pretty darn good! I haven't seen the sunrise in over a year. Does it still look the same?

Me: Haha. Yeah, pretty much. So, do you prefer being called David over Dave?

David: I like and answer to both. But if you call me Davy, I will kill you!

Me: Alright, full disclosure, you and I worked together at Star Tours until you retired. Do you miss working at Disney and Star Tours? Wasn't I the best coordinator you had? Hahaha.

David: Oddly, I do not miss Star Tours or Disney. What I do miss is working and talking with my fellow Cast Members. They were all wonderful. They kept me smiling. If it weren't for them I would probably be insane now.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your book "40 Years in a Mousetrap." You were there at Disney World just under forty years though, right?

David: I will let you know a secret, sort of. I actually started working at Disney in 1972. I worked at Disney for a 1 and a half years. Then I left the company to take a job at my hometown newspaper back in Kingston, N.Y. in the advertising department. I was laid off about a year later and decided to return to Disney in 1975. So, legally it was just short of forty years but in reality, it was more like 42 years.

Me: Where did you work when you first worked at Disney, David, and why did you leave and come back?

David: I was a ticket taker, back in the day when they had real tickets. The reason I left Disney was that while visiting Kingston during a vacation break, I saw a job listing for an advertising sales position for our hometown newspaper. I applied and was surprised when I found that I had the job. It was a great experience for a year or so. Sadly the economy went bust and I was eventually laid off. It was one of my Disney friends that talked me into coming back to Disney.

Me: What would the book be called if it was named after exactly how many years you worked for the company?

David: It would most likely be "39 Years and 3 Months in a Mousetrap." A very terrible title.

Me: You have been working on the book for a long time, am I right?

David: You could say I was working on it for forty years! I actually began jotting down little notes and ideas for my memoirs when I was bored out of my mind standing in front of Superstar Television back in the mid 80s.

Me: When and how did you decide to write a book, Dave?

David: This is going to sound very strange but it all started by my being suck in a very boring position and deciding to write down the names of everyone I have ever worked with at Disney. As I began writing down names from the past, various incidents that I had experienced with some of these people also popped into my head. I began to think, wow, this could make a really good story. Well, I began writing it down. Also, I ain't getting any younger, so I wanted to write my life at Disney down on paper before I forgot about it!

Me: Now it's out, are you happy with it?

David: Overall, yes. But the more a read it, there are little things that I think I might have told better. Like most artists, actors and directors, we are never completely satisfied with our work. The one thing I am not happy about is the many grammatical errors throughout the book. It was supposedly proof read, twice.

Me: I noticed the grammar mistakes, David. I told you I'd proof read the book! You never see grammar mistakes in the Phile. Haha. Don't you wish I proof read the book?

David: Yes, and that really did piss me off too. The publisher swore he would proof read it and that another editor would also proof read it. No way is that guy going to publish any new stuff from me without a final proof before publishing.

Me: What has the feed back been on the book so far?

David: Pretty good as far as I know. I know quite a few people bought the book. I don't think anyone outside of Disney have any knowledge of it. That's been the hard part, getting it promoted.

Me: That's what I'm here for. I read it, and really enjoyed it. And was surprised you mentioned me... twice. Haha. You couldn't mention everyone you worked with, right?

David: No, it would be the size of a telephone book! Plus I wanted to keep this personal. My feelings and my experiences. Plus I was afraid that if I mentioned too many people by name that I might get into trouble or offend someone somehow.

Me: I love the way you mentioned me in the book. You still have that Robin Meade book mark?

David: Yes, I do. Why wouldn't I? It is now on the wall of my bedroom. Hmmm, hmmm! No comment.

Me: I have been at Disney over 27 years and if I ever wrote a book I wouldn't know who to mention or what stories to talk about. Did you have a hard time trying to figure out which stories to put in the book?

David: There were some things I left out. They were either too boring or too personal. I would say, if you think it's funny or interesting, then others will too.

Me: I am surprised you didn't mention that you were on "America's Funniest Videos" right before you retired. I have a picture of you on that show...

Me: Did you think about putting that in the book?

David: Yes, but in the end I decided it would not be too interesting to most folks. Guess I was wrong.

Me: I am sure that is not the only TV show you appeared on in 40 years. I think I was just on the news and the Disney Channel a few times.

David: Most of my finest moments ended up on the cutting room floor. I guess my appearance on The Discovery Channel is the best known. That may be shown forever! No residual checks, darn it.

Me: So, your first job was in tickets. Was that your favorite job?

David: As I said in my book, the kennels.

Me: When you worked at the kennels you and your Cast Members made a 8mm film, am I right? "Kennel Wars" was the name?

David: Correct. It was shown at a Cast party. It was a big hit among all the drunken attendees.

Me: Do you still have a copy of it? You should put it on YouTube.

David: Yes. I am hesitant to put it on YouTube because I keep thinking that I can make some money off of it. Would you pay a couple of bucks to get a copy?

Me: Maybe. So, you tell a story of when you leant Britney Spears some money. What was that about?

David: "The New Mickey Mouse Club" was being filmed at the Studios. One day I was at Take Five for lunch and had a tray full of food that I was trying to pay for at the register. There was a bit of a holdup at the register because two young girls didn't have enough money to pay for their two ice cream cones. I was getting a bit upset so I told the cashier that I would pay the 40 cents the girls owed, which I did. The two little girls hurried off promising that they would repay me. One of those little girls was a very young Britney Spears!

Me: Take Five is the Cast cafeteria at the Studios by the way. Tell us the Jim Henson story which is a cool story.

David: It is a great story! It was an extremely slow day in early December. I was working in front of The Great Movie Ride and at this time the Christmas tree was in front of the attraction. A family had stopped in front of the tree to take a photo. A group of people, including Jim Henson, came walking by. Mr. Henson left his group and approached the family, he had spotted something that even I hadn't noticed. The little girl in this family just happened to be holding a Kermit the Frog puppet. He knelt down, borrowed the girl's Kermit puppet and proceeded to put on an entire skit for this little girl and her family, Kermit voice and all. It was wonderful! And no one witnessed this except for me and that family. I don't even know if they knew who he was.

Me: So, do you think you'll ever write another book?

David: Yes, mainly because so many people have told me that I should. It certainly isn't for the money. Ha!! I might write about growing up and my early experiences. I have also written some short stories, Hitchcock and Rod Serling kind of stuff.

Me: Are there stories you wish you added in this book?

David: Just one or two.

Me: I love the book cover, David. How did you come up with the idea?

David: At first it was going to be your standard mousetrap. I even made a few drawings but I wasn't satisfied by them. I wanted something more Disney, but of course, I didn't want to get sued. The balloon idea came like a lightning bolt out of the blue. It really did.

Me: And how and when did you come up with the books name?

David: That was even harder than the cover. At one time I had about 30 tentative titles. I kept asking my friends and co-workers which title they liked best. Eventually it came down to two, then finally one.

Me: David, is there one thing about working at Disney that you regret?

David: Other than working Jedi Academy for two years!! No, I have no regrets about anything.

Me: I have to tell you that the last chapter brought a tear to my eye. Was that a hard chapter to write?

David: Surprisingly, it seemed to just flow from me. I released all of my feelings. It drained me but by the end I felt a sort of freedom. It's hard to explain really.

Me: So, you have a hobby I have to mention... you collect autographs. How did you first get into this hobby and is there one that means a lot to you?

David: Somewhere in the late seventies I remember seeing an ad in "Rolling Stone" where for a fee I would be sent the addresses of some 50,000 celebrities. I got the list and was shocked to find that they appeared to be the actual home addresses of these people and not their agents. I remember witting hand-written letters to five celebrities as an experiment. I was pleasantly surprised when within three weeks, I had received four replies. I was hooked. You can't imagine the thrill of finding a large manila envelope in your mailbox then opening it to find what treasure might be inside. I have so many favorites, it's very hard to say which. I guess the wonderful hand-written letter from James Stewart is at the top. I also like the caricature Vincent Price did of himself and signed for me. Sadly, since 9/11 it is nearly impossible to get the home addresses of anyone now. But it is still possible to get autographs from through their agents.

Me: About how many do you have?

David: Probably 300 or more. Sadly, more than half of the people who were kind enough to send me their autographs are now no longer with us. I am so happy that they live again whenever I glance through my collection.

Me: Do you have Yvonne Craig's autograph?

David: Yes, I do. What made you ask about her? Just wondering.

Me: Ha! You should write a book about the autographs.

David: I guess I could. There really are some interesting tidbits I could tell. But it would only be a short story or an essay.

Me: David, thanks so much for being on the Phile, my friend. I cannot wait to see you again the next time you're in Florida. Tell the readers where they can get the book, and I want you to sigh my copy.

David: I will be glad to, if I can somehow get a chance. It's available on Amazon.

Me: All the best, and take care. You're welcome back on the Phile any time.

There, that about does it for this entry. Thanks to Laird Jim and David Ackert. The Phile will be back on Monday with singer Maggie Bjorklund. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

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