Monday, November 28, 2016

Pheaturing Merk

Hello, kids, welcome to the Phile for Cyber Monday. Deals deals deals! Get those deals before the Earth is turned into a wasteland destroyed by climate change and humanity's greed for savings. This is not an ad, I'm sorry. You just know there's at least one idiot out there camping out for it. When I first heard about Cyber Monday a few years ago I thought, wow, they dedicated a whole day to sexting.
Wow, how existential: Everyone's favorite crass party game, Cards Against Humanity, has raised more than $90,000 to dig a hole to nowhere.They're calling it "Holiday Hole," according to the "Miami Herald," and it is just the latest of the company's anti holiday spending stunts. You can watch the mesmerizing live stream, which is like performance art commentary on Black Friday, as an alternative to staring into the abyss, or watching a yule log burn. On the site launched for the stunt, they tout the amount of cash raised as "Money Thrown In Hole." Some individuals have donated more than $1,000 to this effort! Maybe that's their way of acknowledging that they have a lot of money, and that it doesn't bring them happiness? Maybe the point is that none of us can really control how anyone else spends their money, and all of us are pawns in a battle between corporations. Or maybe the point is that we are all collectively digging ourselves into a hole by wrecking the planet with our use of fossil fuels, electing political leaders who only have preservation of the 1% in mind, and continuing to exploit the most defenseless people to make our own lives more comfortable. Or MAYBE the point of the hole is that we are all stuck in a Sisyphean nightmare, toiling away at pointless tasks as our only defense against the fact that life is meaningless and we're all gonna die. The game creators won't claim the hole has any meaning at all, which is perhaps the greatest artistic statement one could make. But they'll keep digging as long as you keep donating. Really, the hole only exists as long as you're sad enough to throw money into it. Head to the card game's site, and you too can help fill a hole with your hard-earned dollars and maybe feel something. If you do, you'll get a great email with some hard truths.
A proposed bill in Texas dictates that teachers are required to "out" their gay, queer and transgendered students at the request of the parent. The bill, filed by Texas State Senator Konni Burton, says that parents are entitled to "full and total information on their child’s academic performance, physical, mental and emotional health, and more." Senator Burton recently wrote an Op-Ed for "The Texas Tribune" entitled "In Fort Worth's transgender battle, parents lose." The piece argues that a parent's input is imperative whether the child wants it or not. The bill, which can be read here ( goes so far to say that if a teacher or faculty member withholds information from parents, they can be punished. Equality Texas chairman Steve M. Rudner released a statement countering the bill arguing that if your child doesn't trust you enough to come out to them, there is probably a good reason. Senator Burton's proposed legislation will probably be more damaging to the child/parent relationship in the long run, and if you want your kid to open up to you, hunting down trusted teachers and demanding answers in the name of the law is one weird way to do it. Just sayin'.
In what will surely go down as the most British party foul in history, singer Ed Sheeran had to be rushed to the hospital for stitches after Princess Beatrice of York slashed his face open with a ceremonial sword at a party. Why was she swinging an antique blade around? Because she was trying to "knight" singer James Blunt as a gag. Obviously. Sources said Blunt had joked about wanting to become "Sir James," and that the Princess obliged, doing a great impression of her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II... right up until she failed to realize that Sheeran was standing behind her when she raised the sword off Blunt's shoulder, and almost put the poor guy's eye out. Apparently she was distraught, but Sheeran, because you're well-advised not to criticize someone who's seventh in line to be your country's monarch, insisted it was no big deal. And truthfully, he didn't seem bothered as he showed off his little gash the following day. Sure, this was supposedly just an accident, but isn't it more likely the Princess was sending Sheeran a serious warning after he made fun of her hat collection? The truth is out there, people.
Some prankster, presumably not thrilled with the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land, has been toying with the names of the president-elect's New York properties on Google Maps. First up, they changed Trump Tower to the less alliterative but more evocative "Dump Tower." Google didn't get around to fixing that for a few hours, and in the meantime, people noticed that Trump International Hotel had also been renamed as... you guessed it... Dump International Hotel. Finally, "Trump Tower" was tweaked to appear in Russian translation, a nod to the nation's apparent interest in elevating Trump to power. It's unclear whether this was all the work of one individual, a concerted effort by several, or just a free-for-all amid bored hackers. And while it's almost certainly not the work of Google itself, that didn't stop a few Trump voters from lashing out at the tech giant for apparent bias. Others simply condemned the media outlets reporting the story. With the next four years shaping up to be the worst of our lives, you really gotta appreciate the little things, right? Hillary Clinton has another heartwarming encounter, this time at a Rhode Island bookstore. A Rhode Island bookstore employee who ran into Hillary Clinton has posted a photo with an encouraging message for the would-be first female president. "She was gracious and she was warm and she said the bookstore was beautiful. Bill Clinton shook my hand and complimented my sweater." So as Donald Trump wreaks havoc on Google Calendar notifications for everyone at the "New York Times," Hillary Clinton's spending her post-election months strolling around a bookstore, inspiring open letters from her heartbroken supporters. She may not be president, but she's still the King Midas of Facebook: everything she touches goes viral. Jessica Wick's post has been liked by thousands of people, shared hundreds of times and commented on by hundreds of supporters. Of course, the trolls showed up, too, because in case you didn't know... Hillary Clinton is sort of polarizing. This follows Clinton's chance encounter with a supporter while taking a walk in the woods around Chappaqua, New York. In both instances, Bill Clinton was there. In both instances, Bill Clinton was apparently not asked for a photo. Sorry, Bill. Better keep practicing with that iPhone camera.
Hey, so, I just mentioned Princess Beatrice and her hats. She does like to wear hats, and very strange ones at that. Check it out...

Meanwhile in the basement of Trump Tower...

Hahahaha. That cracks me up! Are you looking forward to the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie next year? I am... but when I saw this pic from the movie I might change my mind.

What the fuck? Do they go to Earth? I was flicking through the channels the other day and I came across a Scooby-Doo cartoon which I think "The Walking Dead" copied.

Jinkies. Christmas is right around the corner... so are you looking for the perfect ornament to adorn your beautiful tree? You need the incredibly classy Rubber Chicken Ornament...

It's true; nothing says Christmas like a rubber chicken wearing a Santa suit! Looking at the Christmas ads I was surprised to see this one...

Hmmm. Throat scratch? Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is another of the...

Top Phive Bands That Will Perform At Donald Trump's Inauguration
5. Earth, Wind, and You're Fired.
4. Notorious B.I.G.O.T.
3. Huey Lewis & I'm Gonna Sue The News.
2. They Might Be Giant Racists.
And the number one band that is gonna be performing at Trump's inauguration is...
1. The Barenaked Vessels for Male Sexual Gratification.

Hahahahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck please let me know. This is a good one. I think one of my favorites. Okay, so, telling a good joke is not so hard... it's making people laugh that's the hard part. Anyway, there's this guy that says he is having problems telling funny jokes and wanted to come on the Phile and try a few out. So, I said, what the hell, why not? So, kids, please welcome to the Phile for the first time ever...

Me: Okay, Ollie, welcome to the Phile. So, you don't know how to tell a joke?

Ollie: Not really... no one laughs at them when I do.

Me: Alright, well, why don't you try and tell a joke here and we'll see what happens.

Ollie: Okay... what's worse than finding a worm in your apple?

Me: Hmmm. well, considering I'm allergic to apples I don't know. What?

Ollie: The Holocaust.

Me: Uhhh... Ollie, that was really, really bad. I have relatives that are Jewish not to mention a lot of my readers are Jewish. That was not funny. Try another one.

Ollie: An Irishman walks out of the bar.

Me: And?

Ollie: That's it.

Me: Ollie, that wasn't funny, either. You may tell one more joke. Make it a good one.

Ollie: Okay... why did the boy drop his ice cream cone?

Me: I don't know... why?

Olliie: Because he was hit by a bus.

Me: Ha... I almost laughed. Good try, Ollie. Keep working on them. Maybe I will have you back soon. Ollie Tabooger, the Guy Who Doesn't Know How to Tell a Joke, kids.

Ollie: Bye, everybody. I'll do better next time.

Taking some time off from appointing more Nazis to his cabinet, refusing to resolve his business-related conflicts of interest, and generally ruining every morning for people who wake up in the timeline where he won the election, President-elect Donald Trump today claimed he had also won the popular vote. Which he didn't. Even for Trump, the lie that Hillary Clinton doesn't have a 2-million-plus edge in the popular vote count is a heck of a whopper, especially given that he's blaming "millions of people who voted illegally"... a sweeping, dangerous accusation backed up by exactly zero evidence. Unless you count tweets from some rando who claims to be a voting data analyst to push his dumb conspiracy theories. Snopes has debunked this claim, which has been circulating the right-wing Internet, pointing out that Phillips has never produced his methodology or indeed explained how he could "verify" votes in any meaningful way, and that he was previously quoted by fringe publications as arguing that Obamacare was a cover for voter fraud. The 3 million figure, they write, "may just as well have been plucked out of thin air." It's also been around for at least two weeks, so not only is Trump trolling us, he's peddling fairly out-of-date nonsense. And why continue making the utterly spurious case that the election was rigged against him, given that he's headed to the White House? That's simple: The GOP's voter suppression game helped him win, and conservatives want any excuse to redouble their efforts on that front in the years ahead. It hardly matters if "illegal" ballots aren't a thing, as long as it's a prextext on which they can pass bogus laws that keep actual citizens from letting their voices be heard. Sad!

The 53rd book to be pheatuered in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday. Okay, so, do you like farting stories? Have you heard any tooting stories? No? Well, you're in luck, boys and girls. Here's a new pheature called...

It's the sort of fire starting stinker that may have the power to make even Stephen King cringe in horror. A female patient in her 30s suffered severe burns during a surgical procedure performed at Tokyo Medical University Hospital in April 2016. Reportedly, doctors had been using a laser near the woman's cervix when she let out a fart. The laser then ignited the gas she released which caused a fire, engulfing the woman's body, particularly her waist and legs. In a report published in October 2016 by the hospital, a committee of outside experts ruled out any other potential causes, such as other flammable materials in the operating room. See? A story about tooting.

Alright, today's pheatured guest is the 32nd artist to be pheatured in the Phile's art gallery. I love his artwork, and his creativity. Please welcome to the Phile... Merk.

Me: Hey, Merk, welcome to the Phile. So, I called you Merk... is that good, or should I call you another name? What do you go by?

Merk: Merk is good. When I was in art school I started signing everything Merk (an abbreviated form of my name) and it became a nickname. Then I adopted it as my 'professional' name, so whenever I'm doing/talking art, it's as Merk. Not a separate personality or anything. Just a name. LOL.  

Me: Where are you from?

Merk: I am from Thunder Bay, Ontario. It's a sizable city, but isolated, situated at the northern shore of Lake Superior. I've lived all over Canada though, but moved back about 6 years ago.

Me: I have to say I love your artwork and I have to tell you I purchased the Ponda Baba t-shirt from you website. I have to show the artwork here for it...

Me: You don't see too many Ponda shirts around, and I am a huge Star Wars fan and I love the obscure characters. Is he a favorite of yours? How did you come up with the idea for that shirt?

Merk: Ha! Awesome. Thank you. I am a big Star Wars fan. I'm old enough to have enjoyed the first films when they were first released. My older brother and I devoured them over and over growing up. That shirt idea with his face on it & the words "He doesn't like you. I don't like you either"... I don't know. Things like that come by me and they stick in my head. That one had been in my skullcap for a while, trying to figure the best way to feature it. T-shirt seemed the way to go.

Me: I also love the Captain Britain Metal Corps piece you did... Captain Britain is my favorite superhero so anything tied into him is cool... and I am British and I love those artists like Ozzy and Lemmy you put in the drawing. If this was a t-shirt I would purchase this as well. How did you come up with this idea, Merk?

Merk: That's awesome! I'm a huge Cap Brit fan too. I had a collection as a kid of the old black and white Brit collection, and later on, the "Knights of Pendragon" series blew my mind wide open. That particular Metal Corps piece came about through a group I work with called The Line it is Drawn. Brian Cronin is a writer, who does a lot of work for Comics Should be Good & Comic Book Resources to name a few. He has a pool of artists that each week, he posts some sort of comic book theme and anyone following it on Twitter can suggest ideas. For example, that one was the theme of some sort of homage to Lemmy, as he had just passed away. We get hundreds of suggestions based on that, and he forwards them to the artists. We choose which we want. My choice was "Lemmy joins the Captain Britain Corps," but you can go anywhere from there. I often mix other things in, like I did here (adding Ozzy, Bruce Dickinson, & Rob Halford). Sorry, that one won't be becoming a shirt. It costs me a lot to do the shirts so I can only have so many on the go at a time.

Me: I had those black and white comics as well... I still have them somewhere actually. Your artwork is so, so fucking detailed. Did drawing and doing art come naturally to you?

Merk: It came naturally but it's a practice, practice, practice kind of thing. I'm always learning to get better.

Me: How long have you been drawing professionally?

Merk: I guess upwards of 8 years or so. It was around then that I said, "I am going to make a go of this and see what I can do." It's not easy. And I have a very loving & supportive wife.

Me: What's your favorite thing to draw?

Merk: Faces & hands. They are the most expressive parts of the body.

Me: I have to tell you the first piece I saw of yours was on Comic Book Resources with the villains right after Trump won the presidency.

Merk: Oh you saw that one? LOL. Don't read the comments!!! LOL. Any politics gets in there and people go crazy. I get the suggestions sent to me weekly and if I have time I try to get a piece done. 

Me: Now I do wanna read the comments... How did you get involved doing that? Is that fun for you?

Merk: I had seen a few posts from earlier Line it is Drawn work, and just loved the idea. They had a tryout a few years back. I tried out and got in. It's a blast. Like I said, I can't always get one done every week, depending on what's happening that week, but it's been a great experience. And it's also more practice. I've become faster and (hopefully) better.

Me: Being from Canada, what do you think of Trump being the new President?

Merk: Oh no! Politics! LOL. Honestly he frightens me. If anyone I knew spoke to/about people the way he does... I would be appalled. I would tell them how utterly hurtful, divisive, and ignorant that seems to me, and if they didn't change, we would never speak again. And this is the person now running a nation. However I don't think he can legally do many of the changes he's proclaimed he will do, but I think the damage is done. I hope your country can come together and heal it's divides, rather than widen the gap. Not that Canada doesn't have lots of things to work through, I just think the U.S., especially through this election, has made those divides sharper and the pain more acute.

Me: I assume you are a music fan, and being from Canada I have to ask you if you are a fan of one of my favorite bands from Canada... Barenaked Ladies. Are you a fan?

Merk: I am a HUGE music fan! I actually worked for and ran music stores for years before diving into art professionally. I enjoy BNL. I can't say I'm a HUGE fan but they are good, especially live.

Me: I agree. Back to that "Trump" piece... I thought it was cool that you used DC and Marvel villains. I thought at first though why Professor X was there then realized it was Luther. How did you choose those particular villains, Merk?

Merk: LOL. Yea, Luthor has that kind of nondescript look in the suit. I had thought of putting him in the purple/green, but wanted the 'presidential' Lex. The choices were all from Twitter suggestions, but, like I sometimes do, I combined several of them. Originally I had picked Thanos, Loki, Doom, Red Skull, Mephisto, Darkseid and the Watcher. As I started planning it, I realized it was a little Marvel heavy. I could either take Darkseid out completely to have it all Marvel or I had to add some more DC to balance it out. So I added Lex & Joker. Yay! More work!

Me: So, I have to ask... DC or Marvel? I am mostly a Marvel fan.

Merk: So am I. I grew up mostly Marvel. It's what I gravitated towards. Not that I didn't have a lot of DC, Charlton and whatever else I could get my hands on. Eighties was all X-Men for me.

Me: Looking at your artwork, I see you are into old school horror like Frankenstein and Dracula... am I right? What genre do you like the best overall?

Merk: I really enjoyed the Marvel 70s horror stuff when I was kid. I strayed from it, but in the past 10 years or so and wandered back with fresh eyes and a new love for it. Bernie Wrightson's illustrated Frankenstein is a pinnacle work for me. It's etched into my brain. I've always leaned towards the superhero genre, but really, I love anything I can get my hands on.

Me: I gather you go to a lot of conventions, Merk. Is there a favorite one you did or one that you would love to go to?

Merk: I really like the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. I've been going to that for a number of years now and it's fantastic. To see it grow, and see familiar faces and great stuff every year. It's a blast.

Me: Ever go to MegaCon here in Orlando?

Merk: I have not. It's harder for me to do stuff in the states. I have a lot of gear so I can't just take a plane & go to a con. Crossing the border with the intent to sell... it can be tricky, and pricey.

Me: When you are not drawing and doing art you're part of a podcast called Zero Issues Comic... that's a great name. How long have you been doing this podcast?

Merk: Ha! Thanks. It's been almost three years now I guess? Oh my god. Has it been that long? Yea, it's myself and two other local comic artists Kyle Lees (  and Bry Kotyk who does an online comic called "Welcome to Hereafter" ( We all do very different kind of stuff, and the two of them are about 10 years younger than me, so makes for some interesting comic talk. Plus we drink beer while we're doing it... so there's that. Oh, and we're all bald too.

Me: Is it fun to do? What do you guys talk about?

Merk: It's a blast. We talk about anything comic related. We'll have a quick news segment, a little warm up topic (which could be anything from I'm reading this right now to a hilarious comic quiz (which I never win) to some bizarre choose your own adventure story out of Kyle's brain), then a main topic (that varies wildly. We've done standard stuff like talking about the new "Luke Cage" series, or discussing Steve Ditko's work, to watching the horrible "Generation X" movie from the nineties and wondering what the hell just happened? Or talking about Gambit and how he's so terrible, and how to redo him to make him an interesting character in book & film. Basically we came up with you have to trick people into liking Gambit. And then we close with the Moment of Zero (an homage to the "Daily Show's" Moment of Zen), where anything goes. We've done dramatic readings from the worst written comics we can find (complete with dramatic music, and voice alterations) or Bry's recurring League of Baldos segment where we talk about bald characters. It gets pretty strange.

Me: That's so cool. You also have worked on a few graphic novels... I am a big fan of "The Walking Dead" so was curious about the book "Nowadays." Tell the readers what the concept is.

Merk: "Nowadays" was a 300 page graphic novel I did with writer Kurt Martell. The basic concept is this: A zombie apocalypse occurs and we see it through two groups of people that live in remote north-west Ontario (where we live). It takes place along lonely stretches of remote highway, passing through small towns until we eventually make our way to the 'big city' of Thunder Bay. But these aren't your normal zombies. Instead of being mindless creatures that stumble along and try to bite you, when you turn into the undead, you retain all your faculties. You can think, feel and reason. But you need to feed. So now, instead of the traditional zombie, which really isn't a 'character' but more of a plot device to motivate & spur action in other characters, the zombie becomes a viable character. And you see things through their eyes. Now they have the choice, do I eat my friends and family? Or do I try to take another path? This sets up the stage for some zombies to protect their living friends and family, fighting other zombies, while some just chow down on everyone. Theres' a whole new dynamic. And like Kurt and I like to say "if you were an asshole when you were alive, you're probably going to be an asshole when you're dead."

Me: How do you like working with a writer like Kurt? Does he give you a lot of freedom or is he strict like Alan Moore is when he writes?

Merk: Kurt and I are old friends. He has a film background and originally wrote "Nowadays" as a film. Both of us moved around the country a lot but eventually both made our way back here to Thunder Bay. When I arrived I discovered him living one street over from me. We started discussing the book and the story idea and we were off. Kurt was very open to work with. He had it written like a movie script and so he rewrote it into comic format, and gave it to me. I was able to cut & reshape as I thought was necessary to tell the story. We would talk about changes and decide what was best. In the end, the story comes first.

Me: Speaking of graphic novels, you are working on one right now, right?

Merk: I am!!

Me: What is it gonna be called and what is it about?

Merk: It's called "Season of the Dead Hours." It takes place in rural Ireland & involves magic & Celtic myth. Long banished sorcerers are returned to our world by a mysterious group, for what reason even the sorcerers do not know. But they do know that they only have several days before they are forced to return to the realm of their exile where they will resume battling each other as they've done for ages. We follow Sitchenn, one of the returned sorcerers, as he emerges in a farm field, confused and bewildered. He realizes he has returned to the 'mother realm' and that his banishment will recommence shortly, so he begins to try to gather magic power so that, when forced to return to the battle in the exiled realm, he may have the advantage & be able to free his people from the his enemy, The Janus Magus. To do so he enlists the help of a young Irish boy, Fionn, to help him retrieve a special object, the Crane Bag. Fionn eventually agrees and their journey begins. From there Fionn's eyes are opened to a world of magic that had long been hidden from man, making visible the creatures and dangers that lurk in the shadows, just out of sight of man. This eventually leads to a final showdown between Sitchenn and the Janus Magus, but in the world of magic... not all is what it seems.

Me: You're running an Indigogo campaign to raise money to out it out, am I right?

Merk: I am! It's running now until Dec 12th. I'm looking to raise $8500 to pay for the printing. It ain't cheap to self publish.

Me: When someone donates or pledges, what kinda incentives do they get?

Merk: There's lots of perks to be had, like personalized sketches, shirts, the book (of course), I will turn you into a sorcerer/sorceress in a limited ed art print battling it out with the other contributors, an ad in the back of the book (perfect for other artists advertising their books, website or project), one of the original inked pages of the book or just random things from my house. Seriously. Random. It could be a broken pencil or it could be DVD collection of a TV show season, or original art or paperclips I found in a drawer. Random.

Me: So, when "Seasons of the Dead Hours"comes out will you come back on the Phile? I'll feature it as part of the Phile's Book Club.

Merk: Absolutely! I would love that.

Me: So, what kinda tools do you use on your work, Merk?

Merk: I draw traditionally with a pencil. I don't do the tablet. That's not a judgement, it's just not for me. At least right now. Penciled work, then I ink overtop that. I do colour digitally though. I also do work on canvas, doing multimedia sort of stuff.

Me: Is there a favorite piece that you've done?

Merk: The favourite is always the next one. I am REALLY happy how "Season of the Dead Hours" is coming out though. It's some of my best work to date, definitely.

Me: What's the easiest thing for you to draw?

Merk: I don't know if there is anything I find easy to draw. If it's easy, then I'm not challenging myself and I'm just reproducing what I've done before... which gets boring.

Me: I like to ask my artist guests what they think of the Phile's logo... so, whatcha think?

Merk: I like it! Looks like my studio. LOL.

Me: I see you also draw and write a weekly comic strip called "Zygote Bop." That looks so interesting. What is it about? It takes place in a record shop, right?

Merk: Yea. Zygote was an ongoing strip about Felix & Carl. They worked in a record store (like I said, I worked in one for a long time. Retail gives you lots of stories and situations to do crazy strips about). Both were a little bit older and kind of stuck in life. Oh, and Carl wears a helmet. He thinks he's a superhero, Carl the Iron Lung of Justice! They make their way through life, meeting crazy people in the store and having lots of bizarre retail adventures, with a cast of crazies.

Me: I have a piece of the comic strip I have to show...

Me: How long have you been doing this strip and where can a reader follow it?

Merk: It ran for about four years or so. Originally it was in a local arts & culture paper called "The Walleye." The strip has, unfortunately, ended now, but they can all be read on my website.

Me: Merk, I am such a big fan and I know you're so busy, so I appreciate you taking time out being here on the Phile. I hope it was fun. Go ahead and mention your websites and where on Indiegogo a Phile reader can pledge.

Merk: It was! Thanks so much for having me! Thank you! My website is... You can preorder "Season of the Dead Hours" (along with all the awesome perks) here... You can find me on Facebook here..., you can find Zero Issues Comic Podcast on Facebook here...., you can find the Zero Issues Comic Podcast website here... Annnnd. I think that's all I got.

Me: Great. Please come back when the graphic novel comes out. All the best, Merk. Take care. 

Merk: Thanks so much, man!! I will definitely be back. Cheers!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Merk for a great interview. The Phile will be back next Sunday with author and Phile Alum Jim Korkis. So, 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

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Pheaturing Ricky DiMaio

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How have you been? It's happening: Wisconsin prepares for a recount. Ugh. As if this election hasn't caused everyone enough stress, on Friday, November 25th, the Jill Stein for President Campaign submitted a petition for recount in Wisconsin with mere hours to spare, according to the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Stein, the presidential Green Party candidate, garnered 1.2 million votes in the election, and many have made the case that she diverted votes away from Clinton. Maybe she's been racked by guilt for the past weeks. Maybe hasn't slept since the night we all learned Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States. Whatever the cause of her manic fundraising energy, Stein somehow managed to come up with more than $4 million since Wednesday. Independent candidate Rocky Roque De La Fuente also submitted a petition. Now, a recount will begin in Wisconsin. Yesterday morning following the news of the recount, Marc Erik Elias, an attorney for Hillary Clinton's campaign, announced that the Clinton Campaign plans to participate in the recount as well, though they had not planned to pursue it themselves. The Commission has assembled an internal team to direct the recount, which Commission Administrator Michael Haas explains is more thorough, expensive and time-consuming than just an audit, "In a recount, all ballots (including those that were originally hand counted) are examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated." Plus, they only have until the federal deadline of December 13th to complete it. Get ready for some long nights and weekends, vote counters. The real question here is whether or not the recount will have any affect on the results of the election. Elias noted that the margin by which Trump won in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (the three states Stein is hoping to petition), is larger than any outcome that has been successfully reversed by a recount. At the very least, a recount helps maintain a standard of election integrity. If you want to get involved, you can donate money for the recounts in the other two Midwestern states whose deadline for petition are fast approaching. Or, you can sit back and watch the last month of 2016's madness unfold. Jesus, take the wheel.
Shortly after losing the absolute garbage nightmare of an election to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton was spotted by a mom and daughter out for a hike in Chappaqua, New York... and had Bill Clinton take their photo. It seemed that Hillary was optimistic and resolute even in defeat, looking to the future. Then, because god forbid we have something nice go unruined for two seconds, the poor mom started receiving death threats from Trump supporters, and said she wished the story would just go away. This, however, did not deter another mom and daughter from getting a pic with the almost-first-woman-president while out for a hike over the week of Thanksgiving. It's another cute story, and we're glad Hillary is making the most of her free time as a civilian... even as Green Party candidate Jill Stein mounts an vote recount in several key states that narrowly went to Trump. But some are becoming concerned that the long-suffering Democrat is permanently lost in the woods. What could it all mean? Is there any way we can get her back? Is she in danger? Should we hike out there and seek her counsel? Is she destined to become a myth? Has she made a home out there? Should we follow her lead? Could the wilderness hold the answers? Are there connections we're not seeing? Is it worth the trek to see her? How the hell is she still smiling? Most importantly, does she just want to be left alone? Also, what does the future hold? It's hard to say what sort of enlightenment she's looking for out there, or how long it'll take to find it. But when you're ready, Hillary, civilization will be waiting here for your return. Uh, probably.
Chicago politician Howard Brookins Jr. went on a public tirade against squirrels last month that may have come back to haunt him. In October, the alderman for Chicago's 21st ward ranted about "aggressive squirrels" which he said were terrorizing the city-supplied garbage cans. Then last week, Brookins survived a squirrel attack. Coincidence? Probably. Either that, or squirrels are much smarter than we give them credit for and we should all be very, very afraid. On November 13th, three weeks after his anti-squirrel tirade, the alderman was on a bike ride when a squirrel jumped in to the spokes of his bike causing him to flip over the handlebars, "The Star Tribune" reports. He was hospitalized with a fractured skull and injuries to his face and torso, but is recovering. "I am okay and I have been recovering in the hospital since the accident," he wrote in a Facebook post last Sunday. The squirrel, however, did not survive the incident. RIP squirrel. Some news outlets were not explicit about the exact details of the squirrel attack, like the "Chicago Sun Times" who simply referred to it as a "freak accident." But Brookins told the "Tribune" he knows the truth. “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge,” he said. Squirrels, if you're reading this, I have nothing but respect for you and what you do with your spare time. Live and let live. Capiche?
Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief because Elton John's rep says the singer will not be playing at Donald Trump's January 20th inauguration, despite earlier claims by a Trump advisor. Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the Trump presidential transition team executive committee, told the BBC last week, “Elton John is going to be doing our concert on the mall for inauguration.” He also said the gesture would showcase the administration's "pro-gay rights stance." (Uh, hi, have you heard about VP-elect Mike Pence??) Elton John's rep has since responded to these claims with a resounding NOPE. “Elton will not be performing at Trump’s inauguration," said the rep in a statement. This makes sense, since John was a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter who said at a campaign event in October, "We need a humanitarian in the White House, not a barbarian." Well, that's a little morsel of good news in the midst of an ominous news cycle. And we'll take it!
It's about time that I admit publicly on the Internet that I have seen a handful of "Gilmore Girls" episodes. I know, I'm sorry. And I'm not gay. Anyway, despite my lack of in-depth knowledge of the show, I can absolutely say with confidence that fans of the show have already watched the revival that was released on Friday, and boy do they have some things to say. Emotions ran high, second revival seasons were demanded, and honestly some of them sound like they are speaking a different language to me. Here you have it, everything I've learned about the show along the way. "Gilmore Girls" is our savior from Black Friday. Some people watched it in one sitting! Some people even think they might die if there aren't more episodes. I'm no expert but seems like people are dissatisfied with the ending? From what I can tell, Jess is the good guy (possibly too good??). And you are NOT into a guy named Logan (who is probably a classic bad boy). Plus, Jess totally still loves Rory! Rory, what are you doing?! Seems like Rory needs to get her shit together. But then again, Logan knows how to buy a shirt that fits well, so can I blame her? Unlike, Luke, who CLEARLY doesn't care about appearances. Here is a math equation that might make sense to you: But apparently, no one truly knows. Because something was said in the last four words that messed everybody up pretty bad. Will I ever watch the show from the beginning and figure out if I'm #TeamJess or #TeamLogan? If I do, one thing is for sure: I'll need a lot of snacks.
Christmas is less than a month away and the ads are already out there. Like this one...

Buy yourself a gun. There's a new video game that just came out in time for Christmas, kids. My son would probably want this...

Hmmm. I don't know what to think. That Donald Trump sure has a sense of humor. Did you see the bumper sticker he put on one of his planes?

You have to laugh, right? So, the last few entries I have told showed you actual Star Wars themed sex toys. Well, there's another I have to show you.

That's very clever. Have you seen the box of Wheaties recently? I was surprised to see who was on it.

That's great! So, when I saw this pic earlier...

It reminded me of something. And then it hit me...

Crazy, right? Are you looking for a fun way to add a little instant cheer to your home or office? You need the inflatable Mistletoe ($9.45).

This quick and easy decoration includes a hang tab and string. You can buy it here... Oh, wait... it has been discontinued. Never mind. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Phive Signs You Over Ate On Thanksgiving
5. The coroner lists your official cause of death as "Turkey Leg Thrombosis."
4. You come to on the floor, surrounded by bones, and your family is nowhere to be found.
3. A week later, you find the meat thermometer in your stool.
2. The paramedic who gives you mouth-to-mouth comes up with mashed-potato mustache.
And the number one sign you over ate on Thanksgiving is...
1. Around the country, the thing most people are thankful for is that "that fat bastard Marty isn't at our table this year..." and you're Marty!

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Okay, it's Sunday so I think its time I talked football with my good friend Jeff.

Me: Hey there, Jeff, welcome to the Phile again! How are you?

Jeff: Always great to be back on the Phile. Last week I felt like I was both the host and musical guest on "Saturday Night Live." This time, only one duty. Taking it easy!

Me: Yeah, that was cool. So, what the hell Tony Romo broke his collarbone carrying water to Zak Prescott on the sideline?

Jeff: Hahahaha, I wouldn't laugh if that wasn't accurate. It's sad when the guy is so injury prone.

Me: What do you think of the game in Mexico City? Those fans were nuts... Final score from Mexico City was Refs: 27 Texans: 20. Haha.

Jeff: They are truly making the NFL an international game. Games in London and now Mexico City? What next? Canada? Nope! Texans had plenty of opportunity themselves. The refs kind of blew it, yes, but they are not the only ones to blame.

Me: Did you see Ramen Noodles were served seat side at the Mexico game? I never had those noodles ever!

Jeff: In the states we have hot dogs and nachos for football games, they get Ramen Noodles? Advantage America!

Me: So, the poor Browns' tickets are going for 6 dollars! Let's go!

Jeff: Nope. You'd have to pay me to see a Browns game. I did look since the Steelers were playing NFC East teams if we were going to be in New York but nope. It's a home game for the Steelers. Oh bragging rights will be on the line that week!

Me: We'll see. What other NFL news is there?

Jeff: There's not a whole heck of a lot. Last week you asked me if Gronk was out for the year, well apparently he's not. He could be available as early as this week if you can believe that after the injury he suffered two weeks ago. Adrian Peterson is also practicing and could return his season after they said he was out for the year.

 Me: Hey, did you see the Redskins finally changed their name? Here's the new logo.

Jeff: LOL. Still better than Cleveland, Chicago and Jacksonville. Though that's not saying much!

Me: Okay, so how did we do last week? Both of our teams won.

Jeff: Yes, both our teams won. But only one person had a perfect week. And that person was me! I went 2-0 while you went 1-1. So my lead is once again 2 points.

Me: This is a close year for us. The Giants are playing the Browns so go ahead and give me that point now. Ha. Lets do this weeks picks. I say Saints by 4 and Falcons by 2. What do you say?

Jeff: Cleveland has to win at some point... right? No? Nevermind. Point to Giants! I will go with Raiders by 3 and Titans by 6.

Me: Alright, I'll see you here next Sunday.

Jeff: See you next Sunday.

Ron Glass 
July 10th, 1945 — November 25th, 2016
Fish was calling from the Great Beyond, looking for some backup.

Fidel Castro 
August 13th, 1926 — November 25th, 2016
Cigars for everyone!

Florence Henderson 
February 14th, 1934 — November 24th, 2016
Here's the story of a lovely lady who was bringing up three very lovely girls All of them had hair of gold like their mother and then she died of heart failure.

The 53rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's book club is...

I said that Jim Korkis would be the on the Phile next Monday but actually he will be on the Phile next Sunday.

The 32nd artist to be pheatured in the Phile's art gallery is Merk and this is one of his pieces...

Merk will be a guest on the Phile tomorrow.

Today's pheatured guest is an Orlando based actor who has been in such short films like Buried Deep and Eye on the Prize. Please welcome to the Phile... Ricky DiMaio.

Me: Hey, Ricky, welcome to the Phile, man. You're finally here! How's it going?

Ricky: Thank you, very excited to be part of this! I am doing well staying busy with projects and of course the holidays coming up.

Me: Okay, so, full disclosure... we used to work together back at Epcot many, many years ago. When did you start to work there, Ricky?

Ricky: Boy, let me think! June 1994 to February 2000 I believe. Started off in Custodial then to Epcot Guest Relations then Innoventions.

Me: What's your best memory of us working together?

Ricky: I always remember how happy I was when I worked in your area and you were my lead. You always had me laughing. I remember how concerned you were for me when I had my boating "accident" in the World Showcase Lagoon while cleaning up firework debris.

Me: Oh, man, I forgot all about that boat accident! You gotta tell the readers what happened. You had to get a tetanus shot, right?

Ricky: LOL... yes, I had to get a tetanus shot. Every morning Epcot Custodial would send out three people into a boat to clean up the firework debris left behind from the night before. We would have to do this before the World Showcase opened. If I remember right we were behind a little and the World Showcase was ready to open and the driver sped back to get out of the Lagoon before it opened. I guess he hit something that caught the engine and it stopped dead in its tracks and me and another guy fell in the Lagoon. Afterwards we had to get the shot cause the water was so dirty. The memory I have the most is when I got out of the water you could see everything because I was wearing the Custodial whites... LOL.

Me: I remember it so clearly now. I looked for a pic of the both of us back then but couldn't find any. Do you have one? This was way before cameras were on phones... or the other way around.

Ricky: Sadly I don't have any, wish I did during my time at Disney as it is still one of the best times I ever had working.

Me: So, before we talk about your acting I have to mention two things... one: in 2004 you were diagnosed with cancer. I know how you feel... but I won't go into that. What kinda cancer did you have, Ricky? How are you now?

Ricky: Yes, I did have cancer, it was testicular cancer that spread to my stomach. So I had months of radiation and chemo treatment. Very difficult times even more so because we just had our first baby. So it was scary, but today I am good and at the moment cancer free.

Me: Congrats! And the second thing is I once saw an obituary of you on-line written by your brother Timmy saying you died in 2010. I have to show it here...

Me: What the fuck? Do you know about this? Can you explain it?

Ricky: Haha! Yes, I know about it and it was a joke my brother was playing while not realizing it would actually go public.

Me: That's crazy. I thought first am I interviewing my first ghost on the Phile? I have interviewed a superhero, rat and gnu before so anything is possible.

Ricky: No, but how cool would that be? I would have Elvis right next to me. So a two for one deal. 

Me: You have two girls, right? What do you think of your acting?

Ricky: Yes, I have two girls ages 12 and 9. They get a kick out of seeing their daddy on film. My youngest has got the acting itch so I am trying to teach her the ups and downs. But she also understands I want her to have a solid career plan.

Me: I remember you said years ago you wanted to act... and now you're doing it. So fucking cool. When did you first start seriously doing it?

Ricky: I started seriously doing it about four years ago. Like you stated I always wanted to do it but always had an excuse not to. A friend I meant asked me to stand in for an actor and he ended up asking me to play the part. That is when I knew this was what I wanted and needed to do.

Me: You just do short films, right? No theater work?

Ricky: Correct... just film short and full length. I don't think I can do theater work, it's a different style then what I am use to.

Me: Do you have any acting background? Did you go to school to study acting or does it just come naturally?

Ricky: This question can get me in trouble... haha! I did take several classes, but I feel there is no better training then getting your ass out there and do auditions and then getting on a real set.

Me: You're a huge Elvis Presley fan... he acted, so do you watch his movies and take anything away from that?

Ricky: Of course. Elvis is my hero and not just as the entertainer but also as the person he was. People make fun of Elvis's acting and his films but in reality Elvis was a fantastic actor. He taught me that even though you might not like the part you still go out there and give it your all no matter what! 

Me: What's the hardest thing about acting for you? Mine would be learning the lines. I have done stand up and that was hard enough.

Ricky: The hardest thing for me is making sure I sound real, not like I am reading from a piece of paper. I am an actor who does not overly study my lines. I will read the script and practice my character in front of a mirror. But I like to keep it fresh not robotic.

Me: You have a strong northern accent, Ricky. Does that hinder you in roles you get?

Ricky: To a certain point. I have worked with a voice coach to help with my accent. But it always seems the director wants me to have it. The director thinks it brings something to the character so I don't complain... haha!

Me: I bet you are going to auditions all the time, am I right?

Ricky: I get to about three or four a week. It's a difficult business so you really want to love it and be very patient and forget about making any kind of money in the beginning. That's not what it's all about!

Me: Okay, let's talk about some of the shorts you have done... the first was Buried Deep, am I right?

Ricky: No, Buried Deep was my third or fourth film. My first was Acceptance where I played a dad who comes back from the dead to help make his son understand he is now the man of the house.

Me: Ahhh. Where was that film shot, Ricky?

Ricky: Acceptance was shot at Full Sail, as for Buried Deep it was shot in Tampa at the directors house on a cold December weekend.

Me: So, when you guys took that pic of the poster for it did any of you think of jumping in the pool?

Ricky: Haha! No fucking way, It was freezing that evening. We were all so cold siting there for almost two hours to get the perfect photo for the poster. The photographer was very tough.

Me: Another short you did was Eye on the Prize which you played the lead in it. Was that also filmed locally?

Ricky: I have been very lucky most of the films I have done I got to be the lead. But Eye on the Prize was a different role for me because I got to play a politician. It was filmed at Dreamcatchers Ranch in Clermont, Florida.

Me: Do you feel a lot of pressure being the lead character?

Ricky: I do because the entire film is on your shoulders. But as long as you work with an amazing crew and talent it makes it much easier. As a lead you can be on set for 10-12 hours straight shooting. But I always feel I have it better then the crew. The crew are the ones that work their ass off to make the talent look amazing.

Me: I can see you as a character on "The Walking Dead" easily. Do you even watch that show?

Ricky: I did watch it but decided to stop when it became to soap opera for me. But I actually auditioned in Atlanta for a role last year on "The Walking Dead."

Me:  You're also a Star Wars fan... are you excited for Rogue One?

Ricky: I am very excited, more so because I will see Darth Vader since Revenge of the Sith. I also feel this film will be very emotional.

Me: Did you like The Force Awakens?

Ricky: I did and did not. A part of me felt like it was a New Hope re-done but I loved seeing the old gang and some of the new characters. I was a little disappointed they didn't have R2-D2 more in the film. He is the best! Haha!

Me: Artoo is my favorite as well. Did you think of going to Atlanta and auditioning for movies there? Seems everything is being filmed there.

Ricky: I do but right now it's difficult with my two daughters. But I have been putting things in motion to try and go up there this summer for auditions.

Me: What about L.A. or New York?

Ricky: Hell yeah on both... haha! I am going to wait for my daughters to get a little older.

Me: Is there a lot of production going on in Central Florida?

Ricky: There is, you just have to be smart about the parts you take here in some of Florida productions. What is nice is that you have several schools that teach film and a lot of smart and bright upcoming directors.

Me: Everything you have done is drama, right? Can you see yourself doing comedy?

Ricky: So far but I am actually getting ready to film a comedy in January.

Me: Cool. What the fuck? I just saw you on a movie poster for a short called The Confrontation. Check it out...

Me: You look pissed... but it's a great pic.

Ricky: Haha! That's a normal look for me... haha! Yeah, that was my character... I played a shit head boss.

Me: Are your shorts shown at film festivals, Ricky?

Ricky: Most of the ones I have been in have been. I believe two or three won awards.

Me: Not only do you act, but you're also directing a film as well, am I right?

Ricky: I have directed two films. One called Rescue Ranch and the other was called Maggie's Little Game. I just wrapped Maggie's Little Game in August and working on the first edit. But my true love is acting. Directing is so fucking stressful... haha, that's why I have tons and tons of respect for directors.

Me: When did Rescue Ranch come out?

Me: Rescue Ranch has been done for a year now and I am placing it into festivals right now. As for Maggie's Little Game not a 100% sure. It's a horror thriller so I might hold off on releasing it until next Halloween.

Me: Where can anybody go and see your films, Ricky?

Ricky: Right now you can see some of my work on my Facebook page. As for others if the director sends them in for festivals or a pilot for a series I am not allowed to show the film until the director okays it. But you can also find some of my work on YouTube.

Me: I am so glad you were on the Phile at last, my friend. So, what is your next movie coming out?

Ricky: I am filming a feature called Tommy, I play the lead character. That's all I can say for right now... haha! But it's the most difficult character I have played so far.

Me: I have to give this link to your demo reel... So, do you have a website or anything you wanna plug?

Ricky: My acting Facebook page which is different from my personal on. Just search Ricky DiMaio and like my page.

Me: Alright, I hope you can come back on the Phile again soon when Tommy comes out. Anything you wanna say?

Ricky: I appreciate this interview. It's funny how things take a turn... haha! Who would of thought you would ever be interviewing me. I am always open for roles so if any casting director reads this look me up.

Me: Take care, Ricky, and continued success, my friend. Maybe one day I'll see you on "The Walking Dead" or a Star Wars movie. Imagine a Ricky Di Maio action figure!

Ricky: You to, my friend. Star Wars would be so amazing... could you imagine. I think I would pass out if I had my own action figure... haha!

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and Ricky DiMaio. The Phile will be back tomorrow with artist Merk. So, 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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Phorty-Eighth Birthday Special Entry Pheaturing Phile Alum Robert A. Medeiros From The Clarences

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for my 48th birthday. Happy birthday to me. Hahaha. How are you? I am now old enough to remember what it was like to poop without a smartphone. Do you know what birthday's are? They are the day celebrating the day your face rubbed your mother's vagina. It's true. I've reached the age where my face always looks as tired as my body always feels. Y'know, getting older is mainly just adding to the list of foods I can no longer eat. Chewbacca aged better than me. But one good thing... I'm finally getting old enough to have excuse for being bad at sex. Enough about me... what is going on in the news? We'll start off with a sweet story.
Ben Millar, an Irish man currently living in Houston, Texas, got generous tip from a patron who wants him to take his new family home for the holidays. According to Irish new source, Millar, an expectant father, was waiting on a man named Jeffrey at a restaurant when the two started talking about Irish rock band U2. Jeffrey told Ben he recently visited Ireland, and Ben responded that he wishes he could get home for a weekend to visit family, but "thought nothing of it." When he came to collect his check, Millar found this.

His immediate reaction? "Holy shit!" The picture of the receipt was shared on Facebook by Millar's girlfriend Taryn Keith, who is currently pregnant with their son, Killian. The baby is due January 20th, so Millar and Keith won't be able to make it to Ireland in time for Christmas, but are planning on visiting as soon as their son is old enough to fly. Keith told reporters, "I think it's a blessing and it couldn't have happened to a better guy than him. He works really hard. He's pretty stressed right now with money and the baby coming, so this just made his whole year. It's good to know that there are kind people in the world." Unfortunately the generous donor slipped away before Millar had the opportunity to thank him, but the couple is hoping that by sharing the story, Jeffrey will see how much his gesture meant to them.
When 16-year-old teen Rhett Butler asked for coffee on his Virgin Australia flight in May 2015, he didn't say "please pour it directly on my groin." And yet, that's where the coffee ended up. According to an AAP report in "The Guardian," the teen is now suing the airline after a hot cup of coffee slid off a defective tray table onto his lap, allegedly causing "burns, blisters and scarring to his thighs, groin, genitals and midriff." Owwwwwwwwch. The incident happened shortly after take off during a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, which is a long time to sit after getting your groin burned. The lawsuit also claims that the flight crew did nothing to help and Rhett's father, Brian Butler, ended up having to provide medical assistance to his son throughout the flight. "It was excruciating and probably the worst pain I have ever felt," Butler said in a statement issued by Shine Lawyers. "It hit my stomach, my groin and my legs. I ran to the toilet and dad immediately started putting cold water on the burns." A statement from the family's lawyer alleges that the wounds took three months to heal, "with the emotional scarring going well beyond the burns." Virgin Australia confirmed that the incident occurred and added that the matter "has not yet been resolved."Can poor Rhett Butler catch a break? First his parents name him Rhett Butler and then he gets hot coffee burns on his groin. On a positive note, as least there were no snakes on the plane.
Things are not going great for Kanye West lately... he acted bizarrely at a few recent shows on his "Saint Pablo" tour (I know, I know, Kanye acting weird? You don't say), including going on a rant about Jay Z and Beyoncé, and ultimately canceling the rest of the tour altogether. Then yesterday he was taken to the hospital on a 5150 psychiatric hold (involuntary hospitalization) after allegedly attempting to assault someone at the gym. But one good aspect of the whole 5150 thing is that, according to TMZ, it might end up saving the rapper millions of dollars he would otherwise owe to the venues for canceling. In fact, he might still get paid for the shows he's not performing. TMZ is reporting that West canceling those shows not only means he would lose the approximately $30 million from ticket sales, he would also owe money to the venues at which he was slated to perform. Except it turns out that West's insurance policy covers him if illness is the reason he's unable to perform. So if it's proven that "accident or illness... prevents any Insured Person from appearing or continuing to appear in any or all of the Insured Performance(s) or Event(s)," West will still get the money he would have made from the remainder of the tour, and he won't be on the hook to the venues. Interesting!
The staff of the Rufus T Firefly, a pub in Glasgow, Scotland, decided to have some fun at the expense of a guy who may not be a regular customer, but is certainly regular. After noticing that a certain well-dressed man would come in at least three days a week after work, head straight to the bathroom, and leave immediately while avoiding eye contact, manager Will Jamieson decided to reach out to him the only way he could: on the pub's chalkboard.

For anyone not familiar with Scottish euphemisms, a "wee jobby" means a bowel movement, which makes this guy's crime so much more heinous. But despite how harshly he called out this serial pooper, Jamieson insists that the sign was just a light-hearted gag. He told the "Morning Advertiser, "It was a joke at the expense of bad etiquette... There's no issue. If somebody needs to use the toilet then I'm not going to stop them. We thought we'd put it on the board, he'll see it but at the same time it doesn't give his identity away to anyone else. It was a wee joke to that one particular individual. We've never told anyone that they can't use the toilet." And Jamieson never intended the sign to go viral on the Internet, but of course it has. Someone unaffiliated with the pub shared an image on the popular Facebook page Scotland by the Roadside, where it has received more than 2,000 likes. It has also vastly elevated the Rufus T Firefly's online presence, as Jamieson explained, "In terms of our social media traffic it's blown up big time. The phone goes every five minutes with people following us on Twitter and Instagram, liking us on Facebook and checking in." This might be more bad news for the Wee Jobby Bandit. Will he keep frequenting the pub once there's a line for the bathroom? It seems like he doesn't like to wait.
WTF are Hatchimals, the toy every kid wants for the holidays that's selling out? Hatchimals are bird-type creatures you coax out of an egg and eventually train to talk and play games. It's only November, but they're already sold out. Let the panic begin. Aside from the egg and the fact that your kid won't know which one they're going to get until it has hatched, it's unclear how this is different that our Furbies of yore. Still, Hatchimals have already created an international panic as parents are finding out that the toy they need to get for Christmas is already sold out before Thanksgiving. Hatchimals makers Spin Master swears this isn't a publicity stunt. This pop-up is the first thing you'll see when you go to their site.

 Whether this is just a greedy ploy or an accident, if a Hatchimals was on your kid's list, you've only got two options: either put yourself on a waiting list and teach your kid the value of patience, or shove a Furby into a giant plastic Easter egg and hope for the best.
You know, most of my years on this planet people have made fun of my last name... Peverett. Well, seeing other people's names it could be a lot worse.

Smelley Phile does have a crazy ring to it though. That new Star Wars movie comes out soon and we know Darth Vader is gonna be in it, but did you know Boba Fett is as well? They look a little bit different in this one.

They look kinda cool. Shit, I haven't mentioned Trump yet. Did you know he has a new TV show coming out? Here's the ad for it...

Haha. Something bad happened at Trump Tower in New York City today...

Oh, man. So, last few entries I showed you some real Star Wars sex toys. Well, I have another to show you.

I thought it was a banana at first.

Hahaha. If you spot the Mindphuck let me know.

The 53rd book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Phile Alum and author Jim Korkis will be a guest on the Phile a week from Monday.

The 32nd artist to be pheatured on the Phile is name Merk and this is one of hos pieces...

That's so great! I have to find out if it on a t-shirt.

Today's Alum guest is the leader and founder of the band The Clarences and one of my favorite guests ever. Please welcome back to the Phile for my little birthday entry... Robert A. Medeiros.

Me: Hello, Robert, welcome back to the Phile. How have you been?

Robert: Howdy! Good to be back (or front or sideways)! Thanks for having me! All is okay! You?

Me: Hanging in there. Okay, so, it's not only the Phile's 10th anniversary but your band The Clarences' as well, right?

Robert: Happy Anniversary! What's the actual date?

Me: January 8th.

Robert: We turned 10 on April 23rd, 2016!

Me: I have been asking my Alum guests what they were doing ten years ago in 2006... so, what were you doing?

Robert: Waiting to do this 10th anniversary interview.....

Me: The Clarences started off as a full band but now it's just three of you. Do you like that better? Who are the two girls in the band, Robert?

Robert: The first 5 years, we were a full band. The last 5 years, it has been me, Erin Shannon, Leslie Outhier and my 1980s Casio keyboard. The last 5 years has been fun and so easy (it only takes 1 minute to setup for a performance)! This is in no way any disrespect to the band members I had in the first 5 years. I also have to give Krystal Willis props! She was the the first band member (just before Erin & Leslie joined) in the Casio era of The Clarences!

Me: I have to admit you're one of my favorite guests here as I never know what you're gonna say. Are you always like that?

Robert: Aww... thanks! Yes. No. Maybe. Or, like Mr. Hand said, "I DON'T KNOW."

Me: So, in the past I asked you where the name The Clarences came from and you said you weren't gonna say but it has something to do with Eddie Murphy. Well, I figured it out. It's from a sketch on "Saturday Night Live" where he was the "5th Beatle." Am I right? His name in that sketch was Clarence Walker. Ha! I think I cracked it.

Robert: Yes. You got it! Now I have to kill you.

Me: Ugh. Haha. So, The Clarences are still playing and doing shows, right?

Robert: Yes.

Me: How many songs in The Clarences set list are they?

Robert: Eighteen. Our songs are only a minute or so long.

Me: Do you still do the theme song to "The Great Space Coaster"?

Robert: No.

Me: When I did a months worth of entries dedicated to that show (because you suggested it) that was one of the most popular months ever. So, thank you!

Robert: Wow! Cool! Welcome! You made Gary Gnu very proud!

Me: What other shows did you watch as a kid, Robert?

Robert: "Super Friends," "3-2-1 Contact," "Zoom," "Doctor Who," "Captain Kangaroo," "The Muppet Show," "New Zoo Revue," "The Incredible Hulk," "Laff-A-Lympics," "The Blue Falcon & Dynomutt," "Kids Are People Too," "NFL On NBC," "The NFL Today" and the educational shows that would come on PBS from late morning to early afternoon on weekdays like "Thinkabout," etc...

Me: I know you're into wrestling quite a bit. Do you have a famous wrestler?

Robert: LOVE IT!! All-time: Rowdy Roddy Piper! Current: Enzo & Big Cass! Still watch "Monday Night Raw," "Smackdown Live" and "NXT" every week!

Me: And you're a big Kiss fan? Is that why you wear the eye make up?

Robert: Yes! Though, I'm not a fan of Kiss of the past 15 years with Cheater Criss aka Eric Singer & Fake Frehley aka Tommy Thayer! Nobody should be wearing Peter Criss & Ace Frehley's makeup except Peter and Ace! I am a huge fan of their 1973-1983 period. Yes, Kiss and wrestling has an influence on why I wear makeup onstage. Plus, I love the mystery of not knowing what somebody looks like... Kiss in the 70s, Darth Vader before the end of Return Of The Jedi, Boba Fett, Cobra Commander, Zoltar from "Battle Of The Planets" and the Zodiac Killer are examples of this!

Me: What's your favorite Kiss song or album?

Robert: "Torpedo Girl." "Music From The Elder."

Me: And you're a Cowboys fan... are you originally from Texas?

Robert: Yes! Since 1977! Nope!

Me: I'm a Giants fan, Robert. That's a big rivalry going on there. The Giants are a better team though, right? Hahahaha.

Robert: I know you are. How did you become a Giants fan?

Me: Because I grew up in New York.

Robert: Yuck!!!! Yes, the San Francisco Giants are a better team NOT the New York Giants!

Me: Bullshit. Hahaha. Okay, we have to talk about your radio show or podcast... Bob's Radio Cafeteria. How long have you been doing that show?

Robert: A few years.

Me: Which is it? Radio show or podcast?

Robert: Potato, potatoe. Quail, Dan Quayle.

Me: When I first started the Phile I didn't do interviews... it was only till two years after that I started to. You didn't start to do interviews on your show at first, right?

Robert: Left.

Me: Ummm... Out of all your interviews what one was your favorite? Y

Robert: Yeah, What One was definitely my fave! He was candid, fun and honest!

Me: Ha! How do you get in touch with the people you interview? How do you select them?

Robert: I am not allowed to touch any of them due to an ongoing lawsuit (and tie). I select them through a police lineup.

Me: Is there anyone you wish you could interview?

Robert: George Parasol, Ringo Stone and Paul McCharmly!

Me: Has anyone turned you down? I have been turned down for interviews quite a few times.

Robert: Just when I was listening to the radio. How dare anyone turn you down! Oh wait... didn't I turn you down every single time?!?

Me: Ha! So, what do you prefer to do the most? Play with The Clarences or the radio show?

Robert: Play with my toys with The Clarences, Bob's Radio Cafeteria & Bob's Video Cafeteria!

Me: Do you see any of them coming to an end?

Robert: Bob's Video Cafeteria will be ending with the next episode (#20)... the other 2... no. 

Me: Will The Clarences be recording any new music sometime?

Robert: Hopefully.

Me: Alright, so, where can a Phile reader listen to Bob's Radio Cafeteria, Robert?


Me: Go ahead and plug your websites and anything else you wanna plug. I hope this was fun and I hope you'll come back on the Phile again soon. Take care, Robert.

Robert:,, Instagram/theclarences. Thanks SO much, Peverett! You're a good egg, just a little hard boiled! Of course... we are at your service anytime! We appreciate the opportunity! The Peverett Phile rules!!!!

That about does it for this short but sweet entry. Thanks to Robert for being today's guest. The Phile will be back on Sunday with actor Ricky DiMaio. 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