The ATC Report

"In Control" - Vol. IX, No. 8

A couple of columns ago we ran a little contest which even included a minor prize for winning. The prize was an autographed copy of the column that announced the contest. We knew that the prize wasn't much, but we were serious about it. We actually would have mailed it to the winner. It's sitting on Dave's desk as you read this, waiting to be sent.

But TARflies, we have a problem. It seems that the winner must not have actually wanted the prize. We notified them that they had won, and asked them to provide an address so we could mail them their prize. No response. We waited a week or so, and sent another message asking for an address so we could send out the prize. Again, no response. We're assuming that they must have gotten worried when we asked for an address and thought we were planning to show up and raid their refrigerator, or something.

So anyhow, we still have an unclaimed prize. Maybe you might like it. That's right - you over there. No, not you. The one next to you. That's right - the one with the hair, and wearing what appear to be...clothes. Interested in finding out how you could still win an autographed copy of ‘In Control - Vol. IX, No. 5'? Well, we're going to tell you.

Throughout this season, we have been including little ‘bonuses' in some of our pictures and graphics. Look at the picture below. We were going to use it last issue and claim that it was a picture of Fran's driveway, but decided against it for one reason or another. Anyhow, look at it pretty closely:

Can you spot the "It's Ray's Fault" button? How about the actual picture of Ray - do you see it? They are both there. Here, we'll show you:

There they are! The wheel on the car in the upper right has been replaced by a very tiny image of this:

And down in the bottom center of the picture is the ghostly image of Ray, which is actually this (only very washed out):

Hey - we know it's a scary picture, but would you rather we used this?

So anyhow, we've been including that button and that face (Ray's face, not Dick Brennan's) in some of our pictures and graphics this year. To win the autographed copy of the previous column...PLUS your choice of an autographed copy of any other column that we have written for TARflies (ever), just tell us how many times the button and the face have shown up this year in our columns - including this one. We'll even get you started - the button has shown up 3 times in this column, and the face has also shown up 3 times (so far). As for what's in (or not in) the other columns, that's up to you to figure out.

To win, you just need to PM Dave with your answer. Remember to include your count for both objects (i.e. - 3 faces and 4 buttons). You only get one guess. The earliest correct guess wins both prizes. If no one gets it exactly right, after a week (or whenever we feel like ending it), the person who is closest to the correct numbers will win. Oh - for what it's worth, the only person ineligible to win is the person who didn't claim the prize originally. We won't mention any names, because they know who they are and their shame will haunt them for the rest of their life (or next Wednesday, whichever comes first). ((Not that we know much about anyone who might have a rare but always fatal medical condition or anything.))

As for the race, gee - what a surprise, a non-elimination leg. The really weird thing is that this was almost like the Bizarro Amazing Race leg. Stop and think about it:

Jeremy and Eric - have won 4 of 6 previous legs without really trying. Managed to get lost several times this leg, misread a map, lost ground by taking a short cut, and barely avoided finishing in last.

BJ and Tyler - until this leg these two have been the most bizarre pair of racers, period. Of course, in this leg they became serious.

Joseph and Monica - Sorry, taking shots at her is just like shooting fish in a barrel. We bet they have ugly kids someday.

Fran and Barry - have previously never finished higher than 4th, and have walked past clue boxes without seeing them. This leg they actually finished first, made good choices throughout the leg, spotted signs and clues on the first try, and are really starting to get Steve and Dave worried about picking them to finish out of the top 3.

Ray and Yolanda - prior to this leg the only things we had ever heard Ray say were, "huh?", "yea", "ah shit", and "pass the mustard". (This excludes the entire second leg, in which Ray sang ‘Stairway to Heaven' throughout - but our sources tell us the singing was due to the fact that Ray had scored 3 grams of pure Brazilian coke at the pit stop. You know, that reminds us of a joke. It seems that last Tuesday, Dubya Bush was getting the daily briefing from his staff. Most of it was routine, and the last person to brief the President was Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. Rummy stood and said, "Mr. President, yesterday there were three Brazilian soldiers killed in Iraq." Upon hearing this Dubya turned quite pale and was visibly shaken. Rummy said, "Mr. President, I don't understand - why are you so upset by this news?" Dubya responded by asking, "could someone please tell me exactly how many zeros come after the one in a Brazilian?" Thank you, thank you. We're here all week.)

You know what? There's nothing more to be said about last episode of the race that you don't already know. Let's poke more fun at Dubya. Here's some more weights and measures, from "Weights and Measures for Dummies Dubyas":

  • Time between slipping on a fruit peel and smacking the pavement = One bananosecond
  • Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line
  • 2000 Mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds
  • 1000 milliliters of wet socks = 1 literhosen
  • 2 monograms = 1 diagram
  • Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
  • Half a large intestine = 1 semicolon
  • 1,000,000 aches = 1 megahurtz
  • 2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 IV league
  • 1 kilogram of falling figs = I fig Newton
  • 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
  • 1 million-million microphones = 1 megaphone
  • 4 nickels = 1 paradigm

Hey - he's our President (even though we didn't vote for him). We're allowed to make fun of him. None of you Canadians had better be laughing though.

(So now you're wondering - hey, why did they put that picture there? They've never put a picture there before. Maybe there's a face or a button in it! Maybe.)