William Walker: Not THAT Kind of Filibuster

“Wait, who’s our president?  What?”

~Residents of Nicaragua in the 1850s

 william walker

Not all Americans were heroes, and not all Americans who did things that initially come off as badass were actually badass.  What we’re trying to say is, there’s a lot of Manifest Destiny stuff that went down in the 1800s that doesn’t exactly sit well with history that many of us might not be aware of, but it is possible to at least talk about the impressive brazenness behind certain actions without condoning them.

For example—did you know that an American was briefly president of Nicaragua for about a year in the 1850s?  That’s pretty interesting, isn’t it?  Oh, what’s that?  Uh, why did that happen?  Oh, well….heeeeeee sort of wanted to take over most of Central America and turn it into a slave state affiliated with the American South.  So.  Yeah.  Not the greatest reason.  But still, interesting!  Let’s talk about it!

William Walker:  Not THAT Kind of Filibuster

william walker 2 Continue reading

Pizza Puff: Your New Favorite Fried Pizza Product

“I don’t care how it came to be, just gimme gimme gimme!”

~The Average American’s First Response to Hearing of the Existence of Pizza Puffs

pizza puff

America is a pretty big country, all things considered, and we’re not just talking about geographically.  Different areas have noticeably different cultures—you could probably find more differences between a small town in Texas and a co-op in Portland than you’d find between separate European nations that don’t even speak the same language.  This size and diversity makes road trips awesome, while also ensuring that no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to find and taste every single delicious local food concoction.  Think about it—there is, right now, some awesome, underground food invention in your very hometown or city that you haven’t even heard of yet.  Now just imagine that on a nationwide scale.  Every city in America has a type of food that is unique to them, and the only thing that takes away from the joy we find in that knowledge is the fact that most of America goes their lives not knowing that their new favorite food is out there somewhere.

We bring this up because we’re going to tell you about one of those local treats—the pizza puff.  Made in Chicago, but really only known to the Chicagoans who often frequent run down hot dog stands (so, you know, pretty much every Chicagoan) there’s not much history surrounding it, apart from the fact that it’s absurdly delicious, recklessly unhealthy, and, well, it’s basically like a deep fried pizza pocket, and if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, close this browser, turn off your computer, and drown yourself in a river, because you’re doing life wrong.

For those of you still dry and alive, however, let’s talk about pizza puffs.

Pizza Puff:  Your New Favorite Fried Pizza Product

more pizza puffs

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St. Louis: America’s Weirdest Culinary City

“…The hell is wrong with your taste buds?”

~AFFotD’s Resident Food Critic

st louis pizza oh dear

St. Louis.  We don’t ever really know how to talk about the second largest city in the state of Missouri.  For a time in the 1800s, it appeared that St. Louis, and not Chicago, would grow into the main population center of the Midwest, but the city’s leaders actively fought against the proliferation of railroads and greatly stunted its growth during the largest population boon the area would ever see.  Still, it’s by no means a small town—while the population of 300,000 ranks it as the 58th largest city in the nation, the whole metro area has nearly three million residents, good enough for the 19th largest market in the nation.  Hell, they’re big enough to warrant a good hockey team, a usually not that good football team, and a baseball team filled with the most frustratingly smug fans in all of the nation.  They’re a real city, and honestly it’s kind of condescending of us to spend so much effort trying to bring that point home.

St. Louis has culture, is what we’re saying—you could probably argue that they have more regionally specific cultural touchstones than most similarly sized cities, but that might be us giving the Arch too much credit.  And where there is culture, there is food.  And in St. Louis’s case, where there’s food…well, things get weird.  We’ve talked about it before in passing, but we’re going to go into some more detail for you, because so far, in our extensive search for weird food in America, St. Louis has the title of…

St. Louis:  America’s Weirdest Culinary City

meat and bbq Continue reading

AFFotD Website Review: archure.net

“I have noticed that modern trends in psychology tend to favor the Bonobo culture with Bonoboism; so myself being sexually straight, I thought perhaps I should revert to Gorillism, till I found out they are sometimes bi also.  So I will stick with being human, a straight human, one of the 75% and proud.”

~ “ARCHURE aka Chris Holley, a one man band” (no, seriously, he said that)

archure header

Strap in, folks, today’s fun fact is going to be a weird one.  Through means that we’d never be able to soberly duplicate even if we tried (this is what happens when you blackout surf the internet) we stumbled across the website for ARCHURE, who, despite what you might think, is actually a musician and not some sort of weird strange wannabe new age cultist.  Sure in his rambling, strange, made-in-1992-looking website, he manages to include dozens of links for his…music (which involves weird synchs and a generally jarringly slow pace-he claims his favorite instruments are drums and guitars but he infers he’s playing all of the instruments in the tracks, which might explain why they sound so…special) but, unlike any musician’s webpage ever ever ever, his site has devolved into a terrifying mix of militant vegetarian articles (never a way to get on our good side), strange psychological and anthropological treaties, and like a million decrees that he is not gay ARCHURE IS NOT GAY SO PLEASE STOP ASKING!

So we’re going to do an AFFotD review of archure.net’s “Sex Facts” pages (yes there are two pages) (yes they are long enough to warrant a whole website review) (yes, for the last time, this is the promotional website of a musician, please stop asking the answer will not change no matter how much you want it to) to help show you the ways that ARCHURE wants to expand your mind through more than his music.  And by the way, he is single, SINGLE AND STRAIGHT SEE FOR YOURSELF ON PLENTY OF FISH AND OKCUPID HE’S GOT BOTH ACCOUNTS LISTED ON HIS SITE BECAUSE HE IS A STRAIGHT MALE

archure is not gay

If you’re curious, the word “hetero” is hyperlinked to the Wikipedia page for Heterosexuality.

ARCHURE.  IS.  NOT.  GAY.

(ARCHURE is probably gay)

AFFotD Website Review:  archure.net (ARCHURE is not gay, though he has gay friends, nothing wrong with that)

archure Continue reading

The Most Surprising Hard Rock Café Locations in the World

“I will get a Hard Rock Café shirt from EVERY location!”

~The Saddest World Traveler in the World

hard rock cafe

Hard Rock Café is a music theme restaurant chain founded in London by two Americans, which was then purchased by the Seminole Tribe of Florida in 2007 and is currently headquartered in Orlando, Florida.  It’s a relatively friendly and tourist-dominated place that you’ve very probably visited at some point in your life, though if you said you could remember what kind of food they had there you’d be lying.  It’s known for having a shitload of music memorabilia (all together, they’re responsible for the largest collection of that in the world) and for the fact that old people seem to love to buy shirts to show what cities with a Hard Rock they’ve been to.

We think that Hard Rock Café is fascinating, but not for the reasons you’d suspect.  Tricking people into overpaying for decent generic food through gimmicks is, while extremely American, not something that we find particularly novel or new.  We’ve all eaten at a TGI Fridays, after all.  No, the fascinating part of Hard Rock is that, though it was founded in England, it’s really an American export that’s happened to establish locations in a frankly surprising number of countries.  No, seriously, there are 191 Hard Rock locations (if you include hotels and casinos) in over 59 countries.  That’s insane!  So, we figured we should go through the list of locations and tell you about some of the weirdest one, because we know that when you go to exotic and strange locations, you really want to sit down and eat a whatever the fuck Hard Rock sells while looking at a guitar Elvis played for a few weeks during some practice session in 1962.

The Most Surprising Hard Rock Café Locations in the World

hard rock guitar Continue reading

AFFotd Website Review: duanethegreatwriter.info

“Um…?”

~Everyone Reading a Book by DUANE THE GREAT WRITER

duane the great writer

Listen, guys, we don’t know how to tackle this topic.  We’re just going to get that out of the way.  We discovered a series of books online written by someone called, in all caps, and this is not a joke, DUANE THE GREAT WRITER.  He has written 48 fucking books that you can read on Google Books, and he might be a serial killer?  There are books such as “THE REALHISTORY OF THE REALGUIDES” and “REBAZAR TARZS PRESENTS THE NUMAN” and, also, “KING ARTHER & THE KNIGHTS” which, um, what?  We originally wanted to do a book review, but that would involve reading all this batshit insanity, so we thought it might be safer to do a website review of his personal site, www.duanethegreatwriter.info.  We figured that would be the easiest way to approach this situation, but we’ve still got no idea what the hell is going on here.  This is pure concentrated crazy like you can only find on the internet.

We’re going to try to tell you what this guy’s about based on what we can find on his site, but we’re not optimistic that we can come up with anything coherent.  No, seriously, this is the kind of shit we’ve been staring at all day.

all will be consumed

Save us.

AFFotd Website Review:  duanethegreatwriter.info

more like all is GONE

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The Most Awkward Three Stooges Films

“Why I oughta!”

~You-Know-Who

 three stooges

Most of America (and, let’s be honest, statistically all of America’s men) love The Three Stooges and have for as long as “pointless violence without consequence” has been inexplicably hilarious for about 65% of the population.  The vaudeville slapstick act was around from 1930 to 1975, though they’re best remembered for their now-syndicated short films featuring Larry, Moe and Curly from 1934 to 1947 (as well as the Larry, Moe and Shemp films that ran from 1947 to 1956 that we were always secretly disappointed to watch when they came on).  Oh, there also was that Farrelly brothers movie version, which, um, well let’s just pretend that didn’t happen.

Many American childhoods have been spent watching three grown men beating on each other for no particular reason apart from “you said something dumb” or “you just asked me to hit your fist, which I will do, even though it will cause that fist to windmill around and bonk me on the head.”  And while we have every right to celebrate them for all that they have done, including but not limited to filming the funniest use of eye gouging on film (followed in a distant, distant, distant second place by Game of Thrones), today we’re going to recognize that some of their films, largely through fault of their titles, and largely through the fact that these were being churned out with no regard for “a story that makes sense”, have aged somewhat awkwardly.  Admittedly, no one remembers the names of any Three Stooges short, or even the plot of any individual one—our collective understanding of The Stooges begins and ends at “Moe is the boss, Curly makes the funny noises, and we guess Larry does stuff too sometimes.”   That said, while thin in premise and generally serving as lazy ways to justify twenty minutes of the Stooges beating the shit out of each other, when you actually sit down and read the titles out loud, or simply stumble through a plot synopsis, a reader in 2015 might awkwardly tug at their collar and make a noise not much different than one Curly would make.  So, we decided to look through the 190 shorts they managed to make in their career and cherry pick ones that we found to be especially uncomfortable-slash-hilarious.  We’ve naturally listed them below for your reading pleasure.

The Most Awkward Three Stooges Films

 three little beers three stooges Continue reading

The American Life of Smedley D. Butler

“No.  Seriously.  I won’t lose.”

~Smedley Butler Playing a Game of Bullshit

smedley butler

We recently wrote an article that focused on the Medal of Honor—mainly, how the military’s highest honor, now given only to acts of almost impossible levels of valor, was sort of tossed around pretty willy-nilly in the years after the Civil War and before World War I.  In that discussion, we briefly mentioned a U.S. Marine named Smedley Butler, who straight up tried to turn down his first Medal of Honor (yes, he was later awarded a second one) because he didn’t think he deserved it.  We then came to realize that Smedley Butler, a badass with a kind of funny first name, isn’t really well known to the casual American—hell, we had only sort of stumbled across his career by accident.

And that’s some bullshit, because Smedley Butler died as the most highly decorated Marine in U.S. history, and served 34 years where he managed to collect medals, tropical diseases, and tactics for tricking the enemy like it was his job.  Well, it sort of was his job, he was a marine, but you get the picture.

So allow us to spend three thousand words or so gushing about Smedley Butler, The Fighting Quaker.

butler and his dogs

Ha ha, holy shit, this picture.

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The Greatest Culinary Crimes Perpetrated by the British

I’m sorry, there’s no one here with that job title.”

~AFFotD’s Cultural Sensitivity Officer

british flag

America has always had an uncomfortable relationship with England, sort of like a second husband trying to be polite to his wife’s ex when he comes by to take his kid for the weekend.  Like, we’re friendly enough, but deep down we kind of suspect they resent us for taking what they once had.  We don’t say this to make any larger point about England and America, or even their alliance and history throughout the years, because nothing about this post is going to be diplomatic, smart, or even particularly well-informed.  We’re here to make fun of British food.

We talk about food a lot here, and for good reason—America is a land of delicious and largely unhealthy delicacies, and frankly we think it’s a little rude for you to respond to our eager descriptions of insane fried foods with something like, “Dear God, according to your cholesterol levels you should be dead,” Doctor Fredricks.  And we make fun of other countries a lot here, because we think America is the greatest and we kind of get defensive when people imply otherwise.  Oh that’s great, Switzerland, your country is the happiest in the world, well fuck off we have nukes and guns we’re better than you FOOTBALLLLLL.

Ahem.

More to the point, considering how often we talk about American food in all its wondrous incarnations, it’s important to remind ourselves that light cannot exist without darkness.  American food is the light.  British food is…well there’s a reason we make fun of British food.  This is the reason.  These foods are the reasons.

The Greatest Culinary Crimes Perpetrated by the British

munchy box Continue reading

American Sandwich Series: Sandwiches Oddities of America (Savory Division)

“What’s that?  This is the last one?  The no more sandwich articles?  FREEDOM!  FREEDOM!”

~AFFotD’s Recently Over-Taxed Research Department

the last sandwich

Several weeks ago we embarked on a dangerous mission—to write about every kind of American sandwich that we hadn’t previously covered in our four-part Submarine Sandwiches of America series from over a year ago.  Some thought it couldn’t be done.  Some resigned in outrage.  The rest of us got drunk and decided, “Fuck it, we’ll probably miss a few sandwiches, but whatever” and got to writing.  Since then we’ve talked about American classics, regional favorites, and way more open faced sandwiches than we expected to have to cover when we shruggingly decided to count random piles of shit on a single piece of bread as a sandwich.  But we’ve finally come to an end to our journey, and we’re going to take things out the only way we know how.

By telling you about extremely strange sandwiches that have been created by America’s culinary know-how and disregard for convention.  Well, not like last time when we talked about sweet ones.  This here’s the savory division, y’all.

American Sandwich Series:  Sandwiches Oddities of America (Savory Division)

big ass sammich Continue reading