Tweak Of The Week LXIV: Spiders and Snakes
(Updated 8 May 03)

Our challenge last week was for you to come up with a believable, far-fetched Urban Legend of your own. Sit down and pull up a chair...as if you aren't already...this might take a little while.

Did you know, even when you've hung up the receiver, the government can tap your phone and hear what you're saying in the room? It's true. And they have these huge supercomputers filling up the entire basement of the Pentagon that just listen for key phrases that people say near telephones. You think it was just bad luck you got audited by the IRS last year? (kirstennetsrik@yahoo.com)

Emmanuel Lewis, better known as TV's Webster, has never acquired a driver's license. By the time he was of legal age, the money he had earned from his time as a TV star had already been spent by his family and his agent. He could no longer get roles as an anonymous background performer because of his identification with the role that made him famous and he struggled finding a career that would let him work and take time for auditions. Since he could not afford the modifications necessary to a car that would allow for him to drive properly, he chooses public transportation instead. Often he will be seen riding the bus around LA. There is no word on whether he still gets away with paying the reduced "Youth" rates, though. (atwright73@yahoo.com)

It recently came out in industry sources that Katie Holmes was being considered for the female lead in the film version of "Phantom of the Opera," but was rejected because the director said he was looking for "a younger actress." It turns out that the reason for this is that the director is Roman Polanski. (MooseSpeak@earthlink.net)

I am writing this as a warning to all who read it. This is a true story and I hope you all will learn something from it. For those of you out there who like to smoke pot PLEASE READ! My friend used to be a pot head when she was younger and of course, just like everyone else, she used to get the munchies all the time. The one thing I noticed about most people who smoke pot is they are not real fat in spite of the fact that they eat mass quantities when high. Not all, but most. She used to eat and eat. So did all her pot smoking friends. One day she got bad cramps and she went to the bathroom. She noticed in the toilet there were things moving. She got closer to get a better look and was horrified when she saw many if these things and they had eyes and legs and little mouths! They also had huge bellies for their size! She screamed and her Mom took her to the ER at the local hospital. They had to do emergency surgery and they found hundreds of these things inside her! They were eating the food she ate before it could be absorbed and that is why she did not gain weight! What has this to do with smoking pot you say? Well, it turns out that all of her friends had these things inside them too! And the source of the little creatures was the pot itself! Eggs got into the mouths of the people who smoke it and hatched in the bellies of whoever smoked it! They are parasites! That is why when most people get the munchies they do not gain weight! Please! Do not smoke any more! When people quit, the creatures die off by themselves, but the more you smoke the more of them you will get!!!! (jeanjeanbsmyth@aol.com)

Everybody knows about the cloned sheep, Dolly, from Scotland. The controversial story made headline history for months, as people debated the morality of cloning another living being. A little known fact (as the media was shunned an exclusive), was the failed attempt at the fateful Dolly. From what I hear, and the source is fairly reliable, there is a farm deep in the hills of Scotland, where you can view the Dolly "oop's". Some of the sheep you can see there is creatures like Molly/Colly, Siamese twin sheep that have one body and two heads. This is the farm's least favorite for the simple fact that there is more to clean up after feeding time. Among the favorites though is Polly, the fur ball. Polly DNA I guess really messed up. She resembles a cotton ball with eyes. From what I hear the way she gets around is by rolling along her pen. I am currently looking for a way to travel over there and see these Dolly "firsts" for myself. I hope it's like a petting zoo. (geko1422@aol.com)

Although it is not well known, Michael Jackson has great psychic powers. In fact, he has known of the coming of SARS for several years, even before the first world outbreak. It is the main reason for his wearing of a surgical mask. Many believe that in future times he will be considered a great prophet (rather than the loss he is seen as today), and more widely quoted than Nostradamus. (Baitsmotel6@aol.com)

The Runner-Up...who wins an origami creation of their choice (within reason)...

Short on the Short List: As part of yet another hoax fueled by executives at the Fox Network (the folks who brought you "Joe Millionaire" and the 2000 Presidential election), comedian and man-of-many-disguises, Martin Short, has reached the final four in this year's American Idol contest in the role of his new character, pop singer "Clay Aiken". Short has apparently admitted that "Aiken" is only a single imaginative step from his only truly successful character, Ed Grimley, who enjoyed a brief albeit hectic run on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s. The dance, the facial expressions remain essentially the same, and Short has been allowed the opportunity to showcase his talents as a cabaret singer without the burden of his manifestly ignored Jiminy Glick association. Judge Simon Cowell is expected to reveal the hoax on the show next week, assuring the victory of tone-deaf Marine Josh Gracin (to the delight of Fox's conservative management) and no doubt shocking Judge Paula Abdul, who, according to sources "hasn't caught on yet". (williemelmoth@aol.com)

The winner of that Master Baster BBQ kit:

Yeah, we've all heard that story about Jayne and Tina (Gilligan's Island), but here's a related one you may not be aware of. Actress Dawn Wells, who played the sweet Mary Ann on the same island, later went on to do porno flicks to boost her sagging career. When this failed to garner the attention she had hoped for, she decided to pull a reverse Marilyn Chambers. You remember Ms. Chambers, who started off as the cherubic figure on the box of Ivory Snow and then went on to star in the X-Rated classic, "Behind the Green Door"? Well, Ms Wells signed on to do a spot for a new dishwashing liquid to be called "Squeaky Clean". The commercial had been filmed and was all set for release when the manufacturer got wind of "Mary Ann's" porno activities. The ad was immediately cancelled. When Ms. Wells found out, she became furious and threatened to sue. A compromise was reached in which, in exchange for squelching the campaign, the makers agreed to rename the product. Thus was born the new dishwashing detergent; "Dawn". (HerzogVon@aol.com)


You are in luck this time around...we have two...count them 2, prizes. One has been graciously provided to us by TFW38Promotions.com, the other we've had lying around the house for a while. The first being a sampler CD of the band, simple plan...the latter being a drink hugger thing. But it's no ordinary drink hugger thing, it's one that you pop in the freezer before use...it has this lining with a freezer substance in it (which I am sure is toxic, so don't do anything stupid with it)...which keeps your drink cold for probably an unknown amount of time. It looks to be marketed by a manufacturer known as "The Fridge"...and you can rest assured this must keep it cold, as it was made by our northern friends, Canada. These two fabulous prizes can be yours if you win this week's Tweak.


The Name Game

This week's contest hopefully will inspire you to look around at the obvious and not-so-obvious and put them together to make an entry. What we learned from the last Tweak's prize is that a product's name, in this case, "Master Baster", can indeed sell a product...even if that product is not anything anyone wanted...hey, I bought it, afterall. And because SSJskittle2@aol.com came up with the idea, they win an origami creation of their choice (within reason) for doing just that. So, we invite you to put on your best marketing genius caps and invent a product, or take an already existing one...and come up with a (new) name for it...which just might be pure marketing gold. That's it. So look around the house, watch a lot of commercials, etc., and come up with catchy product names to sell mundane stuff. Here are a couple examples below to give you an idea of what we are looking for.

A window washing device that contacts dead relatives: The Squeegee Board (provided by SSJskittle2)

That basting brush/container prize we just gave away: The Master Baster (theirs)

McCormick Spices: Dill Whole Weed (mine)