Stories

Niche Propaganda

Cool Things About Boat Ownership

by: The Big Snake & Mick Murton

Here is just a quick list we figured we should whip up just to highlight few of the many perks that come with owning a boat.

1. Word Play

The word “ownership” contains the word “ship”, which just so happens to be what you own. Pretty neat, huh?

2. Cool Hats

With head-wear like that, you’d double down on the thumbs up too!

As a boat owner, you can call yourself “captain” and wear one of those hats that only real captains and live acts like “The Village People” have the luxury of wearing.

3. The Christening

Just look at the serenity in the faces of these bottle-smashing party animals.

Always wanted a low-risk way to smash a champagne bottle, but never had a Jewish wedding? As a boat owner, it’s not just OK to smash a champagne bottle over your boat, but actually smiled upon as a rich tradition of boat ownership. Smash away!

4. Floating on Top of Yummy Food

Your boat might as well be perched on top of this delicious fish pile.

Try parking your stupid land vehicle on the side of the freeway and casting out a line. The only thing you’ll catch is a whole lot of guff from the state police. In a boat? A fish so fresh you’ll just want to bite right into it. Like an apple.

5. Conquest

You know what these little islands are missing? You living on one of them and not paying your taxes.

Your new boat has the power to take you to one of those little islands in the middle of your nearest river, which you may then claim as your own. I don’t know how legal this is, but who’s going to stop you?

6. Tuna Boat Inception

Shout out to the makers of “Gimp”, the FREE photo editing program which allowed The Big Snake to create this shitty picture of three guys holding a big tuna sandwich.

A tuna boat is a type of boat used to catch wild tuna. A tuna boat is also a kind of tuna sandwich served in a hot dog roll. You can pack a cooler full of these bad boys and bring them on your tuna boat, then eat a tuna boat on a tuna boat.

8. The Houseboat

The phrase “Now you’re cookin’ with gas!” should be changed to “Now you’re livin’ on a house boat!”

If you have a houseboat (or as we call them, a true boat), your backyard is a body of water as untamed and free flowing as your restless heart. Now un-dock that beauty, and enjoy a lifetime of floating down the mighty Mississippi to the sound of your own trumpet playing.

Petty Scams

The Big Snake’s Guide to Getting Free Shit

by: The Big Snake

I sat down about a month ago and thought to myself…. when was the last time I heard “Hey bud, this one’s on the house!” And I’ll be damned, I couldn’t recall! I also couldn’t recall if I have ever actually heard that before, or if it was just said on a re-run of Cheers playing in the background of a bar where I was already very drunk.

Semantics aside, there isn’t a soul on this earth that doesn’t long to hear those words at least once in awhile. Whether it be at your favorite bar, coffee shop, or used tire shop, those few simple words make you feel like dropping your hard earned coin there is noted and appreciated. In these “hard” economic times however, fewer and fewer establishments are willing to hand out a freebie. It’s like everyone has gone stingy on us hard working folks who are just trying to live ever-so-slightly above our means. What are we to do? Ol’ Snake has a solution…. Email corporate.

Now before you say anything, I understand this tactic will not work at one of your local mom and pop stores. That’s fine. My goal is to help you supplement your daily intake of whatever this consumable item is by cutting it with the corporate version. This way you can maximize your supply with minimal funding, like a drug dealer does. It’s gonna take work though.

First let’s talk about the history of “emailing corporate”. Long a tactic employed by perpetually unsatisfied white-couples and people who are angry about something else, emailing corporate will usually get you something you want. Whether that be an apology you DO NOT deserve or a coupon for your next drink half-off, they will respond with something for you. This “I’m angry at your staff” technique, however, gets you something at the expense of the poor people who have to work in a corporate hell-hole for a pittance. It also makes you look like a total asshole (but you wouldn’t care, because you are). While being really angry is an easy way to get what you want, my new and improved technique will get you what you want through other means: Being complimentary.

As a result of the behavior discussed in the previous paragraphs, corporations now almost always have a dedicated staff of human punching bags just to handle the deluge of angry complaints from retirees across the country. In a sea of unreasonable complaints riddled with grammatical errors and pending lawsuits your nice email is going to stick out like that balding, chubby Bee-Gee next to his handsome brothers with the beautifully feathered hair (see bottom for illustrated example). I like to call this the ‘Ugly Gibbs Brother” effect.

Don’t be afraid to really heap it on too, check out my example in an email sent to convenience store chain, Cumberland Farms:

Wow, now that is some high praise. Notice how I added in a few factors here to make this email really shine. One, I made it abundantly clear that it was my birthday. Two, I asked for way more than they could have possibly given me.

If you think requesting an entire film crew was a bit too much…. you would be right, because they responded with this:

 

 

Alright, fair enough Cumberland Farms. In retrospect this was my fault for painting myself as a lonely sad-sack who wrote a convenience store chain just to let them know his birthday plan was to go to a bunch of their locations by himself. While demanding a film crew.

This initial response did not phase me however, I wanted those free hot-dogs and/or coffees. Bad. So I decided to play into the pitiful role I had already laid out with this:

 

**ADDRESS CHANGED TO PROTECT MY PRIVACY, ALTHOUGH I DO FREQUENT THIS DENNY’S** 

This follow up email did two things for me. Firstly, it affirmed to the customer service center that my first email was not just a silly prank. I was serious about this birthday gas station tour, the film crew, the whole lot of it. Second, it heaped even more pity on top of an already unbearably pitiful story. The body of that text might as well read “Please respond to my email Cumberland farms, you are literally all I have…”

Then the magic happens:

 

 

Thank you, Maureen, for saving my birthday!

Finally, I have my prize. Two coupons for a free beverage worth 99 cents or less (retail value) and it only took seven days, four emails, and hours of planning my next move. Next time someone asks me how much my time is worth, I’m going to say “One dollar and ninety-eight cents, plus tax.” without hesitation. And so should you.

This is not an exact science, but more of an art, as you can see. So if you have any trouble with getting your free drink coupons feel free to contact me directly for guidance. Or if you represent a company that would like to send me free drink coupons, you can contact me as well. Just remember to never give up, not until you have claimed what is rightfully yours. As promised earlier, I will leave you with a little picture to help you remember my “Ugly Gibbs Brother Effect” Thank you.

 

Victorian England News

The Royal Flush

A story addressing current events from almost 200 years ago, by Mick Murton

The date was June 5th, 1867. It was a foggy Wednesday afternoon in Victorian London. All throughout the streets you could see the usual assortment of tea-sipping dandies and meat salesmen going about their daily business while the women rolled expensive cigars for railroad tycoons- all in all, nothing out of the ordinary. At London Harbor, however, something unusual awaited.

Offshore in the harbor, large curtains covered an area that had been restricted from the public eye. For months workers labored- welding, tightening bolts, pouring concrete, fitting pipes, and doing all sorts of work that left the people of London wondering just what in the blazes was going on. Lately, thick black clouds of smoke and puffs of steam started erupting from behind the curtains, and the sound of running water could be heard. Was it another ship? Nobody knew, but today they would find out.

On the shore, a viewing area had been set up. Ordinary people stood, staring in awe, wondering what could be happening beneath the massive curtained area. They were promised to be shown a feat of engineering unlike anything they had ever seen, and it was certainly a big deal- rising above the crowd was a grandstand filled with high class socialites, nobles, even members of the Royal Family and Queen Victoria herself. This was a crowd that could not have been gathered except for one purpose- to view the latest engineering feat of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a man famous throughout the British Empire as one of its greatest engineers. After the launch of the Great Eastern- an oceangoing steamship deemed impractical due to its sheer massive size- Isambard had disappeared for a few years, but today he returned to unveil what he claimed to be his greatest work ever. Most historical accounts state that Brunel had died shortly after the launch of this ship due to stress related illness, but the truth is far stranger.

On a stage just outside of the restricted area, built just for this event, he stood waiting. At 2:00 sharp, he stood tall and cleared his throat. All eyes were upon him. “Behold,” he began, “my greatest creation of all time!” He walked over to a decorative rope and gave it a tug…

———————————————————————————————————–

July 4th, 1864. Brunel, in his workshop, dips his fountain pen into an inkwell and begins maniacally scribbling out more designs. His assistant, William Livingston Murton- a relative of mine- watches dumbfounded. He picks up a discarded sheet of paper and attempts to interpret the madly scribbled technical drawing.

“What’sis, guv?” asks William. Brunel stops scribbling, startled. A single bead of sweat drips down his forehead. Heart racing, he takes his handkerchief and wipes his brow.

“Schematics, William. We’ve gone over this.”

“But this don’t look much like a ship, Izzy.” William squints and turns the paper a few ways.

“It’s not a ship!” Brunel roars, slamming his work desk with both fists. The inkwell jumps, splashing drops of ink on an unused section of the paper. He pauses to be sure that the ink isn’t going to spread, then resumes his drawing.
“What is it, then?”
“My greatest work yet, William. Something so large, so powerful… By the beard of Thor, the world has never seen anything like it!”
“Looks like a swimming pool, innit?” Brunel chuckled.

“No no no, my dear boy. What you see here is no pool. I have a plan to build something of such great utility that every city in the world will be clamoring to buy one from me!”

William simply stood there, mouth agape.

“Aren’t you going to ask what it is?”

“A machine that lets people talk to one another across long distances?” asked William. Brunel shook his head.

“Stupid boy, such a thing would never work. This is going to be the world’s largest toilet!” He grabbed a series of rolled up documents from a holder behind him and rolled them out before his assistant.

“How powerful is it, guv?”
“Powerful enough to change the world,” said Brunel. “And I have to finish it soon, before that fool Robert Stephenson finishes his.” (In truth, Robert Stephenson had no plans to build such a thing.)
“Yours will be bigger?”
“Yes,” Brunel stated confidently. “If I know Stephenson, he will be using locomotive engines. We’re using something much more powerful.”

“Oxen, guv?”
“What in the blazes are you- No William, steamship engines! By the Crown of Britannia, what do I keep you around for?” William had no answer for that.

————————————————————————————————————–

Back in the present day, Isambard Kingdom Brunel gave the rope hanging from his cordoned-off work area a strong pull. “Behold!” he roared, as the curtains dropped off from around his greatest work yet. The crowd gasped in awe.

“Good heavens!” a nobleman declared, his monocle falling to the ground. His wife fainted in her seat next to him.

In the front row, a commoner leaned in to the man next to him. “It looks like a big ol’ toilet, innit?” And indeed it was- standing at over 300 meters tall and made of steel reinforced concrete, this was in fact the largest and most powerful toilet ever built.

Thick black smoke poured from smokestacks in the boiler column behind the toilet. Having been burning all day, the steam pressure was finally sufficient to drive the engines. Massive steam pistons turned, driving pumps that filled the toilet’s enormous tank. With each back and forth motion of each engine’s individual pistons, a puff of saturated steam was emitted, letting out a discernible chuff. The crowd stood, in stunned disbelief, unable to believe what they were seeing.

“As you can see,” Brunel began, “around the entire edge of the toilet bowl is a catwalk.” He motioned towards the rim of the bowl as he spoke. “Stalls are placed at regular intervals so that you may do your business in private- yes that’s right, you- this toilet is open to the public.”

Up in the grandstand, the Archbishop of Canterbury approached the Queen’s seat. He took a knee before her. “Your Majesty, I do hate to be so forthcoming as to make a request, but… please! This is as absurd as it is obscene, you must do something!” Queen Victoria considered the request, then stood up.

“Give us a demonstration!” That was not what the Archbishop had in mind.

More than happy to oblige, Brunel signaled a worker atop the toilet’s tank. He waved in acknowledgement and turned a wheel, opening the valve that operated the flushing mechanism. As the massive valve opened, thousands of gallons of water poured into the bowl. A mighty roar of rushing water echoed throughout London as the bowl filled, and then it reached critical mass- now the toilet would drain, directly into the harbor.

Had he been more careful or less shortsighted, Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have realized his fatal error here. So massive and powerful was this toilet that each flush introduced enough water into the harbor in a short enough amount of time that the effect is as if the tide came in multiple times, and all at once. As the water in the harbor rose, anchored boats and ships crashed against their docks. Workers fled as the waters then rose above the docks, climbing higher still until even those ashore were not safe. Harbor water flooded in through the sewers and began bursting up through manholes. Spectators in the standing area now began to flee, and those in the grandstand watched in horror as the ever-rising tide drew near. The streets ran like rivers, and even London’s brave meat salesmen abandoned their wares as they sought refuge. As the tide came out, boxes of tea, fruit stands, and many racks of top hats awaiting purchase were washed out into the harbor.

Brunel himself was shocked- he didn’t expect this result. He had been too preoccupied with the magnificence of his creation to ever consider a consequence like this. He surveyed the wreckage, and then gazed towards the grandstand. He could see Queen Victoria still there, looking greatly irritated. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest. He reached up and removed his hat, holding it before him. He opened his mouth to apologize, but before he could, the Queen stood and issued an order, backed by the full authority of the Crown.

“Off with his head!”

Recipes

When It Comes to Two-Hundo

A detailed guide to making your best two-hundo sauce, a staple in the Snake & Tea Co. family

By: The Big Snake

For those of you who don’t know, creating “Two-Hundo Sauce” was one of the first joint ventures we embarked on here at Snake & Tea Co. Originally created to help us get our weight up to 200 lbs during an abnormally cold winter, the tasty treat also has the added benefit of bringing your weight down to 200 lbs, if you already weight more than that. Since its invention, our spicy little concoction has gained quite the following over the years. It’s the perfect dish for all occasions: cook-outs, weddings, funerals, interventions, house warming parties and even eviction hearings! The list goes on! But enough of my bragging, let’s make some two-hundo!

Step 1: Ingredients

Not gonna get too far into your sauce if you don’t have any of the shit you need, dum-dum. Better get your ass to the store, so you can pick up the following:

Store Brand Chili: in a Can

Don’t waste your time making chili from scratch, or your hard earned cash on that fancy can of name brand chili! Trust me folks, I’ve tried it all. See, the reason you want to go store brand here is because for some reason, two-hundo tastes better with poor quality meat. I can’t really explain the science behind this, but something about that tender horse meat and bits and bobs swept up from the meat factory floor REALLY make this sauce shine. Also, NO BEANS! You don’t want the texture of a bean to fuck up the fine, pasty consistency of the two-hundo.

Can of Store Brand Salsa Con Queso

Ok this one is pretty hard to go wrong with, I just go with the store brand usually because I only work part time right now. But we can get into that on a different post. Feel free to get what you will here, as long as it follows one cardinal rule… IT MUST BE YELLOW IN COLOR. That highly processed yellow gold is what’s gonna give your two-hundo it’s copperly sheen once completed.

Can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Now this is a must have. This is what is gonna give your two-hundo a spicy after burn, and keep people coming back again and again, so they can ask “what’s in this stuff anyways?” but you won’t tell them. You never will. I didn’t specify store brand on this one, only because I have yet to find a store brand of these. They’re only usually around $1 a can anyways.

*IF YOU ARE A COWARD, YOUR LIST STOPS HERE. YOU MAY CONTINUE ON TO THE PREPARATION SECTION. IF YOU ARE NOT A COWARD, YOU MAY READ ON. YOU STILL HAVE MORE THINGS TO BUY*

Some spicy ass raw peppers:

While we’re at it, let’s go ahead and make this shit inedible. In life, there is no pleasure without pain. This principle is also true in two-hundo sauce. Pick up some spicy peppers, however many and however spicy you want. Don’t even tell anyone that you put them in there. Let your friends and family taste the rage that courses through your body on a day to day basis. Teach them to respect your sauce, and your boundaries.

Step 2: Opening Cans

In case you haven’t noticed, you just bought yourself a bunch of cans. If you can’t figure out how to get these things open, you’re gonna look like a real asshole when you show up to the party empty handed…. Or even worse, with a bunch of sealed cans. Now I understand a properly sealed can is very intimidating, trust me. Growing up in an animal shelter, I was raised on canned meat. But years of experience gave me a “can-do” attitude, and here I’ll help you get one too! Don’t worry, we’ll start with the easy one first:

Oh wow, check it out! A pull tab! Go on and crack this fucker like a tiny bud-light, then rip that tab right back to expose it’s pulpy insides.

Yum! I’d eat that! Or at least give it a taste.

For those of you that don’t know, this type of can is actually called a “Jar”. But I don’t want to get too much into the canner lingo and jargon, so we’ll just refer to this as a “Glass Can”. See, what you wanna do here is pick up your glass can and make a bunch of noise with it. Bang it on counter tops, start breathing heavily, shout out a bunch of swear words (shit, fuck, etc.) Eventually, someone will catch wind of the fact that you have a glass can you’re trying to open, and come over to open it for you. Works every time!

Looks pretty good to me, I’d probably give it a try. Just a little bit though. Special thanks to Crazy Tea for the assist, later douche-bag!

Okay, now we got our big boy. Make sure to respect this one. Steady your hand a bit, maybe do some yoga before hand, watch a fun video of a dog farting on youtube, or drink 5-6 light beers before tackling this tin monster. Again, you can take the “bud-light can” approach with this one, but look out for those edges. They are sharper than they look.

Okay, I probably wouldn’t eat that. Not in its current state, at least.

You did it! Stand for awhile and bask next to your 3 freshly opened cans! Take a break to smoke a cigarette and call your friend who lives in Boston now. I do that sometimes.

*COWARDS, PLEASE CONTINUE ON TO STEP 4. NON-COWARDS, YOU HAVE AN EXTRA STEP*

Step 3: Dice up them spicy ass peppers

Mince up those sneaky little bastards into non-detectable pieces. Do this off in a corner/attic/basement so no one can see you. Hide them when finished. It is of utmost importance that people are not aware of your spicy little secret, or they will steer clear of your vengeful offering.

Step 4: Pouring cans into a pot

Now this is where things get fun. We’re finally gonna “turn up the heat” and get cooking! Grab yourself a pot, any size will do. I usually like to use a comically oversized pot. This not only ups the presentation factor of your sauce (larger pot draws more attention), but will also make it much harder for guests to dip their chips into it. This will lead to better banter and small talk near your sauce, as people will question as to why the pot is so big, and complain about how difficult it is to reach with their chip.

We’ll start with the chili:

Trust me, that’s fine. Let’s move on to the Salsa Con Queso:

A good drizzle action when performing this step here is key. Don’t get lazy and just dump the whole glass can in at once. Instead, dump the whole glass can in over 10-15 seconds. The little things DO make a difference here.

Next up, Chipotle Peppers:

Sure, you can chop these up if you want. But then you don’t get to loudly yell “Oops!” every time you drop a whole one in, and trust me… that’s good fun. Make sure to dump all that pepper bath-water in once you’re finished.

*EXTRA STEP FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT COWARDS*

Now is when you are gonna wanna sneak those peppers in, by the way. Pretend to cough or sneeze while doing so. Have tissues on hand to sell it further.

Okay, all the hard work is behind you now. I know what you might be thinking. “What the heck Snake? You’re not gonna tell us how long to cook it for? Or even give us a temp?” To which my answer is, you don’t have to cook anything! These are all prepared foods, so you are essentially just warming it up. Like you would do with one of those candle wax holders, or a frozen bud-light can you left in the freezer for too long. Heat for as long as you want, and crank that heat to whatever the hell you feel like.

Good news! You’re two-hundo sauce is now complete! It looks so good, I know. You’re probably tempted to dive into this shit right now, but DON’T DO IT. This is two hundo-sauce, not one of your Mama Celeste microwave pizzas. Show some restraint, the art of two-hundo is more one of patience than anything else. You’re gonna want this to congeal a bit, preferably until it has a nice thick skin coating the top. Think of how a turtle’s carapace covers it’s tender insides, that’s kind of what you want to mimic here.

Now this is what I’m talking about, Bon Appetit! Break that skin and dig in…