Notes from the Time Biscuit Tripped Balls after Eating a Fish

Biscuit experiments with fish and the results are disastrous for all involved.

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A Word from the Editor:

Long-time intern Biscuit (who once wrote a thrilling piece for The Zephyr Lounge about a meeting with the Hamburglar) now works at TZL:AD as an executive intern, which means he has the privilege of being our source for human experimentation. Recently, we sent Biscuit on a dinner trip with specific instructions to eat salema porgy, a type of fish that has been linked to ball-tripping. These are the notes taken another TZL:AD intern observing Biscuit over the couple of days following his consuming of this fish.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

5:22 pm :: Biscuit and I arrive at the restaurant.

5:23 pm :: We have to wait for a table.

5:47 pm :: Biscuit and I are seated. Our waiter, Omri, takes drink orders. Since Biscuit is under strict instruction to not consume alcohol (even though he really wants to), he orders a water with lemon. I, not concerned with solidarity, order a double-scotch, since the boss is paying because it sounds delicious!

5:51 pm :: Omri takes our order. Biscuit, again because he’s under strict instruction, orders the Salema Porgy. I order a medium-rare steak.

6:25 pm :: Service is slow.

6:27 pm :: Our food finally arrives. We discuss an Alternet article about this fish as we eat our meals. Biscuit cries a little when he starts taking bites of the fish. I chuckle inside, excited to see what will happen to “executive intern” Biscuit after eating this fish.

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This innocuous-looking little shit is about to fuck Biscuit up, (Image by Brian Gratwicke, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

6:52 pm :: Biscuit and I get the check and due to uncertainty over the timetable (after all, everyone is different), we hurry to pay the bill and get back to the motel.

7:11 pm :: Biscuit and I get back to the motel. Our room smells like pee and there is a deuce floating in the pool. We decide to watch TV.

8:19 pm :: Biscuit complains he doesn’t feel so well and shuffles into the bathroom. He screams because the sink is stained brown and there’s mold on the tile floor.

8:22 pm :: Biscuit starts to hurl. He complains of blurred vision and muscle weakness as well. When I ask him what I can do to help him feel better, he asks me if I can make the waiver he was forced to sign prior to the trip “mysteriously disappear” from The Zephyr Lounge offices. I told him The Editor locked it in a safe, which prompted Biscuit to let loose a vulgar tirade the likes of which I had never heard while simultaneously puking his guts up.

8:41 pm :: Biscuit starts talking quietly in the bathroom. He mentions something about “the peas are the least impressive vegetable” to some guy named Stu. Biscuit has officially started tripping.

9:03 pm :: Biscuit lets out and scream and tries to flee the bathroom, but slips and runs into the wall. He tells me millipedes are coming from the shower head and are screaming at him. I decide I want a soda.

9:06 pm :: I get ready to leave to grab a soda. I ask Biscuit if he wants anything. He replies, “do something to assassinate the lizard battalion’s leader.”

9:10 pm :: I kick the soda machine and something red comes out. I shrug and start drinking it on my way back to my room.

9:12 pm :: Biscuit lets out another scream and tells something to “stay back.” I ask him about it, to which he replies, “the millipedes are singing in the rain!” Biscuit has turned the shower on.

10:16 pm :: Biscuit finally stops freaking out and emerges from the bathroom, bleeding from his knuckles and shivering. He climbs into bed and just lays there with his eyes open. I’m super creeped out right now.

10:39 pm :: Biscuit, exhausted, falls asleep. I decide to turn in too, just in case Biscuit starts freaking out again in the middle of the night.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

1:06 am :: Biscuit wakes up and pukes all over the floor next to his bed. He starts quietly crying to himself. I ask him what’s wrong, to which he replies, “there is a moose outside of the window and it’s trying to get me to swim with it.”

1:29 am :: Biscuit gets out of bed. I ask where he is going, to which he replies, “the moose won’t stop, so I’m just going to do what he says.” Biscuit, hanging brain, opens the motel room door. I slip on my shoes and follow. I want to make it perfectly clear, I’m wearing boxer shorts and shoes. That’s fucking it.

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The noble moose, who apparently forced Biscuit into swimming in the deuce-pool. (Image is in the public domain).

1:32 am :: Biscuit jumps in the pool and starts to splash a bit. “There!” he shouts to the imaginary moose. “Are you fucking happy now?!” I lay on a lounge and smoke a cigarette.

2:09 am :: Biscuit exits the pool and tells me the moose has decided he’s swam enough. We head back to the motel room.

2:12 am :: We re-enter the motel room. Biscuit goes into the bathroom and violently hurls again. I ask him if he’s going to shower, to which he replies, “no, because the screaming millipedes still occupy the shower head.” Biscuit continues puking.

2:31 am :: Biscuit emerges from the bathroom and climbs back into bed. He smells awful. He shivers.

2:47 am :: Biscuit is asleep. I close my eyes too.

7:03 am :: Biscuit wakes up and starts hurling again. I roll my eyes and plot to kill The Editor for thinking this shit was a good idea. Biscuit tells me the moose is in the bathroom.

8:11 am :: Biscuit exits the bathroom and returns to bed. I shove four Benadryl and some water down his throat, which he almost gives back to me. But, he surprisingly keeps it down and just shivers in bed.

8:36 am :: Biscuit falls asleep. I decide to catch some more shut-eye myself.

11:54 am :: I wake up. Biscuit is still passed out. I decide to quickly leave and grab something to eat without waking him.

12:02 pm :: I return to the motel room. Biscuit is still passed the fuck out. I decide to hang out in the room and keep an eye on him.

12:17 pm :: Biscuit is still passed the fuck out so I abandon keeping an eye on him in favor getting some fresh air. After all, Biscuit smells very bad and I’m honestly quite sick of this shit already.

12:44 pm :: While walking around the motel, I run into a woman named Catarina, who is staying in another motel room. We start talking about stuff. She eventually offers me a drink. I happily oblige.

1:32 pm :: I sit in Catarina’s motel room and suddenly hear a scream. I bolt out the door and realize Biscuit, still hanging brain, is running around the motel declaring to the world that the screaming animals are going to kill him. I quickly turn around and see Catarina fully exposed on her chair, propositioning me. Making the stupid decision, I opt instead to find Biscuit.

1:33 pm :: I can hear Biscuit, but can no longer see him. So I stop looking. I begin figuring out what I’m going to say to The Editor about taking Biscuit’s position at TZL:AD. I decide to return to Catarina’s place.

1:54 pm :: I get back to Catarina’s, but she tells me I had my chance and to go fuck myself. When I protest, she throws a lamp at me. Oh well, at least I’ll always have that picture…

2:04 pm :: I return to my motel room, then quickly leave because Biscuit puked and shat all over his bed. I go to the pool to relax.

6:11 pm :: I’m awoken by a police officer who tells me Biscuit was arrested for public indecency. I apologize for him and tell the cops that he ate Salema porgy. The cop looked confused, so I explained to him that the Salema porgy has been linked to intense hallucinations and severe illness akin to food poisoning. The officer is puzzled as to why Biscuit would do such a thing, so I explain that The Editor is a sadistic prick who wanted to publish content about the fish and what it has been known to do to people. The cop said Biscuit and I should probably look into finding new jobs, then tells me that Biscuit is holed up in a nearby hospital under intense observation.

6:41 pm :: I arrive at the hospital and look in on Biscuit. He is sedated. He fucking reeks at this point.

6:49 pm :: I go into the waiting room and fall asleep watching ESPN.

8:10 pm :: I wake up cursing myself for prioritizing Biscuit over Catarina. I look in on Biscuit. He’s still sedated. I wonder if I can smother him and no one will notice…

8:18 pm :: I go to the cafeteria downstairs and find it’s closed. I hit up a vending machine instead, creating a dinner spread consisting of candy bars, packaged cakes, and a Coca-Cola.

8:26 pm :: I return to the waiting area and continue watching ESPN while eating dinner. Biscuit wakes up, has another freak out about bees or something, then is sedated again.

8:34 pm :: I speak to the doctor about Biscuit and tell him the situation. He wishes to keep Biscuit overnight for observation. I agree. The doctor informs me that I cannot sleep in the waiting room, so I’ll have to come back tomorrow. Reluctantly, I don’t put up a fight. I’m fucking tired, cranky, and secretly hope they’ll give Biscuit an accidental dose of, like… something… that will kill him… fuck all, I’m tired!

9:16 pm :: I arrive at the motel. I jaunt over to Catarina’s motel room. I hear her going at it with someone…

9:25 pm :: I get back to my motel room and brace myself to re-enter. Surprisingly the room is clean. I collapse into my bed and watch some TV before falling asleep.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

7:17 am :: I wake up and groan. Biscuit is still in the hospital, but I have no desire to see him. Checkout time is 11 am, so I still have a bit of time to get something to eat, pack up my stuff (and Biscuit’s) before heading to hospital to pick him up. I think I’ll procrastinate.

8:02 am :: I leave my hotel room and head to a nearby diner to get some grub. I can still hear Biscuit’s screams in my head. I wonder if the son of a bitch who thought this story was a good idea The Editor will spring for some therapy when we get back.

8:26 am :: I am waiting on some eggs and hashbrowns.

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Image by JeffreyW, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

8:33 am :: My eggs and hashbrowns arrive. I’m underwhelmed.

9:19 am :: I get back to my hotel room and veg out for a while. I also pack my stuff and haphazzrdly throw Biscuit’s into his bag.

11:37 am :: Biscuit is discharged from the hospital and we head back to the office.

Abercrombie & Fitch: Why Are You Still a Thing?!

Falling profits. Damaged image. Exclusionary. Abercrombie & Fitch: why are you still a thing?

10 years may as well be a century. The once mighty Abercrombie & Fitch retail empire is crumbling like someone left the door unlocked for invading forces and they have no one to blame but themselves. Like most corporate enterprises, despite the sinking ship they plow on, doing all that they can to patch the holes before the decks are completely engulfed in icy water. But Abercrombie & Fitch, like the Titanic, is likely beyond repair, the most graceful scenario being to abandon this ship that has seen so much controversy over the last decade that it’s a wonder they’re still (for what it’s worth) floating.

So, Abercrombie & Fitch, why the hell are you still a thing?!

Abercrombie & Fitch: From Fox Tails to Chasing Tail

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David T. Abercrombie (left) and Ezra Fitch (right), two mustachioed men who birthed the world’s most well-known douche empire.

In 1892, David T. Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch founded an upscale sporting goods store, whose historical clientele included the likes of presidential badass Teddy Roosevelt, aviation badass Amelia Earhart, literary badass John Steinbeck, and musical badass Cole Porter. If Abercrombie & Fitch had remained a sporting goods store, their tale might have been very different, but alas, by the 1980s, Abercrombie & Fitch, purveyor of the rugged outdoorsy man’s man and owned by now-defunct sporting goods retailer Oshman’s, was on life support and in danger of flat-lining in an age where men saying “quite” while quail hunting had fallen out for favor for men saying “ooooooh” while wearing neon tights and flammable hair.

Enter Mike Jeffries in 1988, fresh off early successes in birthing a yuppie mallrat empire with Express and Victoria’s Secret. Limited Brands bought Abercrombie & Fitch, then began to inject new life into the brand, abandoning the sport hunting image for a more casual, apparel-based brand. Abercrombie & Fitch, as we know it today, was born.

The brand would prove popular enough to warrant new stores popping up like zits on a pale-faced adolescent and would become a retail empire in its own right. So much, in fact, that it spawned several other brands, including SoCal beach-douche oriented Hollister Co., bohemian-douche oriented REUHL No.925, and even a lingerie brand, the “down under” douchette-oriented Gilly Hicks.

After we all survived Y2K, Abercrombie & Fitch was rated the sixth most popular brand out there by teenagers in the United States. In 2006, Abercrombie & Fitch became the first hostile belligerent to invade Canada since the Fenian Brotherhood. But then the Great Recession came, and not even the mighty Abercrombie & Fitch was immune. Between economic losses and bad publicity, the brand began to suffer mightily, to the point where the future of Abercrombie & Fitch is about as uncertain as whether Satan will finally come for the soul Rush Limbaugh is alleged to have had and sold.

Abercrombie & Fitch’s Douchebag Dossier

While Abercrombie &  Fitch became associated with frosted tips and outrageous price tags, the brand also became synonymous with levels of corporate douchebaggery eclipsed only by a select few. Their name became a punchline, their brand hazed in the media and in the court of public opinion like the people who sported their lightweight oxfords and distressed jeans did to pledges during rush week. Hell, sketch comedy show MadTV shot flagrantly homoerotic parodies of the company not once, not twice, but seven goddamn times.

Seems like a pretty harsh criticism of a company just trying to make a buck, right? After all, it’s not like Abercrombie & Fitch is deserving of all this crap thrown at them, right?

Well…

A significant portion of Abercrombie & Fitch’s criticisms come from three areas: promotion, product, and, to put it bluntly, racism and misogyny.

In the 1990s, the company began producing A&F Quarterly, a periodical that showcased the company’s product through imagery that promoted the brand’s image. The periodical was shot primarily by photographer Bruce Weber — who was known for his erotic “beefcake” photography — and Sam Shahid — who was well-known for his sexualized Calvin Klein ad featuring then-jailbait Brooke Shields — and was purposed to further establish the Abercrombie & Fitch brand with youth and sexuality.

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The above images are owned by Abercrombie & Fitch and the photographers who shot them. The Zephyr Lounge: After Dark in no way intends to profit off the images and believes the usage in this article constitutes fair use on grounds they are being used in an informative capacity.

The pages of A&F Quarterly were emblazoned with naked youth being naked youth. It’s almost like The End: Montauk, NY, only instead of portraying the blithe ethos of youthful freedom it exploits those themes for the purpose of strident, covetous capitalism.

The “magalog” became phenomenally popular, but that popularity came with a cost. Conservative and religious groups called for boycotts of the brand due to the nudity and erotic tones in A&F Quarterly, ultimately succeeding in getting the publication pulled from shelves by 2003. Then CEO Jeffries stated the removal of A&F Quarterly had more to do with it “getting boring” than public pressure.

When it comes to product controversies, very few companies achieved more social backlash than Abercrombie & Fitch. The company has been criticized for offering products that sexualize and offend, including:

  • a graphic t-shirt featuring racist depictions of Chinese immigrants that said “Wong Brothers Laundry Service — Two Wongs Can Make It White;”
  • a line of thong underwear at abercrombie kids in sizes for pre-teen girls that had phrases like “Eye Candy” and “Wink Wink” printed on the front;
  • a graphic t-shirt that said “It’s All Relative in West Virginia,” jabbing at incest stereotypes attributed to the Appalachian states;
  • a series of t-shirts for women that contained the slogans “Who needs brains when you have these?” (a reference to female breasts), “available for parties,” and “I had a nightmare I was a brunette;” and
  • more t-shirts, part of the companies 2009 back-to-school line, that contained such gems as “show the twins” (over a picture of a woman with her blouse open to two men), “female streaking encouraged,” and “Female Students Wanted for Sexual Research.”

These are just a few. Abercrombie & Fitch made the offensive t-shirt an art form, at least as it applies to general retail. Their products have been boycotted as a result of their offensiveness, with these boycotts routinely the subject of news coverage.

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that Abercrombie & Fitch is the retail embodiment of both your casually racist grandfather and your Miller Lite-swilling uncle whose drunken Thanksgiving rants criticize “liberals and their political correctness.” After all, the corporate culture at Abercrombie & Fitch cultivated ignorance and bigotry.

In 2004, the company found a class-action lawsuit staring it down. Eduardo Gonzalez, et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, et al. alleged that the neo-preppie douche-canoes at Abercrombie & Fitch “violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by maintaining recruiting and hiring practices that excluded minorities and women and adopting a restrictive marketing image, and other policies, which limited minority and female employment.” The plaintiffs included female, African-American, Latino, and Asian-American applicants who charged that they were either not hired by the company despite strong qualifications for the positions in which they applied, or if they were hired, they were not given sales-oriented positions in the front of the store, but low-visibility positions in the back, mostly stocking and janitorial roles.

The case had significant press coverage.

The lawsuit was approved by a U.S. Federal court and Abercrombie & Fitch were forced to pay out over $40 million to the plaintiffs who were part of the suit. The company also promised to be more diverse in their operations, going so far as to hire 25 diversity recruiters, as well as a vice president of diversity, to ensure their hiring processes were no longer exclusive of women and minority candidates. The lawsuit also forced Abercrombie & Fitch to increase diversity in its marketing and advertising practices, which had long-featured white, athletic models fitting fraternity and sorority archetypes. Abercrombie & Fitch’s recruiting practices were also forced to change and become more inclusive, as the company had handled recruiting primarily in campus fraternities and sororities.

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Former Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries. (Image via Twitter).

In 2006, then-CEO Mike Jeffries, the Dr. Frankenstein to Abercrombie & Fitch’s Monster, spoke of target demographics with Salon. Jeffries, channeling his inner Michael Kelso, stated that his brand was only suitable for “the good-looking, cool kids,” and that there were people who did not belong in his clothes, namely overweight people.

“That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that… In every school there are cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive All-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

His comments went largely ignored until 2013, when Kirstie Alley referenced them in an Entertainment Tonight interview. Alley’s reference would later prompt talk show hosts and other television personalities to speak out against the company, notably Ellen Degeneres’ sharp “oh, Fitch please” monologue.

The 2006 Salon article suddenly sprang back to life and spread like wildfire on social media, prompting the 68-year-old campus predator to offer a rebuttal to his own words.

“I want to address some of my comments that have been circulating from a 2006 interview. While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense… We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics.”

Mike Jeffries stepped down as CEO in December 2014, following 11 straight quarters of same-store sales declines.

The Future of the World’s Purveyor of Expensive, Douchey Products

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Abercrombie & Fitch store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. (Image by Rob Young, cropped by Wikimedia Commons user Beyond My Ken, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

At the end of May 2016, Abercrombie & Fitch, now operated by Executive Chairman Arthur Martinez (believe it or not), posted a 17.3 percent plunge in share value. The brand has been enduring financial woes since the Great Recession. The brand has fallen out of favor with the über-attractive, All-American youth it targeted like a U.S. Army drone in Yemen. Stores are closing. Brands have disappeared. Even an attempt to revive A&F Quarterly was met with lukewarm response, at best.

The damage has been done. Jeffries expanded the company too quickly and caused too much PR trouble. Even his successor is having a difficult time digging Abercrombie & Fitch out of the grave it had been digging for over a decade-and-a-half.

Falling profits. A tarnished image. A company that clings to its ways despite a new generation of retail shops like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara, more focused on changing fashion trends and affordability, vying for space in America’s dying malls. The storm that could spell the end of traditional mall retail is brewing and it seems unlikely that Abercrombie & Fitch has the wherewithal to endure it.

Three decades ago, Abercrombie & Fitch was a sinking ship. Now, those patches to her hull are once again opening and she’s filling up with water, but this time, there isn’t a Mike Jeffries to save her.

Abercrombie & Fitch is a dog riddled with cancer, whose quality of life is deteriorating, which brings us to a single, glaring question:

Abercrombie & Fitch: why the hell are you still a thing?!

Featured image by Iflwlou, available under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Tramps Against Trump, Because Why Not?

Tramps Against Trump, because why not?

The fact that Donald Trump has gotten this far is proof on its own that the 2016 Presidential election is the wackiest (or scariest/weirdest/head-scratching-est, whichever) election in the history of elections. This election cycle has been fucking out there, worse than the one where professional lunatic Andrew Jackson came down from Valhalla and beat the shit out of everyone else running for President with his pimp cane, plunged “Old Hickory” into every nubile American woman, then drank a Red Bull before shooting Charles Dickinson in his dickinson.

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Dear Hollywood: Be on the lookout for my new spec script Andrew Jackson: American Lunatic, wherein Andrew Jackson comes down from Valhalla and…

A couple of months ago, we profiled a social media movement called Babes for Trump, where a bunch of women sexualized themselves to raise awareness and support for Donald Trump’s campaign. Now, the opposite has happened. There is a new movement highlighting the Trump campaign, except this time it has nothing to do with awareness and everything to do with voter coercion.

Well, actually, Babes for Trump could also be chalked up to voter coercion, now that I think about it.

Tramps Against Trump, because of course that’s the name. It’s the same concept (sort of) as Babes for Trump, except this time the sexual stakes are higher. If you vote for someone other than Trump (anyone other than Trump, actually), Tramps Against Trump will reward your civic duty with a nude selfie, because nothing say ‘Murica quite like manipulating votes with tits, snatch, and ass.

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Image from Tramps Against Trump.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the 2016 Presidential Election.

The funny thing though, campaigns like this aren’t without precedent. Babes for Trump didn’t even set the trend. During the 2015 election for Canada’s Prime Minister (which resulted in the election of political hottie-hot-hot Justin Trudeau), young Canadians waged a campaign called Sluts Against Harper, which also promised the sending of nudes for voting against incumbent conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Fake Lord, you guys, this is the future of politics — “vote for my guy and I’ll send you a picture of my tits.” Part of me still has some semblance of respect for the system, so that part of me is actually pretty upset about all of this. But at the same time, I’ve spent the last year as a political pundit, so a larger part of me is pretty cynical and just shrugging, chuckling quietly in a Starbucks while some obscure indie band plays overhead, and saying “whatever” at the prospect of getting a picture of a hot chick’s ass if I send in proof that I voted. I mean, the election system is pretty fucked anyway, so why not vote for nudity, right?

Our elections are pretty crooked, so we might as well save at least a bit of hope and make them sexy, yeah?

h/t Daily Dot