We did it! We completed another year discussing things that start with F. I thought for sure we’d run out of compelling things to talk about by now, but the letter F continues to yield a rich supply of fascinating, fantastic minutiae.
2013 was another banner year for TMF. I want to thank all of you for your kind and continued support for this incredibly silly endeavor, which hopefully will continue to serve as an enjoyable escape for F enthusiasts — and Indonesian spambots bent on selling me low price fashion design purses — for years to come.
OK enough with the platitudes, let’s have look at fifteen of the finest flashes from the year that was: 15 of our favorite posts (along with choice excerpts) from 2013!
15. Fourteen Freds – “…but the Crime Dog is the best of the bunch. The Tampa native managed to smash 493 career dingers despite his awful swing that looked like an old left-handed man swinging a cane at a mosquito…”
“Another all-time great Fred, Mr. Rogers is still inspiring all of us to be better neighbors. Last year after reading a story about Mr. Rogers, I removed a spiteful cactus wall I’d planted just to anger my neighbor.”
14. Freebird – “You’ve probably heard the song. You most likely know at least some of the words, have cranked it on the radio, and dare I guess, you’ve fervently air guitar’d along with it at some point. But for those of you in far-flung places like Australia, Belgium, or Ohio, you may not fully appreciate the true meaning – the profound cultural weight – of Freebird.”
13. Frightening Fish – “Despite Sebastian the Crab’s misleading portrayal in The Little Mermaid of life under the sea being some sort of delightful Calypso paradise; the reality is not quite so idyllic. The truth is that there are many alarming things lurking under our waters…”
12. 440s – 450s A.D. – “Legend has it that during this time, Polynesian bigwig Hawaiiloa and a group of intrepid sailors sailed thousands of miles from their home in the South Pacific and managed to reach Hawaii. (Just another early example of Americans goin’ big, punching limitations in the face, and rockin’ it superpower-style).”
11. Fillmore, Millard – “Did he enable a little bit of slavery here and there? You bet. Was he anti-Catholic, anti-Mason and did he generally loathe immigrants? His Know Nothing party affiliation would suggest probably so. Is he almost always rated as one of the worst U.S. presidents of all time? Strike… Either way, it’s redemption time for one of our most obscure, forgotten leaders.”
10. Flossing (Scared Straight) – “Y’all just take a seat right over there. I wanna talk about your teeth. I used to be just like you. Cruisin’ through life, not thinking about my teeth. Sure, I knew in the back of my mind it was wrong to not floss; I had seen the commercials and whatnot. Momma always told me it was important. I suppose I knew there would be consequences one day. But I didn’t care; I was young and invincible, right? <really starts yelling and getting into frightened kids’ faces> Look at me! Look at me now! Y’all don’t wanna be like me! Bleeding gums, needing a prescription mouthwash and a special toothbrush… You think this is funny? Advanced stage gingivitis homey!”
9. Face Off! Fanta vs. Faygo – “We’ve got ourselves a humdinger of a mid-level soda battle today! Both with a chip on their shoulder, something to prove, and a formidable list of hilarious discontinued flavors to consider, this should really be an epic bout. Who will win? Who will lose, and be bumped down the list of soda obscurity behind the likes of Chek Cola, Grapico, RC, or that warm banana soda they sell in Haiti?”
8. Fantastic Florida: Flickers of Hope – “Of course there are many more good things happening throughout Florida every day. Unfortunately you may never hear about them, because people just want to read about the Ocala man who crossbow’d his neighbor’s horse over a beef jerky dispute, or the guy in West Palm who tried to rob a Dunkin’ with a Sailfish bill…”
7. Flanders, Ned – “While Ned was essentially an unlovable embodiment of Christian hypocrisy in the early seasons, his character was eventually developed in a way that caused us to root for him in all his fuddy-duddy glory. We saw him fight and reconcile with God and Homer, do bedtime prayer with Rod and Todd after losing his wife Maude (in a tragic T-shirt cannon accident), we watched him bowl with his buddies. We saw Ned reach out to Bart to make up for Homer’s parenting deficiencies, and we rooted for him as he opened “The Leftorium.” We witnessed him judging others and losing his temper, but also his faith, redemption and goodness.”
6. Four Freedoms (by Paul Washington) – “It was against this historical backdrop that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress and, via radio broadcast, to the citizens of the United States. He closed his speech with the now-famous “Four Freedoms Discourse,” in which he espoused the four freedoms essential to all of humanity: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.”
5. Finals Frenzy, Fair-weather Fans – “This is something Miami is famous for (we raise the art of being bandwagon, fair-weather fans to new heights), but let’s be honest your town is like this too for the most part. Like Kent Brockman, most of us are very willing to welcome our new ant overlords if we think that’s how the wind will blow.”
4. Flag Facts – “Personally if I was on the Mongolia Flag Design Committee, I would have incorporated some Genghis Khan/marauding hordes sweeping across Central Asia elements, but this one is pretty cool I guess.”
3. Fantasy Football: Big Evil Corporation League – “As last year’s winner – thanks to a few savvy mid-season pick-ups and some admirably nefarious tampering with the Eagles’ offense – Monsanto gets to determine the location of this year’s draft, as well as the entertainment and menu. I’m still awaiting final confirmation, but it looks we’ll be going to the Antarctica Corporate Lair (ACL) once again. FoxConn, instructions will be sent to you on how to get to ACL and what to expect at this particular venue. I don’t want to give away too much, but let’s just say this is a place where we can “do as we please” even more than usual…”
2. Ferdinand Magellan Fires Up Modern-Day Portugal – “I exhort you, Portuguese homens e mulheres, recommission the caravels and raise your masts. Plunge your padrões into foreign lands and stake new claims. Reclaim your birthrate. Rediscover your heritage. Reclaim greatness. For Portugal, for God, for future glory…”
1. FjØrdShärks® – “In the Arctic wilds of western Norway, something evil is afoot. After two boatloads of hard-partying, fjord-gawking tourists go missing in the span of two weeks, authorities start to suspect foul play. They should be suspecting SHARK-PLAY because FjØrdShärks® have arrived… and they are hungry!”