Category Archives: F Lists

Fourteen Fresh Foreign Tourism Slogans

Iceland – “Very similar to level 6 on Super Mario 3.”

Bolivia – “Come for the salt flats, stay for the iguana meat salteñas!”

China – “What’s a few more people?”

Croatia – “Do not be intimidated by the crazy spellings.”

England – “Come see yer ol’ mum an’ colonial master guvna.”

Zambia – “So much copper!

Faroe Islands – “We’re Torshavn a ball!”

Papua New Guinea – “We’ll let you name a mountain.”

Indonesia – “Hurry, before the Komodo dragons turn on us.”

Romania – “The bloody lore of Transylvania has been greatly exaggerated.”

Malawi – “Anyone besides Madonna please.”

San Marino – “The leading travel destination for those who were initially just trying to google ‘Dan Marino.’

Greenland – “In life, there are precious few opportunities to see a narwhal!”

Germany – “Bygones?”

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Fifteen Favorites From 2013

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. FreebirdYou’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!” Continue reading

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Four Fingers

We are all familiar with fingers in terms of those things that serve as our hamburger-grasping hand digits, but what are some other fingers that are also important?

1. Finger Lakes – The Finger Lakes of northern New York look just like fingers – fingers that have become frozen, gnarled and grossly deformed due to years of neglect, and from being pretty close to Buffalo.

2. Ladyfingers – These are things you desperately cram in your face at parties to alleviate your crippling and woeful inability to communicate with actual ladies.

3. Fingerlings – Baby fish are called fingerlings. Not sure why they don’t just call them “baby fish,” but I suppose “fingerlings” is a better name than “toelings.”

4. Finger Sandwiches – These are other things you desperately cram in your face at parties to alleviate your crippling and woeful inability to communicate with ladies.

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Foreign, Familiar Faces

One of the greatest things about our world is that everyone is different. Every person is a unique snowflake.

However some snowflakes are not quite so unique. The truth is that many of us look exactly like other people. In my case that has unfortunately mostly led to Rick Moranis or Steve-O from Jackass comparisons (save one glorious time when a small, possibly nearsighted child misidentified me as very tall NFL quarterback Matt Ryan), but for better or worse, almost all of us look like someone else.

Even the world’s powerful elite are not immune from looking like other people. No corridor of power is untouched by this phenomenon. When I first saw His Holiness Pope Francis I thought he was Rudolph Giuliani. Or maybe Dennis Hopper.

Here are a few other examples of world leaders past and present who look like someone else. Continue reading

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Fourteen Freds

Last year we had a post honoring the world’s Franks. The time has now come to celebrate another workmanlike, perfectly adequate name that for some reason has fallen on hard times: Freds of the world rejoice!

In doing a bit of research for this post, we stumbled upon a delightful/simpatico resource that honors the Freds of the world in a worthy manner: The Fred Society. There may be some overlap here of the Freds we highlight, but I hope our combined efforts can build more Fred-respect and perhaps create a resurgence of kids named Fred.

Here’s to you, people named Fred!

Fred McGriff – There have been a slew of notable baseball Freds (Fred Lynn, Freddy Garcia, Freddie Freeman, Freddie Sanchez, and of course my friend JD’s favorite manager, the much beloved Fredi Gonzalez), 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.

Fred 'Crime Dog' McGriff pointing with authority.

Fred ‘Crime Dog’ McGriff pointing with authority.

Fred Astaire – Outside of MC Hammer, maybe the best dancer of the 20th century.

Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz, the pride of Omaha.

Fred Astaire, born Frederick Austerlitz, the pride of Omaha.

Fred, Right Said – The 60s gave us Civil Rights and Dylan, the 90s gave us Pokemon and Right Said Fred; the creators of the timeless tribute to unmerited braggadocio I’m Too Sexy. Continue reading

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Frightening Fish

Under the sea, under the sea… Life is de bubbles, under the sea.” – Sebastian the Crab

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. Let’s have a look at some of the creatures you should be aware of.

Sebastian the Crab: Delusional or purposely creating misleading perceptions of life under the sea?

Sebastian the Crab: Misleading us about life under the sea?

Lungfish (freshwater) – This living fossil is a true horror monster brought to life. Certain kinds of lungfish are able to bury themselves in mud for months on end to survive a drought. That’s right, this little freak show doesn’t even need to live in water, it can just sit there waiting and lurking… eager for the chance to chomp you with its razor teeth. Oh yeah they can also walk on land and live for like a CENTURY.

lungfish

lungfish

Lungfish are found in Africa, Australia and South America, and despite being so awful looking, are actually eaten by some people. I’ll gladly leave them alone if they pledge to do the same for me.

Oarfish – Whenever something washes up on a beach that is even slightly reminiscent of a sea monster, it is always an oarfish. Every time. The next time you see one of those “Sea Monster Found?!” stories on Yahoo, don’t get your hopes up it’s totally just a dead oarfish.

wow, just wow.

Oarfish: wow, just wow.

These mysterious, elusive creatures can grow to more than 50 feet in length, fueling speculation that they were probably the “sea monsters” spotted by early navigators… OR WERE THEY???

No you’re right they probably were just oarfish.

Ocean Sunfish – These are so weird aren’t they? They look like those bullets from the original Super Mario Brothers with little flippers attached.

Look out Mario!

Look out Mario!

Continue reading

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Fantastic Floridians

The assault on Florida continues. This is really getting out of hand, guys. It is Threat Level Midnight* in the battle to protect the reputation of our colorful and delightful state. While we wait for the political will and/or bold legislation needed to enact some sort of aptitude test requirement to live here (and/or wait for Georgia to be caught unawares so we can start spiriting weirdos across the border), I think the best thing to do is to continue highlighting Florida’s finer features. With that in mind, TMF presents this list of just a few of Florida’s fantastic folks.

Ron Magill – The mustachioed communications director of Zoo Miami is a genuine national treasure. His weekly appearances on the Dan LeBatard radio show here in South Florida are the stuff of legend. He responds to rapid-fire animal-related phone calls with remarkable patience (Yo Ron, who wins in a gorilla-grizzly bear fight? Etc.), good humor, enlightening insight, and an absolutely encyclopedic knowledge of just about every species known to man.  While some animal advocates come off as annoying, pompous or exceedingly awkward, Ron just seems like a cool guy who wants everyone to learn about and appreciate the world’s fascinating critters. His animal calls are also uncanny.

Zora Neale Hurston – She was a brilliant author and anthropologist who wrote, most notably, Their Eyes Were Watching God. A festival is held in her honor every year in her hometown of Eatonville.

Tom Petty – Originally from Gainesville, TP is rock royalty. The dude’s done it all: He’s written a song that will be played on skydiving videos forevermore, and a track that every stadium in the world plays whenever there’s a stoppage in play… He’s toured the world, formed a supergroup, smashed his hand in a fit of rock rage, lost a band mate to drugs, done a major movie soundtrack (She’s The One kinda sucked, but hey…) and acted in a major movie (The Postman kinda sucked, but hey…).

What else can we say about Tom Petty? It’s good to be king.

Dave Barry – One of the best and most influential humor writers of all time. In addition to his hilarious nationally syndicated Miami Herald column, which led to a Pulitzer Prize in 1988, who could forget such classic works as Boogers are my Beat, or Stay Fit and Healthy Until You’re Dead. He’s also not a bad musician apparently.

Andy Garcia – This son of Cuban immigrants attended high school in Miami, and went on have the best role in the worst Godfather movie, and the worst role in the best Bernie Mac movie.

Osceola – An iconic Native American warrior. He fought to keep his homeland, and for the freedom of all people. He was captured in a cowardly manner and died of malaria in 1836, but his intrepid legacy lives on.

Henry Flagler – Flagler was the visionary who laid the groundwork for making our state the powerhouse it is today. After making boatloads of cash along with John D. Rockefeller at Standard Oil, Flagler started building the infrastructure needed to make Florida the accessible tropical paradise he envisioned. To accommodate and bolster his many acquisitions in the state (hotels, land and such), the Florida East Coast Railway was methodically built; along with accompanying roads and canals which complemented his support for local farms, schools and hospitals. This engineering marvel would stretch all the way to Key West by the early 1900s. Oh yeah he managed to found West Palm Beach and Miami along the way.

He was laid to rest in St. Augustine.

Don Shula – “Here’s what I’m going to do for you, city of Miami. I’m going to raise up your team and your city out of sports obscurity.  With an iron will and fierce determination, I will turn a group of relative unknowns into the greatest football team of all time, win the Super Bowl, then win another one the year after. I’m not done. After I retire as the NFL’s all-time winningest coach, I’m going to make a place where you can enjoy reasonably priced, large hunks of choice, juicy meats.”

– Don Shula (unauthorized paraphrase of life accomplishments)

Thanks coach, we love you always. You will always be “unforgotten” in our eyes.

*Excellent “The Office” reference

**Bonus Fantastic Floridian — Mark Twain, who was born in Florida (Missouri). I feel like he would get a chuckle out of that pun.

*** Apologies to Ernest Hemingway, Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Stetson Kennedy – we ran out of room but you will most definitely be featured in the next round of Fantastic Floridians

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