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Charles Dickens 200th Birthday Reboot

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Since today is the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, we here at The Jimbo List are wondering what his novels would be like if he was writing in 2012. “It was the best of puns, it was the worst of puns…”

THE PICKWICK PDFs

THE ONLINE CURIOSITY SHOP

NICHOLAS NICKELBACK

LOWERED EXPECTATIONS

THAT DUDE COPPERFIELD

BLEAK HOUSEWIVES OF PICCADILLY

LOL DORRIT

OLIVER TWEETS

THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN’S DROID

A TALE OF TWO DIDDYS

A CHRISTMAS RINGTONE

Forgive me, Mr. D.

Two-By-Two: A List of Twins

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Adam Sandler’s new movie, “Jack and Jill,” has me thinking about famous twins. It’s amazing how many there are. This List could easily have been doubled.

LUKE SKYWALKER & PRINCESS LEIA

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are fictional twin royalty. Their family ties were at the heart of the “Star Wars” mythos, first providing a nice plot twist and then fueling the emotional arc of the main characters.

THE WINKLEVOSS TWINS

You have to give Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss credit for tenacity. First they were (at the very least) outmaneuvered by Mark Zuckerberg for control of Facebook. Then their various lawsuits went nowhere. Then they came off looking less than sympathetic in “The Social Network.” Yet they still held their heads high and got a pistachio commercial.

“THE PARENT TRAP” TWINS

No offense to Lindsay Lohan’s legion of fans, but I prefer the 1961 version of “The Parent Trap,” with Hayley Mills. The craziness of this movie slaps you in the face when you sit there and realize how screwed up the parents are. They each take a twin in the divorce and NEVER TELL THEM. Wow.

THE MINNESOTA TWINS

Named after the Twin Cities, baseball’s Twins began playing in Minneapolis in 1961. This may sound odd, but the thing I kind of loved about them was that their home field for many years had a right field extension wall made of plastic. Everyone called it the “Baggie.”

THE BUSH TWINS

Barbara and Jenna, the daughters of former President George W. Bush, turn 30 later this month, on Nov 25. I think they, like all presidential children, deserve a lifetime of peace, quiet and dignity.

EVIL TWINS

Evil twins are just plain fun. There’s no pretense; it’s simply a group of creative people telling an audience: “We’re taking one of our boring, nice characters and letting her raise some hell. Possibly while wearing a dark wig.” My favorite was Serena, Elizabeth Montgomery’s evil twin on TV’s “Bewitched.”

DOMINICK AND THOMAS BIRDSEY

Connecticut’s own Wally Lamb put twins at the center of his novel, “I Know This Much Is True.” I won’t ruin the plot here for people who want to read this masterful work, but I will say it put the lie to any notion that New Englanders lead boring lives.

THE WONDER TWINS

Let’s see. You’ve got a group of superheroes called the Super Friends, with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. What’s missing? Bingo! A twin brother and sister who can only activate their powers when they touch hands. Thanks, Zan and Jayna. Problem solved.

TIKI & RONDE BARBER

The Barbers were highly enjoyable players to watch, even if Tiki did get a little mouthy about his former teammates after he left the New York Giants. Seeing him and Ronde in opposing uniforms had a way of looking like a promo for a sci-fi movie about cloned athletes.

THE OLSEN TWINS

They make the List for two reasons. One, they were hugely popular from the time they were TV toddlers on “Full House.” And two, their success always baffled me.

ROMULUS & REMUS

Fittingly, the story of Romulus and Remus is like two myths in one. First is the miracle of their survival. They were left to die as infants, only to be nursed by a she-wolf and then adopted by a shepherd. As adults, they discovered they were royalty. So they retake their land in ancient Italy – only to fight over where to build a new city. Remus is killed; Romulus builds the new city and calls it Rome. That’s harsh, man.

THE BOBBSEY TWINS

One set of twins wasn’t enough for this long-running series of children’s books. There were two duos: Nan and Bert, and Freddie and Flossie. They had adventures and solved mysteries, all very mild, in such ripping yarns as “The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore,” and “The Bobbsey Twins at School.” Call me when “The Bobbsey Twins Change Their Smartphone Plan” is published.

THE DOUBLEMINT TWINS

The folks at the Wrigley Company have kept twins gainfully employed as spokeswomen for years. Their ranks include future TV stars Tia and Tamera Mowry and Jean and Elizabeth Sagal, sisters of the terrific actress Katey Sagal.

THE TWIN TOWERS

Ten years on, I still experience very strong, very complicated emotions when I see a photo or film clip of the towers. You do, too.

Peace out.

Hold That Colon (Punctuation Make-overs)

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If you’re like me, you often take your colon for granted. Same goes for your comma, dash, exclamation point and other keyboard hieroglyphics. But with National Punctuation Day coming up later this week (Sept. 24), I decided to see what a few pop culture standards would look like with some punctuation tweaks. Here goes.

DR. WHO?

A GROOVY (KIND OF) LOVE

MOBY: DICK

OH. CALCUTTA.

BLOWIN’ IN: THE WIND

LARRY KING – LIVE?

TURN! TURN! TURN!

BRIDGE > TROUBLED WATER

DANCES, WITH WOLVES

A DAY IN “THE LIFE”

SCHINDLER’S LIST!

M&A&S&H

A TREE GROWS – IN BROOKLYN?

#OKLAHOMA

PLEASE DON’T; EAT THE DAISIES

GOOD…FELLAS?

BRILLIANT DISGUISE!

* AND THE MYSTERIANS

SHAWSHANK: REDEMPTION

BOB/CAROL/TED/ALICE

EASY, RIDER

IT’S A MAD-MAD?MAD(MAD) WORLD

Now it’s your turn. Add to the List!

A Modern Library of Bad Vacations

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Any summer vacation worth its saltwater has an epic quality to it. This is particularly true for bad summer vacations. Here’s what they might look like in literary form.

ONE FLEW OVER THE RENTAL CAR COUNTER

WATERSLIDE DOWN

ZEN AND THE ART OF LOST LUGGAGE MAINTENANCE

A ROOM WITH A PUGH

SOMETHING WICKER THIS WAY COMES

AS I LAY BURNING

THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING IN BEACH TRAFFIC

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S SCREAM

THE CALL OF THE WILD TODDLER IN THE SEAT BEHIND YOU

THE AGE OF JELLYFISH

TENDER IS THE BITE

THE WINNEBAGO OF OUR DISCONTENT

A FAREWELL TO CARBS

THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AARP

BLOOD AND SAND

BLEAK HOUSE

THE CONSTIPATED TOURIST

LORD OF THE FLIES, TICKS, MOSQUITOES AND THOSE SPIDERS THAT JUMP

May all of your vacations be good ones. But bring the First Aid kit anyway, just in case.

If Mystery Novels Were Based On Real Life

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Just in time for beach book season, here’s a brand new literary category – mystery novels that hinge on real-life conundrums. The titles might sound familiar, in more ways than one.

Murder in the Orient Express Check-Out Lane

“B” is for Bedbug

The Seven Per-Cent APR Financing Solution

The Curious Incident of the Car Alarm in the Night-Time

Dial “M” for Motrin

Mystery of the Killer App

The Jerk with the Dragon Tattoo

Farewell, My Hairline

The Case of the Fatal Error Message

The Hound of the Baskervilles Won’t Stop Barking