Any resemblance to a kp partner is strictly coincidental
3-Minute Roast, Vol. 3, No. 1

A Poke in the Eye of the Online/Multimedia Ignoramus Complex

[scientifically tested to take no longer than 3 minutes to read, unless you're the biggest dummy of them all]

It's a Dumb, Dumb, Dumb, Dumb World

Foster City, Calif. -- The good folks at IDG Books Worldwide (Nasdaq: DUMB) obviously see P.T. Barnum as their patron saint. How else to explain their blatant raison d'etre: "There's a dummy born every nanosecond." IDG's "...for Dummies" line of books started with computer topics, but has become a vertible empire of Dummiedom, including the recent purchase of Cliffs Notes. We look forward to "Pride and Prejudice for Dummies" and "Naked Lunch for Dummies."

It's nice to see that even a sleepy computer-book publisher could play a one-note hit, cash a big IPO, and then hire celebrities from Dr. Ruth ("Sex for Dummies") to Tamilee "Buns of Steel" Webb ("Workouts for Dummies"). But it goes much, much farther than that. We recently had the good luck to receive the holiday edition of DummiesWorld, "Your Fun and Easy Guide to the Holidays!"(tm). Until we received it, we thought the holidays were easy enough: give some gifts, eat too much food, vomit, repeat.

How wrong we were. It turns out, if we want to have a party, we need "Entertaining for Dummies," "Blues for Dummies," and "Home Improvement for Dummies." And for gift ideas, there's a Q&A section with Dr. D, Ph.D., Professor of Dummiesology, who suggests some great reading, like "Geneaology Online for Dummies," "Piano for Dummies" and "Dating for Dummies." Or we could win a new VW Beetle by guessing the number of "Dummies" books that fit in the car. If only there was "Guessing the Number of Things Stuffed into Cars for Dummies"...

Of course, books are yesterday's news. IDG also offers audio books for the dummiest of dummies. Plus there are Dummies calendars, and even board games like "Trivia for Dummies" and "Charades for Dummies" with special one-word charades for special people. And while all these unbelievably true products indeed exist and are for sale for your enjoyment, we at 3MR would like to suggest a few untapped Dummies ideas:

"Spelling Bee for Dummies Championship"
Kids would spell words no longer than five letters, and have five minutes to spell each one. They could make two mistakes before being eliminated, and can consult handy "Dictionaries for Dummies."

"Tax Fraud for Dummies"
This book in no way condones cheating on your Federal taxes, but only helps to show the unenlightened public ways that *other* people are cheating our government.

"Internet IPOs for Dummies"
Includes all the finer points, such as losing millions of dollars on cockamamie ideas, putting out press releases touting a new Web shop, limiting the number of shares for sale, and waiting for the market to get hot, hot, hot. Tip: Remember to include this important phrase in your IPO filing: "We do not expect to be profitable in our lifetimes."

"Crash-Test Dummies for People"
This book would be written from the point of view of those cute crash-test dummies that star in public service announcements on TV. They wouldn't have much to say, but the title alone should sell some books.

"Dummies: The TV Series"
A group of good-looking, vapid roommates in New York City can't decide who should be friends and who should sleep with each other. They hang out at a coffee shop, and the dumbest among them are the ones you'd really want to be friends with.

"Dummies Action Figures"
Free with Happy Meals, these cute figures will choke young children if swallowed, are toxic to pets if licked, and expand to one square acre when placed in a landfill.


"3-Minute Roast" is a bi-weekly, advertisement-free, opinionated rip on
anything that strikes our fancy in the online world.

Max Schlickting - Editor-in-Chief
Barbara Yalpsid - Online Editor
Lefty Periwinkle - First Amendment Expert

* If you hate our rantings, send a reply message: "Dummies make the world go round," and we'll take you off the list.
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a pyramid scheme; we call it distribution.

This e-newsletter is copyright 1999 Mark Glaser

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