On the geniuses who out themselves

I went to high school with a genius. In daily life, he offered scant evidence that he possessed a beautiful mind. But we knew he had a 165 IQ, because he kept telling us about it. Whenever he failed a math test, and once when someone corrected his pronunciation of Michaelangelo’s famous Sixteenth Chapel, he reminded us of his giant brain number. “That’s on a test,” he would say. “Not just an estimate.” We wondered whether he was simply lying or if his parents had told him in some irrevocable mistake. If that wasn’t it, then somewhere in town there was an educational psychologist whose license needed revoking. We loved to talk about this question.

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R.I.P. Bradula

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, trained actors, smile.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, professional actors, smile.

The world recoiled today as celebrity boyfriend/girlfriend Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, popularly known as “Angelad,” broke up and disappeared. They broke up because they stopped loving each other. Now Angelad is gone, and 20 years of memories are gone with them.

Pitt and Jolie first met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in 1996. At that time, she was married to Billy Ray Cyrus. Pitt would come to her trailer every morning, knock on the door, and ask if she was home. “It’s me,” she would tell him. “I’m Angelina Jolie.” He started to recognize her, and they fell in love.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston was making Friends. “Phoebe,” she would complain, “I think my boyfriend Brad is cheating on me.” The actress who played Phoebe listened politely, but she did not offer meaningful emotional support with clarifying questions. Ironically, no one on Friends liked Jennifer Aniston. This kind of irony would plague her the rest of her life.

Then shooting on Mr. and Mrs. Smith bogged down, stranding Pitt and Jolie together in the Swiss village of Portmanteau. They gradually changed their name to “Angelad” over the next six months. Although their relationship was ethically questionable, it garnered a lot of attention in the press. They became Hollywood’s new “power couple,” replacing cocaine and vodka. The public fell in love with their story, but it was not without its sad coda: Jennifer Aniston was forced to marry Billy Ray Cyrus and move back to Anustown.

For the next several years, America thrilled to Angelad’s exploits. The happy couple could be seen climbing mountains, auctioning off unclaimed urns from the crematorium, or just hanging out behind the Los Angeles County Museum of Art talking philosophy and whittling, respectively. They were young, beautiful, smart and handsome, respectively. And they were in love.

In 2008, to celebrate the election of Barack Obama, Pitt surprised Jolie by making her breakfast and bed. The eggs were covered in sawdust and the bed was not finished, but they made love in all of them. These events are familiar to everyone from the November issue of Newsweek.

In 2009, Jolie spoke out against the objectification of women by having her famous breast implants removed. She spent the next year traveling around the country removing other women’s breast implants. After she was finally apprehended, Pitt bailed her out of jail, and they kissed. These events were covered extensively in Us magazine and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Forensic Science.

The following year, Jolie adopted six Senegalese orphans. Not to be outdone, Pitt got a goldfish, but he forgot to put water in the bowl. Eventually the fish, known first as “Brish” and then as “Brad Fish,” dried out and died. The orphans thrived by comparison, and Angelad Fever spread to all but the remotest arctic weather stations.

Between the children, Jolie’s community service, Pitt’s home brewing hobby, his hospitalization for uncontrollable simultaneous defecation and vomiting (USDV), and their movie careers, the couple was busier than ever. Like many Americans, they spent the next few years aging. But behind Angelad’s happy facade, tension and eggs Benedict were waiting to explode, respectively.

In 2014, to celebrate their anniversary, Pitt surprised Jolie by having their name legally changed to “Bradula.” Although publicly overjoyed, she privately expressed concern “Bradula” did not contain elements from her name. It was the beginning of the rift between them.

The following year, while Pitt was shooting Oceans 2000, Jolie repainted their house and forgot to tell him. Pitt wasn’t seen for days. He was eventually found in Vince Vaughn’s potting shed, badly frightened. Jolie took him home, but he cried and cried.

The couple seemed headed for a reconciliation this summer, with more adoptions and possibly a movie together, but in the words of Hollywood, that’s all verkakte now. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have broken up in a court of law. Their movies have been erased and the orphans returned to Senegal. Angelad has disappeared. If you see them, call 911 and tell them you’re crazy, because man, it’s over.

Steve Bannon named runner-up for Campaign Manager of the Year

Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon

Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon

Congratulations to Stephen Bannon, who has clinched the runner-up position in this year’s Combat! blog award for Best Campaign Manager by registering to vote at a house where he never lived. The Guardian found him registered at a Miami home he once rented for his ex-wife, now vacant and scheduled for demolition. Bannon is a former editor at Breitbart news, which has made a pet issue of voter fraud in recent years, so I know what you’re thinking: Is this his only ex-wife? Nah—the newly minted CEO of Donald Trump For President also divorced Mary Louise Piccard, whom he impregnated in 1994 and then married just as soon as amniocentesis could prove the fetus was healthy. Per the New York Post:

Bannon had allegedly also earlier told Picccard, who was then his girlfriend and the expectant mother of their twin girls, that he would only agree to marry her if the kids were “normal.” He married her on April 14, 1995, three days before the twins were born.

“Bannon made it clear that he would not marry me just because I was pregnant. I was scheduled for an amniocentesis and was told by the respondent that if the babies were normal we would get married,” Piccard claimed in a document. “After the test showed that the babies were normal the respondent sent over a prenuptial agreement for me to review.”

That’s amore! In Bannon’s defense, though, it is much easier to abandon the mother of your disabled children if you aren’t married. It’s too bad these two didn’t work out, but at least she’ll always have her memory of the moment when he got down on one knee and sent over that prenuptial agreement. And Bannon will always have his Combat! Blog Campaign Manager of the Year: Second Place 2016 trophy. Congratulations to this year’s first-place winner, Robby Mook, who continues to win by not fucking up.