Sunday, April 30, 2006
"Look, I don't know what you did with it, but I'd really like it back. I mean, it's not like you can sell that kinda thing on eBuy, can you? You jerk. Give me cheese. Cats love cheese."
I like taking pictures of my cats. They usually hold still just long enough for me to say "aww! That's adorable!" and then rush off to get my camera. That plan usually backfires, because they follow me back to my room just in case I might be fetching them some cheese.
"No! Go back to the chair! You were all curly-uppy there! It was friggin' adorable! No! No cheese!"
And then they stare at me.
Now I want to go give them cheese because I feel guilty for slandering them on a public forum. Read me later, time-wasters!
The cool thing about this picture is that I really managed to get this close. My camera does have a zoom, but it's crap, so I rarely use it if I want a decent picture. Back when I was first contemplating purchasing a digital camera, FooDaddy actually recommended a couple, but I found this one for a good price and unwisely went against his advice. Ah, well. This camera has actually been pretty decent, although basic. But I'm also a pretty basic photographer, so perhaps it's a good match. Besides, I like to say that it's not the machine, but the operator that makes the difference. This philosophy would certainly explain why most of my shots end up in the Recycle Bin.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Okay, so if you're a normal person, you don't live in a boxcar, and chances are good you've got Wi-Fi. Quit distracting me, time-wasters! I'm trying to make a sort of point and then pad it with filler to make an entire post out of an idea I came up with in the shower.
I do a lot of thinking in the shower.
While that soaks in, I'm going to leave you with a list of "Away Messages" you're all free to plagiarize and use with your Instant Messenger program of choice. These are automatic responses that the program sends to people who contact you when you're not around, and remembered to set your status accordingly. If used properly, many of you will have a lot more free time on your hands.
- I'm gone. Wandered off. I don't know when I'll come back, but I'd better not find YOU here when I do.
- Due to a national emergency situation, the Cabinet and I have squirrelled ourselves away in the pantry with all the doughnuts we could grab. In fact, I've put some of the doughnuts in the Cabinet, where they will be safe from mice. I've lost the key to its door, and now I'm going to bed. Drink more coffee!
- Yeah? And how much do I owe YOU?
- I'm currently busy raising an army of shrews to help me bring my sneaky little plans to fruition. If you're on my Crap List, you're going to want to look into getting yourself a new pair of ankles, buddy! Bwa ha ha!
- Ignore the sirens. It was someone else.
- I'm actually here, but so engrossed in some important activity, such as battling with my computer for cooperation, that the keyboard fire has prevented me from answering your Instant Message in person. Please stand by.
- Why, hello there! Remember that I love you, and that I'm counting the seconds 'til I can IM you back! Wait. Is this Ed? Ed, you wank! You still owe me for that washer fluid I bought you! Ed? Ed! I'll get you! Where are my shrews?!
- I'm not at my computer. I'm at someone else's. IM me there!
- Get out of that boxcar and just call me up, huh?
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
But anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about. What I was going to tell you is that I forgot where I parked my car the other day. No, actually, it hid from me. I remembered exactly where I had parked, but when I came out of the store, my car was mysteriously missing. Oh, now I remember how this all ties in. I hate the feeling I get when I can’t find my car in public parking lot.
I exit the store, step off the curb, and head for the lot, only to realize, “I don’t know where my car is!”
I begin ambling nonchalantly, trying to exude a very deliberate attitude in an attempt to fool people into thinking that I know exactly where I am going or, at the very least, prevent them from taking any special notice of me. I angle casually to and fro, hoping to catch sight of my car in some distant parking space. It is then that I notice some incredibly beautiful specimen of womanhood watching me from a parked car, no doubt waiting on her flawless, muscular boyfriend, who never loses anything, much less anything the size of a car. Although she is expressionless, I know she is watching with amusement and disdain. I am humiliated and my random wanderings become much more feverish and desperate. Soon I am flitting about the parking lot with the reckless abandon of a squirrel in traffic, frantically whizzing in and out between parked vehicles, setting off car alarms and causing massive traffic jams. At last, I see a car that looks just like mine and only after I break my key off in the lock do I realize that my car is actually parked in the next space over.
You can see, readers, why I hate it when this happens. There are many other things that irritate me, but right now, the tapping of this keyboard is really getting on my nerves. Agh!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"Warning! It really angers these boxer shorts to be washed in anything but warm, soft, fluffy water! If these instructions are not carried out word for word, the shorts will shrivel and wilt, leaving you exposed to the elements. Also, you must hum softly to them while they're in the dryer."
Okay, so I made that up. Neither I, nor anybody I know, owns such a temperamental pair of boxy shorts. I'm sure some of you out there have a friend who deserves whiny underwear, but let us not dwell on this. The point here is not underwear. It is Things that Piss You Off.
For me, during the last half hour, it's been OCR software. That stands for Optical Character Recognition, and it's supposed to allow you to scan a printed page with your...scanner...and instead of ending up with a picture of your page, the software squints at the image and tries to make out text that you can then save as a Mikerzovt Wurd document. All of this would be dandy indeed---if it actually worked. Which it doesn't, so you end up with a bunch of grabble that looks like this:
fr8 mee, duri#g the l@st ha/f h0Wr. -- Itz b33n OGR softwuRs. Ha ha! Let'se se3 you figre% this mes5 out!
So yeah. It's useless. I'm almost positive that I've got it figured out, and the program's just jacking me around. Hey, that's computers for ya, though.
Since I'm lazy, how about I post some more stuff I wrote a long time ago? I'm going to consider the preceding paragraphs "enough" original material for now and stick you loyal time-wasters with a list of things that annoy me. This isn't a serious list, of course. If anything serious happens to accidentally show up here, please let me know! I'll have it shot.
1.) Bad-tasting mustard
2.) Getting a cold and having only one nostril get stuffed up
3.) Little kids who smell bad.
4.) Little kids who smell bad and want credit for it.
5.) Those colorful little sprinkles on cupcakes or doughnuts; they look like they'd all have an individual fruity flavor, but they all taste the same. Chalky.
6.) People who know nothing about any given person, place or thing, but still want to tell you how stupid it is.
7.) Getting cat hair in my mouth that always shows up later after I thought I got it out.
8.) Lotion. I don’t know if I've just been using the crappy stuff, but it never moistens the parts of my hands that need it, and makes the rest too slippery to use. It’s like trying to pick up a carp smeared with engine oil.
9.) Falling down, getting up, and falling back down again.
10.) Heating up a TV dinner and ending up with two frozen sections and a burnt one.
11.) Getting snow in my pants.
12.) Little kids who think they know everything.
13.) Sitting down in a recently used chair, and having it be really warm. Makes me nervous.
14.) Flat pop.
15.) People who want to talk to you in a public bathroom. Unless they want to tell you stories. I can dig that.
16.) Deodorant that makes you smell like an old man.
I walked into the office, my nerves a bit less than relaxed, and inquired at the desk. I was informed that the doctor was expected in soon and that I might pass the time by positioning myself in one of the rickety abominations which held a job by operating under the pretense of being a chair. Warily depositing myself into one of these, I surveyed my surroundings. There were three other chairs present in the vicinity, all with the same evil appearance as the one to which I was foolishly entrusting myself. There was an old tin coffeepot, the edges of the spout crusty with ancient grounds; a small rolling table, on which sat an aged television set with antennas which had seen better days; and a dismal stack of wretched magazines, their lurid covers depicting imaginative poses and questionable news items.
At the bottom of the stack of magazines, I discovered a battered issue of Outdoor Life, but soon discovered that years of avid readers had reduced it to a madhouse of coffee stains, rips, and missing pages. I sighed and replaced it back onto the stack, effectively concealing a blaring headline that was cheerfully announcing the end of the world.
I heard footsteps in the hall and I pushed upright in my chair. It groaned ominously. A tall woman in a white coat came around the corner and smiled. The smile was synthetic and I had the feeling that she was doing it merely from habit, probably unaware that she was smiling at all.
She beckoned to me and said in a bored tone, "We'll start in here and I will pull out your record and then we will go into this other room and begin the examination."
I sighed inwardly and glanced into the other room. Above the door, large letters read, Pre-Testing. Inside was a jumble of equipment which seemed to cackle at the prospect of a new victim. We entered the first room and I took in the furnishings while the doctor read my file. There were a lot of hmmmm's and uh-huh's and I took this to be a sign of approval. The smile was still habitual. Finally, she led me to the gloom of the Pre-Testing room and I was seated in a padded chair beside a rotating table.
The doctor moved the table around until I was facing a sleek piece of equipment with a small hole in one side. I was instructed to place my chin on the pad and my forehead on the cross bar. The doctor then proceeded to explain in painful detail everything she was doing.
"The soft, even sounds you hear are coming from my lungs," she informed me. "Breathing is a healthy, mentally stabilizing exercise. I highly recommend it."
I was quick to respond. "Well, I've always found breathing quite healthy myself. All the people I know who quit, have died."
She was not amused. "Now," she said, and I saw that it was going to be the same thing as usual. "Do you see the star-burst pattern?"
"Look right in the center and the machine will take a reading." A clicking sound ensued and then a sound as if a gangster were firing a machine gun. "We will take more than one reading in each eye," she said, repeating the exact words she had said two years ago during my last eye exam.
After the "star-burst" test, she again rotated the table, explaining that since she was going to use another machine, it was necessary to move the other out of the way. I agreed with her logic.
"Do you see the green dot?"
"Open your eyes real wide and a fan will blow some air into your eyes to check the pressure in your eye. We will take a couple readings in each eye because when you jump it might take a different reading." Again the same recital. I began to suspect that she was reading from a script. It was word for word! "You may want to hold onto the side bars to keep from jerking too much," she said. This announcement was met with stony silence on my part.
As it turned out, it was not as bad as expected. Only one eye was rendered useless and my hair appeared a mere three shades lighter.
The doctor looked at me and said the first sincere words I had heard escape her lips. "Say, that white hair is very becoming."
I rewarded this remark with a thin, indulging smile.
After this torture, we headed into the next room where I was seated in an identical padded chair and instructed to hold a black instrument over my left eye.
"Tell me when you can read the smallest line," she recited, motioning to the far wall, upon which lines of random figures and characters flitted across a mirror.
"Now," she said, once I had completed the test. "This time you don't have to read anything out loud, but tell me when you can read the smallest line." Again letters appeared on the mirror.
"Now!" The characters screeched to a halt.
The doctor reached over and picked up a small metal cylinder with a spout on one end. "Now I will check the response of each eye to a bright light. Open your eyes real wide and focus on a spot on the ceiling."
She proceeded to shine a piercing light into my eyes. I considered this highly unnecessary and when it was all over, felt like a drunken moth. Next she measured the distance between my pupils, wrote something on pad- which I was unable to decipher-and then placed before me a huge metal and plastic instrument with so many levers and buttons that I almost tried to lower my flaps and contact air traffic control. It was a good thing I restrained myself, because the doctor was madly flipping lenses before my eyes.
"Better with 3 or 4? 5 or 6? 7, 8, 9, 10, 11..."
I sputtered in confusion, unable to cope with the sudden influx of queries. At last it was over and I stumbling blindly from the room, unable to believe that it was indeed completed.
Exiting the office without being apprehended, I made a bee-line for my car, laughing maniacally at my brilliant escape. The other patrons, convinced I was a complete imbecile, made long and circuitous routes about me, but I did not care. I was blind to their cruel gestures, aloof, above petty annoyances. I was free! I had gone through the most rigorous test of endurance known to man and lived to tell the story. And now, you know it as well. Use it wisely and avoid eye exams at all costs.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Schizophrenic interrupting cow.
Now you say "control freak who?"
Last night I dreamed I was eating a giant marshmallow and when I woke up my giant marshmallow was gone!
Q: What's the difference between a 7-11 and a smurf?
A: A 7-11 is a 24-hour convenience store and a smurf is a small blue fictional cartoon character.
Why do farts stink?So deaf people can enjoy them too.
Two cows are grazing together. One says to the other,
"By the way, aren't you getting worried about that mad cow disease that's going around?"
The second cow replies, "I don't give a crap - I'm a helicopter."
A rabbi, a horse, and an astronaut walk into a bar. The barman looks at the three of them and says "Hey, what is this, some kind of joke?"
Two guys walk into a bar. Which is odd, because you would think at least one of them would have seen it first.
A duck walks into a convenience store. "Hi," he says, "got any duck food?"
"No," replies the clerk.
"Okay," the duck says, and leaves. Next day, the same duck walks into the same convenience store. The same clerk is there. "Hi, got any duck food?" asks the duck.
"I told you yesterday, no!" the clerk says.
"Okay," says the duck, and leaves.
This continues for a couple of days until finally the clerk can't take any more. "Look," he snaps, "we didn't have any duck food yesterday, we don't have any today, and we won't have any tomorrow! And if you come in here and ask me for duck food one more time, I'm going to nail your bill to the floor!" Then he kicks the duck out of the store.
A few weeks later, the duck comes back. "Hi," he says, "got any nails?"
The clerk is taken aback. "No," he replies.
"Great!" says the duck. "Got any duck food?"
Q: What did the farmer say when he opened his barn and his plow was missing?
A: "Where's my plow?"
Two friends are hiking in the woods, when they suddenly come across a wide, deep, perfectly round hole in the ground. It is so deep, they cannot see the bottom. Intrigued, one friend finds a pebble and drops it in... silence. The second friend finds a large rock, hefts it over, and pushes it into the hole... silence. Finally, the first friend finds a huge wooden plank, pushes it in, and listens... silence. Then a goat comes running through the forest at about 60 mph and jumps straight into the hole, disappearing.As the two friends are taking this in, an old farmer walks by.
Farmer: "excuse me, have you seen my goat?"
Friend: "we saw a goat, but it just ran straight into this mysterious hole."
Farmer: "Oh, then that goat couldn't have been mine. My goat was tied to a huge wooden plank"
Q: Why do mice have such small balls?
A: Because very few mice know how to dance.
A man is sitting in his living room, hears a knock at the door. Opens the door, nobody there. He looks down and sees a snail on the front porch. Huh. He picks it up and chucks it as hard as he can. Three years later, the man is sitting in his living room, hears a knock. Opens the door. There's a snail on his porch. Snail says, "What the hell was that all about?"
A dog goes into a telegram office and says to the operator, "Woof woof woof woof woof woof." The operator copies it down and says, "You know you can send one more woof for the same price."The dog says, "But, then it wouldn't make sense."
As my steamed colleague has just pointed out, I enjoy my time behind the lens. Since this is a Stupid Blog, I am required by Blog law to upload at least one stupid picture. The picture of the pinecone in the last post is indeed a good one, and the photo itself is in no way stupid. However, The Stupid Blogger has not only managed to capture one of nature's least intelligent beings on CCD sensor, but has written up an explanation that effectively dispels the fog of creativity and thoughtfulness implied therein.
Who here can say that they will ever look at pinecones the same way again? I'm going to be keeping a wary eye on the ones lurking in the trees out in front of my 44th Street lair, I can assure you.
The required moron image is of me at the Air Force Museum, being dumbfounded by the sheer size of the landing gear on the B-70 Valkyrie. I found it. I was dumb. End of story.
The other photo, in contrast, is of a spectacular sunset caught in Grant back when it was still snowy out. To placate any eco-guardians out there, I stress that I let the sunset go after I was done with it. I did not tag it. I photograph because I love.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
"But why is she marrying a pinecone?" they all asked.
"Nice new car," everyone said. "But why is it being driven by a pinecone?"
I took pictures of my new nephew (my wife's nephew) and everyone speculated on how especially painful it must have been to give birth to a giant pinecone. But you get the idea. I'm not the world's greatest photographer. But it's fun to play around with it. And I get some great shots of pinecones.
It was a dark and stormy night (really!) and Paul the Crime Fighter and I, his trusty assistant, Stupid, were sneaking down a particularly nasty street in a particularly nasty section of town. What were we doing there, you ask?
“What are we doing here?” I asked, obviously wondering the same thing and possibly having a mild panic attack.
“We’re fighting crime,” Paul said and gave me a strange look. I thanked him and placed the look carefully in my wallet, intending to give it a closer inspection once I returned home.
Glancing around at all the lawlessness and criminalism, I cleared my throat nervously. “Uh, which one?”
Paul stretched to his full height and flexed his biceps, which, once I had found my magnifying glass, proved to be quite impressive. “All of them!” he hooted and cackled maniacally. “I…we,” he amended, awarding me a pitying glance, “are Crime Fighters and this is what we do. Fight crime!” He paused and then rubbed his hands together in glee. “Eewww,” he said, looking down at his palms in disgust. “This glee is slimy!”
I took the glee from him and checked the bottom of the container. “Expired,” I said. “I’ll order some fresh from the Tangible Emotion Farm first thing tomorrow. For now, though, I think we should be heading…”
The voice came from the depths of a dark alley and both Paul and I stopped in our tracks and glanced nervously at one another. Neither of us is particularly fond of dark alleys and we never venture into their depths, voices or no voices. Before we could move on, however, the voice spoke again, this time with a bit more insistence.
“Hey, you.” Okay, so it sounded exactly the same as before. I was just trying to liven up the story.
As we watched, a figure slowly detached itself from the darkness of the alley and came toward us. It was a man wearing a long overcoat and a fedora. With a certain flair for style, the man was wearing the fedora on his head. Unsure of his intentions, Paul and I drew back as the man advanced and from the corner of my eye, I saw Paul reach into his pocket for a weapon. He gave me a quick, sideways glance and grinned confidently.
“It’s okay. I have my little LED flashlight.”
Not particularly comforted, I continued backing slowly toward the street. The strange man continued to approach, growing ever nearer and more menacing. Finally, he stopped and smiled at us. It was not a nice smile and had an attitude problem.
“So, kids,” the man said, slipping a hand inside his overcoat. “You wanna buy a dirty magazine?”
“No, thank you,” we said in unison. “No money.”
“Aw, but my prices are so reasonable and I might be convinced to take credit.”
“No, really,” Paul said. “I don’t think…”
Suddenly, the man whipped open his coat, revealing rows of magazines sewed into pockets on the inside. He was right. The magazines were filthy.
“I use ‘em to change the oil in my car,” the man said, giving us a grin that was not much more polite than his smile. “Then I bring ‘em down here. Be surprised how much I can get for ‘em. People seem to like dirty magazines.”
“Well, you’ve really stepped in it now, buddy,” Paul said, stepping forward authoritatively. “I’m Paul the Crime Fighter and this is my assistant, Stupid. You’re coming downtown with us!”
The man just stood there, looking at us like we were two young twerps pretending to be Crime Fighters. “We’re already downtown,” he pointed out.
Paul hesitated and then turned to me. “Is that right?”
I shrugged, having left the map in my other pair of pants.
As we stood there trying to decide on a course of action (after all, what does one do with a suspect once he is taken downtown?), the man slipped into the dark depths of the alley and disappeared.
“Well, that was a close one,” Paul said, after a few moments of silence. “We’ve had a very successful outing. Now I shall go home and eat some Fluff. Be sure to write this up in the files accurately, now. None of your embellishing! In fact, you might want to tone it down a little. Appearing incredibly manly and heroic makes me self-conscious.” With that, he walked away, his confident stride broken only once by an unseen pothole.
Read more about Paul the Crime Fighter
Friday, April 21, 2006
There will be a long pause, during which we will stare at our feet or glance off to the side and pretend to be engrossed in reading the labels on jars of facial cream. At last, one of us will say,
“Well, I should be getting along.”
“Yeah, me too.”
As you can see, dear readers, I hate these kinds of situations. I can’t say that I am a particularly accomplished conversationalist to begin with, but under fire, I become even more inept. If I am comfortable, I can talk about stuff I know and bluff my way through stuff I don’t, but words flee me at the most inopportune moments, it seems, and leave yours truly with no choice but to examine ingredient labels.
Once I manage to extricate myself from the clutches of this unwanted personage, I go about my business, all the while thinking of all the clever things that I should have thought to say at the time, but didn’t. Locating the proper department, I search for the item in question and find it, only to discover that there are approximately 72,000 varieties. The difficulty of deciding which one to buy is exceeded only by the completion of a three week trek across the Sahara with no liquid refreshments. Given a choice, I’ll take the Sahara, Gatorade or no Gatorade. Since I am not given the option, however, I must choose from this plethora of items.
At first, I attempt to approach the task with some sort of logic and analysis. Which one is cheaper? Which one is of a higher quality? Are there brand names for this item? Do I care if there is? Is there a sale on a particular brand? If there is a sale, are there any items of that brand left on the shelf? In my case, probably not. At last, I give up and simply swipe the nearest item, whether it’s the one I need or not, and head to check out.
I arrive at the checkout lanes only to discover that the shortest line stretches for miles and circles the store several times. I am tempted to shoplift, but remind myself that stealing is naughty. Sighing, I force myself to remain in line behind a very large, odorous woman with three screaming, sticky, evil children, who are clamoring for every bauble and trinket in sight. The woman yells at them to shut up and, like good children, they completely ignore her.
After several days of this torture, I can see the checkout. The cashier rings up the woman in front of me, who promptly pulls out a stack of coupons the size of Mien Kampf and insists that the cashier scan each one and then double-checks to make sure it went through by peering at the screen and muttering,
“Huh, thought it’d be more off’n that!”
At last, the cashier finishes scanning the coupons and the items and gives the woman her total. The customer looks shocked and assumes an attitude of rage, but at last brings out her check book. Apparently, the woman inscribes her checks with some sort of calligraphy, because it takes her a full thirty minutes to fill out the check.
Finally, it is my turn and I stagger to the lane and plop my one measly item down on the conveyor belt. The conveyor is, of course, broken and the cashier reaches down and grabs the item in disgust. She scans it and then discovers that her machine is out of paper. Now I must wait another hour while she locates another roll of paper, installs it incorrectly, curses, reinstalls it, calls a manager, curses him, then finally gets the machine in sufficient working order to ring me up and give me my total. I hand over the money and grasp the small bag containing my purchase and flee as quickly as possible from the building.
As I am on the way out the automatic doors, which do not open quickly enough, causing me to walk into them face-first, the bottom of the bag bursts and the item falls to the concrete and breaks. Much like FooDaddy, I give up in despair and go home empty-handed.
“Where’s the item?” my wife asks.
“At the store. Where it will stay.” I walk to my computer and I will remain there for the rest of the day.
First, let me tell you a little bit about myself, time-wasters. I am goofy, as I'm sure you have already guessed, but I'm also cautious and intelligent. Hey! I saw that! Roll your eyes again, and I'm comin' right through the screen to steal all the vowels off your keyboard.
As I was saying, I'm intelligent. See how intelligent I look in the picture I've provided? I don't like to look like an idiot unless I've done it on purpose. I should say that I don't like to look like a moron on accident. Take this semi-recent trip to Mal-Wart for example. I can't remember what I was there to find, but I CAN remember not being able to find it. I kinda knew where it was supposed to be; in fact, I could almost taste it. Or smell it. Or hear it. This depends on what it was. Can't taste oil filters!
Okay. Maybe you can. Look, who's telling this story, me or you?
So there I was, wandering aimlessly around the store, trying to look like I really knew what I was doing. I was pushing an empty shopping cart, just in case I had to get a LOT of whatever it was I was hunting down, and I was circling a likely set of aisles. I was peering down them, hunched over my cart, and trying to look nonchalant despite my panicking mind.
"You look stupid, you know," it said.
"I know, I know. I just can't find the freaking oil filters! I know they're in this area somewhere... This is Automotive!" I replied.
"This is Housewares. I think that lady's looking at you. The one in the khakis and polo shirt? Y'see her?" my brain wheedled. It purposely kept all the serotonin to itself.
"Shut up! Just, um... Let's circle around again and see if I maybe missed---"
"No, she's definitely staring. She's probably wondering why you're in a holding pattern in Housewares with an empty cart. Probably thinks you're really dumb, or you're looking for potential victims."
"Oh, that's just nuts! Where the heck are the freaking filters!" I turned back and began peering down likely-looking aisles again.
"Now you're mumbling to yourself."
"I am not!"
About that time I decided that I really didn't need oil filters or whatever I was there for, and gave up and went home. Ahh, safe at home with my cats, who stare at me but only out of affection or curiosity. They're like: "What's that smell? When's he going to give us cheese?" and they've never accused me of being stupid.
It's not that bad---I'm not THAT agoraphobic. The story is true, however. I actually did give up and go home because I couldn't bear to wander any more. What? Yeah, I know. I know! I could have asked one of the employees. Guess it didn't occur to me that they MIGHT perhaps know where an item in their own store was. Shut up. You wanna keep your vowels, don't you?
Imagine, if you will, the confused cart-pusher from a few paragraphs ago learning how to dance. With a girl, no less! An attractive one, who is going to be teaching him how, because she knows how to dance, and Our Hero does not! Oh, where's that serotonin when you need it?
I'll keep you updated, time-wasters, should I decide to allow myself to be taught to dance. I don't know what kind of dance it'll be, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have any trouble with something like "slow dance". Slow dancing looks pretty simple: you just kind of clutch the person about the waist, and then walk around. I've been walking around for a long time now, and doing it in tandem can't be that much harder.
Something like swing looks cool, though. That's the kind of dance where, if you're a guy, you get to chuck the girl all over the place. At first, you kind of look like you're slow dancing with a few quarts of espresso in your bloodstream, but it's still pretty simple. Then all of a sudden, for no reason and without warning, the man grabs the woman by the hips and tosses her up into the rafters where she bounces around a little, and then falls back into his waiting arms. She smiles at him, and he crumples her into a ball and dribbles her around the hardwood before unwrapping her and draping her around his shoulders and gyrating like a bum on acid. She smiles at him, and snakes down his torso and puddles on the floor to rest. He's sweating freely now, but it's a good kind of sweat. A sensuous kind. She holds her hands up, he grabs her wrists, and yanks her arms out of their sockets and twirls them around...
Yeah. Swing rocks. I can't wait!
Now where on Earth are those freaking filters?
Thursday, April 20, 2006
What I'm trying to say, is that I don't have anything great to offer you today. I have been rather busy this afternoon, trying to catch up on all those Little Things that begin to pile up over time. At first, it's just one or two Little Things and they're very non-threatening, because you know that you can take care of them at any time. But then those few Little Things are joined by a few of their friends. At this point, you think,
"Hmmm. I really should take care of these Little Things." But at that moment, there are a couple more Little Things than you can do at the time and so you decide to put them off until you can do them all at once. When you at last find this time, however, the Little Things have multiplied and are morphing into Big Things, stomping around your life and demanding to be taken care of. They are so insistent, in fact, that they completely ruin everything else you want to do, because all the while you are playing that video game, reading that book, or just foolin' around, the Big Things are calling to you and you cannot entirely enjoy yourself.
This is what happened to me and I have spent almost the entire time I've been home from work (and I got home earlier today) slaying the Big Things. Whew! I'm exhausted, but I do have a sense of accomplishment. Now, if I can just stay on top of the Little Things, then... Aw, but who am I kidding? I'm going to take a nap.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Yes, just as the mighty oak rules the forest with its giant...self... so stupidity rules the world of comedy. Think about it. Who's funnier, scientists or that stupid guy who falls down a lot? Astronomers or penguins?
To further stress my point, I've posted a picture of Buckwheat sitting in a box on top of a shelf in my room. I'm not really sure how this is supposed to support my argument; I just thought it was pretty funny. I rest my stupid case.
For some reason, the last few posts of mine have talked about falling down. I suppose it's probably one of those things that I imagine in my head and gets funnier the more I think about it. I picture a dumb guy (of course!) wearing baggy pants and a blue T-shirt with a cartoon character on it. He's got dark brown hair and brown eyes. He sports a goatee. The story begins with our hero standing at a bus stop...
"Um. So. The bus is gonna come today, right? I mean, like, before it gets dark?" he asks the man standing next to him. The man is wearing a knee-length overcoat and a sombrero and steps away cautiously, keeping his eyes on his copy of Popular Mechanics. Our Hero silently regards the sombrero with dull curiousity for a few seconds. He does a quick 180 and breathes directly into the ear of a young woman standing on his right. "I like cake," he mutters.
"That's wonderful. I'm going to ask you to stop doing that, if you think you can manage," she says, bending sideways at the waist to take her head out of breath range.
"Oh, I can!" our hero yips. He is intelligent, and capable of rather a lot. "I'm waiting for the bus! I plan on riding it to my destination, you know. I'm gonna, like, BE there when I GET there. It'll be awesome. Really."
"Would you stop rummaging in my purse?"
The young woman, who is surprisingly patient, swats Our Hero's hand away and moves her purse to her other shoulder. She stares at him for a moment. "Nice shirt," she says with an amused smirk.
"Thanks! Look, I found some mints in your purse. Can I have them? I'll probably eat them on the bus, if it ever comes!" Our Hero says in an attempt to be amusing. He tucks the half a roll of Cementos mints into the breast pocket of his T-shirt. The mints hit the pavement a split second later.
"You don't have a pocket there," says the young woman helpfully. Our Hero looks up at her from where he has bent to retrieve the Cementos.
"You're shrewd, and you have nice elbows. I think I'm going to share these mints with you."
The young woman rolls her eyes and checks her watch.
"Hey! Ants!" Our Hero says happily, and falls over. The man on his left and the young woman on his right both snort laughter.
See? It's funny when people fall down. Stupid people. I hope you've enjoyed this little object lesson, time-wasters. Professor FooDaddy will be back tomorrow with another enlightening bit of insightfulness. Right now, however, he has some nice mints that need his attention.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
“There I was, dude,” your friend says. “Going down the interstate at 75 mph, with no floorboard or brake! My feet were dangling mere inches from the asphalt and I was forced to hold myself up by the visor with one hand and steer with the other.”
“Wow!” you say, trying to maintain a straight face. “That must have been terrible!”
“Yeah!” Your friend nods enthusiastically or, at least, as enthusiastically as one can nod while wearing a neck brace. “And then things got annoying! The visor gave way and my feet hit the pavement! I was forced to run for my life, hanging onto the steering wheel with both hands and wishing I’d tried out for track like my old man wanted.” Your friend pauses in the narrative and waits while a doctor comes in, takes one look, shakes his head, and then goes out into the hallway to call the family. “Things were going all right,” he continues. “Until we came to a hill. The car started picking up speed and, with no brake, there was nothing I could do. I tried planting my heels, but from the smell of burning rubber I decided it wasn’t working and began running again. By the time we reached the bottom of the hill, I was running so fast that Eddie, who had scrambled into the back seat, had to lean into the front with a fire extinguisher and douse my heels every few seconds to keep them from bursting into flames.”
You turn away, presumably to admire some of your friend’s get-well flowers, but really to submerge a raucous laugh that has been struggling to escape.
Now, see, readers? This is a simple example, but it illustrates the humor of pain and anguish. Smashed toes are funny. Bonked heads are funny. Turn on America’s Funniest Home Videos any night and you will see many, many examples of hilarious pain: people falling from trees, off trampolines, through a roof, off a bike, getting their heads stuck in car windows, running head-first into closed patio doors… And AFV is a successful show. Why? Because pain, especially pain caused by stupidity, is hilarious as long as it happens to someone else. Honestly, I’m not sure why this is. Perhaps it makes those of us without the pain feel superior to those who were stupid enough to incur it. I don’t know. Maybe some of you have further insight into this topic.
I've got to take my car back to the shop and have them try to figure out why they decided to replace my struts with toilet paper tubes full of gravel. Every single bump in the road is transmitted directly to my butt with tremendous force, and it's starting to effect my mood. After a jouncy, bangy ride to work, I get out of the car all hunched over and grumbling, which won't be my natural state until I'm nice and old.
So, without further complaint, here's the story!
It was a dark and quiet night... Jimmy had been online for about three hours straight, and he was feeling pretty lucky. This was back in the days of dialup, you see, and nobody was happy with it. The server ritually disconnected his Internet connection every hour, and Jimmy just figured it was a measure to keep little schmucks like him from falling asleep and leaving the computer connected. But it wasn’t.
He was being disconnected because the e-Boogie Man was trying to get into his modem, and the anti-virus program was keeping him at bay. Unfortunately, in an attempt to squeeze a bit more speed out of his crippled computer, Jimmy had disabled the program by keeping it from loading up. And it was too late. The e-Boogie Man had sneaked into his modem, and was lurking in the mouse pointer, snortling quietly to hisself.
“Gee! I sure am having good luck staying connected!” remarked Jimmy. He moved the pointer over to the icon that would launch an MP3 player, and clicked the left mouse button. Nothing happened. “Crap!” said Jimmy. He clicked the button approximately 5,000 more times, and still nothing. He picked the mouse up and removed the ball from the bottom. Suddenly, the e-Boogie Man jumped out of the hole.
“You been online too long, Jimmy! It be mah imperative to eat yo’ sorry self, and make sure you don’t go perpetrating no more o’ dem Instant Messenger conversations!”
“Holy snarf!” cried Jimmy.
“You gots any mustard, man?” asked the e-Boogie
Of course, nowadays you kids have your fancy light-up mice with the blinkies on the bottom and them scrolly wheels on the top. Can't take them apart without tools, and the e-Boogie man hates tools. So, time-wasting parents, tell this story to your little childrens as you're putting them to bed, and they'll learn an awful lot about life, love, and how to swear without swearing. Holy smack!
This last charge made me snortle (which is a quiet sort of laugh--kind of a cross between a snicker and a chortle).
Depraved Indifference. This is probably the constant attitude of almost all cats. Foo Daddy, you claim to have some very advanced level cats, and I can't see any reason for you to lie. However, it's a rare cat who wouldn't be found guilty on any given day of Depraved Indifference. A dog, now, would not. A dog is anything but indifferent. Dogs are frequently depraved (crotch sniffing, poop eating, leg humping, road kill dragging, etc.) but are quite passionate in their depravity. They are also helpful. There are many fine stories of dogs who heard a cry for help and didn't stop to even look. They ran flat out to the nearest pay phone, dialed in a Life Flight and then commandeered a car on the freeway and rushed back to cover the sufferer with a blanket.
A cat would have prowled over, glanced at the carnage from the corner of his eye, said "Sucks to be you!" and walked away.
That is depraved indifference and I think it comes with the death penalty.
There are probably even funnier ways to use this phrase and I'm counting on all you Stupid Ninjas to help me come up with them.
Monday, April 17, 2006
“You’re going to plow all that?”
“Of course. It’s not so big.”
“Nonsense.” I stepped over and mounted the tractor. “We don’t have an acre of land. Besides, with this baby, it’ll be over in no time.”
“Are you sure you know how to use one of those?” My wife cast a suspicious eye upon the machine.
Choosing to ignore the remark and trying to remember all the salesman had shown me, I turned the key in the ignition. The engine came to life immediately. Ah, the beautiful sound of a…smoothly running engine? The tractor had silenced its roaring and once again stood mute upon the lawn.
“Humph,” she said. “By the way, where did you get a trac…?”
The rest of the question was drowned out by the renewed sound of the tractor coming to life. I flipped the switch and the tiller added its voice to the cacophony. Glancing back, I saw dirt clods flying about in the back and assumed the tiller was doing what it was designed to do.
Suddenly, I realized I couldn’t remember how the salesman had told me to put the tractor into gear. Throttle! Yes, of course! I jammed at the throttle and the engine wound up like a spring, the pitch of the noise escalating at least two octaves. Still the tractor sat, moving not at all.
“How do I make this tractor move?” I shouted at my wife.
She shrugged and began inspecting the various switches and gauges on the dash. She reached for lever on the side of the machine. The gearshift! Of course!
“Thanks, honey!” I said, reaching for the lever. She had already thrown it into gear. The tractor sprang forward like a wild beast released from a cage and I was halfway across the lawn before I realized I was moving...fast! I pulled on the gearshift. It refused to move. My hands flew around the controls, flipping levers and turning knobs. Pushing a button on the steering wheel, I heard a noise like a fog horn. What did a lawn tractor need with a horn? Nonetheless, I leaned on it, hoping the noise would alert any living creatures in my path. Looking back, I saw a long path of freshly turned dirt with my gaping wife standing at the end. I turned back around just in time to witness my tractor crashing through my neighbor’s picket fence.
My neighbor, Mr. Henry, is eighty-years-old and as crotchety as they come. At the moment I entered his yard, he had just removed the last weed from his flower bed and was straightening to go back inside. As he began hobbling toward his house, he caught sight of the onrushing tractor. Eyes growing wide with terror, he stood stock still, too frightened to move. I leaned on the horn.
“Run, Mr. Henry!” I screamed, placing my hands on the steering wheel and turning to the right in a desperate attempt to avoid him. It was at that moment he decided flight was his best bet. Unfortunately, he chose to run in the same direction I turned. He saw me heading his way and ran back to the left. At that exact instant, I again turned the wheel, this time to the left. Back and forth we went, the tractor growing nearer and nearer.
“Stand still!” I yelled at him.
“Nooooooooooooo!” Mr. Henry screamed, convinced I was trying to kill him.
By some miracle, I flew past, missing the old guy by mere inches. I looked back and saw him standing there, stunned. His cane had apparently become entangled in the tiller, because it was half its previous length and shredded at one end.
At last I was able to bring the monster to a stop, although only by running it into a tree and bailing out at the last minute.
Needless to say, I abandoned the Back-Yard Garden Project for less dangerous tasks and returned the tractor and attachment to the store. The salesman attempted to be understanding as I told him my story, but I think I detected a smirk on his weaselly face. Mr. Henry has mostly recovered from his experience and has forgiven me. At least to the point where I no longer feel it necessary to check my brake lines every morning before I leave for work. My wife has been acting much happier and her illness seems to be better. At least as long as no one mentions the words “tractor” or “husband.” I keep a low profile these days.
“You suck, Wilbur!” it said, and fell back into the pool with a great splash.
“Holy spam!” cried Wilbur. He ran at full speed into the house and frantically explained to his mother what had just happened.
“I was just minding my own b-business, when this giant s-slimy thing jumped out of my pool and said b-bad things to me!”
“Why, that’s just awful!” exclaimed his mother. “Now you march right back out there and tell that big nasty monster that you won't take any crap from it!” She smiled pleasantly at her nutty little son and went back to frying Buster’s friend Jim.
Wilbur went out to the yard and approached the pool. Below the glistening surface of the water, he could make out the dark silhouette of the giant squid. It was just wallowing there, grinning. Wilbur grabbed a big stick. Suddenly, the squid, displaying the unlimited raw power that only a squid of this magnitude could possess, broke through the water and ate Wilbur.
“Burp” went the squid.
Moral: Never listen to Mom.
I'm not sure where that came from. Probably another one of those computer-room breakins of mine. Hope it made some of you giggle, time-wasters! It's actually part of a larger document I've got squirrelled away called "The Road to Doom; and Other Bedtime Stories." I thought you might get a kick outta that.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
It may be to my advantage to point out from the very beginning that I am something of a handyman. The insensitive rumors which have drifted about our community are baseless, vicious attempts by my wife to conceal her admiration of my numerous home improvement projects. Therefore, you would be wise to take anything my wife says with a few tons of salt. Particularly since, as of late, she has been suffering from a mysterious case of nervous disorder and paranoia. The doctor seems to think her condition may have been caused by some catastrophic event happening in close proximity. However, he can offer no solution as to what the event might have been. My wife, upon hearing the diagnosis, will generally slip into hysteria and become delusional, often screaming about plywood, Quick-Set cement, and power tools. It’s heart-breaking to hear her carry on so and, hard as it is to leave her, I often must slip outside to relieve the pressure by constructing another of my innocuous projects. I like to think that the happy sound of hammering, chiseling, and sawing is a comfort to her as she lies writhing upon her sick bed.
My interest in home handyman projects began this past summer. My wife was newly married (to me) and I felt stirring within me the need to demonstrate my abilities. Since dating never quite reveals everything about a person, she was probably wondering just what sort of man she had married and I felt that showing I was capable of handling home crises would be the best way to calm any fears she might have.
As with many newly-wed couples, money was tight with us those first few months. It was probably this urge to save money which compelled me to begin the Back-Yard Garden Project. To me, it made perfect sense to raise our own vegetables, thereby saving us the expense of buying inferior products from the local supermarket. As I expected, my wife was doubtful and even cynical of my zealous attempt at frugality. I hauled in bags of fertilizer, all the while trying to block out her dire predictions of our backyard turning into a toxic waste dump.
"You pour all that out there and our yard will be the filming site of Chernobyl II!" she predicted dubiously.
I laughed and good-naturedly tossed her a handful of cow manure. She deflected the missile with the blade of a garden shovel and then took our game even further by chasing me about the yard and pretending to be angry. I humored the poor woman, thinking she was only playing around, although I thought trying to strike me with a shovel was taking things a bit too far. As it turned out, these were the beginning stages of her encroaching illness.
I took the next couple of days off work, deciding that any money lost would be quickly remade when my garden began providing us with free food.
Leaping out of my bed that morning, I rushed into the kitchen, full of excitement. A few minutes later, my wife entered behind me, curlers askew and hair standing at attention. She saw me standing there, wearing my old, faded jeans and shirt with paint all over it. Her eyes narrowed.
"Why aren't you at work?"
I chuckled to myself. The poor dear was still asleep. She obviously had forgotten about the Back-Yard Garden Project.
"Why, honey!" I said, toasting her with my coffee cup and managing to spill only half. "It's the big day!"
Her eyes widened with horror. "Your parents are coming!"
She relaxed a bit and frowned. "Tax day?"
I shook my head.
"Nope." I made a grand, sweeping gesture toward the backyard. "It's Garden Day!"
"Yay.” The way she was yawning, I could tell it was quite an effort for her to conceal the feeling of excitement I knew she was experiencing. “I'm going back to bed."
"Good idea," I said. "You'll need a lot of energy. I'll be back with the Roto-tiller and we can get started."
She halted in the doorway, her back still to me. "We?"
"Yeah, you know...you and me."
Her response at first alarmed me, but I soon realized that for her to entrust the entire project to me was noble indeed and only went to verify my suspicions that my little wife looked up to me and knew I was capable of handling any task. Bolstered by my wife's obvious faith in my abilities, I vowed I would see this project through to the finish.
"For you, my darling!" I said, setting my coffee mug down on the table with a thud. With determination burning within my breast, I strode out the door to begin my mission of valor.
I pulled up in front of the garden center of our local building emporium, my joy having not abated, and glanced about. All around me were tractors, trailers, plows, shovels, and countless other instruments of the intrepid garden professional. I was elated beyond my original state and felt as if I had been given my sight after a lifetime of blindness. Exiting my vehicle, I walked jauntily among the implements, trying to appear competent. It is common knowledge among us handymen that establishments such as these find it amusing to capitalize upon ignorance. Well, they would make no such progress with me. Finally, I saw an employee approaching me from the side, probably trying to startle me into buying a $10,000 tractor. I know these types.
Waiting until he was about six feet away, I suddenly whirled to face him. This move is very effective for throwing salesmen off their guard and making them susceptible to wily customers. The maneuver was obviously successful in this case as well, because the poor man threw in free delivery with the purchase of the tractor. Ha, ha!
to be continued...
These guiding lines are merely in place to make sure that the ambient moronics are up to snuff. By the way, Ambient Moronics would be a great name for a really horrible furniture store.
- Write when you're tired. You come up with really stupid things when you're tired, hungry, or asleep. When you sleep, your brain has nothing better to do, so it simply shuts down all of the energy-draining "intelligence centers" and runs in a power-saving dolt state. Like a laptop computer's processor. This is why your dreams almost never make any sense. You can be driving along in the mountains of Scotland in your new Ford GT, when all of a sudden you look over into the passenger's seat, and see that you're sitting next to your mom, who is waving a stovepipe hat out the window, which has just become the window of a small airplane. Before you have a chance to absorb all of this, you find yourself back in a high school class giving a lecture about fabric softener, and...well, if laptop processors worked like this, nobody would ever buy a laptop computer.
- Make sure that you've got plenty of soda pop on hand. The sugar and caffeine stimulate the dope nodes of your brain, and there's always the chance that you'll spill it all over your desk, and then you'll have something funny to write about if your keyboard ever works again. Plus, it is entirely possible that you'll fall down while you're getting another can, or while you're watching the syrupy mess disappear into your laptop's ventilator ducts. This can have adverse effects on your processor. See #1.
- Do you have cats? They're pretty stupid. Mine are. Can't spell worth a hoot, and their typing skills are lacking. Let them write something once in a while. Don't tell your boss.
- I suggest a mild regimen of idiot excercises. Practice making bad decisions whenever you get the chance. You don't have to go to a gym or anything like that; these excercises can be performed during your everyday routine. For example, when you order food at a restaurant, decide to ask stupid questions. "How heavy, in ounces, are the pancakes? I mean, without syrup or butter," or "Could I have another napkin? Mine ran away." There are many superb places and situations where making bad decisions is super-easy. Driving, boating, walking, power tool use, dating, skeet-shooting, mumbling, vacuuming, chuckling, driving again and the ever popular "making of cake". Too many people choose to take perfectly good cake and destroy it by putting weird stuff in it or on it. Coconut, too much frosting, eraser shavings... lame stuff.
- Spend some time getting to know your computer's operating system. If this doesn't drive you completely nuts, you will be able to reap an excellent stupid crop. Especially if you're still running Winders 98. There are whole lines of code in there dedicated to making up error messages about hardware your machine doesn't even have. Try to set up a home network! Go on! Try it! Create a bunch of files, put them in a folder, put that folder somewhere on your hard drive. Reboot. Now try to find your files. Granted, you have to be pretty stupid to lose things that easily, even with Winders 98's two gigabytes of user-thwarting code, but when I first started using computers, I used 98. And boy was it ever stupid! Ha ha!
- Whenever a nearby cane-wielding crusty old man starts to mumble to himself, listen in. It's probably not anything stupid, per se, but it's usually funny. I can't wait to be an old man myself. Crusty I shall be, and a cane I shall wield. I will shuffle around in Mal-Wart for hours on end, pontificating on the nature of vitamins, canes with silver duck heads for handles, how awful my ear medicine tastes, them blasted groundhogs---all under my breath in a barely-audible wheeze. Sooo... Listen to people like me. The future me.
- Sustain an injury. Make the cause of the injury vastly disproportionate to the severity of the injury itself. For example, if you manage to have both of your legs broken, tell your family: "There I was, right at the kitchen table. I was paying the bills, and I was licking the stamps in preparation to putting them on the envelopes. But wait! Hey, shut up. I'm telling this story. Anyway. So stamps, right? And you know what? They're self-adhesive! You don't have to lick them anymore! So they're stuck all over my tongue, and I got scared, and I fell down, and that's when both of my legs busted. What? I don't care! No. Forget that. All of you get out of my room! Especially you!"
- Read forums or newsgroups. Any one. Any subject. There's always at least one person who can't spell and spends all of his time typing posts consisting of one giant run-on sentence (not capitalized) about how everyone else on the forum is dumb, and how his car (computer, audio equipment, electric toothbrush) is way faster than anyone else's.
They are the Dumb People. There are, as you know, levels of Dumb. The ones to which I am referring have reached that critical stage known as Malignant Dumb.
This is where the basic tumor of stupidity (almost everyone on earth has stupidity free radicals roaming around their bloodstream, but some have just enough education or curiousity "white blood cells" to counteract the damage) grows and metastasizes throughout the victim's whole brain and central nervous system.
At advanced levels of metastis, the stupid tumor will take control of the nervous system's automatic responses. Most people of only average stupidity will, for example, be able to resist the urge to sit lumpishly on a greasy couch and eat handfuls of Pringles while lusting after the cubic zirconium jewelry on Channel 21. A person in the later stages of Malignant Dumb cannot resist. Like it or not, they are forced to run up high interest credit card balances in the pursuit of trashy nic nacs.
For some reason, these same sufferers are generally quite fat. Compared with Foo and Stupey, my esteemed colleagues on this Blog, I may be considered fat. I am not talking about the manly bulk that merely adds authority to one's presence. I am talking about the kind of rotundity can only be described as slop. I saw one such patient recently. He was sitting on a park bench outside of the local Walmarts. He seemed blissfully happy. The rain was drizzling down through his hair--which created a greasy patina on his forehead--but he was obliviously engaged in ferreting out the last few Dorito crums from the corner of his Family Value Pack sized bag. By his side was the obviously half consumed 12 pack of Mountain Dew X-Treme (which means, extra sugar and triglycerides, etc.). These manifestations of his condition were bad enough, but unfortunately, I glanced at his waist line. The sight caused an occurence of hyper-gagging which is embarrassing for the serious practitioner of Dumb diagnosis. I thought I was completely hardened to the worst symptoms of the disease. Apparently not. This patient was so obese that he had taken a pair of what must have been 6XL sweat pants and cut slits in the waistband so as to provide relief for his bulging fat. Over the top of the waistband and through the frayed slits, the fat had stretch marks of varying ages. His shirt had rolled up, leaving a sickly white, hair-covered beach ball belly exposed to the elements.
The light turned green and I drove away, but not before I saw him crack open another Mountain Dew X-Treme and use the pop top tab to scratch away at a fistful of Lotto tickets.
I don't know what is to be done about the tsunami of dumbness that is washing over our heartland (no offense Foo and Stupe, but your part of the country is at epidemic levels of infestation). I am mixing metaphors, but it's hard not to.
With deep concern and fear I close this entry.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Unlike the two of you, I DO have a day job and a family so it's hard to achieve the various advanced degrees of cretinitsu that you already have.
Seems that you should publish the expectations for people who think they can hang with youse guys. I'm not sure I can.
Why, just this morning I set my three children to running on the treadmill generator that powers my laptop computer and logged in to this blog. I was astounded and humbled by the sheer volume of wonderous stupidity I found here.
I may have to send in my easy monthly payments of just $39.00 (four easy installments) and enroll in your Stupid Apprenticeship program. I only hope it comes with lots of pictures and a couple of candy bars. I'd like that. Alot.
Anyway, this is good @#$^@ and I like reading it whenever I can. Hopefully, I will also be able to offend some of your friends and fans who log in here. It would be stupid not to.
It was a dark and stormy night (well, actually it wasn’t, but if it had been, we would have gotten wet). Paul and I were standing outside of his apartment on 44th Street, discussing the pros and cons of being hit by a cross city bus. The odds were definitely in favor of the cons.
“You have to admit,” Paul said. “There are much worse things than being hit by a cross city bus.”
“Like what?” I asked. “Standing outside on a dark and stormy night like this?”
“It’s not dark and stormy.”
“I know,” I said. “But I’m planning on writing about this on the Blog and I wanted to make it more mysterious.”
“Oh, right,” he said. “Dark and stormy it is. Oooooh! Scary!”
“Don’t overdo it,” I warned. “I don’t want to endanger the believability of the story.”
Paul gave me an odd look that I have yet to decipher, but it was a look of which I did not like the looks. The look looked suspicious.
“Look,” I said. “I know it looks like we’re standing out here for no apparent reason, but…”
“I’m going inside,” Paul said. “I am going to play video games and eat Fluff.”
At that moment, a scream shattered the still night air. (It had stopped storming, but was still quite dark.)
“People should be more careful with those screams,” Paul observed. “Left unattended, they can be dangerous.” He brushed a shard of still night air off his sleeve and then fumbled with his keys. The door was unlocked, but Paul likes to fumble with his keys, because he thinks it makes a statement: lots of keys, lots of responsibility, lots of women. “It’s the size women are attracted to,” he said, holding up a huge ring of keys. Later, chuckling fiendishly, he confided in me that ninety percent of the keys were utterly useless. “However, if you tell anyone,” and here he brandished a cabbage at me, “I will deny everything.”
He opened the door to his apartment and started inside, but I stopped him with a restraining arm. “As a crime fighter, shouldn’t you check out that scream?”
“I already got in my forty hours,” he explained. “I’m not allowed over time. By the way, where did you get that awesome restraining arm?”
“Picked it up at a garage sale last week,” I said. “It’s come in handy, but I still don’t know what I’m going to do with the garage.”
“Give it to the Salvation Army,” Paul suggested and again started to go inside, but before he could do so, a large, unwieldy vehicle came screeching around the corner. Wondering aloud, Paul said, “I wonder why that vehicle is screeching?”
I shrugged. “Maybe its shorts are too tight.”
As we watched, the vehicle, which turned out to be an ancient, brown, rusted Grand Marquis with random parts dropping off every few seconds, came to a sudden halt. The doors of the monstrosity flew open and three large, hulking brutes bumbled (thanks to Paul and his dad for that word) out of the back seat. They grabbed a beautiful woman, who had been walking along the parking lot and had somehow gone unnoticed by both Paul and me, and threw her easily into the car. Then they all piled in after her and the car zipped away down the lot and around the corner onto the main road.
As I watched, Paul took on an amazing transformation. His eyes squinted and his jaw began to jut out. “I’m a crime fighting hero!” he announced, as a cape began sprouting from his neck. Suddenly, he was gone in a burst of light and fluttering cape.
In just a few seconds, he was back and not even breathing heavily.
“Wow, that was fast,” I said.
“Yeah,” Paul said, shrugging. “She wasn’t as fine as I thought.”
So that’s the story. I hope it thrilled you as much as it did me as I watched this heroic crime fighter in action. We can all sleep much better now that we know Paul the Crime Fighter is watching out for us!
Friday, April 14, 2006
In an earlier post, I mentioned my job. It involves sorting books for the library system. On the company's website, I am listed as a mere "sorter," but in order to jazz it up a little, I'm lobbying for "Mulitmedia Materials Relocation and Organization Specialist," or something to that effect. Because it ain't just books I sort, time-wasters. There are DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, audio tapes, those big plastic bags with a children's book and a cassette tape in them, the occasional stray puzzle piece, individually wrapped brownies from one of the stranger libraries... Lots.
So what should happen to catch my eye? A children's book. A cardboard children's book that I happened to first notice the back cover of. I frowned. This couldn't be... I flipped the book over to check the front. It was a book about potty training, sure enough, and I'm not going to repeat the title here for fear of lawsuit. The back, however, was comprised of a checklist that looked like this:
---now I'm making things up---
- Always remember to wash your hands before setting your fires, you arsonist
- Don't forget! Pine sap tastes horrible, even though it smells okay
- Stealing is for winners!
- Gunmen are always more afraid of you than you are of them
- Laughter can cure constipation!
- Potty Monkey would be a good name for a bathroom cleaner
You have to wonder how many of these children's books are actually pranks set in motion by unscrupulous adults.
"Hey, Marcus! Check this out. Potty Monkey Says! Yeah, I know! Potty Monkey! Betcha Debra won't even notice this, and this thing'll go to print! What? Yeah. Bet you twenty bucks, man. You're on!"
And he won his twenty bucks.
So, time-wasters, I leave you again, this time to go fetch my can of Potty Monkey and give the bathroom the going over it so badly needs. Leaves only the fresh scent of twigs!
We’ve been having a vermin problem at our apartment and lately, it’s gotten so bad that we have taken the drastic step of setting out traps loaded with goodies known to be irresistible to vermin. Unfortunately, it turns out that mailmen are a lot sneakier than you might think and, so far, our efforts have netted us no results. Ha! No, seriously, I was actually talking about mice, not mailmen. But it does bring up an interesting point. If you were going to set traps for people (and we’re assuming mailmen, excuse me, mailpersons, are human), then what would you use to lure them into the trap? Here are some of my own ideas:
- Redneck: A large cage disguised as a pick-up bed and loaded with Budweiser, pork rinds, and a large, inflatable device depicting Jessica Simpson and Gretchen Wilson wrestling.
- Religious Fanatic: A cage disguised as a pulpit and filled with boxes of religious tracts foretelling the imminent destruction of the world, a scale model of Armageddon complete with action figures (collect all 3 million), and a large, inflatable device depicting Jessica Simpson and Gretchen Wilson wrestling.
- Masochist: A small, harmless trap disguised as an instrument of extreme torture.
- Idiot: An undisguised cage filled with large, inflatable devices, which may or may not be wrestling. He won’t notice anyway, he just likes large, inflatable devices.
- The Roaming Gnome: Don’t waste time being sneaky, just grab the little jerk and toss him in!
It's such an astoundingly stupid combination that I wish I had come up with it myself. I didn't. Michael Kelso (character on That 70's Show) said it and laughed hysterically through clouds of pot smoke.
So, in an attempt to establish my "stupid creds", I am now dubbing myself Jacob "Pickle Weasel" Nordby. As far as branding goes, it may take a while to catch on. I may have to (like Geico) create a fictional, but cute, Pickle Weasel and have him do cool (kool) and stupid things that make dumb people laugh while they are sitting on their fat butts with potato chip crumbs on their chins and watching miserable TV shows. And that's one heck of a cool (kool) run-on sentence.
But if I had my way, I'd have more powers. Stealthy Powers. Take the problem of never having enough graham crackers to eat. If I had Stealthy Powers, I could turn into a squirrel. How would that help, you ask? Well, to be totally and brutally honest, it wouldn't. I would just like to be able to turn into a squirrel. You see them all the time, hanging smugly from the bark of a tree, upside down. It's like they're just mocking you because they can do it, and you can't. If I had Stealthy Powers, I too could be all smug and hangy. I'd also be given all the stale graham crackers I could stomach if I happened upon the right senior citizen.
When I become an old man, I plan to feed the squirrels as often as possible. Perhaps I will even, over time, gather an army of them, and together we will scurry on town hall. MARCH. We will march on town hall. And hang there.
I'm sorry for wandering. I would use my Stealthy Powers for only good. I would be able to shoot a variety of soft drinks from my fingertips, which would make me perfect for parties. Also, it would come in handy for self-defense, for what potential mugger would be able to keep his cool if he'd just been squirted in the eyes with fingertip Mountain Dew? He'd be stunned for at least a couple seconds---just long enough for me to scurry up the nearest tree and hang there. Smugly.
I would also be able to talk to penguins. No real reason for this, but you have to admit, it's pretty Stealthy.
Now, I must go. There's crime to fight, time-wasters. If you're a criminal, you'd better keep an eye on the trees, and beware. Be very ware.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone and stay away.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
3. It is always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.
5. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
6. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
7. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
8. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
9. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat all day.
10. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
11. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.
12. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
13. Duct tape is like "The Force". It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
14. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
15. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
16. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time.
I read a Mark Twain story quite some time ago, which suggested that Benjamin Franklin was, in stark contrast to popular opinion, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I found the piece to be hilarious and, several years ago, actually composed a speech based on the tale for a college Speech class. The assignment was to write and deliver a “persuasive speech” and, although I don’t believe I changed any minds, I am convinced I had the weirdest speech in the entire class. I am including a rewritten version of that speech here.
I fully realize that, by posting this article, I am setting myself up for personal attack from fans of a certain individual from American history. However, I believe it is in the best interest of my country that I divulge this dirty little secret.
This nation and, yea, the world, has long operated under the false conception that Benjamin Franklin was a reasonably intelligent member of the human race. This concept is as ridiculous as the man himself. In fact, recently discovered evidence points to the fact that Ben may have actually been criminally insane. Can any of you say, with complete candor and with all clearness of conscience, as you gaze upon a picture of Franklin with his bald dome, long hair, and absurd spectacles, that here is a man of genius? I agree that appearances are not everything (just look at Nigel), but they do count for something.
The hard, cold truth is, ladies and gents, that Benjamin Franklin was not the brightest star in the skies of America’s past, nor a stellar benchmark in the timeline of history. Witness his many inventions. I have already mentioned the specs, but he also invented a stove of sorts. Admittedly, the stove was cleverly done. The design was brilliantly thought out and executed; there was no flaw. When one turned on this marvel and attempted to use it, the stove would immediately spit smoke and ashes all over the room. However, this was the only success I was able to dig up in my perusal of the rather dubious past of our friend Franklin. He has an FBI file 3 inches thick. Were he alive today, he would doubtless be apprehended and jailed for attempting to make the turkey our national bird. I am not making this up.
Now, I would be the last person to cast aspersions on a man’s love of recreation, but I must question the sanity of anyone who, after wasting the day inventing witty sayings, suddenly gets into a humorous mood and decides to play in a thunderstorm. Flying a kite in an electrical storm suggests the approximate IQ of a carrot. A really dumb carrot. Named Wilbur. This, however, is exactly what Ben did and, to top it all off, he attached a metal object to the kite string. He and the neighborhood children liked to play a game Ben invented entitled, “See Who Can Get Zapped with 30 Million Volts of Electricity.” It was a thrilling game and Ben always made the winner leave by the back gate in order to avoid getting ashes on his prized Early American rugs.
Benjamin Franklin was also annoying. What more irritating person can you think of than the one who has an answer for everything? And insists on answering you in verse, with a pompous twist of the head? Imagine having Ben Franklin as a roommate. You struggle out of bed at 6:30 a.m. and run blindly into the dresser, thereby causing a massive hemorrhage in your big toe. As you attempt to staunch the flow of blood, Ben, who has been up since four, comes romping into the room, stops, and surveys the gory scene. He closes his eyes, raises his eyebrows, points one finger skyward, and says stuffily, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." Grasping him about the throat, you calmly explain that you have no inclination whatsoever to be healthy, wealthy, or wise and if he wishes to remain at least reasonably healthy himself, he will leave your room immediately.
I understand that I have raked old Ben over the coals a good deal, but I really would have no problem with the old chap if he would just stay in history like a good little Father of Our Country. But NO! He has to keep popping up and making life miserable for each successive generation. This thing parents have about "hardship building character" came from Franklin. Hardship does not build character. Hardship builds despair, bitterness, and anger and turns productive citizens into blithering idiots. It is tragic that one man could have had such a negative impact upon our country.
Many of you, I'm sure, have gotten the idea that I despise Ben Franklin with all my heart, soul, and mind. This is untrue. I'm sure at least one of my nasal passages would agree that Benjamin Franklin was a highly intelligent creature, possibly even possessing opposable thumbs. But until I give my nose the right to vote, I respectfully submit this report for your thoughtful consideration.
In addition to writing weird things, I also spend lots of time making stuff in Adobe Photoshop® instead of doing useful, life-changing things. Like fighting crime and teaching children to fly. I consider those things JOBS, and I don't like work. Responsibilites aren't always fun.
I have always liked fonts, because they were quick to download, and fun to mess with. Now I go beyond mere fonts, and make... things! Graphics! This was a background image for my clunky old ThinkPad laptop computer. It fits. It's cool. It took me a couple hours, believe it or not.