Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm thankful for...

It's a strange custom, this yammering on to perfect strangers about how well off you are. Everywhere you go people are holding forth about their gratitude.

So, since it seems so neat, here are a few things for which I am thankful:

1). Superior intellect. Yes, that DOES mean superior to YOU if you are a easily-offended type.

2). Above average appearance. Almost goes without saying, but I AM thankful.

3). An enviable lifestyle. Well, I'm so SORRY if you feel envy. That's a venal sin and I'm sorry to be the cause of it in your life, but let's review a few little items and see if you don't have a few stirrings of that little viper. If you can answer "yes" to any of the following, then you should consider NOT envying me. Here goes.... Did you: a). nibble caviar from the navel of a supermodel this morning for breakfast? Y/N b). stretch in all your suntanned glory before a full length mirror prior to dressing? Y/N c). summon your man or maidservant up the winding staircase of your palace and bid them carry you down to your chauffered limousine? Y/N d). climb the steps of your Gulfstream IV and watch terra firma fall away beneath you as you flew to the Cayman Islands for a weekend of no tan lines? Y/N e). just receive an invitation to give the commencement address at Harvard in the Spring--and at the same time also be granted an honorary Doctorate? Y/N

Actually, I just read this little pop quiz and failed miserably myself. Who IS this "me" and why do I feel so homicidally envious of him?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wedded Blitz

Marriage is a tricky business and, while I don’t profess to be an expert, I will say that I have learned a few things over the past four years. Four and a half years. Five years. Whatever. Moving on, I’d like to address the issue of problems in a marriage and how to handle them.

Men and women handle problems differently. They perceive problems differently and they pursue solutions differently. Left to his/her own devices, an individual will generally resolve the problem regardless of gender, but naturally, this wasn’t good enough. No! Men and women insist on co-habiting and this is why there are major problems above and beyond those of which nail polish to buy or even reaching that elusive “Z” while burping the alphabet.

Once a man and woman become a couple, things really complicate. Men view problems as obstacles, roadblocks on the path to more steak and Doritos, and think the best solution in all cases is to simply roll over the barrier with any vehicle containing an engine. They’ll use anything, although an Abrams tank is generally preferred. In other words, brute force is the key.

Women, on the other hand, view problems as actual problems, and consider the optimal solution to be: a long, involved discussion centered around the problem itself, the vague causes for the problem, all individuals involved in the problem, how the problem will impact their weight, and how Sandra’s new haircut makes her look like a deranged wombat hit by a riding lawnmower.

Even now, things are not at a critical point. But, as I mentioned, couples will eventually end up attempting to solve problems by working together. This is never a good idea, because the two problem-solving methods are not compatible. Let’s lay out a typical scenario.


Bob comes home from a long day at work, flops down on the couch, and grabs the remote. Ten minutes into an episode of Seinfeld, he suddenly becomes aware of his wife, Flossy, who is whimsically moving about the room and emitting sighs that sound as if they are being torn from the depths of her soul. Because Bob has been married for several years, he recognizes the presence of a problem. Immediately, his manly instincts report for duty and he mutes the television.

“What’s wrong?”

Flossy continues her waif impersonation and sighs, “Nothing.”

This is obviously a lie, so Bob persists. “Are you sure? What’s wrong?”


At this point, Bob has options. None of them good. Let’s examine these choices.

OPTION 1: Bob can assume nothing is wrong, unmute his favorite show, and continue enjoying his evening. While this is a common approach and completely logical, given the fact Flossy has twice denied there is a problem, it also will require Bob to ignore Flossy as she observes him watching television in oblivious contentment for several more minutes, before she finally flees to the bedroom and weeps.

OPTION 2: If you have the IQ of a rutabaga, you will have recognized option 1 as the actions of a lunatic. If Bob is a wise man, he will keep Seinfeld muted and, preferably, turn off the television altogether. Then he will rouse himself from the couch and sit upright, while affixing Flossy with an expression of caring and concern. For the next half hour, he will continually ask her if something is wrong. If Bob is lucky, Flossy will finally admit to having difficulties. She will then sit next to him on the couch and weep. While weeping, the entire story will come out and Flossy will discuss the problem itself, the vague causes for the problem, all individuals involved in the problem, how the problem will impact her weight, and how Sandra’s new haircut makes her look like a deranged wombat hit by a riding lawnmower.

Being a man, Bob will run out to his Abrams tank and prepare to solve the problem. We now understand Bob is an idiot, because women do not wish to have their problems solved. Merely discussing the problem in a "meaningful" way (I heard the masculine shudders from here) seems to suffice and even "solve" the problem, if you can call something not involving violent action and explosions a solution.

LIFE LESSON: If your wife is acting whimsical, inquire about her welfare at least 3,675 times. Once she has admitted to a problem after the 3,676th inquiry, do not, under any circumstances, attempt to solve it! Just sit there, nod understandingly, and replay old Seinfeld episodes in your head. Good luck, sucker.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Cleaned My Bedroom!

And I should be duly proud of that achievement.

I am, too.

I am not, however, currently enjoying its new cleanliness, as I am lurking down in a remote corner of The Girlfriend's basement. I have again taken control of her computer, and am preparing to use it to spread my insidious propaganda.

Or, in layman's terms, I'm going to write about how proud I am of myself for cleaning my room. It boils down to the same thing in the end, really, as I don't know where I put all my propaganda. Probably in a drawer somewhere.

This is an (a) historic occasion, much like my first post here on the Blog, but with more cat hairs involved. The process, which I carried out dressed in only the finest boxer shorts, took a little over three hours and enlisted the help of no fewer than two vacuum cleaners, a bottle of spray cleaner, some boxes and plastic bags, Lucky Piddle Patties (oh, them cats!) and half a cup of pilfered coffee.

I want you, time-wasters, to consider my cat Sprocket. At a guess, I'd say he weighs about 12 pounds, and he's short-haired. Very unassuming. But beneath his goofy veneer lies an extremely efficient fur-dispersal engine, capable of covering a 12x12 room to a depth of six inches in the time it takes me to pour a glass of Cherry Coke. There's a good chance that my Cherry Coke will play host to at least one Sprocket hair by the time he's done, too.

So, upon moving my junk off the floor, where it had been safely and conveniently stored for weeks, I vacuumed the drifts of cat hair out, and put the stuff into closets, on shelves, or into the garbage. I held a running dialog with myself that went something like this:

"Wow. Stupid cat."
"What the heck is this?"
"Heeeey, this isn't mine..."
"Betcha THIS is broken now."
And of course, the ever-popular, "So that's where this went!"

Have you ever done or created something of such life-affirming worth that you couldn't help but stand there like a moron and beam radiant joy out of your face at all around you? Well, that's what I did.

I stood in the middle of my room, like some retarded sculptor's idea of the human condition, and looked at the carpet. It turns out that it's NOT the same color as Sprocket, but a sort of a coffee-with-way-too-much-cream color. I beamed dementedly at it.

I gazed upon my desk, which had its collection of cat prints and sody pop goo banished to the four corners of the earth by the learned application of spray cleaner and paypa towel. I surreptitiously scratched myself in discreet regions with glee.

Next, my eyeballs directed theyselves upon the empty chair which had recently held a month's worth of clean laundry. I was so happy about this that I fell down.

From my new vantage point, I noted that all the crud and dust and cat debris had been vacuumed from my power strips with the utmost of love and care, and I flopped about like a drugged sunfish, so happy was I.

And then I left to come visit The Girlfriend. But in the back of my mind, I will know that my room is clean, and it will make me happy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Recorder--an instrument in the hands of Satan

There are only a couple of people in this world who should play a recorder. You aren't one of them and my son, Nathan, is most certainly not one of them, either.

In my evolution as a human, I have come to hold much less defined beliefs as to the nature of evil, but when I came home and found my son screeching away on his shiny new recorder, I immediately discovered a powerful certainty that Satan is alive and walks the earth.

"Hey, dad," my freckled one grinned, "Look what I got!"

"Wonderful," I regurgitated. Then I felt invisible, malicious fingers grasping at my throat.

So, let's examine the (maybe) two categories of people who have a right to play the recorder:

1). if you are a wizened Navaho Indian sitting alone under a vast night sky atop a red rock mesa, then you may be a candidate. The recorder "properly" played gives off that haunting, lonesome wail that seems most appropriate to wilderness places--places where other humans can't hear you.


Turns out there was only one category.

Anyone else who presumes to take up the recorder is either a small child upon whom this instrument of evil has been forced, or a sadist. Or both.

My son is both, I'm pretty sure.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Timely Cell Phone Instructions

For the Blog of Stupid participants (founders, bloggers, readers and general population of cretins)

What follows is a simple, timely and important set of instructions and rules for you to follow as you use your cell phone. You may believe some of these rules to be sort of basic, but, believe me, there are those of you who will read them and say "DANG! I gotter stop doin' thet?".

Important, Timely and Relevant Rule #1: NEVER place your phone in a microwave oven as it will cause the battery to explode. (Pickle Weasel's Notes: I know this will seriously cramp your style because it's so wonderful to toss your phone and your popcorn in the microwave together. When you are munching nice, hot, buttery popcorn and holding a nice, warm phone to your ear, heaven seems very close indeed.)

Important, Timely and Relevant Rule # 2: Make sure no sharp-edged items--such as animal's teeth, razor wire or eagle's talons--come into contact with the battery. There is a risk of this causing a fire. (Pickle Weasel's Notes: seems to me that if you are in such a state of peril as to have an animal or an eagle molesting your phone, you may have more to worry about than a cell phone battery fire. Also, "Razor Wire"? Does this mean you should carefully wrap your cell phone up in a sock before attempting to escape over the high-voltage prison fence?)

Important, Timely and Relevant Rule #3: When you are taking a very long bath, remember that it is inadvisable to talk on your cell phone while it is plugged into the wall charging unit. You may drop it into the water and risk electrocution. (Pickle Weasel's Notes: Many of the members of this audience may not have to worry much about this rule--I am thinking that quite a few of you don't take, shall we say, "extended baths". In fact, why the heck don't you take a quick shower right now?).

Important, Timely and Relevant Rule #4: Don't Manually Disassemble Your Phone. (Pickle Weasel's Notes: Yes, my stupid friends, this also means...don't disassemble the phone with a hammer, don't disassemble the phone with a rock, don't ask your pet rhesus monkey (don't they have AIDS? why DO you have a pet rhesus monkey and how did he get AIDS?) to disassemble the phone. If you DO disassemble the phone because you want to find the little woman in there who tells you how many voicemails you haven't listened to, you WON'T be able to get it un-disassembled, you dummy, so DON'T DO IT!!!)

Important, Timely and Relevant Rule #5: Don't drop, shake or strike your phone severely. This may cause a loss of proper function. (Pickle Weasel's Notes: I really shouldn't need to explain this, but... OK, what this rule means is DON'T TRY TO HURT OR PUNISH YOUR PHONE. The phone isn't to blame that your boss called and fired you or your girlfriend just rang up to tell you that (ONLY because of you) she is now a lesbian and to erase her number from your contact list. If you SMACK, SPANK, KICK, THROW or otherwise EXPRESS DISPLEASURE in these ways, your phone will NOT be able to fix the problems in your life. In fact, you will probably have to also buy a new phone--or concoct a very improbably elaborate lie to tell the cell phone warranty folks so you can have them give you a new one for free.)

Important, Timely and Relevant Rule #6: DO NOT use your cell phone in high explosive areas as the phone may generate sparks. (Pickle Weasel's Notes: I doubt you have followed the instructions up to the point with absolute integrity. Because of this, your phone is likely to be cracked, leaking battery juices and probably has some frayed wires and fractured circuit boards. I'll be surprised if your phone isn't smoking and sparking just sitting there on top of your crumpled-up X-Treem Cheez Tater Chipz bag. Anyway, most of my readers would only come into a "high explosive area" by stealth. They certainly wouldn't have the kind of job where they'd be in an area like this legitimately. Therefore, I don't really care if you use your phone in there or not. I think you probably deserve to be blown across several counties and end up wrapped around a telephone pole anyway. So, knock yourself out!)

So, that's about it. If you'll observe these few important rules, you'll find that you and your cell phone will be happy for at least a few more days--until you fall asleep on the toilet and drop it down between your legs. Then, of course, although YOU would be ok with just drying it off and moving on with life, your phone will not have any will to live left. And who could blame it?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Time Is Nigh!

I've been ignored by the pollsters and mocked by the electorate. I was not invited to participate in the debates. I've been trodden underfoot as the so-called miracle of democracy has marched to the drum of deception and greed. And yet, this has not undermined my firm belief that I will prevail when the polls are finally closed. I am smelling in the air the scent of victory. Either that, or the sauerkraut I forgot to toss out last week has gone bad.

I am counting on a late-night comeback to carry me on to victory so I can live like a sloth, draped in the arms of affluence and comfort. Oh, yeah, and help the people of Michigan, too. The polls close in just over an hour. Go to the polls and vote. Now! DO IT!


To read my plan for change in Michigan,
click here. And if you voters in Detroit feel offended by my fourth point...I was kidding.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

FooDaddy's Cheesy Love

Given that I work for the library system, as I’ve mentioned too many times before, I have unfettered access to a wide array of literary bilge. This usually manifests itself in the form of those little 3” by 5” paperbacks with pictures on the cover of rebellious shirtless men pressing their manly selves up against swoony women in poofy, low-cut dresses.

“Oh, Bartholomew! You’re so sweaty!”
“That’s my love, dear lady.”
“My chest doth heave!”

The Romance Novel. If I had to judge by weight, about 10 percent of my job is devoted to routing these little abominations. As if you couldn’t already tell, I think the Romance genre, uh, doesn’t need to exist, to put it nicely. Out of simple curiosity (and to pick up swooning tips) I’ve flipped a few of them open and taken a peek. This served two purposes: To reduce my faith in the intelligence of humankind, and to give me something to make fun of on the Blog.

To be perfectly honest, this post is mostly an excuse to show you time-wasters this particularly hilarious back-cover picture I found at work. I added the quotation balloons.

So, without further ado, The FooDaddy Romance Novel!

Scruffy Love
By The FooDaddy

Buck Studson was a rebel cowboy with a lot of muscles and no chest hair. He didn’t like children, until he met the pretty lady with the poofy dress who lived at the orphanage down the road. Cassidy Swoony had been single for too long, and it was starting to make her very angry.

“Because of my strong desire for to be swept off my feets, I swat you mercilessly, Little Rodney!” she said, chasing Little Rodney about the orphanage with a rolled up issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

“You need a man with no chest hair and a cowboy hat!” said Rodney, dodging into the bathroom and running the bolt.

“Foul wastrel!” sighed Cassidy, and ran headlong into the door. She bounced off the wood veneer, and into the arms of…

“Buck,” said Buck, for that was his name, pointing to his hairless chest. “I’m here to adopt a child. I want one to help me take care of my giant romantic log cabin in the mountains, and to keep my flock of studly horses from getting fat by riding them all about the romantic mountains. How about that one?” Buck pointed vaguely in the direction of a pile of adorable children.

“My my, what a handsome stranger he is! My bosom heaves and thrives! I wish I, very attractive woman with great hair who is somehow inexplicably also very lonely, could put my painful past behind me and strew myself into this man’s heavily muscled wrists! I bet he likes ice cream too.” Cassidy thought out loud.

“What?” Buck squinted at Cassidy.

“Did I say that out loud? Foolish me!” she said, blushing.

“You’re turning red,” said Buck slyly. “Do you want to have sex?”

“Certainly!” said Cassidy, and swooned, thumping into Buck’s studly deerskin trenchcoat.

“Gross!” said Little Rodney from the bathroom.

So there you have it. That could very well be the first installment, and if I feel like it, I’ll write more later. I’ve been mocking the Romance Novel out loud for years now, and I’ve found that it’s fun to do it in print!

“That’s lame,” said Little Rodney.