Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Mad, Too!

In the previous post, Pickle Weasel shared a few things that really tick him off. Although I know there are many more he could (and should) share, I was happy to see the list, because it gave me an excuse to list a few of the things that make me angry. I don't usually get a chance to do this and it makes me mad. Anyway, I am becoming more and more irritable with every passing year. I’ve always had a difficult time suffering fools gladly, but I find the chore increasingly taxing. To show you exactly what I mean, here’s a sample of things that annoy me:

Whining children, slow people in check-out lanes, people who stop at green turn arrows (green means go, you friggin’ idiot), people who are loud for no apparent reason, stubborn toilet paper, fumbling with my keys, nuclear explosions, itchy deodorant, crickets with insomnia, people who think they’re smarter than I am and aren’t, condescension, Kool-Aid, fanatics, shaving, dry skin, and the day after holidays...(deep breath)

Telemarketers who can’t take no for an answer, repeat stories, grocery shopping, know-it-alls, people who feel a need to top everyone else’s story, car alarms, most of the rest of my generation, car bigots (is that a useless bias or what?), Boyd Bears, being blamed for global warming, people who put clanky things in the dryer, Jane Austen, people who like Jane Austen, the children and ancestors of people who like Jane Austen, poorly-tuned instruments, people all too willing to correct others and yet blind to their own errors, and exotic ring tones…(gasp)

Nit-picking, sweltering car interiors, the mispronunciation of “concerto” and “Mozart,” people who think I’m an arrogant bastard (the truth hurts), well-meaning people, ill-meaning people, people, those who complain and yet will not accept any solution, people in authority who have the intelligence of floor lamps, chess haters, empty zoo cages, static, wobbly chairs, unwarranted enthusiasm, crappy melodies, Burl Ives, burling ivy, shirts that feel crooked when I put them on, muscle twitches, tiny dogs that bark incessantly, the majority of poodles…

Okay, I guess that’s enough for now, although I’ve barely scratched the surface. As you can probably tell, I spend a good deal of my time being annoyed and feel I am well on my way to becoming an old curmudgeon. Hey, Foo…race ya!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

You know what makes me mad?

This is me working hard at being wrathful. Are you scared yet?

(I'm hoping that you'll join me by posting some of your key gripes):

1). People who sit in their ancient Toyota Tercel picking their noses after a Left Hand turn arrow has clearly turned green.

2). Flies.


4). Opinions loudly stated and dogmatically held no matter what evidence exists to the contrary.

5). Aliens who abduct (why can't they probe other aliens who would probably like it a lot?)

6). FooDaddy's cat

hmm...the list is quite a bit shorter than I would have thought.

Maybe you can help me out.

Pickle Weasel

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Spare

Scarfson started forward, but his nerve failed at the last moment, forcing him to withdraw in disgrace. The large, black, hulking object gazed at him with obtuse, unmoving speculation. It was not afraid, Scarfson knew, rather anticipating the inevitable, looking forward to the moment when Scarfson would have to face his deepest fears and approach the focus of his nightmares.

Just ten minutes earlier, Scarfson had hurried into work a few minutes late, swiped his card through the reader, and sprinted for his cubicle, hoping to be hard at work before The Boss noticed his tardiness. Charging around the corner of his cubicle, he had launched himself toward his office chair. It had disintegrated on impact, causing enough noise to attract the attention of all his immediate co-workers, not to mention The Boss.

“Late again, Barfson?” Two of The Boss’s chins had wobbled disapprovingly. They were never late and could afford to be smug.

Painfully aware of the many pairs of eyes watching the proceedings, Scarfson had ignored the intentional mispronunciation of his name and tried to crawl inside a wastebasket. The Boss had nudged the basket out of Scarfson’s reach, the exertion leaving the huge man breathless.

Too exhausted to speak, The Boss had pulled a notepad out of his pocket and scribbled a few words. He had handed the paper to Scarfson, who read it slowly, a look of horrified realization slowly spreading over his face.

“But, Boss! I don’t wanna use The Spare.”

“You must, Wormson. You have destroyed company property and we have no other office chairs. You shall use The Spare.” Then The Boss had turned and heaved himself down the corridor, the rough cloth of the cubicle walls causing rub-burns on his sides.

The audience of employees had watched in fascinated dismay as Scarfson trudged to the supplies closet, slowly opened the door, and was confronted with…The Spare! Now, he stood facing the office bane, dreading the moment when he would have to approach and, yea, even sit thereon.

The Spare was a large, ancient chair, having been used for many years by employees unfortunate or bulky enough to break their own, until the company got around to ordering a new piece of office furniture. This invariably took several eternities, making the fate of said employee that much worse.

It wouldn’t have been so bad to use The Spare, if it was simply a matter of discomfort and humiliation, but The Spare was not just any piece of office furniture. It was alive. And very, very evil. Possessed of a depraved nature equal only to that of Lucifer, The Spare lurked in the dark recesses of the supplies closet until once again released by the clumsiness of an anxious employee, rushing in late on a Monday morning. Sadly, that employee was Scarfson, who now stood gazing at The Spare in grief.

At last resigned to his fate, Scarfson wheeled The Spare out of the closet and into his cubicle. Making the sign of the cross, Scarfson lowered himself down onto The Spare, which sagged suddenly to one side, heaving him onto the floor with a fiendish chuckle.

Stunned, Scarfson lay there for a moment, staring at the fiendish chuckle, which was equally surprised, not to mentioned winded. At last, Scarfson summoned his strength and pushed off the floor. Once back on his feet, he surveyed The Spare with a determined set to his jaw.

He approached it and slowly sat back down, prepared for the abrupt sideways lurch. It never happened. After a minute, he relaxed a little and, deciding he had survived the worst the chair had to offer, grasped the edges of his desk and pulled back, propelling himself forward.

Just as he did so, however, The Spare somehow lost a wheel and one chair leg dug into the floor. The Spare came to a sudden halt, sending Scarfson (who had neglected to fasten his seatbelt) headfirst into his computer keyboard. Dazed, he looked up and brushed at his aching forehead. Several plastic keyboard pieces fell to the desk with a clatter.

Once he figured out what had happened, it was a simple matter to replace the errant wheel. Within minutes, Scarfson was back in The Spare and booting up his computer. While he waited, he inserted all the missing keys back into the keyboard and then spent the next twenty minutes blissfully reconciling invoices.

Gradually, however, Scarfson became aware of a tingling sensation in the back of his knee and realized he couldn’t feel anything below the area. He had forgotten about that particularly insidious strategy of The Spare. It lulled you into a false sense of security and then, whammo!, cut off circulation to the lower extremities.

Scarfson pushed himself out of The Spare and grasped the top of one cubicle wall for support. This was a bad one. Both legs completely numb. Movement, that was the ticket. He began moving slowly about the cubicle, holding onto various objects for support, trying to get the blood moving down into his legs. Unfortunately, the area was too small for much activity and his deadened limbs kept banging into things and knocking them over, such as the potted plant, wastebasket, and a disoriented, white-haired gnome.

Finally, in desperation, Scarfson wandered out into the hallway, hoping to loosen up on a straight stretch. He tried to ignore the curious, frightened glances of co-workers, as he half-stumbled, half-goose stepped his way down the hall.

“Swineson!” The Boss had heard the commotion and ventured out of his office to investigate. “Why have you left your cubicle?”

Scarfson indicated his wobbling limbs, which were now in tingly agony. “Legs…asleep,” he gasped.

“And I suppose you’re going to blame that on The Spare?” The Boss burped cynically. “I’ve had it with this juvenile fear of a harmless piece of office furniture,” he said, turning and lumbering toward Scarfson’s cubicle. “I shall demonstrate the inoffensive nature of this chair once and for all.”

Scarfson followed behind The Boss, almost bumping into him as the huge man came to a sudden halt just outside Scarfson’s cubicle.


“Boss, I want a new chair.”

“What have you done with The Spare?”


“It’s not here, Dweebson. What have you done with it?”

“Nothing, Boss, I…” Scarfson broke off in horrified realization. The Spare had escaped!

Over the next week, the entire staff of the office scoured the premises, looking for the renegade chair, but to no avail. Their search was fruitless and they were at last forced to return to their work. To this day, The Spare has not yet been found and may be lurking anywhere. In your building, in your office…perhaps you’re even sitting in The Spare. Don’t panic, no sudden moves…

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Hardass Punches A Man

It was a dark night. It was one of those nights where the sun just seems to disappear, and the only illumination comes from sodium-vapor lights spaced evenly along the glistening surface of downtown's asphalt labyrinth.

The Hardass fired his flinty glare into the sable heavens like twin mortar shells tipped with granite.

"Damn," he said.

His gravelly voice was filled with emotion. This emotion was anger. The sun would pay for deserting him yet again. No matter how often he threatened it, no matter how many times he emptied his .45 Magnum's magazine in its general direction, no matter how many times he informed it in that dangerously quiet way of his that it really didn't want to have him as an enemy, it persisted in its disagreeable habit of going away every 12 hours or so.

"I need a smoke," The Hardass muttered. He was not the type of man who smoked those pansy sticks that pass for "cigarettes," like a lot of those fairies on the Force. He reached into the inner pocket of his overcoat and pulled out a pine cone. This he dusted with rat poison, sprayed with Mace and lit with a blowtorch.

He puffed contentedly, and blew a smoke dagger into the damp night air.

The Hardass pummeled the air with his body as he moved through it. He forced it to split as he passed, and graciously allowed it to come together again behind him. This was something he only permitted when he was in a decent mood, and his purchase of a rocket launcher that very afternoon lifted his spirits considerably. He imagined the smug look on the sun's face as it sneaked above the horizon this morning. He imagined the look faltering, then crashing as he taught the bastard a concise lesson in respect with a high-caliber tactical guided explosive.

"Heh heh," he grunted in turgid satisfaction. He flicked the smoldering butt of his pinecone through the window of a black limousine. The crunch of breaking safety glass filled him with hairy glee as he passed on.

"You, my friend, have just made a terrible, terrible mistake."

The Hardass turned to find a peeved looking man stepping out of the limo, brushing little glass cubes from his pinstripe suitcoat and trousers.

"Fork you," ground out The Hardass.

"Oh! Fork me? ME? Do you have any idea who I am?"

"Some prick with a giant car with weak windows who just happened to be parked where I was throwing my done smoke. Is that about right?"

The man's face darkened to the point where the amber glare of the streetlamps just seemed to fall into it. "You're wrong in just about every way possible, bucko. Say hi to the Devil for me, willya?" With liquid speed, the man drew a chrome 9mm pistol and fired three rounds into The Hardass. One slug caught him in the shoulder, one in the chest, and the other pinged off his teeth with a whine and a brief shower of sparks.

"Not your smartest move," The Hardass growled, advancing.

"Mother of Bob," muttered the pinstriped man. His pistol clattered to the street as his hand relaxed. He backed slowly into the side of his car as The Hardass closed the distance.

"God, I'm so going to punch you now." The Hardass pulled the bullet out of his shoulder with his teeth and chewed it up. He left the one in his chest with the eight others for now.

"You'd be signing your own death warrant! I'm Joseph Biscotti, pal, the Joseph Biscotti! If you kill me, my boss replaces me with five other men, and they hunt down your family, your friends, your employers and your dry cleaners and send 'em all to hell before they even draw up plans to come after your sorry ass!"

"Biscotti, huh? Ain't that like that bread stuff you get at fancy restaurants?" The Hardass pulled his dented and toothmarked badge.

"Shut yer facehole," Biscotti hissed.

"If you're the guy I think you are, then you're wanted by sixteen states. And that ain't the worst of it. You know what the worst of it is, Biscotti?" The Hardass growled conversationally.

"Fork you."

"The worst of it," he continued, "Is that you was rude to me. I've already had the sun pull some crazy stunt on me today, and now you float over here and put a couple holes in this jacket of mine. I made it myself, you know, out of sharks and alligators I caught with my own teeth. That makes me angry."

"I said, fork--"

The Hardass punched Joseph Biscotti in the head. He sailed across the street and made a noisy landing against a parking meter. The Hardass stomped casually over.

"I heard you the first time," he said, taking a bite out of the meter. Nickels were his favorite, and he popped them like Skittles as he phoned HQ.

"Yep. Corner of Fulton and Monroe. Gave me some lip, so I punched him and ate his gun. That's right, Jack. I'm gonna go get me a glass of Diesel and Coke and relax now. Got a date with a star in the morning."

The Hardass allowed a smile to tenuously chisel his crags.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Instructed Ladyhunting 4; Mission Accomplished

Part Three

As I sat in the booth, studfully toying with my silverware and awaiting my second serving of milk, I looked back on The Stupid Blogger's instructions with a bit more fondness than I had started the evening with. He must have forseen the unforseen, at least a little. He, in his boundless wisdom, had left gaps in the instruction set for those of us crafty enough to fill them in.

This had to be it, for TSB is a crafty man with his own harem, I have heard it told.

Danielle returned with my milk. The way she held it out for me to take instead of leaning over and setting it down on the soggy napkin herself was an unmistakable little piece of body language. Gap, I thought, and emitted a Chuckle of Confidence

"What's so funny?" she asked. I looked up at her and saw that one of her eyebrows was scrunched up higher on her forehead than the other. This was also a signal, I accurately judged. I seized the moment.

"Excuse me," I said, and stood up. Before she could run off, I took one of her soft little hands in my own. I began to make a speech. I put my other hand over my heart.

"This has been such a delightful evening, that I've decided that if you have a boyfriend, I will either resign myself to the fact and sit in this booth and howl until I fall asleep, or I will do tricks until you replace him with me." I said with a soulful deepness to my voice.


"I know, I know! The sudden entwining of two kindred souls in a restaurant beside a table with milk on it can be a little creepy. I understand, baby. Would you like me to help you write a breakup letter to your boyfriend?"

"I don't, um, I don't have a boyfriend," said Danielle, nervously adjusting her nametag.

"I've got Mikersoft Wurd on my laptop. Won't take more than a---huh? Hold on. What?"

"I don't have a boyfriend, you crazy little monkey," she said sweetly and with (could this be?) a twinkle in both of her eyeballs.



"Sweet chocolate-covered Jesus!" I squealed. Then I remembered The Stupid Blogger's insistence on a state of transcendent coolness. I did my best to hold it in, but I'm afraid I did prance a little. But in place. Not around the room.

"Well! This is spanktacular!" I said with so much vibratory enthusiasm that little flakes of semi-gloss formed a dense cloud around my jacket. I secretly thought of it as my Crumbly Force-Shield of Awesometude
™ as I watched Danielle walk unsteadily back to the kitchen to retrieve my Belgian pancakes. I turned around in my seat and leaned over into the neighboring booth where an elderly man and a little boy were eating fishsticks and talking about fishing.

"Howdy!" I said.

"Bah," said the old man.

"Hi," said the little boy.

"I'm making progress with the ladies," I said in a confidential whisper to the lad.

"Grandpa and I are going fishing tomorrow!" said the little boy, excitement plain on his sticky little features.

"Interesting parallel, but not satisfying in the least," I reprimanded. "Have a mint." I handed the little boy a mint. The old man wordlessly took it from his grandson and threw it across the room into the smoking section and the two of them got up to pay their check.

I sat back down and folded my arms crunchily. Ha. Don't need the approval of strange old men. I had Danielle! Tee hee, I thought to myself. Tee hee.

"Here's your pancakes, just like you wanted 'em!" Danielle said, her voice like liquid sliver cascading down a precipice made of tasty cake. "I had the cook make them really fluffy and," she set the plate down, "here's your syrup. I'm going to have to charge you extra for that, though. Sorry." She set down a miniature pitcher of the Cherry Coke syrup I'd asked for. "Let me know how that tastes. I've never heard of anyone putting cola syrup on their pancakes before."

"You're dealing with an entirely new frame of normality here, babe," I grunted. I tried to kiss her knuckles, but she pulled her hand away. Never mind that. There would be time. She stood there, shifting her weight from foot to foot while I poured the concentrated Cherry Coke goo over my pancakes.

"I get off at ten o'clock tonight," she said.

"Is that so?" I looked up, grinned, and went back to pouring.

"Yes. Do you have any plans tonight? I mean, if you're not...well, I mean if you don't mind staying up kind of, uh, late. Some people have responsibilities and all and, well, uh, they need their sleep, I guess."

"Not me, cutestuff," I said. I continued pouring. If you didn't maintain a steady hand, the coating ends up thicker in some areas and thinner in others. "As far as tonight goes, I'm thoroughly useless to society."



Then it hit me. The syrup pitcher squirted out of my hand and bounced off the window.

"You want to get together tonight, don't you?" I hooted. I leaped up and prodded her in the shoulder. "Don't you!"

"If you're not busy, of course. I'm curious to see what kind of facility they keep you in." She grinned.

"A lead-lined chamber designed to keep my awesomeness from leaking into the water supply and poisoning people," I rumbled. I made another dash at her knuckles with my face, but she was too quick.

"So, I'll meet you out front at about ten?"

"I will use the time in between to build a new car out of weeds and duck feathers," I said, bowing. "And if any ninjas try to keep us apart, I will fight them off with a fire extinguisher. I heard of a guy doing that once, and I guaran-dang-tee you that I'd do it with more style."

"Right. Enjoy your pancakes."

"My name is Paul!" I yelled at her back.

"Stop yelling at my buttocks, Paul," she said without turning around.

"Sweet caramel-swirled Moses!"

Then I pranced a little.