Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Terminal Toothache

Dear Del Pharmaceuticals Inc,

RE: Orajel

My throat is numb. My cheeks are numb. My tongue is numb. My lips are numb. My face is numb. My hair is numb. Even the nape of my creamy, milky-white neck is numb. Do you know what is not numb? My toothache, that's what.

Luckily, my dentist gave me some vicodin. If she didn't, I would have been tempted to drink the other half of the bottle of Orajel I bought. You owe me five bucks. Consider this blog a legally binding agreement.

Benzocaine, my ass.

I will be dead soon,

Moist Rub

Note to you college kids out there: Sometimes it's fun to have a few beers and then douse your entire mouth with Orajel before you head out to a party or the bars. Talk about being a blathering idiot! Also, try using Orajel when you make out (do kids still make out these days, or do they go straight to the oral and anal sex?). It makes it feel like you're smashin' face with a dead person. Rad.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It'll Be Tyco-riffic!

Sardinia isn’t quite an anagram for San Diego, but I’m beginning to wonder if it should be. If you remember, Sardinia was the locale for Karen Kozlowski’s 40th birthday party. Remember, that was the one where you gave her the vanilla scented candle. And then felt embarrassed because the party featured gladiators, women in togas, Jimmy Buffet and Stoli flowing from the penis of an ice sculpture of David. Ringing a bell? The one thrown by her husband Dennis who attempted to slip half of the $2 million tab on his Tyco expense report. That didn’t work out too well and he’s in jail now. But I digress.

I went to a party last night and as soon as I hit the patio I heard the band playing a Jimmy Buffet tune. I’d have preferred some Miami Sound Machine, but I guess Jimmy more suited the business casual crowd. Next I noted a mermaid hanging from a suspended hoop. I wouldn’t even know where to go to hire a mermaid. It’s not like Bob from Accountemps is going to cut it. Another girl dressed like the ivy outfield walls at the friendly confines of Wrigley Field walked by with a streamer and decided to show me her flexibility skillz by pulling her leg back behind her head. I felt like a girls gymnastics coach and don’t know how they do it without feeling a little bit dirty. Blue margaritas flowed through taps built into blocks of ice. It was all very Tyco. I commandeered an O’Doul’s and some shrimp quesadillas and tried to find a shady spot. As I set up shop where I thought was further removed from the activities, ivy girl walked by again this time to show me that she can also pull her leg completely upside her head. As I was about to munch a quesadilla (no, that’s not a euphemism (but it should be)), I hear a guy say, “Excuse me,” politely, not like Steve Martin during his Wild and Crazy Guy days. I turn to see him wheeling a girl out on a dolly. She’s perfectly still and dressed like a statue, except without all the bird crap. That’s how I knew she really wasn’t a statue. Also, when I grabbed her boob it felt like a bag of sand and not granite. I stepped aside and he wheeled her to a pedestal where she posed and then did this goddess of water routine to some operatic music and eventually turned herself into a fountain, complete with a shower of water shooting out of her calamari hairdo.

It all seemed so wrong. I left the convention center and walked up the street to a dive bar to watch the end of the hockey game. Because there’s nothing more natural than watching hockey teams from Texas and California battle it out for a shot at the Stanley Cup.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Risk Mis-Management

From a sign in my hotel... this certainly doesn't sound very safe.

Auto-Pilot, Auto-Harp, Oughta Shut Up

American Airlines Pilot: And if you look out to your right, you’ll see a nice view of Sioux City, Iowa as we head into Nebraska.

American Airlines – we know why you fly.

Apparently you don’t. It certainly isn’t to see Sioux City, Iowa from 32,000 feet. Even better was that we later flew right over some snow-capped Rockies and some beautiful painted desert spotted with mesas without another word from the flight deck. Maybe as soon as they hit Nebraska they put the baby on auto-pilot and catch a few zzzzz’s until the tower in San Diego wakes them up with some Black Sabbath. Some time the tower should “forget” to wake them until they’re all the way out over Guam. I’m not even sure where Guam is exactly, but it sounded funnier than Hawaii to me.

Speaking of Guam, the other night I became obsessed over the autoharp. I went from believing it was the lamest instrument ever made to absolutely wanting to buy one and find an autoharp instructor. If a door-to-door autoharp salesman had happened to knock on my door during that particular hour, he totally would have made a sale. By the way, I’m over it now so don’t go getting me one for Mother’s Day or I’ll be really pissed.

But I digress. After landing safely and checking into my hotel I did what any normal person would do – I bought a toothbrush and found a bike shop. Oral hygiene is a priority in my life, and one never knows when one might need a bicycle.

I mentioned this to the Mrs., aka Miss Safety, who wanted to know if they also had helmets available.

“I’ll wear a Subway bag on my head if I go riding.”

“I don’t think that will afford the same protection as a helmet.”

“Well, I planned on filling it with lettuce first.”

She actually debated the merits of a helmet versus a Subway bag filled with lettuce for a moment before realizing that I’m an utter moron and changing the topic. She would probably get along with Gladys very well.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earth Day Hangover

I’m not feeling very good today. I think I overdid it yesterday for Earth Day. It was all worth it - anything to save the planet. I must have eaten at least twenty-six pounds of soy-based food-shaped consumables. The air is much cleaner due to my homemade filters constructed out of vodka soaked paper towels stretched across fly swatters arranged in pinwheels. My throat is a little sore from having individual discussions with thirty-seven polluting industrialists. I don’t think it’ll make them change their ways, but, I promise you, I took them down a few notches on the self-esteem pole. The next time one of them dumps tons of ethylprocalinebicarbulousness into one of our rivers, he’s not going to be very happy with himself. This should be our last Earth Day because I think we got everything covered with yesterday’s effort.

But, it may be too late for Mars. We’ve already begun polluting that world with cute little information gathering robot ATV’s. What will be next – more robots? Most people don’t know this, but the first recorded offense of pollution here on Earth was back in 12,398 BC when Grobak, aka the Einstein caveman, invented a fleet of robots out of flint, tree sap and a crashed flying saucer. One of the robots ended up killing him. Since none of the other cavepeople had the intellectual capacity to operate the robots or to power them, they threw them out their windows to the side of the road, after banging them on their sides with their clubs a few times in an effort to try to get them to work. This made one of the Native American cavemen cry. Before you knew it you couldn’t walk down a street in Los Angeles without coughing up a lung. Luckily, nobody walks in LA. But, it can happen THAT quickly. Mars does not have the luxury of time. There are no environmentalists up there to slow its death. We must act now.

Please join me on July 23rd for the inaugural Mars Day Celebration to begin spreading awareness about Mars’ impending doom. We will meet in Death Valley at high noon and begin licking rocks to simulate the unnatural erosion of the Mars environment by the hand of our technology. I think one of those roving robots has already left an oil stain on a Martian driveway. Where will it end? In an arid wasteland, if you do not help us.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lovehammers Earth Day Show Review

It’s all Florida’s fault.

If they hadn’t screwed up the election so bad in 2000, then maybe Al Gore would have been a little too busy presidenting and commandering-in-chief to get everybody nutty about global warming and this whole green bandwagon. It’s not like I’m dumping my used motor oil down the sewer or asking the checkout clerks to give me a double plastic bag for every individual item at the grocery store (they seem to do that on their own without me asking). I use public transportation and let my wife drive our monster truck to school every day. I also estimate that I use approximately 47 barrels of oil per year driving my recycling over to my aunt’s house because the old people in our condo building haven’t implemented a recycling program because they’re all going to be dead soon and are taking as many resources as they can with them. But I digress.

So obviously I had mixed feelings about this whole Earth Day deal. Part of me is like, “Yea, go Earth!” and another part of me knows that the planet is going to do whatever the hell it wants like a rebellious teenager no matter how much we try to instill our values over a nice family dinner. But if it tricks a few people into driving less, then that’s a few less cars on the road to run me over on my bicycle so I’m all for it. That was all I needed to convince myself that I could take a walk over to Daley Plaza for the big Earth Day rally or celebration or festival or whatever they heck they were calling it. It definitely wasn’t a rally. I don’t think I’ve ever been passionate enough about anything to attend a rally or a protest. As long as TBS keeps running Wings repeats there’s really nothing to get my panties in a bunch.

As a good little citizen this morning I packed my breakfast and lunch in my insulated, reusable, green, sustainable cooler and walked to the train. Upon arriving at work, I realized that I had left my insulated, no longer reusable cooler on the train, thus providing breakfast and lunch for the lucky conductor who may have found it. After two years I guess I’ve finally become habituated to the announcement as the train approaches downtown reminding me to take my possessions and use caution while exiting the train. Before you know it I’ll start exiting the train recklessly and fall on my face.

Without the ingredients for my power shake, I did the next best thing. I stopped at one of the three McDonald’s on my walk to work and bought breakfast. And when I’m bad, I’m very bad. I ordered an egg. Might as well add a sausage patty to that. Sure, cheese sounds good. And why not slap it all between a couple flapjacks with the maple syrup flavor built right in. 560 calories, 32 g fat (12 g saturated), and 1360 mg of sodium. I had a heart attack around 10 a.m. but worked through it so I wouldn’t miss the Earth Day rally/festival/convention/celebration/protest thing featuring music by the Lovehammers.

Around 1 p.m. I locked up my desk drawer where I keep my cheap scotch and porn and slipped out of the office. I stopped by Jamba Juice since the only thing I didn’t get at breakfast was a boatload of sugar. My 30 oz. Power Mega Mango took care of that, delivering the 97 g of sugar I required to walk the three blocks to Daley Plaza.

Upon arrival, I found the tent where the band was rocking out as much as a band can rock out acoustically at a city sponsored Earth Day shindig. Jeez, that made it sound sucky. It wasn’t. At all. It was short, but razzmatazzical. I’ve never seen so much razzmatazz packed into such a short set. You should have been there. But I guess you just don’t care about our planet as much as I do.

I hope you really didn’t come here for a real review of the show… didn’t you learn your lesson from the New Year’s Eve show review? Check out the fine folks at and the other swell fan sites. They’ve got you covered. Me? I’m just a bonehead kid that left my lunchbox on the short bus.

Leper Pop Earth Day Special Report

This is Bob Polar Bear reporting from somewhere in the Arctic. I can’t tell you exactly where because I’m a polar bear, and frankly, we’re not too good with maps. While many concerned citizens are attending rallies and other events to raise awareness of Earth’s fragile environment, I stand before you all too aware. Do you know why I’m aware? Because my home is melting into the ocean and doesn’t seem to be coming back, that’s why. That’s not the sort of thing you miss because you were distracted by Dr. McDreamy on the television. See that stretch of ocean out there? No, not there, over there, about a mile out underneath that cloud that looks like an injured seal (they all look like injured seals to me). THAT used to be my living room.

Now, I can’t prove anything, but I’m pretty sure you humans had something to do with it, which is part of the reason all y’all are having these Earth Day festivities. Sure, the sentiment of Earth Day is nice and I appreciate it, but I don’t know how long I can wait for something to be done. A bunch of hippies sitting around feeling bad does not seem to help with the…shit, there goes my KITCHEN! Right into the ocean. How would you like it if I came over to your house and ripped out your breakfast nook? And then the next year I tore out your gun room? Huh? How’d you like that?

As I said, something has to be done. Luckily, I have an idea. Did you know humans add eighty-five trillion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere just by breathing? It’s true. Look it up. You could easily cut that in half – just breathe less. Hold it in every other breath. Pretend you’re smoking pot. You’re the ones with the gigantic brains. Figure out a way to genetically engineer yourselves to breathe less. I’d do it but I didn’t get a big brain. You know what I got? Big paws and a big snout. And, unlike you, I use my gifts. I whap things and smell stuff all the time. Although, there is not much to smell out here on an ice sheet. Most of the stuff I smell is far away, and by the time I get there, whatever it was, what I planned on eating, salivating all the way, has fallen into the ocean because the ice sheet melted, and the Orcas ate it. Those damn Orcas. They’re loving every bit of this global warming stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were in on it with you. They’re pretty smart, too. They’re lucky they never come up out of the water onto the ice sheet. I’d whap their ass with my big paws. I could take an Orca.

Mrs. Bob Polar Bear: Oh no you couldn’t, Bob.

Shut up, Gladys, I’m trying to give a Special Report. I could TOO take an Orca.

Gladys: No, you couldn’t. Quit being an ass.

Well, maybe not, but I can whip a narwhal. When one of them sticks his big nose out of the water, I’d grab it, pull him up on the ice and go all Bam-Bam on his ass. Bam-BAM! Bam-BAM! Bam-BAM! That’s one thing I have to hand it to you humans for. I sure love those Flintstones cartoons. Good old Fred and Barney. Never understood the Great Gazoo thing, though. Where’d that come from? You know what else I like that you humans did? I like those big blue plastic air tight drums. My cousin Lester sent me one from the zoo. I had it in the water and was wrestlin’ with it, jumping on it, whappin’ it with my big paws (showin’ the Orca what he’d get if he ever comes up on shore). I was having the time of my life with that thing until that damn walrus poked a hole in it with his big ole walrus tooth. I should eat that walrus. The damn thing filled up with water and sank to the bottom of the ocean. If there are any humans reading this, please send me another one of those things. I’ll trade you a half a mangled seal for it.

OK, where was I? That’s right, you humans gotta start breathing less. You are adding too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Gladys: You know your breath puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere,

WOULD YOU SHUT UP, GLADYS! I am trying to make a point here. WE are not the problem. The humans have admitted it. Why else would they have an Earth Day? You don’t see us having an Earth Day, do you? They are destroying our home.

Gladys: How do you know that this global warning…

That’s global WARMING!

Gladys: Right, global warMing. How do you know it’s not due to the
Earth’s normal long term weather cycle?

Who would have thought that Las Vegas was a sick enough town to actually allow two polar bears to get married at a road side chapel and that it was LEGALLY binding? I’m never going there again. It has ruined my life. I tell you, I am ruing the day.

Gladys: It’s been no picnic for me either, Bob. All of my friends get to
have other males fight over them ending up with the best fit one each mating
season. You know, you’ve gotten a little pudgy since you stopped having to
fight for me. And I don’t mind saying it’s affected your performance in
the snow bank.

THAT’S ENOUGH, GLADYS!!! You know I’ve been worried about this global warming thing destroying our chances for survival.

Gladys: Why don’t you join the humans and go get a job in an office like
your brother Murray did?

Gladys, you know Murray has unusually elongated phalanges with little to no webbing on his front paws. He’s a dynamo on the computer keyboard. I could never survive in that environment and you know it! I think it makes you happy to see me fail.

Gladys: In case you didn’t notice, I wasn’t too happy about your failure
in the snow bank last night, Bob.

Sigh. I’m gonna go whap some baby seals.

For Leper Pop News, I’m Bob Polar Bear. Back to you, Sid and Moist.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Boogie-Woogie Resolution

I bought a digital piano a few years ago. My children had begun taking piano lessons. I thought a real sounding, yet digitally rendered with quasi-authentic real piano action, device would be better for them to practice on instead of the arrangement of white chalk and licorice sticks I had set up on the kitchen table. As it turns out, I could have stuck with the chalk and licorice. Actually, I did. It’s still on the kitchen table, but my kids never used it for piano practice. They hardly used the digital piano, either. My son quit piano after about a year to focus on the stand up dulcimer. My daughter stuck with the piano lessons, but only used my piano to store her music books between lessons. In her defense, she did try to practice, only she had time management issues, choosing to dedicate the majority of her time to practicing whining about having to practice piano. Luckily, her piano teacher died recently, so that saves me sixty-eight bucks a month, which I spend on torrid jaunts at Applebee’s.

Now the piano is just another piece of furniture, like my elliptical machine and the trapeze. I walk by it every day wishing the ghost of Liberace would haunt it. Once the ghost of Peter Allen stopped by, but I had to kick him out because he was just too razzmatazzical. The worst part is that I know who Peter Allen is.

I saw Jools Holland on the Chicago episode of his show Beat Route on the Ovation network. In it he presented the music of some of his boogie-woogie piano heroes from Chicago, like Albert Ammons and Jimmy Yancey. I happen to enjoy boogie-woogie piano music. If fact, you could go so far as to say I dig it. You dig? I dig and have dug. Watching this program gave me an idea. It’s about time I made a New Year’s resolution for 2008.

Why do people make New Year’s resolutions on the first day of the year? At that point nobody has any idea what is in store for the upcoming year. You may resolve to eat right and get in shape. How do you know there isn’t going to be widespread famine in June? It’ll be pretty tough to keep to that resolution when you are living on tree bark and the occasional rancid bag of Buddig meat found in the street (note: Buddig builds the rancidity right in – no need to prepare with weeks of exposure to sunlight). I say, find out how the year plays out before making any commitments. You don’t want to toss that pack of smokes away only to find out in October that some upstart grad student discovered that smoking cigarettes laced with strawberry Kool-Aid is the cure for cancer, AIDS and unwanted tattoos.

As you may have guessed by now, in light of my love for boogie-woogie piano music and my unused piano/dust collection shelf, I have resolved to get rid of my piano and replace it with giant ceramic jar of pickled beets. I’m pulling your leg. I already have a giant ceramic jar of pickled beets. Of course, I am going to attempt to learn to play boogie-woogie piano. I’ve already learned that much of it is played with the I-IV-V chords, say C-F-G, for example. How hard can it be? I already know how to count up to eight and a half by Roman numerals and most of the alphabet. The rest should be a stomp.

Take us home Albert and Pete.

All Fired Up

Thirty-two people were shot in Chicago over the weekend. We’re just trying to reduce some of the congestion as part of our 2016 Summer Olympic bid. Or maybe people are just inspired by the bid and practicing to be on the USA Shooting team. I mean, if you can hit a moving human in the dark, how hard can it be to hit a stationary target in a controlled shooting range? Either way, you might want to postpone any pending visits until it starts snowing again and we all calm down and go back inside for a few months.

Just to address the rumors out there in the press, I wasn’t any of the 32 who were shot, nor did I personally shoot any of those 32. I don’t believe I was in the line of fire at any time, and I’m not even a person of interest as far as I know.

There weren't any shootings in the neighborhood we're thinking about moving to, so we felt pretty good about that... until I read that a couple was stabbed in their bed by an intruder early Sunday morning. But I like my chances versus a knife rather than a gun. Besides, that crime seemed to be the exception for the area based on the crime reports I've been researching. Mostly counterfeiting and simple battery and some possession, and hey, who hasn't been busted for less than 30 grams before. I think the Bible says "let he who is without a rap sheet be first to boot the gong." ("Yo, wastoid, you're not gonna blaze up in here.") The simple battery crimes concern me a bit, but complex battery might be entertaining. I envision a thug with an Acme anvil attached to an elaborate pulley system ala Wile E. Coyote, lurking in a gangway in a land shark suit, waiting to exact vengeance upon his unsuspecting victim. Brilliant. I think I'll sign a lease this weekend.

And, hey… let’s be careful out there.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sabbath Post

I wish I were talented enough to do that one on my own. Go to Always With Honor to check out that one and many others.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Neuro Misfirings

Caller: Hi, is the business owner available?
Sid: No.
Caller: Is the office manager available?
Sid: What’s this regarding?
Caller: Blah, blah, blah, local online advertising, blah, blah, blah.
Sid: Advertising?! I’m interested in buying a Super Bowl ad, can you help me with that?
Caller: No, is the office manager available?
Sid: Nope, just me. But I'd really like that Super Bowl ad.
Caller: Thank you, we’ll try back later.

I just realized I’m so old that if I wanted to find a cougar I’d probably have to go to an AARP meeting.

If I had the ability to walk up the side of buildings, I’d also insist on the ability to fly in case I slipped or something. But then if I had the ability to fly, what good would it be to have the ability to walk up the side of buildings? Unless I wanted to do that as exercise or something. I bet it would be a pretty good cardio workout. But I'd still want the flying option in case I tripped over a gargoyle. That would be an embarrassing way to die.

I was listening to some Barry Manilow the other day and wondered how many successive listens to Copacabana would it take to go insane? I bet that number is pretty low. Probably single digits.

The toughest job in the world must be a legitimate Nigerian estate attorney.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Most Interesting Dick

I’ll admit it. I’m a pretty boring person. I’ve never freed a bear from a bear trap. I’ve never bench pressed East Asian hookers dressed as nurses sitting on chairs. I’ve never arm wrestled anybody in a demonstration of my might to negotiate international peace treaties. I spend my time doing regular things like going to the store, sleeping in parks and arguing with insurance agents. And I’ve never been to Monaco.

I suppose I could be more interesting, but I didn’t know how.

Which is why I was excited to see the Dos Equis television commercials featuring the most interesting man in the world. That dude is FABULOUS! As it turns out, he HAS freed a bear from a bear trap. He HAS bench pressed East Asian hookers dressed as nurses sitting on chairs. He HAS arm wrestled somebody in demonstration of his might to negotiate international peace treaties. And I think he owns a time share in Monaco. He’s done everything I’ve never done and always wanted to do. I decided that I needed to become him.

My first step, obviously, was to start drinking Dos Equis immediately. He doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, he drinks Dos Equis. I could do that. That’s EASY! I was about to pen a letter to Dos Equis management to find out if the most interesting man in the world had a Most Interesting Man in the World Mentoring Program. But then, at the end of the commercial, the most interesting man in the world told us to “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

What the hell does that mean? It destroyed my entire plan. The keystone of my strategy was to start drinking Dos Equis. How was I supposed to do that if I’m also supposed to stay thirsty? I can’t do both. Did he want me to poke a hole in my throat so I could drink Dos Equis AND remain thirsty? The most interesting man in the world doesn’t have a hole in his throat. How does he do it? Why was the most interesting man in the world being contradictory? Are contradictory people interesting? My future crashed down all around me. So, I walked to the park and took a nap.

I’m beginning to think that the most interesting man in the world is just a dick. I guess that is interesting if you like dicks.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Fray of the Little Rubber Elephant

This went on for about an hour.

Give me it!

Why do you want it?

Because it’s mine.

But why do you want it?


My son, who is fifteen years old, was the beggar. My daughter, who is eleven, was the holder. I ignored the bickering for at least forty minutes. Then I started to wonder what it was that was needed so badly by both of them. It must have been something valuable or important. Was it my wallet? It couldn't be - it's not valuable. There is no cash in there and all of the credit cards are maxed out. Could it be the last Ho Ho in the box? No, I’m the only one that eats those. Wait a minute, there’s one left? I’ll be right back…

…it had to be the television remote control or maybe a “One Free Hug from Dad” coupon. I decided to let it play out to see if they could come to a compromise.

Twenty minutes later, their battling dronified whining started to get to me. I had to intervene. What on Atlas’ shoulders are you two going on about?????

“She has my elephant!”

I didn’t even know my son had an elephant. Is that why his room smells so bad? I never had an elephant. No fair! I’m not paying for this elephant, am I?

“What elephant?”

“My little rubber elephant.”

Are you serious? Clearly he was either very bored or very insane. Fifteen year olds do not covet little rubber elephants unless they are in an assholic mood, which he was, I deduced. Somewhere in his life my son obtained a little rubber elephant and had kept it sacred somewhere in his bedroom. Gandalf had told him to keep it secret, keep it safe. At some point between the day of her birth and a few days ago, my daughter found it in his bedroom, liked it and put it in her purse. Somehow, it came up in their conversation tonight after dinner.

So, I was thinking, if Einstein never wrote that letter to Roosevelt,
the United States may not have been the first to develop the atom bomb.”

“Oh, yes, I know. Isn’t that scary? Can you believe they didn’t allow
him to work on the Manhattan Project because they thought he was a security

“How preposterous! By the way, do you have my little rubber elephant?

“Yes, of course. It is in my purse.”

“Give me it.”

“Why do you want it?”


The situation was so bizarre I didn’t attempt to reason with either of them. I confiscated the little rubber elephant. I guessed they were both bored, and not yet certifiably insane, so I gave them each a box of Froot Loops and told them to catalogue each piece by color, size, granularity and crunchitude degradation at ten second intervals of soaking in milk. That should keep them busy while I play with the little rubber elephant.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Three to Five Years

He wanted to push him off the balcony. It didn't matter to me whether or not he did, but I encouraged him to do so. He could have made it look like an accident. Even if he got caught for irreputable manslaughter, obstruction of injustice or, at the most, the murder of an obnoxious individual, we figured, with good behavior, he'd be out of jail in three to five years. Would it be worth it? Was the sentence worth the relief?

He never did push him off that balcony.

Time and life's tortuous caress has tamed his torment. Twenty years later they never see each other. Yet they live minutes apart. Had he known that would be their fate, he may have never considered the act. But the fantasy was worth it. Similar to buying a lottery ticket knowing there is little chance of winning, but using the possiblity of winning as an excuse to mentally experience the riches.

Part of me wishes he had pushed him off that balcony. His prison stories would have been more interesting to hear about than those five years he spent working at K-Mart instead.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Enough With the Pants

Again with the pants. Everyday it’s pants. I put on a pair of pants every day. Or shorts. But “shorts” is short for “short pants”. Still pants. Knickers are pants, too. I don’t care what anybody says. That goes for gouchos, too, and other bottom-half apparel that drapes two legs individually and secures around the buttocks and abdomen.

I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I wear a skirt, or a kilt, or a fancy evening gown, or maybe a sari or a crotch bandolier? Those are good suggestions. I’ll take them into consideration.

Starting tomorrow I’m changing my ways. When I awake, I will wrap my lower half in a stream of Ace bandages and head out to take on the world. The next day, I’ll adorn myself with a wrap of sewn together discarded fruit peels. Hopefully, it will match my shoes. The following day? I’m not sure - maybe a lamp shade.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I Need More Toner

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

I have a client who includes that tagline in the signature line of every email. It’s starting to piss me off. I don’t even know what that means. If I gave a crap I’d ask him to be a little more specific.

Does he mean my general environment? I gazed out the window and it was decidedly an urban environment. I hit print.

Does he mean the immediate environment around my printer? Like the information in his email was super confidential and subject to corporate espionage? I didn’t see any suspicious characters lurking in the shadows of my printer. So I hit print again.

Does he mean the planet’s environment – like the air and the water? I checked the news and apparently the environment is in pretty bad shape. I decided I had better stay inside and work. I hit print four more times so everyone in my office would have a copy.

Please reconsider wasting a piece of paper on this drivel before printing this post.

Coffee Table Eviction Notice

I’ve been thinking about getting rid of the coffee table that is in my family room. It is too large for the area around my couch and comfy chair. It’s 38.62% too big. Yes, I did the math. I suppose I could move my couch back a little. But then how would I be able to change channels on the television with my feet? (I lost the remote control a few months ago.) Also, if I moved the couch back, I would have to turn the desk. If I turned the desk I would I have to move the poker table. If I moved the poker table, I’d have to move the bar. If I moved the bar, I’d run into it every time I came home drunk. Moving the bar would require construction. We’ll have none of that. Plus, if I moved the bar, I would have to put the trampoline on the ceiling. Trampolines aren’t as much fun when you jump up into them with your head and then crash to the ground. Maybe at first, but after a while, pain sets in, and then the bleeding. Once the trampoline is on the ceiling, it will get in the way of my archery lessons. I would have to find a new hobby. Rock tumbling, maybe? Naaaah.

It would be easier if I just got rid of the coffee table. I don’t put coffee on it. I don’t drink coffee. It tastes like dirt. My kids don’t drink coffee, either. To them, the table is a “I’m gonna put this crap here until Dad puts it away” table. Little do they know that to me, it’s a “After a few weeks of sitting there, I’m gonna throw that crap out” table. Dad, where are my Pokémon cards? (Are kids even still into Pokémon? I don’t even know. Even.) To the dogs, it’s a sanctuary hide out for when they indignify my carpet. They know my shin always hits the table before my foot can hit their ass when they're under there. I don’t allow people who drink coffee into my house. They are too sophisticated for me. Basically, the coffee table is a useless piece of luxury for me.

Yup, I’m going to toss it to the curb tonight. If anybody needs a coffee table, it’ll be out in front of my house. Better nab it before Barry comes around with his pick up truck. He usually gets here around 4 am on garbage days. I think I’ll replace the table with a garbage can. It’ll save me some time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shameless Review: The Von Erichs

I can’t remember the last time I slept until noon. But it happened Saturday. It used to be a regular occurrence. I’d stumble out of my house around 1 p.m. with a bottle of Molson and a dazed look on my face while my neighbors would either laugh or shake their heads at me, but they’d always want to hear the story of the previous night. And there usually was a good one. Friday night wasn’t as nutty as the old days, but there was a lot of singing, dancing, drinking, and sex, and that was all before I even got out of the shower while getting ready.

Locale: Quencher’s Saloon
The place gets a thumbs up. Not in a trendy neighborhood, so not a lot of frat boy types high fiving each other and trying to score some tail. A nice mix of career drunks and some fringe characters with strange facial hair, and enough girls who realize you don’t need to look to Paris Hilton for fashion tips. Overworked, but efficient barkeeps that deserve the extra dollar that you’re thinking about adding to their tip. A mostly friendly crowd as long as you don’t insist on being a douchebag. All in all, it’s what a neighborhood bar should be.

The joint also has a decent jukebox that renewed my love for The Damned after my last visit. I wanted to have my name legally changed to Captain Sensible, but the Mrs. wouldn’t let me. Moist Rub warned me that getting married would change everything. Except my name, apparently. However, she almost relented to Captain Sensible when I suggested Rat Scabies as the alternative.

You know, these posts take me like six hours. You see, I start thinking about The Damned and then have to see what they’re up to. Then I watch a couple youtube vids. (Check out Love Song, Smash It Up, New Rose) Then I try to remember the name of that bar in Dallas with the good jukebox and then have to look it up (Elm Street Bar) and then I get all bummed out when I find out it just closed down. And then I obviously have to try to find out why they shut down (not real clear, but then I had to read the update on the Deep Ellum scene.)

Digression isn’t just a literary tool – I live it, too. But I digress.

We picked up Mrs. Cajones because, as usual, Mr. Cajones was getting drunk at the bowling alley. I’m kidding. He was furthering his career by bowling with people from work on a Friday night. Now that’s dedication. I like the people I work with but I don’t want to bowl with them on the weekend. Square dancing, maybe, but not bowling.

Anyway, we get to Quencher’s around nine, and the boys have already commandeered a table near the stage and let us join them. I don’t think we’re cool enough to hang out with them in their hometown of Dallas, but when they’re on the road it’s like Danny Zuko spending the summer on the beach with Sandy in Grease. It’s always fun when we break out into “Summer Lovin’”. A couple of the Mrs.’ school friends showed up as well, so I felt very safe in case someone broke out with a case of Lou Gehrig’s disease since they have all completed their ACLS certifications. Our buddy 213 also showed up so I also felt safe knowing that he would be able to handle any hazardous waste spills. And I’m not talking about the bowl of Earle’s Famous Chili he ordered **rim shot**. Mr. Cajones eventually showed up as well, but I really wish he would have changed out of his bowling shoes. Now that we were seven strong, we commandeered our own table by singing the Meow Mix jingle until the people at the table next to us couldn’t take it anymore and left. The Von Erichs also had another couple friends show up with their own entourage of five or six people, so it was way cool to see people turn out. I know how bad it sucks when everybody flakes on you. I have a Super Bowl party every year but nobody ever shows up except Mrs. F’er, and I think that’s just because she already lives here. She claims it’s because I never invite anyone, but what does she know.

The opening band was Indiana Bandana, celebrating the forgotten heroes of Indiana outlaw country lore. It didn’t suck and was fairly entertaining. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them, but I wouldn’t leave if they showed up where I was already at. Kind of like lingerie models. Maybe they should change their name to The Lingerie Models.

And now what you’ve been waiting for – the review of The Von Erichs. They fucking rock. Between all the friends and fans that showed up (really no difference once you meet them), the regular Friday crowd at Quencher’s, and a decent spot in the middle of the bill, they seemed especially inspired and let it rip. They always promise loud and fast and overdelivered Friday night. They were the Nordstrom’s of country punk. If JD Power had witnessed the set, The Von Erichs would have easily earned one of those awards for customer satisfaction. They should invite JD next time. He probably gets tired of driving those cars all the time. That’s all I can say – go see them if they ever make it to your town. If not, find them a place to play and they’ll probably show up. They’re nice like that.

The Cook County Ramblers rounded out the bill that night and spent the night sounding exactly like that band that you just can’t place. Is it the Gin Blossoms? Not really. Maybe Modest Mouse? They are a little Modest Mousey, but not quite. The consensus seemed to be that the music was alright, but we just couldn’t figure out what was going down with the vocals. Also distracting was that the drummer looked exactly like Mr. Brady in The Brady Bunch Movie. Almost like he was always given shit about looking like that and finally just decided to embrace it and go with it. It had a good beat and was easy to dance to so I’d give it an 85. In fact, I did dance to a slow one with another girl to make the Mrs. jealous, but she didn’t seem to care. We actually had to explain to her that she was supposed to cut in. I guess the magic is gone.

The Mrs. and her friends did a pretty good job not talking about school, but we did have a fascinating discussion about a nerve on the inside of a guy’s thigh which, if scratched in the right spot with the right amount of pressure will cause his testicle to retract right up into hiding. Now that’s the kind of information I’m paying tuition for.

We all made it to last call and closing time. There was plenty of drunken hugging, pats on the back, and thigh scratching and promises to do it again soon. As soon as we figure out where to scratch to get it to drop again.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Shameless Plug - The Von Ehrics

Tonight – Friday, April 11 – Quencher’s Saloon
The Von Ehrics (with Indiana Bandana and The Cook County Ramblers)

Watch the video then come to the show tonight. While you’re waiting, scroll down and read Moist Rub’s post. I have been skiing, but that doesn’t mean I want to talk to you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Do You Ski?

I stood upon the hill watching the kids zoom down the slope. A father of some of the other sledders tried to start a conversation with me. I didn’t feel like talking to him, but I thought I’d give it a go, to be a human being for a change. Who knows, maybe he’d come up with something interesting.

“My brother told me they got about ten feet of snow out in California.”

Wow, ten feet.

“He lives in the mountains near a ski resort.”

Wow, ski resort. Ten feet is good, I suppose, for a ski resort. I don’t know.

“Do you ski?”

I don’t ski. Standing on a hill watching my kids sled is about as close as I get. At that point I realized he was wearing a fancy ski jacket and was baiting me into listening to him rake on about his skiing aplomb. I didn’t have the vacancy to hear more. Luckily, my lack of skiing repartee dislodged his enthusiasm for the subject.

“So, do you work for an electrical company?”

I happened to be wearing my All Pro Electric Company, Inc jacket that was given to me by a friend. I don’t know anything about electricity. I can turn a light on by using a switch, if that counts.

“Well, what company DO you work for?”

A soulless manifestation of profit and greed. Thanks for asking. I didn’t bother to ask him who he worked for. I guessed he was baiting me again so he could tell me all about his wonderful career. He looked like a regional procurement instrumentation abstractor analyst to me. Since I already know all about that, it was futile to further the conversation.

I don’t have much to say. Other people do. I usually end up being a brick wall others can hurl their verbal shit at. Step right up and throw your shit at me. Maybe it will stick.

But not this day.


I can't believe I'm paying for sex on my birthday...

Enjoy some Jim Gaffigan:

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Leper Pop Straw Poll

Book Excerpt

Below is an excerpt from The Moist Rub Guide To Effective Bachelor Living, my new book coming to a bookstore near you sometime later when I get around to writing it.

From Chapter 6: Take Off Your Socks and Stick Out Your Gut, We’re Going Into the Kitchen.

Fellas, make sure your kitchen timer does not sound like your smoke alarm. When the timer beeps to tell you your food is ready for mauging, you will think it’s the smoke alarm and ignore it like you always do when your smoke alarm goes off while you are cooking something in the oven because of the smoke that usually develops from your oven being so crusty and nasty (see Chapter 9: How To Buy New Appliances When the Old Ones Get Gross). By the time you figure out what's going on forty-five minutes later, your pizza rolls will be burnt.

Do not fret should this happen. The pizza rolls will still be edible, but should not be served as an entrée. Make yourself a sandwich and eat the sooty pizza roll chips on the side. Garnish with a hot dog, serve on a paper towel and wash it all down with about eight beers (see Chapter 13: Always Drink At Least Eight Beers for more information about drinking eight beers).

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Frost Brewed Ridiculous

Coors Light bills itself as the frost brewed taste that is as cold as the Rockies. Cold as the Rockies, huh? The average high temperature for July in Golden, Colorado (where Coors Light is brewed, which is located in the Rockies) is 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Have you ever had 86 degree beer? I have. It sucks. It sucks so bad that you end up drinking a 1.75 ml of Southern Comfort instead. Then, all of a sudden you are sleeping on Oak Street Beach at five in the morning getting eaten by sand flies while one of your friends tries to walk to Canada through Lake Michigan.

The Coors Light marketing department has been working overtime, lately. In an effort to disguise whatever it is that they are putting in their cans and bottles as something of value to the consumer, they have invented numerous novel packaging schemes. Each of these enhancements is an attempt to make the drinker forget that xe is not actually drinking beer. In fact, they don’t even use the word “beer” in their ads. The FDA won’t allow it. They can’t be honest about what is in the cans, either, since the FCC won’t let them say “piss water” in their commercials (except in Rhode Island). As a result, they’ve come up with kooky phrases like “frost brewed taste” and “involuntary regurgitative nuances” and “mountain goat renal delight”.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those beer snobs who will only drink imports or cloudy microbrews with onion skin floating in them. In fact, when I drink beer, I usually drink Bud Light because I don’t like the taste of beer, and Bud Light tastes like water. Sometimes I’ll have a few pints of Blue Moon, but only for health purposes as a method to trick myself into eating a slice of an orange colored fruit, the name of which I cannot recall at the moment. Yes, I know Blue Moon is owned by Coors. That’s not the point. I have nothing against Coors, in general. But they are overloading the cosmetic bullshitification of Coors Light. How many gilded gimmicks do they need to trick drunks into drinking their frost brewed diet sewage? Even Domino’s, while, admittedly, they downplay the role pizza has in their business model, only hides behind one marketing trick. They are the delivery experts. That's all they want you to know. They don't care if you enjoy the taste of their "pizza" or not. If you want something warm and edible, they will deliver it to you in a box real soon, no questions asked.

“Did you order pizza from Domino’s?”

“I ordered something from them. It sure got here quick. It didn’t look so good. So, I ate the box instead. I fixed the hole in the ceiling with whatever was in the box.”

What frosts my brew about Coors Light is the volume of doohickeys and glockenspiels they have built into their containers to distract us from the fact that their product is crap. It’s overkill. I don’t have time for overkill. I’m being killed at a nice respectable pace as it is. Stick to one bit of chicanery per product. That’s what my grandmother always used to say, before she lost her lips in a bar brawl.

Here is a list of the circus attractions that surround the Coors Light product:

Vent Cans: the mouth of the can has two little vents to allow more air to get into the can while drinking, forcing the liquid down your throat at a quicker rate. This allows you to get drunk faster and forget that you are drinking liquefied mountain dross.

Wide Mouth Cans: similar strategy to the Vent Cans. Drink as much as possible as fast as possible. That is the Coors Light way. When you get really drunk, try to stick your entire tongue through the wide mouth. Note from the Coors legal department: Not responsible for any tongue related deaths or maimings.

Frost Brewed Liner: supposedly Coors Light is the only beer served cold and this liner will keep it that way. However, it will also keep it at 86 degrees because the cans have been sitting in the liquor store storage room for a month before you bought it. I believe the liner is made out of those ice cubes from Don’t Break The Ice.

Cold Activated Bottle: the name of this device implies that the bottle doesn’t encase the beer-like substance until it gets cold. So you end up buying a pile of beer-like substance, place it in your refrigerator, and in a few hours, bottles will envelope it when the temperature reaches the right level. What actually happens is a part of the label turns blue when it gets to proper drinking temperature. Apparently, the Frost Brewed Liner doesn’t work, otherwise it would always be at proper drinking temperature. Also, Coors Light knows, from countless hours of marketing research, that most drunks have nerve damage in their hands from chain saw incidents inspired by drinking too much Coors Light, rendering them unable to properly assess the temperature of their drinks by touch.

Cooler Box: If you are buying Coors Light, you obviously cannot afford to own or rent your own cooler. So steal some ice from the local Motel 6 and throw it in the Coors Light box. Eventually, the ice will melt all over the vinyl tile in your double-wide, and you will be able to clean your kitchen floor with your socks each time you get up for another bottle.

8 ounce Silver Bullet Can: they’re only 8 ounces – instead of twenty-four cans, you can drink 57 of them! And they're bullets! Now, that’s what I call drinkin’!

It’s completely ridiculous.

How To Make Money And Influence Friends

I saw a story somewhere, here it is, about robots starting to take over jobs. But a frumpy robot like Rosie from the Jetsons isn’t going to fly in the business world, so judging from the picture accompanying the story we’re going to make them in the image of Real Dolls, and they will be able to afford better clothes than you and their hair will always be perfect. Not too far off from your current receptionist, except you won’t have to hear stories about her drunken weekend or her asshole boyfriend. But I digress. This presents the perfect opportunity to get rich.

So you’re probably figuring that I’m going to start a business making and selling robot workers. Then you don’t know me that well. That’s far too much work and I already got kicked out of engineering school so I doubt my chances of building a robot receptionist are any better than my chances of nailing one.

But I’m guessing that a good robot receptionist will be built to last you a good 12 to 15 years with proper lubrication, some software updates, and a virus protection system. That’s about 11-1/2 to 14-1/2 more years than your average receptionist, and her virus protection probably isn’t nearly as effective. But the important thing here is that your robot receptionist will require wardrobe and hair style updates or else your organization will lose all credibility and be made fun of by all the places with the latest in robot receptionists. And you can’t have that.

So you’re probably figuring that I’m going to start a business dressing and styling robot receptionists. Then you don’t know me that well. I can barely match my left shoe to my right shoe, and after years of trying to get my hair to look like Donny Osmond’s I finally gave up and just run the #2 clippers over my head every few weeks.

But I’m sure there are a bunch of people that would think such a job is glamorous and low-stress. I'm talking about dressing and styling robot receptionists, not giving me haircuts. Those can be very stressful since I can't sit still for more than five minutes without the aid of narcotics and barbers just don't give that stuff out like they used to. But back to the robots. Or more precisely, how to profit from the robot receptionist trend that will be taking over the world.

First I get Yahoo to do one of those infomercial headline articles at the top of their homepage about Jobs Of The Future – Preparing For Career Stability In The 21st Century. Click on the link and number one on the list is Robot Hairdresser, with text plagiarized from the aforementioned article along with an air of excitement selling this career as glamorous, low-stress and in demand. And just think, if you do 25 robot hair styles a day at $50 per robot head that’s about $250,000 a year! Great! But how do I get started????

Click the link at the bottom of the story, silly. It’s for Sid’s School of Robot Hair Design. I think the Mrs. has some old training materials she used when she taught that I can PDF into a nice correspondence course. Stick some of those Barbie Totally Hair Styling Heads in the mail to supplement the materials, and then sit back and collect the tuition.

Of course, you’ll want to sign up for my ongoing support for a small, recurring fee, which will get you update manuals featuring all the latest hairstyles that you will want to use on your robot heads to keep your clients happy. I figure I can cut those out of People or US Magazine or one of those rags that the chicks on the train are always reading.

After the Yahoo launch, I might have to branch into some late night infomercials filmed on a faux talk show set with my own hot and hip looking robot co-host. It’s going to be huge.

You’re probably wishing you could be a part of it. Well… I suppose… just send me a large check and I’ll cut you in on the deal. I might even let you be in the informercial. How cool would that be! You could invite all your friends over for a 2:30 a.m. infomercial viewing party with White Castles and RC Colas. Not only that – after seeing the informercial, they’ll probably want to enroll in the program! Win – win!

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Act now!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Leper Pop Census

To better serve our readers and provide a more detailed prospectus to our advertisers, it's time for the Leper Pop census. This week we will be examining the age of our readership. Instead of directly asking how old you are, since people seem to have a hang up about that kind of stuff, we'll try to make it both fun and anonymous for you.

So pretend you're on American Idol. Go ahead. Feel it. It sucks selling out doesn't it? But think how good it will feel when you get a recording contract while all those people that made fun of you for being in every musical in high school are getting up at 6 a.m. to go to some crappy job. Are you feeling it yet? (Also a question I've had to ask more girls than I care to admit.) Okay, so you're on stage wearing your "Simon Can Suck It" t-shirt and you have to sing a song that was in the top ten the week you were born.

You go to the following website where some guy kindly compiled all the charts since the 50's for us. Thanks, Randy. Click on your decade, your year, then your week and let us know in the comments which song you picked. Feel free to remain anonymous, but please play along. In fact, you have to under penalty of law. If you're older than 58 just put down something by Perry Como.

Cash Box Top 100

I'll go first. Roger Miller - King of the Road

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Quarter Beers Are How Much?

It’s been, oh, let’s say 19 years since I’ve been to a bar where people were lined up two deep for fifty cent draft beers. Back then they were only a quarter, but we deserved that price after walking uphill both ways in the snow to the bar on a broken ankle (remind me to tell you that story sometime). The tunes have also changed to some hip gentleman named Fifty Cent, so I didn’t recognize much other than the single anachronistic Ramones tune that they somehow forgot to take out of the jukebox back in 1980’s. I considered giving a lecture to the group that gathered there about how they really weren’t brothers despite all being named Ramone, but I was afraid someone would consider it a wild coincidence that all those guys with the same last name ended up in the same band and then I would have had to punch someone in the nose and I’m far too old to get tossed out of bars anymore so I just enjoyed the moment. However, I did get my ass grabbed by a girl and got asked out by a guy, so I guess things haven’t changed that much (not to mention the cat-burglar look still working for me). Sure, she only grabbed my ass because I glued a $100 bill to it, and, hey, what girl can resist the Benjamins? Regarding my new guy friend, I had to turn him down but told him I’d reconsider if he waxed his chest.

If you want to grab Sid’s ass or show him your freshly waxed chest, you can find him at the upcoming Von Ehrics show at Quenchers Saloon next Friday, April 11. Or you can just rock out to the tunes.

Wires Crossed

Yesterday, I finished cooking dinner and was just about ready to eat. All I had to do was put the oven mitts away and get myself a Coke out of the refrigerator.

After about an hour of staring into the drawer where I keep the oven mitts, wondering why I was staring into the oven mitt drawer, I finally ate dinner.

Today I went to the refrigerator to get a chilled lamb leg, and I couldn't figure out why the oven mitts were in there. And golly, was I thirsty.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

iPod Vomit

The worst random ten my iPod has thrown at me since I got it 17 months ago happened on the train ride home the other night. I suppose I have no one to blame but myself since at one point in the last 10 years of my life I decided that it would be a good idea to download each of those songs. But it’s a mother f’in iPod. It should know better. At least better than to throw all of those at me in succession to humiliate me. I think the iPod just got sick of having all these songs on it and decided to vomit. I can't begin to defend having these. The only consolation is that I found most of them on youtube, meaning somebody actually went through the trouble of uploading them. Since just listing the songs would not inflict the same misery, if you’re going to make fun of me for having these on my iPod you get to hear them, too (at your own risk). Get them fast... embedded vids seem to slow down the site so I'll probably remove them soon.

Lamb – Gorecki:

Sandie Shaw – Always Something There To Remind Me

Anne Murray – Love Song

Cansei De Ser Sexy – Hollywood
Pogues – Fairytale of New York: I keep thinking I'm supposed to like these guys, but I just don't get it. Kirsty is the only redeeming part of this one.

Pavement – Cut Your Hair: I like this one. Somehow it sneaked it's way in. They prevented me from jumping out of the train's emergency window, which is good since I was wearing my iPod and that would have made no sense at all.

Everly Brothers – Sleepless Nights: I couldn't find the orignal so enjoy some Gram Parsons.

RL Burnside – Shuck Dub: I like RL. But this should never have happened. He deserved better.

Hanged Up – Klang Klang: It's only a clip, but should be all you need.

Lisa Loeb – Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves: I couldn't find this one, either, but... here's two guys that like it but thought it would be even better with their bitchin' additions to the rhythm section. Wow.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

This Etiquette Stuff Is Getting Out Of Hand

This etiquette stuff is getting out of hand.

Tonight, my son asked me if he could have a snack. Of course, I said “no”, because he did not say “please”. He asked me what difference it made if he said the word “please” or not. I told him, for the millionth time, that saying “please” is a matter of etiquette so the person who you are asking knows you are being courteous and sincere. He argued that if the asker is asking in a polite manner, shouldn’t the askee already perceive that the asker is being courteous (although, he didn’t delineate his argument in those words. Instead he chose the words, “So what?”). He had a point.

What difference does it make if we use these magical words of etiquette when communicating with people? If we are treating one another with respect in our speech and our actions, that should be enough. Words of propriety like “please” and “thank you” and “kindly” and “are you gonna finish that” are merely social pitfalls providing overly sensitive people the opportunity to become offended should someone’s discourse not meet their uppity standards. These terms are unneeded formalities that only lead to more dissention in our society. If you do not agree with me then I will fight you, and you will prove my point. Besides, there are too many rules of etiquette to remember.

To simplify this etiquette conundrum for people worldwide, the son and I came up with one word that can be used in any language in any courtesy needed situation to prove to the receiver that the speaker/writer/sign-languager/telepathicer/smoke signaler etc… is being courteous. That word is joad. It should always be used as its own sentence to be presented immediately following the statement or question in need of illustrating the state of politeness. For example: “Pass me the salt. Joad!” I forgot to tell you, the “joad” sentence must always be used exclamatorily so people know you are serious. Here is another example, “That was a lovely used toilet brush you gave us for our wedding. Joad!” Note, the person in the last example could have easily over-enthused and said, “Joad! Joad, very much!” Don’t do that. It’s a little pathetic.

That’s about it for the rules of “joad.” We don’t want to attach too many rules to it. It will only lead to more whining and silent treatments in the world. To acclimate my kids to a courteous life of living with joad, I made them practice using it with each other. The following is an excerpt of their joad training.

“That’s a lovely zit on your face.”

“Joad! Hand me the remote. Joad!”

“Here you go.”


“No, joad! to you.”

No, really, joad! to you.”

“You’re a joad!”

“No, you are!”

“Uh-uh, you’re the joadiest joad! I’ve ever seen!”

“No, you are!”

“Is that all you can come up with, Joad!”

“Joad! to infinity!”

“Joad! to infinity plus one!”

“One more joad! to you than whatever joad! you said to me!”




“Why don’t you stick a joad! up your…”


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Serious Day

Today is April Fool's Day. I've been a fool all my life, so today, I choose to be serious for a change. I'm going to watch CNN and read some medical journals. I will be concerned with the plights of my fellow human beings. This is very serious.

Oh, look, a can of nails on the floor. I better pick that up and put it away so nobody gets hurt.



Sing it with me, Frank...

What kind of fool am I, who never not picked up an exploding can of nails?
It seems that I'm the only who can hear my tortured wails.
What kind of man is this? An empty shell, a bloody face
In which an empty heart must pump blood out nail holes of disgrace?
What kind of lips are these that are ripped from my head?
That whispered empty words of seriousness that left me dripping bloody red ?
Why can't I have a nailless face like any other man?
And maybe then I'll know what kind of fool I am.
What kind of nails are these? What do I know of where they’ve been?
Why can't I go back in time and not pick up the can once again?
Why can't I stop the bleeding, my face is a raw, split-open and still on the pig ham.
And maybe I'll know what kind of fool I am.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Eat The Bomb

Macaroni and cheese may not be the meal of kings, but it sounded pretty good when I had to make my own lunch on Sunday while the Mrs. was getting certified on something called ACLS. I guess I didn’t hear it correctly when she first told me so I thought it had something to do with predicting division winners, the wild card and who the American League would be sending to the World Series this year. She never seemed like that much of a baseball fan, but, hey, she never suspected my Batman fetish until she came home early one day and found me wearing nothing but my crimefighting cape and utility belt. But I digress.

She told me it was ACLS, not ALCS, and had nothing to do with baseball. I scoffed at her ignorance and reminded her that Lou Gehrig was a baseball player before he discovered his disease. She scoffed right back and alleged that he had ALS, not ACLS. She continued that in ACLS they learn to use stuff like AEDs. I put my foot down. Disarming roadside bombs seemed much too dangerous an activity, especially on a weekend. She explained I was watching too much network news and was thinking of IEDs. I tried to laugh it off like I was joking and told her I knew all along that AEDs were used to prevent pregnancy. She stormed off mumbling something about automated external defibrillators. I told her I had one in my utility belt and asked if she’d like to borrow it for training. But I digress.

So I’m making macaroni (the Kraft kind, since that’s how America spells cheese (actually I bet all the kids today spell it cheez when they text)), and grab it to take it back to the table and suddenly I have one of those slow motion moments where it slips out of my hand and starts slowly falling towards the floor and I yell “nooooo…” in a voice that sounds like a 45 played at 33 1/3 rpm. But it was too late. Glass, cheese, and pasta splattered across the floor and nearby cabinets and appliances like blood in a Tarantino movie.

It’s a small galley kitchen, and of course I was barefoot and pregnant and trapped in a bad situation like a 15 year old from a small town in Louisiana. But rather than marry my high school boyfriend and sign up for life of quiet desperation, I hopped the counter and spent the next 2 days cleaning up the mess. I had considered stepping on a piece of glass so that I could go directly to the ER, do not pass GO and let the Mrs. clean it up out of sympathy, but I grabbed some paper towels and did the right thing.

But it got me thinking. Screw all the money developing nuclear weapons. All we really need to do is drop giant loads of mac n’ cheese on our enemies. You probably won’t kill any civilians as long as you make sure the pasta isn’t al dente, but damn it’s a bitch to clean up. The cheese sauce dries up pretty quickly and once that happens there’s no way you can just hose everything down. Besides, the pasta would just clog up the sewer drains. Wisconsin and Kraft become the new beneficiaries of our defense spending (aren’t Boeing and Lockheed getting a little tired?).

Besides, with all the money we're going to need to cover unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations in the future, our Department of Defense will only be able to afford mac’ and cheese. Welcome to the real world, DC.