12/30/2010

Thoughtprints

  • It's embarrassing when you jack up a word spelling so badly that your spell-checker doesn't even know what word to suggest.  I right-clicked on a word once and my spell checker flashed the message: "Even if I did know what word you wanted, chances are you don't know what the hell it means, anyway."
  • I want to market an Irish Wristwatch.  It just has various bottles of hooch for all the hours, and the letters "FU" for 2 A.M., last call.
  • I was at Whataburger reading for 2 hours today.  I was working the all-you-can-drink soda bar the entire time.  Before I left, I had to visit the men's room. The men's room had one stall and one urinal.  Evidently, some handicap guy was using the stall -- because he parked his motorized wheelchair in front of the urinal.  I couldn't go.  I had to hold it the entire drive home.  I don't want to come off bitter or callous, but this handicap guy has balls.  For the last 23 years I've been passing over premium parking spaces for him.  The least he can do is park his wheelchair away from the pisser.  I had half a mind to whiz on the control panel and short out the brakes.
  • Any medicine can be "maximum strength" if you're willing to take a few extra pills.  Once time, in a pinch, I took 22 baby aspirin for a pulled groin muscle.  Worked like magic, although I did crawl around, soil myself and suck my thumb for the next 14 hours.
  • In the headlines today, "Woman saves dog by giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation."  Later the paper issued a correction.  It turns out it was just Rosie making out with her girlfriend.
  • I drink so much damn soda that I decided to rename my penis "Dr. Pepper."
  • Candy canes are cute and sentimental.  But why hasn't somebody invented the candy crutch?  If we're going to mock the maim around Christmastime, let's do it in style.
  • Now that the earth has been boasting record low temps every winter, the climate change crowd has contrived a jet stream disturbance theory to augment the global warming claim.  Come on, guys.  Say what you really mean: America is too prosperous and it needs to kick some hush money around.  Global warming advocates remind me of that congressman who got caught being gay in a bathroom stall and claimed he was just trying to borrow some toilet paper!
  • The Color Purple isn't just a movie.  It's what you see everywhere when you search the Playboy Mansion with a blacklight.   

12/28/2010

My New Year's resolutions for 2011

  1. Eat only when I'm hungry.  Stop eating food on principle, which is to say, stop eating it just because it's there and I have a mouth.
  2. Invent my own pyramid scheme so that I'll already be at the top of the pyramid when it takes off.
  3. Write fad diet book whose gist is reconciling your body with nature, or customizing your diet to your unique biorhythms, or whatever such crap Oprah likes to hear so she'll promote the book and I get rich and famous, just in case the pyramid scheme fails.
  4. Start smoking and then quit, just so I can show smokers that it isn't so hard and that they just lack moral turpitude.  "But nicotine is the most addictive substance known to man."  No it isn't.  Calories are addictive.  Alcohol is addictive.  Jerking off is addictive.  Smoking is just a bad habit.    
  5. Stop mocking smokers.
  6. Stop wearing underpants.  It's a waste of laundry.  Also, throw way all my zipper-fly jeans.  
  7. Whenever something annoying happens, repeat the following to myself:  "This is not a conspiracy against me; it's just that either the thing is a piece of crap, or the person is an imbecile."  Breath deeply and count to 10.
  8. Resist the urge to give the "thank-you wave" to everybody on the road.  You're supposed to be courteous.  So they let me in the turning lane.  Big deal.  It's not like they paid off my student loans or something.  Thanks for nothing, fellow motorist.  
  9. Make those sarcastic, invisible air-quotes with my fingers when I'm speaking with dishonest people.  Nothing is more humiliating that being air-quoted and these fuckers need to pay a price in shame.  Plus it's funny. 
  10. Write a thank-you note to Barack Obama for fixing the economy like he promised.  And also for getting us out of Iraq.  
  11. Stop organizing betting pools on the date celebrities get divorced.  Even though I'm making good money, I fear I'm becoming too cynical.  
  12. Find a hobby that doesn't involve drinking.
  13. Stop fantasizing about being a rock star, a race car driver or an astronaut.  It looks like those dreams gave me the slip.  Keep fingers crossed for exciting opportunity in the food services industry or waste management. 
  14. Buy telescope; discover my own planet.  Name it Myanus. 
  15. Take a scrapbooking class.

12/25/2010

Happy Christmas!

Usually, always, when I sit and start to write, I have a plan. I have a list of things I want to write (rant) about, or a rudimentary essay smoldering in the recesses of my mind, which I fan and spritz to a roaring flame of absurdity.

But today is Christmas.  I hadn't planned on writing anything.  But I'm reading you guys and drinking a bottle of wine and feeling Christmas cheer and nostalgia like gangbusters.  I've got Christmas music blaring from my computer speakers.  The guys singing are a fake Beatles group from Norway or Sweden or Denmark or someplace in Europe.  And while affecting their best Beatles personae, they're covering traditional Christmas songs.  I love it.  The winter sun is streaming through my office window.  The sun will be setting in an hour, leaving in its path a soft, purple winter sunset, and I'll drink it in with equal portions of white zinfidel and get to reminiscing about Christmases past.  That's what I love most about Christmas.  I lack the religious convictions that make Christmas a spiritually significant event.  For me, it's all about tradition, nostalgia: toys and food and snow and Christmas breaks and, once I reached the teenage years, girlfriends.

I'm going to let iTunes run through the playlist of Christmas songs and keep drinking this wine.  That's how I'm going to spend this Christmas.  The wife and kids left to celebrate with her side of the family, so I'm alone.  Back in the days before the RIAA insinuated itself into the Internet, I downloaded many 1000s of songs, including 100s of Christmas songs.  So I can let it rip all night long and never hear a repeat.  You younger readers may not remember the golden age of downloading. Napster and a few me-too's ran all day and night with impunity.  It was so fun.  I left my computer wide open to the Internet, 24/7.  Broadband, baby.  Digital legs akimbo!  Disclaimer:  I wouldn't DARE share copy-written music files.  Why, that would be unlawful.  But it was a great way to discover the all the wonderful and obscure music available, including Christmas music.  So my collection is spectacular.  Every pop artist who recorded a song is in my playlist.  Have you ever heard Billy Squire's Christmas Is The Time to Say, I Love You?  Sublime.


Wow, I'm buzzed.  Pointer Sisters are playing just now.  I took a break from blogging.  I didn't write a thing for a year and a half.  What happened was, I got hooked on first-person shooter gaming, specifically, Call of Duty.  When I found some free time it became a choice between writing and playing video games.  Blogging went extinct.  But a couple years later I asked myself, Is this the best way to spend your time?  Getting fired up and angry at a video game?  And I thought, yeah, I could blog once in a while, if anybody's still doing that.  It turns out, all the cool kids are doing it!  I've quit playing COD because I don't like the guy I become when I play it.

I'm rambling.  I shutter to think how this will read once I sober up.  I should tell you how excited I am to be blogging again.  I have all these new bloggers to get to know.  I love reading you guys.  It's so much more fun than the news.  Isn't it peculiar how a bunch of amateur bloggers writing as a hobby are more captivating than professional blow-hards who think they have something important to publish?  Screw them.  If I read one more AP wire story, I'm going to puke.  Yet I hang on every word of a recipe or some girl ranting about her thoughtless boyfriend, or a dude ranting about the vicissitudes of modern life, or a mom talking about her daily life raising kids.  Weird.  All I know is, I love ripping through the Blogger reading wire.  Thanks for inventing that, Google!  It's so nice to be able to have all the recently updated blogs, front and center.  Whoever invented that deserves a medal.  For that matter, so does the guy who fermented wine.

Sweet, the Ramones singing Merry Christmas, I Don't Want to Fight Tonight.


Anyway, I hope all of you are having a Merry Christmas, eating too much and drinking too much and enjoying the company of friends and loved ones, or else basking in the peace and solitude of a Christmas evening by yourself, awash in holiday nostalgia and fine memories.  I hope all of you share some New Year's resolutions.  What better way to get to know somebody than to read their aspirations? Maybe I'll draft a few of my own.

I'm off to watch the last half of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle.  Later, skaters.  And Merry Christmas!

12/21/2010

Next time, at least buy me dinner

I realized something.  Everybody is trying to slip their hands up my financial skirt.  It's no longer sufficient to be financially prudent.  You have to ward off the financial peeping toms, ass-grabbers and serial rapists, too.  In high school, you take sex-ed to learn about the pitfalls of sex.  You should have to take finance-ed, also, to inform future consumers about the tactics of financial predators.  The crooks are everywhere.

Example: whenever you enter into contract, half a dozen fees find their way into the monthly bill.  You didn't agree to them.  They just showed up.  It reminds me of my college days when by way of brandishing a bottle of Ten High, 8 guests I didn't recognize jammed paper cups in my face.  Beat it, free loaders.  Go beer-run a case of Keystone; earn your buzz.  Contractors all want their turn fucking you.  I refinanced my house last year and I felt like the girl who drank herself unconscious at a frat party.  Everybody took a turn while the getting was good.  By the time I came to, the damage had been done.  I had 17 distinct DNA specimens on my person.  Why am I paying a guy 500 bucks to rubber stamp my title?  And when did Xerox fees start going for 30 bucks?  I tell you what, Mr. Banker.  Give me the papers.  I'll run to Kinkos and do it myself for 48 cents.  I'll even throw in a photocopy of my ass that you're welcome to kiss.

Recently my wife's cell phone went through the washing machine.  I bought a new phone on eBay for cheap, but Verizon charged me 15 bucks to transfer the data (contacts and ringtones) from the old phone to the new one.  One would think if the memory chip survived the spin cycle, the rest of the phone's innards would, too.  Conspiracy, I say!  They know your phone will drop into a body of water eventually.  Why not make just the memory chip water-tight so we can make another 15 bucks when you sit on the crapper at the Xmas party and dunk your phone, Captain Egg Nog?  Basically I spent 15 bucks so my wife could salvage the 172 pictures of my junk that I sent to her cell phone.  Those are replaceable.

Home repairs are another racket.  Have you ever replaced your garage door spring?  I've replaced 2 in the last decade at 400 dollars apiece.  Four hundred dollars for what amounts to a high-tension Slinky.  I could have saved 396 dollars by going to Toys-R-Us.  

Retail stores are in on the racket, too.  Why does every checkout line end with "Would you like donate a dollar to [insert charity here]?"  This happened to me at Target yesterday.  Lady, I just used a credit card to finance my kid's Trapper Keeper.  Do you really think I can afford to donate a dollar to fight prostate cancer?  If you're so worried about it, why don't you jam a finger up me right here and make sure I'm OK?  

When did we start tipping for take-out food?  Have you noticed the tip jars and debit card receipts asking for tips?  What am I tipping you for, exactly?  You're the human interface cable between me and the cash register.  Here's a tip: go to college!  Do you really expect to get the same tip as the person refilling my drinks, serving my food, corralling my obnoxious child, explaining the specials of the day and fake-laughing at my obnoxious, margarita-fueled jokes?  If you want a tip, pull a pair of shiny orange shorts over your fat ass and grab me a complimentary bread basket.  One day I'm going to have to tip my airline pilot.  Here's a five-spot, Captain.  Keep us above the horizon!  

Two dollars for ATM service?  I have a better idea.  How about you credit my account 2 dollars for not affixing my chewed gum to the deposit envelop, scumbag?  Try to remember I'm your customer and I already keep all my money in your building.  I don't charge my kid 2 bucks every time she raids my wallet for Twilight tickets.  I do it for free because Bella is the only role model young girls have who isn't naked and hanging from the chandelier by the second act.  Twilight may be corny.  But at least the message to pubescent girls isn't to fuck every dude with a Trans Am and a barbed wire tattoo.

When did restaurants start getting $2.39 for a soda?  Unless they're adding a shot of whiskey, this is too much.  I can get a Circle-K 64oz. pants-wetter for 89 cents.  Restaurant sodas should cost a buck.  It's a soda, not an appetizer.  And speaking of drinks, alcoholic beverages are approaching -- and often exceed -- the ten-dollar mark.  Does anybody else note the irony that you can't afford to drink the agony of the recession away at the bar?  They charge the same for a drink as the entire bottle of booze.  That's like a hooker charging as much as the divorce lawyer.

Anyway, I wish all of you luck protecting yourself from the financial predators this Christmas season.  And in case we don't talk again before it passes....

Merry Christmas!

12/16/2010

Costco is the reason for the season

Having returned from Costco, I’m happy to report the Christmas Spirit thrives. It hangs thick in the air and infects all who inhale it or imbibe it mixed with an equal portion of liquor. It resonates in the horn-beeps of armed motorists who for a lack of a clean shot stew behind sluggish, wayward motorists in the left lane. It shines in the eyes of the child who gave me the finger on my drive home. Merry Christmas, little fella. I hope Mom and Dad give you the news of divorce this year. And what might that be in your stocking? Are those admission papers to military school? You’re twice blessed, young man.

Retailers hustle all year earning little or no profit merely to survive until the holiday season, where they capture the Spirit along with windfall profits which will keep them afloat until the next year. Likewise, I live for the Christmas Season. It rekindles my heart. It redeems my soul. But most importantly, it moves me to shop at Costco.

My trip began with a gridlock formation in the Costco parking lot. It was the funniest thing. An old man was trying to prove his virility by backing into an empty parking space (the empty space itself was a Christmas Miracle). Had he pulled in, it would have taken a few seconds of everybody’s time. Opting to back in, he exceeded his diminishing driving abilities. It wasn’t long before he found himself in a Christmastime quandary. Through a series of over-corrections, he had wedged himself obliquely between two parked cars. His front end protruded enough to block traffic in both directions. The stationary thoroughfare locked in those Costco patrons trying to back out of their spaces. Several motorists blared their horns in celebration of the Christmas Spirit. Fearing gunplay might accompany the Christmas Horns Medley, I resisted the temptation to join them. I eventually found available parking in the adjacent zip code. The aforementioned driver was ambulanced to St. Joseph’s Medical Center after a road rage battery. Those of you wishing to send a fruitcake can email me for his room number.

I entered the store awash in Christmas Spirit. Several patrons loitered in the entryway while talking on cell phones, rifling through their wallets or attending to other personal matters. They afforded me the opportunity to test my driving skills by maneuvering my shopping cart around a constellation of bovine discount shoppers. Naturally I had to fish my membership card out of my wallet while negotiating the dicey entryway. I had to laugh when the Costco Nazi girl in the Santa hat failed to look at my card as I conspicuously displayed it. Oh, well. It was fun just fumbling for the thing.

As I shopped I encountered several more bovine discount shoppers who in a frenzy of Christmas Spirit cut me off, blocked my forward progress and screened me from whatever merchandise might have taken my interest. They congregated around the food samples and competed for morsels of smoked salmon, potato soup and cheese spread. I can only hope some red and green glass shards found their way into the samples. What are the holidays without the hors d'oeuvres? Merry Christmas.

I finally finished my shopping and proceeded to the checkout lines. I found a short line -- another Christmas Miracle! Well, it was short when I entered it. Fearing I’d be lonely this holiday season, a Marlboro-smoking hag barreled her way in front of me. How thoughtful. But for her, I’d have zipped out of Costco without the opportunity to bask in Christmas cheer. The Marlboro lady didn’t have a cart or any merchandise. Instead she beckoned a son (I assumed after seeing the cart-toting male behind me that a man mustered the courage to copulate with her long enough to reproduce) to insert himself and his wares between me and the cashier. The son initially showed reluctance. He gestured at me. But the Marlboro lady assured him I wasn’t worthy of consideration. After all, I had the nerve to enter the line before she got there. The Christmas Spirit prompted me to yield to the son. I suspected he had enough troubles. I moved along to the next line.

It moved surprisingly fast. Before I knew it I was loading my 9-pack of Duraflame Logs on the conveyor belt along with several food items. The cashier and the bagger both seemed friendly enough. The former uttered a hello before whispering to the latter. It didn’t take long for me to learn that the whispering was about my decision to load the case of logs on the conveyor. Said the bagger “Next time, sir, you can leave the case of logs in the cart. Now Cece has to lift it.” At once I offered to lift the case myself, but it fell on deaf ears. The Christmas Spirit had infected these two like a case of gonorrhea. They wouldn’t hear of it. Instead, they struggled with the case together and placed it back in the cart, all the while flashing me contemptuous looks. I noticed that Cece was wearing a wrist brace. One has to wonder why they’d put a cripple on a warehouse register. Many large and bulky items make there way through checkout. Perhaps a job scrubbing bathroom shitters would prove more befitting an employee in her condition. I made certain to suggest that very thing to the line manager on my way out. Anyway, I wondered whether long hours of cashiering wore her wrist. Perhaps her wrist gave way to the chronic stress of furnishing her boyfriend with hand jobs. But for a possible case carpal-tunnel syndrome, I’d have encouraged her to wipe her ass with her attitude. As a healthcare professional, I couldn’t encourage her to further aggravate her ailment. Conscience got the better of me.

I spent my money and it was time to leave. Costco members know you don’t just stroll out of the building. You have to prove you’re not a shoplifter by presenting your receipt to the Costco Doorman. Usually two lines form -- one for each doorman. Today's group of bovines didn’t understand the “form-a-line” concept. The one doorman was standing there with an idle Sharpie Marker. I saw my chance. I darted past the bovines. Just then the other one -- this one a lady, so what does that make her -- a doorperson? -- shouts “people, we have to form two lines. That’s it. Two lines!” Now I started feeling pangs of guilt. Being as smart as your average kindergartner and knowing how to form a line had put me at an advantage. Consequently I zipped past several patrons who’d arrived before me. I’d be damned if I were going to lie in the moral gutter with the Marlboro lady. So I stopped and gestured several bovines to take cuts. But they didn’t get the message. They just chewed hay and stared. That didn’t stop a lady behind me from thundering past and filling the gap with her big, fat Christmas Spirit. I surmised she had a “Save Tookie” rally to get to. I figured that was more important than my thawing chicken pot pie. I waited my turn. Again.

I eventually made it to the doorman who noticed the Heat Dish in my cart. He disapproved of my purchase. In fact, he questioned my sanity. “All these people are buying these things and it hasn’t even gotten cold yet. Crazy.” He didn’t appreciate the irony that even as he spoke, he was wearing a jacket, snowcap and gloves! I saw he was chock full of Christmas Spirit. So I told him that I hoped Santa would bring him that man-sized penis he’s been hoping for so he can donate the 3rd grader one he currently has to charity.

So ended my trip to Costco and so began my Christmas Season. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am!

Merry Christmas.

12/13/2010

More cool things I'd like to do someday

I had loads of fun last week listing some cool things I'd like to do.  This week I realized I have some more cool things I'd like to do, and with New Year's resolutions to write, I thought it apropos to list them here.  Take a gander at some more cool things I want to do:

*Punch an electronic device on the fritz and restore it to perfect working order.

*Talk a suicidal man away from the edge of the roof by assuring him we're in this together and then regaling him with gym locker room talk from the good old days, which shows him that life has value after all.  Tell joke that we'll share a beer at Sizzler, but that he'll have to drink through a straw because he'll be in a straight jacket.

*Get stuck in elevator with a crowd of people.  Diffuse wave of panic by assuring everyone that I've been in this situation before and that panic is the enemy.  Get a boost from biggest guy in elevator; pop tile off of elevator roof; climb up elevator shaft to nearest door; push button on higher floor to get elevator running again and be there when the doors open to greet fretful passengers.  Applause.

*Deliver a baby in a cab.  Kid gets named after me.

*Inadvertently get thrown on a dance floor by drunken buddies and dance an impromptu tango with exotic strange woman.  Execute steps so well that the father of my dance parter -- a very powerful dignitary in a foreign country -- toasts to me, invites me to his table, and cautions me against breaking his daughter's heart because he killed the last man who did so.

*Extinguish a fire with my parka before it gets out of hand.

*Take a college economics course.  Ask poignant question which throws starchy, know-it-all professor off balance.  Give impromptu speech that rouses the classroom and appeals to common sense in lieu of academic pretentiousness.  Garner applause from classmates.  Starchy professor sneers and organizes papers on desk.

*Successfully hide from bad guys by hiding underwater and using a stick of bamboo to breathe.

*Reconcile with wife after a fight (the result of a comic misunderstanding) by appearing on stage with a ukulele and singing a sweet ballad in her honor that neither she nor the audience can resist.  Kiss to applause.

*Turn off a machine threatening the life and limb of an innocent victim by throwing an everyday object at the power button mere seconds before disaster strikes.

*Employ an explosion as a distraction to rescue hostages and then use a snowmobile to make a daring escape.  

*Remedy an electrical short by using makeshift conductor.

*Be the best man at a wedding and throw such an outrageous bachelor party that I jeopardize the marriage with all the crazy antics the bride-to-be discovers.  Then I come to the rescue by making moving and romantic toast to the couple after easing tension by dancing a jig with cute little 4-year-old girl.

*Successfully land plane after pilot gets sick and passes out from spoiled seafood.

*Join double-dutch jump rope in ghetto streets and transcend race/culture barrier.  Go to McDonald's afterward and laugh with neighborhood girls while eating.  McDonald's makes whole thing into a commercial.

12/10/2010

Thoughtprints

  • Society is turning queer.  Twenty-five years ago, I watched a show called the A-Team.  It was about four fugitives who drove around in a bad-ass black van looking for an excuse to blow shit up.  Now my wife and kid clog my DVR full of Glee episodes. Glee?  If I want to watch kids running around campus singing and dancing, I'll watch my Girls Gone Wild videos.
  • Some birds navigate via mapping the stars relative to the earth's axis.  If birds are that smart, why go to all that trouble?   Can't they just dive-bomb on a popcorn ball in a Chuck E. Cheese parking lot?  Look birds, you're flying like 12,000 miles in hopes of finding some grubs and meal worms where you land.  You didn't see a Howard Johnson's along the way?  And if you're heading there to mate, just go fuck in the park like the high school kids do.  
  • The people who want us to switch to fluorescent bulbs are the same people who want us to plug a station wagon into our garage outlets.  How about I continue to drive my current car and just turn up the A/C, refrigerator, my oven and a blow drier?  Let them all duke it out.
  • People get angry when a slow driver is using his cell phone.  People are caring too much by half.  Check yo-self, hata!  I see an absentminded driver on his cell phone, I cut him slack.  Think about it.  It's not the cell phone.  It's his driving that's ruining your day.  But if I have a good reason why he's going 30 in the left lane, I calm down.  Oh, he's texting?  That's cool.  Probably just brokering a booty call or scoring a dime bag.  You know who I despise?  The guy driving that slow with no excuse.  Hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, dick in his pants -- just a dipshit in his Buick Skylark doing 30 miles per hour and believing he still has the right to live in my universe.
  • We've become so obsessed with fairness that we won't be happy until it's equally unfair for everybody, which is only fair.
  • Some kids burn ants with a magnifying glass.  I use a telescope, only I turn it backwards and freeze them to death.  It seems more humane. 
  • They shouldn't call them political "parties."  They're more like political gangs.  They're going all Turbo and Ozone and shit.  Wouldn't Obama make a good Ozone?  No, YOU'RE the racist because you thought, "because they're both black, right?"  Wrong!  I mean because they're both good dancers.  You need to examine yourself and purge your hidden racism!
  • Digital watches have created complete dependence.  I literally cannot remember today's date -- ever.  I mastered this task when I was a kid.  I always knew the date.  But now I need my watch.  Same with porn.  Since it's gone digital, I can't remember what naked girls look like on my own.  I have to keep a window of porn constantly running in the background so I'll remember to bang my wife.
  • People tell me I need to work on my anger issues.  I already do!  I work on them by drinking until I laugh at the things that were pissing me off when I was sober.  Mission accomplished.  They should make a whiskey called "Anger Management."  Distilled and bottled with pride in Bourbon, Kentucky.

12/07/2010

Service with a smile

I want to revolutionize the customer service industry.  Right now, it's dreadful.  But I can fix that.  My idea would improve efficiency and performance by maximizing job satisfaction.  Everybody wins.  How do you maximize job satisfaction in an industry whose purpose is dealing with people who tend to suck?  I'm glad you asked.  Customer service jobs need to assign tasks to its employees by way of an auction.  Use a bidding system!  

Here's how it works.  The customers have a seat in a lobby which the employees can view through one-way glass.  After surveying the herd, employees bid on the customers just as they would other livestock.  For example, if you're a waiter, your experienced eyes could spot a WalMart- shopping no-tipper by his polyester pants and Lynyrd Skynyrd tee shirt.  Your employer would bid the job to the wait staff, where the lowest bidder would seat the lowlife guest and serve him his grilled cheese, fries and malt liquor.  Sure, you're going to get stiffed, but you bid an acceptable price to wait on the guy up front.  

Those of you in service jobs already see how wonderful this system is.  You can eyeball somebody and size them up in milliseconds.  Contrary to political correctness doctrine, you can judge someone by their appearance.  It stands to reason.  Remember, the clothing people wear, the way they do their hair, jewelry, tattoos, complexion, gestures and mannerisms -- these aren't random events that just happened to people.  They're choices.  And what is character but the sum of the choices we make?  When you look at somebody, you see how they choose to present themselves to the world.  And that tells you quite a bit about their character.  Fat people are lazy, yo.  And if you have 19 visible piercings and a comic book's worth of artwork tattooed on your arms and neck, then guess what: you crave attention.  That's what that says about you.  Also, if you color-tip your hair, you're wicked queer.  And any Tap Out logos tip people off that you're a douche bag.  

Let's return to bidding auctions for service jobs.  This time, let's take healthcare as an example.  Every healthcare practitioner knows that some patients are less desirable than others.  So, the more fat, gross, old and disgusting patients drive the bidding higher until the practitioner holds his nose and takes the plunge.  "Alright, I'll go 150 on the 72 year-old blimp in the wheelchair with acute hemorrhoids and a bowel obstruction."  Going once, going twice... sold to the nurse in the teal scrubs.  Imagine healthcare workers choosing whom to care for instead of falling victim to whatever piece of garbage comes through the door.  Before, you were shackled to a duty of care.  Now, every patient becomes a choice and every service he requires is a fee you negotiated.  Free will, free enterprise and the freedom to control your workplace experience -- that's a winning combination.  Maybe then half of nurses in America wouldn't be contemplating hari kari 4 times per shift.   

Phone service jobs could bid from their cubicals.  Wouldn't it be nice to hold out for top dollar on a drunk native American customer who's currently on hold, waiting to buy car insurance?  He just bought a 30 thousand dollar Ram truck, but he has no checking account and lives in a tipi whose address is "30 paces down river from Old Coyote Rock."  Or a computer technician who can bid on a 74 year-old grandmother whose kids thought it would be a great idea to get Gam-Gam online for email and pictures of the family, and now the same lady who never figured out how to program a VCR is trying to format a POP3 email account to her ISP server.   "What is this blue "E" thingamabob for?"  Shit, I'd bid just to be able to listen in on that call (why is so damn funny to watch your coworkers dealing with infuriating customers?).  

The point is, customers suck.  And the people in service jobs know it.  They approach their work with a sense of drudgery, and the result is second-rate service.  Installing an employee-to-customer bidding system invokes the spirit of free enterprise and unleashes the power of competition.  Now, the customers aren't dolts, cheapskates and perverts.  They're projects.  The employee won the bid and the opportunity to do the job.  So he's happy.  The employer knows he contracted the job at the lowest market price.  So he's happy, too.  And as long as the bidding remains confidential, the customer feels like royalty.  Everybody wins!

12/02/2010

Thoughtprints

  • I saw a commercial saying I can save a kid's life for "less than a cup of coffee per day."  So I cut out the middleman and started shipping a 30-case of Folgers Crystals to the kid every month.  The commercial said he'd write me letters and whatnot.  Finally the kid writes me and the card says, Do you know how hard it is to find cream and sugar in Ethiopia, asshole?
  • Have you used Window's "safe mode?"  Nothing safe about Windows.  Having unprotected sex with the Octomom is safer than Windows.  Going down on Courtney Love while you have a canker sore is safer than Windows.  Sharing a hotel room with Charley Sheen is safer than Windows. 
  • I went shopping in a Guess clothing store.  I saw my reflection in the mirror.  Then I bought a 20 dollar hat.  Actually, the hat cost 40 dollars, but it was worth at least 20 just that nobody would see my train wreck of a hairdo for the rest of the day.
  • How does the new trend of "skinny jeans" sell when all our kids are little tubbos?  The only skinny kids left are those Olsen twins and they share each other's pants.
  • My dog knows when I'm drinking.  He never begs for food when I'm sober because there's no point.  I won't budge.  But when I'm drinking, we usually go in halves on a pizza.  Sometimes, if I really hit the bottle, I'll have him accept delivery.  Make sure he doesn't stiff us on the garlic bread this time.  And don't tip so damn much.  It's 10-percent for delivery, Maxwell.  I stay sober long enough to order the pizza.  Otherwise I wind up with half pepperoni, half kibble.
  • When I was in high school, a Carmex craze hit.  Kids were caking Carmex on their lips every 20 minutes.  It looked like they were giving fellatio to a candlestick.
  • I drove through a construction site and there was only one guy working.  One guy.  The recession, I guess.  I felt so bad for him.  He was trying to drink 17 cups of coffee all at once.
  • In the news today, a white man carried out 6 robberies while disguised as a black man.  Police were tipped off when security footage showed him failing to jump over a janitor bucket on his way out the door and face-planted the sidewalk.

11/29/2010

Wikileaks

People are up in arms over the Wikileaks documents.  Many believe Wiki is committing espionage -- perhaps treason!  That's just pundit melodrama.  I see the leaked State Department documents as reality programming, Washington style.  We shouldn't be surprised that a media outlet is publishing our government's communiques.  It's an eventuality of the reality programming craze.  I've spent the last couple years watching dagos wax and tan their "garbagio" on MTV.  I've seen fat people losing weight, Fat Tuesday romps, fat-assed Kardashians, a fat gay fella who won a survivor game and then stiffed the IRS out of its share, and a slew of self-centered, disillusioned posers living together in a contrived home setting, all waiting to launch into an angry soliloquy on roommate etiquette.  Reality TV programing is everywhere.  It was only a matter of time before it infected government.

I wonder what the secret documents reveal.  I hope they capture our State Department officers at their most candid (and a little drunk).  Maybe those inner-office emails show them cracking wise at world leaders' expense:  Hillary Clinton speculating on the "shortcomings" of Kim Jong-il's pecker.  Barney Frank quipping that Ahmadinejad's suit is so gay that it makes him (the pickle puffer Barney Frank, himself) look like John Wayne.  And someone please tell me upper echelon State officials are dumping all over France.  There's a hanging curve ball.  Where will the intelligentsia go with the frogs?  Body odor, loose morals, their propensity to surrender?  Hell, France needs its own Friars Club Roast to cover all its foibles.  Have you seen all the goatees in France?  But enough about the women... 

I'll bet the State Department takes an occasional shot at the president when they think nobody's listening.  Did you hear somebody socked Obama in the mouth during a pickup basketball game and gave him a fat lip?  Good.  At least now he'll have to stop kissing Arabia's collective ass for a few weeks!  Or how about this:  Obama's lip was so fat that his ears briefly appeared to be normal size.  The State Department isn't above a cheap shot.

Politicians are too wrinkled and homely to star in bedroom spy-cams or nightclubbing jaunts.  So we're reduced to prying into their emails and top secret documents for entertainment.  It's either that or watching Charles Rangel fry breakfast sausage in his boxer shorts while watching the Weather Channel.  Or maybe Nancy Pelosi preparing for bed by unscrewing the C-clamps that pull her face around the back of her vapid head.  Instead, we opt for classified documents whose publication compromises national security.  Bargain of the century!

Admittedly it might be fun to watch a herd of Washington bureaucrats waddle through the nightclub scene a la reality TV.  Popping bottles and stuffing our tax dollars into waitresses' cleavage.  After all, we've been funding their parties for decades.  Let's at least get a voyeuristic thrill for our money.

11/24/2010

Annual Thanksgiving Post.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Every Thanksgiving I get to thinking about the Indians.  I wonder if they celebrate Thanksgiving.  I don’t imagine so. The way I see it, Thanksgiving is like their Pearl Harbor Day -- nothing to celebrate. Let’s just hope Indians don’t retaliate with an atomic bomb like we did!  Ah, why worry?  The closest they'll come to splitting an atom is spilling fire-water from their canteens to the campfire.  Send my regards to Chief Stumbled Steps.  

Being a paleface, I love Thanksgiving.  I love a holiday with food as its raison d'etre.  Thanksgiving is the time of year I wish I had 4 stomachs, like a cow.  That would be great.  I could eat non-stop.  Come to think of it, better throw in a couple extra colons.  You don’t want to bottleneck the system.  If I break off the bigger part of the wishbone, I’m going to wish for that -- and for my enemies to be in pain, and a bigger penis if the wishbone can get around to it.

I love the food at a Thanksgiving feast.  Turkey is traditional fare.  Some people claim an ingredient in turkey acts as a sedative that induces slumber.  I’m skeptical.  I attribute the post-meal drowsiness to stuffing one’s gullet with a lawn bag-full of food, and all the hooch in the egg nog.  Here’s a tip for this year’s feast: marinating the turkey in Rock Star and seasoning with crushed No-Doze offsets the drowsiness.  After all, you’ll need your wits for those inevitable family fights -- another Thanksgiving staple.  I always pocket a shard of wishbone in case I have to stab my drunk uncle in the neck and make a quick getaway. That’s another tip I’d like to share.

I love egg nog, too.  Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and your favorite liquor.  It’s chock full of calories.  I drank two glasses of egg nog last Thanksgiving and didn’t recover my appetite until Cinco De Mayo.  It’s filling stuff.  We could nourish the entire continent of Africa with a few pints of egg nog.  Happy Kwanza, Kunta Kinte.  Drink up.  Incidentally, I pride myself on being a non-judgmental person.  But if Africans celebrated Christmas instead of Kwanza, God wouldn’t let them starve.

After a huge meal, the family has to unbutton their pants to accommodate full bellies, all except my uncle, a Class 2 sex-offender who remains under court-order not to unbutton his pants within 50 feet of a minor.  Unbuttoned pants are the hallmark of a good meal, aren’t they?  That, or a really good adult website.  I can barely move by Thanksgiving evening on account of my alimentary canal being full of food.  But who needs to ambulate when you’ve got all those wonderful Christmas specials on TV?  Every time I watch Macaulay Culkin get his genitals caught in the food processor while watching himself in the mirror, I laugh my ass off. “Agggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  It just keeps getting funnier every year.  Some people think it’s the cologne he applies to his face.  Not true.  This year, pause yourTiVo and look at the bottom of the screen.  Freggin’ pervert is copulating with a Proctor Silex Salad Pro.  You have to watch the director's cut to see it, though.  

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!  Enjoy, Turkey.

11/22/2010

Limoncello, armadillo!

Everything tastes better when it's homemade.

I recently learned how to make my own limoncello.  I was delighted to learn one can make his own liqueur.  I figured you had to be a gnome or a hunchback Italian guy exiled to Sicily.  Ooh, you know who else might make a good liqueur?  Uncle Jessie of Dukes of Hazzard fame.  He already distills moonshine of county-wide repute.  Were Daisy inclined to zest some lemons and the Duke boys could stop humping each other long enough to bottle and market the concoction, Hazzard County would boast the finest Limoncello in the world.  That little dago Danny Devito had better watch his back.

Making limoncello is that easy, folks.  Let me walk you through the recipe.  You begin with grain alcohol.  I don't know how to make that.  I think God Himself takes a chunk of stupid and wrings it into a bottle.  Luckily you can buy it at your local liquor store.  Avoid stepping in the consolidated vomit pits on your way in, and keep some spare change handy for the local vagrant loitering the anteroom, lest he become a nuisance.  Locate the grain alcohol section and pick your poison.  I stick with Everclear because a sip of it is like a mule kick to your brain.  It's flavorless.  It's cheap.  And it doubles as floor stripper if you're in a pinch.  Any grain alcohol will do.  Vodka, which by definition is flavorless, will also do.  But it lacks the punch of grain alcohols.  So if you're a girl or a homosexual, vodka may be your choice.  Man the fuck up and buy Everclear, already.

Now you need some lemons.  Bear in mind that you'll be zesting the lemons to impart a lemon flavor into the grain alcohol.  So select those lemons with a thick, electric-yellow rind.  You'll likely find the best lemons at those hippie, whole-foods stores.  Buy 10 to 12 lemons.  Rinse them and zest them.  I bought a zesting tool at my liquor store and it works like gang-busters.  Some of you may be tempted to peel the lemons and that's fine.  But remember that if you add pith to the alcohol, the final product will be bitter and undrinkable.  You want the yellow zest from the lemon's rind -- not the white pith just beneath it.  Don't learn the hard way.

You can add the lemon zest to the bottle of alcohol.  That's what I do.  Or you can add the alcohol and zest into a jug.  Just as you please.  But zest those lemons right, soldier: all zest, no pith.  Roger, dodger.  Now I have some bad news.  You have to wait 3 weeks for the mixture to steep.  I know.  Waiting sucks.  If we liked waiting, we'd date Catholic girls.  Am I right?  But with limoncello, you don't have a choice.  You have to wait for the lemon oil to diffuse into the liquor, and that takes time.  Store your bottle in a cool, dry place and fight the cravings for 21 days.

You're almost there!  After you've steeped the liquor, you make simple syrup.  Relax.  You don't have to hike into the woods and tap a fir tree, Grizzly Adams.  All you have to do is boil a cup of water and add an equal volume of granulated sugar.  Mix until the sugar dissolves into the water.  Allow the fluid to cool to room temperature.  Strain the grain alcohol into a container (a mason jar works; so does an empty liquor bottle, and don't pretend you don't have one handy, you lushes!).  You can use a coffee filter to strain the zest from the alcohol.  Then combine equal parts of the lemony liquor with your (cooled!) simple syrup.  Put the concoction into the freezer (it won't freeze due to the alcohol content).  After it reaches freezing temperature, pour a few ounces into a snifter and enjoy.  Make sure you have bail money handy!  Are you ready to blast off, cosmonaut?  3-2-1, ignition!  We're in flavor country now, bitches.  

You can enjoy it straight or add it to cranberry juice, Mountain Dew, seltzer or lemonade.  The possibilities are endless.  Sip it after dinner or on the porch in the evening.  Bring a flask to work and take a nip on your restroom breaks.  Drink it straight while watching Monday Night Football or reality TV programming.  Keep it at the ready during the holidays and bottle it for gifts to those you love.  When you give limoncello, you give love.  And yes, if you must know, I'm drinking some right now.

As long as I'm cocked off my ass on limoncello, I should tell you all that I'm thrilled to be blogging again, and to have such a charming readership, and to have all these fresh, vibrant blogs a mouse-click away.  Know this:  If I'm reading you, it's because I love your writing.  Enjoy your limoncello in good health and with those you love.  And know that while I'm drinking mine, I'll be thinking of you all (and surfing homemade porn.  Remember, if it's homemade, it's better!).

Later in the week I'll repost my annual Thanksgiving Day essay.  I hope you enjoy it.  And should I miss the chance to tell you, Happy Thanksgiving!

11/18/2010

Too cool for school

List of cool things I want to do:

*Hurl a knife at a guy such that the knife sticks into the wall inches above his head, and then shimmies back and forth, and even though I don't have the knife anymore, he knows not to mess with me because if I can throw a knife like that, then who knows what else I can do?

*Discern the precise depth of a gorge by dropping a stone and listening for the report of the stone when it strikes the ground.  Then having my friend doubt my estimate because "that's impossible."  Then later, we Google it and it turns out I was right.  Steak dinner!

*Tame a wild animal threatening a campsite using my body language to communicate that I'm indeed the alpha male, yet I mean him no harm.  When all the campers rush to thank me, I pose humble and explain that I learned it watching Discovery Channel, and that they're the real heroes.

*Be the first on the scene at a traffic hazard and direct traffic.  People gather from my demeanor that I'm in charge -- so no horn blasts and no little kids giving me the finger from the back seat.

*Pop open the hood of a disabled vehicle, jiggle the right wires, hoses and components so that the car suddenly starts up.  Admittedly, this is probably the most unlikely of all my goals listed here.  Unless the car ran out of gas and there's a 7-Eleven in sight, no way I'm getting the car to start!

*Tackle a purse thief in mid-thievery.  Come to learn that the old lady victim had Christmas money in her purse for grandkids which they will get, thanks to me.  Humbly decline invite to Christmas dinner.

*Be the guy who scales the wall, goes around and unlocks the door from the other side for the others to get into wherever we're trying to get into.

*Successfully navigate a hike using a makeshift compass needle, noting the position of celestial bodies and tree moss, and drawing on my experience as a cub scout -- even though we could have taken the easy way out and used my Droid's GPS.

*Join in a doo-wop group singing around a barrel fire, slip right in with the harmonies, take over the lead and end the song with a hoo-OOO-ooo-waaahhhhhhhh.  Shake hands with the guys and then keep walking while the leader of the group asks the other guys, who was that cool cat? -- or words to that effect.

*Get drafted by a group of guys playing football at the park because their friend got hurt and now they're a man short.  Catch the winning touchdown and lead team to a come-from-behind victory.  Guys are almost glad their friend got hurt.  Other team clamors for a rematch, but I look at my watch and say I have to go.

*Spear a fish with a stick of bamboo.  Cook it rotisserie style on a sandy beach.

*Successfully negotiate my party's way out of a foreign jail cell with my considerable charm and also by besting the guardsmen at cards, chess or whatever their pastime is while on the job.

*After learning we're flooded in for the night, whip up a 7-course meal using whatever ingredients I can find in the cabin kitchen.  Wow fellow travelers.

*Hit a ridiculously high hand in blackjack and catch a small card, giving me 21 and making the dealer sneer.  Then giving a knowing look to the attractive lady across the table.

*Flip a bunch of burgers on the grill at just the right time so that they only have one set of parallel grill markings on each side.  Serve them by pointing to each guy with the spatula and saying "you wanted yours medium-well, right?"

11/17/2010

Thoughtprints

  • The wife bought me a box of Mint Fudge Oreo cookies.  Nabisco covered the Oreo we all know and love with a layer of mint-flavored fudge.  This is too much decadence.  It's baroque and sinful.  Nabisco is no longer baking; it's tapping into the occult.  I'm afraid that when I look in the box, the Light of Christ will obliterate me like it did the Nazi's when they peered into the Ark of the Covenant in the first Indiana Jones movie.
  • I think sites like MySpace and Facebook did weblogs a favor by siphoning off the lightweights and posers. Left in their wake is a high concentration of first-rate writers.  It feels so good to be blogging again.  You people are so much more interesting than the social networking sites and so much less depressing than the daily news.
  • I ate a carne asada bake at Costco the other day.  Evidently "carne asada" is Spanish for "flavorless prison food."  That bake was so bland it could have hosted a show on NPR.
  • "Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning."  -- Bill Gates.  "In that case, you're the wisest em effer on the planet."  -- LBB.
  • TV ads should come with a disclaimer: "Best possible scenario depicted." Advertisers don't lie. They're just showing you the rare occasion when the piece of crap actually does what it's supposed to do.
  • You know what word processors need?  A "stop trying to fucking help me" button.  Also, when importing text via the clipboard, a "don't retain the jacked-up, ass-backwards font from the source page" button.  These programs have become too smart for their own good.
  • Airport security is patting down toddlers.  Remember the good ole days when frisking a kid at the airport got you 15-to-life in prison?  Nowadays, they give you an Employee of the Month pin.  Hey, Captain, this one's trying to smuggle a couple of Milk Duds and a Twizzler.... uh, oops.  False alarm.  Sorry kid.
  • People are up in arms over airport body scan images leaked onto the Internet.  Yeah, because millions of teenage boys are discarding gigabytes of hi-def Internet porn so they can pop one out to a 32-bit grey-scale image of your cocktail wiener and middle-age traveling salesman ass.  Incidentally, it must be awfully cold in those scanners.
  • A woman has recently become the first transgender judge -- giving rise to the phrase, Your Hon-Or-Off.
  •  In the news today, a fisherman found a human head in his bucket, but at first mistook it for a fish.  It turns out, somebody decapitated Steve Buscemi.  

11/12/2010

A clean slate

Sometimes I have to clean stuff.  I'm a messy person by nature.  And I like to drink.  So I tend to soil things, and then my neatness-freak mentality erupts.  I get the compulsion to clean whatever I messed.  Usually my computer desk, mouse and keyboard take most of the shrapnel when I'm eating and computing at the same time.  It's a bad habit, but I love it.  I could feed a family for a week on the crumbs in my keyboard.

Murphy's Law is everywhere you look, and the world of cleaning is no exception.  Whatever cleaning agent you need is the one you don't have.  So if you're like me, you fumble for a substitution or concoct your own formula using those chemicals on offer in your utility room.  I fancy myself a bit of an alchemist.  I can whip up a cleaning agent for just about any mess.

My go-to cleaning agent is glass cleaner.  Rationale:  If it cleans glass, it'll clean anything.  You'll find glass cleaner is a serviceable all-purpose cleaner.  Just keep spraying and rubbing until the gunk disappears.  It'll handle all but the most stubborn stains.  Glass cleaner is the booty-call of cleaning agents: it'll do when you can't find exactly what you're looking for.  So keep it handy.

Sometimes I'll mix two or more chemicals together in hopes of formulating a miracle cleaner.  The idea is to maximize the probability that your concoction will have the desired effect.  It's guesswork.  Sometimes I miss the mark.  I mixed an ammonia product with bleach and woke up in a puddle of my own drool 17 hours later.  For the next 4 days I soiled myself every 20 minutes and labored under the delusion that I was Mr. Clean.  I even shaved my head and hid out in my neighbor lady's cupboards until she needed to clean her tile floor.  Surprise, bitch!  But my toilet gleamed like it did on the showroom floor.

Every cleaning product has this vaguely threatening federal law on the label:  "Using this product for purposes other than those indicated may violate federal laws."  I ignore this warning.  It's my constitutional right to mix and match these substances as I please as long as I'm not making crank.  Most of us agree that we want the government out of our bedroom.  Stay out of our bathrooms, too.  Unless you're going to clean it, Uncle Sam.  

I've had other laboratory mishaps.  One time I mixed Draino, Simple Green and Pledge Furniture Polish and created a radioactive goo in my bathtub.  I had a China Syndrome situation going on.  Think fast, LBB!  I grabbed some baking soda from the pantry and neutralized the goo before it reached critical mass.  A few burns, some mild hair loss and a Silkwood shower later, everything was copesetic.   My tub was gleaming.  Plus I saved myself a trip to Target.

If you read the cleaning agent's ingredient list, you'll notice that the active ingredient -- the stuff that actually makes it work -- is some microscopically small percentage of the product, like .05%.  The rest of the bottle is just water and buffers and other useless stuff.  I'm getting fleeced!  Look, I'll pay extra, but I want the full-strength shit.  Whatever chemical is making the product work, just fill the bottle with that and sell it to me.  Let me worry about diluting it if I have to.  But I probably won't.  Whatever cleaning produce I use, I want to hear it sizzle.  I want to pack the firepower, yo.

Sometimes things are clean, but you need to kill a bug.  Again, Murphy's Law applies -- now you're out of Raid.  I swear those little bastard bugs know when I'm out of Raid.  Suddenly it's a regular Boston Bug-athon across my kitchen floors.  Double dumbass on you, bugs!  I may not have bug poison, but I can find something useful in the cupboard!  That's when I rifle through the shelves and search for the most poisonous cleaning agent I can spray.  Let's see.  What would make the most potent nerve agent?  Ah, Comet powder!  Or maybe 409.  The way I see it, even if the chemical doesn't induce an acute fatality, it'll give the bug cancer.  Bug won't be much of a problem on chemo and bed-ridden.

Here's a free alchemy tip from LBB: Don't use Pam on your toilet seat.  You may slip off and become "familiar with" the business end of a plunger.  Also, don't use household bug poisons to clean it, unless you want a red ring of irritated/gangrenous skin encircling your ass for a week.  In retrospect, I should have anticipated these risks.  But once I get to cleaning, I attack with the fervor and single-mindedness of other great scientists.

Happy cleaning and best of luck.

11/08/2010

Thoughtprints

  • Environmentalists forget that man makes the most beautiful things.  Look at at city skyline or a modern marvel of architecture.  
  • I went into a Dick's Sporting Goods.  Not a single jock strap for sale.  Ironic.
  • If cars were cheap to fix, traffic jams would be fun!  Imagine not having to worry about fender-benders!  Every commute to work would become the A-hole 500.  
  • Curiosity is the essence of intelligence.  If you really want to know, you'll figure it out.  If you don't, you'll come off like a dunce.  
  • People praise the virtue of patience.  But the way I see it, patience is just tolerance for what's wrong.
  • TV ads should come with a disclaimer:  "Best possible scenario depicted."  Advertisers don't lie.  They're showing you the rare occasion when the piece of crap actually does what it's supposed to do.  I bought one of those clapper vegetable choppers because after watching the commercial I realized my life was worthless without one.  The thing is great at almost chopping vegetables.  It's perfect for those occasions where you need a checkerboard of tomato held together by a membrane of tomato skin.    
  • I'm much more inclined to believe salesmen with accents.  If they have an accent, they must be telling the truth.  A pitchman from Australia convinced me there's a magical cloth called a shammy that will soak up any quantity of fluid, retain it within its water-tight textiles, and with a wring over the sink, spill its contents down the drain.  If he were American, I'd know he was full of crap and just buy more paper towels.  But the accent proves he's sincere.  The next time I call in sick for work, I'm doing it in my best Chinese accent.  "Soddy fo sick.  No wok today.  I stay home an surf innet pawn."
  • If you always seem to say the wrong thing, you might just be talking to the wrong person.
  • When I'm at a restaurant, I'll wait however long it takes for them to bring my meal.  I don't mind waiting.  I'll enjoy the ambiance and my company.  But if the waiter forgets the complimentary bread, I panic.  If he's more than one minute late with the bread basket, I pull the fire alarm.  
  • Dogs lack the ability to wonder.  I'll walk into a room and flip the light switch.  The light goes on and my dog can see where he once was blind.  The only thing is, he doesn't know about electricity or light bulbs.  So shouldn't he see that as a miracle?  Imagine being blind and then for no discernible reason, suddenly you can see.  That would be a miracle, right?  And whoever walked in the room just before it happened would be a messiah.  Yet my dog just wags his tail at me and takes another nap.  
  • The bad economy is turning me into a real prick.  Nowadays, when I walk into a store, I expect to be treated like royalty.  As if I don't spend my precious money at their store, the employees will be sucking cock for beer money.  But things really aren't that bad. 
  • Feminine fashion appears to be in a state of flux.  I'm not sure quite how to describe my preferences: somewhere between shaved bald and the illusion that Gary Coleman is taking a nap in your lap -- if you please.
  • If we shouldn't worry what others think of us, why should we worry what other countries think of us?  What is a country but a collection of people (who all eat the same kind of food)?
  • There's a cute little electronic gadget that plays 20-Questions, and then does an excellent job of telling you what you were thinking about.  They should make one for which country you're thinking about.  "Do you prefer football or soccer?"  "Does your diet consist mostly of rice and beans?"  "If you get caught stealing, will they saw your hand off?  "Does your country feature TV shows that show fat people struggling to lose weight in a competitive environment."
  • I don't mean to appear insensitive to starving people, but I wonder how anybody goes hungry in America.  Why not go into a fine restaurant, sit down, and kill off a few baskets of complimentary bread?  After you get your fill, tell the waiter that the wine list is unacceptable and march out indignantly.  But don't forget to visit the men's room first, and get a free spritz of fine cologne from the restroom attendant to negate the sewer smell of your soiled clothing, you piece of garbage!
  • I've never met somebody who needed something to eat.  But I've met many who've needed something to drink.  
  • The best way I figure we can fight terrorism is stuff millions of cute, stuffed toy camels with nanny-cams and ship them to toy stores in the Middle East.  Why should a terrorist enjoy more privacy rights than an au pair?  
  • How do blind people stop themselves from falling asleep when they're tired?  
  • The best thing about the latest Batman film is that the bat suit didn't have nipples.  That was worth the $9.50 right there.  Every costume department should have at least one heterosexual to stop things from getting out of hand.
  • Police do have a tough job.  Nobody is happy to see you.  Everybody wants you out of their rear view mirror and their life as soon as possible.  Everybody hates the job you're doing.  Nobody can relate to that, except maybe Whoopi Goldberg.  
  • My idea for USB-connected computer dildo: the iBeam.  
  • I can't decide whether to continue investing in the stock market, or just go to the ATM teller every week day, withdraw 40 bucks and light it on fire.
  • Do you know the anxious feeling you get when you roll out into an intersection to make a left-hand turn, and then you realize there's no green arrow, and now you're just hanging out in an intersection with a guy behind you who took your spot and a few oncoming a-holes trying to blow throw the yellow light?  That's how I feel about the future of this country: can't go back; and moving forward is scary as hell. 
  • Why don't people who talk a lot get repetitive stress disorder in their jaw?  Wouldn't that be nice?
  • When I was younger, I'd get ready in the mirror and I'd try to look hip, cool and sexy.  Now I just try to achieve whatever look won't embarrass me too much.
  • I envy those people who snack on fruit.  I wish I could satisfy my cravings with fruit.  I need a couple Pop Tarts or a row of Girl Scout Thin Mints or fudge brownie sundae.  Who snacks on fruit, anyway?  "Gee,  I'm craving something sweet right now.  I'm so in the mood for a.... cumkwat.  Mmmmmmm... that would hit the spot."  You freakin' weirdo!  
  • We're such a self-loathing culture.  We don't even give ourselves credit when we do something right -- like when you snack on fruit.  It doesn't count unless it's organic.  See, it's not enough that you chose broccoli over a Three Musketeers Bar.  It has to be grown without pesticides and hormones -- otherwise you're eating what The Man wants you to.  If I eat legumes, I want credit, dammit.  I don't care if they grew them in plutonium.  

11/04/2010

Fat chance they sell molcajetes

I wonder whether I've become too angry. Then I squelch my wonder for fear that I can't help it, anyway.  Why ponder what one can't change?  Oh, for the power to choose those things that enrage or delight us!

I love homemade salsa.  I'm still searching for the perfect recipe.  Although I've made some whiz-bang salsas, I have yet to unlock the perfect combination of vegetables, spices and blending technique.  My salsas are always good -- not great.  But I'm getting closer.  Salsa is a strange and magical food.  When you nail it, as a few local restaurants do, it's the most delicious dish on the planet – particularly odd when one remembers it's composed of vegetables, a notoriously unsatisfying and often disgusting food group. Barring salsa, I haven't eaten a vegetable since I was 12, and then only under protest.  But I never met a salsa I didn't like.

I recently learned about an ancient food processing tool called a molcajete.  It's a mortar and pestle made of ceramic, marble or lava rock.  Its two components are a large, rugged bowl standing on 3 legs, and a blunt club for pulverizing foodstuff.  Cooks process herbs and spices in them, or mix sauces and pesto.  Salsas, too, are a traditional food whipped up in the molcajete.  Legend has it molcajetes make the best salsas because they release the flavors of the peppers in a way food processors can't.  We'll see.

What does the above have to do with anger?  I'm glad you asked.  I had to buy a molcajete, which brought me to the local Crate & Barrel, where one can find novel kitchen items.  Anxious to learn whether I would find a molcajete, I burst through the entrance.  To my horror, I see a tall, pear-shaped fat man hobbling with a cane and clogging the aisle.  Imagine Paul Bunyan aged another 30 years and having swallowed his ox whole.  Bingo.

The reader should know the store files patrons through an “in” and “out” aisle.  So I can't sidestep this gimpy rhinoceros and get along with my shopping.  I have to deal with him.  By now I observed him moving at roughly the speed of moss and with the nimbleness of an anesthetized koala bear.  Aw, jeez!  I'll never get by!  Even when I do, I'll be bouncing into this behemoth for the length of my visit.  God forbid I have to double back to the stoneware section or something.  I'll need a springboard, rocket boots and a climbing pick to scale over him.  Jesus, you're fat!

See all the anger, above?   Please know I was as appalled as you at my internal dialogue.  Yikes, that's harsh!  I had a moment of clarity just then in the Crate & Barrel.  I observed myself hating on this guy, fantasizing the number of ways I'd assail him, saying a little prayer asking God to condemn him to hell (which for him would surely be a grocery store devoid of Hostess products).  Suddenly I wanted to punch myself in the face.  What had I become?  What gave rise to my rage?  Why am I such an impatient jerk?  Why am I so angry at this?

Just as the self-awareness struck, I dissected my thoughts: It's unfair. I feel cheated somehow.  His very presence is an imposition...  But that imposition was really just 10 or 15 seconds of my time until he waddled this way or that, and I could pass.  Fifteen seconds?  How could that matter?  It's trivial.  After all, I had the day off.  I needed to kill some time.  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful store.  I might just as easily have yielded 15 seconds to the food sample clerk or the lovely recipe book display.  So if not the brief time he threatened to steal from me, then what?

It had to be the moral implications of being fat.  Somehow, indulging his appetite to the point where he became a human barricade – that offended me.  I don't begrudge a man a few extra pounds.  But how dare he grow so big that he clogs a thoroughfare?  That's the precise moment a fat person becomes offensive – when he blocks your passage.  Take stock of yourself.  You're blocking passersby.  You're a one-man fire code violation.  Stop being so complacent and bow your head in shame, you blimp. 

Here's the rub.  I don't want to be that angry.  I don't want to be a cauldron of hate that boils over at the slightest offense.  Instead, I want to be one of those a-holes with the “Life's a Beach” t-shirt and the live-and-let-live attitude.  On second thought, fuck that guy.  But still, I don't want to hate obese, wayward shoppers!  The fat guy's only crimes were bumping Pizza Hut's stock a few points and having the metabolism of a zygote.  I should let it go, right?

I would, but I just don't know how to change.  How do you stop anger from getting the best of you?  It sure as hell isn't positive thinking.  I've tried that stuff and it just pisses me off.  Once I caught myself getting angry in a traffic jam.  So I went to the positive thinking.  “LBB, aren't you glad you weren't one of the unfortunate people involved in the accident ahead. You're lucky that for you, it's just a delay and not something more serious...” “Bullshit!  These Stevie Wonders cost me 20 minutes because they don't know how to drive. I'd better see a torso in the ditch!”

You see? Positive thinking failed me. My negativity only redoubles its efforts and squashes the positive thinking. Plus I hate myself a little bit for being disingenuous. So now I'm worse than when I started  Thanks a lot, positive thinking.  I knew you wouldn't work!

Back to the anger and its causes.  I think it's evolutionary.  Hating pathetic people is encoded in our genes.  Elsewhere in the animal kingdom, stuff like this happens.  I've watched it on the Discovery Channel.  Chimpanzees and lions will ostracize or even attack one of their own kind should he exhibit a conspicuous flaw like a crooked tail or a deformed appendage.  It's Mother Nature's way of purifying the gene pool – or at least for filtering out the fat guy in the Speedo wading around in it.  We've retained the millions-of-years old instinct to eliminate the weak before they bring harm to the herd.  It may be in our higher nature to accept and love those with genetic anomalies, but our primitive brains invoke the emotional circuitry of hostility.  And so it is that I could feel two opposing emotions for the fat guy: antipathy and compassion (yes, I left the store feeling compassion for the fat guy once I calmed down).  I also felt concerned about my mental well-being, what with the glaring anger issue.  But neither sentiment lasted long.  It turns out the Crate & Barrel had molcajetes!  I was off to the neighboring grocer to buy fresh vegetable for my salsa sublime.  Incidentally, it turned out to be the best salsa I've ever made.  Thanks for not eating all the vegetables before I got there, fat guy!