Wednesday, December 28, 2005

57. Some Holiday Thoughts

As I was relaxing this holiday and pondering the mysteries of the universe, I started thinking, “I should blog more. My fan is probably wondering what’s going on in my life.” Then I came to my senses and realized that most of my reader(s) are probably doing exactly what I am doing—figure skating—or eating hummus.

Regardless of your desire to read about my holidays, I will let you know about a few things that happened:

  • I highly recommend getting sick just before the holidays because you can avoid the guilt associated with holiday overeating. I mean, you NEED to recover nutrients you missed while you weren’t eating, right? As you well may know I got real sick on the 19th. I believe I had a bad case of the scurvy on account o’ I haven’t eaten any vegetables since 1993. The illness was great for my physique, however—I started of the holiday break by losing 15 pounds in 2 days.
  • Bowl games are fun. My wife Limpy bought me tickets to the Las Vegas Bowl in sunny (viva Las) Vegas, Nevada. So, illness or no, I fired up the Honda and drove to Vegas with my wife Limpy. While we were there, I started feeling better—and then the hunger hit. I was hungry from sunup to sundown, but Vegas is full of buffet and fast food, so things were okay.
  • Buy the right gift. Most of my Christmas joy this last couple of years has come from buying the right gift for the right person. Example: 1) my wife Limpy and I got the nephews a racecar set (of the slotcar variety.) 2) We got the niece a My Little Pony megaset. 3) My wife Limpy bought me a Barbecue grill. I bought her a leather jacket and a digital camera. ALL of these presents were very well received and I got more satisfaction from the giving than the receiving (though I do recommend the receiving part.)
  • Chocolate is not a bad thing. Okay strictly speaking, it could be better for you. On the whole and scientifically speaking, it’s disgusting—brown plastic solid that creates a phegm film in the back of your throat. Regardless of its components though, chocolate is a glorious substance especially when combined with hazelnuts and hazelnut derivatives. It also has mind-numbing, sedative qualities for hyperactive pre-teens.

Things I learned I do not like about the holidays:

  • Twenty five (25) people + one (1) bathroom + people recovering from illnesses = bad.
  • Leftovers=good. Quantity of leftovers = bad.
  • Electronic-noises + board books, action figures or caterpillars = bad
  • Kneeling + cement floor + racecar set setup + loops + 2 hours + one instruction sheet + said instruction sheet having no specifics, pictures or details = bad.
  • Disney = Devil.
  • Pony + fluorescent + styleable hair + “do you want to help me make this pony pretty?” = bad.
  • Finally, children’s choirs + Christmas carols in spanish + volume + six (6) hours=bad.

A couple of photos taken with the digital camera that I bought my wife Limpy:
1) Sunset over Enoch, Utah, 12/23/05.
2) My wife Limpy and me at the Wynn casino in Las Vegas.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

56. Weight Loss--Sweet Weight Loss

I am still sick, although I'm feeling much better today. Yesterday was more like Oxycontin-addiction withdrawals and today is like *fast Sunday on hour 3.

Negatives: I can't stand up straight. I can't lie down because my back is so stiff. I couldn't keep any meds down yesterday so the back pain is non-bearable.

Positives: None. Well, unless you count the 10 pounds I have lost since Saturday.

Yes the new, svelt Stupid is just around the corner.

*Fast Sunday is a monthly self denial ritual in my church. You refrain from food for two (2) meals--twenty-four (24) hours--and then you give offerings for the needy. The offering is supposed to be at least the cost-savings for the food you didn't eat, but one is encouraged to be generous.

Monday, December 19, 2005

55. Illing Here With A Bucket

I am sick.

I don’t want your sympathy; I want your scorn and derision. Why? Because that would actually feel better than how I feel right now. So bring it on folks, make me feel better.

I’ll give you a head start if you want.

Dear Stupid:

I can’t believe you are skipping work for a little bug. You are a colossal pansy. You ought to feel guilty; many people go to work sick every day. Some of them are single parents who work two jobs and STILL find a way to get the kids to soccer practice.

You, Stupid, are a reprehensible human being who has no fortitude. I wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire. [Add your OWN creative insults here.]

Sincerely:

[Sign your name.]

If you want, you can post comments that include your best insults. Otherwise, don’t bother me with pleasantries; I’m too sick to read it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

54. Searching for Stupidity

The following are keywords used recently that have landed people on my blogs, Ask Stupid and Stupidramblings:

• Girls who fight guys
• Stupid advice
• Stupid questions to ask people
• Stupid is as stupid does.
• Up her skirt
• “Kirk Cameron” crying
• Raven Symone(Is she pregnant)

Most of these searches came through MSN.

I was perplexed and somewhat alarmed initially at the words “up her skirt.” Then I remembered I talked about a five-year-old girl who was pulling up her tights and hiking ‘up her skirt’ in front of my church’s full congregation. Read the story here.

There it is then.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

53. One-Eight-Hundred twotwotwo ONE twotwotwo.

I was driving in middle-o-nowhere Kansas the other day. Choices on the radio: country music and conservative talk radio. I asked myself why I didn’t bring my sawed-off (not for the locals, but for my temples.)

Anyhoo, not having anything to listen to, I decided to try the Laura Ingraham show. As far as I could tell, Laura Ingraham is a conservative woman who has exactly zero (0) friends who will listen to her. But—BUT—there are literally hundreds of people nationwide who will call in to a nationally syndicated radio show. They’re sheep who will agree with anyone who will let them put their voice on the radio.

The show was better than silence, but I was not very impressed with her logic streams or ideology. I was impressed with the production value of the PSA’s (public service announcements) she played on her show.

I heard a song during one of the commercial breaks. It was one of those songs that sounded like it should be a part of children’s videos or Schoolhouse Rock. It was happy, repetitive; words written by the government, music written by monkeys, etc.

I usually tune out the music, but this one started to peak my interest. Sure enough after a couple of seconds listening to the PSA I realized it wasn’t happy at all. This is NOT the transcript, but its close:

(And keep in mind the music was happy like a restaurant birthday song.)

If you’ve drunk some potion
And your ulcers are in motion
If you ingested a mixture
And you feel like licking a light fixture

You MIGHT-a GOTT-en
POIIIIIII-soned
That’s RIGHT ya GOT
POI-OI-OI-OI-soned

When your kids ate the roundup
And their legs were found up
In the air all wound up

You’ll know what to DOOOOOOoooooooo!
Call one-eight-hundred
Two two two
ONE two two TWOOOOOO!

This particular PSA lasted about two two TWOOOOO minutes and I was laughing harder than I have ever laughed by myself.

Link to the Poison Control Center here.
I also emailed the ad to a new Yahoo! account. Go here to login to that generic email account. Yahoo! ID: stupidblog. Password: 18002221222. If you log on and open the ‘poison control’ email, you will be able to hear the song. Also, you can email it to all your friends.

Monday, December 12, 2005

52. Random, Unconnected Funnies.

1) Recently, while a group of friends was over to the house, topic turned to our gaudy table.

First, to describe the beast that is our table, it measures 4’x8’ before you add the leaves. With ALL THREE (3) leaves inserted, it measures 4’x12 ½ ‘, which is approximately the size of your grandma’s car.

Back to the friends, one of them muttered during the course of the conversation, “That’s not a table; it’s a rameumptom.”

2) At a trade show recently, the woman whose booth was next to mine kept stealing my potential contacts. Bear in mind that my business is in no way a competitor to hers. (A couple of hours into the show, I kindly asked her to leave people at my booth alone until they left my booth. After that she was fine—except for:)

A couple of hours after I asked her not to cannibalize my booth, she tried one more time. A client, assuming the ‘Cannibalady’ was a rep. for my company, asked her to explain the program. I was about to step in, but ‘Cannibalady’ proceeded to make a flawless, generic presentation. Her words were ambiguous and could have been valid for either my company’s business OR hers. I let her continue to ambiguously explain her program, because I was aware that the client was asking questions about my booth. The best part: after a minute-long conversation, the client asked if she could take some pamphlets. ‘Cannibalady’ said, “Of course!”

The client took various pamphlets and freebies from my booth and walked away. ‘Cannibalady’ looked scandalized and looked over at me. I just smiled. She didn’t talk to me OR any of my clients for the next day and a half of the rest of the show.

3) My wife Limpy’s home country of Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup in soccer for the first time ever. My mother-in-law Limpymom reports that the whole island nation got the day off for a state holiday. All the locals were supposed to go to Port of Spain, the capitol city, to see the team in from the airport. I wish WE all got the day off when an American team won a world championship in sports—say football, baseball, or basketball.

4) At the same trade show mentioned in point #2, they served snacks in the afternoon for the attendees and vendors. The potato chips they served were regular-old flat potato chips. They set a pair of salad tongs in the potato chips so we could serve ourselves. It was impossible to pick up more than one chip with the tongs without breaking the chips. Picking up the chips one at a time was poor, because everyone wanted to get some snacks and the line was very, very slow.

I waited until the end of the line because the snacking people were all filing past my booth and I wanted to be there to talk to them. When I got to the chips, another vendor and I were laughing at the precarious social situation the tongs ‘n’ chips brought about. When I got to the chips, all that were left were crushed. I said to the other vendor, “Now don’t break those.” This is funny because they were already broken AND because it was impossible NOT to continue to break them more. At this point, a large woman across the table (not the other vendor) looked up and said, “I won’t,” all defensive-like. I couldn’t stop giggling with the other vendor long enough to explain that I was joking. They might as well have served the chips with a mortar and pestle.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

51. One and One are Two…

Last week my sales calls took me into schools to make presentations to high school counselors. Here are a few funny things that happened to me during my school visits:

1. When I arrived at one of the schools, a radio station van was parked in front of the school and all of the kids were milling aimlessly in the halls. There was a buzz in the air and all the students looked excited. I asked the administrator there what was going on and he told me Fifi was coming to school to do a concert assembly. Yeah I’ve never heard of Fifi, nor can I find her on the internet, but if any of you alert types can give me any information on her, I’d love to know how good she could possibly be to be doing assembly concerts in high schools—midweek.

2. Another administrator (f) at a school and I were talking and she seemed very non committal. She had no excitement or spunk, she just wanted the info. She asked a very informed question (and better yet—one I had the answer to) so I proceeded to answer her question. I had not been speaking for more than 10 seconds when she got a glazed-over look and her eyes started to roll back.

She seemed to come back for a second and then her eyes rolled back and she fell asleep. I smirked because I didn’t know what to do, and I kept talking just in case she was still listening. When I finished the sentence, I sat there looking at her, laughing, and wondering what to do. She came to almost immediately and explained that her best friend whose husband was in Iraq had just had a baby the night before and she (the school person) had been up all night helping. She felt bad, but I thought it was very, very funny.

3. Finally, my last good experience happened oddly. When I got to the school, all the students were outside. I parked the car, approached a teacher and asked what was going on and if I could reach my contact at that school. She told me she wouldn’t know where the contact was, but after the ‘unannounced fire drill’ was over, she would take me to the contact’s office. Then, in the distance I heard a faint siren. And THEN, one of the students pointed up and said, “Look!” Sure enough, smoke was rising from the top of the building and then, MASS HYSTERIA! Not really, but the students were stirring quite a bit to get a better look. I gave my card and a note to the teacher and asked her to give it to the contact. As I was driving away, the fire engines and police were arriving. Read the story here.

So that’s what happened last week. Could anyone shed any light on the Fifi Question?

Monday, December 05, 2005

50. I-Can-Love-You-Like-Nobody-Can Christmas letter.

The following is a rough draft of the text I am sending out to family and friends in the annual Christmas letter:

The year 2005 has come and gone and Limpy and I write to you to tell you what we have done this year.

In the year 2005:

• Limpy turned 31 years old. Quote, “I don’t feel a day over 37.”
• Stupid was on a business trip for Valentine’s Day bringing much dismay to Stupid who felt like he was somehow letting Limpy down. Quote Limpy, “Valentine’s Day was this year?”
• Limpy and Stupid Celebrated five (5) years of wedded bliss by Stupid’s return from yet another business trip. Fortunately his return sent him to Las Vegas where they were able to celebrate for free by listening to a time-share presentation.
• For the first time ever, Limpy and Stupid were able to watch General conference in their own home. In a related story, for the first time ever, Stupid was able to sleep through General Conference on his own living room floor. Quote, “Sleeping through conference on your own floor is more satisfying somehow—and a bit more spiritual too.”
• With tax return funds, Stupid and Limpy planted grass. The result was beautiful—by fall, they had ½ of a copious green lawn. The oddest thing happened: the copious green lawn was interspersed with a duller browner one in zebra-stripes.
• The first Ramblings Garden was planted a little late. Crops planted: plants: 6 potato, 2 yellow squash, 4 bell pepper; 1 row carrots and 2 rows purple and yellow onions.
• Limpy and Stupid Celebrated the 4th of July by going a day late to watch the fireworks. Apparently the 4th is celebrated on the 2nd when the 4th falls on a Monday. In a related story, President’s Day, Columbus Day and Halloween were all observed on the wrong day. The 24th of July, however was properly celebrated on Sunday—go figure.
• Limpy made a 3½ week trip to Trinidad to have a vacation and be with her family. For the first time in three years, she was able to go home and stay for longer than a couple of days. Stupid used the free time to concentrate on the upcoming football season. Quote, “Was she really gone three weeks?”
• Limpy started another school year immediately on her return from Trinidad. As Gang-Prevention Specialist at Home School District. Quote, “They don’t even give me one day off after the vacation to rest before work.”
• October brought harvest days. All the food planted earlier came in nicely. Crop yield: 4 bell peppers, 10-15 yellow squash, 20-30 4” carrots 30-40 small onions and 22 potatoes ranging in size from gumball to golf ball size. We ate all the potatoes in one meal.
• Stupid was in town for 2 working days in November. Limpy and Stupid hosted the family for the simplest and best Thanksgiving ever.
• Limpy’s Car turned over 100,000 miles. Unfortunately for her, the old car may just last forever.
• Limpy picked up extra work running group sessions for troubled youth at a state-run youth program.
• Stupid visited 26 states, 600 sales calls, and attended 5 major professional conferences as an exhibitor in the course of his job. He also drove 15,000 miles and earned 75, 000 sky miles on 5 different airlines. Quote, “As a collective of 26 states, we were happy to have Stupid go home after each visit. Our citizens are safer and our air is cleaner. Pity be upon Utah for having to put up with him.”
• Stupid’s hobby job—coaching college a cappella groups—took him to 6 states to work with 12 singing groups. The workshops went well—quote: “When Stupid came to work with our group, he didn’t smell as bad as they say.”
• Stupid turns 32 in December taking him to the halfway point.
• In December, Limpy and Stupid look forward to spending Christmas at home. Blah, blah, blah pleasantries 'n' whatnot.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

49: Dating Suck-Sess

A weekend story:

So I was reading Panini’s post about her less-than-ideal date, and I was reminded of every date I ever went on. (Come to think of it, maybe it was ME who cause all the stupidity. I mean if EVERY SINGLE DATE I went on was awkward, maybe it’s me.)

Anyway, now that I realize what a social moron I am, I will recount the experience of my junior prom:

First of all, my best friend had a girlfriend. I had been on numerous dates with them, and I knew them quite well. Also, I had double dated with them a lot in high school, but I knew them a lot better than I ever knew any of my dates. Keep that in mind throughout this story.

My friend, who was driving, picked me up at my house. Let’s call him Jackie Chan. His girlfriend—who we will call Shania Twain—was already in the car and we went over to my date’s house. For convenience and privacy purposes we’ll call her Saxy Phony. (She and I knew each other from sitting on the LAST CHAIRS in the saxophone row in band class.

At her house:

Her parents insisted on taking a million (1,000,000) pictures of us. This was especially awkward because she was wearing a strapless dress. Her straplessness was only enhanced by her hair, which is usually waist-length, but was styled in a beautiful stacked-on-her-head coif. I’m told that in every picture her parents took, I am staring at her Guinevere-like glorious display of ample, pale bosom. I have not seen the pictures Saxymom and Saxydad took, but I don’t doubt the story, even though I had tried to avoid making eye contact with anything but the floor.

The ride to the restaurant was uneventful, unless you consider the coo-cooing, hand holding and general disgustingness of Jackie and Shania of whom I was very jealous.

At the Restaurant:

We got to the restaurant after a 20 minute silence-on-the-part-of-Saxy-and-me drive. The restaurant was called The Underground. It was a gangster-theme restaurant set—get this—underground. The way to get to the door was down a flight of 30-40 stairs into a brick-lined stairwell.

Well, that’s when Saxy tripped on her unfamiliar high-heeled shoes and proceeded to roll all the way down said stairs. She didn’t even pause at the landing in the middle. Like a true gentleman, I just stood there at the top of the stairs, mouth agape, staring at what could only have been the most petrifying thing I had ever seen. I mean, Saxy knew how to make things special. Shania gave me a sharp elbow in the ribs and told me to go help Saxy up, which I promptly did. Saxy swore up and down that she was fine and since there were no visible marks, there was nothing left to do but chow down.

Because of the gangster theme, The Underground had a couple of tables that were built into the back of old, 20’s style sedans. Jackie, Shania and Saxy are all a bit shorter than me, and I don’t know if they were uncomfortable in there, but I was squashed. The salad came. First bite—Saxy dropped a crouton down her dress. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I think Shania saw it too, but nobody pointed it out, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to mention it. Besides Saxy and Shania not eating anything, I don’t remember much else that happened there, which means nothing happened.

At the dance:

Saxy and Shania went to the bathroom for forty-five minutes to freshen up. Translation: they had to get that crouton out of the dress, check for any spine trauma from the fall and eat at the women’s-room buffet to make up for not eating at The Underground.

That left Jackie and me time to sit in the chairs on the edge of the dance floor and make fun of people—especially the popular girl who bought a $500 dress and had to come with her cousin because no one asked her. I also got a chance to gape while professional-ballet-dancer girl made out with her older, Brad-Pitt-look-alike boyfriend.

Saxy and Shania finally appeared from the bathroom and were in awfully good spirits, so we went to get our pictures taken before their smiles could fade. The picture taking went well, meaning no one got croup or lost any fingers. Then it was back to the dance for more hilarity. The only time I truly felt comfortable was during the electric slide because I didn’t have to worry about conversing with Saxy. The dance ended with Garth Brooks’ The Dance even though Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. As a country music hater, I was busy hating the song and wishing they had played the prom theme. That’s when I found out Saxy was a big country music fan. Who knew.

After the dance:

We went out for ice cream and the conversation loosened up a bit. Translation: Jackie and Shania asked my date the questions I should have been asking her, but was not smart enough to. We had a relatively good time at the ice cream shop considering we had just spent the most awkward four (4) hours ever and we took the ladies home.

Jackie dropped himself off at Shania’s house and asked me to drive his mom’s car to take Saxy home. We had a strained conversation and when I pulled into her circular driveway right by her front door, she got out and ran up the steps. I didn’t even get the car into ‘park’ and she was gone. Too bad too, because I think she was ready to give me my first kiss that night. She was probably just hungry.

Anyway, I drove around for a while then went to Shania’s house and jealously watched her and Jackie make out for about fifteen (15) more minutes. Saxy and I had a decent friendship our senior year, but we never talked about prom night.

Saxy, if by strange chance you are reading this and recognize the story, that’s because it’s about you. One day, you’ll look back and forgive me for being such a heel. I’ll never forget that one fateful night when you were mine and I think we connected, but we never did finish the evening. Now it’s too late. I got married six years ago…So how are ya?...I haven’t seen you forever…I’m still doing good…It’s good that we can laugh about it now…remember when I taught you how to run on the track team?...

Next time I’ll tell about a BAD date…

48. It Takes A Village

I have noticed some of you gradually finding your way to Ask Stupid, my advice blog. One of my (two) astute readers has asked a question about what I do in my free time. Since the rest of you are probably wondering the same thing, I refer you to my latest post there: Ask Stupid...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

47. A Tall Drink of Water

Today I witnessed the good old 0ld-man-hits-on-the-younger-uninterested-attractive-woman ploy again. Every once in a while you’ll see it—the 65 year old guy with a dirty sailor hat and a dancing, bikini girl tattooed on his arm. Said tattoo was probably made by amateur tattoo artists on a navy boat or in prison using mold for coloring and ball point pens as tattoo needles. That’s the guy we’re talking about. He’s the kind of guy who would be holding a Rock Star energy drink in his hand if he were only 40 years younger.

Anyway, an attractive woman 45 years his junior walked by as Dirty Old Guy and I were hanging out—not with each other, but in the same area. He said—and I am not making this up—“Well, you’re a tall drink of water.” (Best said with a drunk slurring intonation.)

Did that line ever work? I recall hearing the same type of geniuses say that to women when I was five or six (5 or 6) years old. The women then didn’t pay attention to Dirty Old Guy either. The phrase stuck with me as something to never, EVER say to a woman in whom you have any interest. Not if you want to gain the affections of said woman.

[Segue of the century here. Wait for it…]

I have never been a fan of tall women. I don’t have a problem with them, but I have always been more attracted to women who are of the shorter persuasion. In fact, my wife Limpy is three inches (3”) taller than any of my former girlfriends had been. She’s 5’7”, which, was very tall for me when we first started dating. Anyway, as I listened to the man make his incomplete pass to Tall Attractive Girl, I realized that I never had occasion to use a line like, “Well, you’re a tall drink of water.” This is due, in part, to me not chasing the taller girls.

If I was single**, I would use my newfound favorite phrase to approach a total stranger and use a line like that on her. But since I probably would never approach a tall woman I would have to change my line to, “Well, you’re a short drink of water.” (**I am not single, nor do I wish to be. I only speculate as to what would happen if I were single and used a pickup line like that on a stranger.)

Without impropriety, I would like to know what happens when a young lady is approached with a line like that. So I’m calling on all my male single blog readers to get out your crayons, write these phrases down and use them (discretion gentlemen) on young women with whom you’d like to converse.

• “Well, you’re a short drink of water.”
• “Hey, your unibrow isn’t as bad as they say!” (BTW, the translation for unibrow in spanish is cejijunta.)
• “Do you have house pets, because I just love that pet hair on your sweater?”
• “Can I see your credit card? Just for a second, I promise.”
• “Is that Daltongirl’s Don-Ho shirt?” (But I kid.)
• “How many weevils does your flour bag usually have?”
• “Is that Aqua Net?”
• “Were you a conjugal-visit baby?”
• “Hey, can I bum a dip?”
• “Hey, it’s me—from the internet.”
• “Excuse me. Ya got any parsley.”
• “Mmmmmm…coffee breath!”
• “I bet you can’t tell, but I’m wearing new deodorant today.”
• “I see you everywhere, but you usually don’t see me.”
• “Can I borrow your Chihuahua?”
• “You know, I have been to Nampa.”
• “D’ya have any pork rinds?”
• “Do you smoke Marlboro, or Kool?”
• “Does this rash look cancerous?”
• “Was your dad a thief? Because you have that prison-kid look to you.”

I do not endorse using these on just anyone, only those in whom you have a legitimate interest. Let me know how it goes…

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

46. A Post A Day Keeps The Bloggers Away

What to do this Thanksgiving.

3. Wake up early and break into people's houses. Steal the turkey and throw it in the road. No one will catch you OR prosecute--they do it all the time at halloween.

2. Bake a cornish game hen inside the turkey. When Papa carves the bird, everyone will realize their turkey was a mother.

1. Get everyone's attention, make a lengthy speech about accepting everyone and not wanting to alienate yourself from them. Then annonce that you are straight.

If that isn't enough to keep you going, I posted a lot this week. If that's what keeps you going, I feel Thankful for you. Check my recent blogs for more hilarity...

45. Fun At McGrath's

The latest in the string of customer disservice came at the hands of McGrath’s Fish House. Again I remind you I am a good tipper especially in Utah. My tip scale is between the 15%-30% range because I feel that a server who does a good job is worth it.

The problem with my tip logic is this: if I get bad service and tip 15% in Utah, does the server think they have performed adequately? Because, like, the rest of the schlubs in this non-tipping state give 15% for great service. Hence my dilemma.

Anyway, I got back late from my travels the other day and I tried to do my best to make sure my wife Limpy and I could have a good night out. We went to McGrath’s Fish House so my ‘Tropical Beauty’ wife Limpy could get good seafood. Unfortunately we didn’t go to the location we normally frequent, but to the location that was closer to our favorite store—Jim’s Trinkets ‘N’ Things.

Everyone who touched the order screwed it up:

The server was mind-numbingly slow.
The Italian Crème Soda I ordered had no fruit flavoring. Flavor?—club soda and cream.
The salmon and ribs plate I ordered came without salmon.
The server—while being slow about it—and the manager were busy apologizing to the customer down the row of tables for something that must’ve happened.
When the food finally came, the server was not the person who brought it and the missing salmon incident was made more awkward by it.
The server—who offered to take the soda off my bill—brought me a Sprite with ice even though I had ordered it without.
And finally, when we finally got the food the server came to ask us if “everything was still tasting alright” and if we “needed a box.”

The last offense was the last straw. It doesn’t sound that bad unless you realize she came to ask those things a mere ONE MINUTE after the food finally got there. The rest of my salmon hadn’t even arrived yet. I told her a box would be fine, and she left. Then another server came with the salmon and a plate full of burnt fries. I didn’t ask for more fries, but they came anyway and I didn’t argue.

The server brought us two boxes—which would have been nice, except the boxes were both ‘burger-size’ and couldn’t possibly contain the ribs that I had planned to save for later. I also must mention that I had finished my Sprite by that time, but she didn’t observe it, nor did I remember to ask her for more. I would have had plenty of soda left in my glass had she remembered to omit the ice like I had asked.

Then the server disappeared. I ate my meal without liquid for 30 minutes as my wife Limpy and I had a strained conversation. I was trying to be nice because I was not mad at her, but the conversation was strained anyway.

When it came time to get the bill, we still hadn’t seen our server for minutes so I asked another server to have our server to bring us the bill. When she arrived with it, the Italian soda was still on it, so we had to wait even longer to leave.

After everything was straightened out and the bill came, I left about a $1.78 tip. $1.78 was about 4% of the order. I would not have left anything as a tip, but I didn’t want the server to think I had forgotten it. I wanted her to know I remembered it full well, but that I was exceptionally displeased with the service.

The point: I like McGrath’s. A lot. The location I attended, however, has problems. No organization has that kind of service problems unless the institution is flawed. HR culture problems probably stem from the top down to all the facets of the organization of that particular franchise. I still recommend McGrath’s for great seafood and killer steak ‘n’ chicken, but I advise you all to avoid the location at South Town Mall in Sandy

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

44. I've Got My Spine; I've Got My Orange Crutch

Today in the airport I experienced mirth.

I experience happiness most of the time, joy often, but seldom do I experience true mirth. This mirth was the result of having an odd family sit near me and be odd. One of the four (4) brothers was playing a handheld gaming device, but he was doing some math game. Another brother was looking like a spelling bee participant. They were having a conversation about perpetual motion machines and if perpetual motion is even possible.

Dad was directing the discussion the way a good role model should—by making sure everyone was learning AND believing his point of view. BTW, he was the one fighting on the side of perpetual motion being possible. My thought is that one day the invention of the perpetual motion machine will be invented by this family. They are isolatingly smart.

The mirth happened after watching them for a while. The mom and one of the daughters came in after about 10 minutes of genius hilarity. The daughter—poor soul—had a broken leg and was less mobile. Fortunately she had a transportation that was much better than crutches. To the left you see a photo of said girl—wearing a full length dress for traveling no less—and her gimpy cart.

The gimpy cart came complete with four wheels and a brake on the lone handlebar. Gimpy ones can kneel on the knee pad with their bad leg while pushing themselves around with the whole and complete one.

I was reminded of my childhood neighbor’s senior pet. She had a Doberman that had lost the use of its hind legs due to being 123 dog-years old. She got one of those four-wheeled lunchroom carts the dog could sit on and pull itself around. It was pathetic.

Which brings me back to my mirth. Gimpy girl and her four-wheeled crutch substitute brought my mirth to the surface and I was forced to smile with no one to share it with.

How does one end up with such a device? I don’t know, but I bet it has something to do with your doctor hating you—and possibly your mom too.

Here's a couple of crutch tips: 1) Get normal Crutches. 2) Use Normal Crutches. 3) Your life will be enriched...

Monday, November 21, 2005

43. Real Men Wear Skirts?

Last night I watched a report on Outside The Lines on ESPN about boys who are participating in girls’ sports in Pennsylvania. The teams on which these nancy-boys are participating are field hockey and volleyball. The bad: boys are playing on girls teams. The good: They have to wear the uniforms the girls wear—ooh and the kilts on the field hockey players looks soooo fab!

My problem with the situation is that deep down in my heart I know it’s wrong for them to participate in women’s athletics. I feel it in my core. I can’t make a good argument, however, for them to stop playing. This is Title IX gone awry I know, but part of me applauds the courage of the young men who do this—knowing fully the amount of ridicule they are about to receive. Part of me wants to see them wearing glitter makeup on their eyes.

The basis for my argument goes back to where Title IX started in the first place. There were not enough opportunities for women to play sports so Title IX created them. I know Title IX is much more extensive than that, but when you cut out the legalese and formalities, and that’s what it boils down to.

There are no opportunities for boys to play volleyball or field hockey on most areas. So why not let them play? Or they could create another team, but who would they play against? I would normally be in favor of not letting them play with the girls, but somehow in this case, I want them to stay in it. I want to see where it leads. I want to see the end of gender and racial inequality.

I want to see the end of stupidity. If this is the means to the end than so be it…

Thursday, November 17, 2005

42. The Grand Marquiche

Do I look ninety-five (95) years old? I must, because the rental car agency hooked me up with a sweet 2005 Mercury Marquis.

In case you are ignorant, the Mercury Marquis is comparable in size to a Saturn IV rocket. They come in three colors: white for cops, Powder blue for old people, And tan—also for old people. Now I have nothing against old people, but your choice in automobiles and shoes leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, I rounded the corner at the rental agency and saw the gorgon of all passenger cars sitting there beckoning to me with it’s smoky, geriatric voice. I am known to travel with a rather large bag—the kind my Saturn’s trunk (or boot for my friends of the British persuasion) only holds two of. When I put my bag in, it didn’t even dent the trunk’s capacity. I think the cargo space may even have increased after I put my bag in there. Maybe Arthur Weasley got to it.

I’m starting to realize though, that my wizened, elder counterparts know what they are doing when it comes to driving behemoth cars. It rides very well. It accelerates like a jet on take-off. It makes me want to wear Depends® undergarments. It also makes me feel slow.

You see, the other drivers on the road kept passing me. I guess they thought that whoever was driving the Marquis must be going twenty three miles per hour (23 MPH) and they kept passing me even though I was (may have been) doing eighty five (85.) Then they passed me with looks of scorn and derision. As if I were Tyra Banks wearing a fat suit!

I have a question for cops in unmarked police Marquises. Do you really think you are fooling anyone? Do you really think an unmarked car that is white, has dull black rims with no hubcaps, a extra front-bumper thingy and thirty eight (38) antennas attached to the trunk won’t be spotted by the ‘perps’ in approximately .02 seconds? I gots a suggestion for you: drive an El Camino. Oh yeah, that’s what the narcs drive…

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

41. “Give It To Uss, Love.”

At the conference at which I am exhibiting, a woman has the best mullet I have ever seen.

For lack of a better term, I will call it the ball-o’-hair mullet. If you recall, it was popular (at least in the country) for women to cut their hair relatively short and then make it all stand up so their head looks like a ball-o’-hair. Well, this woman has that aqua-net sheen-y ball-o’-hair, BUT she has added the mullet: the back of her hair is shoulder length.

To give you a better description: from the back, her hair is the shape of a keyhole.

Then, on down the way, there is a cooking school whose students are cooking. I haven’t yet been able to ascertain what they are making, but they are obviously using about eight (8) cloves of garlic each time they make it. They make a new batch every 15 minutes. The result is a fiery burning in both of my eyes. I have now concluded that I am not a vampire because with garlic vapor so thick in the air, a vampire would be hard pressed not to turn into a pumpkin. Errr…something like that.

My nose AND eyes are rebelling from the pungency and the burning. In fact, I heard my eyeballs speaking to each other a moment ago: “It burns us!” “Pleasse don’t make us eatss that, my love; we doessn’t like it.” I have begun calling my eyeballs stinker and slinker so I can cope with the pain. (If you were wondering, my LEFT eye is stinker after the ever-popular Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes. She likes fire too; she burned down her boyfriends house once because they were fighting. I’m glad my wife Limpy doesn’t lose control that way.)

My nose and eyes are not the only body parts that are telling me to quit. I have been standing for about 8 hours for the second day in a row now. The shoes I brought match my belt, but they are not good for standing for long periods of time. As a result, my feet hurt real bad. Maybe it’s the corns.

As I was standing at the conference earlier, I was thinking how great it would be to be a mannequin. Mannequins always stand there all day, but they don’t never get tired. I think it’s because they are supported by those rods that are hidden up their pant legs. I figure I could make a butt-shaped stool seat and attach a shovel handle to it and wear the one-legged-stool inside my clothing. I could sit down while appearing to stand. I could also position my hands at awkward angles so everyone would know I was fake. Then I would have an excuse to wear one of those awful road-kill toupees.

Finally, as I exhibit at the conference, I can tell usually which people are there to learn about the program my company has to offer and which ones are there to snag freebies. Usually the ones who are there for professional development take a pamphlet or two. Then they talk to me about the program and ask, ASK if they can take a freebie. The freeloaders usually take a pamphlet or two so they can justify taking a load of freebies. Then as they round the corner, they probably just throw the pamphlets away. I sometimes want to approach them in my best sales voice and say, “Hey there! Why don’t I just throw this away myself and cut out the middle man?” And that’s one to grow on…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

40. Taxis of Evil

Because I am a good guy, I decided to turn in my rental car two days early because I was not going to need it very often. Such benevolence was going to save the company about $130 and make me look like the star salesman that I am.

Truth is, I was staying right there near the airport and the hotel the conference was located in was right there near the airport too. I didn’t foresee the thousands of problems my benevolence was going to cause.

First, the hotel shuttle back from the airport was not running very well. By ‘not running well,’ I mean that I was going to have to wait there in the cold air outside for a half hour for it to come get me. At this point I must let you know that the hotel was in walking distance of the airport, but I would have to be on the freeway as a pedestrian to take advantage of the exercise.

So I decided to take the taxi. Apparently, the taxi company in that city is the spawn of Hell itself. It cost me $10.65 to go less than a mile. When the taxi driver told me the cost, I asked, “Really?”

“Yeah, it cost me $7.00 just to start the engine.”

“So it cost $4.00 per mile after that?”

“Yes. For such a short trip.”

I also had decided to eat in the hotel restaurant for the next two nights. This is the same restaurant that charged me 30% gratuity I already wrote about.

Unfortunately, the hotel restaurant was closed on Fridays. There are no restaurants within about two (2) miles of the hotel. Without transportation, I had nowhere to go. The hotel people told me they could give me a ride to a restaurant, but that they couldn’t wait for me while I went inside. I was going to have to go in and order and then call the hotel back for them to send the shuttle driver again.

The only option left was to order in. The only delivery options were pizza and Chinese. So I ordered a pizza that was marginally bad. I think it was delivered from the heart of mother Sicily herself. 1985 was such a good year for pizza.

I thought it was the goal of the pizza joints to deliver within 30 minutes of the order. And don’t they have those heater bags that keep the pies warm?

Then on Saturday morning to top it all off, the shuttle driver had the nerve to look annoyed at having to take me to the airport. This is the same shuttle driver whose service I had already declined twice. Who hadn’t had to work because of me. Who wouldn’t know service if it kissed his girlfriend.

Well, at least the boss thinks I am a model of efficiency…

Monday, November 14, 2005

39. High Stakes Conference

Yesterday was my church congregation’s semiannual Stake Conference. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a stake conference is a meeting where a few congregations from a specific region skip regular church and come together to have a bigger meeting. It’s basically like canceling your date to go to a gay pride parade.

Anyway, in most ‘stakes’ around the world, this meeting starts at 10:00 am and goes two hours. Except in our stake, the meeting starts at 9:00 am and goes for two hours and 6 minutes. Here is a diary of what happened.

8:49 My wife Limpy and I arrive early to steal a good seat—which consists of a seat with both good leg room and padding-backed seats. Alas, the good seats are all taken, so we head up to the balcony.

8:50 The youth choir starts singing. The young ladies sound great. The young men sound weak.

9:03 The youth choir has finished, the conductor makes a few brief announcements, the congregation sings hymn #25. This is troubling because hymn #25 is unknown and musically difficult. It sounds awful

9:07 The congregation sings hymn #26. To the left a blonde boy falls off the bench onto the floor. He doesn’t drop the crayons.

9:10 Further to the left I notice a man who has an unusually large jaw. I think of my brother chewy. I wonder if the man needs to have his jaw shortened. I could tell him I know someone.

9:11 A stately bald man walks into the room. The door from outside opens near the front; everyone can see when he comes in. He takes a seat near the front. Does nothing notable throughout the meeting.

9:12 While taking a congregational vote, the leader tricks everyone by asking people to raise their hands if they are opposed, and then asking for any dissenting votes. (Usually they ask for votes in favor, then for opposing votes.) The congregation laughs and points. (Well, they didn’t point, but I hoped they would.)

9:16 We learn the original name of the organization for young women was originally called Young Ladies’ Cooperative and Retrenchment Association. I’m glad they call it something else now.

9:17 Big jaw guy sighs; he has a smug look on his face.

9:20 The 10-11 year-old girl in front of me starts to sweet talk her dad. I wonder if that’s how she came into possession of the blue suede jacket she is wearing.

9:25 The first tears come from a speaker.

9:26 The first member of the youth choir nods off

9:28 I unwrap a wint-O-green Life Saver and place it gently on my tongue.

9:29 To the far left, an attractive, well-to-do woman starts biting her nails.

9:31 The second (2nd) speaker starts. He is well spoken for a 16 year-old

9:32 An attractive young lady walks toward the bathroom. The young speaker boy doesn’t notice her. (The bathrooms are located in a hallway behind the front of the hall to the right of the speaker’s stand.) I assume the young lady has gone to the bathrooms just so he will notice her because anyone can last until 9:32, right?

9:34 A leader in my local congregation starts coloring with his family to the right. All his children are wearing white/maroon/tan variations.

9:35 A young boy behind my congragation’s leader looks just like Mr. Bean with red hair (or Rowan Atkinson.) I point him out to my wife Limpy.

9:36 To the left there is a family of 10. Mom and Dad and the two brothers—nothing unusual. The 5 daughters, however, are wearing matching maroon dresses. I wonder if it’s maroon day in the hall and if I had missed the memo. Then I notice a 6th daughter who has a dress of the same style as the other daughters, but she is wearing it in bright pink.

9:37 My wife Limpy and I have a friendly argument as to the meaning of the word ‘most.’

9:39 The temptress girl in front of me puts her blue suede jacket on the floor under her bench. I give into the temptation to ‘step on her blue suede’ jacket. But I did it lightly, and without staining it, so it’s okay.

9:40 Speaker three (3) becomes the second person to shed tears; ends talk.

9:43 My wife Limpy yawns. I follow.

9:45 Speaker four (4) ends. I know her talk was extremely short because I am keeping a log.

9:47 My wife Limpy finally asks what I am writing.

9:50 A toddler with an eye patch wanders around in front.

9:51 Blue suede temptress girl sweet talks her dad into letting her go to the bathroom. She tempts me further by leaving her jacket on the floor unsupervised.

9:52 My wife Limpy starts making heart shapes with the chord from her camera.

9:57 The fifth (5th) speaker ends. I realize I have tuned out.

10:00 The congregation sings hymn #21

10:05 Mr. Bean kid yawns.

10:05 A 5 year-old returns from the bathroom waving at her family. Note the whole congregation can see her.

10:09 My wife points out to me a girl seated in front of us to the left has no elbows. I notice she has no creases in her skin at the elbow joint because she has never bent her arms. I feel sympathy for the young girl and think of the two monsters on ‘Sesame Street’ who have to cooperate because one has no elbows and the other has no knees.

10:12 My wife Limpy steals my pen cap. Mr. Bean kid yawns again.

10:16 My wife Limpy finds silica gel packs and a spare-buttons pack in the pocket of her brand new jacket.

10:17 Speaker six (6) recaptures my attention by saying Potipher.

10:20 I throw in another Life Saver.

10:21 I put my arm around my wife Limpy.

10:25 The youth choir sings a silly arrangement of hymn # 27. The silliness comes from the piano player who, through no fault of her own, keeps playing artistic notes between each phrase.

10:31 Mr. Bean kid yawns again.

10:35 Big Jaw guy takes his squirmy kid out. He is much shorter than I thought he would be. I realize he looks smug because he probably has “Little Man’s Disease.”

10:36 My wife Limpy steals my the pen to draw a smiley face on her index finger. I draw angry eyebrows on the face.

10:37 Blue suede jacket girl uses her wiles to make her dad let her leave for a second (2nd) time.

10:45 I realize I have been day-dreaming. My wife Limpy plays with her palm pilot.

10 47 A five to six (5-6) year-old girl comes back from the bathroom. She hikes up her skirt to straighten her tights.

10:50 My sister yawns. I don’t follow.

10:57 Mr. Bean kid licks finger and puts it in his ear.

11:04 The congregation sings hymn # 10.

11:08 The meeting ends just as NFL kickoffs happen all over the nation…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

38. Smokin’ Bud

To both of you who depend on the comments of Stupid for your humor fix, I have been incommunicado during my stay at a six tar resort in middle Missouri. (And yes, I said six TAR--it sounds good when you say it out loud, but when you read it, it gives you a more accurate description.

So my wife Limpy and I were having a wonderful time, but now it's time to get back to work on my blog like a good rambler.

Today at the hotel we had a little bit of a problem with the TV. The problem consisted of it A) not working. They sent a handy repairman to my room to fix the problem. His name was an obligatory one-syllable name: Bud.

Apparently they don’t let Bud talk much, because when he got to my room, we had a 20 minute conversation.

“Hi, I’m Bud. (shakes my hand.) They sent me because you had problems with the TEE-vee?”

“Uh, yeah. My remote doesn’t work; it must be the battery.”

“Oh see, that THERE’s the wrong RE-mote.”

“Well, it works; you just have to press the button really hard.”

“No, this’un here is the one that came with the TEE-vee, and you need the kind the HO-tel uses.”

“You mean the hotel doesn’t use the remote the TV came with?”

“Nope. It may be hard for you to understand because you are a business traveler and I am a hotel repairman—a difference that obviously places me in a position of temporary superiority. The hotel has a RE-mote the allows you to purchase all them durdy movies and WHAT-not.”

“But I don’t want any of that.”

“I know,” he said, winking. “But these RE-motes here are the kinds that work these TEE-vees right.” He then pulled out a box filled with about 20 identical remotes.

“Why doesn’t the remote that came with the TV work it?”

“Because of the durdy movies. You see, there’s a box and a phone cord that go into the back of these TEE-vees and the old remotes don’t work the box prop-ly.”

“Oh. That makes sense.”

He then started to test various remotes on the TV. Each remote test takes about 30-40“See? This RE-mote here doesn’t work the TEE-vee because the ‘3’ button is stuck.”

“Oh”

“And this’un here, was spit on by a baby.”

“Great”

“OK. This RE-mote works.”

“Great, thanks for coming.”

“That’s why I carry this CARD-board box. It helps me find a RE-mote that works prop-ly.”

“You’ve been great. Thanks for helping me out.”

“My TEE-vee at home is a big screen. It’s not HD nor nuthin’ fancy like that, but I always feel like I am right there…”

This conversation lasted another five minutes. I can only assume that the management doesn’t let Bud have his say in the staff meetings. He’s got things to get off his mind, but they just don’t listen to him. My life was enriched by meeting Bud—the chatty repairman.

Friday, November 04, 2005

37. $7.75 + $150 = $11.79

Today at the hotel I was hungry so I decided to order food at the hotel restaurant. The intention was to get it to go and eat it while I watched CSI. I wanted to avoid room service fees, so I went to the restaurant itself and ordered it to go.

Due to my increasing mass and my failing diet, I have been eating too much junk food and fatty fast food lately, so I ordered a salad, $7.75. I also ordered a diet soda.

The Bill--$11.79.

“How much was the drink?” I asked.

“I think it’s a dollar-fifty.”

“Then why is my bill $11.79?”

“For the room service gratuity.”

"Quickly doing the math in my head, I asked, “A 30% gratuity for me coming here to pick up my own food?”

“Well we only have two options: eat in, or room service.”

“What’s the room service gratuity?”

“18%”

“But $2.50 is about 30% of the $9.25 my meal comes to if the drink is, in fact, a dollar-fifty.”

“No it’s not.”

“Excuse me?”

“No, it’s not. It’s 18%”

I really had nowhere else to go and I didn’t want them to spit in my food, so I told them to take it to my room—since that was what I was paying for anyway. I didn’t tip the room service guy.

Some of you have worked in the foodservice industry; I have read your blogs about tipping. I have to tell you I am a very good tipper. I usually tip 15-30%, so I usually treat my servers right.

I only ask a few things in return:

  • Don’t bother me every five (5) seconds
  • Refill my drink often, and don’t interrupt my party’s conversation while you are at it. And don’t ask if I need it refilled, just do it.
  • Don’t touch my wife, Limpy.
  • Don’t crouch next to the table.
  • Be available when it’s time for the check.
  • Don’t rush me out of the restaurant. I am smart enough to leave if there are people waiting. If there are open tables, I’ll go when I feel like it.
  • Don’t ask if everything is “still tasting all right.” Instead, ask if you can do anything for me. The flavor of the food is not an issue you can solve.
  • Don’t ask me if I want a box or the check while I am just starting my dinner.

None of these things happened in my ordering of the aforementioned salad. In fact there was no service involved at all—except by the poor guy who took it all the way to my room—but I had already paid the 30% obligatory tip, so I didn’t feel like I owed him anything. They didn’t come to refill my drink in my room—I would have tipped for that. I would have tipped to have a burly waitress come and harass me as she refilled my water. I do not feel I should tip 30% for no service at all…

Thursday, November 03, 2005

36. Red Heck Follow-Up

If any of you remember my "Red Heck" post, you'll recall an epic set of comments made at various sporting evernts. I recommend you new readers give it a read. Red Heck refers to a group of young fans at a Missouri Mavericks game.

While I was at the baseball game (or game #2 in the post), I was interviewed by a reporter. I thought nothing of it, but tonight I decided to google 'my name' and 'Mavericks' and see if I made the paper. VOILA! There I am.

So, if you know my real name, run the search. You will find me AND see the fellas mentioned in "Red Heck."

Enjoy...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

35. I'm a Hybrid High Brow

Over the weekend, I was watching the news in between my marathon of movies and my other marathon of self-loathing, and I saw footage from a car show. This wasn’t the kind car show where low-income folks come out parading shiny piece-o-craps. You know the kind—where they show off cars that have been modified to the point of being unsafe, where they create ground effects with layer after cracking layer of Bondo, where the way to get the paint real shiny and hide the imperfections is to rub it with motor oil only to have road dust settle on it on the way to the next show. (I did not make that up; I know people who do just that when they show off their cars.

This car show was the one where the car manufacturers all get together to show off the latest and greatest in design and features.

“…And here we have the Chrysler Vominator—the next generation in cars for those who sick-up easily. Notice how the body lines all point to the bilious, orange-colored tires that have an odd, lumpy tread pattern.” Then you see a whole bunch of European models, who wouldn’t know the first thing about cars, walking around in jump suits and sitting in the drivers’ seats of the various automobiles. Then every few minutes they go outside to have a drag or two on their cheap, Euro-trash cigarettes.

Anyway, the point is: why do they have to make the fuel-efficient cars so ugly? They usually have a couple of sports cars that are nothing short of spectacular, the kind only James Bond would drive—the kind that would make you carsick in a hurry. But then, they bring out the fuel efficient models.

“…Here we see the new Honda Albatrocious. It’s as beautiful as an albatross, AND it’s lucky for sailors. Notice how the body lines converge to make the car look like a UPS truck. It might as well be a building, but you will get 350 miles to the teaspoon. Your friends will be so jealous when you can drive to Gary, Indiana and back on one tank of gas.”

A few years ago when I was working my way through school as a mechanic, I had the opportunity to test-drive the Prius, Toyota’s answer to the fuel efficiency craze. I was very happy with the way it runs, with its power and with its driver comfort. The problem is that it’s ugly—Stupid’s-trip-to-the-Dentist ugly. The Honda Insight is equally ugly—the shape is just as horrible AND they half-covered the rear wheels with a 70’s-Caddilac-like panel that half hides the rear wheel. Maybe it’s that the tire is embarrassed to be seen with the car. Sure they get along in private, but the tires don’t like to leave the house with them.

Since my test-drive in the Prius and after driving other hybrid cars, I have decided that my next auto purchase will be for the good of the environment. “I WILL BE AN ELECTRONIC CAR DRIVER,” I exclaim as I think of my failing Saturn hoping it will crash soon. I have been waiting for the newest models to come out thinking that car manufacturers will have been smart enough to realize no one is buying those cars in America—not because Americans hate the environment, but because they are ugly (hybrid cars that is.)

I was wrong. Electric cars will suck until earth is a black hole. Way to go environmentalists; you have destroyed the world by trying to save it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

34. McCleanup on Aisle 230

I just realized that Walmart and McDonalds are responsible for the most intelligent move ever. I know I am a little behind on this one, but Walmart has been putting McDonaldses in their stores for a number of years.

What is intelligent is not the merger of two of the most popular businesses we love to hate, it’s this:

It is now possible to work at both McDonalds AND Walmart at the same time. Congruently, it is possible to be IN both McDonalds and Walmart at the same time.

Would it be safe to assume that the problems that plague both organizations would be compounded in the square footage occupied by both organizations?

Would it be safe to assume that the workers behind the counter could be both goth and hick at the same time?

Could we surmise that the manager of the McDonalds inside the Walmart would be twice as bitter, autocratic and stickler-ish?

My brother chewy once had a job at Mickey D’s. They spent about 2 months “training” him, and then they only gave him 2-3 shifts per month. So they invested all that time in ‘learnin’ him the ropes and then they forced him out by not giving him any reasons to stay. Smart.

I do have to say that I benefited from my brother Chewy’s brief job there. At the Christmas party they held for the employees, my brother won a tin of gummy dinosaurs—which I promptly stole. He had put them in his drawer, but he didn’t hide the fact that they were there. I stole them—almost ALL of them—one at a time and sneakily, like me sneaking to the fridge at 4:00 am to cheat on my diet. He confronted me, and I denied any involvement. Yeah, genius.

That’s when I developed a keen liking for gummy candies. I had never before tasted them. Mmmmmm…the fruity goodness of gummy candy. It’s like a first kiss every time I taste one—squishy, a little awkward and you can’t wait ten seconds before you want to try another.

(Don't miss my other post from today; I posted it a little late because I was traveling.)

33. Stupid’s Movies

The weekend before Halloween, my life Limpy and I decided to totally relax and watch a bunch of movies that were on TV. Being Halloween weekend, the movies were exactly—very bad.

Anaconda was one of the treats we were privileged to experience. This pile of trash was full of star power—including stars like: Jennifer Lopez (or J-Lo for you hipsters,) Ice Cube (or Rap Hack for you kids,) John Voight (or Angelina Jolie’s pa for you ‘Star’ readers,) and Owen Wilson (or crooked nose guy for my wife Limpy.) Anaconda is a ‘C’ rate non-thriller about a great big snake that looks more fake than Jennifer Garner’s disguises in Alias. Anaconda is a D+ at best and it was surprising that they ever made a sequel.

I watched about 10 minutes of Scream while my wife Limpy was out of the house. The Wayans brothers were responsible for Scream— the worst comedy ever (with the notable exception of every film starring an ex-SNL hack.) I was unable to endure a second more than 10 minutes of the film. It was so bad that I realize I may have been watching Scary Movie instead. D- for this one.

We saw Relic also. Relic was the best of this weekend’s fare at a solid C-. It’s about a DNA something that messes up an entire museum and then kills about three billion (3,000,000,000) people. Somehow, somebody decides to save the day, but not before everyone imminently more qualified dies. I left the theatre room too early to see the end, but I know Relic ends that way.

Right now, I’m watching Dream Catcher starring Morgan Freeman, Jason Lee and some other people I’ve never heard of. The movie isn’t over, so I can’t give it a grade yet. I’m sure it’ll end well since it’s got Morgan Freeman and was written by Steven King (who has a pretty fun amateur band with Dave Barry if you didn’t know.) Right now it’s running about a B+ and I’ll let you know if the movie takes a turn for the stupid.

[Later that day] OK, Dream Catcher was good, but I have to downgrade its status to B-. It flopped because Morgan Freeman didn’t have any lines like, “Get busy livin’, or get busy dying,” or “Andy Dufrain stuck one to the man that day.” Etc.

Friday, October 28, 2005

32. Nancy’s A-Maize-N Sandwiches

If you ever found yourself in Maize, Kansas just outside of Wichita, may I suggest you stop into Nancy’s A-Maize-N Sandwiches?

Despite the kitschy name and 70’s grimy-country-diner atmosphere and the server in her Daisy-Dukes, the sandwiches are A-Maize-N.

And I mean that seriously.

Other places I want to eat at for the name alone: Muthers’ [sic] Old Timey Bar-B-Que, Joe’s Gas-N-Eats and Jim’s Chinese Buffet.

Any other good eatin' holes you can think of?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

31. Be All That You Can Be—All By Yourself.

The ads you see for the army are alarming. This is due in part to my being a colossal pansy—as I believe I have already mentioned. Part of the reason they are alarming however, is that they really are alarming.

Army marketing campaign #1: Be all that you can be.

I realize they were going for the ‘realize-your-potential’ crowd, but I always thought to myself, “I guess they think soldiering is all I am good for.” Then they used to show people climbing ropes and doing pushups—frightening concepts for an impressionable nellie-boy. Fortunately they distanced themselves from that line of reasoning.

Army marketing campaign #2: An army of one.

An army of one? No thanks, I think I’d be more comfortable with an army of two million (2,000,000) backing me up. Maybe even some technology-based weaponry or some strong intelligence would be nice. The point is to go in with a strategy and my acute military senses tell me that going in alone would be a very bad idea.

Campaign #3: About four (4) years ago I started noticing ads that show a group of multiracial smiling people in civilian clothes. Then the ad shows the same people in military uniform, but they are standing at attention with very serious faces. I imagine the campaign behind this poster is: “Army—we’ll suck the fun right out of it for you so you don’t have to play ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ anymore.”

This brings me to the latest commercial that tugs on my pansy-strings.

Campaign #4: There is a recent TV spot produced by the army that shows a man in uniform reuniting with old friends. First, this would never happen, because people don’t wear their uniforms to get back together with old friends. Anyway, the friends seem eager to hear army stories (another thing that is unlikely to happen) and find out what transpired in “the field.”

“So, what did you do out there? Shoot guns? Save children from burning orphanages? Crowd control during the Great Maggot Migration of ‘65?”

“No, I worked on computers.”

“Well couldn’t you have done that here?”

[The camera shows flashback of the military man using computers in a combat situation.]

“No.”

Then you see him and his friends have an awkward moment of silence. I imagine the campaign slogan to be something like, “The U.S. Army—ostracize your friends.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love our service men and women. I love what they do. I wish them and their families the best, but I never have been a fan of the Army ads and commercials. They always seem just a couple degrees away from good. In other words, they give pansies like me too much to feel apprehension over. I don’t need any more reasons to feel awkward with my friends or in any other setting. And I certainly don’t want the joy sucked out of me.

Stay tuned for the next round of Army commercials: “The U. S. Army—get access to your very own stockpile of ammo,” “The U.S. Army—not as bad as you’ve heard,” and “The U.S. army—something to put in your scrapbook…”

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

30. Happy-Lucky-est Word-O-Wisdoms

Quote of the year from a pastor and school principal at a private religious school a few weeks ago. The quote came as I was entering the office area and the principal/pastor was opening some new office chairs that had just arrived via UPS. The Quote:

“These are the cheap-a**-est chairs I have ever seen.”

Why is this funny? For me, when someone adds the a** word to the end of an adjective, it makes me giggle. I think it’s more than just a liking—I love to hear it. It gives me the creeps in a fun, junkyard sort of way. But I have never, EVER heard anyone make a superlative out of it. Cheap-a**-est? Crazy.

Other words that make me giggle include irregardless and ‘ickspecially.’ I can usually hold the laughter in when I am supposed to be reverent or if it has to do with my job, but when the pressure is off—HOO BOY!—I love to hear people use those words.

I also have taken a fondness to a phrase a business associate used to describe the children of another business associate. This happened about ten (10) years ago, for those of you who know where I may have been employed at the time. The workmate, describing the other workmate’s children, said that “they are little piece-o-craps.”

I asked, “don’t you mean pieces of crap?”

“No, piece-o-craps. It’s one word so the ‘s’ goes at the end.”

Precious. As for me, I didn’t think the children were piece-o-craps. I thought they were more like ickspecially-precious-est bundle-o-joys...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

29. Youth of the Noble Birthright

I witnessed the height of laziness the other day as I watched a bunch of young folks picking leaves from trees in the park. I think they were on a Biology assignment or something. The laziness came from two (2) ‘Hair and Makeup’ girls who couldn’t reach the leaves from the bottom branches of a relatively young oak. The taller of the two (2) girls was a mere 3” away from reaching the lowest leaves.

They reached. They strained. They stood on two textbooks that brought their be-ringed fingers within 2” of the leaves, but never once did either of them even TRY to jump up OR EVEN STAND ON TIPPY-TOES to reach the leaves that were just nanometers from their grasp. Let’s make sure you realize these students were in the sixteen-seventeen (16-17) year-old range

Lazy.

Didn’t these children’s parents ever hold candy or something breakable just out of reach so the child would have to work for it?

What is this world coming to?...

Monday, October 24, 2005

28. New Feature

Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of my page to read funny jokes from Emo Phillips...

27. The Great Maggot Migration of '65

(This story is not gross. I promise.)

Today I am eating the way my forefathers used to. And by that I mean that I’ve reverted back to caveman ways.

It all happened when I decided to take my leftovers from last night’s dinner to work with me. Such an action signifies my concession to my wife Limpy, who has been trying to force me to quit buying my lunch and take leftovers like traditional Americans do. Since she is a recent naturalized citizen of these here U-S-of-A, I wonder if she really knows about average traditional American lunching habits. I mean, She just barely joined the club. She doesn’t even have seniority or tenure or whatever it is we Americans obtain by consistent dues-paying.

Back before I had a wife Limpy, I used to be so carefree with the finances. I would go to work and eat out EVERY DAY and everything was fine. I knew I was working hard for the cash because I was in control; I was master; I was NOT FRUGAL! OOGAL! Oogal. oogal. oogaloogaloogal… [echoes to oblivion…]

But recently, we both had a talk and decided we wanted to save money. So we both thought of ways we could cut a little here, snip a little there, and put some money away for when we decide to have critters. So I told her I could probably cut my personal spending down to $xx.00 per month. She agreed to stop paying 50 cents per page and $6 per stamp for scrapbooking supplies. We made other concessions that have no relevance to the story, but those are the main ones.

Little did I know however, she understood that $xx.00 per month was supposed to be for ALL of my spending including lunch, snacks, toys, video games—EVERYTHING. So now I am going to be carrying my lunch to work with me. LIKE A DUFUS! (No offense to those who do carry your lunch to work with you like a desert-busting camel; it’s just that I don’t carry my food with me—I buy it.)

“You mean I have to take leftovers to work every day?”

“Yeah that’s right.”

“Are you aware that eating the same meal over and over results in a nutritional imbalance?”

“How?”

“If you eat the same thing over and over, your body might overload on some nutrients and become deficient in others.”

“Huh?”

“What if you had carrots and potatoes for dinner one day and got a load of the nutrients that carrots and potatoes offer. But the next day your body doesn’t need carrot and potato nutrients—it needs Quizno’s toasted subs nutrients?”

“Huh?”

“You can’t just take the same thing into your body repeatedly, because you need balance.”

“Like, [checking receipts] ice cream and cheese curds and bear claws with strawberry milk?”

“Exactly.”

“We both have to sacrifice…”

So today I am shoving leftover rice into my mouth using the blade of a plastic knife. Why? Because I am committed; I am a team player; I AM MIGHTY! MIGHTY! Mighty. mighty. ightyightyighty… [what’s with the echo?]

No, really it’s because I forgot to bring a spoon and had to borrow one from a workmate. Well, except I didn’t borrow—I stole. And said workmate who always, ALWAYS has plastic utensils in a desk drawer had about 10,000 knives in there, but no spoons. (Isn’t it ironic?)

I tried using the knives like chopsticks, but that didn’t work so now I’m just a shoveling away. The best part is there are hundreds of rice grains on the floor and in the pocket of my shirt because…well…yeah. It looks like the great maggot migration of ’65.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

26. Funny Photos From My Travels


This is the eerie glow from around my house during a particularly good sunset.
I ran into the Oscar Meier Wiener-mobile one day.

Then I passed the most awful display of home repair ever. This was outside a school WHERE CHILDREN ARE. Looks like an explosion waiting to happen.



Pet Milk?

(Sorry for this post's organization, it's my first shot at photos.)

25. Best. Day. Ever.

I love my wife Limpy. I love football. I love America.

That’s why today was the BEST. DAY. EVER.

This morning in Salt Lake, my wife Limpy got sworn in as an citizen of the United States of America. Then I flew out to Indianapolis to watch my first, in-person pro-football game. My Colts beat the Rams soundly, and in the process put my fantasy football team on top for my first fantasy football win this season.

Yes today is the best day ever.

Top 10 things Limpy can do now that she’s an American:

1. Travel the world and expect the native-born people in any given country to speak her language.
2. Wear tank tops.
3. Get Obese and wear tank tops (preferably white with mustard stains.)
4. Pay taxes on money earned while working in foreign countries.
5. Complain, complain, complain.
6. Say “like” every other word.
7. Think everyone around her is a hater.
8. Go on welfare.
9. Be the Governor of California.
10. Look coldly down her nose at Canadians.

PS for those who were depending on ME for a humor fix in the last few days: I had stuff to do. I will not lag so much in the future.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

24. Bigger and More Stupid!

Please note:

The sidebar on my blog has changed to reflect my interests. You will find MORE links, MORE hilarity and MORE STUPIDITY!

Blog,

stupidramblings...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

23. Cat Fight

I witnessed a cat fight today in a school. Or more aptly, I saw the aftermath of a cat fight. The two girls were being put into cuffs in the side of the hall. One was a small girl who was crying and giving no struggle; the other was a big girl who was fighting against two police officers who proceeded to slam her face-first against the lockers in order to subdue her. (In my opinion this was not excessive force based on her violence in struggling.)

This all happened at lunchtime, so there were many, many witnesses AND therefore, there were many, many people left there to gossip about what happened.

My question is this: In a young girl’s life, what cause could possibly be important enough for fighting?

The Prom?
Whiny 17-year-old boy?
A dirty look?
A haircut, perm, style?
A long dispute stemming from a childhood rivalry?

Guys don’t have these problems. Sure, guys fight, but it’s not the same.

I think it stems from the fact that boys don’t know each other. Literally. Let me explain:

Girls, from the earliest of ages, get to know each other. They talk and they talk and they share and they open up and the tell secrets and they poor their whole souls out to each other and then they talk some more.

Boys hang out. They do stuff together. They hardly ever talk and if you ask a boy what his BEST FRIEND’S favorite color is, he can’t tell you. He can’t tell you if his friends have their hair parted on the left or the right, whether they wear glasses, or what color of backpack or skateboard they have. They can’t tell you because they don’t know. All they know about their friends is that they share similar interests in ‘doing stuff.’

So, when a boy gets angry at a friend, they fight it out and it is over.

When GIRLS have a fight, it is eternal. This happens because girls know each other. They also have an infinite amount of dirt on each other. So when there is a fight, girls make it mean on a very personal level. They spread dirt, they gossip, and they make sure they hurt the other girl to the very CORE. They make the other person hurt for a LONG time.

Boys just fight. The hurts heal rather rapidly. Often times they can’t even tell you what the fight was about—they don’t care. The friendship is usually maintained because the premise of the friendship is not personal, it’s circumstantial.

So I imagine the aforementioned girls will carry this fight to the grave. At the ten year reunion they will be renting convertibles and trying to impress people FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GETTING THE LAST WORD on a ten-year-old fight.

Not that I’m biased…

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

22. For The Complete Story

For This and Other Stories…

Lately I have made a complete paradigm shift. Why? Because I am a blogger.

Bloggers are people who write insane amounts of material that will never be read by the masses. Nevertheless, we press on. In the end, we bloggers will end up owning McDonaldses and other cool crap like that.

Basically I’m saying the Strongbad better come up with more emails—and quick—so we bloggers don’t steal his audience.

Despite my new love of posting my whole entire life in this blog, I’m starting to feel like CNN. You know: the responsibility, the ethics, the scrolling stock quotes. I’ve even started to insert teaser advertisements into normal, everyday situations.

For example: the other day I was talking to my brother Chewy. To that point, he was not aware I was a blogger because he just had jaw surgery and I hadn’t told him yet. So I was telling him about the blog I had written about his son, and started to tell him what happened that day and how it reminded me of dog barf and everything.

Then I realized I had already written the story about his son and the dog barf, why should I tell him about it and waste my cell minutes?

This is how the conversation went:

Me: “The other day I recalled having been puked on by a dog.

Chewy: “That happened last week?”

Me: “No it happened when I was 11. Didn’t I ever tell you about it.”

Chewy: “No, how’d that happen?”

Me: “For this and other stories tune to rambli.blogspot.com.”

Chewy: “What?”

Me: “For the latest in weird happenings, strange people, and mad hilarity in general, please see rambli.blogspot.com.”

Chewy: “Huh, I don’t even get it. What happened with the dog barf?”

Me: “For the complete story, don’t forget to check rambli.blogspot.com.”

So, that’s how I tell people about my blog. I feel almost dirty doing it to them, but I also feel that as an internet news organization, I have a responsibility to get my subscribers to log on to my website. It’s kinda creepy, but I’ve only lost three (3) out of the four (4) friends who I have told about my bloggery.

Yes, things are working out just fine.

21. Google

Following Nemesis's news of being googled, I googled 'stupidramblings.' I got 6-8 returns on the search, all of them being for blogs including Nemesis, Cicada, etc.

At the bottom, I saw a more curious link: http://dog-food.great-pets.info/. So I went there. I couldn't find anything. Then I went to the link by clicking on the "cached" button. There down at the bottom, inside a submenu was my Dog Barf article. Somebody at dog-food.great-pets thought my article was postworthy. It's not there anymore, but it was. Below is the link to the cached search.

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:YHMQqPCsV9cJ:dog-food.great-pets.info/+stupidramblings&hl=en

20. Dog Days of the School Year

As an animal disliker, I was extremely offended today when I walked into a public school building that had a sticker on the front door that read:

Latex Free School
The following items may not enter these school grounds:
Latex balloons
Condoms
Surgical gloves
Backpacks containing Latex
Latex paint
Or any other item containing latex.

Okay, I guess I messed up my timeline a bit—I was not offended when I saw the sticker; I was offended later. The sticker was just one of the catalysts for my future anger. Which I will tell you about. In the following paragraphs. Right now.

Usually when you see a sign posted on the front door of a school declaring it a latex-free school, it is because a child attending that school has a death-inducing phobia of latex. OR, more likely, they have an allergy to it. Latex-free environments are a concept I can get behind.

So, I enter the school thinking how wonderful it would be to declare my world ‘FREE’ of the many allergens that plague my life. That’s when I saw it—the hound dog. When I entered the front office, there was a grey-brown hound dog wandering in the front office area. I quickly looked around to see if I could determine what the school mascot was, hoping to find the mascot to be the South High Grey-Brown Hound Dogs. I was dismayed to learn they are the panthers.

So one of these “people”—and I use the term loosely—thought it would be a good idea to bring a dog INTO the school. As one who is both A) allergic and B) phobic of our canine friends, I was incensed that they would be so sensitive to someone with a rare allergy yet so insensitive to me who has a completely sensible, normal allergy.

And phobia.

I will never understand you “pet” lover types. Moreover, I will never be one of you pet-lover types. I will be a run-over-your-pet-if-it-is-too-slow-to-get-off-the-road-in-time types, but not the swerve-on-purpose-to-intentionally-kill-your-pet type. In short, I don’t swerve or brake for animals. I just drive. If one of our four-legged friends is in the way, so be it. Chances are it was either A) weak or B) stupid anyway.

Anyway, my point is that I don’t like your mangy animals “duke-ing” all over my yard. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy owning a pet, because I wouldn’t, but to bring an animal into a school?

I remember once while I was in college, I had a class with someone who was training a seeing eye dog. This person always showed up to class late—probably had to take the mutt outside or something—and I could never guess where to sit so I could avoid the dog. One day, the dog trainer person brought the dog in late and meandered my direction looking for a seat. This was during a quiz, so I got up and moved across the room so as to avoid talking during the test.

The teacher asked, “Mr. Ramblings, is there a problem?”

I said, “No.”

“Then why did you move?”

“Because I am allergic to dogs.”

The professor then turned to the other guy, “Mr. Muttly, do you have a permit to bring this dog into the classroom?”

“It’s a seeing eye dog.”

“Not yet, it’s not.”

“But there are many students here at [this college] that train seeing eye dogs.”

“But do you have a permit or any other permissions to bring the dog into my classroom?”

“No, Sir.”

“Then I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

OH SWEET VINDICATION! I have never gotten more done with less complaint in my life. Now I have a pattern for running my life: Run from problems and someone else will take care of them. And quit taking your dirty pets into my world.