So anyway, if you happened to notice a slight glow toward the northern horizon, that was coming from my back yard. Whenever I invite Fireboy to the house, it's almost a given that sometime during the night I'll be hooking the hose up to put something out. You turn your back on him for a split second, and next thing you know, something's going up in flames. Most of the time it's outside at least, so...there's that.
The one thing this photo doesn't show, since I blurred his image to avoid unnecessarily alerting the authorities to his whereabouts, is the look of fervent joy on his face as he watched the tree burn. It was a look that clearly said, "This is what I was born to do."
I knew I should have dragged that old christmas tree out of sight when I had the chance, because it, as so many things at my house apparently do, "needed burnin'."
While I was watching 24, I learned that this guy lives and works in my colon.
I call him Jack Bauell, and I believe him to be the Director of CMC, or Colon Mission Control. His job, from what this commercial told me, is to monitor my overall colonic environment, and if anything goes amiss, call out the troops, and by troops I mean some sort of new, high-powered liquid Imodium AD.
As you can tell from the picture, he has the latest in colon monitoring technology -- a real-time holographic image of the actual bowel he is sitting in, and a buttload of other equipment, so to speak, that can sense the seismic pre-shocks that indicate an oncoming bout of diarrhea, and head it off at the pass.
He is, basically, the top field operator my intestines have, and he runs a tight ship. He is all guts and glory -- a tough, no-nonsense, take no prisoners, thinking man's soldier, and I am thankful he has taken up residence in my lower abdomen.
He's no hard-nosed grunt -- far from it. He's exactly the kind of smooth operator you need watching your backside when you're 75 feet underwater in the Florida keys, or rafting down the Colorado river, and that undercooked ground beef and bean burrito you had for lunch decides to gear up a level 3 (or god forbid, level 4) case of the runs.*
I can only assume that after his shift in the hot seat, he gets to go home to a nice little place in the suburbs -- probably somewhere up around my esophogus -- that he shares with his wife, two kids and his dog Paco.
So here's to you, Mr. Jack Bauell, Director of Colon Mission Control. Yours is a dirty and much under-appreciated job. However, thanks to prime-time television your cover is blown, and I can now properly recognize your contribution to society.
Have a beer in me, and relax. You've earned it, my friend.
By the way, I'll be having the hot wings for lunch tomorrow. So get some sleep tonight.
*They tell you on the commercial that he is responding to a level three case of diarrhea, which, judging by the way CMC gets tossed around, is pretty damn violent. I am guessing that he lets his subordinates deal with the ones and twos. Also, I am pretty sure that anything higher than the level 3 that they illustrate on the commercial would mean he would be running CMC from the septic tank shortly thereafter.
The girl behind the register looks bored. She's twirling her hair between her fingers, and she's wearing what looks like a brand-new Good Charlotte T-shirt. She smiles, looks down at the milk I placed on the counter, and says "Are you in the milk club?"
Again with the freakin' milk club. I reply that yes, I am probably in the milk club.
She says, "What's your name?"
"Johnny Virgil," I tell her.
"Virgil...." she says thoughtfully, flipping through a box of index cards.
She looks up. "What letter does that start with?" she asks quizzically.
"Uh, V. It starts with V," I reply.
I have to think more quickly when I'm in that place. Next time, just to mess with her, I'm going to say, "It actually starts with a P, but the P is silent."
This is the future of america, right here.
The underpinings of this monstrosity consist of a solid, 3-inch-high cube of beef.
I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw the commercial. I can’t even imagine ordering one of these heart stoppers, let alone actually eating one. Given how much cheap ground beef shrinks up when you cook it, each of those frozen patties has to start out about the size of Stephen King's last hard cover.
The weirdest thing -- to me, at least -- is the way they chose to build it. It’s not like they start off with a patty of meat, then a layer of lettuce, then another patty, then pickles…then meat, then tomatoes.....no way. That's too much work. Instead, they start this thing with three solid back-to-back slabs of meat, stacked up like the rolls on the back of a fat dude’s neck. Everything else is piled on top, like the afterthought that it actually is. This thing is All About The Meat, baby.
At first I was wondering about the three-patty thing, but then I figured it out. I think it actually has to be three separate patties by necessity, because if it were a single slab, it would still be raw and cold in the center when the outside was charred to a crisp. Given the quality of their beef to begin with, that's a sure recipe for a cozy night in the shitter. I might have to try one, just to say I did, but….I'm probably not that brave. That’s just too much meat for a normal human to digest. Even one like me who eats at superhuman speed.
Also for your enjoyment, two idiot people who have pissed me off in the last couple of weeks:
Elevator guy: So I’m riding up from the first floor after lunch, and just before the doors shut, some guy hits the button, and they open up again, and he gets on. Whenever someone does this, the elevator gets pissed, and lets out this loud buzzing sound that instantly rips through your nerve endings like a blowtorch through a chainlink fence. He couldn't just wait for the next one. That’s strike number one against this tool. Strike number two: He pushes the button for the second floor. Goddammit, walk up a flight of stairs. It won’t kill you.
Strike number three is the big one.
As he is stepping off the elevator on the second floor, this inconsiderate effer lets out an ENORMOUS fart, just as the doors slide closed behind him. I couldn’t believe it. So I had to ride up three more floors in a cloud of this dude’s post-lunch ass gas, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, except take shallow breaths through my mouth. The worst part was, I didn’t even recognize the guy, so I couldn’t track him down and "thank" him. I mean, what goes through the head of someone who does this? He couldn’t sphincter up for another 3 seconds until he cleared the elevator? Jesus.
Early morning delivery woman: Three times in the last week while I was driving to work, I’ve seen this incredibly stupid woman driving down the wrong side of the road, stuffing flyers or newspapers or some other trash into mailboxes. She does this by driving into oncoming traffic. I, for one, don’t appreciate a 6 am double-shot of adrenaline as I register the headlights of an oncoming car that appears to be heading directly at me. Trust me, that shit will wake you up fast.
Here’s a couple tips for you, lady – get your wide ass up a little earlier so that you’re not doing this during the morning rush. Also, don’t give me dirty looks like it’s MY job to avoid YOU, just because you think it’s ok to just throw the most basic of traffic laws right out your car window. YOU are on the wrong side, which also happens to be MY side, so shove your indignant looks right into the next mailbox in line and get the hell off the road. If you absolutely MUST do this shit during my morning commute, go buy a used mailtruck so you can drive like the rest of the people in this country. Badly, but mostly in the right direction.
I feel better now. Blogs are the best therapy.
I have to write this quickly, before they find me out. They're out there, right beyond the wire, waiting for their chance. If they knew the fence was down, if they even suspected it, it would be all over. They'd be on me like flies on shit.
All week long I have been unable to get on the internet with my pathetic dial-up connection, and tonight I finally figured out why. It's the deer. Those oversized, flower-eating forest rats have cut me off from the internet.
How, you ask? Let me tell you.
They couldn't just live and let live -- no they had to get in my shit. They forced me to put up an electric fence to keep them out of my wife's garden, and now the fence is interfering with my phone lines. The only way I can connect to the internet is when the fence is down, so I have to write this quickly, before they realize things are wide open. If word gets out, there could be a riot in the yard.
Last year, they destroyed about $500 bucks worth of flowers. Chewed them right to the ground. So far, these deer have cost me about a grand, and a ton of inconvenience. First the flowers, and then this fence, and now my goddamn internet connection. They're taking it all, piece by piece. By this time next year, they plan to be living in our house, watching our TV and drinking my Guinness.
Over my dead body. Yeah, I know they were here first. I'll be here last.
My first reaction was "Ewww. That's kind of a strange thing to advertise." After I saw the sign, however, I knew why they weren't really concerned about traffic noises. The people who live there don't have to bitch about it for too long before it's not a problem for them anymore.
Turns out this place provides Hospice care for people without a primary care-giver. Basically, people go there instead of hospice services coming to you. It's a place where the staff chooses people who have the "greatest need and the fewest options." They only have two rooms, which are generally always full. They provide a great, very-much needed service, and I applaud the people who run it and the many volunteers that make it work as well as it does. God willing, none of us will ever live long enough to be forced to take advantage of a place like this, but if we do, it might not be the worst place in the world to spend your final days.
That being said, the sign still strikes me funny. Yeah, I know, I find humor in really strange things. "But death isn't funny," you say. Well, *I* say you're wrong. My way of dealing with things I fear is to laugh at them. That practice doesn't really work out all that well if you're about to get your head shoved up your ass by an angry biker in some sleazy bar, but when it comes to death and dying as abstract concepts, it works just fine, thank you very much.
Anyway, think about it -- How much would it suck for your mailing address to be:
Home for the Dying
1313 Mockingbird Lane,
Saratoga, NY 12856
Talk about awkward. Say for instance you walk into Best buy to pick out a new 60 gig iPod.
"Home for the Dying, 1313 Mockingbird Lane, Saratoga, NY"
[Long pause] "Yeah...you might want to to think about picking up this 10 gigger instead. It only holds like 14 days worth of tunes, but it's a lot cheaper because it's been discontinued. And for only $39.95, I can offer you a lifetime replacement warran.......uh, I'll just put that in a bag for you."
There would be other issues as well. Good luck getting a credit card or a bank loan with that address. And I'm pretty sure your chances of actually getting a call girl of any caliber to come out to your place for a quickie on a Friday afternoon would be pretty slim.
On the plus side, you probably won't have any insurance agents calling you, so there's that.
All humor aside, when you're considering making a charitable donation, think about Hospice organizations. They do good work.
It struck me funny at the time, so I printed it out and saved it. I had absolutely no clue what it meant. I did know, however, that there was a story buried here somewhere. I just wasn’t sure what it was. I sent the screenshot to my friend. Who was JaQueen? Who was Phillippe? What was Stargate? And Laserpro? He had none of the answers. He told me that he would await the results of my research.
After checking into it, I decided that the most probable explanation was that this message did not originate on our network, but rather was inadvertently intercepted by us as a result of immense electrical disturbances caused by recent solar flares. It had actually come from an alien ship in a distant galaxy. I am pretty sure this is what happened:
JaQueen glanced at the com-screen. A message from Phillippe, using her commID. He was incompetent, subservient, spineless and brainless, she thought. He was, however, her only engineer. She should have had him killed and replaced long ago.
She punched up his comm-channel and spoke.
“Phillippe! I need Stargate and I need it NOW,” JaQueen commanded. “Unless you repair the weapon systems and get Laserpro back on-line, we are dead. The Scrotians have us trapped. If you cannot do it, I will find someone who can. And do not use my command console ID again. Ever.”
“Yes, my Queen,” Phillippe replied. “I apologize profusely. I used it because it was convenient, and I -- ”
“SILENCE!” JaQueen commanded. “Do not waste my time by talking. Do your job. I expect Laserpro will be available – WITH remote function – within ten minutes. If it is not, there will be consequences. If not by by me, then by the Scrotians. Either way, you will not like the result.”
She killed the comm connection before he could respond. Let him sweat, she thought. It will make him more diligent. She started the countdown timer on her chrono, and turned her attention back to the mainscreen at the front of the bridge. She needed to stall for time. She opened a channel to the Commander of the ship that was currently holding them in stasis. She looked at the insectoid head that appeared on her viewscreen, and tried not to vomit.
“Commander Sporn. I….agree to your terms of surrender. I have one request. Please allow us ten minutes to make peace with the gods of our afterworld. Then, we will lower our remaining shields and allow you to board."
A series of clicks and whistles emanated from the console speakers, and the universal translator kicked in, converting these strange sounds to intelligible speech.
“If we wish to board, we will, regardless of the status of your shields,” the translator relayed in a metallic voice. “However, we grant you eleven minutes. We are not, after all, barbarians.”
She killed the channel, and sat, waiting for Phillippe to do the impossible.
Exactly ten minutes and 50 seconds later, the following message appeared on her console:
That idiot had used her console ID AGAIN. If he had actually repaired Stargate, she would forgive him. Maybe.
She turned to her command panel, and punched up the Stargate weapons system console. Laserpro was armed, and indicated full power. Phillippe had actually done it. JaQueen was pleased.
She would have to time this right. The Scrotians would have to drop their own shields to board, and she was counting on this. She keyed the com console and opened a channel to the Scrotian commander.
“We are ready to be boarded,” JaQueen said. “Please have mercy on our very young and very old.” JaQueen dropped her shields. Her ship was totally vulnerable.
“Very well,” the Scrotian commander replied. “Death will be quick. Prepare to be boarded.”
The screen went blank.
“Weaponsmaster! Laserpro ready,” JaQueen commanded. “Target the Scrotian ship at the base of the shaft. It’s their most vulnerable spot. Wait for them to lower their shields, then fire.”
The instant the Scrotians lowered their shields, the Stargate weapons console danced under the fingers of the weaponsmaster. Twin beams of white light shot out from the front of the ship, striking their intended target exactly where planned.
The base of the shaft withstood the barrage for a second, then the protective shield collapsed. Laserpro tore through the skin of the Scrotian ship. JaQueen wanted the spectacle to last, but unfortunately the scrotian ship exploded prematurely, ending her enjoyment.
She checked her chrono. Still time for a late dinner. Looking at it reminded her that Phillippe was almost one full minute late getting Stargate back online. This would not do. And he had used her console again.
He had saved her ship, however, so there was that.
She decided to let him live a little longer.
Check it out. She's gone. It only takes a minute. Remember what I told you to forget. Heaven must be missing an angel. Don't take away the music. Fool of the year.
Not exactly the typical soundtrack of adolescence for a lower-middle class white kid growing up in the 70's, but for me, it was the first music I ever lived for. The songs were all by the same group -- Tavares. Five brothers who sang exquisite harmony, Tavares were the lesser-known contemporaries of Earth, Wind & Fire, The Commodores and The Spinners. I heard "It only takes a minute" on the radio, I won their LP by being caller number 5, and the rest was history. I was nine years old, and Tavares sparked my nascent musical interests, and then lit them up like a flare. This was the first music that got inside my spine and made me want to do the white-boy shuffle. I knew all their songs and had all their records. I have no idea why they struck me like they did, but I think it was something about their ballads. I didn't realize they were the precursor to disco, or I may have dropped them right there. Disco didn't exist yet -- instead it was a type of R&B that made you want to jump around, and ballads that made you pine for the girl you were afraid to even make eye-contact with. At nine, I could get behind both of these things wholeheartedly.
In addition to being the first music I ever listened to, they also have the distinction of being the first live music I ever saw, and the first concert I ever attended. When I heard on the radio that they were coming to town, I badgered my mother into letting me attend. She listened to some of the music to make sure it was appropriate, then agreed, with reservations. I had to find someone to go with, I had to be dropped off and picked up at a precise time, and she would be the one doing the driving. I jumped on the chance, and called my best friend Mike to see if he wanted to go.
Mike had never heard of them, and in fact, I don't know if he even listened to the radio at all at that point. But he agreed to go, we got the blessing from Mike's mother, and then we waited not-so-patiently for the night of the concert to arrive. Our tickets showed up in the mail a few days later, and it was such a thrill to hold them in my hand. I must have examined them for hours. They were bigger than movie tickets, and had the name of the band written right on them. I was hoping to get an autograph.
The night of the concert, my mother pulled up in front of the venue and we got out. As she pulled away, something struck us as odd. There was something out of place, something weird, something that we didn't put our finger on right away. We stood there and looked around, trying to figure it out.
Almost simultaneously, we realized what the problem was. I glanced at my blond-haired, blue-eyed friend, and he was looking back at me, wide-eyed.
Leaning close to me so he wouldn't be overheard, he whispered, "Everyone is black."
"Yeah," I replied, in total awe.
We were the only white people within a quarter mile radius. The entire crowd consisted almost exclusively of black couples. There were no kids. And definitely no little white kids.
We attended a tiny elementary school, and I think there was probably one black kid in the entire school. This was the most black people we had ever seen in one place. We quickly walked inside, careful to avoid looking anywhere but straight ahead, and tried to find our seats.
As we were moving through the crowd, people noticed us. They were laughing, shaking their heads and pointing, and doing a fair amount of whispering of their own. "I think they're lost." "Yo, The Captain and Tennille aren't playin' tonight." "Hey, look at the little white dudes. That's some funny shit."
We found our seats and sat down. They were pretty good. Something like tenth row, but they were kind of in the middle. It was ok at first, since we had gotten there early, but eventually the seats around us filled up. We sat there, our necks on swivels, just staring at the people around us. People dressed in Tuxedos and glittery dresses, leisure suits of all types, short skirts, long skirts, tube-tops, fancy hats and everything in between. There was so much to look at, I think our senses went into overload. There was a ton of smoke in the air too, and not all of it smelled like cigarettes. So in addition to seeing my first band and my first really large group of black folks, I also got my first whiff of pot. Bonus.
The house lights went down, and the band started playing. The stage lights exploded into colors, and the brothers came out, dressed in identical white suits and sky blue shirts, instantly dancing. They moved as one, a syncopated machine on a Teflon stage, sliding and clapping with precision, spinning on queue. They broke into "Whodunit," and I was gone.
I was singing the words to every song, and even though I couldn't see very well because everyone was standing, I could make out enough of the stage to know it was the greatest experience of my young life. After about the 5th song, I started noticing the people around me -- mostly because they were noticing me.
Finally, a big, bald, black dude with a beard leaned over and yelled, "Can you see?"
"Not really," I yelled back. "We're too short."
He said, "We gonna get you to the aisle."
Before I realized what was happening, he had us walking on the backs and arms of the chairs, helped along by the folks in our row. When we reached the aisle, we jumped down. It was amazing. We could see the entire stage, and there was nobody in front of us. I couldn't believe I was actually watching the people who were responsible for "The Love I Never Had," a song I played incessantly during my first crush on a girl. We stood for a while, and then the security guy noticed us. He motioned for us to come down to the front, and we thought he would make us go back to our seats. Instead, he said we could sit on the floor right there in the aisle, dead-even with the front row.
So we did. For the entire show.
They played their concert, and ran off stage, and the crowd went crazy. A few minutes before the band came out for for the encore, the big bouncer came over to us and said the band had invited us to sit on the edge of the stage for the last song, if we wanted to. It was a dream come true, for me at least. I wasn't so sure about Mike, but I didn't care.
I’ve been to more concerts than I can count, but a first concert is like a first kiss, or losing your virginity. You never forget the first time, no matter how good or how bad it is. Those three moments are always with you. If you’re lucky, and they're all good, you get the hat trick.
So even though I helped usher in what was to be the Disco Age, I’m not sorry. Whenever I hear a Tavares song, I’m instantly transported back to the innocent age of nine, and that one concert, that one magic moment in time, when I sat on the stage with my idols and they didn’t let me down.
Check it out.
2. Watch it with your wife (or girlfriend) really late at night.
3. When the end credits are still rolling, get up to go to the bathroom.
4. Using your cell phone, call the house phone. When your wife or girlfriend answers, pause for a second, then whisper "ssseven daysss......."
Additional note: In my experience, you may want to move the phone away from your ear to avoid any permanent damage caused by the loud screams of "YOU ASSHOLE!"
This is just soooo wrong on so many levels, I don't know where to start. Oh wait, yes I do.
1. JESUS CHRIST! THEY'RE MAN-SHEEP!
2. The black man-sheep is also white? What's up with that?
3. I'm hoping like hell that the man-sheep are just really good friends.
4. Was this creature borne of woman or sheep? Or woman-sheep?
5. THEY ARE MEN - BUT ALSO SHEEP! GAH!
6. I keep waiting for the axe to come down on the tree stump.
7. God help me, I keep wondering what they would look like sheared.
OK, I'm off the commercials for a while. I need to find something else to write about. I may escape to my childhood for a few posts. I can't take much more of this.
So it appears that this is the week for finger food in the news. Unlike that sleazy bitch who cost Wendy's so much money with her fraudulent lawsuit, these particular entries into the little-too-fast food category have actually been verified by the respective restaurants involved.
This week, this guy found a fingertip in his frozen custard. He apparently "thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream ... to make it a treat.'
He then told reporters that he thought to himself, "OK, well, I'll just put it in my mouth and get the ice cream off of it and see what it is."
Stowers said he spit the object out, but still couldn't identify it, so he washed it off and...
Surprise! Finger Treat.
I can almost guarantee that this dude will never eat anything but plain ice cream again as long as he lives. Not strawberry. Not praline crunch. Not Super fudge chunk. Especially not The Gobfather, because christ only knows what's in that shit.
This next one goes out to Toren and her Jusskins(tm)
Last week, this guy filed his lawsuit. It turns out that he found a piece of skin on his Arby's chicken sandwich. The bad part? It had fingerprints, and that's never a good sign.
He said, "It looked like I was seeing fingerprints on it," he said. "I got sick and went to the bathroom."
I appreciate his honesty and hardcore dedication to accuracy, because that is the exact order in which I would have done things too. While it may be much neater and more socially acceptable to go into the bathroom and then get sick, it rarely seems to happen that way when body parts are found in your food.
According to the story, health investigators talked to the restaurant manager, who had a bandage on his right thumb and wore a latex glove, according to a health district report.
I'm thinking that this one would have been hard to deny, given the fact that the fingerprints on the rest of his fingers actually matched the one in the sandwich.
The manager said he sliced the skin from the thumb while shredding lettuce, and sanitized the area but didn't throw away the bin of lettuce, the report said.
For some unknown reason, he wasn't at all concerned about where the errant slice got off to. As long as he saved his bin of lettuce, he was all good.
From now on, I'm bringing my lunch from home.
I think this is a new low in the feminine hygiene product arena. Based on my last post, I felt compelled to comment on this commercial.
It starts out with two women chatting in the grocery store. One turns to the other and says, "Does your mini-pad ever make you feel wet and sticky?"
The other woman lights up enthusiastically, and replies that yes, in fact, she feels exactly the same way. For a second, based on her response, you think that perhaps you mis-heard the question, and it was actually "Don't you just love cheesecake?" You rewind the Tivo, hoping for the best.
Sadly, no. She really did just ask the other woman if her crotch ever feels wet and sticky.
In the middle of a casual conversation.
In the grocery store.
I can't even imagine how this would unfold if it ever happened in real life, since (a) I'm not a woman and I have no idea how they actually think, and (b) I generally stay out of that aisle if at all possible.
I can, however, give you a good idea of how the conversation would go if it were between men, say, at a baseball game, surrounded by other fans.
"Steve, this is a great game! Thanks for the invite, buddy."
"Hey, anytime, man. I had the extra ticket, so I'm just glad you could make it. Hey, Bob, I've been meaning to ask you -- does your crotch ever feel wet and sticky?"
"Jesus, dude. What the hell is wrong with you? I'm gonna go get a beer."