No good deed goes unpunished.

I know that helping stranded motorists is getting to be right up there with picking up sketchy looking hitchhikers, but sometimes I still feel bad when I swerve around someone who is broken down, or pass some old guy struggling with a bumper jack in a rainstorm. Most of the time, though, I don't stop. After all, if you listen to the media or read the internet, they're all murderers, robbers or rapists just waiting to lure you into their evil clutches.

Yesterday I'm driving home from my father's house just after dark, and it's starting to rain pretty hard. At that time of night, it's a pretty busy ride, and a lot of it is on smaller two-lane roads. You know the type -- one lane in each direction, with a double yellow line down the center. No shoulder, just a curb with sidewalks. People are constantly stopping for lights or left turns, slowing down for other people to pull into the parking lot of the video store... basically, I run through about 3 or 4 small villages like this on my way home, and a lot of it is stop and go.

Even so, I'm moving along pretty good, windshield wipers slapping back and forth, iPod cranking out some Sister Hazel, and as long as I'm moving I'm a happy guy. Put me in stopped traffic and I turn into an asshole.

Suddenly, my happiness is yanked out from under me as I see the long line of rain-blurred tail lights in front of me start lighting up in random order as people hit their brakes. I join the jerky train, and switch the iPod to the new Tool CD. (Tool helps the transformation along a little quicker.)

About a quarter mile down the road, I see the problem. There's a car stopped at a traffic light with its flashers on, and people are swerving around it. As I said before, it's a two lane road, so if there's someone coming in the other direction you have to wait to pass unless you're into playing chicken with an 18-wheeler. It's finally my turn, and I pass the stuck car. I can't see the driver, but the car is only about 50 feet or so from the entrance to a school parking lot.

I go about another half mile, and I'm feeling a little bad for them. They've got a bunch of pissed off strangers beeping at them non-stop, it's pouring out and it's not like I'm on any schedule or anything. I figure what the hell. I switch the music back, turn around, and prepare, in the face of almost certain death, to offer my assistance to the yet-to-be-determined rapist/murderer/robber. I'm silently hoping for robber, unless it's a hot chick then I'm hoping for rapist.

Anyway, I finally work my way back past the car, turn around *again* and pull into the school parking lot, because I don't want to add to the blocking of traffic. I jump out, splash over to the car and tap on the window. The window opens, and I see a guy on a cell phone. There are two other people in the car, an older guy, and a woman. He puts his hand over the phone and says, "Yes?"

"You want me to help you push the car around the corner?"

"Excuse me?" he says. Like he doesn't understand what I'm saying.

"Yeah," I say. "We can probably push you around the corner, it's only about 50 feet."

The guy looks at me and finally gets it. He says, "Oh no, I'm not broken down. I'm waiting for somebody."

It was my turn to not understand. "What? But..." I say, unable to comprehend what he just said to me.

"My car is fine," he says. "I'm just waiting for someone."

I was speechless.

"Thanks, though," he says. He gives me a dismissive little smile, and returns to his cellphone call as he closes the window.

I stand there in the pouring rain for a second, completely amazed, then walk back to my car.

It's just my luck. I don't get the murderer, robber or hot chick rapist.

I get the idiot who has his head so far up his own ass he shouldn't be allowed to own a car -- the prick on a cellphone who single-handedly put Tool back on my playlist.

I took a left out of the parking lot and turned around just so I could pass him again. I leaned on the horn as I swerved around him.

That Tool CD works damn fast.



Around 2:30 this afternoon, I walked over to the vending machine because I was feeling a mite peckish (are Americans allowed to feel a mite peckish, or is that reserved for Brits?) and I thought perhaps I'd get me a pair of Reese's Peanut Butter cups, one to eat now and one to save for later. So when I get to the machine, what do I see? This...this complete clusterfuck:

It was too horrible to comtemplate. These albino pieces of shit had taken up residence in the slot normally reserved for my beloved, (and chocolate,) *regular* Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I quickly ran down to the first floor. The machine down there was also full of these. 5th floor -- same story. I couldn't believe it. Damn that vending machine dude! Damn him to hell. (Which, incidentally, he already has been, specifically for replacing the spearmint sugarless gum with carefree bubble gum and/or Juicy Fruit.) I've long suspected him of stocking the machine with crap nobody wants so he doesn't have to fill it as often.

It was my first exposure to these abominations, and I was not ready. Hershey's has officially jumped the shark, to use an over-used expression just to say I used an over-used expression. In an effort to attract those who do not like chocolate, they have created a taste sensation, and by "sensation" I mean something so disgusting you will probably have the sensation you are about to hurl.

I bought one, just so I could see how bad they actually were.

My first impression was not wrong.

First off - and true peanut butter cup aficionados will know instantly what I'm talking about - the smell is gone. Upon opening, you do not smell the intoxicating scent of rich, dark chocolate surrounding the salty goodness of an almost chunky peanut butter. No, what you get instead is the smell of a stale Keebler peanut butter cookie deep-fried in synthetic motor oil.

The second thing was the color. Even though I expected it, it was still a shock. There was no glossy brown perfection. It was the fish-belly white of the Undead; the waxy, pale complexion of a blood-sucking creature of the night. The color of mushrooms and cave fish.

I should have tossed that crap into the garbage right then and there, but I made a terrible mistake, and invited it into my mouth.

What hit me first was the sickening sweetness, and the fact that the texture said "chocolate" but my taste buds said "pure cane sugar." It tasted like I had eaten the icing off a danish.

When I hit the peanut butter, it got a little better, but not much. This was not two great tastes that taste great together.

This was not even one great taste.

Somehow, the albino sugar coating had robbed the peanut butter of its awesome power. It tasted way too salty. So basically Hershey's new ad campaign should be "one formerly great taste that tastes like ass when combined with this other taste that really isn't a flavor at all but is really more of a sweetness." Also, listen carefully here, Hershey people -- there is no such thing as "white chocolate" at least as far as myself and the FDA are concerned.

Yeah, so you use a little cocoa butter instead of vegetable oil, but that doesn't cut it in my book. These things truly suck, and I demand that you remove them from my vending machine immediately. And while you're at it, you can get rid of the Fast Break, Reese's Stiks and the Nutrageous bars too. You guys are fast becoming the Taco Bell of the candy world. Just how many different combinations of the same ingredients can you rename, repackage and resell? Call it a day already and fire your marketing department.

You can't improve upon the original perfection, unless you can figure out some hi-tech way to keep them from melting in the delivery truck in the summer. I say this because if I unknowingly buy one more liquefied and re-hardened peanut butter cup that has some sort of white chalky shit on it, I am hand delivering it to your CEO's pie hole.

Seriously, if you need a new idea, you would be better off selling a pair of uncoated peanut butter balls in a strawberry-flavored fruit roll-up sack. Call that one Nutrageous.

I probably wouldn't buy it, but it sure would be funny to blog about.


I love my neighborhood.

I know, I know.... I've been neglecting my blogging/writing duties as of late, and trying to pass off some quickies to keep people interested. I hope you're all buying it, because I have one more picture from my street.

Say you're repairing the roof of your trailer. Also say you need a nice, flat piece of sheet metal to complete said repair.

So here's my question: At what point do you actually think to yourself, "Fuck it. I'll just use a piece of the car."


I'm torn.

On the one hand, they're probably really good for you. On the other hand, I'm not sure I can get past the name.

I think I'm gonna have to go with the chocolate ones. "Natural flavor" just leaves too much to chance.

Like the early explorers always said, "There ain't nothin' like havin' a tasty Horlick on the pole."


So here's the thing.

1. I don't know what meat milk is.

2. I don't want to know what meat milk is.

3. It sounds like a slang term used in a porno flick.

4. Having "no hormones" really does not make it sound any more enticing.

5. I would have thought that anything containing a mixture of meat and milk would pretty much have to be organic, but apparently I know nothing. I guess up until now, people have been drinking inorganic meat milk with hormones added because they didn't know any better.

6. A well-placed ampersand would make this sign so much less disturbing.


Wonder Bro

I was thumbing through a magazine, and saw an ad for a Munsingwear T-shirt. For some reason, in the ad, they included a tiny replica of an old ad from the same company, which has apparently been selling underwear for over 120 years. It made me laugh, so I decided to share.

Back in the day, when "gay" meant "carefree and happy" the marketing gurus at underwear companies came up with ads like this one:

I am betting that the day after this ad came out, the word "gay" was well on its way to its current meaning.

Until this moment I had never heard of a "skit-suit." Judging from the picture, it is very much like having your wife-beater stapled to your tightie-whities.

No matter what year this ad happens to be from, one fact has remained constant: Men should not wear one of these skit-suit things unless they are (1) a trapeze artist in a traveling circus or (2) a professional wrestler. Even then, it's questionable.

There are so many problems with this whole "one-piece underwear" idea that I don't even know where to start. Every time you raised your arms above your head, you'd be giving yourself a wedgie, for one. And unless this thing has a backdoor, I can't even imagine the effort required to take a crap. You would have to get almost completely undressed first.

Now let's get to the meat of the oddness. The two dudes.

Does anyone else find it strange that the one guy is prancing around in his underwear with a badminton racket, getting a chubby over how well-balanced said racket is, while the other one is sitting on the couch, fully clothed, holding the underwear dude's racket frame and acting as if this scene is completely normal?

Sadly, the ad copy is too small to read. I'm sure it's hilarious.

"Say Bob, your racket is so long and perfectly formed. And that shaft -- man, that shaft looks stiff. You're gripping it well, too. I'll bet you could beat the crap out of somebody with that."

"You have no idea, Stan. But this racket, in all its awesomeness, is nothing compared to the glorious wonder that is my well-cut skit-suit."

"I can see that -- I really can. Hey, is that the new comfort pouch? I have to tell you, you fill it out nicely."

"Why thank you, Stan. I appreciate that. Say, you want to have sex before the big match?"

I'm betting it was something along those lines.

Or not.


I'm all thumb.

So this weekend I managed to eff up my left hand by trying to take the thumb off it.

Here's what happened: I was walking down the back deck stairs (which are pretty steep and long because the deck comes off the second story of the house) and I tripped on some miscellaneous crap, lost my balance and almost took a header to the bottom. Luckily, I was able to grab the railing with my left hand. When I did that, however, my hand slid down the railing. It slid down the railing until my thumb bent backward, thereby spraining the living shit out of it.

Why did my thumb bend backward you ask? Well, because it stopped moving when the rest of me didn't. Why did it stop moving you ask? Well, it stopped moving because a one-inch-long sliver of wood jammed directly into it. As a result, one of these things doesn't go with the other:

Note that I am not intentionally bending it backward -- it just wants to go that way because the front is so swollen. I am pretty sure I could build a summer home from the wood still embedded in there. I went to the doctor and the thumb isn't broken, however they gave me a tetanus shot and put me on antibiotics. He told me that if the railroad tie doesn't work itself out in a week, he'll send me to a surgeon.

Good times.

There are some benefits, however. I drew up a list of things that I am currently awesome at:

1. Acting out the lyrics to old Rolling Stones songs
2. Hitchhiking
3. Giving hot babes the thumbs up
4. Hand modeling for R. Crumb
5. Doing a kick-ass Fonzie impersonation
6. Casting the final vote in a Roman execution
7. Pulling plums out of pies

I made a corresponding list of things I am currently not awesome at:

1. Thumbwresting (although I look formidable, it doesn't bend at all and it hurts like hell if you touch it.)

2. Anything that requires me to have a level of dexterity equal to or greater than that of a chimpanzee.

So you can see that the tradeoff is totally worth it.


BUMP This.

I'm driving home today and I see a new sign on my normal route that says BUMP. The road really didn't seem any different to me, and I kept on the lookout, but nothing out of the ordinary cropped up. No gravel, no gaping hole, nothing. My equilibrium was off for the rest of the night. That got me thinking about these stupid signs and why I hate them.

First, even if the bump actually exists, you can never judge how far past the sign the actual bump is going to be. And since there's also no qualification as to the size of the bump, it's completely confusing.

Sometimes you can drive for miles thinking "Was that it? That had to be it. No, that was too small. That was barely anything. They wouldn't put up a sign for just that, would they? No wait, maybe that was it." You will do this for at least ten minutes after every time you run over anything that is slightly different from totally smooth pavement.

Other times, you will see the BUMP sign and think, "I don't remember seeing tha--" and then you spend the next ten minutes trying to fish the front half of your tongue out from under the driver's seat because apparently the earth is flat and your car just drove off the edge.

What is the distance limit in regards to that anyway? What is the maximum distance the sign can actually be from the bump? There has to a rule, and someone somewhere has to know what it is.

Personally, I think the distance is determined by a group of sadistic highway engineers who, through rigorous scientific double-blind testing, have determined the precise distance it takes you to actually stop expecting the bump. They do this so your guard will be completely down when a pothole the size of the grand canyon rips out the underside of your vehicle, and causes you to scream "FUCK!" at the top of your lungs with your grandparents in the car.

All I'm saying is, fix the damn roads and forget the warning signs. Seriously, WTF? When I go to the doctor does he just hang a sign around my neck that says "Jock Itch" and send me on my way?

Of course not. First he laughs at me, then he fixes me.



Apple of my blind eye

I am currently in the market for a new digital camera, and one of my requirements is that I must be able to connect it to my telescope. I was asking Yort for camera recommendations and of course, since any conversation with Yort is almost required by law to take a left turn somewhere along the line, that is exactly what happened. I was talking about taking pictures through telescope eye-pieces, and after about the third time I said "eye-piece" he interrupted me.

"Are those made by Apple?" he asked.

"Huh?" I said. "Oh, the i-Piece. Yes, I believe it is. Or it will be. Sometime in the future."

So during the in-depth ten-minute conversation that followed, all of which had absolutely nothing to do with digital cameras, we hammered out the details since that is what we do. We determined that the i-Piece would be a hard, white shiny codpiece that plays mp3 files, and it would cost around one hundred and thirty nine bucks. This is assuming the codpiece makes a fashion comeback, of course.

Obviously, being a couple of geeks, the first thing we thought of were the Imperial Storm Troopers. I found this picture of an Imperial Storm Trooper on-line:

However, let's take a closer look:

Dammit Apple! Always stealing my ideas.

Why they didn't opt for a bluetooth wireless signal direct to the helmet is beyond me, but Steve Jobs is the king of planned obsolescence, so I'm thinking that might be it. Or it could be so that when you're at home, sitting around wearing nothing but your i-piece, you can use better headphones.


New Project and Big Fido is Homeless

My latest woodworking project so far:

I realize there's absolutely nothing funny about this, unless you count the fact that I have no idea at all how to play a guitar.

I did see something oddly humorous on the way home the other day. I was on a twisty back road that follows a creek and when I came around a corner, I saw the biggest stuffed animal I've ever seen in my life. It had to be almost 6 feet tall, and it was just sitting there in the woods.

It's hard to tell from the scale, but that's a pretty big tree he's leaning against. I am about 5'6 or so, and this thing was as tall as I was.

I can just picture the conversation that led to this unfortunate abandonment:

Dad: "Stacy! Daddy's home! And he brought you a birthday present."


Dad (to Mom): "You said she wanted a big stuffed dog, right?"

Mom: "Yes, I did say "big" -- but I didn't mean "bigger than me." If it fell on her, she would probably be crushed to death. She's only 3, Jim."

Dad: "Stacy, the big fido doggie likes you, see? [thrusting the giant dog's giant head at the little girl.]


Mom: "Jesus Jim, get rid of it will you? She's going to shit herself."

Dad: "The store isn't going to take it back. They have a policy against that."

Mom: "I don't care if you bring it back or toss the frigging thing on the side of the road, just get it the hell out of here before she passes out."

Dad: "Fine. Fuck it. I'm going out for a beer."

I think there's a lesson here for giant stuffed animals and parents everywhere.


Lord of the Flies

Exodus 8:24 And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.

I am pretty sure I've never been a pharaoh, and I've never intentionally doublecrossed the fly mafia or anything, so I can't really explain what is happening outside my house today. It started around 8 am with a few big black flies hanging out on the porch. By noon, you couldn't even walk from one end of the porch to the other without passing through a swarm of them. As an added bonus, they bite.

Here's a picture of a small section of porch post. Keep in mind there are about 9 more posts just like this one:

I decided to hang a fly strip, just to see what I could catch. As I was opening it up, I caught three flies. After about two hours, it looked like this:

So I hung a few more. An hour later, I had this:

It's pretty disgusting. Even more disgusting, I think the majority of them were playing "hide the fly salami." Either that or they're just really close pals.

I have no idea what they are attracted to, or where they are coming from. I keep looking under my porch for jewish people to let go, but there is none to be had.

I looked for dead bodies under there too, but I know it can't be that because I never bury them there.


The Penie Genie

I really have to stop posting the searches that lead people to my blog. According to site meter, I am fast becoming the foremost authority on all things testicle, and that can only end badly for everyone involved. More than half my Google searches every week center on genitalia questions of some form or another, and I cannot believe that people actually click on my blog link based upon half a dozen random words in 3 different paragraphs. It clearly has nothing at all of value to them, yet they click on it anyway.

At any rate, it's time for that most regular of 15 Minute Lunch features:

Fantastic Google Searches that Somehow Led People to My Site

is no hair on your scrotum when you're 15 normal? - That depends upon whether you're talking about years or inches. Either way, nobody is really going to care. In the first case, nobody but you will see it, and in the second case, you'll be in such demand it won't matter.

what causes penis head to crack and bleed? - Ball peen hammers, propane torches, hot irons, sunbathing naked, boiling water, liquid nitrogen...the list really is almost endless. They're not indestructible. Maybe you should get a little helmet for it if you're having a problem with this. Or just don't take it out so much.

taken for a ride in the woods and castrated - This gripping, tell-all novel recounts the terrifying, true story of one dog's personal journey into a private hell. The book's protagonist, Fido, takes you on a horrifying emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, and the action just never stops.* You will be crossing your legs in terror, as you realize that no one and nothing is safe -- not you.....and not your penis.

Everyday italian with Giardia - Call me crazy, but I'm thinking a cooking show hosted by an intestinal parasite probably wouldn't do well. Nothing says "Yummo" like abdominal pains, diarrhea, nausea, dehydration and flatulence.

How to fuck a pregnant woman - Wait until she is in the shower, and then move to Arizona, change your name to Steve Smith and open a record store that sells nothing but vinyl copies of Yanni's Greatest Hits.

drop the soap you must - OK. Now I'm pretty sure Yoda is gay.

bad smell from testicle - I do not even want to visualize the apparent contortions you must have subjected your spine to in order to definitively determine that it was, in fact, a single testicle that was to blame for said odor.

Dammit. Too late.

* Well, until the end, when all the action pretty much stops, which is kind of the point of the whole trip to the woods if you really think about it.