Monkey Punchers.

So one day the weenjammer and I came up with a term for idiots with computers. We called them "monkeypunchers" because these are the kind of people who are stupid enough to click on the dumb flash ads that are on every webpage you see. You know, the ones where there are buttons for choices, but they don't actually do anything but take you to the same lame web page, no matter which one you click on?

These types of people have computers that are generally so full of spyware, adware and viruses, that even though the computer is a 3.2 gigahertz pentium 4, it has all the speed of my grandfather in the bathroom after thanksgiving dinner. They think a firewall is when you pack bricks between the studs of interior walls before you put the sheetrock up. They think a virus scanner is another name for their family doctor. You get the idea. They are, in a word, clueless.

At any rate, these ads for the stupid piss me off. Currently, I have two daily irritations. The first is this ad:

Are they a match? First, does anyone but them actually give a shit? Second, of course they're not a match. Semi-hot asian chicks in their late twenties do not go out with teenagers on the high school football team. Unless, of course, she's his english teacher or something. Then it's allowed, I think.

The other one currently bugging the piss out of me is this one:

How stupid do these people think you are? To call this an "IQ Question" is an insult to 4-year-olds everywhere. Don't they teach you vowels practically as soon as you can read three-letter words? Are people this stupid actually out there using computers? Because if this tickles your brain, there is something seriously effed up in there.

Anyway, that's all I have today. I hope you all have a safe and happy new year. Drive carefully, and if you drink, don't drive, because I don't want your drunk ass crossing over into my lane. And watch out for Sarah. I hear she's kissing everyone this year.


Spring cleaning

So we're moving from one floor in our building to another, and as a result, we've had a few company-sponsored "cleanup" days toward the end of the year. I missed most of these days, and now I've been trying to fit 5 or 6 years worth of useless shit into a 12" x 16" garbage can, a little at a time, over the past two weeks. I think the cleaning lady hates me, mostly because sixty-pound chunks of old computer gear is probably not supposed to go in the little "non-recyclables" bucket. I am also pretty sure she's wiping boogers on my chair.

I don't care. At least when I am finally forced to move, I won't have to haul anything but a few pictures and my laptop.

I did find some interesting things though. Here's a look at today's inventory, from a single desk drawer and overhead bin:

Item: A Palm III, with modem. Never has there been a more useless piece of shit, even when it wasn't completely obsolete. The thing eats batteries like Rosie O'Donell eats Big Macs and/or Kelli Carpenter. I never could get the hang of that shitty handwriting code either. Status: Chucked.

Item: A bottle of cough medicine with codeine, expired 2001. I took a sniff, and it didn't smell too bad, but I don't know what kind of poison codeine turns into after 5 years. I knew I probably shouldn't take the taste test, especially since I don't have a cough right now. On the other hand, when you are hacking up your lungs at work, there's nothing like a little codeine to put the drool on the desk. Status: Saved for a rainy day. I figured it might not kill me, and if I was coughing bad enough to need it, I might prefer to die anyway.

Item: 4 tightly-swollen packages of generic mayonnaise from the cafeteria, circa 2002. These scared me. I didn't think that could happen to pre-packaged condiments. I was tempted to open one up, but was afraid that if it came out black I would puke. Status: Carefully wrapped in old newspaper and gently placed in the non-recyclable bin in someone else's cube.

Item: 400 pounds of 6-year-old documentation for a software product we don't use anymore. I can honestly say that not a single volume of this immense row of books, this standing monument to our national forests, has ever moved in the 6 years it has taken up space in my overhead file cabinet. Status: Untouched. This will remain behind when I move, for whomever inherits this cube. It is my gift to them.

Item(s): A box of hot cinnamon candy from the dawn of time, a yo-yo, a spiderman pop-up book, a foam rock, a HotWheels parking garage, a Simpsons Nuclear reactor with talking Bart and Homer, a package of expired Immodium AD, approximately 357 non-working pens, a Mennen speed stick with rug marks in it, folders with papers that contain my handwriting --the contents of which I have no recollection of ever having written, $237.50 in nickels and pennies, a pile of business cards, all of which belong to people and/or companies that are dead or out of business, And lastly, sixteen pounds of unwashed silverware from the cafeteria. Status: Chucked. Well, except for the foam rock and the talking Simpsons thing. Those were gifts.

Honestly, I'm surprised I don't have rats.

I did find one other book. This book was an unintentional gift from my favorite female boss of the past 10 years. She was a really great person, and a blast to work for. We had the same sense of humor, which made work almost fun. When her job was eliminated, I was told to go get anything useful from her cube. As I glanced around, I noticed her garbage can. Here's what I saw:

Dammit, I still miss her.


False Advertising

I stopped in today and absolutely nobody was kissing balls.

I guess the 24th was the last day.


Ho Ho Holy Shit, it's Zombie Claus!

I've been driving by this big bastard for a month now and knew something about him was really wrong, but couldn't put my finger on it.

Until today.

Today, I realized it was his evil, bottomless eye-sockets and the demon lights shining deep within them that was freaking me out.

Don't stare into his eyes for too long. He'll devour your soul.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


I was a teenage wolfman

My wife recently redecorated our downstairs bathroom. This involved lots of paint, a new shower curtain, new towels, a crapload of hardware, various light fixtures and me in the shop building this:

It came out OK for slapping it together. In addition to all this new stuff, there is also something old. It's a large, soft, furry pad. You might think it sits outside the tub, so when you get out of the shower, you step on it to avoid getting water all over the floor. You would be wrong, because the furry pad of which I speak is the one on the inside of the tub. You know, the one that prevents the water from draining. The one that looks like a single, adventurous dread that has somehow escaped from Bob Marley's entombed head, traveled across the country stuck in the tire tread of an 18 wheeler, and has finally taken up residence in your tub drain.

Every day, I get out of the shower and every day, the last thing I do is clean the hair out of this drain. For a while, I blamed my wife. She has fairly long hair, and I figured even 5 or 6 hairs of that length would weave a pretty inpenetrable mat. Then she informed me that she's been taking showers upstairs for weeks. That leaves me with few alternatives. Either the hair fairy is sneaking into my bathroom at night, or it's all me, baby.

It must run in the family. When I was a kid, I would get so pissed off at my brother Houdini. He was a hairy little bastard, and he would never clean his hair out of the drain. Invariably I would be late for school, and I'd jump in the shower without looking at the drain first. After a while, something that felt like a cold, dead hamster would brush gently against my calf, and I would realize I was standing almost knee deep in my own filth. This is because his drain-hair plugs would work in teams -- one would plug the drain, and the other one would come after you. If you weren't paying attention, it was entirely conceivable that you could fish the one out of the way with your big toe, and be so relieved to see the water actually start moving that you would not even notice the other hairy beast stuck to the back of your leg.

When I was about 17, I got tired of it. I started collecting his drain hair. I didn't actually touch it -- It grossed me out. I would grab it with my mother's tweezers, and drop it into a tissue, and drop the tissue into a box. Then, after about 8 months of daily drain scoopings, I wrapped them up with a bow and gave them to him for christmas. My mother was extremely pleased. I think she may have puked when I suggested knitting him a sweater.

Where does this hair come from you ask? Well, you may not ask, but I ask, because that's what I do, and ostensibly, it is my hair. I've read that most people lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day. That, my hairy friends, is a buttload. At first I thought perhaps that particular area could be where all this hair in my drain was coming from, but it's a tough place to check out yourself while you're standing in the shower.

Why do humans have hair anyway? We certainly don't need it. Yeah, it looks cool and all, but really - what a major pain in the ass. And to think that a small, evolutionary adjustment could have spared us all from the embarrassment of the 80s.

Not that I'm saying it wouldn't bother me if I lost mine, but that's only because everyone else would still have theirs. Think about it. If everyone else was hairless, and you had hair, I have to believe that would be a worse situation, because I am pretty sure that other humans would hunt you down and kill you because you freaked them right the hell out.

So anyway, near as I can tell, while I can't deny that the hair in the shower drain comes from me, I can confidently say that it isn't coming from my pre-existing hair, because I don't seem to be missing any.

My current theory is that the heat from the shower triggers some sort of recessive lycanthrope gene from my mother's italian side, and it causes me to sprout hair only while I'm in the shower. Since the recessive gene is obviously defective, this quick growing hair has a weak root structure, so it instantly falls out.

It's the only explanation.


This could be a weekly thing, baby.

Sometimes, the humor creates itself. Sitemeter hasn't been letting me down in the google/msn searches that end up hitting my blog, so I've decided that I'm going to try to post the funniest ones on a weekly basis. Without further ado, I present:

Fantastic Google Searches That Somehow Pointed People To My Site

people dump stanky garbage bags on me - See, the problem with this search is that it needs to be qualified. Do you want people to start doing this, or stop doing this? You need to add either "How to stop" or "How to get" to the front of this search in order to really find what you need. Otherwise, you'll end up at my site. Not because I offer either one of these services, although for the right price, it can be arranged. If you're just walking down the street and random strangers keep dumping stanky bags of garbage on you, that is seriously effed up. Maybe it's your attitude. Try smiling more.

bigfoot things for sale - Again, too non-specific. Let's assume that you are looking for bigfoot-related merchandise. That's all well and good. However, are you looking to buy stuff that Sasquatch no longer needs, or are you looking for monster truck parts? Because truthfully, I don't think Sasquatch has much in the way of material possessions. Just a guess.

how to make a cat puke - Oddly enough, they pretty much do this on their own. All the time, in fact. Go look for your cat. In the time it took you to type in this search and get results, I'm sure he's puked somewhere. Check stuff with velcro, or stuff that cost you a lot of money. In my experience, they love to puke on both those things.

why do teenage girls appeal to older men? - Why indeed. First off, this was obviously not typed by an older man. If you're an older man, you already know. I am willing to bet that this was typed by older man's older wife, because older man got caught looking at that nubile young 19- year-old blonde in the shorty tee-shirt and low-rider jeans they passed at the mall on their way to CVS. Now let me share some insights and thoughts on this topic with you, older man's wife. Teenage girls appeal to older men because (1) they're freakin' HOT, and also because (2) they're not you. If you've let yourself go and become twice the woman you were when you got married, you might want to work on that. And stop with the nagging already.

staggering drunk loser husband - This one was also not typed by an older man. Or any man, for that matter. I am assuming here that you already know this about your husband. So, as before, you need to be more specific. Try adding one of the following phrases to the beginning:

(1) how do I kill my
(2) how do I sober up my
(3) how do I get a teenage girl for my

free camel's foot pics - There's two possibilities here. One, you're actually looking for camel toe. Toe. T.O.E. Not foot, for chrissake. The other, somehow scarier possibility is that you knew exactly what you were searching for. If that were the case, I can't even imagine what sort of lame fetishist websites you got with that search. I hope you learned your lesson. Next time don't be so cheap. For high-quality camel foot pics, you need to pay. Don't ask me how I know.

what's all the hype about anal sex? - Call me out of touch, but I was unaware of said hype. This search cracked me up mostly because of the way it's phrased. It sounds like something said in a casual conversation while standing in line at the supermarket. "Marie! Hi! How's Bill? The kids? Jeannie starts college soon, doesn't she? Hey, there's something I've been meaning to ask you. What's all the hype about anal sex?"

Johnny's room of sex - "Ma'am, did you sign in? Great, thanks. Now, just head on down the hall, and when you get to the end, take a left. Just look for the door with the love beads hanging in front of it. That's the one you want. Listen for Lifehouse's CD, No Name Face. The door should be open. Just head right on in. If you hear Barry White, you've gone too far. That room belongs to Special Dark. Take my advice and don't go in there. You'll just end up pregnant. No, seriously. I've heard he doesn't even have to touch you for it to happen. OK, have fun! See you in 5!"

drag addicted people of bangladesh - Ah, those Bangladeshians. Can't get enough of the transvestites. It's a national problem, but I don't think they're going to be able to solve it. That whole "War on Drags" program is a total joke.

no sorry its not peanutbutter jelly time, its nap time and u won't be needing that baseball bat -
The oddest things about this one are: (1) that they typed it in at all, and (2) that my blog is the top hit.


Hey Sarge! Can I borrow your lion for a sec?

OK. Read this and try not to laugh:

ABC's Jake Tapper on November 14 offered a long report on two Iraqi men who said they were beaten, tortured and sexually humiliated by American forces. But CNN's Tom Foreman, in a story on the same two men shown the next night on Anderson Cooper 360, found a number of "strange" elements to their story, including claims by one of the men that American soldiers tormented him with lions.

Yes, you read that right.

Tormented Him With Lions.

Seriously, shoddy media research methods aside, who taught these guys how to lie? They're obviously not very good at it.

On the other hand, I do have to admit that when I really want to intimidate someone into sharing some good intel, I reach for a lion every time.

Sometimes it's the only thing that will do the trick.


Space....the final front-bumper

So I'm driving home today, and something occurs to me. As I am wont to do, I explore this thought for the hour or so I am in the car. The thought process that led to this revelation went something like this:

"Get off my ass, dickhead."

and then, two seconds later:

"Jesus, buddy. Pick up the pace, will ya? People have places to be for god’s sake."

It was then that this particular vehicular theory occurred to me. It seems that all this time, I have had a “zone” around my car. We'll call this the JV zone, or JVZ for short.

The JVZ extends a certain distance to the front of my car, to both sides, and also to the rear. The JVZ expands and contracts to a great extent based upon many different criteria -- including speed, weather conditions, traffic level, my mood, and the relative stupidity and/or assholishness of surrounding drivers.

So assume that on the way home today I was doing 75-80 mph. Yes, I know this is over the speed limit, but unless I want to be brutally corn-holed by an 18 wheeler, this is the speed at which I am forced to travel if I want to be in either of the outer two lanes. I could stay in the far right lane, but then I have to contend with 3-wheeled solar vehicles, funky-lookin' slow ass hybrids, dump trucks, rustbucket '71 Winnebagos with 17 bikes strapped to the back, and all those pesky exits and the various people wanting to get to them.

So anyway, assuming that I approach this insane speed on a dry, smooth highway, the JVZ extends roughly 2 car lengths to the front and back of my car. I realize that this is not even close to the amount of space necessary to allow me to avoid a collision if some catastrophic event occurs -- for example, if the driver in front of me sees an accident on the other side of the highway, gets a cell phone call or hates that shitty Celine Dion song, but that's what I work with, because nobody will respect my wishes for a larger JVZ.

Also assuming that I'm not the only one with a Zone, we run into a very serious problem. I call this problem Zone Overlap.

Consider this: You’re driving along, respecting your zone when suddenly, you nearly drive up the ass of some numbnut going 55 in the fast lane. You immediately encroach on his zone. You can’t help it, because he is abusing his driving privileges, and his zone. BUT -- you are still thinking of it as your zone, and this tortoise-driving mofo is in your way. He is compressing your zone, pushing it back into your face. You are not thinking of it as his zone – it is yours.

Now think about this. Out of necessity, you slow down. You shout obscenities, you wave fingers, you yell at this clueless nutsack through multiple layers of safety glass and an 80 mph air gap. What you don’t immediately realize is that simultaneously, something else happens, and that something else is this:

The guy behind you begins compacting your rear zone directly into your anus.

This is because he is thinking of it as his zone, and you are inconsiderately pushing it into back into his face. You can see the problems this causes. Anger, harsh words, more finger gestures. And, if you’re in California, quite possibly gunfire.

The other situation that routinely occurs is that you are driving along – again, respecting your zone – when some jerkoff decides he wants to be in between you and the guy in front of you, even though your zone spacing clearly dictates that there isn’t enough room for him to be there. He cuts in, and your zone is instantly full of his annoying ass. Not only did he just steal most of your front zone, he also just stole most of the rear zone of the guy in front of you. He is soundly bombarded by profanity from both directions. Most of the time, he doesn’t give a shit. He is, for lack of a better term, a Bozone. He respects nothing. He obviously deserves a long, painful death, because he does not understand the zen of zone.

Your safest bet at this point is to increase your zone spacing, extract your own zone from deep within your nasal cavities, push the zone of the guy behind you out of your anal cavities, and continue driving, all the while wishing a serious and immediate telephone pole wrapping on the penis-head who just completely raped your carefully prepped and maintained zone.

As I said, this is the safest bet. However, this is not normally what happens. Normally, what happens is that you push your zone so far up the ass of the jerk that cut you off that your zone is actually completely eclipsing his zone, and quite possibly started well up the anus of the guy in front of him. I am in no way recommending this, but I can tell you that it happens, and it happens frequently, so stay alert. All of this is the stuff that 20 car pile-ups are made of.

I’m not even going to get into discussing the side zones, and the people who insist upon finding your blind spot and then suctioning themselves there like a lamprey eel on the side of a great white.

I’m really not sure how to wrap this up, other than to say this:

Respect my fucking zone. For everyone’s sake.


Christmas Wishes

Anyone who knows me knows that I just love to hear what the people in Hollywood have to say on every topic from politics to world hunger. In fact, I wouldn't know what to do or how to act if it wasn't for the opinions of my favorite stars. With that in mind, here are a few things I would love to hear my close friends in the movie and music industries say this holiday season:

The Dixie Chicks - "You know what, you guys? We finally, like, understand how the first amendment actually works. Linda Ronstadt explained it to us. You're not going to believe this, but it doesn't actually mean we can say anything we want without fear of repercussions or consequences. It just means that we can say anything we want without fear of repercussions or consequences from the government. Yeah, I know! Linda didn't know either at first."

George Clooney - "Hey guys, I'm just an actor. What the hell do I really know about politics anyway? Think about it -- my job is to memorize and parrot back words written by other people. How mentally taxing can that really be? In another time, we'd all be jesters and jugglers."

Sean Penn & Bono -
Penn: "We talked it over, and we just would like to say that we're sorry we act like total douchebags most of the time. We realize we have this messiah-complex thing going on, but we'll try harder in the coming year."

Bono: "Seriously, I am God. It's not a complex."

Penn [clears throat]: "Like I said, we'll try, but no promises. I have anger management issues. No! Jesus, Bono! Get the hell away from my microphone! No, I'm not done yet - You are such a DICK. You know, I should kick your ass for that, you pretentious, one-named asshole."

Bono: "Do not make me smite thee."

Penn: "Come get some."

[fighting sounds erupt]
Michael Moore - "I think this year I will make an actual documentary. One that doesn't use misleading edits to distort the facts and push my simple-minded agenda. I think I will also cut down to one box of doughnuts a day. No, really. That should be easy. A piece of cake. Hey, did someone mention cake?"

Rosie O'Donnell - "Yes, I realize that some people think I'm a fat, abrasive, loudmouth lesbian with an opinion on everything, regardless of whether I actually know something about it or not. In the coming year, I will try harder to be a fat, abrasive, loudmouth lesbian who keeps my mouth shut if I have no effing idea what I'm talking about."

Barbara Streisand - "This is the year I move to Europe. I promise. Really. I'm going. I swear. Jeeves, bring my mobile pooper around and take me to the airport."

Ben Affleck - "This year, I will make a really good movie. I will never again make another really bad movie just for the money. I will also be very careful to not date any women with names that could be easily joined to "Ben" by the tabloids, because that's just plain annoying for everyone."

Tom Cruise - "I renounce that crazy-assed religion I belonged to, and challenge Travolta to a duel -- to the death."

I'm not holding my breath here, but one can hope, right?


It's time to play "Name That Granular Substance!"

Study this closely:

OK, time's up. Is this unnamed substance:

1. That nasty smelling shit they use to soak up puke in schools and amusement parks.

2. Clumping cat litter.

3. Something you throw on icy sidewalks to provide traction.

4. Diazinon Grub Killer.

5. Quadro-Triticale

6. Some sort of really expensive, stone-ground, 7-grain hot cereal that my wife mail-orders from some place in East Bumfuck, Central USA.

Yeah, you guessed it. It smells like a pot of boiling popsicle sticks when it's cooking.


Now you see him....

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The trial of Saddam Hussein, held up on Wednesday when the ousted Iraqi president refused to appear, was about to resume around 1:45 p.m. (1045 GMT), court officials indicated.

They told reporters covering the trial to take up their seats in the court after a delay of several hours.

"Refused to appear?" How is this even possible? Does he suddenly have the power of invisibility or something?

Just knock him over and drag him into the courtroom by his leg irons if you have to. Jesus.


Another childhood memory - destroyed.

I walked over to the soda machine today, and on the counter next to the machine was a small stash of leftover Halloween candy. One of the candies caught my eye because it was orange. Since I'm a Reese's peanut butter cup whore, I checked it out. No such luck. However, buried under these sour candies that tasted exactly like bathroom cleaning chemicals smell (yes, I tried one) I found a small piece of my childhood. When I moved the pile of misleading orange crap out of the way, I found these:

I couldn't believe my eyes. I had no idea they even still made them. I quickly snagged the two packages that were left, and felt like I just won the lottery. Who can forget First it's Candy, Then it's Gum! This was going to be great.

I got them back to my desk and examined my stash more closely. These were the tiny little Halloween packs, so I was disappointed to see that each pack held exactly two Razzles. I quickly opened one and popped two in my mouth, and was instantly transported back to the days of my -- no. Sweet Jesus. What is this? This was not the delicious, heaven sent joy of my youth. This was a bullet train to Gag Central Station.

Clearly, something was wrong with these Razzles. Not only did they have the taste and chalk-like consistency of fruit-flavored Tums, they seemed to be made entirely of sugar.

They crumbled in my mouth, and a battle of my oral reflexes erupted. First it's Candy, Then it's Gum! The problem here is that once you chew them and they disintegrate in your mouth, you have all you can do to not swallow them. I kept trying to think about the "then it's gum!" part, but it was too difficult. I had a mouthful of sugary spit, and my tongue was doing a mad dance trying to identify and separate each little piece of chalky remnant from the sweet puddle. What I really needed to do was spit this mouthful of shit into a coffee filter. That was the only way I was getting any gum out of this.

I stopped struggling against my body's natural instincts and just swallowed it.

The drawback to doing this, of course, is that it becomes gum in a place you really can't thoroughly enjoy gum.

Hmmm. Now I was sick to my stomach. This whole Razzle experience, while extremely unpleasant, warranted further exploration. Luckily, I had a second pack. The scientific method has never failed me. I would get to the bottom of this, but it would have to wait.

When I got home, I took the remaining two Razzles out of their package, and examined them closely. As you can see here, they haven't changed at all over the years:

These two happened to be blue, and I believe this signifies that they were the flavor "Blue" which is a favorite of kids all over the world.

I flipped them over, and could see from the stress cracks and chips that they had the consistency of dried plaster. Using a microscope, I was able to identify and isolate the major ingredients:

That's right. 99.97% pure blue sugar, and just .03% actual gum molecules. It's no wonder the magical transformation was so difficult to accomplish.

I was determined, however. As God is my witness, I would turn this candy into gum. I am nothing if not a modern-day alchemist.

I swallowed a bunch of times, used a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture in my mouth, and I popped them in. I chewed quickly, breathing through my nose. They were indeed blue flavor. One of my favorites.

Once they were properly masticated, I allowed a small amount of saliva to enter the chamber (yes, I have that kind of control. I'm a scientist, after all) and Eureka!

I had gum.

Granted, it was completely devoid of flavor, and it had the texture and consistency of candle wax, but it was gum -- A massive quantity of gum:

From my experiments, I have determined that you would have to eat about 40 Razzles at once to get the equivalent of a single piece of bubble gum. By that time, you would be in a sugar coma, and blue dye would be leaching through your cheek skin.

So needless to say, Razzles are no longer on my "Best Candies of My Childhood" list. I cannot believe I used to eat these disgusting chunks of sugar-chalk. Seriously, Tums taste better. I also spent the better part of a half hour spitting out little tiny pieces of something that looked like blue plastic.

Be sure to tune in next week, when we determine exactly what you are ingesting when you eat wax lips.

I don't know how this is even allowed by law, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be actual wax.


The sort of Christmas catalogs I get.

Holy crap.

Seriously, what happens if you're naughty?

"Tell you what, Timmy. Since you were good that one day last summer, I'll give you a head start."


Caterpillar Roulette

“Push it, I dare ya,” Markie said.

“No way. You push it,” The Snitch replied. “Besides, what if it starts?”

“It's not gonna start.”

“I dunno,” The Snitch replied doubtfully. “The button says START right on it. ‘Sides, we might get in trouble.”

“For doin’ what?” Markie asked. “Who’s gonna know? If it starts, we just take off.”

“He’s not gonna push it,” I said. “He’s chicken.”

“I’m NOT a chicken,” The Snitch said, shooting me a dirty look. “And I don’t see YOU pushin’ any buttons,” he added.

He had a point.

I looked at Markie.

I’ll push it if you do,” he said, then smirked. “But I ain’t goin’ first.”

I took a single, nervous step toward the bulldozer.

I looked around. There was nobody in the woods but us. It was a Sunday, and all the workers were gone. The week before, they had started construction in our woods. They were building a road -- the road that would eventually be lined with new houses. The road that meant the end of our woods, our fields, the big hill, the end of...well....of everything.

“OK. Here goes.” I said, resting my finger on the big red button on the side of the massive diesel engine.

“Do it,” Markie whispered, the excitement in his voice barely contained.

I pressed it slowly, until it clicked home.

The dozer made a sickeningly loud RRRRR-RRRRRR! noise, and lurched. I instantly yanked my hand away from the button, as if I had been burned.

“Holy crap, it moved!” I said, looking at Markie. “Maybe you'd better not. I think it’s in gear.”

“So what?” he said. “A deal’s a deal. I’ll still push it, but Snitch is goin’ after me.” He grinned evilly as another thought occurred to him. “Then we go around again,” he added.

Over Snitch’s loud protestations, he reached out and quickly pushed the button. It made the same Rrrr-Rrrr sound -- only shorter this time -- and lurched forward another foot.

“It’s your turn,” Markie said to The Snitch. “You gonna do it?”

No way,” The Snitch said. “You guys can’t make me.”

We could, and we did. Somewhere between calling him a yellow-bellied chicken-liver, a wimp and any other name we could come up with to indicate the length and width of the yellow stripe going down his spineless back, he caved. In those days, peer pressure was an unstoppable force.

“OK! I’ll do it, just cut it out!” The Snitch yelled at us, his eyes beginning to water. He wouldn’t cry though. He knew if he did, we would never let him live it down.

He wiped his eyes, then stepped toward the dozer. He snapped his arm out and slapped the start button like he was slapping at a mosquito or a fly. The engine made a clicking sound, and the dozer didn’t move at all.

Markie snorted. “Do over. That didn’t count.”

“Do over? No way! I pushed it! You guys saw me!”

“You didn’t barely touch it!” Markie said. “It didn’t count. Do it again.” He looked at me for confirmation.

“Yeah, you hardly touched it,” I agreed reluctantly. “Give it a real push this time. Don’t just smack at it.”

The Snitch reached out and pushed it harder. The engine made the Rrrr-Rrrr-Rrrr sound, lurched forward a good two feet, then backfired. We all jumped, and The Snitch let out a little yelp as a single, dirty puff of black smoke belched out of the stack.

“HOLY JEEZ!” Markie said, wide-eyed. “I think it almost started!” He looked at me expectantly. He was clearly hoping it would actually start. “Your turn,” he said.

I was scared shitless. “I dunno,” I said doubtfully. “It almost started.”

“I know,” he replied, a wild look in his eyes. “Wouldn’t that be sooo cool?”

I had seen that look before. It was the same look he always got right before things went up in flames, exploded, collapsed, disintegrated, or otherwise went south in a major way.

I stood there for a second, doing nothing, deciding my next move. I had two choices – push it or don’t push it. The first choice had two possible outcomes. If it didn’t start, it was Markie’s turn again, and I was off the hook. If it did start, well..it was best not to dwell on that possibility too deeply. The other, much less palatable choice was to do nothing at all. If I refused my turn, I would look like a coward. I was torn.

“What’r you... chicken?” Markie asked.

That was all I needed to hear.

Before I could change my mind, I reached out and slammed the button, holding it in. The bulldozer lurched forward and I took a few steps to keep up with it. The engine clattered, backfired, then roared to life. We stood there, motionless and slack-jawed, as the driver-less bulldozer trundled toward the woods.

We had absolutely no idea what to do -- none of us had actually expected it to take off running. There was no way we could jump on it, and even if we did manage to get on it somehow, we had no idea how to shut it down.

When the bulldozer reached the woods and plowed over a small stand of good-sized saplings, it was like someone flipped a switch in our heads.

Markie yelled, “RUN!!” and instantly bolted for the road. We followed a split second later. I ran faster than I had ever run in my life, before or since. We ran until the bulldozer’s noisy diesel was eclipsed by the sound of our Chuck Taylor All-Stars slapping the ground, our ragged breathing and our pounding hearts. Through the Mohr’s backyard, across the street to Mary Nelson’s house and along the fence to the pond trail, we ran. When we were physically incapable of running any farther, we collapsed on the grassy bank on the far side of the pond, all gulping air and shaking legs. We sat there for few moments to catch our breath and digest what had just happened.

The Snitch spoke first, looking at Markie. “We gotta tell somebody.” he said. You could actually see the normal, almost expected, after-job Snitch-paranoia surfacing. I could never figure out why the hell we even brought him with us, other than the fact that he was my brother, and you had to make certain allowances.

He was clearly beginning to flip out. “Oh jeez. Oh jeez, you guys. What're we gonna do?”

Markie went ballistic. “Do? Are you freakin’ nuts? Nothin’ is what we do. If we even say a word to a grownup, we’ll be in so much trouble you wouldn’t believe. We don’t say nothin, we don’t do nothin." He paused, then leaned closer to The Snitch. “An’ if you tell, you’re dead meat.” He put the period on the end of his sentence by giving The Snitch a knuckle punch in the arm. The Snitch said, "OW! That hurt, you...you....asshole!" He had just learned that one. He looked over at me for back up. Younger brother or not, he wasn’t getting any support along those lines from my corner. The punch was just added insurance.

“Yeah, an’ besides, you pushed it too,” I said. “Twice.” I didn't bring up the fact that I was the one that actually started it. I needed to make it abundantly clear that he was in this as deep as we were. He was a teller, there was no question about that -- but he mostly responded well to logic. All we had to do was get him to see it our way, and after a long session of reason alternating with threats of physical harm, he finally did. He reluctantly agreed that, in this instance anyway, silence and not honesty was probably the best policy.

Sitting there on the grassy bank, looking out over the stagnant, tea-stained water, we made a pact. Markie and I threatened The Snitch with bodily injury one last time - just to make sure - then we all did a pinky swear.

We vowed to Never Speak of This Incident Again.

And as far as I know, none of us ever did.

Well….until now, anyway.

Sorry, you guys. I was out of material.


Another IM conversation with Yort goes horribly wrong.

Yort: It's not looking like i'll be getting an x-box 360 this week.
Me: I didn't know you planned on getting one.
Yort: you never listen anymore.
Me: I thought it was just console lust.
Yort: i'm going to mother's.
Me: take that damn dog with you.
Yort: it's your damn dog.
Me: Hey, I didn't ASK for a dog for Christmas.
Yort: you hinted around hard enough.
Me: Yeah, learn the difference between a German Shepherd and a Pekingese, you stupid bitch.

I don't know why it happens. It just does.

Some other miscellaneous crap while I think of something to post:

1. How ridiculous are those hubcaps that keep spinning after the car stops? I saw a set of those again on the way home. Every time I see them, I want to stop their glittery rotation using the driver's face. Damn, those things annoy me.

2. Speaking of bad ideas, I wished I had my camera with me yesterday. I stopped at the store on the way home, and when I came out there was a giant, 4x4 purple hearse parked next to me. My car was dwarfed by this thing. I have no idea why someone would put actual time and money into doing this. It boggles my mind. It looked exactly like this except it was bright purple.

3. I sent an e-mail to my brother the genius scientist. He got a new job and is moving to Boston, but I thought his last day was the 5th. Apparently not, because I got this auto-reply:

Hi All,

I am no longer with Bristol-Myers Squibb. I enjoyed my time here greatly, and hope you will all keep in contact. I have gone to Boston to pursue RNA interference therapies with Alnylam.


I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I think it may have something to do with a warrior-prince and some sort of epic quest.


Separated at Death

Is it just me, or does Alan Colmes bear a striking resemblance to the Crypt Keeper?

Damn, that's spooky.

*after I posted this, I did a google search on "Colmes" and "cryptkeeper" -- Apparently, this comparison is old news. It's kind of odd that I never noticed it before. I'll leave it up anyway since it took 5 minutes of my time to crop and paste the pictures.


A short one for Special Dark

I've been told by Special Dark -- my Jamaican-American friend -- that my posts are too long to read. He said he looks at my blog and if it's more than a screen long, he just closes his browser. Keep in mind that this is the guy who, when I asked him how he ended up buying a new turbo-charged car that gets 20 miles to a gallon when he really wanted something that was fuel efficient, replied, "I fall ass-backwards into shit. That's how I roll." So needless to say, I don't take it personally.

That quote is pure poetry, and if you knew SD, you would have to agree that it sums him up so perfectly and completely that it is impossible to add anything at all to that statement to make it better or more accurate.

Since Friday's post took a lot out of me, I'm gonna coast down easy street this evening. So with that in mind, I present you with:

More Unbelievable Google Searches That Inexplicably Led People To My Blog

monistat soothing cream as a primer - I'm pretty sure this wouldn't work. Also, what the hell were you thinking of using for paint? Preparation H? And I don't want to know anything at all about your choice in brushes.

kotex flooring - It's soft, it's absorbent, and it's a fantastic insulator. What more could you ask for in a flooring material? As an added bonus, it already has adhesive on one side, so application is quick and easy!

how do you tell how fast he was going by skidmark? - A difficult question. It's much easier to tell with tightie-whities since they don't bunch up as much, but as a general rule, for every quarter-inch of width, add 20mph, and for every half-inch of length add 10mph to the posted limit. This equation will give you the approximate speed he was going when he lost control of the car and shat himself.

quizes to see if your dum - Um, yeah. You probably don't really need a quiz. Save yourself some time and just believe what people are telling you.


Searching for salvation. Or salivation. Whichever.

It's time for another installment of: Fantastic Google Searches That Somehow Pointed People To My Site Since roughly 95% of the people surfing the web at any given time are surfing for porn, it stands to reason that a few will stumble on my site using porn-related search terms. We will skip over those because frankly, they're not that original, and also because there are some sick little monkeys out there. I will make one exception, and that will be the first one on my list, just to get it out of the way. 1. Clean Men, Sweaty Balls. I had to include this one. It made me laugh because it's got tagline written all over it. A tagline for what, I have no idea, but you have to admit it's a classic. Maybe a low-budget gay porn film. "Lance Bonesteel in: Clean Men, Sweaty Balls." Or if you want to go the television route, I was thinking maybe an ad for Gold Bond Medicated Powder. Or if you reversed it, Titleist. 2. how to make a car hover in mid air. Seriously, does this person really think the internet is their ticket to super powers? Are they hoping that Magneto has a website with how-to articles? (He doesn't. I checked.) 3. lawn ornaments made from logs. Yeah, because those are the best kind. There is a trailer down the road from me that has a gigantic dog tied out in front 24x7. You should see some of the "lawn ornaments made from logs" on that front lawn. 4. Electrical Teeth brash. Yes, yes they are. Very brash, what with all the sparking and arcing when you smile. But it's the new, hip thing in the gangsta rap circles. As a middle-sized white boy, I'm not qualified to judge. 5. food stuck in esophogus. Call me crazy, but maybe 911 would be a better choice here. "Oh my god! I'm choking! I can't breathe! What should I do? I know, I'll look up that Hiney-lick thing on the inter----" 6. johnny deep smoking weed. I've never deep-smoked weed in my life. 7. little brother hung by wedgie. Ow. I've never actually experienced this, nor do I wish to. But then again, I was the oldest, so you'd have to ask my little brother what it feels like. 8. castrated romulans. Two words I never would have thought to put together. Ever. And I've been watching Star Trek since I was about 5 years old. I'll bet it went through Captain Kirk's mind a few times.  9. What women think. Good luck, my naive friend. If only it were that easy. You will never, ever find this information on the net. In fact, you will never, ever find it no matter where you look, because they have guarded this information down through the ages, and will continue to do so until the end of time. 10. would ground meat or a steak spoil more quickly? explain using the collision model. Welcome, Pointdexter, to my humble website. Try this: Rapid Detection of Meat Spoilage by Measuring Volatile Organic Compounds by Using Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69 (2003) D. Mayr, R. Margesin, E. Klingsbichel, E. Hartungen, D. Jenewein, F. Schinner, and T. D. Märk Now take your ground beef and get out. Leave the steak.


One toe over the line, sweet jesus.

It seems that every web page I go to, I see this disgusting ad:

It's actually an animated flash advertisement, and the second thing you see is this:

It's not bad enough that the leprosy-ridden toe has a nail that looks like a burnt potato chip -- then they flip the festering thing open like the lid of some barnacle-encrusted treasure chest, just to better illustrate where the fungus lives. The only thing that's missing is the stink lines.

Frankly, I'm surprised they don't have a little animated fungi party going on under there, just to show you how much fun they're all having at your expense. Trust me, there is no way I wanted to "Learn More." I already knew more than I cared to.

Maybe I should have clicked it, because truth be told, I don't really know much about rotten toe. I do, however, know this: If I took my shoe off one day, and any of my toes looked like they might fall off inside my sock, you can bet your ass I would be at the doctor's office within the hour. I would not be surfing the internet looking for a magic lotion potion to rub on my foot. Hell, if my toe looked like that, I wouldn't even want to touch my own foot, let alone rub on it for any length of time.

I think that's my main problem with this ad. Not only is it disgusting, it's unrealistic.

There is no way that some poor bastard would be out there just cruising the web and then stumble on this ad and think to himself, "Hey, that looks just like MY rotten toe! I think I will click that little button that says "Learn More" because even though I didn't give a shit about my rotten toe five minutes ago, suddenly I feel that it would be good to perhaps learn a little bit more about exactly what might be causing it to rot off my foot."

Just add this one to the pile of advertisements we could all live without. At least it was animated, and not a real toe, because it would be really, really wrong to actually show that to people.


...and gave her mother fifty wax

On my way to work Friday, I noticed this ominous warning on the big sign outside of the local firehouse:


Holy shit, I had no idea. I was worried about this all day because my house is full of those things, and I certainly wasn't there attending to them.

I wanted to stop in and ask more questions, but I didn't have time because I was running late. Specifically, I was wondering if it was just a certain type of candle that was dangerous, or all of them.

Now I'm sitting here alone with my back against the wall at 2:30 in the morning, kicking myself because I don't have any answers, and I think my candles are pretty pissed.

Most of the ones I have around the house are small, votive-type candles. Unless they lodge themselves in my esophogus in the middle of the night while I am asleep, I'm pretty sure I can kick their scented little asses if they get out of hand.

That being said, there are a few tapers skulking around. They don't have much meat on their wick, but they worry me because they're sharp and streamlined, and look like they can move pretty fast. Plus, I'd never see those dark green ones coming. They are the ninjas of the candle world.

There's a big ugly red one in the living room that looks like a 4-inch high pile of raw ground beef patties. I have no idea why the hell my wife bought it. It's truly the ugliest candle I've ever seen. So far it hasn't done much, but I'm keeping a close eye on it anyway.

This bastard is the one I'm really worried about:

It looks all friendly and normal until you turn out the light. I got suspicious, so I pulled out the night-vision scope to see what it was up to:

Why the hell does my wife even buy these things?

Jesus, I think it just moved.

I'm definitely sleeping with the bedroom door locked tonight.



Hello? 911?

For your enjoyment, I present a typical phone conversation with my buddy Yort.

Me (answering phone): "Johnny Virgil."
Yort: "Yeah, is this 911?"
Me: "No. No, it's not."
Yort: "411?"
Me: "No."
Yort: "711?"
Me: "OK, yes. This is actually 711."
Yort: "So...you're like half-way between Information and Emergency Services?"
Me: "Right. I can only give you information about where to get help."
Yort: "Or help me find information."
Me: "Exactly."
Yort: "So...where do I get help?"
Me: "Yeah, I gotta go."


It's like that all the time. And we're both sober for god's sake.


What a shitty demo

I actually left the office for my 15 minute lunch today -- not to eat, but just to run to the electronics store and buy a few capacitors to fix a TV. I got back, went to the cafeteria and grabbed a quick sandwich, then headed up to my desk, because I had a teleconference to attend. After I ate, I dialed in to watch a product demo from a vendor.

As I'm sitting there, I realize that something stinks pretty bad.

That's not so unusual though, because lots of people eat at their desks, and they bring in all kinds of rank-smelling food. Normally, they microwave their bucket of rotten fishheads or whatever downstairs in the cafeteria, then they bring it back upstairs and sit at their desks and suck it down, all the while allowing the stench to permeate throughout the entire floor.

I've smelled some pretty bad stuff before, but this really smells terrible. The bad thing is that the smell seems to be coming from my just-finished lunch. The food is bad, but generally not that bad. It's only a chicken wrap with hot-sauce for chrissake. How bad could it be? I sniff around a bit, but don't find anything. Then, as I'm looking around under my cube, I catch a whiff.

My amazing powers of smellocation zero in on the culprit.

It's my pants.

My pants smell like shit. And by "like shit" I mean "like actual, honest-to-god feces."

They didn't smell like that this morning when I put them on. I'm pretty sure of that, although I have been on my own for almost 24 hours now, and anything is possible. Spontaneous laundry funkification is, while perhaps not likely, definitely within the realm of possibility.

I investigate further, and realize that the reason my pants smell like shit is because my chair smells like shit -- and my pants have been sitting on my chair. For an instant, my awesome deductive prowess leads me temporarily astray, and I think: "Someone has been sitting and/or shitting in my chair."

I immediately discount this theory as ludicrous, but there is that evidence bomb of the shit-stained chair to contend with. After all, it wasn't there when I left. Maybe somebody hates me. Paula? Maybe. She hates me, but she wouldn't poopify my cube, I don't think. That's pretty rough, even for her.

In the movies, they always say if you want to figure out the motive for a crime, just follow the money trail. In this case, since there was no movie, I was left following the only trail I had, and that trail was much less fun, and much more brownish.

How had shit gotten on my chair? How indeed, Watson. I follow the trail. It leads me directly to the yellowish-brown, oatmeal-cookie-shaped turd that is pancaked to the bottom of my left shoe.

This revelation leads to another.

It seems I have a bad habit of tucking one leg under the other when I sit in a chair. The mystery was solved, as such:

Elementary, my dear Watson.

God, I hate dogs. Why can't they crap in a box like a civilized animal?

So I excuse myself from the meeting, with a quick "brb" to a co-worker via IM, and head for the bathroom. I am walking through the hall very carefully, so as to not drop a small pancake loaf in the middle of the aisle.

I take off my boot, and while balancing on one foot, I hold a paper towel over the sharp edge of the garbage can, and scrape the shit into the can. I then wet a paper towel, and go to work on the little "vibram" logo on the bottom of my sole, which has a nice ring of yellow brown around it.

I'm running the shoe under the faucet, trying to dislodge the last remnants, when someone walks in.

He has a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in his hand.

He looks at me. He looks at my shoe.

I look at him. I look at his toothbrush.

I scrape a little more crap into the sink and wash it down the drain.

"Dog shit," I inform him.

He turns around and walks out.

That's ok. I never got that whole "brushing your teeth at work" thing anyway. Nothing like a little dog shit on a shoe to really drive my point home. I could have really used that toothbrush though.

The next twenty minutes of my life revolved around cleaning carpets, jeans and chairs, and then rubbing a Mennen Speed Stick that I found in an abandoned cube all over every available surface.

Now everything within ten feet of my cube smells like a man-whore.

Or, to be more precise, a man-whore dipped in dog shit.


Wait...If you give them food, doesn't that make them poop?

My wife is out of town for a few days. I hate to say it, but I don't think she trusts me to take care of our three cats properly.

She left me a very detailed instruction sheet as to my relative cat-related duties for the next 72 hours.

It says:

Scoop litter
Change water

And then it just lists a phone number for the vet.

These cats are so screwed.


Decisions, Decisions

I'm driving home from work, and I'm coming up on a traffic light that just turned red, and there are two cars in front of me stopped at the light, one in each lane. We've all been there, so you know what's coming.

You have less than two seconds to decide something that can make or break the rest of your day: Which one of the drivers currently sitting at the light is the bigger asshole. Your brain will apply a well-known but rarely mentioned law of traffic signal dynamics that states that the degree of assholishness present in a person's body is directly proportional to the speed at which said person will accelerate from the traffic light when the light turns green. This is immutable.

Your brain sorts through dozens of variables in the space of seconds. Sight, sound, and --to a lesser extent-- smell, will all combine in a split-second of intuition that will either result in a glorious victory shout, or a spewing forth of obscenities.

Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes the relative assholishness doesn't enter into to it, and it becomes strictly a vehicle comparison. Suppose you get a corvette and a minivan. Bam! Corvette, no contest, even if it turns out there's a blind old lady driving. A garbage truck and a Celica? Celica, hands down. Motorcycle and a Caddy? Take the bike, it's a no-brainer.

Sometimes, it's a little tougher. That's what happened to me today.

First, the vehicles. The one on the left: A newish looking 4x4 pickup truck with huge tires, running boards, a rack of lights, and a back window with an american flag. A bumper sticker tells me that if I don't like logging, I can try wiping my ass with plastic.

The one on the right: A rice-boy Honda Civic with 48" rims, an aluminum rear fin the size of an aircraft carrier, and what appears to be a silver coffee can fastened to the tailpipe. This car is bright red, and seems to be thumping up and down to some sort of dance beat. There is also a big, white, HONDA sticker covering the top half of the rear window, just so everyone knows what kind of car it is, because identifying those Hondas can be tricky business.

I instantly realize this one could go either way.

Jim Bob is going to try to smoke Slim Shady, and Slim is going to try to get the drop on Jim Bob. Someone in a minivan is coming up behind me, so I have to take the shot.

I get behind Slim.

I'm feeling pretty good about my decision, because there's some slight "edging-up" going on. He's obviously gonna go for it. I can hear the Zzzzzzzz-ZZZZZZZ of his awesome 4 cylinder, 1.6 liter lawnmower engine whining above the thumping bass. Jim Bob is oblivious -- either he's ignoring Slim, or he's playing it cool because he already knows that the second the light turns green he's going to jag sharply to the right and just bounce the Civic off his giant right-front tire.

From the edge of the traffic signal, I see the light facing the other lanes at the intersection turn yellow, and I get ready. Up ahead about 100 yards, the two lanes merge into one, so I'm hoping Slim gets a big enough lead that I can squeeze in behind him, safely in front of Jim Bob and the slow cow in the minivan.

The light turns green, and.....

...Slim "the douchebag" Shady blows his shift, and I almost drive my car directly into his back seat.

It becomes clear to me that I somehow managed to get behind the only backwards-baseball-cap-wearing-teenaged-asshole who doesn't yet know how to pop a clutch.


I slam on my brakes and the old lady in the minivan on my left, who wisely chose to weld her front bumper to Jim Bob's rear one, passes me like I was standing still, which, of course, I was.

So I guessed wrong. The cold equations failed me. While I am pretty sure the relative assholishness variable was well-played, I neglected to factor in the Poser theorem, which states that there is an inverse relationship between how fast a Honda Civic looks, and how fast it actually is. I think there is an additional corollary that says something about increasing or decreasing the ratio depending upon whether the backwards baseball cap is adjustable or fitted, but I always sucked at math.

I guess it just proves that even if you bolt 500lbs of extra shit in and around your Civic, it doesn't mean it's any faster than it was before, and it doesn't mean that you know how to drive.

I hate it when I guess wrong. Especially in this case, because Jim Bob snagged a win by default. There's no glory in that. None at all.

Speaking of traffic lights, how did we ever convince people behind the wheel of two ton machines to stop, slow down, and go just because a little light tells them to do so?

I think there should be some common-sense applied. Here's a fer-instance. I think that left on red before 6am should be a law. Why? Because every day I come to work at 6am, and every day the traffic light at the intersection leading into our office park is red. This light is always red.

It is 6am, in a deserted office park. It stays red for hours at a time, until it senses a car sitting at it, then it will wait an additional 2-3 minutes, and turn green until it no longer senses cars. Then back to red.

About 4 out of 5 days, I come to this red light, and I look both ways. If I don't see any headlights, I turn left and drive to the parking garage.

I am not retarded. I am not blind. I know what oncoming traffic looks like. I am not a sheep.

I refuse to sit there for ten minutes, by myself, with no other cars in sight, waiting for a stupid little light to decide when I can and can't go. So I take the turn, and get on with my day.

But on that fifth day, it never fails. I turn the corner, and there's some idiot just sitting there at the light. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting. These people are morons, and I want to get out of my car, walk up to their driver's side door, and kick it repeatedly while screaming "Do you SEE any cars coming? DO YOU? DO YOU? TAKE THE TURN FOR GOD'S SAKE!"

But I don't because most of the time they park in the same garage that I do, and when they get out of their cars, it turns out that I know them. I don't like them, and I'll never respect them, but I know them.

Left on red before 6am. Think about it. Every vote counts.


You want fangers with that?

I had the dubious pleasure of eating at the Burger King in the airport today, because there was really nothing else there that didn't require actually sitting down to eat, and all I really wanted was something small to the take the edge off until I got home.

Since the bagel place had a really long line, I figured I'd just get a salad from the King. You know, something light -- definitely nothing that would require a visit to the miniature suckhole at 30,000 feet. I've been in the airplane bathroom before when that little "fasten your seatbelt" icon starts blinking and the plane starts bouncing you around, and it ain't no fun. All sort of thoughts go through your head - not the least of which is the distinct possibility that you might get hit in the ass by something that just left your ass. Not to mention that "tidy bowl blue" is not a great color for genitals of any type.

I confess that I didn't look at the menu too closely, since I eat at the Burger King about once a year. I just saw a couple pictures that involved lettuce, and thought "yeah, that's what I want."

Who knew they had 37 different varieties of salad? Flame-broiled this and that, chicken, shrimp, garden, Caesar with chicken -- you name it.

So I walk up to the counter and the girl says, "Take your order, please?"

"Yes. I'd like a salad," I reply.

She says, "Garden or Seizure?"

"Um, did you just say SEIZURE?"

She says, "Yeah. We have two kinds of salads. You can get a seizure, or a garden. And you can get fangers with either one."


"Yeah. You know. Chicken Fangers."

"Yes, I would like the seizure with chicken fangers please. And a bottled water."

"That'll be $6.75. You have a nice day."

The day wasn't so great, but once I regained consciousness and picked myself up off the floor, I gotta tell ya, the fangers were excellent.


Making a Difference

Am I the only one who thinks that Christiane Amanpour should NOT be "Making a Difference?" What the hell is that about? You are a journalist -- you don't get to make a difference. You get to report the news. So you know what, CNN? Just REPORT THE FUCKING NEWS, OK?

I just want the story. I don't want to know anything about what part you played in it, or what your opinion on it is. "Making A Difference." Worst. Tagline. Ever.


I've been up since about 4am, because I had to make a quick trip out of town this morning. Luckily, I had a short flight. I'm glad it was short because I am pretty sure the guy sitting next to me on the plane had a fish hook caught in his throat. For a solid 2 hours, he kept making that hauwking sound that you normally associate with the act of chucking up a big loogie, but - and here's the mystery - that's as far as he went.

I can only pray that he was coming up dry, because the alternative is not something I wish to contemplate.

The other wonderful thing about this flight was the 60-year old steward who somehow managed to be extremely chipper and upbeat at 5:30am. I wanted to kill him. He was clearly at the very pinnacle of a 2-case Red Bull bender.

I would bet my paycheck that he worked for Southwest recently, because he was cracking extremely corny jokes to an audience of stone-faced killers (i.e., us). I think Continental is trying some last ditch, desperate attempt to avoid bankruptcy by copying Southwest's methods. I'm here to say that it's not working. At all.

He didn't understand that the reason nobody laughed is because (a) he wasn't very funny, (b) Hello? It was 5:30am, and (c) everyone on board was trying to figure out a way to shove his cheerful, shiny little head out one of those little round windows without depressurizing the cabin.
Here's an example:

"As long as we're moving on the ground, you'll want to keep your seatbelts fastened. While the guys up front are excellent pilots, I'm not sure how good they are at driving."

"If you do leave something on the plane that is extremely valuable, don't worry. I'll turn it in for you here in Rochester. You can pick it up at Rico's Pawn shop, on the corner of West Avenue and Madison."

You almost expected him to say, "Thank you. Thank you very much. I'm here all week, folks. Don't forget to tip your waitresses."

He made my bone marrow hurt.

Perhaps it would have been mildy amusing if I had been wide awake and in a good mood, but when you're working on 4 hours sleep, no coffee and no breakfast it gets old really, really fast. Also keep in mind that I gave you his BEST material. He was like a wrinkled, old version of Brian, the perky waiter at Chotchkie's.

Once I was on the ground, I did a quick speed-walk past fishhook guy and his wife, and tried to catch the train to the office. That was pretty uneventful, although I did see something that made me laugh.

After I watched the tail lights of the train I needed to be on disappear into the distance, I sat down to wait for the next one. There was a lot of carving and writing on the bench. For lack of something better and more constructive to do, I started reading it. I saw a heart that said:

12/04 to Present

That will haunt me. What the hell was she thinking when she wrote this? Was she planning to come back to the bench every 3 months and provide us with quarterly updates on the status of her relationship with Steve? Was I going to come back in February and see something like:

xx/xx xx Xxxxxxxx
no longer screwing

Or maybe she was thinking of putting it on her resume and just wanted give it a test run.

I have no idea. People are strange.

I will, however, check the bench the next time I'm in town and let you know.


Elevator etiquette and other tidbits

So I got on the elevator the other day, and this guy says "Hey, what's up?"

I say "Not much."

He says, "Where ya goin?"

I say, "Five, please."

He makes no move to hit the elevator button, which is clearly on his side, and is also clearly his responsibility, since he chose to stand directly in front of it.

He then says, "This place is killing me. I'm working like 60 hours this week."

I say, "Wow, man. That's rough. Hey, can you hit five?"

He looks at me, annoyed, and hits the button for floor 5.

He then says, "While you're there, could you pick me up a six-pack of Sam Adams? Yeah, the Porter."

That's when I realize he has a little wireless headset in the ear facing the wall, and he's carrying on a conversation with someone else.


While I was typing up this elevator story, it reminded me of another one that happened a while back. My buddy Yort had just given me a copy of the new (at the time) Liz Phair CD.

If you know me at all, you know I'm pretty heavily into music, and I will get a song stuck in my head for days. I will go around humming and singing said song under my breath without even realizing it. In fact, one of Yort's favorite pastimes is to call me up and riff on a song that I hate, whereupon it will be instantly carved, using a large chisel and wooden mallet, into the soft tissue of my cerebral cortex. I will be looping it pretty much constantly until I go to sleep that night and my brain resets itself. I also go nowhere without my iPod, and strive to have a pair of ear buds jammed in my ears as often as humanly possible. I am pretty sure I have ear mushrooms from never allowing air to circulate in there.

So anyway, on this CD, there's an incredibly catchy song called H.W.C. For those of you who know the song, you can probably see where this is going.

Now picture this: It's six o'clock in the morning, and I am just arriving at work, and I have my iPod plugged into my head, and it's playing this CD, and in fact, this particular song. I get on the elevator, and the maintenance guy, who is also there early, follows me in. We are somewhere around floor 3 and half, and I notice he is looking at me very strangely.

I didn't figure it out at first, but when I got off the elevator, I realized that I had been whispering the chorus under my breath. That dude still runs the other way when he sees me.

Good times.


It's official. One of my cats is a crack whore. Maggie, the small female who gets picked on unmercifully by the other 2 cats, has been on valium for about a month now to try to mellow her out and make her not so skittish. The other night, we inadvertently forgot to give her the nightly dose, and she meowed, non-stop, All Night Long.

We had no idea what the hell her problem was. It was like she was in heat, except that she's spayed, so we couldn't figure it out. We called the vet, and it turns out they get addicted to it, and then get all bent if they don't get their fix. I'm pretty sure that if it had gone on much longer, she would have broken out of the house. I would have found her cruising the neighborhood turning tricks in order to score some tabs.

Come to think of it, we did name her after an old, used-up hooker in a song by Rod Stewart, so it's not completely out of the question.


It's almost an ass holder.

...but not quite.

Nothing funny happened to me today, so I figured I'd post some pics I took Sunday.

If you've ever wondered what I do for fun while I'm waiting for my Enzyte to arrive in the mail, wonder no more. I turn firewood into things you sit on. Here's one I have almost finished:

The back bow and spindles are split out of an oak log, the seat is pine and the legs are turned from maple that I dig out of the wood pile. Here's a few more pics:

Finished spindles. These are carved by hand, and they suck the life out of you. Nine more to go. Ugh.

Here's one in progress, along side of the tools you use to make them:

This is a bending form for the back. You steam the straight piece of oak for a half hour, then wrap it around this form. You have 30 seconds to take it out of the steamer and wrap it around the form before it hardens again.

Here's one all done:

OK. Class is over. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.


The Battle of Midway

So here's a question. Can you guess what this is?

If you guessed the Japanese flag, you'd be wrong. Well, technically you'd be right, but it was on my TV about twenty minutes ago and it really had nothing at all to do with islands populated by lots of tiny Asians.

Let me give you a little bit more of a hint:

Nope, it's not a ball or a balloon or any other object you'd associate with a round red object in your hand. You cannot throw it, nor can you put it away in your closet with the baseball bats and rollerblades.

Give up?

That, my female friends, is your period, brought to you by Kamikaze Kotex.

And now, please allow me to introduce your spokeswoman for this journey: Faceless Hot Girl.

Here she is, proudly and sexily holding up her period for all the world to see.

I learned from observing this floating period that they can vary in size from baseball to basketball. You must carry it around for 5-7 days every single month, and it will, from here on in, hover roughly 3 inches above your hand at all times.

Because this is a new commercial, expect to be subjected to faceless hot girl roughly 3 times every hour.

I would like to commend them for actually using a red dot, which is much more realistic than the blue liquid we are most familiar with from the lounge-chair-shaped maxi-pad demos.

I also learned something else. The commercial informed me that there are many good things about being a woman, and one of them is "not having a hairy back." Call me crazy, but where I come from, that's pretty much a good thing no matter what sex you are. Otherwise, your shirt never actually touches your skin.

After about the third or fourth time I saw this commercial, I found myself strangely drawn to faceless hot girl.

I am intrigued by her low-cut jeans, perfect body and her total inability to nag -- what with the whole facelessness thing and all. I think she may well be the perfect female. If I were single, she would be totally dateable.

I would make one teeny, tiny improvement however:

Yeah. That's the ticket.


Quiz time

I had a conversation with a co-worker today who put forth the hypothesis that every wife thinks her husband is an idiot. I countered by saying that every husband thinks his wife is a hormonally unbalanced crazy woman. There was more to it, but that was the basic argument.

I said I was pretty sure it was just a result of differences in the way women and men looked at different situations.

I am hoping that this simple, three-question quiz might give my co-worker some insight into the inner workings of a man's mind. I will write the quiz from the man's point of view, and then I will tell the women the reasons their answers are wrong.

Question One: You notice that you are out of underwear that doesn't smell like sweaty balls. Your wife isn't immediately handy, so you can't yell "HEY, DO I HAVE ANY CLEAN UNDERWEAR ANYWHERE THAT YOU KNOW OF?" This being the case, you wander down to the laundry room to see what you can see. After rooting around in the laundry basket for a bit, you extract about 5 pair of your underwear -- two good, two iffy and one that by all rights should have been thrown out weeks ago. You open the top of the washing machine, and there are already wet clothes in there. You mutter an obscenity under your breath, then you:

a) take whatever is in the washer out, evaluate whether or not it should be put in the dryer or hung to dry, look in the dryer to see if there are clothes already in there, and if there are, take them out and fold them, then put the wet clothes that can go into the dryer in, and turn it on. Then put your load of underwear in the washing machine.

b) take whatever is in the washing machine out, look in the dryer to see if there are clothes already in there, and regardless of the answer to that question, toss the unidentified soggy mass of material that you just pulled out of the washing machine in with the already dry clothes and turn the dryer on high.* Then toss your underwear in the washing machine.

c) toss the underwear in the washing machine on top of whatever the wet clothes happen to be, and give them all another go-round.

Women think the answer should be (a), but unless your husband is gay, you can plan on either (b) or (c) being the choice he will make.

If your husband is smart, he will choose (c) because that is the choice that involves the least work, and also has the least possibility of inadvertently shrinking, discoloring or otherwise effing up an article of your clothing that you value at roughly the same level as your need for oxygen. Keep in mind that (b) is not the best choice, but has a higher probability of being used if the stuff in the dryer looks indestructible -- All towels, for instance.

Question Two: Your wife is out shopping, and you come in from doing yard work to make a quick sandwich. You use 1 plate, 1 knife and one glass. Because you are a good husband, when you are finished, you open the dishwasher to put them in, and you see that the dishes are clean. You mutter an obscenity under your breath, then you:

a) Empty the dishwasher, rinse your plate, glass and knife, and put them in the dishwasher.

b) Leave the dirty plate, glass and knife in the sink.

c) Wash the plate and knife with a paper towel, rinse the glass and put them all away, since it's less work than emptying the dishwasher.

d) Stick them in with the clean dishes and wash the whole batch over again.

e) Stick them in with the clean dishes and don't wash them, and then when your wife finds them later, tell her that you're sorry and you didn't notice they were clean.

Again, the women will say the correct answer is (a).

This is wrong.

The most likely answer is (d), because again, this is the fastest choice, and has the least amount of work involved for the amount of ass-pain caused. Chances are, the wife won't notice that there are a few extras in there, and you're home free. This is assuming, of course, that the dishwasher isn't still running when she gets home. If that happens, just say that you thought they were dirty, so you washed them all again. This will work.

As an aside, never choose (b). Most guys plan to only temporarily choose (b) -- fully intending to later make another choice when they have more time, but this never happens. You will forget, and that shit will stay in the sink until the end of time, or until your wife sees it, whereupon it will result in an immediate psycho-hormonal response, causing her to become either an instant bitch or an emotional wreck. You know it and I know it, so never choose (b). That one will get your ass handed to you over and over, and it's just not worth the pain.

An inexperienced guy might think that (c) might be the best choice, except that about 1 time out of 5 your wife will notice the wet dishes you put away and then ask you in a sweet, concerned voice "Did you eat anything for lunch today, honey?" Be warned. She doesn't really want to know if you ate anything, she really just wants to know why the hell you didn't empty the dishwasher, since you obviously saw that the dishes were clean, yet chose to ignore them. So that choice is not optimal.

Keep in mind that choice (e) will work once or twice, but any more than that and she will start to believe that you might actually be an idiot.

Question Three: You go to the kitchen garbage can to throw out a banana peel. The garbage can is full. You mutter an obscenity under your breath, then you:

a) Pull the full garbage bag out of the can, place the banana peel gently on the top, tie the bag up, place a new garbage bag into the can, then bring the full bag outside for the weekly pick up.

b) Using your hands, push down on the garbage with all your might until it has achieved the approximate density of a white dwarf star, or has, at the very least, begun to form actual diamonds out of the coffee grounds packed in the bottom. If this does not get you at least two inches below the rim, use your foot. Toss the banana peel on top.

c) Bring your banana peel to the bathroom, since you were heading there anyway, and throw it into the teeny, tiny, ornamental garbage can next to the toilet, which is strictly reserved for Q-tips, used cotton balls, kleenex, tampon wrappers and pieces of dental floss. Cover the banana peel with crumpled kleenex. The next day, when your wife asks about the fruit flies in the bathroom, play dumb.

Women will universally choose (a). Men will universally choose (b), unless (b) has been chosen at least once before with the same bag of garbage. Then there is no real alternative except (c).

(Men, there is only one reason to choose (a) of your own free will -- that reason is sex. If you are horny, make sure that your wife sees you complete each task of choice (a). If at all possible, make it look like you are enjoying yourself. I know that sounds incredibly difficult -- and it is -- but if you can manage that, you will almost always get some later that night. Trust me on this.)

So that's my quiz. Do what you will with the answers. I have drawn my own conclusion and it is this:

It turns out that men are idiots, and women are insane.


Final Note: In all honesty, I didn't play fair on question two. That one was a trick question, and all the answers are wrong.

A real guy will know that the best answer for question two would be to simply inhale a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while leaning over the sink and then take a drink of water out of the faucet to wash it all down. No muss, no fuss.

If you use your fingers, there's not even a dirty knife to worry about. And remember, if you do use a knife, sometimes it's quicker and easier to simply throw it in the trash rather than wash it.

Just make sure you bury it good though, so the wife doesn't see it. And watch out for it when you pack that garbage down later on in the week. That kind of shit can come back to haunt you.

*(unless, of course, the dryer contains clean underwear. If that is the case, just toss the wet clothes back in the washing machine, take the clean undies and go.)