I've been feeling a little blue lately...
I know that might not make much sense, but stay with me for a second.
I recently noticed that whenever you see test tubes or lab beakers on television, they're always full of that same clear blue liquid. It's almost the same color as the chemicals in a Porta-Potty. It's the same color as Sani-Flush. It's the same color as window cleaner.
I hate that color. Mostly because when I see that color, my mind instantly conjures up the smell of either Windex or toilet bowl cleaner, neither of which are on my list of favorite smells.
On TV, it may turn another color after they do whatever they're doing to it, but it almost always starts out that uniform shade of medicinal blue.
There is one exception to this rule: Antacids are always demonstrated using Some Other Color. I'm thinking that perhaps the logic there is that blue would be too soothing a color to represent acid indigestion, but I'm just guessing here.
Think about it. Paper towel commercials are always showing off their absorbency by being stuffed into glasses of blue water, or soaking up blue spills on the countertop. I mean, seriously, who spills blue stuff? Nobody I know, except for those people who drink that blue GatorAid, and they should be beaten within an inch of their lives.
Then there's always the tampon and maxi-pad ads: Yeah, there's that blue liquid again.
Now, I realize that for obvious reasons, the color red would be a spectacularly bad choice for either of the last two examples -- reality of the situation be damned -- however, in the paper towel arena, red could be the impetus for some interesting and disturbing commercials.
As your host, it is my duty to provide you with an example:
So anyway, my twisted imagination aside, I'm casting my vote for purple or green. It's different, it's eye catching, and you can still pour it on top of a maxipad or swipe it off a bar top without grossing out your TV audience.
Anything but that damn blue.
Oh, and feel free to take the feminine hygiene ads off the television completely. Every possible thing people of either sex need to know about them can be learned by reading the back of the box in the drug store. Same goes for all commercials that contain any of the following words:
4. Not so Fresh
5. Mucus Membranes
8. Wet and Sticky*
And what's with the cartoon bears wiping their asses with Charmin behind the tree? No matter how soft that stuff is, there's no way hairy bear ass is even coming close to clean without a pre-moistened wipe of some sort.
Things I have dug up in my back yard over the years:
1. A small tree (no cash bonus)
2. A septic tank (pumped out, $110)
3. Gigantic boulders in the exact places I needed to put the supports for my deck (broken auger, $50)
4. My cable television wire (severed, $45)
5. Construction debris (aggravation, free)
6. Electrical power line to my shop (severed, $25)
7. Previously buried dog shit (quickly reburied)
I really have to start digging in back yards that belong to other people, since almost all of the attempts in my own yard seem to actually cost me money.
On the other hand, maybe I should just stop digging altogether, since it also appears that I am not to be trusted with a shovel.
Free skibs: Rockin' it out bare-butt in Scranton
Industrial strength, heavy duty underwear-sucking Roombas to go room to room snagging errant skivvies and other detritus from under the beds.
Here's what happened: I was so tired when I got back to my room that I fell face first on the bed and slept straight through what was supposed to be "going to the gym." Feeling guilty about that, I decided to do a few pushups after I ate dinner. Somewhere around push-up number twenty, I noticed a flash of white. There was something sticking out from under the coverlet on the bed. I thought it was one of my socks, so after I finished the push-ups, I reached down and grabbed it. I had it in my hand before I realized that:
1. It wasn't a sock
2. It was, in fact, a pair of someone else's dirty underwear and,
3. They were HUGE.
Granted, I didn't spend a lot of time examining them once I realized what they were, but whoever the guy was who left them here had to go at least three times my size. I can almost guarantee that he did not lose them doing anything resembling pushups. More likely, he dropped them by mistake and the act of just thinking about the exertion required to bend down and pick them up caused him to break a sweat, so he just gave them a quick shove under the bed with his foot.
There was no convenient time stamp or expiration date on them, so it was hard to judge just how long they had been there. I figured they were really too big for me and probably way past their prime, so I did the only thing I could do under the circumstances: I opened the door and kicked them into the hallway, half on top of my empty room service tray. Let the room services people make of that what they may.
The next thing I did was tentatively check under the other bed. I was cautiously optimistic that I would find nothing even more disgusting, and in this I got lucky. I half expected used snake skins, but the worst of it was an empty jolly rancher candy wrapper. So maybe the underwear Roomba isn't strictly necessary, but I feel it would still be really useful in a situation like this, just so I didn't have to actually touch them.
"Roomba! To the underwear!"
The housekeepers could send them in like one of those bomb-defusing robots or something. Encapsulate the undies and then run them to a safe place before detonating.
So I learned something new this trip. Check under the beds in addition to behind the bathroom door for other peoples clothing. You might score some decent britches. My friend got some lingerie for his wife that way. No such luck for my wife, dammit.
This reminds me of my last trip to Chicago. On that fateful journey, I learned another important and disgusting lesson.
Lesson: No matter how expensive the hotel, they do not wash the top bedspreads.
Always, always, always peel them off by one corner and let them fall to the floor. I cannot stress this enough. Last time I was there, I pulled down my covers and the inside of the top one had boot-knockin' skidmarks on it. Clearly, someone was in a major hurry. And this hotel ran close to three bills a night.
I kicked that into the hallway too. Then I slept in the tub.
Not All Fur Coats Are Created Equal
Tonight at dinner, we got talking about ex-employees. "Janice" came up, and I instantly knew I had a post for today that would practically write itself.
So let me introduce you. Janice was someone who worked in our department about 5 or 6 years ago, and was the epitome of "dumb blonde." She was considered attractive, but I think this was mostly due to the fact that she was, as I said, blonde, which most guys like. In addition to that obvious advantage, she also she had very expensive, highly stylish clothes, and the body to wear them. She had a relatively pretty face, but it didn't really do much for me. Kinda cheek-bony, which isn't one of my favorite looks. She was a total princess from top to bottom, that's for sure. As Yort says, "you could tell she was high-maintenance just by looking at her."
She would always come to work dressed like there was at least a 60% chance that a famous celebrity would stop by, sweep her off her feet and fly her to Paris that very afternoon. In fact, she actually wore a real fur to work on a regular basis.
One day, Shamus and I needed to ask her a question, and her phone was busy. We decided to take a walk over to her desk. We had to do this because at the time we didn't have instant messaging, and if someone's phone was busy, you had two choices: Leave them a voicemail or actually go interact with them in person. (I know, it's unbelievable. The horror..)
So we walk up to her desk, and she's on the phone talking to a client. She's also reading a copy of Glamour magazine or some such. She was famous for that. You'd walk by, and she'd be chatting away, doing her nails or makeup.
As we're standing there waiting, Shamus reaches out and touches the fur coat, which was hanging on a hook attached to her cube wall. I'm not sure why he did it. Maybe to see if it was real, or maybe he just wanted to feel the texture, I don't know. I do know that Janice witnessed this, and felt compelled to give him more information.
She very carefully puts her hand over the mouthpiece on the receiver, looks directly at Shamus and whispers:
Shamus blinks, obviously confused. "Huh?" he says.
She tries again.
"BEAVER. It's SHAVED."
I can't keep a straight face any longer, and when I start laughing, I turn and look at Shamus. He still has a dumbfounded expression on his face that says, "Did she say what I think she said?"
In the meantime Janice finishes up with the customer on the phone, and hangs up. She's a little miffed now, because she knows we're laughing at her, but she has no idea why, only that it has something to do with her and her coat.
She looks at Shamus and says in a snotty voice, "What? You guys have something against shaved beaver?"
Shamus manages to choke out a strangled "No, not at all" without completely losing it. We both turn around and head back to our desks, our question completely forgotten.
We had an answer we weren't sure what to do with, but that wasn't quite the same thing.
So anyway, a word of advice: If you're ever in the market for a fur coat -- or a high-maintenance blonde for that matter -- stay far, far away from the shaved beaver.
It's just a punchline waiting to happen.
CAUTION: Watch for Moose
Those "CAUTION: Watch for Moose" signs aren't there just for the fun of it. Pay attention, because they could save your life -- especially when the moose are right behind you.
Those big bastards love to tailgate.
Gym Rats, Corporate Style
Let me introduce you.
OK, you've changed into your work-out clothes, and we're ready to hit the gym. What time is it? Oooh, it's noon. That's bad. Why is it bad? Because that's the timeslot for the guy on the treadmill who smells like chicken noodle soup and onions. He doesn’t ever wash his gym clothes.
This dude smells so bad, you don’t even want to be in the gym if he’s been there in the last two hours. He could be back at his desk and his stench would still be sticking to the machines. I’m convinced it’s some sort of intelligent alien cloud, and it hangs out after he's gone, trying to get all buff. It seems to be working because The Cloud From Planet Stank sure ain’t getting any weaker.
To your left is the guy I call Rico Suave. He does two sets of curls with 25lb dumbbells, then goes and chats up all the women. He “works out” every day, but he’s not in shape, although he thinks he is. He walks around with his arms held about 6 inches from his body on both sides, like there’s some sort of invisible back muscles holding them out there. In reality, he has a bit of a gut and likes to glance at himself in the mirror. He may go the gym every day, but you’ll never seen him actually do anything resembling an honest-to-god workout. No, he’s camped out by the treadmill talking to one of the girls, or he’s strutting for the female gym manager, or he’s giving some sort of private “personal trainer” time to some woman or another. Honestly, I don’t think they actually ask him for advice. I think he just gives it. I would love to be in his mind for a few minutes so I could see what he sees when he looks in the mirror.
To your right there’s Bob, and I'm sure you're wondering if he’s gonna blow a tube. He doing some floor exercises, and he must go 400 lbs easy. [Funny story about Bob: One day, he was lying down on a mat, doing crunches. The thing is, his stomach is so big, there is no way he can bend his midsection. So he’s lying there, arms outstretched, trying to bring his legs up so that he can touch his knees. And he’s doing this wicked fast, so fast he’s almost rocking. His face is beet red, the sweat’s pouring off him, and he’s grunting with the effort. I’m doing some dumbbell bench presses, and my friend is spotting me. He leans over and says, “Somebody should really help him up.” I almost dropped my weights I was laughing so hard.]
I give him a lot of credit though. He’s got the dedication and the drive, and he’ll reap the rewards eventually.
Oh, hey, look over there. That's GQ-Man. For some reason, this dude doesn’t bother to change into his workout clothes. He’s sitting on the machines in his suit pants, button-down shirt and wingtips, doing preacher curls. WTF? Not only is that strange, it’s pretty disgusting too. One, you’re sitting in other people’s sweat with your good clothes on, two, you are getting your own clothes all sweated up. Makes no sense to me.
Over in the corner, there’s Ah-nuld Vish-I-Vus-Bigger. Yeah, him. The skinny guy with the lifting belt, the gloves, and the muscle shirt. He’s got alllll the equipment, but he is curling 15 lbs. He does this heavy breathing/grunting thing when he’s lifting, and is always looking down at his arms, like he can actually see them getting bigger. Um, Arnold? They’re not. Keep at it. Maybe you can borrow Rico’s eyes and use them to glance lovingly at your big guns. Or maybe just check out the ass on that girl on the treadmill. They are Rico's eyes, after all. That'll be your cardio for the day.
Hey, I just thought of something. I wonder what nickname they all have for me?
Don't even get me started about the locker room. Just one quick notable mention here. If you glance to your right upon entering, don't be shocked by what you see. Wee Willie Wang will most likely be standing in front of the mirror drying his hair. Completely naked. I am not sure if it's all Asian men or just this particular one, but he appears to have no modesty whatsoever. I mean, seriously, who does that? Is that standard practice in the far east? I could see if you had some monster tackle and wanted to show it off, but .....no, on second thought, that's still effing weird.
So anyway, I hope you enjoyed your tour. If you want to sign up, it's only $28 a month.
I think I just talked myself out of it.
Hey, Baby. Want some?
About 15 years ago, I bought a Soloflex machine in the middle of a 3am showing of First Blood because at that exact moment of drunkenness, I sincerely believed that it could make me as hardcore as Sylvester Stallone in only 15 minutes a day. I sold it about a year later. While it didn't get me ripped like Sly, I can say this: Those things will hold a truly amazing amount of clothes.
Also, flowbees do kinda work. Don't ask me how I know.
That being said, there is one marketing technique that drives me nuts, and that is using babies in commercials. Now it's all good if you're using the baby to sell baby stuff. You want to use a little pooper to sell diapers, baby food, carseats or toys? Knock yourself out. That's fine. The thing I have a problem with is the whole blatantly manipulative attempt to pull the viewer's heartstrings with a gratuitous baby.
A gratuitous baby is there for one reason only -- to try to make you go "awwwww, isn't that cute" or to make you think that you'll be considered a better parent if you buy whatever shit they're selling.
I haven't been blinded by babies, since I don't have any. I don't know if that's the reason these commercials are so incredibly transparent to me or not. In the last three days, I've seen babies used to sell cars, insurance, breakfast cereal, flooring and allergy medicine, just to name a few. In all cases, the baby had absolutely nothing to do with the product. How stupid do these marketers think people are? Sadly, the answer is probably "not as stupid as people actually are."
These babies are always the perfect specimens, too. Happy, smiling, well-behaved, pretty little babies. They never show them like they sometimes really are. I think there's an untapped marketing resource here. It could be huge. Here's a few of my ideas:
Man: "For god's sake, Carol, can't you shut that kid up? He's been screaming for 3 hours. He's giving me a frickin' migraine."
Woman: "What the hell do you want from me? I've tried everything short of a pillow, but he's teething.
Announcer: "Don't smother your baby. Instead, try new extra-strength Excedrin Migraine. It gets into your system 3 times faster than other brands."
Man: [walking into room] "Jeez, It really stinks in here."
Woman: "Yes, little bobby has the runs. He's pooping his diaper faster than I can change it."
Announcer: "For those tough to handle odors like crap and puke, try new Glad FreshAire diaper crystals. They don't just mask odor, they destroy it at the source -- your baby's butt."
[Screaming baby in background]
Man: [Punching hole in sheetrock] "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!"
Announcer: Do you sometimes feel Angry? Depressed? Do you feel like your life is falling apart and you aren't in control? Check with your doctor to see if Prozac might be right for you.
[Screaming baby in background]
Man: [Puts on Bose Noise-cancellation headphones, and sits back, a peaceful smile on his face.]
All you marketers out there, how about it? Tell it like it is, that's all I'm askin.
King of the Dead
Great. So not only is The Burger King back, but now he's a fucking zombie.
If I ever pull back the curtains on my bedroom window, and there is something standing there wearing a giant, smiling, king-head mask and holding out anything at all that could even remotely be considered or described as "meatnormous," I think the situation would unfold a little differently than it does on TV. Especially when the zombie king starts out with one hand behind his back. Maybe it's just me, but when I see that commercial, I always expect him to come around with a gigantic knife instead of a breakfast sandwich.
At my house, it would probably be more like this:
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! click. click. click.
Me: "Holy shit, did you see that?"
My wife: "Yeah! That thing had to have at least 47 grams of fat in it."
My advice? Aim for the forehead, right below the crown.
It's imperative that you destroy the brain. Otherwise, he'll just keep coming back.
Oh, and don't eat the sandwich. That shit will kill you, all zombie-kings aside.
Car wash of Mystery
The weird thing is, it doesn't necessarily seem to be related to the weather. It could be cheaper on a sunny day, or more expensive. You never know. The most expensive day I saw was on an overcast cloudy day that looked like it was threatening rain.
Also, it's not like it just goes up a buck or two -- you know, the normal "special" type of deal where it shifts from $6.99 to $5.99 and then back. This place is all over the map. One day it is $6.45. The next day it's $4.75. The day after, it could be $5.59.
I must learn this secret and forbidden car wash formula.
I believe I am close to a breakthrough. From my calculations I have determined that it seems to be a complex equation based upon the 3-day accu-weather forecast, the current price of carwash soap futures, the daily smog index, and the hourly wage being paid to the off-season migrant farm-worker manning the booth that particular day.
Either that, or they're just putting the numbers up on the sign in whatever order it is that they come out of the box.
The next time I get my car washed, I'm going to ask.
Call it my need to know.
Smackdown : Jews vs. Mormons!
I was listening to the radio this morning, and there was an entire segment dedicated to a story about how some* Jews are pissed because some* Mormons keep posthumously baptizing Jews who weren't actually their ancestors, (victims of the holocaust, for instance) which is apparently a technical foul, and kinda sorta against the rules.
I profess to know next to nothing about either faith, but from what I can gather, the Mormons believe that one of their duties is to dig back through history, and find out who their ancestors were, and baptize them, so they can all be together in heaven at some sort of infinite family barbecue or something.
Apparently this baptism isn't a physical location kind of thing, but rather ceremonial -- the found ancestor's names are read, listed in a book, some ceremony takes place, and then that person is considered baptized. To the Mormons, at least.
The Jews, however, belong to the "once a Jew, always a Jew" belief system, and are incensed about this breach of protocol, even though they believe that the baptisms don't count because they are rejected by the dead person. They are upset by the audacity of the Mormons to even attempt such a thing.
I have a few questions.
1. How do the Jews know the baptisms aren't sticking? Thier ancestors aren't talking, so it's tough to know whether they are bothered by these drive-by baptisms or not. They're dead remember, and tend to be on the quiet side.
2. How do the Mormons know the baptisms are sticking? They're not hearing any complaints from the people being baptized either, but that could just be because, HELLOOOO.....THEY'VE BEEN DEAD FOR 50 YEARS. Whatever.
3. By doing this, the Mormons think they're saving a soul. The Jews think that the baptism is bouncing off the long-dead person like a shopping cart off a Saturn wagon in the parking lot of the grocery store. My question is: Where's the problem? Sticks and stones will break my bones but symbolic baptisms will never hurt me. No harm on either side as far as I'm concerned.
It seems the actual fight is about whether a name gets listed in the book or not. Clearly, these people have too much time on their hands.
This is one of the reasons I'm not religious. I think that religion is the root of all evil, and that more bad things have been done in the name of religion than for any other reason.
Spirituality, yes. Religion, no. Think about it. Work with me on this one.
*edited for clarity specifically for Ammogal.
WITHDRAWAL FROM CHECKING: $10.00
REMAINING BALANCE: $14,896.00
OK, person-with-too-much-cash, listen up. You have fifteen grand in your checking account. Next time, live a little. Take out 20 bucks and supersize those fries.
Also, take your receipt so I don't hate you.
The sort of stuff I get for Christmas
I finally broke this bad boy out last night:
As you can see, this is not your ordinary, every day, hum-drum incense burner. This just happens to be the best one ever. Even better than the incense burner itself is the box it came in. There's a pack of Marbs, and the box says in big letters: "WARNING: Real babies should NEVER smoke." That sentence right there is worth the price of admission to my world.
But that's not the best part.
The best part is the CAUTION section. It actually says, "CAUTION: Never leave smoking baby unattended while lit."
Now let me tell you, I've been pretty lit more times than I can count, but I don't think I was ever hammered enough to leave a smoking baby unattended. I'm responsible like that.
It's 2:20PM. Do you know where your bombu mosfut is?
I sit in the last cube in my row, and right across the aisle behind my back is a huge window that overlooks the parking lot. Every single day sometime between 2 and 3pm, this foreign dude with absolutely no cell phone etiquette (and apparently no cell phone signal in any other part of the building but here) will stand behind my cube, face the windows, and yell stuff like, "BOMBU MOSFUT! JIMBONIE SLOMBOSPU!
This gibberish will be interspersed with fine english phrases like, "Right.....right." and "OK." These are usually spoken at a more human-like volume. I have no idea why.
It would be bad enough if I actually understood Ndebele or OshKosh B'gosh or whateverthefuck language he's herniating himself with, but since I don't, it just drills itself into my head and ricochets around like a handful of ball bearings in an empty coffee can. Try participating in a conference call with someone screaming "GUTU! NOTUNOBU!" ten feet behind you.
It's not easy.
Pick your excrement
So I got to work today, and ate a protein bar with my coffee.
This particular bar was covered in chocolate, a piece of which I managed to drop on my lap without noticing. My pants today, for people keeping track, are a light khaki color. Those of you who know me (really, really well) know that I have a very hot crotch. Before I realized it, the aforementioned VHC proceeded to melt chocolate all over the front of my pants.
At this point I had a decision to make: Walk around all day looking like I had a serious and unfortunate wiping accident, or hide at my desk with imitation pee stains. It was really a no brainer. Temporary pee stains trump permanent poop stains every time. I grabbed some paper towels and water, and proceeded to soak the entire front of my pants scrubbing out the chocolate. Now I can't leave my desk for about a half hour.
Brush with Disaster
So to all you bathroom brushers out there -- I realize that your mom told you to brush after every meal, but unless she's going to be stopping by your office at 1:30 to conduct a surprise tartar inspection, you can probably get away with just brushing two or three times a day. Try this schedule on for size: Brush once when you wake up in the morning, again when you get home, then once more after dinner or before bed. That way you will bypass the whole 'carrying your toothbrush and toothpaste to work in your pocket' thing. They make sugarless gum for a reason.
If you are going to continue with this behavior, I have a few requests. Number one, I'd appreciate it if you can get your shit together and figure out how to rinse your bright orange cheetoh chunks out of the sink when you're done. Number two, ditto on the drain loogie. Number three, I don't really enjoy looking at the meaty floss nuggets you catapulted onto the mirror. You might want to consider taking a few steps back, or -- hey! here's a thought! -- waiting until you get the fuck home.
Personally, I wouldn't want my toothbrush within 50 yards of this bathroom. I saw one guy put his toothbrush down on the little metal shelf under the paper towels and then go take a piss. He had to have seen this shelf, right? And he still went ahead and put his toothbrush down on it. Once, I saw a styrofoam coffee cup sitting on it and I'm pretty sure I saw it move. The only explanation for this movement is that the bacteria on this shelf actually started carrying it away.
By the way, when the bristles are out at 90 degrees like that, you need a new toothbrush. Also, you're brushing too hard. You're irritating the shit out of your gums. And me.
A butthole by any other name
Yesterday, as I was driving home, this theory was proven once again. This time, there was a humorous twist worthy of note. Granted, sometimes a polite toot of the horn is necessary to defibrillate Grandma, or tell Susie-makeup that the light turned green while she was applying her mascara, but sometimes if you wait .25 seconds, the person in front of you will (and I know this is hard to believe) actually start moving on their own.
So yesterday I'm sitting pole position at a redlight in two lanes of traffic. To my right is a lady in a green Subaru Outback, and behind her is a white van. She was diddling with the radio knobs or something and didn't see the light turn green, so the guy in the van just crushes his horn and holds it in. The lady gets all flustered and floors it, and unbelievably the van guy stays right on her ass. As the van passes me, I glance up to call the guy a name that has not yet formulated in my brain, let alone reached my lips, and I see this logo on the driver's side door: