Friday, January 26, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
One of the annual entertainment extravaganzas we have here in Tampa Bay is the Superbowl of Motor Sports, which features the purely American phenomenon of monster trucks, outlandishly huge vehicles driving over and crushing other vehicles. There is no way on earth that people from other countries can even comprehend why we do this so it doesn't matter that none of us can explain it. One of my all time favorite entertainment industry stories occurred at a monster truck event at the old Tampa Stadium back in 1986 0r 1987, when two guys came down one of the ramps pushing an empty wheelchair. They had apparently gotten in an argument with their friend at some point and now couldn't find him. I helpfully pointed out that he wherever he was, he probably wasn't far away. They left to go look for him and I told our staff that they should probably listen for muffled cries for help from one of the upper concourse restrooms some time the following Monday.
This year the event was re-named Monster Jam and it was sponsored by Dairy Queen. They got the guy with the impossibly deep, growly voice who does all the bad ass TV voice overs to do the event's TV ads. But I don't care how impossibly deep and growly your voice is, it's impossible to sound like a bad ass when saying the phrase "brought to you by Dairy Queen".
Anyway, I worked there this year to make a couple of bucks spending money and this was an actual interaction I had with a customer at the ticket window:
CUSTOMER: What seats you got left?
ME: We're sold out of seats. All we have left is standing room only tickets.
CUSTOMER: So, where do I sit?
ME: You don't. You stand up.
CUSTOMER: I don't understand. What does that mean?
ME: Ok, you know how it is when you sit down? Like, you're not standing up and you're in a chair of some sort, sitting on it? Well, picture yourself inside the stadium and not doing that. Now picture yourself not doing that the whole time you're in there. That's what that means.
CUSTOMER: Y'all ain't got enough chairs.
ME: Hmmm, I'd say it's more of a problem with an over-abundance of butts, not a paucity of chairs.
CUSTOMER: What about these pit passes? What's in the pits?
ME: Tar. Really hot tar. I saw some dinosaurs in there earlier. I don't think they were enjoying themselves.
CUSTOMER: You're kind of a smartass.
ME: Well, somebody's gotta balance things out, sir.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Under unwritten Kitchen Cabinet charter by-laws, one member proposing "we should (fill in the name of fun and/or worthwhile activity here)" followed by at least one other member seconding with "hell yeah!" or some other suitably emphatic statement of affirmation is all that is required to begin the process of taking the suggestion from beyond consideration, to the conceptual stage and ultimately to (hopefully) fruition. This is how we have come to find ourselves in limousines, theme parks, some great (and some not-so-great) restaurants and the documentary film business. And it is how we have come to find ourselves considering going on an ocean cruise at some point in the near future. I have no problem admitting that I am the member who seconded "hell yeah!" in this case. Going on a cruise is something I have sort of fantasized about for some time now. The idea of being at sea, completely unreachable by those to whom I want to be unreachable, is definitely attractive...although, being wired the way I am, I have concerns that include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- Cruise ships are friggin' huge - How do those things float? They're like buildings...scratch that...cities! How do they not sink? Please don't attempt to explain the concepts of bouyancy, ballast and water displacement to me. I'll just get a headache and I still won't understand.
- "Titanic" - see above
- Pirates - They're still out there
- Giant squids - They're still out there
- Terrorists - Some extremist jamokes infiltrating the crew decide to wreck my vacation by acting a fool and forcing me to go all Jack Bauer on their dumb asses.
- Gambling - Cruise ships have casino gaming, which I love. But that doesn't mean I'm good at it. Cue visions of going broke 90 minutes after we leave the dock, forcing me to spend the rest of the cruise in my cabin reading old news reports about giant squids and pirates.
- Bad food - Cue visions of getting hold of some bad clams 90 minutes after we leave the dock, forcing me to spend the rest of the cruise on the toilet with my pants around my ankles and reading about giant squids and pirates.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Recently I learned that a close relative, my aunt Joan, someone I respect and love, drives a minivan. My reaction upon learning this fact was, I think, something like, "GYAHHHHHHHH!!! Noooooooooo!!!!"
I've often been asked, why do I hate minivans so much? The answer is very simple: I hate them. And does anybody need a reason to hate? Nope. That's the beauty of hatred. It defies, when necessary (or not) all boundaries of reason or logic. Although, I would have to say that there a couple of factors that contribute to my loathing.
- A minivan is not a van. A van is a big Ford Econoline, big enough to carry surfboards, a full-size sleeper couch and some amplifiers. It has a mural of a scantily clad viking warrior princess driving a chariot pulled by dragons airbrushed on the side of it. It's cargo capacity is not limited to a diaper bag, a fold-down bench seat and a DVD player showing "The Lion King". And it definitely is not adorned with a magnetic soccer ball with the name 'Josh' stenciled on it. To use the word 'van' in minivan is a tremendous insult to real vans.
- Secondly, minivans are always in my way. Constantly holding up traffic, coming to a complete stop to execute right turns, driving cautiously. All-around generally stupid behavior. This is undoubtedly because...
- All minivans are driven by idiots. Let me be clear: All idiots do not drive minivans, but all minivans are driven by idiots. Need proof? Okay, who are most minvans sold to? Parents. People who have children. Intentionally! Now, as we all know, the having of children is always a horrendously tragic occurence that destroys lives. Yet, many people still insist on doing this to themselves on purpose! If anything speaks to diminished mental capabilities and generally poor judgement, it's being a parent...the kind of person who drives a minvan.
So anyway, I'm very sad to know that my beloved aunt Joan drives one of these things. My uncle knows a lot of people in the automotive business. Maybe they can find somebody to airbrush a viking mural on the side of that thing.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
- A full night's sleep
- A meal not eaten at a desk or behind the wheel of a car
- A five game winning streak by the Lightning (although I would grudgingly settle for 8 points out of a possible ten)
- An open door
- A smidgen of leisure time spent in the company of loved ones
That'll hold me over. Thanks.
(PS: If you have to skimp on anything, don't worry about the Lightning thing)