Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I don't get Pinterest

The other day, I was chastised about the sad state of my Pinterest account...

"I just started following you on Pintrest. I have to say your boards aren't very pintresting at all...add something already! You certainly have a ton of stuff to share!"

I'm not sure that's true though. Mostly because I'm not sure I understand how Pinterest is supposed to work. "Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard!" is what it says at the site. But what does that mean? I don't even know how I would use a real pinboard, let alone a virtual one. I only signed up a few days ago and since I don't know what I'm doing, as of right now I have one Pinterest board. It's titled "Board" (subtitled "A board upon which one could pin Things" for clarification purposes) and has nothing on it. I'm actually pretty proud of it because it's extremely organized. It's probably the most neat and orderly thing in my life. But I'm clearly doing it wrong.

Here's what I think is supposed to happen...
  • I go on line and come across a picture of a dog. Whose dog is it? I don't know. It's not mine. I don't think that matters. Or somebody's cat. Maybe it's my cat. Or a pie. I don't have any pie right now though. Whatever.
  • Hey, I like dogs! As well as cats and pies. This picture of an unknown dog pleases me, so I "Pin" it.
  • Now this picture of someone else's dog is on my board.
  • Other people, whom I may or may not know, can see this picture of someone else's dog on my board.
  • One of these people, possibly a complete stranger whom I will never meet in my lifetime, says to themselves, "I also like this picture of a dog that Clark has on his board. I shall Pin it myself."
  • This connects that person to me and now we are friends. I guess.
I mean, is that it? I think it is. I'm pretty sure it is. If so, what exactly is the point? I'm not knocking it; I honestly just don't know. I'm aware it's incredibly popular and people talk about it all the time. It's probably me, missing something. So if somebody who gets it wants to give me a class, I'm willing to learn. Especially if you can show me how to use it to shill promote my stuff. 
Thanks in advance.
I wish there was a way to share this photo of my cat Jack making it
difficult to type this very blog post...oh wait a minute!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

I have no idea what I'm doing today. Toiling thanklessly for a bad company managed by bad people at my previous job has rendered me incapable of handling having holidays off. There were some military training exercises in downtown Tampa last week. I kept hoping they'd wander up the river a bit and accidentally hit my old place of employment with some rockets...but no dice.
As far as today is concerned, my first thought was that I would go to the beach. Nice, relaxing, stress-free. Then friends clued me in and told me EVERYBODY would be at the beach and the experience would be the exact opposite of nice, relaxing and stress-free. So I'm not sure what to do today. I'll come up with something.
Whatever you're doing today to observe the occasion (I have a funny feeling it doesn't involve reading this; I'll check the numbers later to validate that hunch), please do it safely. I'll see you here again Wednesday with brand-new fart jokes and real life incidents of stupid behavior!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Still fighting for my right to party

In my day (and I'm fully aware that starting a sentence with that phrase is a dead giveaway that what follows is likely to be some sort of folk tale from an elderly person, which is fine because that's exactly what this is), I had impressive party skills. What that means is, when I was younger, I was really good at drinking alcohol. I was in the army between the ages of 18 and 22; among several people my age, all away from home for the first time with full legal access to booze. When I got out, I moved to Florida and the first people I met who were my age were minor league baseball players; men in their early 20s who usually don't have to be at work before 4PM. So yeah, I ran with peer groups who could put it away pretty good. I have lots of stupid stories about stupid behavior that resulted from that activity. But the point of mentioning it here and now is to say that I outgrew that behavior. Now, I rarely drink at all and almost never to excess. Not for any great reason; it's just something I don't do anymore, like ice skating. Well, last weekend, I was invited to a friend's house-warming party where I learned that things have changed.

The invitation stated that accomodations would be available on site for those who overindulged and being as I have no intention of ever getting a DUI, this sounded good to me (an aside: I think I've stated this somewhere here before, but drunk driving infractions are the dumbest crimes anyone can ever commit simply because there are always alternatives). I decided it would be fun to go, let myself off the leash and see how much poor judgment I could exercise, for the first time in at least five years.
I got to the house about an hour after the party had started. The house is huge and beautiful and after roaming around a bit and mingling, I found a spot in the rec room at the bar with fun people and easy access to all the booze. Perfect. The party was great with lots of nice people, a ton of food and more alcohol than I have ever seen in a residential dwelling. I set to work consuming with the intent of just getting levelled. Several J├Ągerbombs, even more pudding shots, lots of some kind of rum punch (I think) and I even tried absinthe for the first time. As planned, I got really intoxicated, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that my hard-earned skills had not diminished from lack of use. I didn't get sick, I didn't pass out, I didn't have a hangover the next day and I didn't get in a fight (it's all about making smart food intake choices, being mindful of what you're mixing, remaining hydrated and not being an asshole, kids). But as I mentioned previously, things have changed.

At some point during the evening, people started shedding their clothes. One woman in particular kept walking by topless, then fully clothed, then fully naked, clothed again but in a different outfit, topless, clothed, naked... It was like what I imagine a Cher concert is like. And the thought I had was "I wonder why she can't get comfortable?" Not "Naked woman = SEX!!" or "AHHHHHHHHH!!!!", as an adolescence spent hiding copies of Playboy under my mattress and not ever having 'The Talk' with my parents had conditioned me to approach adulthood.
Nope.
Things have changed. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My latest genius idea

I have made a concerted effort to stay away from the evil that is fast food, but there are still occasions, driven by time constraints or some other circumstances that require me to sacrifice quality for convenience, where I find myself waiting in a drive-thru line. Of course, those lines never move fast enough for me, which adds to the stress and frustration of time wasted, which is what I'm trying to avoid by going there in the first place. There's always some boob in front of me, fumbling with their change or asking stupid, inappropriate questions ("Excuse me, may I have some napkins, please?", etc.). As I sat in one of these lines the other day, getting aggravated at everybody in front of me in line, muttering "just take it and go, damn it", the idea for a new restaurant concept hit me...



"Tiago"
Finally, a REAL fast food restaurant, catering to customers in a serious hurry.

Here's how it works:
  • Every Tiago location is open 24 hours, every day of the year.
  • No "dining room", drive thru only (Does anybody really consider the Formica countertops and fixed-in-place plastic stools in a fast food joint to be a 'dining room'? I don't call the place where I eat in my house a dining room. "Come darling, let us avail ourselves of this establishment's dining room, so that we may partake of these chicken chunks in comfort and splendor". Please.)
  • You pull up to a speaker box.
  • A voice greets you; "YEAH?"
  • You yell back with how many Its (the I in Tiago) you want; "Three".
  • You drive up and pay the cashier. Everything is $5 each; "$15".
  • You drive up to the next window and a sullen teenager shoves however many Its, a paper bag full of hot, salted lard and a cup of carbonated sugar water, at you. In this example, three of each. The teenager says, "Take It And GO!" and that's exactly what you do.
  • In order to keep things moving smoothly, any deviation from this process by you, the customer ("Excuse me, may I have some napkins, please?", etc.) triggers an extremely loud and unpleasant air horn that blows until you move. It blows at everybody in line, so peer pressure helps keep things moving.
  • If at least four customers aren't completely served every 60 seconds for any reason whatsoever, it triggers an extremely loud and unpleasant air horn inside, making the staff tending the lard pit and water carbonator (the only things approximating restaurant equipment on the premises) and working the windows even more surly and aggressive (ie: hard working).
Honestly, just about everything in that scenario, aside from the speed and efficiency (and the air horns, which is, admittedly, my favorite aspect of the whole concept), is exactly what you get from the average fast food drive-thru experience already. I'm just streamlining the process. Why demand more if you're not going to get it anyway?
Ask about our kids meals! (Just kidding.
Don't do that! Are you crazy?)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The gentleman from New Jersey

Based on recent history, we should expect the upcoming election season to be even more mean and ugly and angry and just plain stupid than anything we've ever seen. I know, it's hard to believe that's possible but I have no doubt that we'll find a way. We're good like that.It won't just be the presidential election either. Pretty soon, we'll have dopes running around all over the place.
Not solid candidates like Dr. Hector Castillo...
Dr. Castillo is running in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing New Jersey's 9th District. He is seeking the nomination on the Republican ticket. You might think that this is a guy who can get you into a Buick or give you a tip on the #6 dog in the third race at Derby Lane or who is frequently mistaken for the late Jack Lemmon, and maybe he is, but this is a man who got nearly 4% of the votes when he ran as an independent for the office of governor in 2005! All you really need to know is that his sweet thumbs-up and almost smile-like rictus are gestures that are intended to tell you everything is going to be okay. But if you insist on digging deeper, I'd like you to ignore the fact that there's no web site at drcastilloforcongress.com and focus instead on that comprehensive-yet-vague list of just-short-of-promises on his to-do list. Especially this one at the bottom...

Oops!
My first guess is that he meant "one man-one woman". That's an easy mistake to make...the "A" and the "E" are located on the same keyboard, after all. You get in a hurry and shit heppans. Although, you expect a little more attention to detail from a doctor running for office, who has Bachelor degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Seton Hall University. He's probably saving up for the important stuff. Yeah, I'm sure he'll be much more thorough in representing your concerns than he would be in posting an advertisement touting his own ideals and philosophies, right? Or who knows, maybe it's not a mistake and he supports dudes having harems! Either way, rock on, New Jersey!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Road Word-iors

A friend of mine was involved in a road rage incident the other day. It was really just a verbal confrontation with no physical violence but "road rage" is such a sexy phrase that I will always try to use it whenever possible.
This particular incident happened on Wednesday, a rainy day here on the west coast of Florida, and my friend was picking her daughter up at school. My friend was reluctant to drive through a large puddle at high speed (which is always a good idea) and was honked at for it. What followed was a brief insult battle. Who won? Who lost? I'll let you be the judge...and by that, I mean I'll be the judge but I'll let you watch.
My Friend: Hey, my car isn't a hovercraft.
Other person: But your broom is.
My Friend: No, that would be your mom.
WINNER: My Friend
At first glance, My Friend's opponent seems to score a point with the broom comment. But on further review, it doesn't hold up. The opponent was so quick to break out with a witch reference that they didn't bother to have it make any sense. How is a broom similar in any way to a hovercraft? Is this person completely unfamiliar with Harry Potter or even more traditional witch broom usage? Regardless, the comment is waved off and the point does not stand.
My Friend responds by dropping a "your mom" bomb. It doesn't make any sense either (is the other person's mom a hovercraft or a broom?), but it doesn't have to. Referencing someones mom escalates the conflict to a deeply personal level. It is, quite simply, the nuclear weapon of verbal warfare. It effectively ends the conflict because there is no defense for it nor is there an effective counter strategy. Whoever deploys it first wins (the exception being, of course, when it's a "yo' mama" battle, during which insults directed at the opponents' mothers are the only weapons used and a winner isn't determined until somebody gets angry enough to start crying). 
The moral of the story is don't honk at people unless you're willing to risk them talking about your mom. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Capped off

Cappy's, a local (Tampa) pizza place, finds itself at the center of controversy after posting a sign in their restaurant that says this:
"For the comfort and safety of everybody, if you allow your child to run, scream or misbehave, you will be asked to leave."
Does that seem unreasonable to you? It doesn't to me. But people took offense. Big time:

"Cappy's Seminole Heights looks like a place that would cater to young children! There are vintage video games (Pac Man, etc) next to the windows. There are shadowboxes at the tables with vintage toys inside. In theory, Cappy's would be a great place to take your kids, but I think the owner is making parents less welcome."
"...they have no patience for parents with kids who make too much noise, etc....it pretty much guarantees that I won't be going back."
"Asking parents to make sure their kids behave is not a problem. Banning kids before they have had a chance to show they can behave IS. Like it or not, they are a part of our human family and treating them like they are unwanted or sub-human goes against decent acceptable human behavior."
"...Who wants to take their kids into a restaurant where they know that from the moment they sit down until the time they leave they will remain under a constant surveillance? And that's exactly what it would feel like....I don't care how subtle or non-invasive the surveillance is, it is still surveillance and it sucks. Just rule kids out completely if you're not interested in them as patrons in your establishment."
"...nice for Cappy's but they should remember that today's kids are also tomorrow's customers. Ban kids now and see who comes back in a few years."
"Even families with well behaved child are going to feel uneasy, like all eye are on them."

These and many, many more comments can be found at the end of this article from the Tampa Bay Times.

For what it's worth, I don't see how the sign in question bans children, any more than a sign stating that people who fart will be asked to leave would ban folks with buttholes. It's a warning, simply letting you know what kind of behavior won't be tolerated and what the circumstances will be if that behavior is exhibited. I think if you feel this sign is oppresses you, you're looking for something to oppress you.
Another thing I don't see is how toys and games on display are a license for children to turn into maniacs. I know who the people who make that connection are though. I once had a job at a toy store in a strip mall and it was a common occurrence for parents to drop the kids off there while they shopped elsewhere, like it was a daycare center. So I know there are a lot of those people out there who make that equation. It doesn't mean they're right though. When they go to a country restaurant or BBQ joint that has old tools and hardware displayed on the wall, do they let their kids go out back and build a barn?

What the dissenters would have you believe is that this isn't an issue of personal responsibility; it's discrimination against children. That's much more sinister, isn't it? It's not about you keeping your kids under control, it's that the people who run this restaurant hate kids.
Well, I don't believe Cappy's hates kids, but I do. Huh? Yes! Exclusively in the context of what we're talking about here; me, without kids, dining out, spending money, not wanting to be subjected to children who can't or won't behave in public, oh yeah, I hate kids. Not all kids, just these particular kids in this scenario, the ones ruining my night out. And not all the time. I'm not going to follow them home and set their house on fire or vote against things that would benefit their well-being for the rest of my life or anything like that. But there, at the restaurant, screaming and running around? Oh yeah, I hate 'em. I hate them and I'm sitting there, wishing with all my might that something terrible will happen to them. That's about as far as I'm taking my hatred though. Maybe I won't throw them into a deep fryer myself but if they happen to fall in there somehow, I'm not running to get help. Hey, my meal is ruined; I should be allowed to at least fantasize about something that I would enjoy. Remember the old saying about giving someone something to scream about? Doing an impression of a corndog qualifies.
More importantly, if they're your kids (biologically or otherwise), I hate you and I am sitting there hoping that something really bad happens to you. Because ultimately, it's not really their fault, is it? No, it's yours. So mostly you. If you fall in the deep fryer, I'm not only withholding aid and assistance, I'm videotaping it to put on YouTube (looped repeatedly, in slow motion, with Yakety Sax as the soundtrack) plus the smell is going to make me hungry for onion rings.

Monday, May 14, 2012

It's not easy being green. And huge.

This is the cover of a men's fitness magazine currently on newsstands:

And this is the typical cover of one of many women's fitness magazines that are on newsstands every single week:

Now, granted there are far, far more of the women's magazines, all telling you how you need to aspire to look like the model on the cover, while not-so-subtly implying that if you don't look that way after following the "12 simple steps" inside, it's your fault because you're somehow deficient. And that's a lot of pressure which is inherently unrealistic and unfair. But the point is the woman on that cover exists in the world that we actually live in. She may be airbrushed and photoshopped and may subsist on a diet of steamed carrot shavings and pictures of celery because it's her job, meaning how she pays bills and makes a living, to look that way...but out there somewhere, she walks the earth like the rest of us. Unlike The Hulk, who is a comic book character who only "lives" as computer generated imagery in movies and video games. Honestly, I don't see how the article in the men's magazine can say anything besides "The Hulk isn't real. Go see 'The Avengers', now playing in theatres everywhere!". I bet it doesn't say that though. The cover hints at a "real-life routine" that will make you look like a creature that doesn't exist in real life. 
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that's bullshit and that we men have it pretty damn rough.
I should probably shut up now. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Let me be perfectly clear...

I made this joke Wednesday...

"Yesterday, Amendment 1 passed and the Flyers were eliminated. Evil splits the doubleheader"
.
And someone I went to middle school(!) with got upset and posted the following response on my Facebook wall...

"There are 30 other states that have similar laws in their constitutions. It's petty to call people who believe in traditional marriage evil, just as much as saying they hate people who think differently. God will judge me on whether I'm evil, not you or any other human being."


Well, this is terrible and I feel awful about it so please allow me to clear things up.

There's been a lot of discussion about gay marriage lately and people are pretty fired up about the matter. I kind of thought that assigning the label of "evil" simultaneously to the issue and a hockey team would clearly illustrate that I was making a joke. But by chiming in at all, I apparently presented myself as an enthusiastic supporter of gay people getting married.

That is not the case.

I do not enthusiastically support gay people getting married. I also don't enthusiastically support straight people getting married. For that matter, I'm also not opposed to any of these people getting married. Further, I don't do much of anything at all enthusiastically.  



My belief is simply that in spite of how certain characteristics might define an individual, people are basically the same and I believe in treating them the same. Or equal. Equal rights, equal responsibilities, equal rewards when they do something well and equal punishment when they screw up. Anything less qualifies as oppression to me and I'm not a fan of that, regardless of how many states choose to interpret it differently and whether or not it's backed by any kind of faith-based belief system. Beyond that, whatever people do (with the so-obvious-it-shouldn't-even-have-to-be-stated-yet-here-I-am caveat that it not harm others) is their business and my interest drops considerably. Where it falls completely off the table is when somebody tries to convince me that I'm wrong, or that they're more right than I am. That's when there isn't a scale that could accurately measure how many shits I don't give. And as far as wanting to judge you? You've got me all wrong there; something like that requires waaaaay more effort and attention than I'm even willing to talk about, let alone do.

So I guess this is the part where I'm supposed to say I'm sorry if you got bent out of shape when I flippantly referred to you and your beliefs as evil. I'm not going to do that because, well, I don't think it's necessary and also I just don't feel like it, but thanks for not challenging that description being applied to the NHL's  Philadelphia Flyers, which is at least equally as silly. Because that's a viewpoint I actually will enthusiastically support.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Amazing Spider-foot!

This is the blog post that will FINALLY
get Quentin Tarantino's attention!
The other day, a co-corker got bit by a spider or something. No, not at work, although that would have upped the excitement around it considerably. It happened over the weekend when she was at someone's outdoor wedding. By Monday, her foot had swollen up pretty bad (see photo). The redness and swelling was halfway up her foot when she got to work and had almost reached her ankle a couple of hours later. After getting feedback from concerned colleagues, she finally went to the doctor. I did my best to help.
  • "Hey, let's all make pen marks on your leg, guessing how high up the poison goes by lunch time. Winner gets a prize!"
  • "If we can believe 50 years of comic books, a series of successful movies and one overblown Broadway musical, you are going to be having some fantastic adventures soon."
  • "In the event that it needs to be amputated, definitely opt for a peg leg. Instant street cred during Gasparilla!"
As she left, I sang a song...

Spider-foot, Spider-foot 
She's got poison inside her foot
Got bit up at a wedding, should have watched where she was treading
Look out, here comes the Spider-foot!



In case you're concerned about her and thought I was being insensitive, relax, she's fine. I'm watching her scamper around on the ceiling above me at this very moment.

Monday, May 07, 2012

RIP MCA

"...it was the stupidest name we could come up with." - Adam 'King Ad Rock' Horovitz, on where the name 'Beastie Boys' came from


It's amazing when something people come to care about comes from such humble origins.
Original Beastie Adam 'MCA' Yauch died on Friday after a long bout with cancer. When entertainers die, often the spectacle surrounding the circumstances is so overwhelming that it becomes more cartoonish than tragic. Think Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston. Other times, such as in the cases of John Lennon and Kurt Cobain, it's nothing but sad, for so many people. The New York Mets paid tribute to Yauch Friday night by changing the players' walk-up music to Beastie Boys songs and my friend Catherine Durkin-Robinson wrote this column about what Yauch and the Beasties music have meant to her and her family. Even Coldplay, not the first band you would associate with the Beastie Boys, offered a touching tribute during their concert in Los Angeles Friday night...




Who'd have guessed in 1986, hearing "Brass Monkey" for the first time, that we'd feel like this in 2012?

Friday, May 04, 2012

The quest for inspiration

Inspiration for writers...well, any creative types, I would guess...comes in waves. There are times when having eight arms to write down all the good ideas coming at you wouldn't be enough. Then there are other times where it's impossible to get excited enough about any one thing to even bother jotting it down. Lately, I've been feeling kind of...flat. I usually don't worry about it because eventually, these highs and lows tend to correct themselves, usually via some internal mechanism. But sometimes, during what seems like an extended dry spell, I find myself looking for an external stimulus of some sort.
I asked a comedian friend about this and here's the advice I got...

"Tell you what you do; go to a strip club. One of the good ones..."
"Oh, I don't know, man. Strip clubs really aren't my thing..."
"Hear me out. Not a skeevy dive, a nice place."
"How do I know if it's a nice place? Is there a web site that ranks them by likelihood of contracting hepatitis?"
"A nice place is the kind that serves food."
"Food?"
"Yeah, you can get a full steak dinner with everything."
"Not on a buffet, I hope."
"No, a buffet wouldn't be good. 'Destiny, I found one of your pasties in the creamed corn again'."
"They have creamed corn on the buffet? Oog." 
"No, these places have a menu and you order a steak with lobster and even a baked potato and they cook it to order and bring it out to your table."
"Just like a regular restaurant."
"Right. Well, that plus boobs."
"So a steak dinner is your advice for getting me inspired? Why don't I just go to Outback?"
"It's not about the steak dinner. That's just your indicator that it's a nice place."
"Okay, so then what?"
"Then get yourself the best stripper. And I don't necessarily mean at this club; you might have to try other nice clubs. But you're looking for The Best One. There is always one who is prettier than all the rest of them. Not all tatted up and cracked out with a boyfriend named Diego and notices from DCF jammed between the baby seats in her '97 Dodge Neon."
"This has suddenly become a very specific description..."
"Actually, you'd be surprised how generic that description is."
"If you say so..."
"More important than how pretty The Best One is, she's classier than the rest of them. You can tell by the way she carries herself. Got more going on upstairs too. She's definitely a cut above the rest of the herd."
"Strippers gather by the herd? Huh. I would have guessed flock or litter."
"You'll know her when you see her. She's a magical creature and she shouldn't even be here. She shouldn't even exist, but she does."
"This is a stripper you're talking about and not a unicorn, right?"
"Why is this woman a stripper? Is there some deep, dark secret or is she doing it for kicks? Who knows? Who cares?"
"Wow."
"She's usually busy so you'll have to wait for her but it's worth it. Ignore the skanks, sit there and have a drink, be patient and when you get a chance, go talk to her. Offer to buy her a drink. That will usually get her to sit with you. Once you've engaged her and have her undivided atention, that's when you go to work."
"Ah, okay! You try out material on her, entertain her, get her to laugh and when she does, your confidence is boosted. Then you feel better about yourself and it allows you to go home and write! I get it now."
"What? No. That's stupid. Why would I waste time trying out material on some dumb stripper who just wants my money? No, you waste her time just long enough to where she's ready to get up and leave and then you give her just enough money to let you touch her on the butt."
"...Oh."

I probably won't go to a strip club but what I think he was saying is sometimes you have to indulge yourself. I may give that a try. Does anybody know if I'd need reservations at Outback on a Friday night?

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Lesson learned: dig deeper

My first job was as a busboy at the restaurant of the Ramada Inn in Benton Harbor, Michigan. My parents lied about my age so I could start working there as a 15-year-old. As a result of being even more immature than I would have been if I was actually of legal age, I lacked the sophistication (but not the motivation) to approach Pam, the hot waitress who worked there.
Pam was college-age, maybe 23, tall, with long brown hair. She was the only waitress there under the age of 50 who didn't smoke a million cigarettes (aside from the barmaids, who did smoke lots of cigarettes and whose tight, short skirts, husky laughs and salty vocabulary rendered them worldly, formidable and ultimately unapproachable). I was instantly smitten. She drew the attention of every lead singer of every band that played in the lounge and I knew that I had to do something dramatic to get her to see me as more than the bow tie clipped to the collar of a short-sleeved white shirt that cleared dishes and replaced linens from her tables. The obvious answer? Tell her I was in a band!
"Wow! What do you play?"
Guitar. Lead guitar.
"Oh cool! What kind of music does your band play?"
Rock and roll. But good rock. Not like these guys, I repiled, tossing a thumb in the general direction of the lounge, dismissing the musical credibility of The Midnight Sons or whatever local troubadors were holding court there that week. 
"I'd love to see you play some time!"
Somehow, it had escaped my logical mind that this would be the ideal response from a girl whose attention I wanted...if only I were actually in a band or could at least play guitar or I at least owned one. As it was, I was completely unprepared to respond. However, the mind of a 15-year-old, hormone-driven boy is capable of responding quickly to negative feedback and I quickly came up with a solid back-up plan.
I told her we didn't have any gigs scheduled. It's hard to get bookings in this town, you know?
"Well, make me a tape so I can hear you play!"
Um. Sure.
I went home and looked through the combined record collections of my household. For obvious reasons, I couldn't use anything from The Everly Brothers (my dad's), The Four Seasons (my mom's) or Sesame Street (my sister's). It all sounded old, very polished, instantly familiar and/or fixated on learning the alphabet. For many of the same reasons, I couldn't use my Beatles albums like Abbey Road. Then I remembered a two-disc Beatles compilation titled "Rock And Roll Music". It was a slapped-together cash-grab, issued in a tacky silver sleeve (with icons of '50s nostalgia, for some reason) and was comprised mostly of uptempo cover songs that hadn't necessarily been "hits" on the same level as "I Want To Hold Your Hand" or "She Loves You". Obscure (in my mind) Beatles songs! Perfect! I inserted a cassette in my tape recorder and put together my first attempt at impressing a girl via mix tape.
This went about as well as you would probably guess. I gave Pam the tape after work one night and told her to let me know what she thought. And that's exactly what she did the next time I worked with her. Apparently, she got less than 30 seconds into the first song on the tape ("Twist and Shout") before the jig was up. There is absolutely nothing more motifying to a male of any age than to be busted in the act of perpetrating a hoax with the intent of impressing the object of your desires by the object of your desires. For a 15-year-old, you get the added bonus of knowing that you have the rest of a very long life to live under the assumption that Pam the waitress managed to spread the word to every single female on the planet.
Of course, with the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom that comes with age, I can see where I went wrong: not that I lied about being in a band and tried to pass off relatively obscure music from the most famous band of all time, which makes it still pretty well-known, as my own. The plan itself was solid. My execution was off though. I should have done something like this instead...

Scratch that; I should have done exactly this instead!
So Pam, if you're out there; look, no one knows yet. My heart loves you. We meet because of destiny. We also create false promises. But my heart loves you. And I really do own a guitar now.