Friday, December 29, 2006

What's bad about being in prison

I've never been to prison. (I was in jail once, a long time ago, for a couple of hours. Nothing very dramatic happened. One guy, Crazy Charlie, said I was "his bitch" though. He didn't do anything other than say that. He still sends me a Christmas card every year. It always just says "Hello Bitch" inside. I usually don't write him back.) But I still think I know what must be the absolute worst part about being in prison: the meals. Think about it; all day long you're doing the mind-numbing and spirit breaking litany of standard prison routines like doing laundry, lifting weights, getting new neck tattoos, avoiding being sodomized and/or trying to sodomize someone. Your only respite is chow time, when you get to sit down, relax and eat a hot delicious meal. Except that's when somebody, possibly YOU, gets shanked with a toothbrush that was sharpened by filing it against a metal bed frame. This is almost inevitably followed by a riot where everybody totally forgets the guy (possibly YOU) who's bleeding to death and writhing in agony as a brawl breaks out around him. And this happens three times a day! Honestly, the idea of that makes me just want to kick back in my cell and count my blessings over a nice glass of freshly brewed toilet wine.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Who knew?

I don't know why I find this funny, but I do. 20 years ago, the guy on the left was the star of a feature attraction at EPCOT and the guy on the right was singing about oral sex and performing in his underwear.

Now the guy on the right has a song on the "Happy Feet" soundtrack and the guy on the left is... Well, you know.

Again, I don't know why that's funny. It just is. In the same way I find it funny when crowds of people, a majority of whom probably have a pretty dim view of anonymous gay sex, sing along to "YMCA" at sporting events.
Come on, that's funny!

Bread: A short, passionate, yet ultimately unfulfilling love affair

Oh man, I am hungry! Sure, you can take our drink order but we need food. In fact, I'm not just hungry. I am actually starving. You know how in the old Warner Brothers cartoons when somebody gets hungry, the other characters start looking like porkchops or chicken legs? Well, right now everybody at this table looks like a bucket of steaks with a side of barbecued ribs. I'm talking about the kind of starving where Bob Geldof could name a whole movement after me. Two words: Star and Ving, ok? So let's start out with some appetizers. Whatever is really good, it doesn't matter. Because in case I haven't mentioned it in the last five seconds, I am starving.

Oh, what's this? Bread! Hot bread on a cutting board with a knife in it and a little dish of butter! Oh yeah! Hey, what about bread for the rest of the table? Because I'm eating this by myself. Ha ha! I'm kidding. Ok, I'm not.

Mmmmmmmm. Oh god. This bread is incredible. Firm crust surrounding the soft pliable sourdough center. And if that isn't enough, it's so hot that even though the butter is cold and solid, it's just consuming it into it's center, bread and butter wrapping themselves around each other until I can't tell where one starts and the other ends. Forget what John Coltrane says; THIS is A Love Supreme! You might as well take away my menu. I'm perfectly happy just eating this bread. Seriously, I don't need a meal now that I've had this bread. Can you bring out two or three or eleven more loaves and a child's wading pool full of butter please? While you're doing that, I'm going to figure out a way to shrink myself so I can climb inside one of these hot loaves and just live in it forever. Sell my car and all my possessions, I'm quitting my job and devoting my life to this bread. Ha ha! I'm kidding. Ok, I'm not.

What's this? Cheese fries? Look at the size of that platter! There must be eight pounds of potatoes there, all covered with melted cheddar cheese and chunks of bacon. What's that? The cheese and bacon are layered throughout and not just spread over the top? Why, that must mean that every single bite, right down to the last one, will have as much cheesy, bacony goodness as the first. I must try this! What? Wait? For what? Are you serious? Ranch dressing to dip into?? Oh come on, you have to stop. This can not be legal! There's going to be a raid because you are exceeding legal limitations of deliciousness and we're all going to jail!
Oh! Oh god. Oh god oh! That is good. Good god oh god good oh, that is good!! I have just forgotten every religious belief and spiritual tenet upon which I have based my life, because this is HEAVEN!! It's like The Rapture has arrived...right in the middle of my mouth!

Listen, could you do me a favor? Do you think maybe you could clear some of this away? What? Oh yeah, especially the bread. I am definitely done with that. Get that crap out of here. Throw it in the trash, feed it to some ducks or whatever you want. I can't stand to look at the stuff. Hold on a sec, ok? I just need a minute here. Listen, bread. Don't take this so hard. You were there when I needed you, you got me through a rough time in my life and I sincerely appreciate that. But I think this relationship has peaked and it's best that we both move on. There are still salads, at least another round of drinks and, of course, eventually some steaks coming. While you have to go on and, I don't know, become croutons I guess. Come on, now. Don't pretend you didn't see this coming. We're from different worlds, you and I. For instance, I came here in a Ford Escape and you arrived on a small cutting board with a knife sticking out of you. Long-term committed relationships just don't begin that way. I know it's hard but over time you'll realize I'm right and this is what's best. For both of us. Ha ha! I'm kidding. Ok, I'm not.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Good work while you can get it

You know who's got it good this time of year? Midgets. Well, midget actors specifically. They're EVERYWHERE! If you're a midget who's ever wanted to be an actor, or an actor who's ever wanted to be a midget, this is the time my friend! Opportunities for those of you who can realistically portray height-challenged mythical creatures associated with holidays are limitless this month and the week of St. Patrick's Day in March. I saw at least five different tv ad campaigns last night featuring midgets dressed as Santa's elves. Santa himself was only in three of those ads. Can you imagine three out of five Batman movies with Robin but no Batman? Sacriledge! But there's the elves, sans Kris Kringle, frolicing all over the place. Face it, if you're a midget actor and you're not working right now, you're just not serious about your craft.

PS: Did you know you'll find more pictures of hot girls in skimpy red outfits by doing a Google image search for "Santa's little helper" than "hot girls in skimpy red outfits"? It's true!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wheel! Of! Schadenfreude!

Falling simultaneously under the headings of "So dumb it makes me angry" and "I see why people from other countries hate us" is the insanely popular syndicated game show "Wheel Of Fortune". Actually, the show itself isn't stupid. It's a puzzle game that relies more than a little bit on pure dumb luck, but it consistently features the dumbest contestants ever. These people are so utterly lacking in basic brain function that if you stopped to think of the possibility that they might actually operate motor vehicles, you'd be so horrified you would never go outside again. Here are just two examples I remember vividly (and I'm not making these up):

"SHA_E AND SHA_E AL_ _E" showing on the board

Contestant #1: I'd like to solve the puzzle: 'Shake and shake alot'?


Pat Sajak: Sorry, that's incorrect

Contestant #2: Pat, is it 'Shake and shake alike'?


"HOW _ _CH IS THAT DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW" showing on the board

Contestant: Is there an R?


Bzzz, indeed. And don't even get me started on the morons who buy a vowel when they obviosuly know the answer.
Damn you, Wheel, for making me happy when these people land on BANKRUPT.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Robots Redux

A while back I wrote an entry here in which I said some less than kind things about robots. I would like to retract those statements and apologize, because I realized today that machines are friendlier than most human beings I interact with. ATM's, cash registers, gas pumps. They all say please, thank you and offer sincere apologies when they fail to provide service. Many even offer to communicate with me in my choice of languages! As compared to the alleged 'person' I dealt with today who asked if they could help me, while obviously hoping I'd say no and not being shy about expressing disappointment when I didn't. I gave my order through a speakerbox and got a reply that sounded something like "Fee-Fotey-Fee, Dry Foo" which I guess was a request for $3.43 and an invitation to 'drive through' since when I did, approximately $1.67 was what was shoved back at me after handing over a $5 bill. I said "Thank You", although I don't know why, since I wasn't really grateful for the level of hospitality I was being shown, but this person just slammed the sliding window shut without saying "you're welcome". I don't know why, exactly, but it suddenly became important to me that this person, this fellow human being, another of God's children cobbled together from the same genetic material as me, this kindred passenger on the glorious journey we call Life, take two seconds to acknowledge my thanks. So I didn't move. "I'm not moving. I'm a very polite person and you are going to be just as goddamn polite as I am in return. We can all sit here the rest of the night, I don't care. But at some point, before I move an inch, you are going to acknowledge my courtesy, you son of a bitch. You hear me? Acknowledge my fucking courtesy, you miserable mongoloid halfwit meth-addicted son-of-a-whore..." That's when the window opened and he said what sounded like "Youneesup'm?" And I said "Oh. Yeah. Do you think I could have a receipt, please?". He tore it off the register, thrust it towards me and slammed the window shut again without saying a word. I just muttered "Thank You" to nobody in particular and drove on.

Chemical Dependency Update

In the battle of crazy chemicals currently doing battle in the Thunderdome that is my brain, stress has rallied and apparently put an ass whoopin' on the sleeping pills I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, because they aren't doing the trick anymore. I take them at night and I get drowsy but they don't seem to be closing the deal anymore. I don't know if I've built up a tolerance (gee thanks, apparently hyper-healthy immune system) or what but I'm back to either being wide awake most of the night or having the world's most aggravating half-dreams. I don't know. I just know I need to make some pretty serious changes. For the level of anxiety I'm feeling every day, there ought to be lives (or at least really expensive property) in jeopardy and that just isn't the case. Which really forces me to examine just how trivially I spend my waking hours, which doesn't exactly provide comforting thoughts at bedtime. And so it goes and goes and goes...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hey, who wants hamburgers!?

I guess going for the creepy angle has been a viable marketing strategy for some time now, what with Verizon's 'can you hear me now?' guy, the non-threatening-yet-still-off-putting Jared from Subway and the little girl with the elephant who rehapsodizes about "the mirrors!" in the DLP commercials (who I believe was last seen holding hands with her also-murdered twin sister and accosting a toddler riding his Big Wheel in the hallway of the Overlook Hotel). But no company has embraced creepy like the Burger King people.
Holy crap.
Of course, there's the ubiquitous King himself, whether inserting himself in football highlights or showing up in someone's bedroom or just standing there and silently leering, he's everywhere, hoping his silent plasticine presence will make you want to buy hamburgers. If that's not enough, they also have...

The Whopper Family, with a series of commercials featuring a hamburger father (the Whopper) in constant generational conflict with his hamburger son (Whopper Jr.), highlighted by lines like "I will knock your buns into next week, fella!". Dysfunctional = delicious!

The lascivious motivational speaker Dr. Angus who, like the King, has what looks like molded plastic hair and a Meg Ryanesque perma-smile grafted on to his face. He gropes women while extolling the virtues of better living through hamburgers. Yum!

The office drones whose job, I guess, is to insult each other and eat lunch at Burger King every day, since that's all they do. It's just like the show "The Office", only not funny and with hamburgers.

Look, Burger King, you were, are and always will be the White Sox to McDonald's Cubs; the second most popular team in a two team town, no matter what, even when you produce a better product. I know you're trying for some kind of edgy, off kilter, quirky alterna-credibility with the kids but I just don't think it's going to work. You're a multi-national fast food corporation. Named "Burger King". How edgy can you possibly ever hope to be when your corporate mission statement, to be recognized as the king of burgers, is so clearly stated? Answer: not very. So accept the fact that you're #2. People, including kids, love you and your food. Second place money is still pretty good isn't it? And stop using your advertising to give me the heebie jeebies. Thanks.


I just watched an ESPN 'Outside The Lines' report on professional athletes carrying guns. The report mentioned that four out of every ten American males owns a firearm and among professional athletes, that number goes up to eight out of ten. I don't doubt that because if I were a professional athlete, you'd better believe I'd be carrying a weapon at all times. Hell yeah! Except it wouldn't be some stupid, wimpy revolver or semi-automatic handgun like everybody else. Nope, I'd be strappin' a bronze crossbow straight out da Chinese Han Dynasty, yo. With a full quiver of flaming arrows. Because that's the kind of piece that gets the attention of the ladies, you know what I'm sayin'? That way, when some straight-up sucka fools stepped to me outside a strip club at three in the morning asking me for an autograph for their blind daughters in the Leukemia hospital or whatever, instead of pulling out some sorry-ass MAC-10 and capping them right there, I would go across the street, find an elevated position, possibly the rooftop of a neighboring strip club, that provided both cover and concealment and launch a barrage of fiery shafts of death into their dumb asses. And that's why I grew up dreaming of being a professional athlete in the first place.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No jokes today

I had to fire someone today and I don't feel very good about that. Nobody likes that kind of thing (well, actually I used to work with someone who took a measure of joy in staff conflict who might've enjoyed it, but that person revealed themselves as defective in a number of areas over time) but I'm definitely in a funk over it. I won't go into any details but the circumstances surrounding the situation completely justify it and there really weren't many options available. Still, the fact that I know this person doesn't have a lot of money, probably doesn't have many prospects and, oh yeah, it's two weeks until Christrmas for cryin' out loud all add up to this just not feeling right. And a pretty good rule of thumb is that when something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. I need to spend some time doing some serious thinking. Okay, brooding. So no jokes today. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Beep-boop-boop, my ass

When I get up in the morning, I sometimes turn on the television for ambient noise while I'm getting ready for work. This morning though, my TV was stuck on channel 61 which was showing an infomercial for the mattresses that you can set a glass of wine on while jumping up and down without spilling the wine. I went to change the channel to ESPN and got a message telling me I was recording this thing and if I changed the channel, the recording would be cancelled. Well, ok. I'm pretty sure I didn't record this infomercial but I'm sure I'm ok with cancelling it now, thanks for the heads-up. But that apparently wasn't good enough because the channel refused to change. The only buttons on the remote that got any response were the volume control and the on/off button. Everything else either brought back the warning message or nothing at all. After three or four minutes of this I called the cable people to tell them my TV, cable box and remote control were apparently posessed and working in evil concert to make me buy a jumpy no-spill mattress. The cable company has one of those automatic voice systems that (after verifying my first and last names, phone number and address...with zip code) lets you answer questions posed by a soothing, and slightly seductive sounding, female voice:
"If you are interested in speaking to a salesperson say 'sales'". If you've ever wondered what a masochist is, it's anybody who would put themselves through all that just for the priviledge of talking to a salesman.
"If you're having trouble with your internet service, say 'internet'". Ok, I get it. I have a problem with my cable, so I don't wait for the next prompt and say "Cable!". Well, apparently I should have listened to the prompt to find out that the code word for cable trouble is 'pepperoni' or 'mustang' because it isn't 'cable'.
"You're having trouble with your internet. Is that correct?" What?! No! I'm having cable problems, TV problems. The TV is stuck on mattressvision! "I'm sorry. I don't understand". There should be a feature installed in these systems that when this happens, and it always does, if you scream as loud as you can into your phone, the president of the company's personal phone rings. I don't know, but I think that would speed things up. The computer lady had me try several pre-programmed troubleshooting measures, and every time I'd respond I'd hear this beep-beep-boop-boop-beep-beep-boop noise, as though I was somehow jacked into the Matrix. I guess they do this to intimidate stupid people into thinking that technology is trying to help them but to no avail so maybe they should give up: "It's hopeless, honey. I can hear the nanorobots running around in the phone lines but it just isn't working. We'll never see Grey's Anatomy again!" However, my resolve is a little stronger than that so eventually I reached a female human being who began every sentence with an apology; "I'm sorry for your trouble, did you push the X button", "I apologize for the inconvenience, do you have the serial number of the remote handy?". I got the impression that if I had asked her what her favorite food was she'd have said "I regret to inform you that I'm partial to baked chicken". Nothing worked, including being put on hold twice so she finally said "Well, maybe you should just unplug the cable box and plug it back in again".
That worked. Of course it did. Funny thing is that was actually on my list of things to consider trying before I even called and wasted 20 minutes of my life. Right after 'Kick it' and 'Punch it' and right before 'Throw it out the window'.
The lesson is clear, though; when things look their bleakest, you can always pull the plug.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A joke

Knock knock
Who's there?
As who?

Thank you and good night.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Surreal Estate

Last night, at the end of a three day period of 15 hour work days, I stopped at the Dale Mabry Village Inn for a late night breakfast (by the way, late night breakfast is the greatest meal in the world and the Dale Mabry Village Inn is the greatest late night breakfast destination in the case you're wondering). Anyway, things got weird, as they tend to do when you're tired and it's late at night. I was about half finished with my meal when the two tables full of senior citizens next to me suddenly broke out in a fully harmonized rendition of "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas". This completely freaked me out. Not because I'm (overly) phobic about elderly people or have any kind of weird resentment towards Christmas, but because it was like something that would happen in a movie. I feel the same way every time I witness high-speed car chases and talking animals. I noticed these folks were wearing jackets that said S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A., which is an organization of barbershop quartet enthusiasts and easily the most unwieldy acronym ever. The fact that they were members of a group and not just individuals who happened to be so moved by the festive holiday spirit as to break into song freaked me out even more. I thought I knew my town but I had no idea there were gangs of senior citizens roaming the streets of Tampa at night and harmonizing about the virtues of sweet Adelaide and telling Bill Bailey to come home, whoever the hell they are. More importantly, should we all be concerned? Let me rephrase that: Exactly how petrified with terror should we be? Because if the barbershop quartets are this organized, there's no telling what the Mummers and Cloggers have up their crazy, highly-idiosyncratic niches.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Better Living Through Chemistry

Last night, after tiring of hearing me talk about how tired I am, one of my guardian angels recommended Tylenol's Simply Sleep. I don't like to use this space to plug things, especially when I have nothing to gain by doing so (in fact, I've only done that once before: Ten At the Top), but this stuff worked like a charm last night. The box says it's non-habit forming, which I guess is nice, since virtually all over-the-counter sleep aids carry at least a slight risk of dependency. Not that it matters, since if I can count on it providing me 6+ hours of coma-like stasis every time I use it, then I plan to do so every night for the rest of my life, thereby making me, for all intents and purposes, an addict. Without an actual addiction. Like telling the owner of beachfront property that they're going to get sand in their house, I think that's a pretty small price to pay.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's fun to stay at the...

Clark's Guide To Non-Traditional Holiday Dining

Welcome and happy Thanksgiving! Contrary to what you may believe, you are not required by law to sit down with your family and eat the traditional holiday feast of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and assortments of various casseroles, which is good news for those of us who don't have that option available to them and might have been nervous about being rounded up by the authorities and thrown into a festive autumnal gulag. No, my friends, you don't have to worry about that because there is a variety of alternatives available to you. Okay, it's a small variety, since almost everything is closed. Basically here are all of your options. Enjoy! And feel free to refer back to this guide at Christmas time!

UPSIDE: Free!!
DOWNSIDE: You don't really need a free meal, do you? Honestly?

Every city has at least one church that provides service to the homeless and really goes all out during the holidays. Here in Tampa, it's Metropolitan Ministries. WARNING: One thing Christians and Atheists agree on is that taking free food from a church when you're not in need is an automatic ticket to hell. Even Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths who don't believe in hell agree as well.

UPSIDE: They're open
DOWNSIDE: It's Denny's

Denny's offers a traditional style roast turkey dinner for $9.99 with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad and a slice of pumpkin pie. After dinner, feel free to stay for hours and hours, drinking coffee and muttering to yourself.

UPSIDE: Virtually limitless
DOWNSIDE: There is no downside to the Waffle House

Ok, a slight quibble, if not a total drawback is that Waffle House's holiday special is country ham & eggs. I know some weirdos eat ham instead of turkey on the holidays so okay. But everybody knows that eggs are only holiday fare during Easter. Compensating for this is the fact that it's only $6.49. You go, Waffle House!

UPSIDE: You know what you're getting and you know they'll be open
DOWNSIDE: Not exactly standard holiday atmosphere

Like snowflakes, no two Chinese restaurants are identical, yet they are all exactly the same. Same menu, same prices (very few items on the menu over $10), same paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. That's why we love them so much; they're incredibly dependable. McDonalds and Chinese restaurants are the only places in the world where you can go in and order your meal and know exactly what it is going to taste like before you get it. The other day, I saw a banner over a the door of a Chinese restaurant that said "NEW!". Impossible. There is no such thing as "new" Chinese food. What, did they fry the rice? Did they mix the sweet and the sour together? Did they come up with some crazy new zodiac with monkeys, dogs and dragons instead of scorpios and cancers? Please. Like cures for diseases, all the Chinese dishes there will ever be have already been invented.

PS: I know someone who refers to a nearby strip mall as "The Tampa Bay Asian Cultural Center" because there's a Chinese restaurant, a dry cleaner and a nail salon. That isn't very nice and he does not deserve delicious Crab Rangoons.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Prodigal son

Tonight, I returned (briefly, very briefly) to the place where I had worked for seven years prior to the job I have now. I didn't make a big deal about going back because I actually don't care much for a lot of fanfare in situations like that. Also, because there are people there who would take the opportunity to remind me how much I suck, how great they are and how much I suck, which is really not the kind of affirmation I'm looking for right now. But I did take a short tour; it's been eight months and the place has changed. Basically, it was a lot like visiting Cheers...except nobody knew my name and nobody was glad I came.
It was awesome.

I guess I shouldn't complain...

After all, I'm not Michael Richards.

Holy smokes!

If you've never seen a human being completely self destruct (from America's lovable doofus neighbor to hate mongering pariah in 2:47), I think you should, just once. Not for entertainment exactly, but maybe for some enlightenment. We do indeed see what's buried beneath! Certainly safer to do so here than in the audience when it actually happened, where you can hear the collective "Ha ha ha ha h- uh-oh!". I can guarantee you would not have wanted to be the last one to stop laughing and trying to explain that to everybody else in the club: "Well, know...actually, I wasn't really laughing. I was horrified. Horrifed! And that's a defense mechanism. Yeah, see, when I'm in uncomfortable situations like that and I get all horrified, I laugh inappropriately as a defense know, the horror and all."

About the "Cyanide And Happiness" cartoon at the bottom of the page

I haven't updated it in a long time because I like that one.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Call To Action

Listen! Do you hear that? It sounds god in heaven above, it is!
It's a car alarm!!
Right outside this very restaurant, within earshot, a crime is being committed. A fellow motorist's vehicle is in some sort of peril. It could be being vandalized, burglarized or even stolen outright. There's no telling at this point. Alright, this isn't the time to panic but there's not a moment to lose. Men, pick up a makeshift weapon and arm yourselves. You, grab that candle and make a torch. You there, gather and distribute some steak knives. Women, stay here and try not to panic. We shall return to finish our salads and bread sticks when these outlaws have been thwarted. Follow meeeeeeee...!
What...what are you people doing?!? I don't think you understand; Someone parked their car nearby and armed it with an audio alarm for the express purpose of alerting us if some harm were to come to it. This is a tremendous unasked-for responsibility and you're shirking it! It's almost as though...why, as though the "Honk honk honk beep beep beep beep beep wooooooooooop woooooooooop wooooooooooop" is nothing to you other than an annoyance that is keeping you from enjoying your meals! I don't think you understand what's at stake: a CD collection, personalized license plate, maybe an AM/FM tuner with cassette player, marginally irreplacable items will need to be replaced if we don't do something!! Well, you can do what you will. I, however, will not shy away from this challenge. If I must meet this threat alone, so be it. But I am ashamed of each and every one of you. When I walked into this Olive Garden today, it was to enjoy a nice plate of pasta primavera, not to witness the crumbling of a society too apathetic to stop the spread of anarchy and lawlessness literally right outside it's own front door. This is a sad, sad day in America, I tell you.
Oh wait a minute. I think that's actually my car. I guess I hit the remote by accident. May I have some more iced tea please?

Hey, do you think...

...not being able to sleep, (and I don't mean garden variety tossing and turning and waking up every couple of hours, I'm talking about spending the entire night awake), panic attacks punctuated by uncontrollable hyperventilating and having knots in my shoulders the size of hand grenades is something I should be concerned about?
Nah, me neither.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Potential Parrothead?

I attended my first Jimmy Buffett concert the other night, something I never thought I would do. To me, Jimmy Buffett concerts were among those things, like country music, the NBA, pro wrestling, NASCAR or organized religion, that I'm just not into although I understand why other people are.
It started with getting off work at 6, being picked up in a limo at 6:30 (I have truly amazing friends, for which I am eternally grateful, limos or no limos) and having downed at least three margaritas by 6:45. They say that you should not drink as a means of dealing with stress. "They" being those who don't drink for any reason whatsoever and look down on you for doing so. Because I'm here to tell you that I was severly stressed at 5:59 and completely relaxed by 6:46. Okay, that may have had more than a little to do with whose company I was in by that time but still. The margaritas were delicious. In fact, I believe that getting drunk with close friends and attending an event with other drunks is not only far more socially acceptable than just normal every day getting drunk, it can actually be downright therapeutic in certain circumstances. I am living testimony thereof.
Now, before you ask, "did he play (insert the name of any Jimmy Buffett song you have ever heard here)?", the answer is well...yeah! he played it. He played all of 'em. There are some things you just know without having ever experiencing them first-hand. Such as the fact that giving birth must be an utterly horriffic experience or that Jimmy Buffett is going to play all his hits. Jimy Buffett music is like funk for white people in that the music had everybody dancing, or at least kind of moving around somewhat rythmically, and nobody cared. Not that the music even matters. It's all about the atmosphere and the experience of going. Who knew 20,000 people wasted out of their gourds on some substance or another could be so much fun? It probably wouldn't be if not for the fact that every single one of them (us) had the same agenda; to relax and forget about the mundane-yet-stressful, tedious-yet-harrowing, day-to-day crap for a little while, which is what entertainment at it's best should do for people. Well, except for the guy who took exception to me inviting myself aboard his party bus to use his restroom facilities after the show. Whatever, tightass.
At any rate, I don't know if I qualify as a full-fledged Parrothead, since I doubt that I'll ever spend money on a Jimmy Buffett album, but I will be in line the next time concert tickets go on sale.

Cool breeze on a Sunday evening

Here in Tampa, we get stretches of cool weather where you can leave your windows open without roasting to death that add up to, oh, say, a combined total of about three weeks out of the year. We are currently smack in the middle of one of those pleasant stretches so my windows are wide open. Unfortunately, my downstairs neighbors are barbecuing ribs outside on their patio and they smell amazing. But since I'm sitting here, eating leftover spaghetti, the whole experience is ruined. Don't get me wrong, as far as spaghetti goes, this is some damn good spaghetti. In fact, it's downright excellent spaghetti. But the best spaghetti in the world is not on a par with ribs cooked outside on a barbecue. And the worst part is I just remembered I was saving that spaghetti for Thanksgiving dinner.
Damn neighbors.

Friday, November 17, 2006

More about me...

...because I'm fascinating. This is one of those personal email surveys we all get ("Answer the questions and send it to everyone you know, including the person who sent it to you").

1. What time is it? 9:10pm
2. Name: Clark Brooks
3. What are you most afraid of? Ducklings
4. What do you drive? ’98 Piece
5. Have you ever seen a ghost? Nope
6. Where were you born? Benton Harbor , MI
7. Ever been to Alaska ? Nope
8. Ever been toilet papering rolling in decorating trees? Nope. Yes. Wait. Um, Huh? May I have the question repeated in English, please?
9. Croutons or Bacon bits? Bacrons
10. Favorite day of the week? Friday
11. Favorite restaurant: McDonalds
12. Favorite Flower: Raisins
13. Favorite sport to watch: Curling
14. Favorite Drink: Orange juice
15. Favorite Ice cream: Jalapeanut Toffee Mocha Berry Crunch Swirl
16. Disney or Warner Brothers: Warner…but I’m warming up to Disney
17. Favorite fast food restaurant: McDonald’s RULES ALL!!
18. What color is your bedroom carpet? Grey
19. How many times you failed your driver's test? None
20. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail from? Some Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars
21. What do you do most often when you are bored? Ferment
22. Bedtime: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
23. Who will respond to email first? The Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars, if he’s serious about wanting my PIN number
24. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond? The Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars. Those guys never write back.
25. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses: The Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars. I could use that money.
26. Favorite TV show : The Office, The Daily Show
27. Ford or chevy? Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford
28. What are you listening to right now? The voices who tell me it’s a good night to pick up hitchhikers
29. What are your favorite colors? I don’t ‘do’ colors, man. I’m more of a textural person.
30. How many tattoos do you have? Nope
31. Do you have any pets? I own a vast collection of giraffes, which I keep in various zoos, preserves and free range areas around the world.
32. How many people are you sending this e-mail to? 10

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Some lists

Top 5 Fictional Characters Who Are Funny Because They Have Funny Accents

  1. Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman)
  2. Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers)
  3. Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen)
  4. Austin Powers (Mike Myers)
  5. The Festrunk Brothers (Steve Martin & Dan Aykroyd)

Top Five Major League Sports Team Names That Sound Like They Were Invented For Some Shitty Movie About Sports

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Washington Nationals
  3. Tennessee Titans
  4. Baltimore Ravens
  5. Washington Wizards

(Note: Anaheim Ducks [nee Mighty Ducks of Anaheim] is not included because it was invented for a shitty movie about sports)

Top 5 Names Most Likely To Belong To Jerks

  1. Gary
  2. Larry
  3. Barry
  4. Gary
  5. Gary

(I have only ever met, like, two guys named Gary who are not jerks)

Top 5 Formerly Huge Movie Stars Who Are Now Considered, At Best, Clowns, Because Of Things They Have Said And/Or Done In Their Personal Lives

  1. Tom Cruise
  2. Mel Gibson
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  4. Kevin Costner
  5. Sylvester Stallone

Top 5 Celebrities I'd Be Willing To Bet Are Surlier In Real Life Than They Seem On TV

  1. John Madden
  2. Jay Leno
  3. George Foreman
  4. John Travolta
  5. Adam Sandler

Top 5 Celebrities I'd Be Willing To Bet Are Just As Surly In Real Life As They Seem On TV

  1. Harrison Ford
  2. David Letterman
  3. Barbra Streisand
  4. Mike Tyson
  5. Prince

Top 5 Celebrities Who Have Absolutely No Business Being Famous

  1. Paris Hilton
  2. Jimmy Fallon
  3. Simon Cowell
  4. Anna Kournikova
  5. Kathy Griffith

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Back to school

Today I attended T.E.A.M. training at work. Anybody who works in an establishment that sells alcohol knows that T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management. But anybody who has ever attended a class of any kind as an adult knows that when you put yourself in that environment, at least to some degree you revert to the kid you were in school.
Here's what happened at T.E.A.M. training tonight...

TEACHER: Ok, class we're just about to wrap up and I think it's gone really well. I hope you all are able to take something from this two hours that you will remember for many, many years. I want to thank those of you who took part in T.E.A.M. extracurricular activities, such as T.E.A.M. student senate, the T.E.A.M. yearbook staff, T.E.A.M. model UN and of course the T.E.A.M. basketball team. Go team! Err, I mean T.E.A.M. If you didn't you're just cheating yourself. Anyway, before we begin the final exam, let me remind you of the story I told you earlier about the little girl who was injured by the drunk driver and how it cost the establishment where that driver was overserved $135 million.
KEVIN: Daaaaaaamn!
TEACHER: Yes, it's a tragic story, Kevin.
KEVIN: I wanna get hit by a drunk driver too!
TEACHER: Well, it is a lot of money, but she'll never grow up to be the dancer she dreamed she would.
KEVIN: Sheeit, neither will I. But I don't have $135 million either.
TEACHER: Yes. Well. Ok, that's nice. Does anybody want to review anything else before we begin? Like some of the visual signs that someone is inebriated?
CARL: Like laughin' at shit?
TEACHER: Well, yes, sometimes. But laughter on it's own doesn't necessarily indicate...
TEACHER: Ok, that's enough, Carl. That's enough, everyone. Turn your test booklets over and write your name in the blank box at the top. Below that, use your number 2 pencil to fill in the corresponsing bubbles with letters in them. Then, turn to the inside...
LINDA: Teacher, I filled in the word "TEAM" in the little letter bubbles. Do I get a A and can I go now?
TEACHER: No, Linda, that's not what you're supposed to do. And besides, you spelled "TEAM" wrong. There's no R in it.
LINDA: That's not a R. That's a F.
TEACHER: Here's another test booklet, Linda.
WAYNE: Teacher, I don't got to take this test. I'm in a wheelchair.
KEVIN: Aw, you just mad 'cause you didn't get $135 million and you ain't gonna grow up to be a dancer too.
TEACHER: Now, hold on every...
LINDA: That little girl should go get her some bionics with that money. Then she could be the best dancer ever and also run 60 miles an hour and be incredibly strong.
WAYNE: Yeah, but they wouldn't let her in the Olympics because it's illegal to use special effects and shit.
CARL: You're so stupid. Damn!
WAYNE: I will cut you, Carl. I swear for God!
TEACHER: Damn it, I hate teaching classes to the executive team.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Much, much, much too tired

I was at work this morning at 7:00 and I just got home. Yesterday, I was there from 8:30 in the morning until midnight. It's crazy that I work that many hours and crazier still that I'm not going to bed right this minutes, considering I have to be back at work by 8:30 tomorrow...excuse me, later today. Craziest of all is what my salary is when calculated as an hourly rate. That just makes me sad and I don't want to dwell on that right now.
With working the hours I have been, and what little spare time I have left being spent opening all the unsolicited naked pictures that women keep sending me (I guess they're using this site to reach me, which you can too, if you're a woman who wants to send me your naked pictures. Unsolicited, of course), I've just been too damn busy to write. But it's been two week since I posted anything and I'm feeling a little pent-up, so I thought I'd better put something up here....just to see if it still works. I'll post more soon.
Further complicating things is my inability to come home from work and just jump into bed and go to sleep. Can't do it. Too fidgety, too wired, too amped up to do that. I guess that's why everybody says I should do cocaine! Oh wait, that's why everybody tells me I shouldn't do cocaine. DON'T do cocaine, Clark. Right! That's what they always tell me. Drug free is the way to be, kids. You know it's true because it rhymes. A sure way to tell if advice is good is if it rhymes.
School is cool.
Guns are no fun.
Sex is bad.
See? In the pudding is the proof, Ruth.
Anyway, I'm exhausted, a little loopy and too wired to sleep. What are you doing? Give me a call and we can talk about these naked pictures you sent me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A couple of noteworthy passings...


Tampa talk radio legend Bob Lassiter passed away after a long illness. Impossible to agree with 100% of the time regardless of your political design...Lassiter artfully employed bombast as one weapon in an arsenal that included humor, sarcasm, pathos and every once in a great while, when he felt like it, genuine warmth. Either brutally honest or just plain brutal (depending on which side of the day's argument you found yourself on), Lassiter was equal parts amused by and frustrated with the foibles that mankind inflicted upon itself. He was also one of the last practitioners of radio as "theatre of the mind". I could say he will be missed but anybody who owns a radio already does...whether they know it or not.


I'm not a Starbucks hater. far from it, in fact. I rather enjoy the occassional $5 coffee! Hey, it's good...get over it. But the fact of the matter is there are plenty of Starbucks around. But there was only one CBGB, and now it's closed. That's right, the breeding ground of The Ramones, Blondie, Television, Sonic Youth and Talking Heads among others is no more. We can figure out a way to have a Starbucks for every 2.5 adult human beings in the United States but we can't figure out a way to keep a single, solitary, sweat-and-vomit soaked birthplace of great American music in business? Unbelievable.

This is exactly the kind of cultural blasphemy that would have delighted/pissed off Bob Lassiter.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Socks to be me

No doubt you've been out somewhere and witnessed a stray item of clothing in a strange, public place. It might be a baseball cap on an empty seat in a movie theatre or a lone shoe on the side of a busy interstate. If you thought about it, you'd realize that you see this more often than, well, than you had previously realized.
Today, leaving work, we saw a black sock laying on the sidewalk. Of course, everyone in the group had to offer some sort of commentary on this. "Look, it's a sock", "Eww gross", "Where the hell did that come from?", "How does someone lose a single sock?", "Where's the shoe?" "Is there someone walking around with one bare foot?", etc. etc.
Here's the thing: I'm pretty sure it was one of my socks.
While it's a pretty plain, basic, black sock, I'm familiar enough with my own clothing to recognize it when I see it. I'll just say that if it isn't my personal sock, which I highly doubt, it is the exact same brand and make of some of the socks I do own. And since it was laying on the ground right outside of a place where I spend a great deal of time, well, you figure the odds. What I think probably happened is yesterday I wore black pants to work and through the magic of static cling, the sock was stuck to my pants, I just didn't see and it fell off on my way into work. At least, I hope it was on the way into work. I really don't want to believe I walked around for 14 hours with a stupid sock stuck to me.
Anyway, I didn't say anything about it being my sock. For starters, I doubt anyone would believe me. Secondly, I hadn't thought about it enough to explain why I believed it was mine. Third, it rained earlier and the sock was all wet, limp and dirty looking. So I just walked along with the group and left it there.
The problem is, I wanted to pick it up and take it home. I could have shrugged my shoulders and forgot about it. After all, it's just a sock. Not exactly a high-ticket item, it's not like I'm still paying it off. And socks wear out or get lost for other reasons all the time. I'll buy more socks at some point and not give much thought to the old ones that wind up discarded via natural causes. Still, for lots of reasons (including raging OCD and the stress of knowing I have an odd number of socks that accompanies that), I really wanted to rescue it. After all, it's mine, damn it. I paid for it, I own it, I maintain it with regular laundry cycles, I am responsible for it (until yesterday, apparently). It's my sock and I am entitled to full and complete rights of ownership, which include, but are not limited to, picking it up if/when I drop it on the sidewalk.
My first thought was to lag behind the group and then reach down and snag it when they weren't looking but I figured there was too much risk of getting caught if somebody turned around to see why I wasn't keeping up. Not keeping up with the group when you're heading to your respective cars at the end of the day is a good way to get branded a weirdo, especially if it's because you're picking up soggy, stray socks off the sidewalk. Then I thought I could drive around the block, pull over real quick, get out, grab it and jump back in the car and take off. This was also too risky because the street is pretty busy and doesn't have parking spaces or a breakdown lane to pull over into. Retrieval of one's sock is probably not the reason you want to give the police or your insurance company if you cause a major traffic accident.
So anyway, unless somebody else picked it up, my sock is still sitting there on the sidewalk. And I still want it. So if you go retrieve it and return it to me, I will give you $5. No joke!! That's a pretty good cash reward for a sock that isn't even yours. Of course, I'm no sucker and I'm not going to give five bucks to every jamoke who finds a sock laying around (gross!), so you will need to verify the true identity of the sock by describing it and where you found it. We will then need to arrange to meet in a dimly lit parking garage or an abandoned warehouse down by the docks or some other place suitable for the exchange of the sock for the loot (come alone, do not contact the authorities). Hurry, this is a limited time offer. Because if it's there when I get to work in the morning, I'm just going to pick the damn thing up.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Butt seriously...

The other night, the subject of BUTT PLUGS came up in casual conversation. Don't ask me why, it really isn't important. Honestly. No big deal, actually. Other than the fact that it kept me up very late thinking about it. And after all that thinking, I've decided that I don't want any. I know the holidays are coming up and many of you have started your shopping lists, so I'm sorry if I'm throwing a kink (ha!) into your plans by saying "Please don't get me a BUTT PLUG; I probably will not use it". So just cross the words "BUTT PLUG" off your list when you come to my name, please.
Although, I do have to say, to some degree, I appreciate any object whose purpose and instructions for use are so clearly defined in it's name. I mean, if you say "bulldozer" or "oven mitt" to someone, it is possible that they may need some explanation of what you're talking about and how it works. That's not a concern with BUTT PLUGS. Simply say the words "BUTT PLUG" to someone and they should instantly have a pretty clear idea of what is going to happen and where it's going to take place ("Why?" may be a question that needs to be addressed at some point, though that's not important for what we're discussing here). I do appreciate that absence of ambiguity.
But (and by 'but' I mean 'however', not 'ass') with all that being said, I'm going to opt out on this one. So you may feel free to skip the following fine retail establishments from consideration when shopping for gifts for me:

  • Butt Plug and Beyond
  • Yankee Butt Plug Company
  • B. Uttplug's
  • ButtPlug Crafters (Custom Butt Plugs in about an hour)
  • Butt Plug Depot
  • Cinn-A-Butt Plug
  • Every Butt Plug's A Dollar!
  • Assy McSphincter's Ye Olde Buttpluggery
  • The Gap

Thank you.

You're killing me!

What? You need what?? When?!?
You're killing me.
You're kidding. I mean, this is a joke, right? You had to know there was a deadline, right? You did? You knew there was a deadline and you still come to me today? Needing this?
You are killing me. Seriously.
Oh no, it's not that I can't get it done. I will get it done. But that doesn't change the fact that you're killing me.
I'm not exaggerating. Your failure to get your orders placed in a timely manner has cast my final fate and death is near. Because you are quite literally killing me.
Gyaah! Sharp pains behind my eyeballs. I'm...I'm getting weak. It's...growing dark. I feel so cold, s-so cold.
Oh, what shall I miss most of all; smelling flowers, watching sunsets, taking a walk in the park, enjoying the sound of soft rain on a summer's evening? Alas, when all of the day's simple pleasures are weighed and measured at one's own sunset, none ranks below another.
Thanks a lot, you asshole.
I'm staring into the endless abyss, where music doesn't play and children don't laugh and sing. Staring back at me is a stack of orders that you could have easily submitted last week. Instead...
You. Are. Killing. Me.
I can't believe this is how it ends. I never imagined my life would be snuffed out just because you don't see the importance of meeting a perfectly reasonable deadline. It all seems so senseless, so meaningless. I'm too young to die. Not now. Not like this!
You're killing me.
What? Yeah, you'll have it by 3:30.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Things I don't want to do today, tomorrow or anytime soon for that matter

  1. Go to work
  2. Work; Go there
  3. Be operated on by a deaf, dumb and blind oral surgeon
  4. Vios con worko
  5. Harm zoo animals
  6. Go to the place that pays me money to work and do the work they pay me money for

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm sick

Ok, I wasn't going to share this but I haven't posted in a week and this is basically all that has been going on, so this is what you're going to get.

I'm sick and have been since Saturday.

I don't know what it is, but I've got aches and pains, alternate spikes of chills and fevers, cramps, dehydration, lethargy (more than usual), all punctuated by trips to the bathroom and that dreadful "sklish!" sound you only hear when your digestive system informs you that you and solid foods of any kind are not currently on speaking terms. I don't know what my system is processing, since I basically haven't eaten since Friday, but it's coming up with something somewhere. Maybe my internal organs are liquifying. it kinda feels that way.
It might be the flu but it might also be bad clams (not literally, but close) that I ate at this charity fundraiser function I was at on Friday night. My job requires me to wear a tuxedo two times a year and this was one of them. Incidentally, twice a year is exactly the right amount of infrequency to remember that the little black-headed metal stud things serve some sort of imporant purpose without actually remembering exactly what that might be. The tux was the first step in the downward spiral that the weekend became. I don't mind wearing suits. in fact, I kind of enjoy that. Tuxes are different though. First, there's the whole assemby-required factor mentioned previously. Secondly, nobody outside of Her Majesty's Secret Service actually owns their own tux so they're always rented and there's something more than slightly skeevy about renting clothing, especially clothing that's designed to be worn as many times by as many different people as possible. Add to that a pair of shoes that fit like a prison sentence and I was on my way to not feeling well. That was followed by an evening of conversation with lots of people who normally wouldn't be speaking to me, including one gentleman whose breath bouquet was a charming melange of salami and booze. Then, by the time I actually had a chance to walk across the room in the horrible shoes to the buffet, all that was left was some Starfish Tartare, Squid Pancreas Florentine and a few other room temperature seafood delicacies that even rich people won't eat. However, I was hungry, it was late, I was in a tux with ill-fitting, shiney shoes, so I ate it and that's probably why I'm sick.
But it could be the flu.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My hobby

I think the first person I picked up against their will and carried around was probably a babysitter who had touched me inappropriately when I was small. It wasn't easy; I was a mere child and he was an older man, albeit in a wheelchair. But I managed to pick him up out of that chair and carry (ok, more like drag) him out into the yard where I dropped him into a snowbank. This was so much fun that I decided on the spot to be larger than everybody else so I could pick up whomever I want against their will and carry them around whenever I want to. So now that's exactly what I do.
Oh, and how I love it. Businessmen, nurses, factory workers, police officers, air traffic controllers, grocery baggers, old ladies waiting for the bus, anybody. I'm a people person and I love meeting new people. And I do that by just walking up to them, bending slightly at the waist, grabbing them in a big hug around the waist and throwing them over my shoulder like a sack of taters before continuing jauntily on my way. It really is just that simple. Often, they pound my back with their little fists or kick their tiny feet or sometimes just flail around furiously, all in futile attempts to make me put them down before I'm good and ready. Sometimes I whistle a happy tune while they screech like suckling baby pigs suddenly taken away from their mother. Because it's important to enjoy your hobby. otherwise, it's just work, am I right?
Let's just put it this way; When I tell a girl I will pick her up for a date at 7:00, that's exactly what happens. I arrive at 7:00 on the dot, pick her up against her will, carry her somewhere nice like a new restaurant she's mentioned she'd like to try or maybe to a movie. Then I put her down and leave. This usually gets me home by 7:45 and I have the whole rest of the evening free. I'm not so sure what time she gets home.
Of course, I understand why people don't enjoy my hobby as much as I do. I know if I were walking down the street, minding my own business and some big asshole just decided to pick me up against my will and carry me across the street and put me down in line at, say, an ice cream store, I'd be darned angry too, in spite of being in the presence of all that delicious ice cream. So I empathize with these people. Honestly, I do! But their anger at me is not going to hamper my enjoyment of something that brings me so much joy and fulfillment. If anything, it enhances it. Sometimes when I do it to my boss, I pick him up from his chair while he's in the middle of a very important business call and I wind up carrying him all the way to the far side of the building. But only because that's how far I have to carry him before he finally promises not to fire me when (if!) I put him down. As you may know, the building I work in is very large indeed so I usually have to take a minute to catch my breath while I watch him scurry like a little toy crab all the way back to his office, cursing my name all the way. Laughing as hard as I do when that happens, it's even harder to catch my breath.
I'll tell you, I think everyone should have such an enriching hobby!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Rejoice, humanity; Devil Rays split with Yankees!

Now, this is a completely meaningless development, since the Rays will once again finish in last place and the Yankees will once again be odds-on favorites to win yet another World Series. Except it is good for the collective soul of all mankind anytime the Yankees lose at anything.
People say I am jealous of the Yankees and that's why I root so strongly against them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because I can not think of anything more boring than my favorite team winning all the time and always getting everything they want just because they want it, overcoming adversity with checkbooks instead of gut checks. Where is the drama...and that? Anybody who has ever followed a team that has struggled for years and finally won a championship appreciates that one title more than any Yankee fan ever could. Yankee fans define the 80's as "the lean years" because Don Mattingly never got to win a World Series. With a sense of entitlement that disproportinate, is it any wonder that in spite of all the championships the Yankees have won, their fans have no idea what it really means to win one?
Of course, if you like anything at all about sports, the Yankees voracious, take-no-prisoners, scorch-the-earth approach to running their business is reason enough to root against them at all turns. George Steinbrenner and the Yankee faithful (and what a laugh that is, since there's no way anybody can convince me that the vast, overwhelming majority of Yankee fans are not front running bandwagon jumpers with no connection whatsoever to New York...and for what it's worth, if I lived in New York, I would be a Mets fan, in case you're wondering. Not that they're in the poorhouse themselves, but they aren't the Yankees) don't seem to understand that the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Angels and everybody else in baseball are their competition on the field but partners in the same business off it! When one team can afford to pay one player a higher yearly salary than several other team's combined payrolls, that's a serious disparity and obviously not good for the overall health and welfare of the sport itself. Gluttony is never good. Just because the buffet is all-you-can-eat doesn't mean it's a good idea to eat as much as you can. The Yankees should be trying to take more fans (and money) from the NFL, NBA and Nascar, not the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins and yes, Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They're franchises in the same league!! Even the most aggressively motivated Burger King manager who wants his store to be the best in the company in all ways has the common sense to see that other Burger Kings struggling to stay open is not good for business.
So about a week from now, when the Devil Rays are playing golf and fishing and doing whatever it is that baseball players do in the off season, I will be hoping...praying...that the A's or Tigers or Twins kick the Yankees asses and sweep them out of the postseason in the first round, leaving them and their fair weather phony fans crying just like the lil' all-star featured above.
After all, it's good for the soul.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

How I amused myself today...

Today was my first day off work since, I think, last Christmas. Something like that. At any rate, I was overdue for a little down time. So here's how I spent it.
  • 7:30 - Got up (for no real good reason but it would appear I am conditioned) and had the Big Breakfast (omelette, coffee, orange juice, hash browns). The Big Breakfast is something of a Sunday tradition that hasn't happened lately since I've worked every Sunday since the Reagan administration.
  • 1:00 - Watched what had to be the worst imaginable start to the Bucs-Panthers game. Chris Simms threw an interception on the second play of the game and Keyshawn Johnson caught a touchdown on the third. After the game, Simms is rushed to the hospital to have his spleen removed. As R said, "Who ruptures their spleen?!? Honestly!"
  • 4:00ish - K and I went and moved a couple of small pieces of furniture and boxes around and went through the McDonald's drive-thru to get a couple of Cokes. I saw a worker's compensation poster on the wall inside and said to the cashier, "Hey, wanna hear an interesting story? See that girl on the poster behind you, the one with the cast on her arm? That's my sister. True story! That was her first arm modeling job. Yeah, pretty cool, huh? The bad thing is, there was something wrong with that cast. It's a fake; she didn't really have a broken arm. But she wound up getting a really bad infection from it. Ironically, she actually had to file a worker's comp claim to pay for her hospital bills. No, she doesn't arm model anymore. She doesn't have her arms. But not because of the bad cast. That's another story. Ok, thanks for the Cokes! See ya!". I like to do things like that when I'm with K and R. They act shy and embarrassed, but I think they enjoy it. I love entertaining them more than just about anything in the world. Plus, I feel I enhanced the McDonalds cashier's day a little bit. Just think, she'll be able to tell all her co-workers "Hey, you know that girl on the worker's comp poster? I waited on her brother! Yeah, she has no arms now".
  • 7:00ish - Back at K and R's place, we ordered pizza. When the guy came to the door, I wanted either K or R to answer it so I could yell from the living room (in an old man's voice), "Who's at the door? Is it that colored boy who plays the damn records so loud all night? Tell him to stop stealing my mail!". Previous times when we've ordered pizza I have yelled things from the other room like "Get in here and feed me, woman, unless you want another black eye!" and "Mother, is that daddy? Has he returned from the war?!?". But I wound up answering the door, and K and R never misbehave in an attempt to embarrass me like I do them, so nothing funny happened.

I love Sundays. Too bad I work more of them than most members of the clergy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Okay, okay, I will solve all of the world's problems

Tomorrow morning, first thing, you guys figure out some way to get together and put me in charge of the world, agree to abide by all of my policies without question and I will guarantee you will be feeling better about things by lunch time. Here's a free sample of what's in store if you decide to do The Right Thing:

  • Nobody owns a car, everybody gets free cars! How does that work, you ask? Well let me explain. When you break a car down fundamentally to it's basic, elemental purpose in life, it is nothing more than a machine designed to transport you from Point A to Point B. It wasn't until the marketers got their insidious meathooks on them that cars became toys and symbolic manifestations of our bank accounts and penises. No more. From now on, all cars are government property and will be treated like shopping carts. Millions of government cars, all over the place, free for your use as you see fit! If you need to go somewhere, just hop in whatever one is nearby (the doors won't lock), drive to where you're going and just leave it there. Somebody else will need one and will take it from there. You'll be expected to put your own gas in them, but just think; car payments, carjackings and car alarms are now instantly unpleasant things of the past. I realize cars will accumulate in certain areas, leaving others underserved, but I've already thought that out. Just think of the thousands of new jobs this will create for people who will need to go out, round them up and redistribute them.

  • Daylight Savings Time, revised. Daylight Savings Time is a concept that has outlived it's usefullness, now that farmers are automated to the point of having robotic machines that pick cucumbers, pickle them and packed into jars before returning to the barn at the end of the day. So if we're going to keep it at all, let's make it work for us. You'll still be expected to set your clocks ahead one hour in the spring and behind one hour in the fall, but here's the good part: you can do it whenever you want! Feel like getting a head start on Friday afternoon traffic? Spring forward 20 minutes! Miss the first half of Conan? Fall back a half hour! Gonna be late to that appointment with your ball-busting probation officer? Not if you fall back 45 minutes! Wanna skip that meeting with the boss? Go ahead and spring forward a whole hour, you maniac! Of course, other people will be able to counter your Daylight Savings with their own, so the strategic thinkers among us will have the upper hand. But isn't that the way it should be anyway?

  • On a related note, another outdated concept is the three month summer break for schools. That was necessary when kids had to pitch in and help out on the farm during the summer months, but that's not the case anymore. Plus, I'm out of school now and don't get three month vacations, so screw you kids. And teachers. Get your asses back into those classrooms and graduate us out some stray car retrievers.

  • Currency of the new millenium: Orgasms. Consenting adults should be allowed to use sex to barter for goods and services. I'm not talking about prostitution, where in far too many cases, human beings with virtually no other options are basically slaves to be degraded and exploited by lowlife human parasites. No, I'm just saying that if you find yourself a little short at the end of the month and you and the pizza guy or the lady who cuts your hair can work something out, then by all means, go ahead. Besides, can you honestly think of something nicer to give another person? I can't. I've had people tell me that this concept would bring the world's economy to it's knees...yet, I don't think anybody would mind. Heh heh heh.

  • Out of the UN and into the Octagon! Now, I am World Leader (you may call me King. Or just Sir) but I have absolutely no interest in getting involved in the day-to-day of every little turdburg with a flag, so each country is going to need to keep their presidents, shahs, poobahs or whatever. However, I am hereby outlawing war as we know it. So from now on, all global conflicts will be settled by fistfights between the opposing countries respective leaders. Don't like being invaded by the infidel, mongrel race across the border to your north? Then I suggest next time you go to the polls, you spend at least as much time examining the candidates height, weight and reach advantage as you do their stances on free trade. PS: Nobody is allowed to fight me.

There you have it. Completely reasonable and practical solutions to so many of life's problems. No reason we can't get these and other great ideas I'm liable to come up with when I go to bed tonight up and running, just as soon as you promote me to the appropriate position of power. I have every reason to believe that I will be great at this. However, on the off chance that I get in there and it's not working out after a few years, I'd gladly step down and abdicate all power to dogs. Let's face it, we humans have had a nice long run but we have to admit mistakes have been made. And I think the dogs might have some pretty good ideas.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Well, I'M lovin' it anyway...

  • When Vanilla Ice's 'Ice Ice Baby' was out, it was on the radio every five minutes and almost twenty years later, everybody still knows all the words to it. Yet nobody owns up to liking it.

  • Milli Vanilli won a Grammy, but ask anybody who was around when they were popular and everybody claims they always hated them. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences can say what they like about their artistic criteria, but the Grammy is not an award that's given out unless serious revenue is being produced. We all know at least one really talented musician who's better than any 10 recent Grammy winners but until their music is sold at Target and not from the trunk of a car, they are not going to win a Grammy. So somebody had to have liked Milli Vanilli...a lot.

  • McDonald's sells them by the BILLIONS but nobody will ever claim the Big Mac is their favorite sandwich, even though you know good and goddamn well that when you're eating one, it's the best thing you ever tasted in your life. Sure, like that weekend where you and your roommate "were kinda drunk and just started fooling around and, well...", you may regret it immediately afterwards, but for the 4 minutes it lasted, you know you were totally into it.

  • Everybody wants to murder Barney the purple dinosaur and yet he continues to exist. Like it's actually hard to commit a murder if you really set your mind to it.

  • "King Of Queens". Jesus H. Christ!
I first noticed this phenomenon as a little kid when we would bust on each other for having clothes (or worse, shoes) that were bought at K-Mart, which was stupid since we were, in fact, all wearing clothes (and shoes) that were bought at K-Mart.
I wish I was good at naming stuff because I like to be able to attach labels to things that I bitch about. Sure, it's basically just a breed of good old-fashioned hypocrisy, but it needs something stronger and more descriptive. Maybe MASS CONSUMPTIVE REGRETTIVE DENIAL or just FULL-OF-SHITTEDNESS. Now, I'm not saying these things aren't bad. Indeed they are. They're truly terrible, terrible things with little or no redeeming long-term merit whatsoever. But they are/were popular so we need to just get over it and own up already. Come on America, let's celebrate our suck! In poorer countries, people don't have the luxury of deciding how to live their lives on the basis of what does or does not suck. For example, places where having food and shelter would qualify as not sucking and NOT having food and shelter is every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, twice on Thursday , continuing unabated through every single forsaken weekend.
I don't know. Do what you want. As for me, well, I'm going to go eat four Big Macs while watching Barney perform a medley of Vanilla Ice and Milli Vanilli's greatest hits and I don't care who knows it. But I will not watch "King Of Queens". Jesus H. Christ, I hate that show.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Technology lets me down...again

Tonight, I was composing* a text message and learned that the auto-complete feature on my cell phone does not know the word "giraffe". So I immediately threw it out the car window at 70 miles per hour. That ought to teach someone a lesson (probably not me, though). After all, what use to me is a cell phone that doesn't know simple, common, everyday words like "giraffe"?

* I like how you're supposed to say "composing a text message". Like you're writing sonnets or something. I know every time I get a text message that says something like "wtf where u @?????? Lol", I wonder how long it took the auteur** to compose it.

** I also like how self-important I am that I think my half-assed blog needs footnotes. I am such an auteur***.

*** I believe auteur is French for "writer with cheese".

Monday, September 11, 2006

"Still Waiting"

Party hats and balloon animals again tomorrow. Today, make some phone calls, hug some people, do what you need to do (but don't be afraid to make those phone calls and get those hugs tomorrow too).

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Blog updates: Minor tweakage has taken place!

  • First of all, check out the link to "Ten at the Top", a documentary film (currently in production) by Renee Warmack. This is going to be a great project and I'm thrilled to be associated with it in any way possible.
  • Secondly, it's all the way at the bottom of the page but it's worth digging through my tripe to find "Cyannide and Happiness". Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it

Sometimes, burdened by life's problems, I grow melancholy and despondent. And it's at those times when I, like any normal person, give serious consideration to jumping off the glorious Sunshine Skyway. What stops me, though, is that there's a $1.00 toll. It just seems kind of, I don't know, wasteful. I can't help feeling that I'd like my last act on earth to be something a little more meaningful than paying a dollar and having a senior citizen toll booth attendant in a Hawiian shirt tell me to have a nice day. Sure, there's some delicious irony there, but they would probably feel like a bit of an ass after finding out I jumped. And I don't really need that on my conscience.
I do find it interesting that they collect the toll before you cross the bridge. It seems like crossing a a five and a half mile-long bridge that rises as high as 193 feet above the water is a risky enough proposition (especially in light of what happened to the old Sunshine Skyway) that payment should be expected upon conclusion of the undertaking, not at the onset. If I make it across a bridge like that alive, I'm more than happy to pay my dollar (unless my intention was actually to not make it across alive, in which case I'm probably going to be sour about having to cough up a buck).
Personally, I believe the great state of Florida is capitalizing on those who aspire to perform The Ultimate Bellyflop, which is either resourceful or crass, depending on your political leanings.