Thursday, December 30, 2010

Focusing On the Present.

Giving presents is easy. Oh sure, some may claim to be stressed about the possibility that the recipient won’t enjoy or appreciate what you spent minutes picking out for them. But in reality, most people, regardless of what you wrapped up in your finest tacky Santa Snowman Rudolph Jingle Balls Birthday paper, will put on a happy face and give you a big ol’ hug and/or kiss and wish you a Merry McSomething. If you know the person well enough, or they simply have no pokerface, then you may indeed go home feeling like shit, knowing you had a shitty gift. But no matter what the case may be, just assume the best and give in to whatever their reaction is. Don’t try and dissect if it’s fake or not, by staring them down and asking dumb questions. 

“Are you sure you like it?”
“Is it the right size?”
“You don’t already have it do you?”
“Bla bla bla fuckin’ blabadee bloo?”

These questions are like a festive gift oriented version of “Do I look fat in these jeans?”. Regardless of their real answer, or how they feel about your gift, the answer will, in most cases, be a firm “I Love It”. They are already put enough on the spot by having you (and everyone else) watch their every facial expression. Honestly, is an added interrogation really necessary? So, don’t do that. In short, receiving presents is the trickiest, and that is when you are really in the hot seat.

There are essentially five situations you can find yourself in after opening a gift.

I Love It.

In this scenario, there is usually no need to act or pretend. You can be very open about how great the gift was, and dance around to your heart’s content. The only exception to this rule is if you are married and the gift did not come from your spouse. In this case, you may show your happiness, but there should be slightly less rejoicing than there was at the opening of your spouse’s gift to you. Otherwise, Lucy, you will have some ‘splaining to do.

“Oh man, that’s AWESOME. Best present of the year, hands down” he tooted not realizing that his wife looked down upon him with a cold stare that could freeze-kill most babies. Once he caught wind of the stare in his keen peripheral vision, he assured the crowd, “… after the Snuggie that my wife gave me, of course. Let’s reiterate shall we, number one present of the year, Snuggie from wife, number two, this amazing thoughtful present.”

… and scene / divorce.

I Hate It.

Unless it is part of some kind of office party Yankee Swap, openly admitting a present’s suckiness is bad form. You can’t ever let anyone know that their present sucked. If you’re a total asshole or just want to make the person breakdown, then, by all means, have at it with a nice fat “What’s this shit?” or a “You gotta be kiddin’ me” or a “Really? That’s the gift?”. But, as long as you want to keep the giver’s feelings intact, you have to get your best Meryl Streep on and find at least one reason why it is a good present (even if the person clearly did not even attempt to think about you when selecting it). Try not to repeat the name of the present too often, as it’s a dead giveaway (yes, you’re right, that is taken from an episode of Seinfeld).

“Well, I’ve never tried snowboarding before, but certainly, now, with this snowboard, I just might.”
“Assorted nuts! Thanks! Regardless of my pesky deadly allergy, I’ll give it a whirl! Where’s my Epi-Pen?”
“I can’t wait to light up my room with this here Lava Lamp! They’re so useful!”
“Oh, the new Britney Spears perfume! Normally I wear cologne, given that I am a male, but I’m sure the ladies will be all over me when I smell like this sweet candy!“ 
“I’ve heard about these Snuggies! Oh, looks like you left the receipt in the bag here, oh don’t worry, I’ll hang onto it. Oh wow, look at that, it has the address of the store and everything, hmmm interesting!

I Already Have It.

Similar to the “I Hate It”, you generally have to come up with a reason why it’s perfect. It’s easy since, you already have it, and know exactly why you like it. In some cases, you can probably let the person know. But be careful. People giving gifts are in a fragile anxious state, and you would hate to see a suicide note that mentioned your reaction to a gift. The absolute worst thing to do is admit you already have it, but then try and find some reason why having two of them is okay.

“No, it’s great, now I can have a copy of it in each car.”
“Seriously, I was actually hoping to have a second plunger for my single toilet.”
“Look, it’s always good to have extra Snuggies.”

What the Hell Is It?

Also similar to the “I Hate It”, the problem here is that you won’t be able to find a valid reason why it’s a perfect gift for you, since you don’t what it is. It may in fact be a perfect gift for you, but you’d never know by looking at it. Sometimes the giver knows that it’s a weird unknown gift item and will explain what it is immediately after you open it. After this, you can move into option 1 or 2. If they don’t make with the explaining, then you have to find something to say, and fast.

“Oh wow, I love the color, they make them in blue? Didn’t know that, nice.”
“Niiiiiiiiiiiii-(stalling for time)-iiiiiiiiiiiiice………….. it’s prettttyyyyyyyy-(while saying this, try reading on the back what the fuck this thing is and react accordingly)-yyyyyyyyy………”
“Well, it’s definitely not a Snuggie, so thank you.”

Where the Hell Is It?

The only difference between this and “I Hate It”, is that in this case the person didn't even give you a present when you were expecting one (the true spirit of Ex-Mas). It’s a non-gift, really. Usually this comes in the form of an empty card, or a Holiday Wish accompanied by a hug-kiss. Sentimentality is generally attached to it in a cheap attempt to stop you from feeling cheated. Try not to let the disappointment show.

“What a beautiful card! It’s definitely better than the new iPood I gave you! You win.”
“Oh! Careful! Don’t give me too big a hug, I will feel like the gifts that I actually bought for you with actual money that I earned weren't expensive enough!”
“At first I thought there was something else hidden inside the Snuggie, but no, the Snuggie is more than enough. It’s definitely an actual present.”

When I was growing up I thought that gift cards were lazy and stale, but now I realize that it might be the only sure win. It’s not cold and thoughtless the way cash is, and at the same time, leaves it open for the recipient to find something that they might actually want. There is still some thought involved, since you had to have thought of a store that they would actually like. As a last resort, always go with the cinema gift card, which pretty much says “I don’t know anything about you, but cash just seems too impersonal, certainly there will be a film of some kind you might enjoy someday”.

That’s it. I’ve got a Snuggie to return.

Foot Note: Sorry that this comes a few days late, but I was busy employing the techniques contained in this very article. Also, feel free to replace Snuggie with Pajama Jeans, ShamWOW, or whatever is currently found at the end of the aisle at most Rite-Aids and CVS stores. !!!HD VISION GLASSES!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bad Language.

While I do feel that some expressions die out before their time, there are definitely some expressions that hang on far too long, well past the point of being totally played out. Usually the way an expression fizzles is that someone exceedingly lame gets a hold of it, and completely ruins it for everyone else. Picture people still spouting the “whazaap” catch phrase from those fucking beer commercials and you’ll know the type of people that I mean. They may even be the same people that would wish you a "Happy Tuesday" (see: Celebrate Good Times? Come On.). Sometimes the expressions that they use were never even that cool to begin with (once again, “whazaaap” comes to mind), and yet somehow they infect the language and become widely used in everyday conversation.

The following is a list of expressions and sayings and things that I would like to do away with immediately, as they have either outlived their relevance and usefulness, were never relevant or useful to begin with, or just should have never become as widespread and popular as they have. They also tend to piss me off every time that I hear them, and I would usually like to kick the perpetrator in the nuts and/or boobies.

1) “Old School”

The popularity of the movie of the same name only worsened the needless propagation of this expression that I personally feel no one really understood in the first place. For something to be of the old school, it needs to be something that used to be the standard practice and has since been replaced by some new standard practice, a.k.a., the new school. This is not how most people use it.

“Oh man, what you eatin’? Fuckin’ fishsticks? Man that shit is old school.”
“There’s like this old school dude standing on the corner peeing.”
“I like the old school episodes of the Cosby Show.”

I really did like this expression for a while. But now it is overused, warped, and thus, quite lame. Dare I say, it is old school to use old school properly. People overuse “hardcore” in a similar fashion, but I’m willing to keep it in circulation. Just promise to stop using it so much, I want it to remain at least somewhat special.

2) “Man-Cave”

This has not become lame through overuse. This was simply lame to begin with. If I have to hear another dickhead talk about his man-cave I think I might shove my boot directly up his man-cave.

“Aw fuck yeah, this is perfect for my man-cave, yeah, fuckin’ flatscreen right there get my beer on, fuckin’ pool table, fuckin’ burgendyblooblooblearghenshpieldoods!!!!!!!! I’M A FUCKIN’ MAN!”

The expression is lame enough, but behind it is a whole adulescent mentality of dudes and whatnot trying to hang on to their college heydays in some sort of bizarre nostalgia for an age that never existed, and that’s what’s even worse. If only the energy spent fantasizing over a perfect cavern-like saloon-style dungeon room full of “manly” paraphernalia could be put to better use by these types, like by jumping off a bridge, we’d all be better off. Maybe I should just stop watching so much damn HGTV and I wouldn’t hear it quite so frequently.  Seriously all the dudes on those house shows say it.

Along with this term, let’s get rid of Bromance, Frosh, Metrosexual, Flatscreen and Grillin’.

3) Any word ending in ‘z’, or, you know, pluralizing shit for no reason

Sure, I am guilty of it sometimes too, but I’m sick of it. Sick of it for realz.

4) Saying obnoxious sounding abbreviations out loud

As early as high school I remember cringing when someone would refer to Geography as “geo”. In college “Polly Sci” made me want to puke everywhere every time that I heard it. Now we have a whole generation of jackasses saying, out loud, stuff that was only meant to be used to shorten the amount of keystrokes in a digital message. Do they not realize that saying OH EMM GEE takes the same amount of time as saying OH MY GOD? Count your fucking syllables people! These are all the same bunch of lunatics that invent words like "Texting", and then, in turn, "Sexting". Rom-com? Tomkat? Double-You Tee Eff (Its longer than saying WHAT THE FUCK)?

To top it all off, now at work I have to hear people talk about VAYKAY time (meaning vacation… yes, really). And just when we thought we were done with the valley-girl-ish “whatever”, we were bombarded with “whatevs”.

You will notice that the people that use these abbreviated kinds of expressions are the same people that never fucking shut up. I wish that they would just abbreviate themselves.

5) “Indie”

Using this word to describe music, film, comedy, art, people or whatever is about as played out and vague as describing food as “organic”. Please note that it is perfectly acceptable to use this word when referencing Indiana Jones.

There are a whole slew of other words like “Emo”, “Goth”, “Fusion”, “Nerd”, “Punk” or whatever that have become distorted over time, and are now meaningless. You will know these expressions when you come across them, because they will make you feel dead inside. I couldn’t possibly list them all here.

6) “Recession”

Whether it’s your hairline, your gums or the economy, seriously, fuck recession.

If we all work real hard at boycotting these expressions, sayings, manoeuvres and shit, then maybe, just maybe, there will be some hope for us as a society. In the meantime, I’ll just continue complaining.

That’s it. I needz to get back to my old school man-cave now.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Express Yourself.

Often times popular slang terms come along and replace the previously popular slang terms meant to describe given actions, nouns, persons, or whatever. While I think that this is a necessity for the advancement of our species as a whole, and for the progression of popular culture in a society, I don’t always agree with the replacement slang terms. Sometimes the old one has not yet worn out its welcome, or simply, should not be replaced by such tacky new slang. I have carefully selected some examples to present here in an attempt to show you what I mean, and perhaps even assist in the bringing back to life of some expressions that I prefer over their modern day replacements.

1) Shaft.

Although it did not last long and was soon replaced by “dissed” or even “busted”, shafting somebody was what we said in my schoolyard days growing up when someone gave someone else the business. In today’s terms, you would no doubt know this as “burning” someone. You might even say “Oh, burrrrrrrn” or “burned!!!” or even concoct all sorts of insane hybrids like “burnination”, or “superburn”, or something involving burns ‘n shit.

Formulating a good burn and then telling someone that they got burned may indeed be satisfying, but it lacks the all out crassness and vulgarity of telling someone that they just got SHAFTED. A burn is something that might sting a little like, “Ouchy that burns!”, and then makes you shed a single tear. A shaft on the other hand…

“OH GOD, MAKE IT STOP!”

Followed by vomiting, crying in the foetal position, years of therapy and an overwhelming sense of failure throughout the rest of life’s challenges. It’s a hell of a lot more degrading and demoralizing than a wimpy, sissy little burn. I’d take a third degree burn any day over a huge shaft. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

2) Wet fart.

Look, I can appreciate the humour and intelligence behind the construction of the word “shart”. But let’s be honest, it doesn’t hold a candle to the term “wet fart”. Wet fart is much more descriptive, raw and emotional. Incidentally, don’t ever actually hold a candle up to a wet fart, because it can cause explosions. People probably still say wet fart, here and there, but shart has clearly become the more popular term, and I really do feel that that is a shame. Wet fart is much more elegant and graceful (the expression, not the actual fart).

“Lord Backingfield wept at the sight of his eldest daughter shamefully retreating from her wedding ceremony at the tail end of a true wet fart. The crowd stood motionless, silent, horrifed. The white dress was a white dress no longer.”

3) Dickhead.

You’re probably thinking, “hey no, hold on just a second there ya ol' poo, people still say dickhead”. But think about it. Think real hard. Do they? Do they really? Not as much as they used to. I’m not sure what the direct replacement was, maybe it was douchebag. That seems to still be a popular one. The sad thing is, most people don’t know what a douchebag is actually referring to. Do douches even exist anymore? I guarantee that if they do, they definitely don’t have bags anymore. A dickhead, on the other hand, well that’s easy to figure out. It’s what you call someone, when they are being a dickhead. Say it a few times. You’ll see how satisfying it can be.

“What a dickhead.”
“Man, that Jeremy is a total fucking dickhead.”
“Let’s bail. This place is for dickheads.”

Feels good don’t it?

I think that if we all try real hard, we can start bringing back some of the best expressions of yesteryear. I know at first you may feel like you are going against nature, but I assure you, if the expression is awesome to the max, it will catch on once again, and return to the mainstream. Like fashion, I feel that slang can be cyclical. And then you will be known in your inner circle as one of the wonderful few that helped start the comeback and restoration of a once decayed piece of slang history. You will have been ahead of the curve, for once in your fucking life. Oh burn.

That’s it. I’m going to go shaft some more people.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pack Man or Mispack Man?

Packing a bag for a vacation is the worst part of the vacation. It almost ruins the whole vacation. You put it off as long as you can. You’ll eat, you’ll exercise, you’ll call relatives, or you’ll do whatever. You may even find yourself cleaning your entire apartment the night before you leave, before you have even packed, because, apparently you would just hate to come back to a mess. You haven’t even left yet, and already you’re thinking about what will happen when you come back. Can’t you even relax for a second? Fuck! Why is it that the current present ‘you’ can live in this pig sty, but the future post vacation ‘you’ can’t put up with it for a second? What a condescending prick, all relaxed and vacationed and shit. Future Kevin thinks he is so much better than me. Why should I clean? He’s the one that just took a vacation.

Anyways, all of this procrastination stems partly from the fact that packing makes you feel stupid. You wind up losing the ability to perform even the simplest mathematical equations and arithmetic. Even worse, you start talking to yourself. You could be a mathmetologist for NASA and still need an old school abacus to pack for a three day retreat to some fucking log cabin. Out loud you say unto yourself:

“Ok, let’s see, I’m leaving tomorrow and coming back the following Tuesday. SooOOOooo, tomorrow is Friday and that means I need… eight pairs of underwear? Wait do I need to count tomorrow? Hmmm… I’ll already be wearing some tomorrow. Gee this is tough…”

Using the Harry Potter calendar on your wall and a solar powered calculator from high school, you come up with a number that seems right, but, regardless of your day count, the packing experience ends up becoming a frantic free for all, where you’re pretty much just trying to fit as much stuff into your bag as possible. Bringing a tube-top to a wedding in the Yukon? Why not?! Then the zipper on the bag won’t close, and you wind up having to cut some articles from the vacation team. The first few articles are always easy to cut.

“Yellow turtle neck? You’re cut, sorry, try again next vacation.”
“I guess I don’t need every pair of jeans that I own.”
“I suppose one bathrobe is enough.”
“I’m not exactly sure when I would even make use of this DICKEY.”

After that it’s more difficult and you wind up trying to figure out which sweat-stained half-ripped band t-shirt you absolutely need, or don’t need. You may like to tell yourself that you would do well in a desert island situation, but I think that inability to make decisions would probably do you in.

“Oh gosh, which plantain skins would make for a more durable beach hat? … hmmmm…”, thought the castaway, and then, out of nowhere, a monkey tried to eat his two eyeballs.

Imagine building a raft to try and sail back to the mainland and having to pack a desert island bag for that trip? You’d wind up cleaning up your base camp five times before choosing which coconut halves would make for better goggles, or earmuffs, or miniature helmets for your monkey. No, not the eyeball eater, it’s a different monkey. It’s a helper monkey.

“You never know, I just might wash up onto shore again, and I’d hate to come back to a mess.”

Moving right along.

So after carefully discriminating against the swimming trunks (you know you won’t end up in that god damn hotel pool anyways) and the extra pair of running shoes (you know you won’t end up at that god damn hotel gym anyways) the zipper still won’t close, and you take out more and more, almost at random now. You stand on top of the bag to zip it up, unknowingly causing your deodorant/lube/sunscreen/lotion/shampoo bottle to explode. Don’t worry. It will be a nice surprise when you arrive. Unfortunately, as you started discriminating, you completely lost track of the amount of each type of clothing that you actually will need, and you’ll end up with a dizzying array of assorted and mismatched items. Not enough underwears, too many socks. Not enough t-shirts, overload of pants. You get the idea.

I once went on a three day trip and managed to pack six pairs of underwear, three shirts, a single pair of socks and no pants, except for the pair of jogging pants that I travelled there in. By the third day, my pants stank like sweaty farty plane cushions and lightly fermented guacamole. I had a pair of underwear on each foot, due to the sock shortage and the only clean shirt that I had left was soaked in shampoo because the exploded two-in-one shampoo stored in the side pocket leaked into the main compartment. On the bright side, the fruity smell covered up the eerie stench of the jogging pants. Also, my shirt was so healthy looking it shined, and my chest hair never felt so soft! Anyways, needless to say, I did not get the job. Apparently, they went with a more experienced candidate. Personally, I think they smelled the Pert Plus and were looking for more of a Head and Shoulders or Dove kind of a guy. I guess what they say is true. Two-in-one shampoos just don’t work. Anyways, all of this got me thinking.

My solution is disposable one-piece jumpsuits. Not for all of the time, just for when you are travelling. It would make packing real easy. Five days, five jump suits. Even better, all hotels could start selling them, so you wouldn’t even need to pack. Just show up in a pair of boots and then buy as many as you need. Now, they should be loose enough to not show too much of one’s bits and pieces, but not so loose that they would blow up like a big ol’ balloon every time there is a big gust of wind. After all, we’d hate for people to take off like kites. Anyways, they’d kind of look like those HASMAT suits that the people wore in E.T. when they came to operate on him, except without the helmets and melodrama. Kids, never follow a trail of Reese’s Pieces into a stranger’s house. It will only lead to trouble.

But I digress.

Sure, jumpsuits would make tourists would stick out like sore thumbs, but at least it would make shit simple. And you can still make yourself stand-out by wearing snazzy dress shoes. So, no, not everyone would look the same. They’d have different shoes, and perhaps different hats. Different faces too, I guess. Until the jump suits become widely available (I’m working on a prototype), I would suggest that, after you’ve finished packing, throw in some extra underwears just in case. Even if you don’t end up using them like they are intended to be used, they can come in handy and fill a variety of other uses like handkerchief, bowtie, hat, sock, bathing suit, kite or flag (you know, in case you need to surrender to someone, you can just place white underwear at end of a branch and wave it around).

Even with my eventual jumpsuit solution, you’d still have to pack all of that other stuff that you take on vacation, like bathroom crap. But that’s the stuff you always throw in at the end, and usually forget anyways. Have you ever forgotten your toothbrush and had to ask at the front desk of a hotel for one of those disposable ones? Why the hell are they made so thin, and yet so fucking long? It’s like the toothbrush that a really delicate miniature pony might use to brush his teeth. Some of the toy toothbrushes come with powdered soap already on them. The assumption of course is that if you forgot your toothbrush, you obviously forgot your toothpaste. I’ve always found they look and taste a little suspicious. It’s like they sprinkled some Comet on the end of it. Maybe they are actually meant to be used by the cleaning staff for scrubbing stains off of the sheets and/or toilet seats.  Either way, try and remember your toothbrush.

“I’m sorry, I forgot my toothbrush, do have one of those little ones?”
“Sure, here. Careful, don’t hold it too hard, it might break in half. Also, here is some toilet cleaner, your breath really smells.”
“Thank you. Wow, what a quality toothbrush, I can actually count on my hands the number of bristles. There are four bristles, oh shit, it broke.”
“Here take a few more, we got buckets of them.”
“Do you have any glue? Maybe if I glue seven of them together, it will be a better brush.”

Is the toothbrush the only item that they have little toy store replacements for behind the desk? I bet they probably have some of those little combs too. I wonder if anyone has ever gone up to them and said that they forgot their enema. Surely it happens. Lord knows that we all tend to get backed up when we travel. To me, the need for a replacement enema would come up more often that the need for the shoe shine glove thing, or the sewing kit. Who fixes buttons on vacation?

“Honey, are you coming for dinner?”
“Hold on, I’ve got two more shirts to mend and then I need to shine my shoes.”

Anyways, I’d like to see what kind of MacGyver enema that they would come up with (e.g.: Funnel with a Gatorade filled water balloon). Actually, now that I think about it, most rooms already come with a laxative in the form of shitty hotel coffee and powdered dairy creamer. If that fails, hopefully you’re staying somewhere with the free continental breakfast, where anything is guaranteed to make you make the poop (like when you’re climbing up a ladder, and you feel something splatter).

Good thing you packed all of that extra underwear.

And is it just me, or are the shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, facial soap, moisturizer, etc. all just the same goopy mucus shit with a different label and bottle? In the end, sometimes it’s best to just stay home. Packing for that is easy. You’ve probably already done it. You can’t forget anything, because you’re already there. Not to mention, if you don’t leave, you won’t worry about coming home to a messy apartment and can continue to live in your current filthy nasty household. These are the kinds of things that I think about when I should be packing.

That’s it. I have a jump suit to try out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Be Our Guest.

The only thing worse than having guests, is being one. Yeah I said it. Staying at someone else’s place sucks. Oh gee, am I even allowed to poo? And not just because I don’t have home field advantage in the bathroom, although, that is a big issue. It’s tough to win one when you’re the visiting team. But just in general, is it considered impolite? Can I hold it in forever? What will that do to my insides? Maybe I can sneak one out when everyone has gone to bed. Is it normal or even considered alright to bring a matchbook to someone else’s house? Damn, I don’t know how sensitive their smoke alarms are. Imagine setting that off, and waking everyone up, just so that they can run out of their rooms to find that first, there is no fire, and that second, it smells like barbecued poops (a.k.a. barbepoo)? Is there a big potpourri store that I don’t know about that gives this crap away? Why does everyone else’s bathroom appear to be tidier than mine? Maybe they all go out to shit. Sometimes peoples’ kitchens look immaculate because they always have take-out. Maybe some people always have shit-out (take-shit-out would also be an acceptable term).

Then there’s the ‘what to wear to bed’ dilemma. Do I go with the ‘stretched to the limit’ boxer briefs and risk showing half my nutsack to an innocent passerby during a middle of the night trip to the foreign toilet? Do I bring my Pyjama Jeans? If I wear the full coverage flannel or fleece bottoms and shirt I’ll sweat more, guaranteed. How worried should I be about getting all my moist stinky sweat all over their good guest pillows? Do I leave my toothbrush in the bathroom, or bring it back to my suitcase? Is it bad form to clip my toenails here? Well, shit, they’re going to bed, so I guess I have to also. Oh well, they said good night, I for sure can’t just keep watching their TV. I wish they’d stop asking me if I needed more blankets or pillows. How many fucking pillows do their guests usually need? Maybe the last people made a fort.

And how does the showering work here? Should I bring my own bar, or will soap and shampoo be provided, as it is in most hotels? There is definitely a free drawer in this stinky old dresser. Does that mean I can unpack my underwear into it? What if I don’t want to? Is it rude if I don’t? Is it rude if I do? Where do my dirty clothes go? If I put them back in my bag the rest of my clothes will stink. If I shove them in the corner, it will look weird. If I ask them for a garbage bag, that might look weirder. Can I tell them that it’s too fucking hot in here? This is the fan they have for this room? Is that a normal noise? Where is that light coming from?

While all of these questions and concerns are both normal and annoying, they are not the worst part of the stay-over. The worst part is always the SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS. No matter what your hosts have prepared for you, they will always open with a promise of how comfortable the arrangements are.

“This thing is so comfortable, it’s awesometacular. Aw man, so comfy, it’s the best.”

Did I say promise? I meant lie. If it’s really that great, then why isn’t it in their bedroom?

1) The Spare Bed

Every guest room spare bed has a story behind it. Unfortunately, none of these stories are ones that will psychologically assist you in getting a good night’s sleep.

First off the bed’s back story can indicate that it’s as old as fuck. And honestly, fuck is pretty old and probably has a lot of bed bugs and shit.

That bed, yeah my parents got that bed at a yard sale back in nineteen sixty seven from people that had gotten it from their grandparents guest room.  I think it's made of steel.”

Sometimes instead of declaring it to be old as fuck, they’ll casually mention that it was used to fuck.

“That’s the bed we had when we were first married. Jeffrey was conceived on it. Do you have enough blankets?”

If that concept doesn’t spook you, try this haunted tale.

“It was Aunt Cecilia’s death bed. She died right on that side, right there. Oh that’s the side you sleep on? Well, don’t worry, we Febrezed it several times. Do you need some more pillows?”

Sometimes the beds come with instructions or warnings.

“Just try and keep to the top left, there’s this weird brown stain from here to… well... euh… It’s probably nothing, and, I mean, we put a sheet over it so, you know what, forget I said anything. Is that blanket thick enough?”

The brown stain is probably from the last guest who blew his brains out, or maybe a guest who shit the bed, too timid to get up and go to the bathroom. Maybe it just turned brown from being so old, like an old brown banana. And who doesn’t love an old brown banana? In short, be psyched.

That brings me to the physical obstacles, like stains. If you manage to get past whatever emotional baggage the bed comes with, then you will have to deal with the physical obstacles that generally come with the guest bed. You must remember, this is the bed that your hosts cast aside when they couldn’t take it anymore, and went on to buy a new bed for themselves, and put this old dung heap in the guest room. It may have springs coming out of it, dents in certain areas, or even its own signature smells

The bed will likely be shaped like a ‘U’, sunken in the middle like a thick hammock. Don’t bother trying to sleep anywhere but the middle, as you will be sucked into the springy vortex. If sleeping alone, this can sometimes be comfortable. It’s like your own little bouncy canoe. If sharing the sunken-in bed, however, be prepared for severe amounts of night time touchage and a healthy dose of sweat, oozing from the other person's brains, and getting all over your face. If the bed is sunken in enough, you will need a grappling hook to exit. The bed is almost always very low to the ground, so be careful to not slam your knees on the ground when exiting. The lowness would be a plus if you regularly fall out of the bed, but this will never happen due to the patented ‘U’ shape design of the guest bed.

Guest beds are often at least as firm than the floor, so consider both the bed and floor as viable options for sleep. If there’s carpet on the floor, it’s a no-brainer.

B) The Couch

If there is no guest bed, then chances are there isn’t even a guest room and you will be facing the sofa bed or futon. You will be placed out in some heavy foot traffic main living area, probably near a bathroom where people take night time dumps and loud pees. There will be light shining in through the windows from what feels like a UFO of some kind, but is actually some streetlight shining directly in your face. Also, at some point, you may end up being mauled by a cat, or humped by a dog.

In any case, either sofa bed or futon, just sleep directly on the sofa or futon without unfolding them (sometimes all you have been offered is a regular couch that is hopefully long enough that you won’t have to sleep with your legs up like you are riding on a rocket to the moon). It is also acceptable to remove the mattress from the frame and put it directly on the floor. Now you can easily avoid the dreaded ‘middle of the back bar’ on the sofa-bed, or the fact that futons are seemingly made only for people less than five feet tall. Being on the floor can increase cat maulings or dog humpings, so please take that into consideration.

There is no shutting out the streetlight because your hosts don’t have blinds or curtains over those windows. Better luck next time, asshole. In any case, you’ll be forced to wake up whenever the first person in the household wakes up, since you are out in the open. Just pray that your wiener or nipple or vagina or ass-crack or taint or pubes aren’t showing.

IV) The Air Mattress

They always seem like a good idea, but they also always leak air. If you know that you are sleeping on an air mattress, blow it up as soon as you get there, even if it is morning. You need to know how bad it is leaking, stat. Once you confirm that it is leaking, you have to hunt for the holes. Hole-hunting basically means that you have to hover over it with your hands, like it’s some kind of mystical ouija board, and then shush everyone.

“Shhhhh quiet, I’m listening for the air. I’m trying to feel where the leak is – WITH MY MIND.”

Once you find holes, you have to patch them with the million patches that come with the air mattress. That really should have been the first sign that these things aren’t very reliable. That’s like giving out morning after pills with packs of condoms, you know, just in case.  The patches kind of look like the patches your mom used to use to cover the holes in your finest pair of husky jeans, and also, they never actually stop the air from leaking out. You fall asleep in the air, and wake up on the floor. The sides of the air mattress are hugging your sides like some kind of hot dog bun. But, in this scenario, you are the big ol’ sausage!  You may be thinking, "it's kind of more like a taco, and I am the ground beef", but you are wrong.  The answer is hot dog.

Sharing an air mattress sucks even harder, because every move the other person makes shakes you around like you’re trying to sleep through an earthquake. I suggest yelling out “EARTHQUAKE” every time the other person moves. It’s great for their self-esteem. The morning after sharing an air mattress with my wife was the only time that I have ever woken up, looked over at her, and wished that she was way the hell fatter than me. Because there she was, gingerly perched on a cushiony cloud of airy comfort, while I lay on the ground, with my feet slightly elevated. I did what any good husband would do, and rolled off, sending her on a quick descent towards an abrupt hardwood wakeup call. This is an excellent way to share a laugh with your partner, eventually, when they begin speaking to you again, sometime during the following month.

Also, if the mattress is a bit saggy and your partner is laying on it, don’t jump too hard onto it, or you will risk sending them flying out the window, into the ceiling fan or head first into a light bulb. If this is your plan, then be sure to get the angle just right. Practice makes perfect, so maybe do a few trial runs with the local dog, cat or children.

But, honestly, I suggest you just fill the air mattress with water. That way, if it doesn’t leak, you get a water bed experience. If it does leak, then you’ll get water everywhere, but you can blame it on your host for giving you a shitty air mattress. Win – win.

There are definitely other sleeping arrangements that can be thrown at you, like a tree house in the back yard, foam placed on a concrete floor (they look like mushy egg cartons and feel like crap!), sleeping bag in the bathtub, or even a Murphy bed. So bring lots of Aleve, you’ll need it. That or horse tranquilizers. Personally I just ask the host for more pillows and blankets, pile them under the sheets so it looks like I’m sleeping in there, and then I check into a nearby hotel.

That’s it. I gotta go blow up the air mattress for my mom. It’s really comfortable.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Writer's Block, Vol. II.

I sprayed Pam into a frying pan and got some on the counter. Now what? How do you clean Pam off of the counter? Pledge, you say? Won’t that just make everything even more greasy and slippery? Honestly, that’s like cleaning a shit stain with a melty chocolate bar. Yes, it’s exactly like that. In all seriousness, you could accidentally mix up the labels on your Pledge and your Pam and no one would know the difference. Well, until someone starts noticing a certain lemon-bleachy zest in the fried tilapia. That and everyone’s teeth start shining extra bright like freshly stained and polished cedar.  But, I feel that Pledge's whole ad campaign should be based on its ability to turn a regular coffee table into an air hockey table.

"Honey, pass me one of those coasters."
[COASTER GLIDES ACROSS TABLE AND FLIES THROUGH THE WINDOW]
"I win, I win!  One to nothin'!!"

Seriously though, when you go overly apeshit with the Pledge (or Pam for that matter) and get some on the floor by mistake, it takes years for the floor not to be slippery anymore. It's a death trap for anyone wearing socks.  Suddenly you have small zones of floor all around your house, marked off with cones, that you know to be careful around, like hardwood black ice.

“Careful over there, there’s a slippery spot. Don’t wear socks in that room. You need to put on your cleats.”

Who are these people that wear shoes in their own house?  Creepy.  Ever accidentally done the splits because of a Pledgey spot on the floor? Me neither. My mother used to clean the kitchen table with Pledge and when she would call us down for supper (in Canada, we say SUPPER), we would come running down, excited, and then go flying across the floor like some kind of linoleum Slip N’ Slide. Except instead of a refreshing pool at the end, it was an open oven. That’s actually how we lost our cat, Mr. Majestyk. In retrospect we should have called him Mr. Tender N’ Delicious. I’m kidding, we didn’t eat him. But he ruined our fucking lasagna.

Slip N’ Slide was one of those disappointing toys, wasn’t it? The commercial was full of guitar solos and people having an absolute blast. In reality, you were lucky if you even made it all the way to the end without veering to the side, touching the grass and/or pavement, and doing a horrifyingly painful backwards somersault. I guess toys like that set us up for being disappointed by a lot of things in life in general as adults. Oh shit, remember Pogo Ball? How were those asshole kids getting so much air in those commercials? Again, guitar solos, turntable sounds, jump kicks, sideways or backwards hats and flying happy ninja children. I’ll tell you, my brothers and I barely got the thing off of the ground, let alone got three or four feet of air. Picture trying to jump with THE PLANET SATURN between your ankles and you get a bit of the idea.

“Hey guys, check this out, I can jump even higher if I throw the Pogo Ball into the garbage.”

There was also a brief yoyo craze when I was growing up, but my attempts at the “Around the World” trick ended when the yoyo tagged me in the balls. What a nice surprise (see: Quelle Surprise!).  I always managed to get hit in the balls during sports growing up. I was the only kid that insisted on wearing a cup while playing hacky sack. I’d get hit in the nuts during Hide and Seek. Speaking of which, did you ever have a game of Hide and Seek that ended prematurely? You know, where everyone goes home before someone gets found, but no one bothers to tell that kid?

“Did anyone find Jeremy?”
“No, but, eventually he’ll figure it out. Let’s all go to our homes.”

Jeremy remained crouched in the garbage can seemingly forever, figuring that their cries of “come out Jeremy, come out wherever you are, we’re going home, the game's done” were just a lame ploy to lure him out prematurely. He was eventually found, hungry, shivering and holding a Pogo Ball for warmth.  He sat there, in a pile of his own poopies, victorious. He was the clear winner.

In short, sometimes it’s better to lose.

That’s it. I'm trying to use this hot Snickers bar to remove this skidmark.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Celebrate Good Times? Come On.

It all started off when somewhere, some lunatic first thought to themselves that “saaay, Friday is one day before Saturday, and boy oh boy does that ever make me happy”, figuring it was like some kind of a holiday to him. So he goes around wishing everyone a ‘Happy Friday’. Wow, so witty and clever. This is the same joker who probably has a nickname for everyone he’s ever met in his entire life.

“What up [enter obnoxious nickname that only this person uses]?"

Long pause.

"[repeat obnoxious nickname but stretch out the final syllable and make the voice go higher and higher by at least three octaves]!”

You know, I bet they have a big fucking barbecue too, and always mention that they’re going to grill or golf or whatnot. They do real well for themselves, no doubt.  They say shit like 'that's what I'm talking about' or 'you da man' or 'story of my life'.  They’re named like, Karl or Travis, or Casey, or like Wendy. Well shit, the keener intern/temp/asshole from two cubicles down (the one who bakes cheesy doodles and marzipan hot buns for EVERYONE in the office every two or three days) picked up on this cheerful and awesomely fun behavior and started applying it to Mondays too. You know, to be ironical and/or cute or something. It wasn’t. It’s not. They’re not.

Telling someone that they have a ‘case of the Mondays’, Office Space style, is lame, but it isn’t nearly as lame as suggesting to “turn that frown upside down” and then bringing it all home with a big ol’ “Happy Monday!”

Seriously fuck you. Turn your head upside down and stick it UP YOUR ASS WITH BROKEN GLASS. Now. Go back to the temp agency forever and ever please. Now.  But hey guess what? Happy Monday and Happy Friday just weren’t good enough for these happy office folk. It was only the beginning.  This brings me to one dreadful Tuesday,  when someone said unto me, ‘Happy Tuesday’. I don’t remember when it was, but I seem to remember taking a few personal days afterwards, understandably so. I even contemplated quitting.  I wanted to set fire to my ears and never go back to the land of hearing.

“Well, enjoy the freshly baked lemon poppy seed jalapeƱo popper pizza bagel coffee cupcakes that I baked from scratch. They’re healthy and nutrasweet! Happy Tuesday!”

This is where we’re at now? Celebrating moments of time just for existing once a week? Obviously Wednesday and Thursday came next, and so now, we’re all pretty much fucked. Perky, chipper, screechy-voiced wienies are coming out of the woodworks wishing us all Happy Anyday and wanting to tell us about their weekends and plans and home renovations. What’s next you ask?

“Happy 5th of November everyone!”
“Happy dusk on a Sunday!”
“Happy Bathroom Break! Seriously, number one or number two?”
“Happy Which Conference Room is the Two O’Clock Meeting in this Afternoon??!!”
“Happy 3:17PM Eastern Standard Time.”

What happens when their birthday falls on a Tuesday? Does their head explode when they try to process the joy at having two such gigantic things to celebrate?

“Happy… Tuesduh-Berrrthday- toomEEEeeEEEee HELP …. SYSTEM FAILURE…”

Explosion.

Dare to dream.

The only consolation is that these people probably aren’t happy at all, and that’s why they need to pretend that it being Tuesday is reason enough to throw a HAPPINESS PARADE. Guess what? It isn’t. You can be happy, and it can be Tuesday, but if ever you feel the need to say Happy [insert any day of the week], please stop for a minute, take a big deep breath, and jump out the god damn window.

That’s it. Happy Tuesday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Love and Pepperoni.

In this, the age of information, we seem to be bombarded with a million options every time we have to make a choice. The grass isn’t necessarily always greener on the other side, but nonetheless our commitment phobic society tends to assume that, obviously, it must be greener somewhere. Not just any green, but a magical green that will solve all of life’s problems and make more people like you even more, if you just wait and wait and never choose, and never commit. It will all be handed to you.

“Sure, this seems like the right pair of boxer-briefs, but what if there’s another pair out there that massages my balls while I walk and makes my peen bigger?”

Honestly, if you set the bar high enough, you’ll never be happy with anything ever. In fact, you may never end up with anything period. Awesome. The one exception for most people, I guess, tends to be with food. People know what they like and where to get it from. They have all their brands and snacks and cheesies and pretznels and wundernips and frooble-dee-froo. Don’t get me wrong, people are still picky as shit when it comes to food decisions, but eventually when they make a choice, they actually stick to it, usually forever. This is especially true with pizza joints.

“Let’s get pizza. I know the best place. It’s the best. Oh man, I’m the man.”

Don’t get me started on the overuse of the word ‘best’ again (see: Best of the Best). The point is people have no problem committing to and trusting a food delivery place. I can’t imagine why that, when people can’t seem to commit to anything, this is what they are able to commit to. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just stuff like electronics and lederhosen that people were afraid of sticking to.

e.g.: “wait what there’s a new PiePhone? omg!!11 well shit, I NEED it, I can’t stick with this old shitty one, it doesn’t even automatically cook my turkey while I’m off skiing, if there’s a better one, then I need to have it ASAP, my want it, my wants, mommy mommy, my wants my new MyPhone, gimme gimme gimme” he texted to his mother from down the hall.

But it’s with relationships too! Sadly, nobody trusts anybody, and this is the real problem. I could deal with the attention deficit society if they didn’t apply the same spoiled brat adulescent childish ‘me-first’ generational behavior to love, lust and everything in between. I find it, well, strange that some people can call up pizza delivery restaurants and be giving a stranger their name, number, address and even credit card information, without batting an eyelash, but on another night have casual sex with a stranger, without wanting to divulge any one of those four. Unless of course they’ve managed to find a prostitute that accepts VISA, and then maybe one of those four could get satisfied. They could even have those portable little debit machines like they have in them fancy restaurants these days and bring it right to your bed.

“You can enter dollar amount or percentage for the tip, hun.”
“But, I already gave you more than the tip. Heyooooo!”
“Very funny, I already gave you the clap.”
“Can I get a receipt for that?”

But otherwise, in a non-professional scenario, the conversation after a typical adult themed casual encounter might go a little a something like a this.

“Yes, my name is uh… Dean. No, no last name, it’s just Dean, it’s like Cher or Eminem… and yes, I live here, at the Super 8, just call and ask for Dean, they know me here” he said politely to the woman who could have sworn last night he said his name was Dwayne, as he called a cab, and casually threw her underwear and khaki Capri pants out the window. “Wait, before you go, do you know the number for Domino’s?”

Brandon Toode (a.k.a. Dean or Dwayne) will give his real info to Domino's for handling his pepperoni, but can’t give it the woman who just handled his salami. What the hell kind of expression is casual sex anyways? In general, I have difficulty in seeing anything casual about penetration, of any kind. Try sticking your dick in some mashed potatoes and acting casual. Better yet, try sticking a cucumber up your ass and acting casual.

“Hey Pete, you catch Letterman’s Top Ten last night? Man, it was so-”
“Bill, umm, sorry to interrupt, but I believe that you’ve got a cucumber up your ass.”
“Oh, yeah, no big deal. I actually forgot it was there… Anyways, are you gonna finish those mashed potatoes?”

Honestly, anything that you can’t do in public without fear of arrest can’t be considered casual. Even simpler, if it involves your privates, it can’t be considered casual. Casual sex is just a way to disguise the term meaningless sex so that the people getting all random-sexied don’t feel meaningless afterwards. I guess they don’t really have privates, they have publics.

“It wasn’t meaningless! It was… casual.”

I guess paying a prostitute would be business casual.

It makes me wonder how these types could ever hold a steady job. I would have to assume most don’t make it past the first casual Friday, given their definition.

“I don’t know Trey, I mean, I got to work, grabbed my coffee, went to the morning meeting, dropped my pants, and then the next thing you know, I’m being escorted out. I mean, I thought it was casual Friday! I didn’t even have time to ask who wanted to get them some of this!”
“So, let me get this straight, they call it casual Friday, but you didn’t even get laid?”

No, he got laid off. Say, I wonder if that’s how that term came to be.

So, regardless of how often the pizza came late, the toppings were wrong, the pizza was terrible, the delivery guy was rude or even the pizza never came at all, we all still go back for more. Now, I know, you’re thinking, that’s because pizza is awesome. And you’re right, pizza is awesome. It’s the king of the culinary kingdom, housing all seven food groups in one delicious package: Dough, Sauce, Pepperoni, Fire, Crispy, Cheesy and Grease. Who wouldn’t want to hit the hut? If you get a hungry enough person, I bet you could lay a log of dump on top of a slice a pizza and sprinkle some extra cheese on it, and still, blindfolded, they’d eat the shit outta that shit.

“This is some good shit! What’s this pan crust?”
“You don’t know the half of it. Let’s call it bedpan crust. Those are homemade toppings too.”

But, where is that commitment and tenacity when it comes to love? Why did you break up with him/her?

“I don’t know, I mean he called my cell at 10:13 AM, like, that’s weird. I don’t know if I could be with someone that makes phone calls on odd numbered minutes.”
“She texted ‘haha’ and I’m more of an ‘lol’ kind of guy.”
“I mean, sure, her boobs were big, but they weren’t super giganto-big.”
“He only had like 37 friends on Farcebook. Oh Em Gee. I can’t be with a complete loser.”
“She didn’t wanna take shit on my chest. What a prude?”
“His name is Jeremy, and I’ve always seen myself with more of a Dean, or a Brandon.”
“It just wasn’t a love connection.”

Maybe you’re line is down. Maybe reception is just bad because you’ve built some hefty walls around you. Dating really seems to have gotten to the point where people treat it like shopping, or worse, real estate.

“Now’s not the time to buy, now’s the time to rent” claimed Brandon Toode.

The problem with ol’ Tooder’s attitude is that years of renting and moving around both repeatedly and frequently has damaged all of his furniture and left him completely bankrupt. Lost in the metaphor? Broken furniture and bankruptcy equals a busted wiener and the herpes. Shopping online for dates is kind of like browsing with a real estate agent. Paying for dating opportunities, much like the commission you might pay a real estate agent. Hookers and/or gigolos are more like a motel though, and the pimp is the guy at the front desk. Be careful! A really cheap motel could have crabs on the toilet seat and man juice on the sheets. Lost in the metaphor again? Crabs are, well, crabs. Toilet seat is... whatever you want it to be. You know what? Forget it.

People tend to lose sight of the fact that, much like a new apartment, no relationship will feel like home right from the start. Some things will be surprising, unexpected, different and maybe even scary (or simply not what you are used to). It takes time before you realize what you have could be something special, and that you have found where you belong. You’re home. Then again, some places do have rats and bugs. But maybe you’re into that.

Now I’m not suggesting that, whether we are talking real estate or relationships, you settle down prematurely. That just creates bad relationships, bad breakups and bad marriage statistics (I would say bad mortgage, bad credit, but I’m done with the analogy, starting... now). By all means, play the field for as long as you want or feel you need to. Just be sure to never lead anyone on into thinking that you are being exclusive if you have no intention on halting the sale of your particular brand of magical delights and treats at other retail locations.

Exclusive? Nah, let’s be inclusive, baby, I will include you in the list of people I am seeing.”
“No thanks, please exclude me from your life forever.”

The pretend committers are often the same people that eventually become the actual cheaters. The delusion that you could cheat and never have your spouse or partner find out is almost as stupid as cheating in the first place. If you cheat on your diet, your spouse will find out. Go to the grocery store, buy a pepperoni stick, eat it on the way home, who’s gonna know? They will, every time. They’ll spot the sausage casing stuck in your teeth, smell it on your breath, in your car, on your clothes. Oh, you’ll try chewing gum, washing your hands, driving with the windows down, but still, they’ll know. Now, if they can pick up on the light guilt and fragrance that comes with speed-eating a Slim Jim and ruining your appetite, imagine if you’ve been eating or frequenting COCK OR PUSSY. I’m pretty sure those smell at least as strong as beef jerky or a good Colby cheese.

All this to say, if you feel like you’re ready to settle down, then stop being afraid and start giving things a real chance. You might get hurt, you might get happy, but get out there, and find the right pepperoni pizza for you. Find one so good, that pepperoni sticks don’t even tempt you anymore. Seriously, what am I even talking about at this point?

That’s it. I have to finish this kielbasa before my wife gets home.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stupid is as Stupid Drives.

Seriously, cars create stupidity. I’m not talking about the obvious kind of stupid, like when a person sees a nice car and wants to check under the hood, groan and gnarl with a Timallenesque woof and beat off all over the V8 Carbonomator Spark Ploogues. No, I’m talking about the subtle kind of stupidity that cars manufacture, the kind that cars bring out of people. It takes real smarts to design cars and put them together and be all hella-fast. Wild scienticians are finding new ways to do more with less that costs less and kills less trees and shit. But once it’s finished and one of them geniuses steps into the car… potential moron. While I won’t bother to list obviously stupid driving mistakes made by regular people behind the wheel, I will list through a few of the more convincing and seemingly random arguments to prove that cars bring out the stupidest side of stupid, whether with their operation, their decoration or just their existence in general.

1) Vanity Plates.

Who first thought that this was a fun investment? Have you ever heard of a situation where having your license plate be easy to remember would be a good thing? Every time in life or in the movies you hear “Did anyone get the plate number?”, it’s generally preceded by something like hitting an old person, running through a restaurant terrace, exploding a fruit truck, drive-by shootings or running over a small family. In these cases, if your plate number is snappy and easy to remember, then shouldn’t we assume it makes you easier to catch? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for a hooligan to get caught because of their vanity plate?

“Surely I’m not the only one in a silver Saab, I mean, what does that prove?”
“Is your plate 'MADD DOGGZ'?”
“Umm…”
“Seriously, otherwise I wouldn't have known where to find you.”

It’s not as if the coppers are tracking down anyone to reward them for good driving.

“Wow, did you see that guy parallel park in one move? Did anyone get his plate?”
“Hi, I heard that you witnessed the lady that came to a full stop at the stop sign… did you happen to get her plate number?”
“That’s the seventh car he has let in ahead of him, I’m going to take down his license plate and give it to the authorities, you know, for reward.”

So why bother having a nifty catchy plate? Is it so that the other drivers can know just a little bit more about you and what you’re all about? Sad.

“Say, that guy’s plate says ‘4 REALZ’. Geez Patricia, do you think he likes reality TV, or reality in general, or maybe he is a very genuine person? Oh! Maybe he is in a boy band called 4 realz… hmmm… well, I guess the only way to find out is to run him off the road and ask him.”
“I don’t know Stan, that one there says 'RKR CHK', she sounds like fun. I would assume that she is a chick, and also that she potentially rocks. We like to rock don’t we? I mean, in general, we rock. Let’s crash into her.”
“You never like any of my ideas!”

Divorce.

Some don’t even make any sense, because people take letters out of the words, usually vowels, and leave it up to you the reader to decide, like ‘BJNSHT’ you know for ‘Blowjobs and Shit’. They’re not always easy to figure out, which, begs the question “what’s the fucking point”. Sometimes the word is pronounceable, but meaningless to anyone but the driver, like 'SARTO' or 'FANAPY'.  Is ‘HPY’ hippy or happy? Is that a ‘5’ or an ‘S’? Who really cares? I saw one that said 'AXNDRA'… which maybe means Alexandra, or maybe has something to do with an axe. Why are people being so cryptic? If you are that lonely and desperate to have tailgaters know just a little more about you, why not just have a regular plate and then put a banner on your bumper that says “my name is alexandra”? Just state facts like “hey man, check me out, I like cats”, instead of ‘CNTLUVR’.

I guess that’s all bumper stickers are. I once saw a car that had a ‘Jesus Loves’ type of caca bumper sticker taped to the inside of the back windshield. Were they worried about changing their mind down the road and not being able to take it off the bumper? They don’t want to fully commit to the idea, but still want to display it. Apparently they just kind of love Jesus, for now, but not enough to make it a permanent fixture on the bumper. I find that kind of insulting, you know, for Jesus. I guess when someone better comes along they can just swap it out for Buddha, Tom Cruise or evolution. Bumper stickers are stupid.

Sometimes I come across a plate and I’m not sure if it’s a vanity plate or not. If vanity plates didn’t exist, this wouldn’t happen.

'583 MAN'… hmmm… well I wonder what the significance of that is” he pondered as he drove the car into the snow bank. ‘Dreamer’ by Supertramp softly played in the background.

The only real use I could see for a vanity plate is if you actually plan on committing vehicular crimes and want to make it impossible for anyone to remember. Get a plate with 27 numbers, letters and symbols placed at random.

“Did anyone get the plate number?”
“I think there was a ‘J’ and a happy face in there somewhere…”
“No, it was one of those winking happy faces… I think… or the one with the tongue sticking out.”
“I think that was a ‘e’ with umlauts.”

2) Rubber Band Traffic.

Nothing says stupid like traffic caused by nothing. People slow down enough, to look at an accident, that it then has a ripple effect and causes traffic, or another accident. All because they need to slow down, check shit out and think or say out loud something extra dumb.

“Oh gee, I hope no one got hurt.”

Who, out there, is hoping people are hurt? Is anyone driving by thinking the opposite?

“Hmmm… ’94 Tercel, I hope they’re all dead.”
“New York plates? Well it’s about time.”
“If only they’d just FUCKING EXPLODE ALREADY!”

I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if people actually had thoughts of that nature. At least then they would likely speed up, and I would make it home in time to watch ‘Kardashians Take a Dump’, or whatever. Sometimes it’s not even an accident, sometimes it’s just some car parked on the side of the road because the driver probably shit their pants or needed to pee. Sometimes it’s because there’s a state trooper on the side of the road, who’s already pulled someone else over, flashing lights and everything. Well, shit, shouldn’t you speed up then? Now’s your chance! Floor that sucker, and give the trooper the finger on your way by.

3) Global Positronic Swerndieferndenspiel (that sounds right).

Didn’t someone follow their GPS into a river? I don’t really think any more needs to be said about that. Granted, it’s not as if before GPS people were smarter with directions, driving all around town with a few notes jotted down on a post-it (like “left at the second lights after the second MacDonald’s” or “you gotta go three stops past the Burger King”) that would cause people to get lost, not pull over to ask for directions, and subsequently have the night end either in divorce or dying in the woods somewhere thinking “we must have missed the turn somewhere back before we hit the Canadian border” or “seriously, I didn’t see any sign that said Fluffandstuff Beach, did you? There was no sign!”

4) Nose Picking.

There’s nothing quite like cleaning house after a long day’s work breathing in conditioned air and office dust. Next time you’re in traffic heading home from work, look around. Two out of three cars house a driver that is up to their wrist digging for gold. These people would never stand in line at the bank or super market and do this, but in the car, in traffic, they somehow feel safe, and are also too stupid to realize that windows are see-through and are too busy flicking boogers towards their passenger seat to notice that they’re being watched.

5) Ritualistic Car Washing.

If you have a good dozen or so bird poops blocking windshield visibility, or better yet, a homeless man used the back seat of your car as a brothel / toilet / bathtub, then go ahead and give your car a good once over. You have my blessing. Otherwise just wait until it rains. I could see cleaning your car religiously every week if you were going to drive it in your house. No sense in leaving pesky tire treads all over grandma’s new carpets. But since no one is really about to do that, let’s just take a deep breath and remember that we drive our cars outside, and outside is dirty. Nothing stays new forever, let your shit age gracefully, it’s embarrassing.

“Look at my car, it’s clean, it’s like new, I’m like new, I’m shiny, my life is empty.”

6) Motocyclette.

You know what? I won’t even get into this right now. They are half of a car and exponentially more stupid. Screw motorcycles. Motorcycles don’t make stupid, they just are stupid. You like motorcycles? You’re stupid.

7) Laws.

Why do we need so many road signs? Because we’re that dumb in cars. 'BRAKE FOR MOOSE'? As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t figure that one out, maybe it’s just your time. And what’s with those deaf child ones? Are people coming up to a kid in the middle of the road and not stopping? Are we not trusted to stop for a child unless we are told they are deaf?

“It doesn’t say deaf child anywhere, any non-deaf child should really know better.” BOOM.

Or honking once and hoping for the best?

“Well fuck him, I honked, he had his chance.” Kablammo-Smoosh.

I wonder if those signs are the result of some lawsuit where some scumbag got off scot-free.

“If I’d known he was deaf I would have flashed my brights at him, thrown my water bottle at his head and slowed down a little. But I really thought he heard the honks. I gave him a good half second to get out of the way. I’m the victim here. I thought this is what he wanted. You know there really should be a sign.”

How come you don’t see any signs regarding blind children? I would assume they’d be more likely to be out in the road accidentally. And why stop at blind or deaf children, or, hell, why stop at children at all? Why not just have a big sign that says ‘TAKE’ER EASY – people jump out into the road around here, totally at random’. That’ll get people’s attention. Sadly, while they are reading it they may have run over a child or two. Maybe we should stop building roads that go directly through play areas. Or were the playgrounds built near the roads? Chicken and the egg, I guess. Maybe they should point the signs towards the side of the road where all the kids are running out from and write ‘WATCH OUT FOR ROADS’ on it or something, or ‘CARS WON’T NECESSARILY STOP FOR YOU, KID’, or build a fence.

Even speed limits exist because people can’t be trusted. Without them people would just never stop speeding up.

“Slow down Gerald the exit is coming up!”
“Blow your exit out your ass, Vera! I’m going to keep going until the needle flies off.”

In any case, regardless of all the road signs and laws, people break them all anyways. You’d never shoplift, or kill your wife, or hamburglarize. But get behind the wheel and you’ll definitely do a U-Turn over a median going seventy-five in a school zone, drunk.

“Stick it to the man, God damnit! Laws were meant to be broken!” said Nigel, the LOCAL PRIEST.

They even have to make laws to tell people what not to do while driving. Like being drunk or making and eating a sweet hoagie. You have to tell people not to text while driving. And still you see people doing it all the time. Well, I assume that’s what they’re doing, as they only have one free hand on the wheel and are looking down towards their crotch and manipulating something. You got it – they may be whacking off. (Texting… masturbating, is there really a difference?) Probably shouldn’t do that either, though. I’d like to see Oprah challenging people to take that pledge. Celebrities would be lining up. Seriously, though,  imagine getting pulled over for that?

“License and registration please."
"Hold on, the license is in my pants, I threw them in the back seat somewhere..."
"No, sir, hand them to me with your other hand.”
“You got any Purell?”

In some colder areas of the universe they had to start forcing people to put snow tires on their cars… assumedly because people weren’t smart enough to feel it was necessary. As long as we’re heading in that direction, let’s ticket the moron that clears a fist sized hole out of the snow on their windshield, for visibility, and thinks they’re fit to drive on the highway.

“Hey, I can see my own hood, and that’s sure good enough to know if I hit anything.”

Helmet laws, SUVs in the suburbs, that robot that gets help for you when you’re in a jam, locking keys in the car, double parking, drive-thru anything, people listening to iPods while driving… ET CETERA ET CETERA.  Look, I know public transportation isn’t the answer either. I saw an ad campaign, for a while, that was trying to be all green and ecosexual, insisting that public transportation was the ‘car of the future’. Have these marketing assholes ever even been on the bus or subway? What a bleak future that would be – unreliable, old, smelly, and being driven by the absolute cream of the crop (people still rocking the mullet and wearing the same outfit since the mid nineteen seventies). Imagine picking up a date in the car of the future.

“Be on the corner of Stain and Shart at 8:02 pm.”
“Can’t you pick me up at my house?”
“Well, no I can't, Wendy, I have a very futuristic car of the future. Now, make sure you’re there at 8:02, because that’s when I will pick you up, in this future car, otherwise the date is cancelled, or I suppose you could just catch the next future car and meet me at our destination. Anyways, look for the car that is big and rectangular and makes lots of noise and says ‘Downtown’ on the front. Oh, and I won’t be driving, and there will be other people in it. See you then.”
“That sounds like the bus.”
“Bye.”

There are certainly some parents that could have some fun with it.

“Hey Dad, can I take the car out tonight?”
“Sure son, you can take the ‘car of the future’. Here are the keys” said the father as he threw some change out the window.

Thank heavens more and more people are working from home or just simply getting too fat to drive. Honestly, until we invent transporter beams or some kind of high speed travelling tube system like they have in movies set in the year 2000, I don’t think there’s much hope for intelligent daily commuting.  In the meantime, at least avoid the crap I just went over, and be safe, please.

That’s it. My exit’s coming up.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Unclogue.

Good morning or something! Moving is heavy, man. I don’t just mean that because unemployment and moving have rendered me the fattest I have been since I can remember, but also because it can take a lot out of you. Sure, in the end it is worth it, and I feel all happy and whatnot, but it takes a whole lot of time to get settled in somewhere new, establish a new routine, and find the new milieu’s version of all the things that you know and love. It is a long and hard process, and, honestly, nothing could be worse than discovering that the KFC doesn’t taste as good here as it did where I came from. It’s all soggy and chewy like a bag of corn chips that was left open overnight. Seriously, what the fuck? Not to mention public transportation makes me want to puke all over the place forever, all of the time. So, did I suddenly run out of things to complain about, all of a sudden, back in April, you ask? No. Have I given up on attempting to write out my observations in a hilarious way to match how funny they are in my head? Absolute no.

But I have been busy… and lazy. Mostly lazy I suppose. Also I watch a lot of home renovation programs. I won’t get into the brutality of moving right now, as I intend on covering all of its many joys and awesomeness in separate segments over time, along with anything else that comes up. So sit back, relax, have eight or nine drinks and then tell me how funny I am. Chapter two of Highway 10 Revisited starting... NOW. Ready? And... Break.

That’s it. Welcome home Kev.