Monday, January 31, 2011

Requesting an Audience.

Going to the movies is not what it used to be.  And no, I don’t mean because tickets cost infinity and no one can even afford salty snacks or sugary treats any more.  It's not the gigantic overcrowded parking lots and uncomfortable saggy wobbly seats.  It's not the sticky floors and smelly recirculated air.  While all of those factors definitely add to my frustration, what actually sends me over the edge is the movie goer population, made up of horrifyingly annoying people.  If you are in fact one of the cinemorons that I am about to describe, then please do us all a favor and stop going to the movies, forever and ever.  If, like me, you are stuck dealing with these people, hopefully this helps you cope, and realize that you are not alone when facing the human obstacles that stand between you and a pleasurable viewing experience.

A) Talking Heads

I don’t mean a tiny whisper into your neighbour’s ear.  I mean talking or whispering so loud that everyone can hear.  If you have the balls to be a shusher, or call the fuzz (the dreaded pimple-faced teenager with a flashlight), then please do so for the sake of everyone.  You may even get applause upon successfully terminating the talking.  Personally I just like to throw my drink at their head.  Well, I don’t actually do it, except of course in my non erotic fantasies.

The Narrator

This is the person cheerfully sitting with the dumbest person, possibly in the entire world, and decides it is their responsibility to explain everything that is happening throughout the entire movie, so that ol’ half wit can keep up.  Sometimes the half wit is a child, which does not excuse this behaviour.  It is still completely fucking unacceptable.  

Take them to see Justin Bieber and keep them the hell out of my movie theatre (whether we’re talking about a child or not).

The Detective

This is the person whose powers of deduction are so startlingly poor, that they might actually feel that the comments that they are announcing to the crowd have not crossed the mind of every single living thing in nature.

Scene: Bruce Wayne lowers himself into a cave, full of bats.  
The Detective says: “The Batcave!  I think that will become the batcave.

Scene: Bruce Wayne is presented with a prototype armoured vehicle.  
The Detective says: “The Batmobile!  Did you see the Batmobile?

Scene: A new villain leaves behind his calling card, the Joker from a deck of cards.
The Detective says: “The Joker!  Oh I bet it’s the Joker, the new villain is the Joker.

Even half-wit I mentioned before probably figured these ones out.  I can’t even imagine what an actual conversation with one of these people would be like.

Oh wow.  You kicked me square in the nuts.  I bet that means that you have a problem with me.

The Stand-In

This is the person that has already seen the film, and thinks that loudly fucking up lines of dialogue moments before they are actually spoken in the movie will somehow gain them some kind of street cred.  Honestly what’s the thought process here?  That afterwards we’ll all join together and say “Oh, YOU were the guy that knew all the lines, man, you were so cool, even when you messed 95% of them up you totally improved the movie, I preferred your version, and you’re the winner of life”?  

You know what?  Fuck you.

The Too Cool for School

Maybe he’s on his cell phone, maybe he’s with some other asshole and they are talking about the stock market, but the point is, with how expensive the ticket and snacks are, you have to really be ignorant to sit in a movie theatre, think you’re too good to bother paying attention and carelessly ruin everyone else’s fun.  You’ve just paid a bunch of money to promote and showcase just how much of a piece of shit you are.  


The Open Book

This is the person that screams in horror films.  They say “OH MY GOD!” or “DIOS!” or “I CAN’T WATCH!” when there is a tense and suspenseful scene.  They laugh way too hard during funny scenes (they’re all “THAT’S HILARIOUS!”).  They say “YES!” really loud when something triumphant transpires.  They might even say “OH NO!” as something bad is happening or “I DON’T BELIEVE IT!” when a sad scene arises.  The worst ones actually try and talk to the characters on screen, in the hopes that the movie is actually some sort of interactive Choose Your Own Adventure, that the projectionist can and will swap in different rolls of film depending on the reactions of the crowd... “DON’T OPEN THE DOOR!”  

Please, hold that shit in, from now on, until the end of time.

B) Make Some Noise


Whether choking on expensive popcorn, loosening up some phlegm from a nasty cold or just the result of an overall shitty airway system, Coughy will gross you out and ruin your movie.


This is the kind of person that gets the stickiest candy and produces wet smack noises in between moo-cow grade mastication noises.  Chewy doesn’t care about you.  Chewy wants you to have an awful time.


My popcorn bag is almost empty, but rather than just put it aside, I will fold it over one million times, quite loudly might I add, so that I can save the rest for later” thought Crumply.  Does anyone EVER eat the popcorn they bring home from the movies?  Answer: no.


MY DRINK’S ALMOST EMPTY. LISTEN TO HOW LOUD I CAN BE!!!!” slurped Slurpy during the film’s climax.  Then he shook the drink to listen to the maraca sound of the ice cubes.


Honestly, my heart goes out to Sobby, it really does.  But if a movie is making you sniffle and moan that loudly in public, maybe you should stick to reality.

Your best bet in these noisemaker situations is to give them one of those double-entendre coughs, It's a cough, but it really means “Ahem… excuse me, but please refrain from further nuisances” (picture that in a snooty euro-trash kind of accent).  Just don’t do it too often, or you might turn into Coughy.  If the shut up cough doesn’t work, you’ll have to upgrade to a full shush and failing that, once again, resort to the ratting the perpetrator out, if you have the balls of course, as mentioned earlier.  You can always mimic what they are doing, but sometimes people don't clue into that very quickly.  Especially not these keen minds. 

C) Let’s Get Physical

High Beams

This is when the dingbat in front of you is texting or browsing the internet on their phone and blinding you with the light, making it somehow impossible for you to see anything else.  The best thing to do is to turn on your phone and hold it in directly against their eyeball.   They won’t always get why, but chances are they will stop shining the light in your direction since most likely their phone will be on their ear as they call the police.  Hopefully the response time around where you live sucks and you’ll get to see most of the movie.  If you don’t have a phone, use a match, lighter, flashlight or shoe.

Decreased Visibility

I have a huge head so I know to sit low.  People with big heads that haven’t figured this out yet should be in prison.  If it’s the hair that’s making the head in front of you so big, just trim some of it off with a pair of scissors.  It’s dark, and they won’t notice what you've done to them until they get home.  By that time, you’re already half-way to Mexico.

Kick It

Sometimes the person behind you kicks the seat accidentally.  Fine.  Sometimes it happens over and over again.  Noticeably less fine.  Next time this happens start swing your arms behind you.  Once you eventually make contact, turn around and confess “oh, I’m sorry, I, like you, totally forgot that there were other people sitting in the chairs around me.”  You can replace arm swings with throwing ice cubes or gummy worms over your shoulder, and generally, it will produce the same results.

Close Encounters

If the theatre is completely packed, and there is not a single empty seat in the house, then, yes, I understand when a complete stranger sits directly next to me.  But when there are ten thousand empty seats, why would you not give me, at least ONE FUCKING SEAT of buffer zone.  Seriously, it’s like when a dude chooses the urinal right beside me, when there are so many other urinal options to choose from.  These people need help.  

And then I end up feeling guilty when I get up and move over, as if I am telling them that they repulse me, or smell bad.  Well, probably they do, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing.  If no one ever tells them, they will never improve.  Or shower, apparently.  It helps if as you move over you casually mention “God something really smells.

Please note that these are usually the same people that get up in the middle of an important scene to go to the washroom and step on your foot while shoving their ass in your face.

Peep Show

Honestly, don’t come to the movie theatre just to make out and touch each other’s peens and vageens.  Just go get a motel room.  It’s probably cheaper and maybe even a little more comfortable.  If it’s the public nature of it all that bakes your beans, then at least find somewhere that the rest of us haven’t paid to be.  If you catch someone in this type of scenario, just shine a flashlight on them and yell “TICKETS PLEASE!”  They’ll probably stop, if not, try hitting them with it, repeatedly.

Maybe I just didn’t notice it as much when I was a kid, but it really feels like it’s getting worse and worse.  The only real way to get around these obstacles is to go to the movies when absolutely no one else is there, in the middle of a weekday, on your half hour lunch break.  I know what you’re thinking, that there would be lots of old people there at that time, and that, certainly old people must fit into many of the above mentioned categories.  Wrong.  And shame on you for stereotyping.  Old people fall asleep when they go to the movies, and don’t bother anyone.  Unless they start snoring, at which point it is best to shove a kernel of popcorn into each of their nostrils.

That’s it.  The best scene is coming up.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Please Put Your Hands Together.

There is a select group of visionaries in this universe that were born with the gift of making fart noises with their hands.  They are called the Windbreakers.  Being one of the chosen few, I recognize my power and respect the responsibilities that come along with it.  A lot of folks assume that all it takes is sweaty palms and a little determination.  This may be true of armpit, under the knee, or mouth to hand fart noises, but does not apply to the Hand Fart.  The Hand Fart is a whole other beast.  While wet palms can give birth to a wider array of flatulent sounds, it is the shape and size of the palm that seem to create this innate ability.  You either have it, or you don’t.  It’s like being able to wiggle your ears, or fold your tongue in half.  I’m pretty sure they talked about in Biology class.

If you are among the Windbreakers, you mustn’t just produce Hand Farts whenever you please, all Willy Nilly and shit.  Certain situations call for them, and others do not.  It is important to know when it is your duty to step up to the plate, and when you should just let the pitch go by, no matter how tempting it may be to squeeze one out.  Allow me to help.  Even if you are not a card carrying member of the Windbreakers (I am in the process of having physical cards made), you may continue reading, to better educate yourself on exactly what it means to be able to make fart noises with your hands, and what it takes to be a part of this elite group of sound effect champions.

The following are some examples of moments when a Windbreaker is required to produce a noise.  From it, you may extrapolate a much longer list of vital situations in which they are destined to fulfill their duties.

- In class whenever the teacher bends over
- In church whenever the priest coughs
- During any tense and suspenseful silent scene in any film
- Whenever there is a pause in a conference call
- When you can’t sleep
- The moment that a good idea pops into your head (unless the good idea is to make a fart noise, at which point, just one will suffice)
- When your spouse leaves the bed in the middle of the night to pee and/or poo
- When the doorbell rings, after you stand up and say, “I’ll get it”
- While actually farting (covers up the noise, however, does nothing for the smell)
- When a woman in a bikini jumps off of a diving board
- After saying goodnight to a houseguest
- When passing by an aerobics class (lean into the classroom for better reverb)
- On a ski lift, when people ski under you
- When an elderly person opens a refrigerator
- When someone tells a racist joke at a dinner party, during the awkward silence
- As soon as someone stops tap-dancing or clogging
- Anytime after January that someone wishes you a Happy New Year

You get the idea.

There are some other important things to remember.  At times a Hand Fart is considered inappropriate or dangerous.  Please remember the following, taken from the Code of the Windbeaker.

- Never Hand Fart and drive
- Never Hand Fart at a funeral (unless it’s in a church and the priest coughs)
- Never interrupt your spouse with a Hand Fart
- Never use a lubricant to increase your Hand Fart range and volume
- Never attempt to create music with Hand Farts
- Never Hand Fart at the dinner table (unless an elderly person opens the refrigerator)
- Never Hand Fart if you are supposed to be holding the ladder steady
- Never use a Hand Fart to try and break-up a crowd or line-up
- Never try and teach someone how to Hand Fart

You can’t teach awesome like that, and don't be fooled by anyone who tries.

I am sure that I missed some important examples, rules, regulations and situations, but you now understand the basics.  One final piece of advice: if you or someone you know has been Hand Farting uncontrollably in their sleep, seek medical attention immediately.  Treatment may involve wool mitts, handcuffs, or in the worst cases, amputation.

That's it. My boss is bending over to pick up a pencil.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Brief Pause.

Not all punctuation is created equal.  This much I know.  The ‘holier-than-thou’ Period has always enjoyed a nice prestigious spot by being the ending point to almost every sentence.  As if this wasn’t enough, it is also the only mark of punctuation that can be spoken aloud to accentuate and drive a point home even more clearly.

“You are the world’s worst employee PERIOD
"Excellent point Drew!"

The poor and often mistreated Comma does not have that luxury.

“Hey COMMA what’s happening?”
“My name is Bill, you fucking asshole.”

As you can see, it just does not seem to work.  It is not very well received at all.

When the Age of Information came along and the whole triple-w thing, I thought maybe the Comma could get some more responsibility, some more respect.  But when the debates started about the webpage notation, and email addresses and so on, you should have seen the Period’s Spin Doctors and their awful smear campaigns against the Comma.

“Who would want to visit a Comma Com?  No one. Dot Com!  It just feels right.”
Comma Com?  Try saying that three times fast.  You can’t nor should you have to.  Dot Com for the win.”
“Burt COMMA Malone at hotmail COMMA Com?  I don’t think so.  Dot Com for president.”

It went on for months and months.

And if that wasn’t enough of an insult, random punctuation marks started getting high profile positions, like the ‘@’ symbol for email.  Where the hell did that come from?  The Square Brackets, the Squiggly Brackets, the Pointy Brackets, the Slash and Backslash, the Colon, the Underscore, the Dash… It felt like everyone was getting in on the fun, except the Comma.  The final nail in the Comma’s coffin was the tremendous outbreak and internet support of the Semi-Colon, and I don’t just mean for its involvement in the Winking Smiley Face.

“Why, separating email addresses sounds like a job for the Comma, doesn’t it?”
“Sorry, we’ve elected the Semi-Colon.  Seriously who invited the Comma?”

The only hope left was in everyone's everyday reading and writing.  Surely people still need to insert brief pauses here and there?  One would have thought so, but things are just not the way that they used to be.  With all the Twittling and FaƧadebooking and Toblogganing and McTexting going on, it seems like all people have the time, energy and patience for is the Period and his sidekicks Question Mark and Exclamation Point.  I’m pretty sure that the newer cell phone and computer keyboards will even start eliminating the Comma due to its lack of use.  They’ll probably replace it with some new symbol like Happy Face or Skateboard.

wassup people??ima  watchin teh new episode of real housewifes of yellowknife… its da best! seacrest out.
 “i cant believe ricky gervais said that11!!! who he thinks he is? :S
my zodiac sign changed i have no reason to live i think ima die
best. movie. ever.
that is so ophiuchus ;) … i heart astrology!
i had lots of sex today now my peepee hurts 8==o

Maybe we should dub this the Age of Too Much Information.  Granted if I have to hear one more person actually say “TMI” out loud, I’ll shit my pants, and then possibly throw some at them (see: Bad Language).  So much sharing going on of personal details and whatnot, and yet there is so little punctuation used during their display.  And don’t get me started on all of the grammar issues and lack of capital letters.  For now let’s stay focused on punctuation.  

The Period and his smug team of hipster elitists have clearly won this round, but let’s not let them win the battle.  If ever I seem a tad bit Comma-Happy, I do apologize, but it’s time to help out the little guy, the underdog, the common man, the Comma.

Fight the good fight, use the Comma.

That’s it.  PERIOD.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Last Straw.

They say that all divorces (breakups too, I would imagine) are caused by two things, sex and/or money.  I think we all know that sex and money may cause some of the splits out there, hell, a lot of them, but that generalization obviously overlooks some of the other core ingredients that can lead to a couple’s disbanding.  In so many movies, television shows, books and whatevers, there is always that one awful personality trait (disorder) or behaviour that happens after the whole sexymoney thing and then becomes the straw that breaks the camel’s back (you know, like, when the dude bangs some secretary floozy at work and the wife finds out and forgives him but then it’s the fact that he walked through the house with shit on his boots n’ shit that makes her flip out and leave him).  

Allow me, if you will, to go through a few of the reasons that I have seen that, to me, are definitely grounds for divorce / breakup / walkout / explosion, and could eventually become the proverbial straw, if you let it.

Cleaning tends to make people unhappy as it is, but cleaning up after someone else is even worse.  Of all the things that need cleaning, I would imagine that dirty dishes have caused the most breaking points.  I’ve compiled a list of the worst types of dirty dishes that you can leave unattended for an unsuspecting spouse or partner who is about to do the dishes.

- Bowl of oatmeal (it honestly seems like you will never get all of the crusty dried oats off the bowl)
- Saucepan (when the warm water hits it, it literally smells like if someone puked whatever the sauce was into your face and nose and mouth)
- Soaked food (like when the person puts a stack of plates into the sink to “soak” and when you come by later to wash the stack of plates, there is a forgotten slice of toast or pizza crust left on one of the soaked plates that has expanded to the size of your head and feels a little like dog barf)
- Milk glass (seriously I can’t fucking reach the bottom, and it’s all covered in some kind of milky white milk film, I guess I could just throw it away)
- Egg remains (not just bits of food like the above mentioned fiasco, but I mean a bowl in which eggs were scrambled, but now, there’s a ring of dried up egg yolk around the bottom)
- Grease, in a bowl, frying pan, or wherever (especially when it has congealed into a weird sort of waxy puss)
- Certain spatulas, potato mashers, and miscellaneous kitchen utensils (everyone has that one kitchen utensil that they hate cleaning, that never feels clean, like your arch nemesis of dishes... if your partner uses it and leaves it for you, why, that’s just one big slap in the face)

Sadly, dishes are not the only things that need cleaning.  The following scenarios have certainly brought on arguments as well.  Follow me as I discuss the possible tipping points.

Scenario: “Oh yeah, well when was the last time you vacuumed?”
Tipping Point: After finishing vacuuming, they press the button to bring the power cord back in, and it whips them in the shin/testicle/face/breast.

Scenario: “I guess I’ll take out the garbage, again!”
Tipping Point: The garbage bag leaks brown, possibly chunky, garbage juice onto the person’s bare foot, somehow.

Scenario: “It just seems like I’m always the one scrubbing the bathroom down.”
Tipping Point: When placing the toilet brush into the bowl water, somehow water shoots up into the cleaner’s face (mouth and nose included).

There are many other scenarios in the bathroom, like leaving the toilet seat up and someone falls in, someone gagging after fishing the hair out of the bathtub drain for the millionth time, and of course, the dreaded floor piss.  The only real solution I can see to any of these problems is to possibly hire a maid.  Also find a home with a dishwasher, and maybe a urinal.

Food gets us into a lot of trouble too.  Avoid eating like a disgusting pig in front of your partner.  Also, never eat the other person’s leftovers without getting a written and signed document stating that permission has been authorized to eat the last two slices of Meat Lovers.  If your partner has put any effort at all into cooking, recognize the effort and resist the urge to say things pointing out any flaws.

Meat loaf? More like Shit Loaf.”
“First time cooking this?  Tastes like it.”
“What?  Seriously are you trying to kill me?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to taste like that.”
“It might have been good if it wasn’t FUCKING BURNT TO A CRISP.”

And so on and so forth.  Maybe a solution would be to hire a chef.  

It seem like most of the above mentioned things stem from laziness.  Laziness is a huge factor in these combustible unions.  Notice there is always one person who gets the door, or phone?  The first time that they say “I’ll get it” they say it with genuine love, and a desire to allow the other person to remain in their comfortable position.  By the twenty hundredth time, the “I’ll get it” has a certain sarcastic tone, as if to say “Oh, don’t worry, I’ll get it, don’t trouble yourself” or even sometimes a more sadistic “I’ll get it AND KILL YOU WITH IT!”  My solution to this is that nobody gets it, or maybe just hire a butler to get it.

A badly timed fart or bathroom break can definitely get you into some heat (no pun intended), but I’ve already discussed that (see: 7 Levels of Conversation) so there is no need to revisit it now.  But it brings up a valid point: Communication.

First things first, avoid the backhanded compliments.

“I love you in that jacket, you look less wide.”
“Great soup honey, I haven’t thrown up in my mouth yet.”
“Looks aren’t that important to me.”
“Really, I don’t mind that you’re stupid, I kinda like it.”

Never tell anyone that their breath smells bad either.  It’s always insulting, but can be especially insulting in certain contexts.

“I love you.”
“Your breath really smells.”

Instead, try a more subtle approach.

“I love you.”
“Gee thanks, say, let’s go brush our teeth!”

See, now you’re doing something as a couple.  Success!

My last point about communication is to avoid all conversations in cars.  They are never worth the effort and have a tendency to go sour, usually because the driver does not give the full attention to the passenger.  Heaven forbid I should focus on the road!  FUCK!  Larry Miller did a great bit on this last summer when I saw him with my wife.  We talked about it on our drive home, until we got in an argument over which is better, Shish Taouk or Shawarma.  I guess you should just hire a driver. Also, the answer is, Shawarma.

Although, now it seems like solution-wise we’ve thought of hiring a maid, a chef, a butler and a driver.  I guess all we need is a nanny and we have a typical Hollywood marriage, and we all know how well those marriages work out.  Back to the drawing board I guess.

Anyways, the first time that any of these things happen, it’s usually more of a “the honeymoon is over” kind of a moment.  But after the twelve millionth time you’re making up miscellaneous reasons to hit the store. 

“Honey, we’re out of milk” says the dude as he is pouring a half gallon down the toilet.

Certainly everything mentioned here is only the tip of the iceberg, but better to at least know what the tip looks like before the whole damn Titanic sinks into oblivion.  Maybe just try laughing about these things.  Laughter is, as you may know, the best medicine.  Also stop hogging the fucking blanket.

That’s it.  I’m going to go kiss my wife now.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Writer's Block, Vol. III.

The month of January is really just one gigantic hangover.  I don’t mean that in that "Maxim magazine" party animal hangover kinda way like you might see in the movie of the same name (you know, The Hangover).  I’m not even trying to say that we all party so hardy on the 31st of December that the entire month that follows is just a horrible headache coupled with both diarrhea and constipation at the same time.  It’s just that the holiday season includes time off, running around visiting people, a lot of eating (in quantities that are serious health risks), and increasingly late bedtimes, which makes for a rude awakening when it is time to start setting that alarm once more for an entire new year of the grind and an imminent re-entry into the real world.  Also the entire month is just a horrible headache coupled with both diarrhea and constipation.

In the summer I run outside, almost every day.  In the winter, however, especially around mid January, I run… out of pants that fit.  Groan.  A combination of the sun being down all of the time (see: Seasonal Affective Disorder.), laziness to get my fat gut to the gym (see: What’s My Motivation?) and the overall lethargy that comes from several consecutive days of eating meat pie for breakfast makes waking up for an office job seem like an impossible feat.  It’s like a daily all you can eat buffet, all the time, every time (see: All You Can Eat.).  

To be honest, all of this makes doing anything relatively impossible.  It feels kind of like unemployment, without all of the fun and excitement of job hunting and creating new and improved sandwiches every day (Tuna fish and Doritos? Why that’s Kev’s Mexican Fish ‘n Chips Panini!).  Oh and also, you have to go to your job.  Maybe it’s not that much like unemployment, but, you know what I mean.

Jotting down a list of resolutions seems like a positive activity, but really, all you’re doing is admitting all the areas in which you failed miserably in recent memory.  The more resolutions that you come up with, the more you are declaring how hard you suck.  Hard.  But hey, admitting you suck is the first step towards recovery.

The second step is doing something about it.  And since most resolutions are mirror images of the previous year’s resolutions, I guess we’re not very good at step two.  Let’s move immediately to step three where we’re like, man, fuck resolutions, I can’t be held down by some list.  Nothing can hold me down.  Nothing! The holidays are over!

No more policemen directing traffic in the mall parking lot.  No more navigating through what seemed to be an endless array of drivers following pedestrians carrying shopping bags, in some sort of insane ritual of replacing one shopper’s car with another immediately (even though, there upon yonder horizon I see a whole row of empty spots, a whole vacant area of parking fun… presumably the extra steps were just too much distance to handle at this festive, fat, lazy and bloated time of year, for the average holly jolly consumer, that is). No more hearing that particularly grating rendition of jingle bells that plays as I make my way through a blinding fragrance section in Macy’s and get sprayed by some clown lady.  

No more eating too much. 

No more running around trying to see and please everyone. 


I may have gotten a little lost in my tracks there, but I’m pretty sure that I understand most of what I think I am trying to say.  Could it really be that the end of the holiday season brings more relief than sadness?  Is the magic really gone?  In short, Chris Murphy (of the awesome band Sloan) said it best when he said that “The scariest part about my Halloween, is that November rent is due.  I’m not a kid anymore.”

Oh shit, my boss walked by the cubicle thrice, I really should stop now.

That’s it.  Time to go sit on the toilet and not poo for a little while.