Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The 3 Rules of Text


Don’t start off the thing with a “Dude.” or “Yo!” or something like that as your first text out of the gate. One or two word texts are not acceptable. Ever. Maybe you’re on an unlimited text plan, but I’m not and every single incoming or outgoing text counts against my balance, so make it friggin’ count! Besides that, this isn’t IM and it wastes my time to have to ask what is up. JUST TELL ME!! Stop texting like a 13 year old girl, dammit!! “Yo” is just the beginning of the though that you already have in your melon, so put down the rest of it in the first damn text And if you’re thumbs just aren’t in good enough condition to type all those pesky little digits….THEN FRIGGIN’ CALL ME INSTEAD AND STOP WASTING MY TIME!! Dammit, man, the Gilmore Girls are on!


This one really chaps my chode (my taint, my tisnt, my sandbar: and if you don’t know what I mean by those synonyms than I can’t help you)! I already delete the forwards I get in my email before I’ve read them (sorry, Dad!), but now you have to inundate my phone with these stupid things, too? Really? As stated before, this transaction costs money for those of us who don’t text enough to make an unlimited plan necessary but occasionally exceed our allowance of texts per month. Don’t push me closer to that redline with a joke about a hooker, a chicken, and the Statue of David. First of all, I’ve probably already got that in my email inbox waiting to be deleted, but secondly IT ISN’T FRIGGIN’ FUNNY!! Don’t be so casual about texts that they become reflexive and nonchalant. And what is your goal anyway? To waste yet another of my texts with a reply of “LOL” even though I didn’t laugh, and even if I had, it would have only been a slight chuckle and certainly wouldn’t have been audible to anyone but dogs (which I believe is abbreviated as “CQTMSQODCHI”---chuckles quietly to myself so quietly only dogs can hear it) ! Texts are designed to convey important information with an economy of words. If you want to waste words and time on things which no one gives two craps and a Kit Kat bar on….sign up for Facebook like the rest of us have!


First of all, I don’t have a data plan, so you cost me money when you send me pictures (and I would think the two rules above should have established and illustrated the fact that I’m a cheap ass). And it would be fine if the picture was of something of interest, but it’s porn. And not even good porn. It’s sad porn that makes the other porn feel sorry for it. The porn that had to get free lunches in school and wore shoes from Payless. We’re talking low-rent porn here. Secondly, the screen on my phone isn’t very large, so the quality of the sad-sack porn you sent is further diminished. NO SQUINT FOR TITTIES!! That’s the platform I’m running on: the view I’m espousing. And thirdly, but most importantly, there’s this thing called the Internet. Heard of it? Yeah, it’s absolutely filthy with….well, filth. If I need porn, you better believe I can find it. And I can find it for free! Doesn’t cost me anything but a half hour of my time and a tablespoon of swimmers. I’m mid-30’s and single, do you honestly believe I DON’T know where to go to find some free porn? Read the tealeaves, Chachie, I’ve got time on my hands (and I’ll leave that sentence alone so you can insert your own joke at the end).

Those are the rules and they are rigid and unbending, yet elegant in their simplicity. Follow them unwaveringly and there will be no problems. Violate them and you will soon find yourself on a no-fly-zone, blocked sender list that is impossible to extract yourself from without heavy penance and costly bribery. Thank you for your indulgence.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dave versus The Bat

I hate bats.

The flying mice type, not the Louisville Slugger type. Hate them! And there are 3 reasons why. When I was really young, I found a dead one in my grandparent's basement and that was freaky enough. Also in said basement, my sister and I were scared witless when another bat (may or may not have been related to the dead one, I didn't ask for I.D.) started circling the room, squealing like a banshee and then magically disappeared.

Tangentially, have any of you actually heard a banshee? Do they squeal? Probably why more people don't have them as pets, I guess. I should probably start doing more research for these whimsical rantings. I digress.

So the third reason I hate bats happened while I was attending Ball State University in scenic Muncie, Indiana (at least 3 or 4 people I know are going to absolutely piss themselves laughing at the "scenic" part of that sentence!). It was the night before classes started, fall semester of 1999. I wanted to be rested and ready for classes (for a change), so I took a couple of Tylenol PMs and went to sleep early.

About 3 in the ante meridiem I awoke to the strangest sound. I couldn't put my finger on what exactly it was but it sounded like fluttering. It was obviously dark, but my eyes adjusted enough for me to make out a form circling my very small apartment like a 737 waiting for clearance to land at O'Hare. It wasn't squealing like bats normally do, but I knew immediately what it was.

Luckily, I had a futon at the time, so I was already about 5 inches off the ground. So there I was, serpentining along the floor like I was in Nam and "Charlie" was lighting off tracers over my head. You have to do this because, as everyone knows, those shits ATTACK your hair!

I made it to the bathroom and turned on the light, still groggy (as Tylenol PM seems to log-jam in my head for days sometimes), flipped onto my back to survey the situation.

No bat. Nowhere to be found.

What the heck? So I grabbed a golf club (a seven iron, which was admittedly too much club for that lie, but I was planning on choking up and taking a nice, easy 65% swing) and turned on every light I had except for the one in the refrigerator (couldn't risk the bat getting to my beer and condiments, which is all that was in my fridge at the time).

Nothing. Had I just dreamt it all? Was I just loopy from the TPM? I figured that must be the case, so I resigned myself to taking a leak and going back to bed. I opened the door to the bathroom, which I had closed to check behind for the bat. As soon as I opened the door, I looked up and there it was, clinging to a pipe in the ceiling, wings draped around it like a cape (seems like you could use that imagery for some sort of super-hero or something….hmm…anyway). It was sleeping like a baby (probably resting so it could buzz my tower a couple more times like Maverick and Goose!).

I damn near soiled myself! I slammed the door closed, grabbed some duct tape and sealed off the room like some sort of biohazard, grabbed my golf club and cowered in the corner for hours, keeping ever vigilant (after all, there could be more waiting for me to let my guard down, and dammit, I'm not letting anything happen to my hair!).

At around 8am, Animal Control showed up. I took down the duct tape and let him into the bathroom, where our little friend was still cuddled up and dreaming of attacking my cabbage. The guy had these massive leather gloves on and simply grabbed the little guy, who was none too pleased to be leaving the shop! It squealed and screamed and bit the holy hell out of that dudes gloves. And just like that, it was over.

Turns out there was a hole in the ceiling of my closet that the bat navigated through to launch its little Pearl Harbor sneak attack. I used good ol' ingenuity to seal that hole up (duct tape and cardboard from a Busch Light 24 pack) and never had anymore unannounced visitors.

When I told my landlady about it, she was THRILLED! She was Asian, and apparently, being "visited" by a bat was a sign of good fortune!

Good fortune?! I think we can all agree by the ways things have turned out that this simply isn't based on reality or I really need to get swarmed by few thousand more of those little bastards!

So the next time you encounter a bat, just remember the following to get you through:

  • Wear a hat
  • Stay low
  • Choke up on a 7 iron

And in case you were wondering, I missed my first two classes that day to recuperate from my near-death experience.

Ok, I'm going to go wash my hair which is still intact due to quick thinking!

Things that abate my chode

(originally rant from my myspace page)

Annoyances Continued!!!

Annoyance 14: backseat whisper-singers

This only happens with women. I've never in my life heard one single male do this. A whisper singer is someone who clearly knows the words to a song, as well as the melody, but doesn't have the voice to actually sing along, so they kind of whisper the song. So quietly that you can only hear the sharp consonants. Other than that, there is this slight drone interrupted by S's, T's, and P's that stick out and jab the other listeners directly in the eardrum. My sister was famous for doing this all the time and I was equally famous for yelling at her to shut the F up so I could enjoy the F'ing song!


You've quite clearly realized that actually singing at full voice would be inappropriate and very annoying, so you substitute this muffled crap instead. Please for the love of God and all things holy, SHUT YOUR DAMN MAN-PLEASER! Public singers are bad enough (see previous rants for more of my opinion on that) but this is a whole new level of annoyance because clearly you see that your behavior is annoying but you seem to think you have mitigated the typical reaction by bringing the volume down so low that only the sharp sounds escape. This has the opposite effect, Chichi. Either sing or don't F'ing sing. It's really that simple.

And if you're in a car that I'm in, just DON"T F'ING SING AT ALL!!

And if I run into you and your significant other at the mall, scuffling your merry way along the isles while whisper singing along to the Muzak, be prepared for a flogging of epic proportions.

You have been warned!

Annoyance 15: taking the dog EVERYWHERE

I see it constantly, from driving around to shopping at the mall. Some people have to take their little mutts with them every-friggin-where they go! Fido has a shopping list for Target, does he? Really? What exactly is on that list there, Chachie? I'm guessing it goes something like this:

  1. Food
  2. A butt to sniff
  3. Someone to rub my belly
  4. Dryer sheets
  5. A place to drop a deuce

I get that the family pet is…well, part of the family and all, but for the love of all things SENSIBLE, leave the dog at home! Does it gross anyone else out when you're in the produce section and a golden retriever saunters up behind you and buries its nose squarely up your split side? I know there's one or two of you saying "No. Why? I don't get it…" and frankly, that's a cry for help that I simply don't have the patience or psychological credentials to deal with right now. Sick-o. I bet Peanut butter is on your dog's list! For the rest of us, however, it's really kinda gross. Dogs are not very sanitary animals and you can spare me that whole "Their mouths are cleaner then ours are" argument, because I brush my teeth and gargle Listerine while your dog eats its own poo. Advantage: ME! Game, Set, Match, MoFo! These same people would probably be horrified if someone put their cat on a leash and brought it to the shop, but somehow that bulldog that's been rolling around in your compost heap gets the invite?! Simply put, if you can read this blog, you're not blind, so I'm retracting your pet-pass! Rover's just gonna have to wait it out in the Land Rover (which is pretty cruel in and of itself and is yet another argument for leaving the mutt at home).

For the record, no one (and I mean NO ONE) cares a damn about your dog to the degree to which you believe they do. There are people out there who aren't "dog people" at all, and having a smelly animal sniffing them up at Bed Bath and Beyond out is downright offensive. You can't force someone to be a dog-lover any more than you can compel someone to become a nudist! And I promise you, you'd have a really tough time refraining from a magnificent chunder if you were picking out bananas when someone sashayed your way with their junk out, swinging like a pendulum!

Annoyance 16: Rap music

Back in the day, rap music was amazing. From ICE-T to Rakim, these were street poets, word smiths, and (dare I say) musicians. Nowadays, it's become formulaic to a sickening degree (never mind the fact that rappers only perform about 20% of their own songs anymore!). Find a phrase and repeat it 40 times. Done. Where's my money? I haven't actually done a "Party like a rock star" tally to see how many times the phrase gets repeated, but I bet it's just short of the number of times a two year old says "Why?" in any given month!

Wanna be a rapper? Here's all you need to talk about:

  • all the money you have
  • the car(s) you drive (which must be from the following auto makers: Bentley, Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Jaguar, Lexus, and BMW)
  • the size of your rims (must be over 20" so you can use the word "Dubs")
  • your "bitches" (no room for chivalry here, fellas)
  • the VIP room or strip club
  • your jewelry (or "ice", for those of you up to date on the lingo)
  • the brand of champagne/alcohol you're buying for the whole bar
  • the expensive brand of watch you own (Rolex, Cartier, or Breitling are all acceptable answers here)

Rap used to be a reflection of the reality of the streets (from what this white-bread, Indiana boy would actually know about that reality, which isn't much). It was raw, real, articulate, and pretty damn well-crafted. Now it's turned into this complete and utter fantasy, where poor kids from the streets brag about all the things they don't actually have but assume would give them "cred" if they really did.

Yes. I used the word "cred". If the anchors on ESPN can, so can I (I am, at the very least, as "street" as Trey Wingo!!!)!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are a 19 year old from the projects in D.C., it's something short of plausible that you actually own that $250,000 Bentley with the 22 inch rims that you so prominently display in your very first music video. I'll go further out on that proverbial limb and say that it's rented and that the "bitches" in bikinis dancing around you are PROBABLY rented for the video, too. They probably wouldn't spare a cup of piss to put you out if you were on fire if they weren't bought and paid for. Just a hunch.

Where, oh where have you gone, Young MC? We miss you.

[uncontrollable laughter]

Ok. Not really.

Annoyance17: Insomnia

I've never been a particularly sound sleeper. I generally lay there, eyes splayed open, staring at the ceiling for hours (literally) before I finally relent to slumber. Don't know if I just have too many thoughts swirling through my noggin (which seems highly unlikely even as I type it out) or if I have a case of the "crazy legs", but I have never been one of those people who's asleep before my head hits the pillow.

I hate those people.

…And envy them, but mostly it's hate.

With the best of intentions, I go to bed. After a long day, tired and ready for the sweet relief of slumber. Ready to fade off into dreamland, ensconced in reveries starring Christina Aguilera, cowboy boots, a kiddie pool of butterscotch pudding, and furry handcuffs. Yeah, I know. Don't judge me.

I've brushed my grill, turned out the lights, and I slip under the covers and then….

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Wide awake. Instantly; regardless of just how tired I might have been.

Then the games begin.

"Well, if I get to sleep in the next half hour, I'll get a good 6 hours of sleep." As soon as that thought crosses your mind, you are screwed. This is the exact and polar opposite of a Self Fulfilling Prophecy. You aren't going to get 6 hours of sleep, Billy. Huh-uh. Nope. Might want to trim that prediction by at least 50%, but don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to retool those numbers while you're NOT SLEEPING!

Seemingly minutes later, "If I get to sleep in the next fifteen minutes, I can get a solid 2 hours of sleep." Instead of thinking this, you would be better served to just accept that "I'm going to be a cranky SOB tomorrow; drunk on Red Bull, with all the personality and patience of a cornered badger." There's something to be said for truth in advertising, after all.

Then you get angry (actually physically upset) at yourself for not being able to sleep. This spirals downward faster than Michael Richards' career post-"Seinfeld". You start considering any and every possible solution to your problem, from cranking one out to taking a couple of shots of Whiskey (not always a viable solution when you have to get up for work in two hours, but you'll consider just about anything at this point).

Count sheep? I'm at 147,328. How much longer should I count?

Warm milk? What am I, like 5? Maybe warm milk and Whiskey?! Isn't that how alcoholism starts? I bet if I went down to the overpass and bugged one of the residents of the cardboard condos, they would trace their sour lot in life back to insomnia. I'm sure the PTSD didn't help either.

And the best news of all: you get to do this all again in less than 24 hours. Sweet dreams, Skippy!

[yawn] I'm tired. Anyone got any Whiskey and warm milk?

Annoyance 18: Cartoon characters with foreign accents.

Let me start by confessing that this is more about jealousy and envy than anything. You see, I’m terrible at foreign languages. Beyond awful.

I took a year of Spanish for a couple of years in college.

Still can’t ask where the bathroom is. The translation of my sentence is something like "Beer bathroom please the beach." Must sound like a crazy person to a native Spanish speaker. The fact that I’m wearing nothing but a sailor’s hat and a jock strap might be part of the confused looks as well.

Digress, Dave. Dammit, man, DIGRESS!

So Pepe Lepew speaks fluent English, but with a French accent, eh? Bi-friggin-lingual?! This would mean French is his native language and he DABBLES a bit in English! And you wonder why we hate the French, even their skunks are elitists!

So a friggin’ cartoon skunk is smarter than I am? Dammit! Does he have a PhD in Astrophysics, too? Maybe he’s a Rhodes(kill) scholar!

Like how I did that? Rhodes(kill)….like road kill…because he’s an animal….and they get run over by...ok, screw you if you don’t get it!

You’re not my real mom!

…Anyway. Even Speedy Friggin’ Gonzalez has a Spanish accent. I could have been tutored in college by a friggin’ rodent, who is apparently more linguistically advanced than I am. So I’m smarter than Stimpy, but Ren could hold a conversation with (I suppose) Speedy and I would have no friggin’ clue what they were talking about!

That sucks!

Hold on, I need to head to ACME’s website to find a good solution to this.

What do you think? A giant slingshot, some rocket skates, and a butterfly net?


Annoyance 19: Fingernail clippers.

It isn’t that the clippers themselves cause me any real consternation, but I own like 20 of these little bastards.

…and I can’t remember EVER in my life actually buying one.

Chew on that a moment and I’ll get back to you.

"Ewwwww!" is the right reaction. That’s kinda gross! Where the heck did I get these things and what kind of crusty, yellowed, fungi-laden claws have these things been biting on?

Coulda been someone’s toenails for all I know, and that only heightens the chunder-ificence of this whole situation.

Maybe I can get reduced shipping if I tack a pair of new clippers on my ACME order….

Annoyance 20: The old man at the gym.

You know that crusty old fart at the gym with the prospector’s beard? Yeah, the guy that looks like ZZ Top’s great- great- granddad. One day, I finished up working out. I worked up a good sweat so I shuffled to the locker room for a shower and some fresh hair gel (priorities, folks, priorities!).

I push the door open and turn the corner only to find an image that will haunt me to my core for the rest of my days on this little pebble.

So there stands Father Time, buck-nekkid in all of his pasty glory, right leg perched on a bench, cheeks akimbo, towel gripped tightly in his veiny hands, BUTT FLOSSING!

I imagine at least a few of the people who read this will laugh hysterically at that image. I understand this reaction. You can imagine the old man, wearing his flabby skin like a raincoat. You can image a locker room (probably very similar to the one at the gym you attend, assuming you actually care about physical health ---though reading this blog attests to your utter indifference to mental health and acuity!). You can probably imagine the butt-flossing motion, comically over-exaggerated in your fruitful imagination. You might even be able to string all of these images together into a colorful mosaic of old-man-butt-flossing-comedy.

But you weren’t there, man! You have no idea the horror of having actually witnessed Old Man River in this tete-a-tete with a towel; looking like his arse picked a fight with a hammock and the hammock was winning.


It was one of those moments that seemed to go on forever and, having witnessed it first hand, I can tell you that it shook me to the very underpinnings of my existence.

…And not in a good way!

Worse yet, the towel. These are provided by the gym and taken off-site for laundering. I’m sure the steam cleaning sanitizes them. But steam doesn’t get hot enough to remove the image of Santa’s sphincter itching along that rough-grade cotton in super-slow motion! What if I use that towel in the future? Will there be some sort of butt-transferance that only Gil Grissom and his CSIs could detect? God help me!

Then comes the really disturbing part. Yeah, that’s right. We haven’t hit the really disturbing part yet. Here’s the really disturbing part:

We made eye contact.

There’s no coming back from that. It’s almost as bad as walking in on your parents having sex or Rosie O’Donnell at feeding time. There aren’t enough hours of psychotherapy in any given millennium to reverse that train once it’s left the tunnel. That ship has sailed and my innocence is listed on the manifest. One can only hope, at some point in the future, the brain cells I kill with 7&7’s will eventually include this horrific blight on my long-term memory. …Oh, and that time I won a car. You can have that back, too!

Until then, I’ll forever be haunted by the image of Uncle Jesse smiling the smile of child on Christmas morning, sans clothes and good taste, toweling off his O-ring with that poor, hapless rag…. Ugh!

I gotta go boil my eyes….

Annoyance 21: Flying

It all starts with the airport. Could you possibly find a bigger cluster f*ck anywhere on the planet? You think malls are a pain in the kibbles and naughty bits to walk around? Airports are all of that madness to a multiple I can't even compute! People in airports walk with a single-minded purpose that precludes any and all common courtesy whatsoever! Hockey players don't get hip-checked as often as I do walking through an airport. The rules: THERE ARE NO RULES!! Seriously, carb up and chug a Red Bull before you hit this joint, because you're gonna need all the stamina and energy you can get! Sharks feed with more organization than people walking through an airport. Pinball machines have more predictability than this cacophony of foreign nationals, hillbillies, and tourists.

Compounding all of this is the rolling deathtraps of luggage people are dragging behind them. Really, that laptop case needed wheels? REALLY?! Are you taking Big Blue for a tet a tet with Kasperov? Packed an IBM mainframe in that friggin' backpack, didja? How damned lazy are we as a society when we can't even be bothered to carry a damn backpack? That's just sad! Sad on levels that defy description! But it can be funny to watch the trail of carnage as people are laid to waste behind one of these morons, swinging this masterpiece of death behind them, clear cutting and plowing down women and children with Mussolini-like abandon and disregard for human life.

Then comes the inevitable congestion in front of the gate. As soon as one single section (usually the first class customers who can't be bothered for a warm cup of piss to put you out if you're hair is on fire) is cleared to board, the rest of the cattle mosey up to the fence, blocking the line off from those people who have actually been cleared to board while they chew on their cud. Seriously, you can't just sit the F down and wait patiently? Do you really expect the trip to be expedited in any fashion whatsoever by crowding up by the gate? You probably think honking your horn in a traffic jam will clear the way as well, eh? Idiot.

Then the fun of boarding the plane begins. There's always some genius who has to try and stuff a friggin' Subaru in the overhead bin. Not gonna happen, Slappy! I'm glad you were clever enough to smuggle the ENTIRE mini-fridge out of your hotel room, but that crap ain't gonna compress enough to wedge it that 2' by 2' space. But seriously, take another ten or fifteen minutes to wrangle with it while your rudimentary understanding of simple friggin' geometry continues to confound you. We've got time, it's not like we have a flight to catch.....oh...wait...

So, after these chuckleheads have stowed their crap and taken a seat, you get to sit as well. Seems like you're in the clear now, right? Not even close! Inevitably, you'll get sardined into a seat next to Elbows O'Spreadeagle and Mary McBackfat, if you aren't lucky enough to get pinned against the fuselage by Jaba the Hut. Engineers, in their infinite wisdom created 3 seats with 2 interior armrests. I'm not great at math, but something about that equation makes me think there might be some friction. Unfortunately, the safety pamphlet outlines what you can do in the unlikely event that the plane crashes into an ocean and anyone actually survives, but they failed to establish a simple guideline for who gets the pleasure of extending their elbow an extra 3 inches. Thanks for that! So I get my midsection worked over like a welterweight while the oblivious bastard next to me fiddles around like a 3 year old on a sugar buzz! Four flippin' hours of being poked and prodded mercilessly....and no "happy ending". Fantastic.

Eventually the plane leaves the ground, the flight attendants pass out the requisite mini-pretzels "Thank you Heather, you are a life saver indeed. I was minutes away from a swollen belly and flies circling, but you saved the day with these 3 mini-convections. Prior to this, my tummy was making more noises than a VW Vanogan! Bless you, kind woman. Bless you!" In the isle seat? Expect a reflex test on that funny bone (not so damn funny when a metal cart is driven into and through your arm, is it Chuckles?). In the middle seat, expect to be pummeled from both directions by random elbows. I have the song "Kung fu fighting" going through my head and I know there's a joke there. Just can't get the bat off my shoulder. Hmmm. The window seat is the ideal one here as you get the pleasure of causing discomfiture in other's but you don't have to make any crucial adjustments yourself. Well played, grasshopper!

Eventually, after every extremity has cramped up, seized up, or been beaten up by your fellow passengers, the plane will finally land. Now we're in the clear, Padre. Right? Wrong!! Now comes the funniest display of human vanity and arrogance. Almost at the very same millisecond as the wheels grab asphalt, people have to whip out their cell phones, as if the entire world has been watching with bated breath, anxious for your safe return. Never mind that you won't be able to hear squat over all the other arrogant jackholes in this aluminum tub, but please continue to repeat the same sentence ad nauseum in increasing increments of volume. That's helpful.

Of course, deplaning is not in any way organized either. Before the ship has come to a complete halt, half of the occupants have stood up, in the middle of the isle, opening up the overhead to try and finagle their mini-fridge back out of the compartment (no, seriously, don't worry about dropping that on the head of the 4 year old directly beneath that carry-on-of-death, she's from Minnesota so she doesn't have that much to look forward to in life.). Then, once the door has been opened, the stampede begins! This is fantastic because the faster you get off the plane, the faster they route your luggage to you. Really. That wasn't sarcasm. Ok. Yeah it was. But some people act like getting out of there is more important than the elderly couple you turned into mulch while disembarking from the plane with all the care and dexterity as the Cool-aid man making his famous entrance.

Is the fun over, Uncle D? No, my friend. Not even close! Now you get to go wait for your baggage, which is yet another activity that should prove to you that people in large groups are essentially cattle. So, everyone lumbers up to the carousel, with visions of actually being one of the first people to reclaim their belongings and make their way to Disney World (or Fetish Planet, I don't know what the hell you're in town for!). So you go up and stand there, 3 feet back from the baggage belt, waiting patiently until some dick comes up, plows past you (invading your personal space and just generally pissing you off!), and proceeds to stand DIRECTLY in front of you. So, yeah, I was just saving that space for you so that the rest of the day will be more pleasant for you and more work for me. Thanks for acknowledging that. Of course, the last laugh isn't going to go to this douche bag, it will go to the third or fourth douche bag that cuts in front of the original douche bag (I know, you need a program or something here). Why can't everyone just back the hell off and let everyone have an equal go at? And do you have to send your 5 year old, who frankly looks like he hasn't been eating very much, to go up and lasso your Samsonite from the belt. What'd you pack in there anyway, your bowling ball collection? Watching young Sammy struggle with this piece of luggage in a ballet of futility would be soul crushing to most people…had Sammy not been the little shit sitting behind you kicking your seatback like he was playing hacky-sack. Let's face it, this little prick deserves to be drug behind and around that baggage claim for a few more hours, screaming like a little girl, bouncing off people like they're bumper cars. Of course, once you have managed to navigate past Sammy and his antics to grab your own luggage, you're bound to be met with a surprise. The last time I picked up my luggage (my brand new luggage, btw) it came off the belt looking like a yak had tried to mate with it! It was covered in some sort of oily residue, the handle was broken, and it was torn to shreds. Not pleased. But at this point, you have thumbed your noise at the travel gods and made it safely through flying. Congrats! Now all you have to look forward to is public transportation and seriously unhygienic hotel sheets!

For now, that will have to do. I'm sure I'll find some material that grates on my sandbar in the future, so stay tuned and I'll stay angry!

My official list of annoyances

(Taken from several posts originally published on my now-defunct myspace page, so many may be out of date, but they annoyed me then and if applicable, they annoy me now)

Annoyance 1: Wrist injuries.

Somehow, someway, in complete defiance of my puma-like grace and dexterity, I have busted up my right wrist something awful. Don't know how I did it, but I've been dealing with it for almost half a year now and it just won't friggin' heal! I have bone bruising, micro-fractures, strained tendons, and a slightly torn meniscus. Not cool. It just won't heal and there's no way to give it a rest because….you know, hands are, like... important and stuff. Have you ever tried tying one of your hands behind your back (more specifically, your dominant hand) for an hour, a day, or even a week (what a twisted little S&M freak you are if you answered "yes" to that final qualification!!!)?

It won't heal and it makes just about everything fall somewhere between uncomfortable and down-right painful.

(…and just for the record, for the millionth time, I didn't hurt my wrist "flogging the dolphin"! The right hand is the mouse hand, the LEFT hand is the hog hand! The internet changed everything!)

A short list of everyday tasks that hurt like a SONOFA:

Turning the key to start the car
Getting a loaf of bread off the shelf
Tying shoelaces
Wrestling bears
Scratching my bum

The list goes on. Suffice it to say, if you ever have the opportunity to injure your wrist, I would strenuously advise you to find a different course of action.

Annoyance 2: Oregon drivers.

Ever heard of the left lane?! Yeah, it's for PASSING and EMERGENCY VEHICLES! These friggin' people camp out in the left lane for days even though they're only going 2 mph over the speed limit and only a ¼ mph faster than the retard in the right lane! So when someone with a bit of a lead foot, not unlike myself, who also happens to have a bit of a temper (road rage? Me? Surely you jest!) comes up on them and has to disengage the cruise control, naturally there are utterances of profanity. Sometimes I break out the bird. Mostly I just wait for an opening, pass them in the right lane and glare at them with that "WTF" look in my eyes, darting sharply back in front of them and go speeding about my not-always-merry way.

Did you not take the same drivers test that I did? Have you never been on a highway before today? Do you not understand that I could get to my chosen destination at least 15 whole seconds quicker if you weren't putzing along like a wounded, sedated, and elderly wildebeest on a mountain trail? GET THE "F" OUT OF THE WAY AND LET DADDY DRIVE!!

Annoyance 3: Cell phones in the restroom.

Yeah. I know. Friggin' sick if you ask me. If I'm on the other end of the line, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) continue to converse with me while you go to "the office" and drop a deuce. Do not (I repeat, DO NOT) swagger up to a urinal and proceed with your watering activities while working through an anecdote or story about work. Do you not think the person on the other end can hear ambient noises? Truly, I don't care who you are, we're not that damn close! I'm not comfortable with that. At all! A simple "I'll call you back" is all that is necessary here. It's part of bathroom etiquette. You don't plop your split-side down and start having a conversation with someone in the next stall. You just don't do it, it just isn't right. A restroom should be as quiet as a church or a library (although, people get really uneasy when you "drop trow" in either of those venues!). It's a place to reflect, a place to be alone with your thoughts, and a place to poo. It is not your local pub, it is not a phone booth, and it is not the place where great minds meet to solve the worlds many problems. People need to concentrate and if you can't be mindful of other people's shy bladders, then you, Sir, are a piece of sh……

Annoyance 4: Pissy people's blogs.

Oh….. Yeah. Sorry.

Annoyance 5: People who sing in public.

You can be at the store shopping for… well, whatever the hell you're shopping for and inevitably there will be some donkey who thinks that ABBA's original version of "Dancing Queen" was missing something, namely their own vocal stylings. Off pitch? You bet. Off beat? All the rhythm of an epileptic seizure, thankyouverymuch. But somehow, someway this jerk-off has convinced him or herself that everyone around them is entitled to their rather liberal rendition; whether they asked for it or not.

"Who sings that song?"


"Let's friggin' keep it that way!"

Your singing has all the musical qualities of Siamese cats mating. I've heard better harmony out of vacuum cleaners, for crap's sake!

Sing in your house, sing in your car, sing in church, sing in a damn phone booth (if you can actually find a phone booth these days), or sing at a karaoke bar (where sucking as fantastically as you do is not only tolerated, it's ENCOURAGED!). Just make sure I don't have to hear you, because here's the thing: we all sound SO MUCH better in our own heads than we do in other people's grapes!

You aren't Xtina, you are NOT Mariah, you do not in any manner resemble Marc Anthony or any other artist. And, both sadly and honestly, there's only one thing separating them from you: talent.

Reality is harsh. You know what else is harsh? Your rendition of "Miss Independent". Making it even more creepy: you have a penis. Yikes. Some issues there, dude. Might want to get that checked out.

Annoyance 6: Pedestrians in the mall.

Look, I know you're distracted by all the lights and shiny things but do you think you could adapt the generally implicit "rules of the road" to walking down a friggin' hallway? People walk in malls the same way the drive and, generally speaking, people drive like crap! Why does every moron strolling along in front of me have to stop on a dime in the middle of everything for no reason whatsoever?! Why the F are you stopping? What the hell? Pretend you have hazard signals, move off to the side of the isle, and light a damn flare!

If you're walking out of a store, how about trying this: look both F'ing ways! I'm so tired of people walking over or through me because they assume (wrongly) that no matter what, they have the right of way. It's akin to running a red light or merging without even checking your mirror. Stop that, you arrogant prick!

There is a tacit understanding among most people that the halls of a mall are like a highway, and when you are going to exit (to go to a store) or merge (coming out of a store), you should WATCH OUT FOR OTHER FRIGGIN' PEOPLE!!! I'm tired of damn-near tripping over people who walk against the grain, plow through the crowd, and continue about their moronic way without so much as a "Pardon me." Like it's MY responsibility to watch out for your oblivious, self-absorbed ass! Screw that! I'm insured, so watch the hell out! We're turning this mug into a demolition derby! I've got sharp elbows and a surly disposition. I am NOT to be trifled with!

Annoyance 7: People with wireless headsets for their cell phones.

First of all, you look like you're either talking to yourself or to me and somehow I end up feeling like an ass-hat when I answer and you give me that "WTF?" look. If your phone is so damn heavy that you can't lift it to your bean, then get another phone or join a damn gym, Gumby! Secondly, none of those damn headsets seem to either a) pick up voices with any clarity nor do they b) transmit the other party's voice with any volume. This, of course, defeats the purpose of a phone conversation; as it very quickly denigrates to an endless cycle of repeated sentences.

"What? Sorry I didn't catch that. ….WHAT? No, I just can't hear you very well….WHAT?!"

The above continues for about a half a month or so.

"Yeah. No. I said, the rash cleared up fine. No, the rash cleared up….THE RASH CLEARED….no, not 'cash'.

RASH! Yeah. No, I'm walking fine, not bow-legged...what?…FINE! ….No, I said 'FINE!!'"

The point is, I don't care about your life and I certainly don't care to gain half an understanding of it because you're carrying on with your half of the conversation at excruciating decibels. Either quiet the hell down, or raise the damn phone to one of your blow-handles. No one thinks you're important just because you have some little piece of crap strapped to your ear. Repeating everything you say about 12 times doesn't add to the romance either, it just makes you sound more and more like Corky from "Life Goes On".

Annoyance 8: Local television commercials.

Any ad rep at any ad company should be drawn and quartered if they lay down a story board that includes a group of employees clumsily saying ANY phrase in unison. Hey, here's a plan: why not get a professional voice-over guy to provide narrative or hire a couple of trained thespians? This way, viewers at home can ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND what is being said!

Inevitably, local businesses (who must be writing their own material, because these spots are just…well, spotty!) parade out a group of employees who have that wide-eyed look of public speaking-induced terror (very similar to when Chris Hanson comes out of the pantry to play a little "How old do you think she is?" with some befuddled perv). It's that deer-in-the-headlights panic that makes any kind of true, collective unity utterly impossible for a group of pasty car salesmen and women. They aren't going to get it together any more than a 4th grade orchestra will be able to nail the "1812 Overture".

How about doing something classy like the big boys do? How about you get away from parading out the acting-impaired owner of Schitlipz's Daihatsu and KIA Emporium; clad in a Cupid outfit claiming "You'll fall in love with our low prices!"

Cheese alert, code red! DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!

Here are a couple of things to avoid if you are writing, casting, directing, or in any other way, shape, or form participating in the creation of a commercial for a local biz.

  • No kids. Kids can't act and half the time they're just plain unintelligible. Their basically like squirrelly little drunk people and drunk people make lousy commercials.
  • No talking in unison. I think I've covered this pretty thoroughly, but it's still sage wisdom, in my opinion.
  • No costumes. Costumes lead to characters and characters lead to really stupid storylines and really stupid storylines lead to really cheesy ads. Basic addition here, folks. Basic addition.

No repetition of a catch phase (or any part of a catch phrase). Sure I know why they do this, if it sticks in your head, you're more likely to blah blah blah… The worst part is, the people who produce these things seem to think that any phrase that is repeated should be augmented by some crazy, off-phase, reverb-laden effects cluster-f*ck until somehow it comes out sounding like Darth Vader sucked up some helium. This doesn't induce a willingness to come to your particular haberdashery, there Huck Fin, at least not from anyone with an IQ above the price of a vending machine Shasta.

Annoyance 9: Stretching

Don't get me wrong, I know it's a vital part of any well designed workout program. But dammit, people, can we show some life! It's just so boring. I'm single, I have a lot of "me time", I don't need to incorporate it into my workout! "Hey, we just got done running a mile and a half; let's sit here and play "This Little Piggy"… with OURSELVES!!!"

And yet I do it. Every day. Right after cardio. Wanna know why? Not for the increased flexibility. Nay. Not for the reduction in the likelihood of injury. No, my good sir. I will have none of that. Not even because my trainer told me to (read: ok, maybe a little bit).

Why, you must be asking or soon will after reading this sentence (…I'm in your head, man, in….your….head…)?



That's right. Prison is the reason I stretch, despite my distain for the "activity". One day I might find myself behind bars. Let's face it, nobody actually PLANS on being locked down, so that must mean it could happen to someone who does not, for any reason, expect to go to the ol' gray bar hotel.

So I find myself unexpectedly in prison on my first day of what is most likely a long sentence, having been traded for 4 cartons of ultra-lights and some wine brewed in a toilet. Because let's face it; I'm too pretty for prison. I wouldn't do well. Having witnessed the glory of supply and demand in action and the terror of realizing that I am now the "goods", it's likely that at some upcoming moment, I might be asked to grab my ankles.

What if I can't?

Won't the other guys laugh? There's really nothing more important in your first days of prison than making a good impression! It's literally "make or break". How are you going to get into any of the good gangs? You probably won't have a date for the prom. Who's going to do your DIY tattoo with an unsanitary, used needle? No one. You'll just have to ink the spider web on your elbow by your self, Johnny. None of this would have happened if you were just more flexible! And didn't kill that hooker.

Annoyance 10: Electric Razors.

Had a gift certificate to a large electronics retailer who shall remain nameless. I thought that an electric razor would be a superior purchace. After all, I could not find a single thing in that entire shop, that I actually wanted, for $35. My electronics and gadgets needs are pretty well satiated at this point. And I wasn't going to fork over any of my own cabbage, either, Spanky.

The electric razor seemed like a good choice as it lends itself greatly to one of my most passionate pursuits: being lazy. Shaving is a real pain, even if you have as little facial hair as I do. For those not familiar, I can basically grow a goatee as well as a tuft of hair on a mole on the side of my face. It looks like I'm trying to grow a little Don King off the side of my face if I don't maintain the upkeep. But that's it, no sideburns and no beard.

But here's the thing: electric razors SUCK! That thing must have been possessed by the devil himself. It chewed through the skin on my neck, leaving this awful road-rash- looking-thing. Which was really helpful, given that it MISSED ALL THE HAIRS!! Were the plans for this thing discovered in a Nazi bunker? No, really, I was specifically looking for a device that would leave my neck feeling like a scabby Chihuahua.

Dreams do come true, little Tommy. Dreams do come true!

I'm back to disposables.

Annoyance 11: Entertainment Shows.

If I hear that drunk, Pat O'Brian, use the term "baby-bump" one more god-forsaken time, I swear I'm going to cash in some air miles, fly to Cali, hunt his Irish ass down and beat him senseless with a rented Pulitzer Prize trophy. That was a shockingly long sentence.

And was it so friggin' lung-draining for these vapid blowup-dolls masquerading as television personalities (despite the obvious irony of a personality with no personality) to say the ACTUAL names, "Brad" and "Angelina"? Really? You had to fuse the two together in some kind of creepy, Jeff Goldblum loosing his ear in "The Fly" bastardization. "Branjelina"? Really? I hope against hope that right now, at this very moment, the person who came up with that stubs their toe.

Just stay away from Nancy O'Dell. She's off the board. No one touches her. …Mine!

Here's the thing. I don't give two sh!ts and a Kit Kat bar about who Lindsay Lohan is dating. The person DATING Lindsay Lohan doesn't care who's dating Lindsay Lohan, for cripes sakes!! Not too concerned with who the latest B-lister, has-been is to check into detox, get a DUI, show their panties in a bar, or screw Denis Rodman (which for some reason, just about every chick in California has done). If I was that celebrity obsessed though, I might just sign up for rehab. Seems to be a good place to rub elbows with one or both of the Olsen twins or that guy that played Boner on "Charles in Charge".

And who wouldn't want to do that?

(yes, I know the CIC reference was wrong, but I needed an excuse to shoe-horn a Scott Baio reference in here)

Annoyance 12: Valentine's Day

It shouldn't come as any surprise that I HATE this holiday (even more than that sonofabitch, Arbor Day!). I'm single and a guy, but even if I wasn't single, I would still hate it. It isn't that I'm not a romantic at heart, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a hopeless romantic at my core. But with this holiday, it's a lose/lose proposition for guys.

Have a woman (or more, I can't speak to what kind of game you have)? Better pony up the jack, Mister! Money equals love, Jobu, and don't you forget it! You didn't buy your lady a diamond tennis bracelet? You must not love her, or at least that's the message I take away from every one of the thousands of 30 second ads (read: propaganda) littering my sports broadcast. The underlying message is always the same: man buys woman diamond jewelry, woman realizes once again what it is about him that she loves. Thanks for that. And never mind how unlikely it is that I would receive an equitable package of gifts in exchange. A card and a shirt is all you get (if you're lucky, and I mean LUCKY!)? This might be the least even playing field in all of the major holidays. So let me get this straight, I just dropped something close to the gross national product of Uraguay on a diamond necklace that more closely resembles a disco ball, and you got me a Hallmark card and a mix CD? REALLY?! Better come with some BJ coupons or some sh!t, 'cuz that just ain't right at all!!

Don't have a woman? Better be prepared to be reminded of that, in no uncertain terms, everywhere you go. From commercials to the mall and everywhere in between there will be depictions of happy, loving couples, drunken with romance. Clearly, being single is a sign that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. You must be unlovable at the very underpinnings of your core. Walk around a mall as a single guy at this time of year and you will be constantly reminded by a stream of happy little couples that you are neither happy nor a couple. These happy couples, when they can be distracted from their wholesome bliss, will look at you as if you were a leper. You can almost hear the contempt in their stares; knowing they would point and laugh if they weren't holding hands and a bunch of gift bags. Just do yourself a favor and avoid shopping altogether until some time in March.

I can only remember a handful of times in my life that I was actually able to hold a relationship together long enough to go through the usual V-Day routine, but I can say this, the best way to enjoy this season is to be flat broke with someone else who is flat broke. Take the expectations of material goods out of the equation and play it by heart and this holiday can live up to its guiding principles. But once you have a little cabbage involved, be prepared for the day to careen out of control faster than a Mercedes with Lindsay Lohan at the wheel!

Annoyance 13: scuffling feet

For f*ck's sakes, pick up your feet when you walk! It absolutely drives me nuts when someone walks around dragging their heals loudly along the floor. Do your shoes not fit? Are they 4 sizes too large and you're just too lazy or stupid to ask for a little sizing advice from the pimply faced nerd working at the PayLess store? Did you not tie the laces; instead working some RUN-DMC action with those wing-tips?

If you turn your shoe over and you have perfect tread from the toes to the arch and a heel that looks more worn than Charlton Heston's nutsack, then you need to LIFT YOUR LEGS A LITTLE!! Or do you just enjoy the sound of your own footsteps so much that you thought it would be good to extend that aural pleasure for everyone within earshot to partake in? What are you, like twelve? Seriously? Professional cross country skier? I understand that this is inevitably the case with flip-flops and some sandals, but there's just no excuse for a grown person to scuffle their feet. None whatsoever.

That's enough for this post. To be continued in my next...