Monday, January 23, 2006


Mr. WeeWee Pants

I have an unwritten policy that I won’t write anything specific about work. There are two reasons for this. The first is that there is nothing particularly funny about where I work. I will, however, probably write about where I used to work at some point. It wasn’t “haha” funny, more like tragically funny…kind of like when small children run full tilt into a wall because they decided to play tag inside while blindfolded. You know you’re not supposed to laugh, but they had it coming. Anyway…we all have daily problems, and no one wants to read about mine. The second is that I truly like my new job, and I have no idea if anyone from my office reads this, so I would prefer to say nothing, keep everyone happy, and keep my job. Plus, a lot of the ladies feel the need to bring me food, which kind of rocks out loud, and I don’t want to screw up a good thing. There are advantages to being the only young male in an office full of women.

This isn’t really work-related, it just happened at work today. I was leaving the restroom, and stopped to wash my hands. Hand washing has been beaten into me since childhood (literally…Mom used to beat me with a sink and rub soap into my eyes if I forgot). Between home, and my various jobs at sandwich shops and as a server, it’s just one of those things that is now ingrained into me. Hopefully also with everyone reading this, seeing as how I think I’ve shaken most of your hands or been touched (in a friendly, non-Michael-Jackson kind of way) by most of you.

Sorry for the diatribe there. Have I mentioned that I’m easily distracted? Anyway, the sinks where I work are either located farther back than at most places, or my arms are shrinking (possibly because of some weird disease I caught from one of my non-hand-washing-friends), because I have to lean against the countertop slightly to turn the water on and off. Today there was standing water at the front of the counter that I didn’t see, mainly because real water isn’t bright blue like in cartoons and in children’s picture books. So, as I backed away from the sink, I noticed in the mirror that I now had a giant wet spot right on my crotch. So much for my big boy pants…I really thought I was ready this time.

I tried to walk at an angle, back to my Cubicle of Doom(very similar to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, except it only has three walls, no door, and doesn’t restore my strength. Come to think of it, it has nothing in common with the Fortress of Solitude, except for the capitalization of the first letter in each word), and also took the path that led me past the fewest desks, because I’m fairly new at my office, having just started at the end of November, and I don’t want to be known as Mr. WeeWee Pants. While I have met everyone at least once, I still don’t know a lot of their names, and I’m sure they don’t all know mine, so nicknames at this point are more likely to stick. I’m thinking of running quickly from place to place…maybe I can get a cool nickname like “Dash,” although with my luck it would wind up being “Zippy” or “Scooter.”.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Doing Something Worthwhile

I got an email today from my friend Aaron, who is walking/running in a charity event coming up in April to benefit mental illness (no, it has nothing to do with buying me a strait jacket or padding a room in my house.) If you’re feeling especially friendly, you can contribute to his cause here. He’s a great guy, clearly a better human being than I am. It made me think about my charitable contributions. Sure, I give like crazy to Goodwill. But I think that Aaron’s purpose may be nobler than mine.

You see, like a lot of us who give to Goodwill, it serves two purposes: 1. tax deduction 2. thin out the piles of accumulated stuff that we no longer want, but feel guilty throwing away. See? Aaron is actually going to go outside and run for charity, while I simply drop off a bag of old sweatpants for charity. While I’m sure someone will find a good use for said sweats, I usually make the drop off when it is convenient for me, and the walk from my car to the drop off point is less than twenty feet, it’s not raining or snowing, and the temperature is somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s roughly two deciliters, converted to metric).

If you ever see me running, you should know that one of only a few things has taken place.
1. I made someone much larger than me angry, and they are only a short distance behind me.
2. Something similar to the scene in Indiana Jones where the giant rolling boulder is right behind him. If this is the case, I advise you to turn and run with me.
3. I angered a hive of killer bees (probably with an off color joke about their queen).

So take a minute and help out someone who is actually doing something worthwhile. Or save that money and buy me a beer the next time you see me. Whatever floats your boat.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I Heart My Cable Company

I used to have a pretty sweet deal as far as my cable bill went. I had a friend who worked for my Charter Communications (official motto: No English speaking customer service reps by 2007!) and she made sure that I stayed on the “introductory” pricing plan. You know, the one they lure you in with – “Get 2 billion channels, blazing fast internet, a DVR, and thirteen llamas, all for the low monthly price of 7 cents!” What they don’t tell you up front is that after 3 months, they jack the price up to roughly the equivalent of Kate Moss’s cocaine budget. So I was living the easy life, hanging out with my llamas, watching Extreme Japanese bowling on channel 1047.6, when I got my last cable bill.

Turns out my friend is no longer with Charter, and had failed to realize that she was supposed to work there for the rest of her miserable existence so that I could get lots of stuff cheap. Kind of like my friends who used to be bartenders. I’m not concerned if you can’t pay for electricity on your current wages. I demand that you keep your job to make my life more pleasant. I’m selfless like that.

Anyway, I did some quick calculations, thinking I could kill the llamas and eat them, thus saving on my grocery budget, but it still wasn’t quite enough. In a moment that I can only classify as extreme stupidity, I decided to call Charter and see what my options were for saving money, while still keeping the channels and services I like. (I know we’ve all had great experiences with these type of people. In fact, Dusty Scott, who I will buy a beer for if I ever meet him, wrote about them here) I forgot two important things in this moment of clarity – 1. These people, even the ones who are American, have only a rudimentary grasp of what the rest of us know as “English.” 2. They apparently have a bonus structure in place where, each time they make my eye start to do the death twitch, someone gives them a wheelbarrow full of money. I called up, and to be honest, this girl spoke English. I mean, she could clearly communicate with any of America’s finest fifth graders, provided they were not in the honors classes.

I told her what I was trying to do (save a lot of money), and what I thought my best options were (turn off all of the movie channels and slow down the speed of my internet service). While this was all very interesting, she had a better idea that was less well thought out and didn’t involve any sort of problem solving skills. After she added up the cost of her idea (during which she kept saying random numbers out loud, I assume to make me think she was actually putting effort into this), it would up saving me almost nine dollars. Fantastic.

Just for kicks, I asked her how much my bill would be if we went with my plan for eliminating services. I had to repeat this, because apparently she was listening to circus music in her head while I had been speaking earlier. (How do they fit all of those clowns into that tiny car???) My plan wound up knocking over forty dollars off of my bill, but I did have to return the llamas. Just when I had gotten around to naming them, too…I’ll never forget you, Captain Sparky!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I don't have a title for this one.

So here is my dilemma – I’m trying to save money on groceries and cut down on carbs all at the same time. Why? So that I can buy the more expensive, not 98.975% water, beer that I enjoy instead of Crazy Hank’s Light Beer That Tastes Less Like Beer than Michelob Ultra. The length of that name, combined with the fact that they found a way to make it fit on a bottle label (given, the label actually extends to the inside of the bottle to make it work), only confirms Hank’s level of crazy. So, to make sense of a convoluted, poorly constructed joke, I’m trying to save money, lose some of this beer belly, and still drink good beer all at once. Awesome.

Here is the problem – cheap food is loaded with carbs, probably because bread is the third least expensive thing on earth to produce, next to AOL Free Trial CDs and internet porn. Corn dogs – buy one box, get one free! Problem? It’s a hot dog, covered in bread. On the upside, that wooden stick in the middle is a great source of dietary fiber. Just make sure you chew it enough so you don’t get splinters in your intestines. On a side note, corn dogs rock. If any of you reading this happened to invent corn dogs, or are related to the inventor, I would like to buy you a beer (although on my current budget it will have to be Crazy Hank’s). “Insert store brand name here” Pizza? Cheap, but little more than a disk of bread covered by 1/32 of an inch worth of pseudo-cheese and meat by-products. For all of my Canadian readers, it’s the metric equivalent of a deciliter, roughly. Since I don’t actually have any Canadian readers, it seemed like a waste of time to actually do the research on that one.

So, what to do? I considered raising my own livestock, but while my homeowners’ association bylaws don’t explicitly prohibit it, it’s probably more because they didn’t think anyone other than me would try it on 1/3 of an acre of land (for Canada, that’s roughly one deciliter), and they were fervently praying that I wouldn’t move in. The joke was on them. They were praying to the friendly New Testament God, and I prayed to the angry Old Testament God, including a burnt offering, so I won. That, and if I’m scrimping on the grocery budget, where is the money for a cow, feed, and a processing plant coming from. One of my neighbors is a taxidermist, but that’s not the processing I’m looking for, although a stuffed cow would look great on the veranda (if I knew what a veranda was).

Wow…I just took a break and came back to this, rereading the previous portion…what the hell was I on? Answer: 9 cups of premium high-grade coffee (insert lame metric equivalent joke here). Luckily, I just finished my tenth cup, so I’ve hit a plateau, and it hopefully won’t get an worse. It won’t get better, I can promise you that.

So, back to the topic at hand. Another possible solution is buying in bulk. Sure, it’s more expense up front, but it saves money in the long run, if you have room to store 3 cubic tons of beef jerky, and are willing to eat nothing but beef jerky until 2 years after you die (most likely from a jerky overdose. It’s an epidemic that is sweeping our nation). Seriously, who doesn’t need 17 gallons of cran-apple juice? So, for the time being, unless one of you has a better solution, I’m sticking to Crazy Hank and corn dogs.

Tune in next time for more zany metric conversions, as well as the answer to the age old question: Where is my other shoe?

Friday, January 06, 2006


Fireworks + My Friends = Bad

Fireworks, inherently, are not bad. Think of all of the joy professionally done, and even sensibly done shows by reasonable amateurs have brought. The worst thing about fireworks is the potential for operator error. Usually brought on by excessive amounts of liquid courage.

Why did my friends and I love fireworks so much? The same reason people climb’s there, and they don’t have the common sense to come up with a better idea.

I feel sorry for guys who grow up in states where fireworks are illegal unless used by “licensed professionals.” These guys will never know the thrill of realizing approximately twenty seconds too late that they have just made a very bad, and possibly life changing decision. By life changing, I don’t mean winning the lottery or finding Jesus, although that could quite possibly be the final outcome (my guess is he’s hiding in the crawlspace,) I mean life changing as in adjusting to only having three fingers and half a thumb.

On a side note, I think it’s neat how the people working at fireworks stands are almost always smoking, and how these stands are usually located in close proximity to a gas station. I think of it as potential for natural selection. Apparently they haven’t made the connection between an open flame, objects that, when lit, tend to fly in unpredictable directions at high rates of speed before exploding, hundreds of gallons of an extremely volatile substance and massive, life-ending, Earth-scorching explosions yet. I hope I’m not around on the day that they do, but I do hope to catch it on the evening news. Preferably in high definition, Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

This story actually doesn’t have much to do with fireworks, but it’s still pretty amusing (I really have to work on focusing on one subject at a time.) My friend Kyle was minding his own business one day, when an acquaintance of his asked what happened to all of the fireworks stands in the off season. Let me take a minute here, for those of you unfamiliar with the fireworks stands in South Carolina, to explain. The majority of them are temporary roadside stands set up during peak times (Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Arbor Day, Boxing Day, Tuesday, etc.) These stands, in addition to being temporary, are also usually trailers that can be hitched up and towed away easily (which makes me wonder if anyone has ever stolen one...which makes me wonder if my '99 Mitsubishi Galant has that kind of towing power). Kyle, just for kicks, informed her that there was a large fireworks stand storage facility near Bamberg, South Carolina. He, of course, was making this up. She got excited and said she would love to see that sometime. I’m not entirely sure if Kyle ever took her there or not. I'm thinking that's more of a second date type of venue.

Now, back to the subject at hand. Why I, or anyone who has ever spent more than an hour with me, should be forbidden to handle fireworks. Even sparklers. I can still remember the day that one of our stupidest traditions of all times began. I’m not sure of the year, but I know I was still in high school. It was July 4th, and everyone had chipped in ten to twenty dollars to buy an obscene amount of fireworks. There was a new neighborhood under construction near one of our usual hangouts, so we decided the middle of the street in the new neighborhood (there were no houses yet) was the best place to shoot the fireworks. A few hours passed, and we had gotten tired of shooting fireworks when inspiration struck one of us.

Why not put all of the remaining fireworks in a brown paper bag, add some gasoline, and torch the bag? I know, this sounds just like the people I made fun of at the beginning, but there is one major difference: we knew this was a bad idea, we just didn’t care. Keep in mind that most of us, having survived worse (we're not terribly bright), and probably under the influence of malted hops, were relatively certain that we were immortal.

The bag immediately sprang to life, whistling, flashing, popping, and shooting flaming projectiles in all directions. We all ran for cover, except for Ashley. Ashley ran directly towards the bag, intending to leap over it in a show of bravado. In midair, he took a Roman Candle to the crotch, turning a daring stunt into a contender for one of those crappy televisions shows. However, having seen Ashley do it with little more than his pride hurt, and an interesting scorch mark to explain to Mom on laundray day, we all took off towards the bag, one after another, until the bag stopped or we were all on fire. I can't remember which.

I wonder what would happen if you filled a pinata (I'm thinking one in the shape of a donkey) with fireworks (a cocktail of bottlerockets, whistlers, and something with some stopping power) and lit it at my house for Cinco de Mayo.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Fresh new haircut

I've been desperately in need of a haircut for a couple of weeks now, but have had a hard time setting an appointment (by which I mean I keep forgetting to call until after 10PM, or on Sunday, when the hair place is closed.)

I finally got around to it today on my lunch break. Have you ever noticed that when the person cutting your hair asks what you want, and you tell them, they don't necessarily hear it the way you said it? For instance, I said that I wanted it to remain kind of long on the front and sides, but to clean it up and shorten the back. I also asked that he leave my sideburns as is.

An hour later, my hair is significantly shorter on the front and sides, still longish in the back, and half of my sideburns are gone. Don't get me wrong, according to the ladies I work with, it looks great. "Very GQ" is how one of them explained it. I'm sure it's extremely hip and oh-so-def. Funky fresh, even. The problem is, that's not me, exactly. If you called 10 of my friends, I can virtually guarantee that none of them would describe me as "very GQ." I won't repeat what they would say about me, in case anyone of high moral fiber is reading (which I doubt strongly).

Also, I have this pseudo Superman half-curl thing on my forehead. However, I am not the son of Jor-el, nor do I draw my power from the Earth's yellow sun. People still recognize me when I put glasses on, and I do not change clothes in phone booths (well, I did once, but I had been drinking, and it was actually a porta potty). Maybe it will grow out soon.

The other funny thing? After making a trip to the restroom at work to inspect my hair again (I wanted to see what "very GQ" looked like, exactly), I noticed that there was hair gel in my ear, ala There's Something About Mary. Except it was really hair gel, you freaks. Aural sex, indeed. I wonder if Bill Clinton would count that as "sexual relations?"

Sunday, January 01, 2006


The Obligatory New Year's Day Resolution Post

Why? Because everyone else is doing it.

We all know the standard resolutions. Lose weight, eat better, exercise more, spend more quality time with loved ones, 200dpi (sorry...lame printing joke there.)

We also all know that no one ever keeps these up, usually they are broken before 9:00 AM January 1st. Since I'm tired of not keeping my resolutions, I have a solution: set my standards a lot lower. So, without further ado, here is my list of resolutions.

1. I will not brutally murder any midgets during 2006 (note that I said brutally...the occasional quick twist of the neck is still acceptable)

2. I will not smuggle drywall into the US from Canada.

3. I will not drink Zima.

4. I will not commit arson.

5. I will not attend a live performance by Ludwig von Beethoven.

6. I will not change my name to Bruce.

Whew...I feel better already. Crap. I just got my application back from the courthouse. My name is now officially "Bruce Fuzzyshorts." Oh well, one down, five to go. Happy New Year everyone.

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