Throw Pillows Are The Worst

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I hate throw pillows.  What is the purpose of a pillow that costs an exorbitant amount of money and time, you can’t sleep on them, they house dust mites, and no one, outside of the inhabitants of the bedroom, ever sees them?

Bigger Time Suck Than Facebook 

In the ten years I’ve dealt with decorative pillows, I have wasted approximately five hours of my life throwing them on the floor prior to going to sleep1.  My wife has wasted even more time.  Every morning she carefully puts each one on the bed as she rebuilds our sleep shrine.  When you add in time spent procuring the pillows from department stores, surfing online, as well as consulting others getting second opinions to ensure that they complement the bedding, curtains, and bath towels, the time lost becomes immeasurable.  When Jack Kevorkian’s apprentice pulls the plug on me in some nondescript hospice center, I’m sure I’ll say, “You know, I really wished I spent more time enjoying the beauty of decorative pillows.  Commence the flat-lining.”

The Pillow You Can’t Sleep On 

After flinging the pillow art off the bed, I uncover my trusty, run-of-the-mill K-Mart pillow and sleep.  In the morning my pillow is covered in drool and the dead soldiers from my receding hairline.  Apparently, decorative pillows are meant to be seen and serve no functional purpose.  Any attempt to sleep on the decorative pillow results in a lecture so painful I wish I could have just slept on the hardwood floor without any pillow.  The one-way conversation revolves around themes that I will douse the thing in saliva and snot while sleeping and ruin the pillow.  This confuses my pragmatic approach to life that things are meant to be used for what they were designed for.  Score another point for throw pillows in the “these things are beyond worthless” category.

Truly Is An Art Piece

Even if I were allowed to fall asleep on these pillows, how would I rest comfortably on one with an infinite number of large ruffles, oversized plastic buttons, and a fabric so rough that it makes 80-grit sandpaper seem like a bag of goose down?

06-5562
You can pick up this gem at Ethan Allen for only $139.  When I think of a medieval torture device, I think of this.

Michael Breus Ph.D recommends “If you have a plain-old, inexpensive polyester pillow, you should be replacing it every six months” 2.  Somehow throw pillows are exempt from this rule because we have had the same decorative pillows around our house since nearly the turn of the century.  They spend half their life lying in the corner of a room collecting dust mites and other allergens.  During the day, they are transferred to the bed where they deposit all their floor collections to the bedding.  Real pillows become a harbinger for asthma and upper-respiratory infections.  Might as well pack a little ebola and meningitis in the kids’ lunches and send them off to school too just ensure that everyone gets full exposure to all forms of communicable diseases.

These Things Had To Be Invented By Swingers

Who goes into your bedroom anyway?  Unless you’re swinging with the pink flamingo in your front yard, no respectable human walks into your house and says “let’s see the throw pillows”.  Instead, you give them the ho-hum tour of the professional grade Viking Stone, the wet bar in the basement with some super dark, microbrew ale on tap, and the lithograph Picasso near the butler pantry.  No host exclaims, “you must check out my fifteen-year old decorative pillows.”  Throw pillows as decoration make about as much sense as painting a mural on the airducts in the walls for your HVAC system.

I’m sure there is a greater purpose for these pillows and I’m missing it, but until I figure it out, I’ll keep on dealing with the annoyance.

If you have 2 mins, watch me go through my nightly pillow ritual,

If you are a millennial with ADHD, just watch this GIF.

Image result for along came polly pillow gif

15 seconds x 365 days x 10 years = 5 hours

2 https://greatist.com/grow/when-buy-new-pillow

3https://www.ethanallen.com/en_US/shop-decor-pillows-throws-pillows/wildflower-pillow/065562.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=pla|us|nb|cmp|0_500&utm_content=shopping_nb&gclid=CjwKCAjw7MDPBRAFEiwAppdF9MrkIKwDlHjzXK2-SJJ2lOfwWVMpvawtTHmPubbNqGG0tFQkXcYgHBoC3GoQAvD_BwE

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Destination: Hangover 4– Stuck on an Airplane

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A million inside jokes are packed into this airplane story.  If you weren’t on the best bachelor of Sept 13-17, you probably want to tune in for the next installment of Skiing In Jeans.

I boarded the plane and sat across the aisle from my buddy Homer.  Dropping in next to me was a seemingly nice couple who immediately started telling me they were going aboard to blast red stag deer and mount them in a lion hunting scene in their basement.

“Thisssss is your captain sssspkeaing…” a major speech impediment ripped through the intercom.  I am sure the pilot was a very nice man who would be great to hang out with at a pub after landing, but while in flight, I hoped his ability to fly was better than his anchorman voice.

“Here look at this,” the husband said as he pulled out his phone to show me a limp giraffe immediately after the kill.  “I was in a helicopter.  You see, it’s not much of a fair fight, you know, man versus beast.”  I gathered that much after he said “helicopter”.

I glanced over at Benedict who was a row behind me, he was flipping through a book of Bauhaus architecture and talking nonstop about his European adventure.  The old lady next to him felt like I did sitting next to Ted Nugent.  Benedict rambled on and on about straight lines, boring windows and how the root of all great architecture starts with a box of Hungry Jack instant mashed potatoes.

“So what do you?” I pondered trying to get Papa John off the topic of killing for sport.  Sitting in the economy minus section was taking a toll on my knees.

“I.T., but I really like to hunt, let me show you some pictures…” he continued the conversation as if I didn’t already listen the entire ascent discussing hunting Babar.

The drink cart barreled down the aisle causing at least three elbow fractures.  One of the stewardesses looked like a less strung-out Lindsey Lohan.  Dave, ten rows up from me, pulled out his W2 and laid down his rap.  She was mildly amused, but moved on to a ten-gallon hat wearing Texan who looked like an oilman.

SPOILER ALERT:  On this trip of 15 dudes, I, the married guy, am the only one to get some.  A plump, middle-age, beyond drunk woman kissed me on the forehead.  Then she wandered off to suck face with someone more age and physically appropriate for her.  I felt betrayed.

“Here are 400 African shelduck we got last January; only a couple got away,” he said with the same sense of accomplishment as a cardiologist who performed a life-saving surgery on an infant.  In his excitement of reenacting a kill shot, he knocked his wine all over my Z. Cavaricci’s.  He apologized out of obligation.

“How many men did you lose out there?” I asked in a sardonic tone.

“Huh?  One guy got the squirts for a couple days,” he replied, “look at the angle we had these birds coming over the crest—they didn’t see us until it was too late.”  If I stroked out from one of the many blood clots forming in my body, I would consider it a blessing.

Desperation set in as I noticed the big game hunter was only a fraction of the way through his photo album.  I motioned a fraternity distress signal in an attempt for Homer to save me from death by lecture, but he was bartering See’s candies piece by piece for miniatures of Courvoisier.  With his attention diverted, I looked elsewhere for help.  Too bad there wasn’t a friend upgrade option when I was buying my fraternal bond in college.

Near the exit rows, Andre finished the handle of peach schnapps that he smuggled onto the flight.  As we flew over Greenland, I realized the plane was going to suffer for him not bringing a second bottle onboard.  Already his rants about Range Rovers not being a value play and how he doesn’t need life insurance because he bets on himself caused the passengers to cringe.  The beast became more agitated when he grabbed the latest issue of Tech Crunch only to see the “dumbest guy from our [internationally acclaimed university]” on the cover.  This sent him into a rage that would make Amanda Bynes seem suitable for release from the sanitarium.

Bachelor Party Outbound
Bachelor Party Outbound

“What we have here is a black rhino.  There are about 5,000 left.  There was 5,001,” he let out a belly laugh that would make Satan jealous.  I wondered why the airport didn’t sell P.E.T.A hats, or if they did, why didn’t I buy one before boarding the flight?

I excused myself to use the bathroom, free up blood clots, and escape the talk of bloodshed.  Near the back of the plane, Jacko fidgeted like a pre-teen with ADD.  His inability to connect to FaceTime caused him to break out in a sweat while shaking on the verge of seizure.  His dilated eyes glared through me.  I moved down the aisle choosing the vacuum powdered toilet over dealing with a screen junkie.

As I sat back down next to Walter Palmer, the cameo scene of Pamela Anderson from the new Baywatch movie was frozen on Joel’s TV screen in front of me.  I wondered if he was joining the solo-mile high club, if the twenty-nine Xanax he took before takeoff finally kicked in and put him to sleep, or maybe the never-ending talk of blowing up warthogs knocked him out.

The meal service started.  Ernest Hemmingway attempted to steal my dinner wine before retreating to his reheated vegetarian meal.

Here’s to you Thomas.  Enjoy bumping uglies for the first time in your near half of century of life.  She is lucky girl to be hitched to you and your untamed mane of Fabio-looking hair.  Just don’t let her see the “Natalie” tattoo on your right calf.

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Things that Piss Me Off

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Stupid Things People Say:

  • “It is what it is.”  This phrase adds zero value to every conversation other than sucking down oxygen that others may need to make a valid counterpoint.  Apparently, even adults feel the need to earn participation awards just like children.
  • “It’s always in the last place you look.”  Yes, it is.  You are not going to keep looking after you found whatever your senile mind misplaced.  This saying was probably created by an old woman who lost things ad nauseam and need a rebuttal to all their friends and neighbors who say she should be put in a home.

Auto Related:

  • Not moving your car because you found a great parking spot-Following this logic, you will never move your car ever again.  Just keep paying insurance, monthly payments, and other carry costs until you call Victory Auto Wreckers.  Face facts here:  You are living in a place that you can’t afford and are subleasing the parking to pay the gas bill.
  • People who yell at drivers in other cars–the other guy can’t hear you and if he could he wouldn’t care.
  • Honking in traffic-I’m not talking about honking to let the semi know that he is about to back into a three-year old.  I’m ranting about the guy who is at a standstill in rush hour traffic blasting his horn.  We all know traffic sucks, but we don’t need you to remind us that we are stuck in a traffic jam.

Movies

I clap after watching movies in a theater because it annoys and embarrasses my wife.  That said, no one else should ever clap after watching a movie.  Unless you are at the premier of a movie where the director, lead actor, and supporting cast are present, do not try to start a slow clap at an AMC 45 in the middle of Idaho.  All you are doing is cheering for the high school kid who pressed ‘Play’ on the projector as well as delaying your own start in the post-movie race to the bathroom.

Self-Indulgent Go Fund Me’s

Yes, it sucks that you can’t afford to buy that three carat diamond ring for your fiancé or that your kid is not good enough to play on the house league lacrosse team and needs to “play up” on a travel league.  Whatever you do, please do not start a Go Fund Me Page for your inconsequential shortcomings.  There are many worth charitable causes that are tax-deductible and provide benefits for mankind rather than your egomaniacal motives.

Indecision

Indecisive People- You know them.  I know them.  This is how a typical conversation goes (in this case a husband and wife):

Person Normal:  “We’ve done the research.  Are we ready to buy the new Ford Escape today?”
Person Indecisive: “I think we should wait.”
Person Normal:  “Why?”
Person Indecisive:  “Just to make sure.”
Person Normal:  “Is Consumer Reports coming out with a new report on the Ford Escape?  Is Ford going to have a better rebate next month?  Does the Escape have some type of exploding transmission resulting in massive recalls and deaths to all that continue to drive the vehicle?”
Person Indecisive:  “Oh no, none of that.  I think we just wait.”
Person Normal:  “For what then?  We did the research, we just need to sign the papers, drive off in our new Escape, and smell the new car smell.”
Person Indecisive:  “Why don’t we just wait and see?”
Person Normal: “So we just wait?”
Person Indecisive:  “Yes.  I’m glad we made this decision.”

Phone usage

  • Pulling out your phone because someone else does.
  • People who record video that is unnecessary to record.
    • Fireworks shows-You’re really going to rewatch your 2014 July 4th firework show you recorded from your buddy Ron’s backyard? Spolier alert:  They have fireworks every July 4th.
    • Professional sports-If ESPN’s 37 cameras ever fail to capture Corey Seager’s throw to first base and they need your shaky iPhone 5 video for Sportscenter, the world has much bigger issues than calling on you to provide a 38th
    • Anytime someone is in danger. It is not the time to try and get on TMZ as you watch a man die from getting crushed by a manure truck. Turn that camera into a phone and call 9-1-1.

Image result for manure back to the future gif

Special Mention

  • Using door knobs as a towel rack, bag holder, closet bar, or hat rack.
  • Humming or singing indiscernible songs while doing mundane tasks—Your life is not a musical. You don’t need a live soundtrack playing while you do dull tasks like screwing in a light bulb or filling up a bike tire with air.
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My Next Big Project – – Uber Bang

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I run this slick blog with over 100 employees waiting to please their CEO, but if I were really a tech guru, I would have created a ride-share program combined with a dating service called Uber Bang.

This is a trillion dollar idea.
This is a trillion dollar idea.

The idea is simple:  You need a ride.  You are single.  You pull up Uber Bang on your phone.  Next thing you know, you have another notch in the bedpost and you arrive at your destination.  Safety, for the ride and the bang, is our number one concern.

Uber Bang understands that people don’t like to bang with people less attractive than themselves, so at Uber Bang we have a rating system that allows users to rate themselves on the standard 1-10 scale.  Our proprietary rating system takes a guy’s self-rating and lowers it by two ticks.  We raise a woman’s self-rank by three ticks.  The logic is simple.  Guys tend to have lower standards of the girls they will bang, and men also tend to overstate their attractiveness.  Let’s take a look at how this works in the real world:

Jared gets off his shift at Farm and Fleet and needs to get to the other side of town to meet up with his buddies to catch the fall Hokkaido Bank Curling Classic.  Meanwhile, in the middle of town, Rachel just dumped her loser, unemployed boyfriend and is looking to cleanse her palate with a random dude before meeting up with her parents at Ronakor Sushi, the hottest, new raw fish place in town.  Jared pulls up Uber Bang and rates himself a ‘9’ as well as typing in his destination at Yatty’s, a Canadian sports themed bar.  Rachel, feeling a bit depressed because she is approaching thirty and realizes that she may have to join a convent, dials in her attractiveness at a ‘4’ along her destination.

Uber Bang summons a driver as well as notifying Rachel and Jared that they have both a ride and a bang coming their way.  Harold, an available Uber Bang driver, checks the prophylactic supply as well as Tic Tac count before heading off to pick up Jared.

Jared is waiting on the corner when the bright orange Uber Bang van stops in front of him.  Harold looks over Jared to confirm that he is at least a ‘7’ before tossing him a smoking robe.  Rachel is anxious as she awaits the Uber Bang van.  She tosses her hair, checks her makeup, and gives herself a pep talk involving the need to get a new penis in her to flush out any memory of her ex.  As the Uber Bang van pulls up, Jared gives Rachel a wink.  She is somewhat repulsed by this overt attempt at romance, but realizing that dinner starts in twenty minutes, she jumps into the back of the van.  Since Rachel requested the Uber Bang Platnium Ride, Harold turns on the disco ball and puts some Barry White on the sound system.

Jared is grateful that Rachel doesn’t look like his sister and Rachel is happy that Jared looks like a poor-man’s Zac Efron.  Jared tries to make small talk with Rachel, but she is concerned about being late to dinner, so she mounts Jared while Harold navigates through the streets.

Rachel’s stop is first, so she jumps out of the van as Harold tosses her a smoke.  Jared raises his hand in a feeble attempt to say “bye” as Rachel ignores him.  Jared tries ordering the live-action souvenir picture to his phone for five bucks, but Rachel elects to pay up for the veto option and the photo is destroyed.

Uber Bang cares about its customers so it depends heavily on its review system.  Here is how those turned out:

Rachel’s reviews:

Jared:  4/5.  “When Jared started crying, it got a little weird, but we got through it.  Girls, be warned he wears tighty whities, but he’s got solid pelvic motion.  I hope he doesn’t think it is more than a one-off bang.  I don’t need another stalker.”

Harold 2/5.  “I understand that I’m banging in the back of a van doing 30 mph, but I don’t need the driver going all voyeuristic on me.”

Jared’s reviews:

Rachel:  5/5.  “This is the best first date ever!  She kept calling me Jamal instead of Jared but I was balls deep so I didn’t correct her.”

Harold:  4/5.  “The scented candles are a nice touch.  I feel like I’m stuck in limbo between an off-the-strip Vegas titty bar and Mexican all-inclusive in need of serious renovation.”

Harold’s reviews:

Jared: 5/5.  “Jared’s crying just wasn’t right.  That was a first”

Rachel:  5/5.  “Rachel claims she never used Uber Bang before, but all the girls say that.”

You think Uber Bang is just my dumb idea?  Think again hotshot.  It was endorsed by Urban Dictionary.  Check it out here:  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Uber+Bang&utm_source=search-action

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Walt’s Juggernaut Defeated Me

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I surrender.  Next time my family needs a vacation, we will be at the local Holiday Inn using day passes for their pool while I ignite five grand in cash in the lobby fireplace.  Any disappoint I feel from burning through the seed money for my kids’ college education will be more than offset by knowing that another magical Disney adventure has been postponed indefinitely.  Why do I have such despise for the happiest place on earth?  Allow me to recount my experience.

Upon entering Disney World on our first day, my daughter spiked a 101 fever.  After hooking up the IV bag to the stroller so she could mainline Motrin, we pressed on.  Damn the influenza.  We didn’t travel 2,000 miles to sit in a hotel room.  After resolving the fever situation, my son stood in front of the most magical castle in the world and whined that he wanted to go to the hotel pool because it had a waterfall.  I explained we had only been in the park for five minutes and that Disney had Splash Mountain, a waterfall you could ride.  His complaints persisted.

The park had not officially opened and my children were irritating me to the point where I questioned more pleasant situations such as being stranded at a North Korean airport, running out of oxygen in a sinking submarine, or undergoing anesthesia awareness during a major surgery.  Yes, things could be better, and my optimism for the rest of the trip was starting to fade.

Being unfamiliar with the race to the rides after Mickey and his crew do their welcoming ceremony in front of the castle, we were nearly trampled like Who fans as seasoned Disney ticket holders surged when the gates opened.  Joy turned to urgency, which transformed to panic, as parents rushed their children to move faster to be the first on the Seven Dwarfs’ Ride.  Like refugees, fleeing their homeland for safer grounds, strollers were abandoned, crying children were left for security to be claimed later, and the practice of “women and children first” was disregarded.  The rest of the day oscillated between chasing down Fastpass windows and suppressing my children’s vocalization of them hating on the Magic Kingdom, their family, waiting in line, and their legs hurting from walking.

I was not alone in my struggle.  A random father told me “I want to get separated from my family.  Then I’ll be happy.”  Arguments, from what seemed like normally sane couples, erupted as we navigated the park.  If I were to make one suggestion to the corporation, I would urge Disney to offer divorce kiosks throughout the park advertising “Get Divorced Here in Under 10 Minutes!”  That business would be a boon to the bottom line.  My marriage, approaching ten years of wedded bliss, has been through a lot, but nothing as trying as the asphalt labyrinth where an oversize rodent is king.

Mickey Hell
Worst Idea Ever

After two days of chicken nugget lunches, we took a day off.  We stayed back at the hotel.  The children laughed and swam in the pool.  One of them voluntarily took a nap.  My wife and I enjoyed a conversation without passive-aggressive undertones or an assumption of self-destructive behavior on the other’s part.  We ordered pizza; compared to Walt’s prices, it felt like it was free.  The kids went to bed at a normal hour.  Life was good, until we realized we still had one more day of pixie dust and Dumbo rides ahead of us.  We debated eating the cost of the tickets and driving over an hour each way to the ocean, but Disney’s invisible hand beckoned us.

On our third day, we were like downtrodden, weary soldiers going to battle long after the adrenaline had exhausted our systems.  In the parking lot, we traversed to the yellow line to await our tram when a vision appeared before me.  With a banging body dressed in butt-hugging Adidas warm-up pants and a white tank, a woman with red dyed hair broke the monotony of the vacation spawned from the underworld.  I expected to see a vixen of this caliber flaunting her goods at the Spearmint Club in Las Vegas, not in the humid state where retirees go to die.  I enjoyed the respite while ignoring my children open-hand slapping each other as they yelled insults in the key of excrement.  I tuned out my wife’s nagging that we didn’t bring enough cash for the twenty fold marked-up light saber souvenirs.

The tram pulled up with the driver blaring, “You are in the Simba lot, remember this or be lost in our sea of 15,000 parked cars.”  I hustled the stroller and our backpacks onto the tram when a voice exacerbated the drudge of my Disney week, “Simba?  You guys hear that? Let’s do it guys!”

I begged for it not to be my Ariel inspired stripper.  My head rotated to find my fantasy destroyed as she led her family of six in an acapella version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.  Even the dad got into the rolling baseline of the tune.  I don’t know what was worse:   that the family prepared their whole life for this performance or that I used to identify with that idyllic clan only days prior.  I downgraded the woman, who I previously wanted to slather in dollar bills, to just another customer of the forced family fun machine.

My wife made eye contact with me as she mouthed, “It’s their first day”.  Her deadpan comment united us again on a deeper level.  It was the first time on Disney property when we connected in a meaningful way.  Then reality set in that we still had to endure a final day in happy prison.

UPDATE (4/12/17):  After Disney received this letter, I was contacted by a Jessica, a Disney rep, who was very attentive and discussed with me the finer points of my letter.  She offered me 5, 3-day Disney tickets, free of charge, that do not expire until 2037.  Initially I refused, but she insisted I take them in case I changed my mind about returning.  Please keep in mind that Disney really does care about making its customers happy.  

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The Best Holiday of the Year: Thanksgiving

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Based on the Vikings trading the Apache Indians 726 potatoes for Mackinac Island and subsequently spreading small pox throughout North America, Thanksgiving has evolved from the onset of pestilence into a day of gluttony in your uncle’s suburban dining room.  The grandchildren say the holiday lacks entertainment other than watching the vagabond your aunt invited into her house (“’tis the season of helping those less fortunate,” she says) drink himself into a stupor and urinate on her antique couch.  The oldest generation regales in stories of the previous old generation that no one else remembers.  With the old and young otherwise occupied, the middle-agers step up to ingest all the benefits of this unparalleled holiday.

It doesn't get more American than this
It doesn’t get more American than this

Do Nothing

On Thanksgiving you get to perform at your highest level of sloth.  There is no pressure to dress up as an Easter bunny, pass out candy while pretending to be amused by a kid wearing a Darth Vader mask, or risk blowing your fingers off with illegal Chinese fireworks.  You will not find yourself in a position where you drink yourself to lusting after a fugly stranger at midnight, which has a strong chance of blossoming into another bout of chlamydia.  You don’t have to deal with the wrath of your relatives about you being a terrible gift giver when you fling packs of Marlboro’s across the room to infants and the asthmatics yelling, “and lung cancer to all and to all a good night.”

Eat

Thanksgiving in its basic form is a privatized version of Old Country Buffet sans cover charge.  The women take pride in the ‘homemade’ cranberry sauce even though you can see the rings from the tin can impressed in the red blob sitting on a piece of china that hasn’t been freed from the cabinet in at least a decade.  The meal is a standardized spread that gives you comfort in eating the same sides and main dish year after year.  If you were more ambitious, and wanted to win Shark Tank, you would find a way to liquefy the entire feast to sell it in IV bags so guys could mainline it to allow for uninterrupted football viewing, but you are you so that’s not going to happen.

When you pass out after dinner, you blame the triptopan in the turkey.  You deny that the fifteen cups of glug you pounded after getting winded walking to the annual alley football game had anything to do with your nap.  You rattle off an excuse that your inability to run in the game is due to an old knee injury.  The reality is that your lack of physical activity beyond crushing clown cans on the train rides home from job as a mid-level manager puts you at a daily risk for a torn ACL from bending over to pick up your shoes in the morning.  Your nephews dismiss you as a decrepit and loquacious.  They declare that they will never fall to your level of lethargy.  You envy their youth, but know that with the ‘D’ averages they are pushing at the local community college a job working the cash register at the Mobil on the overpass will be their future.

Judgement

By the end of the night, bad blood within the family has resurfaced as Cousin Joe rants about his thirty year grudge against Grandma because she bought his brother Steve a car, but Joe was stuck riding his Schwinn.  Your brother-in-law is using his diaper-wearing child’s demeanor as an excuse for an early exit as he is grateful that he only has to see most of these people once a year.

Your often-homeless niece is plotting her Black Friday shopping spree at Wal-Mart.  You see the greed pumping through a protruding vein in her forehead.  By her calculations, if she leaves right after desert, waits in line, and tramples as many people as needed when the doors open at five in the morning, she can save $50 on a TV.  You point out that she is valuing her time at five dollars an hour plus the intangible costs of throwing off her circadian rhythm and possibility facing arrest for fighting with some poor security guard working graveyard shift to feed his six kids.  Of course, she ignores your superior logic and moves on to tell your mother about how great the Black Friday deals are this year.

As you stumble to your Uber, you take great pride in yourself that you truly are the black sheep of your family.  You are better equipped for this world than they are.  You are grateful that their inferior genetic makeup was omitted out of your DNA at your conception.  Of course, they are thinking the same of you, but that thought never enters your head.

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Get Ready For the Olympic Hangover While the Election Fiesta Continues

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Every four years we experience a frenzy on par with Super Bowl Sunday, but it runs for almost the entire year.  I’m talking about the Presidential election.  Wait, I’m blabbering about the Olympics.  The people of the US and A react the same way to those running for office as they do for those kids heading down to Rio to bring home the Zika.

Everyone is an Expert

Joe Six-Pack is ignorant of the games—until they start.  After that Olympic torch fires up, Joe is arguing Phillip Dutton’s chance of landing gold in dressage (horse dancing).  He will explain why motor boating, the kind with a boat and a motor you sex fiend, should be reinstated as an Olympic sport.  Joe knows Olympics.  After the games end, Joe and his coworkers, who were arguing how Tongo shouldn’t have been slaughtered by South Korea in the first round of women’s archery, are back to yelling about how that 7th inning drop-third strike call in the Mets/Yankees game will ruin the sport of baseball.

When Joe isn’t fired up about gold medals, he is frantic about the next successor to the throne of the United States.  He saw an interview with the author of the latest tell-all Kennedy book on Fox News, and he is ready to share all the knowledge he gained in that three-minute piece with you over the next six months.  Joe knows his rights.  There is no way “They” are going take away his great-great-grandfather’s punt gun, and he is prepared to talk your ear off even though you agree with him.  Catch Joe in an off-year and will tell you ‘Rowe versus Wade’ is a new video game for PS5 and his denial into the Electoral College is the reason he is working the closing shift at Maud’s Bar on the weekdays.

Joe is a transitory guy.

Punt gun vs Jet
When the British attack us again, your punt gun will save all of us

Get Fired Up

There is nothing like events outside the scope of our own daily lives to instill fear and passion within the human mind.  Just because the Ukraine missed medaling by .8523 points in women’s duet synchronized swimming, doesn’t mean that you need to alter your routine of a Swanson TV dinner followed by a three hour episode of the ‘The Bachelor’ by watching the post-post-interview with Anna Voloshyna complete with subtitles instead.  When Trump starts telling everyone that he is going to build a wall covered in ectoplasma so that illegals can’t enter our country, make sure you write comment 4,285 that Yahoo! article instead spending time with your daughter on her school art project.  Consider your first amendment rights exercised.

Don’t forget to tie in your personal life with those presidential candidates and Olympic stars.  They do their best to relate to the everyman, so you should do your best to mimic their lives.

  • “I own a house, so I’m a real estate mogul—just like Trump”
  • “Just think of the job offers this girl is going to get after she wins the silver in trampoline. Kind of like me after I get promoted the lead tire guy at Jiffy Lube.”
  • “Who hasn’t deleted multiple public email accounts containing top-secret, highly classified information?”
  • “I signed up for a gym membership last week, so I could have filled in for Phelps if he was injured. I’m just saying.”

 “It Just Doesn’t Matter”~ Bill Murray in Meatballs

Here is the greatest motivational speech in movie history, watch it now:

Everyone is looking for the “Miracle on Ice” moment but instead we have Dream Team 16 eviscerating five guys who were working in a smelt factory in China the week before getting assigned to the national basketball team.  Which team really has greater fear of losing?  The prize:  A lifetime of public humiliation or execution in the town square.

Eight years ago when Obama was elected, every citizen was going to get a free cell phone and never have to work again.  My cell phone was shut off because of “lack of payment”, so I guess that didn’t pan out as planned.  Maybe I’ll have better luck getting free stuff with one of the two clowns running for office now.

No matter the outcome of the Olympics or the election, we are doomed.  If socialism or a dictatorship doesn’t bring us down, Ryan Lochte’s crime syndicate will.

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Letters to Corporate: A Big Bank

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When I see injustice in the world, I point it out.  Today, I took on a financial institution.  Do I expect an underdog victory here?  Absolutely not.  

Change matters.
Hey Bank, change matters.

Here’s to change:

Ms. [CEO of a publicly traded bank]:

This weekend I visited the new branch at [address].  I was impressed with the sleek design, smiling staff and on-site parking.  Upon entering the building, a greeter acknowledged me and guided me to a teller.

I placed my jar of change on the counter for deposit.  I was informed that this branch didn’t have a coin counting machine.  Although, I consider manual change counting tedious and error prone, I saw no other alternative to complete my deposit.  I learned that this state-of-the-art location does not accept deposits in the form of change.  After gasping at the thought of our currency being rejected by a bank with its profits directly correlated to monetary transactions, I regained my composure.  Fortunately, your manager had a solution.  He instructed me to take my change to the local, privately owned rinky-dink grocery store, which purportedly had a change-counting machine.  I considered my options:

  • Withdraw all of my money from your bank to see if the grocery store would accommodate me in opening a banking account.
  • Organize a community rally in the name of coins. Given that most of the country carries change in their pocket along with consideration of the demographics of my neighborhood, I would anticipate a large, sign-carrying turnout in front of the branch demanding equal treatment for coins and paper money.
  • Accumulate a pile of pennies large enough to pay my monthly mortgage payment. According to the US Department of Treasury, Title 31, Subtitle IV, Chapter 51, Subchapter I, Section 5103 “United States coins and currency are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues”.  In my estimation, it would take six five-gallon buckets, each weighing approximately 260 pounds, to make my next mortgage payment in pennies.  For this lone transaction, it might make sense for your obtuse institution to acquire a change machine instead of depending on a hand count.

I am no Luddite.  I do the Facebook, text the chats, and even dial-in to check the latest news and sports stories on the internet.  I also appreciate [Bank]’s avant-garde approach to encourage paper and electronic forms of currency over the traditional methods of coins.  However, to remove coin counting machines, and essentially issue an edict to reduce the significance of coins in our monetary system, seems like a despotic move for [Bank].  Coins are not an anachronism in 2016 and a $XX billion market capitalized mega bank should know this to be true.

I wish to continue my twenty-year relationship with your bank, but if you continue to abandon rudimentary services such as change counting, I will look elsewhere for my banking needs.

Sincerely,

[Skiing In Jeans]

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Today’s Men: How They Can Grow A Pair

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Today’s man is not broken, just misguided.  Here are the problems and the solutions.

Fashion

When our dads’ got dressed for work, they would throw on a pair of Levi’s, roll a pack of cigs in their tattered T-shirt, and use a rock to comb their hair.  Today’s guys are getting their pants hemmed, eye brows plucked, and a gynecomastia to achieve that Brad Pitt/David Bowie lovechild look.  Now more women complain that they are the ones waiting for their husband while he applies his Grecian Formula followed by lint rolling his clothes for date night.  Since men are pushing the envelope of becoming a eunuch, they might as well fire up a collar roll http://oxfordclothbuttondown.com/2013/07/collar-roll/ and kill any chance of a reviving the masculine movement.

Tattoos

Tattoos used to be reserved for bikers to pay homage to their mother.  These All-American bad-asses shanked a guy or two and earned the right to go under the needle.  Now every kid under 30 has to ink up for every “challenge” they overcame–graduating from high school, getting dumped by an ugly person, or winning a fantasy soccer league.  Neil Armstrong doesn’t have a solar system stamped on his forehead.  Dr. George Papanicolau didn’t sleeve up his arm with cervices after inventing the pap smear.  This means you can’t ink a hamburger to your stomach, because you got food poisoning, along with the squirts, after a bad meal at White Castle.  The Aztecs tattooed everyone, but they also believed in human sacrifice.  I will start your Go Fund Me page for a hot tube time machine so you and your Wonder Woman tattoo can experienced how a real man lived—and died.

No One Respects Crappy Cars

When you put on your Gucci T-shirt, chino pants and boat shoes to head to Starbucks for your decaf vente latte orange twist in the morning, don’t forget your key fob for that environmentally sensitive, solar-panel-on-the-roof, Prius.  Think of the image you are sending to today’s boys.  Your dad didn’t raise you to be a punching bag to the world, so start acting like a man.

Get a muscle car with a bored out V8, aftermarket headers, and an open exhaust to let everyone know that you’re fine with ten miles to the gallon as long as you look cool doing it.  Put on some GNR or 2 Live Crew and head to the corner bar for a Budweiser with a Morgan back.  Congrats, you just had your breakfast.  Beethoven didn’t drive a Prius and he cranked out his Ninth Symphony after he was completely deaf.  Life is tough.  Get tougher.  Drive something that is way cooler than you.

Finding Love

Initiating a courtship has devolved to swiping right on your phone while simultaneously bookmarking Redtube videos to build up your spank bank.  Here’s a novel approach:  Leave your parents’ basement, approach a real girl and say “Hi, you have a nice smile, I’d like to take you out for a drink.  I’ll even go Dutch.”  Trust me.  It works, not every time, but enough to make it worth the failures.  Besides, it gives you an excuse to get out of your whack den and try to interact with someone other than your mom and dad.  When you find a girl to go out with, don’t talk about your Magic tournament, recite a text conversation with one of your other basement-dweller friends, or stare at her chest with undisguised focus.  Just ask her how her day went, maintain eye contact, and after two hours of her talking, say “I had a great time.”  As long as you keep your mouth shut, you may lose your virginity by the time you are thirty.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a real man is not an overnight transformation.  It will take years to undo all the damage you have done to yourself and mankind.  Next time you wake up, try to emulate one aspect of a vain-less, unmarked, Challenger driving, testosterone driven male and push the edge a little further to becoming a better man.

Special thanks to D.M. for this article suggestion.

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Another Saturday Night

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The alarm clock down the hall wailed for his two a.m. feeding.  My wife smacked me with a limp arm, “Your turn.”  I rose from my slumber and careened down the hallway.  As I passed the baby’s room, I wondered what my single friends were doing two blocks east at Burton’s Bar.

Tommy’s signature pickup move, “Horseshoe meet tennis ball, tennis ball meet horseshoe” while alternating the flexing of his biceps and triceps had forced another girl to reconsider that date with her mother’s co-worker’s son.  Digger was sending out a mass text to all three of the girls he had hooked up with in the last decade for a chance at redemption of his whiskey-enhanced performance.  Danzig’s ‘Mother’ reverberated throughout the bar.

I entered the kitchen where I prepared myself a delicious snack of hand-carved Gouda, a tangerine, and a scoop of peanut butter.  The baby’s milk warmed on the stove.  The crisp night air rushed through the open windows bringing in the city’s sounds; a primal yell from the downhearted drunk, the rustling of wild dogs patrolling the streets, and the muffled clip-clapping of the ‘L’.  I took in the food and sounds ignoring the screams from the adjacent room.  A voice broke my moment of calm.

“We’re all doing shots!” Digger yelled out while waving a lone finger in the air, “none of the premium stuff; rot-your-gut tequila!”  Unfazed by another over-served yuppie waving his Visa card, the bar-backs readied themselves near the kitchen tightening the grip on their mops waiting to slop up the vomit and urine at closing time.  With the single girls fleeing from Tommy’s advances, he transformed into his alternate ego, “Thomas Toughguy.”  Mr. Toughguy grabbed Digger’s shot off the counter, took it down without the typical salutations, and smashed the glass on the floor.  His nose flared as he tried to draw eye contact from anyone shorter than him.  Having overestimating the number of people who would want a bottom-shelf booze, Digger choked down the four unclaimed shots and extended Sunday’s hangover through lunch.   Meanwhile, Thomas’ eyes locked in on a target.

“We’re all doing shots”

I guess this is fitting.
I guess this is fitting.

“What do you think you’re doing?” my wife unloaded into my serenity.   “You’re eating and drinking while my baby is starving,” she scolded.  Didn’t she see what I was trying to do?  I was shaping new life by teaching delayed gratification, the joy of simple things, and demonstrating that abundance is not the source of happiness.

“Airplane rules,” I declared.  Her quizzical look let me know I needed to explain.

“Airplane Rules”

“The stewardess always says ‘when you are travelling with a child, secure your mask first, and then assist the child.’”  I had her; thank you FAA.  I shoved the final piece of cheese in my mouth, grabbed the warmed bottle, and glided past my wife to tend to my child.

The savage yell erupted from his mouth.  Thomas owned the night.  No one dared confront the Red Bull fueled fighter.  Digger and Thomas closed down Burton’s.  The bouncer stood guard at the door while the bar-backs flipped the chairs on top of the tables and canvased the floor with bleach water.  Two of Digger’s text messages bounced back as undelivered; the third, unanswered.  Digger resorted to hitting on strays stumbling down Addition Street.  None of the girls acknowledged his pick-up line of, “I’ll jump into your back seat if you’re driving.”

The fighter and reveler walked down the quiet sidewalk to Clark Diner to recount the night and reminisce about stories of yesteryear.

As the bottle emptied his half-closed eyes signaled he was ready for his crib.

Special thanks to C.A. for this article suggestion.

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