Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

It is the season for solemn reflection on the trials, tribulations, victories, and failures of the past year. After conducting an intensive and unbiased appraisal, I have resolved to address the following areas in 2006:

Goal 1: Time Management
Time is the most precious commodity that we have. After all, you can always make more money. Thus, I resolve to maximize the remaining time that I have allotted. This will likely involve the extensive use of potent prescription stimulants, body doubles, and an army of illegal immigrants. I vow to learn new skills like how to shower while driving and to restrict all social activities to those than can be conducted, via cell phone, in public restrooms.

Goal 2: Romantic Endeavors
There is a Universal Law that states that any girlfriend of mine must be insane. I recognize this now and have decided to go with the flow. From here on, I will only date women who are recent or current patients of Sheppard-Pratt. Consequently, future girlfriends will still be crazy, but they will be diagnosed, medicated, and quite possibly restrained with no effort on my part. This will go a long way in attaining Goal 1. Who says shock collars can't be sexy?

Goal 3: Sensitivity Towards Others
Sometimes I tend to forget that those around me also have their own unique set of hopes, dreams, and feelings. No longer will I make callous statements like: "What the hell were you smoking when you hatched that harebrained plan? You really need to get your head out of your ass." Instead, I'll take the compassionate approach: "I really appreciate that you have brought a well-reasoned perspective to the table and I will give it my utmost consideration. By the way, wouldn't you be more comfortable if you were to remove your head from your posterior?" Do you see the contrast? It's the new sensitive me.

Goal 4: Retirement Planning
As a 33 year old, I am painfully aware that I need to be doing more to prepare for retirement. It is predicted that the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted before I reach retirement age. I do contribute to my 401K regularly, but this is no guarantee in light of the economic turmoil that I feel is eminent. Thus, I've decided to initiate my own self-directed retirement plan: Heroin. Think about it, do you know any elderly junkies? Me, neither. However, as a hedge against Keith Richards syndrome, I will begin stockpiling Alpo, Centrum Silver, and prunes.

Goal 5: Career Objectives
Contingent upon and in conjunction with Goal 3, I have decided to pursue my lifelong dream as a Hallmark card designer. I have already started assembling my portfolio for Valentine's Day. Let me know how I'm doing:

As you can see, I've given myself a mighty tall order. Nevertheless, I know that with hard work, perseverance and the Heroin Club for Men, I can make 2006 one for the books.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Adventures of Max

The other day I was very bored. I was randomly following links on other's blogs just to see what else is out there, when I found Baby Doll's Blog. From what I gathered, it is a blog created by two Baltimore sisters who take pictures of a favorite childhood toy, Baby Doll, with random people who wander into a bookstore. I'm not sure who the people are or where the bookstore is, but I attribute that to my lack of hipness.Regardless, I liked their blog and was inspired. What follows is not meant to be derogatory. In fact, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Unfortunately, TFG Entertainment does not have the resources to acquire their own Baby Doll. I was forced to make do, but I don't believe that will affect the quality of the final product whatsover.

The Adventures of Max
Here is Max filling in for Jimmy Johnson.

Max preparing to give testimony to Congressional Anti-Commando Advisory Committee.

To this day, NASA maintains that Neil Armstrong was the first on the moon. I think we can agree that this photo shows otherwise.

Max's contributions to world peace are well known in all of the significant diplomatic circles.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Interesting Conversations II

This is what is almost certain to be a recurring series of interesting conversations that I have overheard or participated in recently (or not so recently).

Getting the Most From Your Suicide On a Friday afternoon, I was working in an electrical enclosure.
Coworker: "You know that's hot, right?"

Me: "Yep."
Coworker: "480 (volts), right?"
Me: "Yeah, I know."
Coworker: "If I were you, I'd wait until Monday. No point in killing yourself before the weekend"

Making Time For What Is Important
Coworker: "XXXX, just called. He's having a party tonight. You wanna go?"
Me: "No, we're on the last flight out. We won't get into BWI until after midnight."
Coworker: "I know. It sucks because he's getting a midget stripper."
Me: "Is it an actual midget or just a really short dancer?"
Coworker: "He says it's for real. He's hired her before."
Me: "Well, that changes everything. I've been done for an hour, anyway. There's a flight at 4:30. Go tell them that we're leaving."
Sad Epilogue: After all that the midget stripper cancelled.

Respect Your Elders Overheard in a bar.
Guy1: "Bartender, bring us the check."
Bartender: "You just got here. Are you leaving?"
Guy1: "Well, you know how it is when you hang around these old fuckers. They like to be in bed by 8."
Older Guy2: "We are not 'old fuckers.' We're just old."

Lunch Overheard while waiting for an order in a Korean carryout, which also serves American food.
Disgruntled Customer: Presenting a chililess hot dog. "There's no chili on this."
Asian Proprietor: Presenting receipt. "You did not ask for chili. See, you asked for mustard and raw onions."
Disgruntled Customer: "I know. I didn't think I had to. I ordered a chilidog."

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Your city doesn't suck. Trust me.

Some cities have reputations for excelling in certain things. For instance, Philadelphia is world renowned for cheese steaks, Baltimore is known for its crabcakes, Kansas City porterhouse steaks are exceptional, and everyone knows about the San Francisco Treat (sodomy). These reputations are hallmarks of their locale; they are public testaments of the region's marked superiority in a particular field.

Terre Haute, IN is another city that can be included in this list. No other city, that I've ever visited, excels at sucking like Terre Haute. Sure, many other cities unquestionably suck, but the natives of Terre Haute have converted it into an artform. When it comes to crappiness, Terre Hautians bring their A game. For instance, take the name Terre Haute. It is actually a French term that roughly translates to "God Craps Here." I'd like to see Camden, NJ beat that.

Terre Haute's city planners have shown an unparalleled dedication to shittiness. It was sheer craptastic genius, to have a paper mill and a large sewage treatment plant located slightly upwind of the downtown district. As if this weren't sufficiently brilliant, they have figured out a way to make the smells alternate by block (raw sewage/paper mill stench/raw sewage...) as you travel on the major north-south thoroughfare. I think that this feat of fecal engineering will be studied for years to come.

The Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce certainly does its part, by only recruiting employers who pay $10/hour. Telemarketing and retail have replaced manufacturing as the primary economic staple, which gives Terre Haute that authentic Ugandan Civil War look which they have come to cherish. To complete the misery, many of the remaining local employers have converted their workforces over to temporaries or illegal aliens, in order to cut down on those bothersome benefit expenditures. You have to admire that kind of wire-to-wire thoroughness.

For the traveler who is determined to make their journey an excremental one, there is the Terre Haute International Airport. It is a state of the art aviation facility which provides domestic and international jet service to absolutely nowhere. The only other remaining form of public transportation is Greyhound: Travel Partner of the Criminally Insane. Of course, as any Terre Hautian will tell you, the occasional axe murdering is a small price to pay to be elsewhere.

The natives of Terre Haute complete the aura of total turdularity. When they are not consuming methamphetamine, they are transporting methamphetamine, selling methamphetamine, or purchasing methamphetamine. Unless, of course, they are manufacturing methamphetamine. To be fair, there is a faction of the population that is not typified by an average episode of Cops or Jerry Springer. This faction has, apparently, angered God and received Terre Haute as their penance. One of the repentant, has even started a website which is aptly titled: On this site's discussion board, residents argue about what aspect of Terre Haute life sucks worse and what the best method of escape might be.

I was fortunate enough to escape Terre Haute, after a 9 month sentence. Even though I'm over 600 miles away, when the winds are from the west, I can almost smell it calling me back.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas

I will be on vacation for Christmas and posts will be sporadic. Have a Merry Christmas.

P.S. For those who I offended, the first time, with this post:

I trust you can do the math.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Northwest Airlines Knows How to Hook a Brother Up

If you have spent any amount of time reading this blog, you know that I don't have a lot of luck in airports. This is why I was not in the least bit surprised to see that the Northwest flight I was scheduled to take this afternoon was delayed by two hours. Of course, this meant that I would miss my connecting flight and would probably be stuck in Detroit overnight. And nobody wants to be stuck in Detroit overnight.

Now here is were Delta Airlines could learn a few things. I called the Northwest's 800 reservation number and actually got an American customer service representative. I told her my sad story and expected to hear the usual crap about not being able to do anything for me and that I should go see the gate agent. Instead, she tells me that she can get me to my final destination with a flight that goes to their Memphis hub leaving in 40 minutes. I agree, she made the change, and I went to the new gate to receive new boarding passes/seat assignments. I repeat the above story for the gate agent expecting to hear that I was on standby (i.e. not boarding). Instead, she handed me a set of new tickets with the seat assignment: 1A. "Tits!," I think to myself because she upgraded me to first class. I boarded the plane and half expected it to explode, because, as I mentioned before, I don't have this kind of luck at airports.

As I am sitting in my seat, I began to notice that we are not actually doing any flying. This was problematic because there was only 25 minutes between the scheduled arrival of the flight and the departure of my connection. Now I'm thinking I'll be stranded in Memphis overnight. The stewardess announces that they are overbooked and offers a $300 voucher to anyone willing to give up their seat. "Super Tits!," I think to myself and take the deal. I am reticketed to fly 1st class tomorrow.

Of course, I did go to the airport, with valid airplane tickets, and didn't get to fly anywhere. But, since this is fairly typical for me and I'm $300 dollars up, I'm going have to call this a win.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Can I Get a Witness?

In these tumultuous times, do you feel like you've lost your moral compass? Does it seem that you grow farther from Jesus with every passing day? Pastor Tfg, feels your spiritual anguish and wants to heal your aching soul. For years the Lord has been telling me that he needs me to His work. Until recently, it was unclear precisely how I should answer this call. It was only through the power of Jesus, that I have seen the light. I want to put you back on the righteous path of redemption through my new ministry: Our Lady of the Miraculous Revelation.

At our evening services, Assistant Pastors Tabitha, Destiny, Jade, Electra, Tifanee, and Brown Sugar lead the congregation in joyous praise of His creations. Our Minister of Music, DJ Smoothie, provides a harmonious atmosphere in which you are assured to find uplifting, to say the least. Unlike other churches, we are not financially motivated; typical offerings consist of as little as a single dollar bill. Any of the Assistant Pastors are available for biblical lap-based counseling, to help work through any of the spiritual obstacles that we occasionally encounter. Minister of Missions, Reverend Mack-tastic Skillz, regularly dispatches missionaries to street corners worldwide to share the Gospel with the needy. What are you waiting for? Come join our fellowship today and always remember: Matthew 22:39 "Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. "

Monday, December 19, 2005

Next Big Thing

I've always had a bit of an entrepreneurial streak. Unfortunately, there is much truth to the axiom: "There is nothing new under the sun." If you have thought of it, someone else is already making money from it. I read recently that the adult entertainment industry generates over a $1 billion annually, much of which is via the Internet. This lead me to the following conclusion: There has to be a sliver of that $1 billion pie for me. Like most new ventures, the key to success is finding an unfilled niche and filling it.

A cursory survey of online internet adult entertainment indices was discouraging, to say the least. I found that nearly every genre has been saturated. I found all types of online adult entertainment: women w/ men, women w/ women, men w/older women, women w/ older men, amateurs w/ professionals, professionals w/ professionals, amateur midget transexuals w/ older professional ex-astronauts, entertainment for woodpeckers, and men and women w/ machines, to name a few. (If nothing else, I am thorough.) I was nearly resigned to my fate as a poor wage slave when the road to riches hit me: There was one combination that was missing.

Of course, I'll have to incorporate and establish a server network capable of servicing the impending deluge of customers. In the mean time, I have assembled an advanced preview of my new genre, as a service to my readers. (Trust me, I read some of your blogs. Many of you are the precise demographic that I seek.) As this is a family blog, I had to blur the graphic depictions, but rest assured this will not be the case once you are one of my paying customers.

(Yes, I was too lazy to clean this one up)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Who Gave This Assclown a Chemistry Degree, Anyway?

Tonight, it appears that I am the Assclown. I am hoping that it's temporary, but, as I am somewhat of an expert in these matters, I don't have high hopes.

I decided to clean my tub tonight, but I was out of Tilex. Guessing, from previous Sniff Test Data, that one of the active ingredients in Tilex is similar to ammonia, I decided to dilute straight ammonia in a bucket. I plopped the sponge in the bucket and started scrubbing. I was pleasantly suprised to find that ammonia is a relatively good solvent for soap scum. I was proud of myself until I dumped the remaining contents of the bucket into the toilet. Why the toilet and not the tub? Because I'm an Assclown.

I'd forgotten that I'd recently dropped a Clorox cleaning tablet into the tank of the toilet. As I hosed the tub clean, with the shower head, I noticed that my eyes and throat were burning. Then I looked in the toilet, which resembled an Alka-Selzer commercial. For those of you scoring at home, here is what happens when you mix ammonia and bleach:
NH3(aq) + HOCl(aq) → NH2Cl(g) + H2O(l)

NH2Cl is chloramine, which is a gaseous respiratory irritant. They may well repo my chemistry degree, after this one. This won't be a problem as I, apparently, wasn't needing it anyway.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Matt Krantz is an Assclown

This kind of crap drives me nuts. For those too lazy to follow the link, it's a financial story by Matt Krantz of the USA Today, which was featured in Yahoo Business. In the story, Krantz touts the merits of not prepaying your mortgage. Instead, he recommends that you invest the money, that you would use for prepayment, in securities. In other words, Kranzt attempts to disguise his whoring for Wall Street as sound financial advice.

Kranzt gives the following flawed illustration: An accoutant takes out a $200,000 mortgage for 30 years at 5.5% leading to a monthly payment of $1,136. After one year of making the minimum payment, the accountant has paid $10,933 in interest and $2,694 of principal. So far, so good. Kranzt's skill at using online amortization calculators is beyond reproach. In the second year, the accountant decides to pay off the $197,306 prinicipal completely. (I won't even question why the accountant would take a mortgage if he had $197,306 laying about.) Kranzt then says that the accountant is foolish for not considering the "hidden costs" of forgoing future mortgage payments; tax deductions and future, unrealized returns. Per Kranzt:

That's not all. By paying the mortgage in advance, the accountant is missing out on the future price appreciation of the money he used to pay off the mortgage. Assuming the accountant invests in a properly diversified portfolio, it's not unreasonable to expect an average 10% annual return. Had the accountant invested the $13,632 annual mortgage payment for 29 years at 10%, it would be worth $216,246. Even if you assume 3% inflation, that payment in current dollars would be worth $91,763. And that's just from one year's payments. Figure the payments over 29 years and the cost to the accountant will easily exceed the $197,306 he thought he was saving. So you can see that in this case, it doesn't make sense to pay off the mortgage early.

This argument is deceptively fucked on many levels. On the lowest level, if the accountant were to actually follow Krant's advice and not prepay: Wouldn't he want to invest the $197,306, not $13,632? This would yield $3,129,883 over 29 years, using Krantz's method of computing future returns. However, the part where Kranzt really shows his ass is when he say that a 10% return from a properly diversified portfolio (i.e. the mutual funds of those who pimp Krantz) is not an unreasonable expectation. An annual return of 0% or -10% is not unreasonble, either. This is because past performance is no guarantee of future returns, as they used to say on Wall Street. Record deficits, non-existent corporate oversight, rising energy costs, and bubble real estate markets subsidized by the US gov't are all reasons to expect that trees will not grow to the sky.

There is one guaranteed way for the accountant to make money in this scenario, which is to pay the mortgage off. There is no question that this will save the accountant $197,875 in interest over the remaining 29 years of the loan. Money saved is money earned. With the loan paid off, the accountant now has the amount of the $13,632 annual payment free to do what he likes with. If he makes 29 annual investments of $13,632 and earns the 10% return, that Krantz optimistically predicts, he will have $2,444,996 at the end of the 29 year period. Even if he doesn't invest the $13,632, real estate appreciation may well provide a superior return to Wall Street for the $197,306 used to pay off the loan. I expect that Krantz's problem with this scenario is that the bank will get screwed out of the interest that it expected to earn on the mortgage and his brokerage buddies will miss out, if the accontant chooses not to invest the $13,632 in the market.

The true "hidden cost" in this is the interest. Neglecting PMI and tax considerations, for simplicity, say that you buy a home at $200,000, on New Year's Day of 2006, with a 30 year mortgage at 5.5%. Now, let's say you sell it on New Year's Day of 2016, for $375,000. Did you make $175,000? No, you made $175,000-$109,577 = $65,423, with $109,577 being the cumulative interest paid on the loan. That's why paying as much as possible on a mortgage as early as possible makes the most sense to me.

To be fair, Kratz does mention that prepaying might be wise if you only think the market is only going to increase 4% annually. In essence, he is saying: "For those of you who know that I'm pissing on your leg and calling it rain, ignore this article."

In conclusion, I would like to extend a sincere and heartfelt "Fuck You" to Mr. Krantz. If you want to shill for the brokerages, get a job in one of their boiler rooms, jackass.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Better Living Through Chemistry

Whenever I fly, I will invariably be seated next to either screaming triplets or an insane person, or some combination thereof. Earlier this week, I took an 8 hour flight to London to BWI. On this trip, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was seated next to an attractive woman. Of course, I knew that Assclownometrius, The God of All Things Assclown, would not pass up such an opportunity to deliver his wrath upon me.

I gave her a cursory inspection and no triplets, facial tattoos, or electric shock collars were detected. Long ago, I learned that the functionally-insane can be fairly adept at masking their instability. A psychologist-type ex-gf once told me that people with mental problems can frequently be spotted by how they dress. I have found this wisdom to be very true, particularly with women. However, my seatmate was wearing nothing unusual, just a fairly stylish sweater and jeans. Spying none of the telltale signs, I took my seat and buckled up.

It was only after all of the decent remaining open seats had been taken, that I realized that she was sufficiently wacky. What I had missed was her shoes. Although I'm vaguely aware that pointy shoes are in style, she was wearing the pointiest pair of shoes that I had ever seen on someone who wasn't a court jester. These shoes were also vividly multi-colored, covering the spectrum from orange to purple, leading me to believe that she was a recent graduate of Clown (or Assclown, as it were) College. It turned out to be worse than that.

She said that she was an American graduate student studying Garden History in Bristol, England. She also said that her undergraduate degree was in Art History, but, suprisingly, she couldn't do anything with it. Thus, she had come to England to study the history of art constructed from shrubs. In other words, she had spent the last 7 years unsuccessfully trying to earn her Mrs. degree. This was a problem for her because it turns out that she didn't actually like English people and England is known to have an abundance of them. I learned quickly that she was her favorite subject and this was a topic that she was prepared to discuss at length. Unfortunately, I didn't find the topic nearly as fascinating and I found myself subconsciously calculating, and liking, my odds of survival from a emergency exit jump from 36,000 feet.

Desperation set in when she received vodka from the beverage cart. I knew that alcohol would be high test babble fuel. Like a drowning man who discovers a life vest, I then remembered the Nuclear Option. One of the people I was traveling with had given me several potent prescription sleeping pills for the flight to England, in order to avoid jet lag. I normally don't take drugs, so I still had them in my bag. My instructions were to take one pill and wait 20 minutes for drowsiness to ensue. As desperate times require desperate measures, I took three. Thankfully, I really can't say what happened next. I did wake up 4 hours later to visit the restroom. When I sat down again, she said something about snoring and I, vaguely, remember her droning on as I returned to my blissful coma. I probably should have asked for her phone number, anyway. If I ever find myself in a perpetual vegetative state, she's the girl for me.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Your Job Doesn't Suck. Trust Me.

I have noticed that the majority of hits that this blog gets occur during working hours. Since I am certain that most of you are employed, I am guessing that you are sitting at your desk right now. You may even be thinking, "Reading this lameass blog is still better than working, because my job really sucks." If this is so, then I can say that you are mistaken. How can I know this? Because I have had the Worst Job Ever.

Three key elements are required for a position to truly suck; the coworkers, compensation, and actual work must all simultaneously suck. For example, if you work with jackasses, for minimum wage, as a Product Tester in a Fellatio Factory, your job doesn't suck. However, if you exchange the phrase Product Tester with Assistant Janitor, you have fulfilled all of the prerequisites for shittiness. I have never worked at said Factory (although it is my life's work to find it) but I have had a job where all of the conditions were met handsomely.

This was my first job, after a career change, so my negotiating position was very weak. Essentially, I accepted a salary of 15% less than the national average in order to gain the experience that they had described in the interview. Unfortunately, they were lying.

This was a small company with about 15 employees. The owner, who will be refered to as Nookless Dickhead or ND, for brevity, was an absolute ass. Most of my coworkers were minority owners and they had, apparently, hatched the idea for the business at a meeting of the local chapter of Wankers of Commerce. ND was devoid of the technical skills to do anything useful, so he spent his days devising new ways of either screwing the customers, screwing the employees, or screwing the government. For example, ND terminated a competent shop electrician, who had 3 young kids and whose wife had just died of cancer, in order to give another owner's incompetent grandson a summer job. The remaining employees were told that he was "laid off" due to a slowdown. However, ND told the unemployment commission that the electrician was "fired for cause" so that he wouldn't have to pay for unemployment benefits. Nice, huh? I could devote a whole post to ND and his pal's exploits, but I'll spare you.

Actual Work
When I was hired, I was told I would be working on projects on which I would be learning technologies that would help my long term career goals. During the interview, ND showed me some of the jobs that were in progress, as examples of the job description. Due to inexperience, I was impressed. Now, having learned the forementioned technologies, I am amazed that they sell anything. Regardless, it turns out that ND and the other owners were blowing sunshine up my ass from day one. Here is what I actually got to do:

If you are thinking that I got to work in a Yoohoo! plant, think again. What ND had actually hired me to do was manage a project for the local sewer department. The project entailed modifying various poop pumping systems, while they were running.This kind of work was entirely outside of their field and they were woefully unprepared for it. ND always wanted the maximum number of billable hours, so he required that crews work on energized high voltage equipment in the rain and snow. I always refused, but I'm sure he billed them for it, anyway. Regardless, I know things about poop that no human should ever know.

Can you remember your worst day ever, at work? I can, because I had it photographed:

The thing in my gloved hand is known as a tilt bulb. It is used to sense the level of raw sewage in the hole that was behind me. The reason why I was holding is because the dental floss wrapped around it caused it to malfunction. I came to this conclusion, after 5 hours of troubleshooting, in a 105° F building that's out of the picture. All on a Friday evening, when I was supposed to be having dinner with an attractive female-type. Guess who got to remove the dental floss? So, does your job still suck? I didn't think so.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Interesting Conversations I

This is what is almost certain to be a recurring series of interesting conversations that I have overheard or participated in recently.

Scheduling Conflict Overheard between two coworkers:
Coworker1: "Do you know if XXXXXX will be in today?"
Coworker2: "I don't know. Check the calendar."
Coworker1: "What directory is that in, again?"

Coworker2: "If it was up your ass, you'd know where it was. Maybe, we ought to put it there so we can avoid having this conversation every morning."
Coworker1: "Maybe so...."

Father/ Son Bonding My father and I were driving when passed by a teenager in a new BMW.
Me: "Godammit. Why won't daddy buy me a brand new BMW?"
Dad: "Well, son, it's because you're an asshole."
Me: "Oh, yeah. I always get that mixed up."

Shop Talk Overheard between to shop employees on break.
ShopGuy1: "She wanted it bad, ya know? But I wasn't getting up. It was that good."
ShopGuy2: "Damn, you a fool. She fine"
ShopGuy1: "That's what I'm talking about. She was mad as hell but I don't care."
ShopGuy2: "She gonna throw that thing out when you at work."
ShopGuy1: "She better not. I'll kick her ass. My new Lazy-Boy is da shit. You know what I'm saying?"

Phone Sex We have 2 Office Weird Guys at work. One is in the process of divorcing his insane, 350 lb wife. She frequently calls the extension of a common work area phone, because it has no voice mail, and screams at anyone unfortunate to pick it up. This call was taken at 5:30 PM, which is after hours.
Me: "XXXX Department. Can I help you?"
OWG1's X: "Put my ex-husband on the phone right now or I'll have you arrested"
Me: Looking around for co-workers and spotting none. "Excuse me?"
OWG1's X: Screaming. "If you don't get him right NOW, I'm calling the police!"
Me: "Wow. You're pretty sexy when you're angry. So, uhhh, what are you wearing?"
OWG1's X: "What? Where is he?"
Me: "XXXXX told me all about you. He says you're a naughty one."
OWG1's X: "Who in the hell is this?"
Me: "Call me Spanky. Are you wearing that sexy pink moo-moo from the pictures?"
OWG1's X: Click.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Assclownade: For Assclowns, By Assclowns

Hey, have you ever wondered, even just a little, if you are an asshole? Well, I have a surefire test that will let you know in an instant. What you need to do is take a peek at your driveway. Do you see anything that resembles the picture on the left? If so, I can say, with a 98.7% certainty, that you are an asshole. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but, knowing is half the battle.

I believe that history will judge this era harshly. In the future, people will point at icons, like the Cadillac Escalade and Competitive Eating, and say, "How could they be so foolish? We'd better go kick Grandpa in the ass again." As we enter the age of diminishing oil reserves, we have this 5300lb monstrosity needlessly delivering 14 mpg (city) and 18 (hwy) mpg to any assclown idiotic enough to part with $55k. I say needlessly because an Escalade is a luxury vehicle. It's seldom used in an application that requires a heavy vehicle, like construction or rescue operations. In other words, it is primary allure is as a status symbol--another weapon in the perpetual War with the Joneses.

As a wealthy Hoosier once told me, "Fuck the Joneses. If I want to know what they are up to, I'll buy them and find out." I find it hard to contest that logic. In fact, it has been my experience that it is not wealthy people who are insufferable, it is the nearly wealthy. Wealthy people didn't get wealthy by pissing money away to convince others that they have arrived. In my opinion, anyone who sinks $55k into an asset, that is guaranteed to depreciate to zero, is an assclown. Particularly, those who do so so on credit. If you have to finance a luxury item, then you can't afford it in the first place.

The stupidity exhibited by Escalade owners is only surpassed by the stupidity exhibited by Escalade drivers. They are either doing one of two things in traffic: Bumbling absetmindedly while talking on the phone or aggressively bullying the drivers around them. During our recent non-blizzard, an Escalade tailgated me closely at highway speeds. The Escalade driver unsuccessfully tried to bully a driver in the left lane, so they moved to my lane to attempt to pass on the right. They were so close to my bumper that if I had tapped the brakes an accident was guaranteed. There are no fender-benders with that amount of gross vehicle weight. Is getting Trevor and Buffy to the mall on time worth risking my life over? Unfortunately, I already think I know the answer.

When I am elected God, I am going to implement the system used in old, communist Russia and only allow one model of automobile to be produced. It will have 2 cylinders and it's body will be made of paper-mache to encourage defensive driving. The only style variation permitted will be color. The blue cars will cost $10k, green $20k, white $30k, and red $50k. I have no doubt that the red ones will be my best sellers.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Helpful Blizzard Hints

When a blizzard is impending and your obligatory trip to the supermarket for milk and TP is unsuccessful, I have provided a useful hierarchy of TP alternatives, to be used in a pinch:

1. Paper towels
2. Kleenex
3. Ravens section of Baltimore Sun Paper
3. Bounce sheets - Eliminates static cling, also
4. Eddie Bauer catalog - This would be ranked higher, if not for the glossy pages
5. Baltimore City Paper - It's free for a reason. This is it.
6. Coffee filters
7. Use Depends - They're not just for the incontinent, anymore. Some of us people are "convenience" users.
8. Shower curtain
9. Furry, slow moving pets
10. The elderly - Sure they'll be offended but in 15 minutes all will be forgotten.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I May Be Weird Al Yankovic's Lovechild

I'm sure you've had a sung stuck in your head, at one time or another. For most people, the tune is mentally replayed for several hours or even days, to the point of annoyance. Apparently, I am not like most people. For as long as I can remember, I have always had at least one song stuck in my head. Not the same song, mind you, but always music with lyrics. The criteria for entry into my mental set list is simplicity and repetition, which, unfortunately, covers much bad music. Sheryl Crow, whose music could be written by 8 year olds, is a perennial favorite of my brain. Gwen Stefani, Eminem, and Avril Lavigne have also been popular, although, I may be having some type of subconscious contractual dispute with Lavigne, as she hasn't been getting as much airplay lately. The all-time #1 single at WTFG, Those Were the Days, by Mary Hopkins, got over a month of un-fucking-interrupted airtime, which was one of the few times that this has become annoying for me. Normally though, it doesn't bother me, as it is easily ignored.

I am sure that I am not the only one who is like this. In fact, I believe this is how Weird Al Yankovic got started. Once a song has cycled through my head a few times, some part of my brain goes to work on changing the lyrics. It is not exactly a conscious effort, but at some point I notice that some of the lyrics are different.When this occurs, I may deliberately make lyrical additions/subtractions and send it back for more airtime. Sometimes, I think that the part of my brain that replays the music argues with the part that makes the changes. The more that I dislike the song, the worse the lyrics are apt to be. For example, I always have and always will despise country music. Nevertheless, I inadvertently heard Sara Evans' Suds in the Bucket twice this week and it has been looping through my melon since Thursday. Here is what we've got so far (original lyrics in blue--improved lyrics in red):

She was in the backyard, they say it was a little past nine / She was at the trailer, they say it was a doublewide
When her prince pulled up, a white pickup truck / When she got knocked up, in a garbage truck
Her folks shoulda seen it coming, it was only just a matter of time / Now the baby-daddy’s running, but she knows it’s just a matter of time
Plenty old enough and you can't stop love / Before she goes to court and scores child support
She stuck a note on the screen door, "sorry but I got to go" / She took a note to the Motomart, “sorry, but i just retired”
That was all she wrote, her mama's heart was broke / That was all she wrote, Achmed’s heart was broke
That was all she wrote, so the story goes / That was all she wrote, on the dole she goes

Now her daddy's in the kitchen, staring out the window / Now the baby-daddy’s bitching, knowing he’s a loser
Scratching and a racking his brain / Scratching and a racking his brain
How could 18 years just up and walk away / Goddamn that Maury Povich and his test for DNA
Our little pony-tailed girl growed (yes, she sings "growed") up to be a woman / Our little trailer-park queen grew up to be a hosebag
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye / Dropped her drawers in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket / She left the trojans in the glove box
And the clothes hanging out on the line / And now she’s headed for the welfare line

Now that I see it in type, I'm thinking my version is kind of "purdy." If the song stays in there long enough for completion, I may have to head to Nashville. Even if I don't make it as a country star, I look damn sexy in a garbage truck.

Friday, December 02, 2005

What's Wrong With This Picture?

These are pictures that I lifted from the front pages of newspapers I occasionally read. The picture on the right was taken in a fireworks store. Since when did it become fashionable to give retarded people access to explosive projectiles?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Tarlekization of America

I sincerely believe that I could spend every hour of every day talking to someone who is trying to sell me something. It's not that that I'm wealthy or terribly fun to talk to, but it seems that nearly everyone is a salesman. I recently made a deposit at Wachovia and the teller said matter-of-factly, "Mr. TFG, we need to schedule you for a Financial Checkup. When are you free?" The proper response might have been, "When monkeys fly out of my ass, sweetheart. Now, how about the receipt?" Instead, I politely declined because I knew that she was required to try to sell Wachovia's brokerage products to every customer that she served. I imagined that this was the brainchild of some recently graduated, MBA-type, named Trevor or Cassandra, who was just itching to try out some of their Marketing 101 wisdom on the masses.

MBAs by no means have the market cornered on blowing sunshine up the collective posterior. For this, we must turn to the Albert Einstein of Bullshit: Dale Carnegie. He authored the enormously popular book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book remains a favorite amongst Tarleks Sales Professionals everywhere. In it, Carnegie outlines a series of manipulative tactics designed to make people like the Tarlek salesperson, and, consequently, buy their product. He says to repeatedly use the customer's name in conversations because "a man's name, to him, is the sweetest and most important sound in any language." Carnegie also suggests that the salesman find out what the customer's hobbies are, in order to feign interest in them. This is supposed to form a common bond which inspires trust. There is much more to Carnegie's book, but it basically boils down to Jedi Mind Tricks designed to rook customers into seeing the Tarlek salesperson as a friend.

The problem with How to Win Friends and Influence People is that it only has a chance of working on people who haven't read the book. Consequently, if you deal with Tarleks salespeople, I strongly recommend that you read it. If nothing else, it can provide the key to transforming a dull sales spiel into marginal amusement:

Tarlek Salesperson: "Hello, YourName. I am sure glad to meet you, YourName. How are you doing today, YourName? You do go by YourName, right?"
You: "Actually, my friends call me by my birthname: ImaRealDildo. I'm partially Welsh, you know."
Tarlek Salesperson: "Well, ImaRealDildo, I'm sure that you'll agree that my product is on the cutting edge of value-added, paradigm-shifting, lean thinking, (insert your own tired business cliche) widgetry. Also, ImaRealDildo, my product will make your whites whiter, cures cancer, and provides extra protection on those heavy flow days. So, ImaRealDildo, how many thousand widgets do you think you'll be using annually, ImaRealDildo?"
You: "Somewehere between zero and none."
Tarlek Salesperson: Gaak! This guy is immune to the power of plaid polyester. Time to play hardball. Don't fail me now, Dale. "I see, ImaRealDildo. Well, ImaRealDildo, what do you like to do in your spare time?"
You: "Just between us friends, I'm really into administering rice pudding enemas."
Tarlek Salesperson: He called me friend. Thanks, Dale. "ImaRealDildo, that's amazing. That's one of my favorite hobbies, too, ImaRealDildo."
You: Sound sincere here. "Really, that's great. Well, I'll tell you what. I've got to go now, but why don't you come back on Friday, say, about 11:45 AM?" (Always shake the Tarlek salesperson down for the free lunch.) "Be sure to bring a working sample of the widget (E-Bay fodder), 5 gallons of rice pudding, and a funnel."
Tarlek Salesperson: I'm in! "No problem, ImaRealDildo. I'll see you on Friday, ImaRealDildo. Bye-Bye, ImaRealDildo."

What can I say, I'm a closer.