My wife and I were out to dinner and having our usually jolly time. Things were clicking. My jokes were firing on all cylinders. I was witty. Our repartee was fast and furious on a highly intellectual level.
As we exited the restaurant I was feeling pretty good. (It could happen.) I saw four people behind us. They were far enough back that I could have let the door close and no slight would have been perceived. I decided to be nice and waited to hold open the door.
They came through single file. As she passed, the first person actually said, I kid you not, “Thank you.”
Wow. It’s a modern day miracle. I’m now that much closer to sainthood. I was momentarily stunned and at a loss for words. As quickly as I could I responded with, “You’re welcome.”
Oops. By then the third person was already walking by. She heard what I said and turned and looked at me. With dagger eyes. Of hatred and death.
Ah. She thought I was talking to her and assumed I was being snotty because she decidedly did not bother to say thank you.
Good intentions: 0. Crass misunderstandings: 1.
Bad form, Mr. Smee. Bad form.
And now some politeness tips from yours truly.
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“Grandpa, tell me the story again,” the little snot-nose whined.
The old man sighed. On the other hand, there was no one else around and he was bored. And he did love having an audience.
“It was a long, long time ago,” he said easily. By now the story was an old friend. It was like slipping his toes into a well worn pair of penny loafers with old leather comfortably broken in. Not at all like plastic, like Crocs, that all the snot-nosed sons of bitches called “shoes” these days.
“I think the year was 2013. Yeah, that was the last time it happened. The likes of which the world has never seen again.”
“Back then,” the old man continued, “I was still able to drive a car. The snot noses hadn’t taken away my license yet in the name of public safety. I think I must have been about 104.”
“So there I was, minding my business, driving through town. Yup, yup. Don’t interrupt, snot nose. This town. The very same town you and I still call home.”
“You know,” the old man paused, reminiscing, “back then it was still possible to hit a green light.” He shook his head. It was best not to think about such things.
“What’s a green light,” the kid interjected.
“I told ya, snot nose. Don’t interrupt yer elders. You want the story or not?”
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Day 39 is here! Just in time, too, to help me ring in a new rash. No one can ever accuse me of not doing all that is required. By this same time tomorrow I’ll be on my way back to civilization. So sorry. I lived.
Tonight looms my final immunity challenge and, win or lose, the final tribal council. What horrors, disappointments and further humiliations await? Tune in tomorrow for the recap post.
So it’s the wee hours of the early morn on Day 39 and I’ve just been awakened by my host. There’s bonus tree mail.
Last and Final Tree Mail
Congratulations, you’ve made it to Day 39.
Pack your camp up and get ready to go. Your hostest with the mostest is taking you to a celebratory breakfast this morning at 7 a.m. During breakfast you will honor your fallen teammates … wait … there were no teammates. Well whatever, enjoy your breakfast cause you’ll need your energy for the last and final challenge of Survivor Abyss Island.
May you be crowned the Sole Survivor.
That last sentence almost sounds, dare I say it? Encouraging? Suddenly I’m very afraid.
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Fool me once? Shame on you.
Fool me twice? Shame on me.
Fool me thrice? Satan’s tongue is licking my brain.
What? Don’t worry. I’m past the point of making sense.
I’d like to meet the person who came up with the 4-hour schedule for taking meds. (That’s the medical word for pills.) I’ll bet the sadistic bastard was a doctor. Yeah. It had to be a doctor.
8 o’clock. 12 o’clock. 4 o’clock. Rinse. Repeat.
It’s only six little (well, actually giant) pills every 24 hours. That doesn’t sound so bad.
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Ever since we added a Roku to our family, life has been pretty good. (But still negative, mind you! Don’t get too carried away!)
But there was still one little fly in the ointment…
The Roku was wired up to display a picture on our TV and the audio through our home stereo. Finally, Pandora through the big speakers and it sounded good.
Our state-of-the-art home theater system features a Sony receiver my wife cleverly picked up at a yard sale for only $5. That has got to be one of the best bargains we’ve ever seen.
But it did not come with a remote control.
So there I was, enjoying my Roku and living the good life with 42 different remote controls – and no way to remotely control the volume on my home theater! It was agonizing torture of the worst possible kind.
See, the Roku* isn’t perfect. One of its problems is that one channel will be quiet as a mouse, so you’ll haul your lard ass out of the comfy chair and adjust the volume way up. Then, when you switch to another channel, suddenly your head is blown off and the wife is yelling at you (even though you can’t hear what she’s saying).
I started to develop channel switching phobia due to this phenomenon. The volume level would sometimes change dramatically even while on the same station. Pandora even has the problem.
Apparently, as a civilization, we have yet to master the technology to make our devices work properly. That isn’t a component of the Information Age. I have dubbed the next age, assumed to be inevitable, as the Volume Equalization Age. Personally I can’t wait.
Anyway, you can easily imagine the living hell on Earth where I found myself stuck. I was literally forced to get out of my chair all the time just to make volume adjustments. Physically touching the home theater system was simply distasteful. The situation was unacceptable. And I was dangerously close to burning an actual calorie or two. Something had to be done.
I began to tell friends and family about my plight. I was hoping against all odds that one of them would put it all together and get me a universal remote that could control the volume level on my home stereo. It could happen, right?
Birthday came and went. No remote. Then Christmas itself came and went. No remote.
It was the most helpless feeling in the world.
And then, the miracle happened…
For some odd reason I actually stopped and looked at the remote controls I already owned, all 42 of them. The one we used to control the TV had lots of buttons. I squinted and tried to read some of the tiny print on buttons that were never used. Lo and behold, guess what? One of them said “Receiver” on it! What the hell?
I looked on the back. It had a web site! I sprinted to the computer. Conversation in the house paused as all watched me with a growing sense of dread. I never move that fast. The computer was already on and actually worked. Two more miracles! This was getting good. I punched in the web site and it actually loaded. Miracle number four!
Long story short, the web site gave me a four-digit code that I punched into my little remote control. I dashed back to the living room and gave it a test. It worked! It worked! It worked!
It was a true Christmas miracle!
It turns out that the answer to remaining the laziest human that ever existing was literally in my hands the entire time. It breaks my heart to think of the two years wasted getting up to adjust the volume when the answer was right there, within my grasp. Pathetic, really.
Now you can add me to the list of the true believers in the miracles of Christmas!
* Roku Glitches We’ve Seen So Far
- Volume levels are not consistent
- Some channels have long loading times
- Just like most routers I’ve ever seen, there is no “on/off” switch
- The unit has crashed twice requiring reboot by reaching behind and unplugging the power cord (again, just like most routers I’ve ever seen)