Once again that special time of year is nigh upon us. The holidays. Where we gather with family and friends around fire and hearth to poke at each other’s eyeballs with forks.
Run. I mean that in a T-Rex-is-gaining-on-us-in-the-Jeep sort of way.
From time to time my wife will venture out to work for the Portland elite to line her pocketses with a few handfuls of coppers. She hangs out her shingle as consultant and efficiency expert. That means, of course, employers will spend their entire day trying to trick her into changing diapers, walking the dog and running to Starbucks for another Cornucopia of Venti.
The following is a true story. No embellishment.
It was Thanksgiving. The husband’s parents arrived for a two-week stay. The day after Thanksgiving the wife took off, on her own, to vacation separately in Palm Springs until the in-laws had safely left town.
Why didn’t I think of that?! Stoopid, stoopid, stoopid. Me so stupid! Me bad.
With the in-laws left home alone, the husband locked himself away in the office. The nanny watched their children. And the mother-in-law proceeded to grill household staff. “What the hell does she do around here, anyway?”
God bless us, every one.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants you to know that “On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes.” (Source: Traffic Safety Facts: Pedestrians, April 2014.)
And they’re doing something about it, too.
While other aspects of driving safety continue to improve, pedestrian fatalities due to traffic crashes are up eight percent since 2009.
Perhaps if pedestrians stopped placing themselves in front of objects with mass traveling at speed? I may not be as smart as the federal government but that seems like a big part of the problem to me.
Physics has got to physics, yo know? Physics has no desire to play nice, do what’s fair, be compassionate, take sides, or even attempt to adhere to the rules of good form. Like Dr. Momma used to say, “physics does what physics does.” It’s apolitical. Asexual, too, but if you disrespect physics it will fuck you over.
The NHTSA’s solution is one with real traction. Make $2 million in grant money available to cities with high rates of pedestrian deaths. Because, money can buy you love. The money is to be used to “influence the safety of pedestrians through public education and enforcement initiatives.”
Yeah, that’ll work.
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Now, this is funny. Let me catch my breath and I’ll continue. “Woot, squee!” Or is that, “Squee, woot!” Either way, I’m rolling on the floor laughing, because, what a riot.
Okay, okay. I’ll try to be serious. Life can’t always be fun and games.
Like the time a group of 6th graders got me down on the ground and beat the shit out of me. Then, in the aftermath, I was taken to the principal’s office for a spanking while they all got away scott free.
See what I mean about good times?
Then, while in fourth grade, a third grader stood next to me in the bathroom at the urinal stalls, turned, and had a nice laugh while peeing all over me. What can I say? I wasn’t exactly redshirted, know what I mean? Sadly, not all ribald tales like this one can have happy endings. Years after graduation I heard he was killed after being involved in a grisly accident where he was thrown clear and a car ended up on top of him.
One of my earliest recollections is going on a bus trip with other kids from my church. I think I would have been in the first grade. Years have faded the memories as if looking through prisms of time constructed from stained glass. I remember being excited because dad had loaned me a real camera. We visited an old Oregon town and I took pictures of a scenic and historic church. Back on the bus the kid in the next seat and I were discussing the experience. Suddenly he snatched the camera from my hands and opened the back, exposing the film. (This is a substance that, in the past, was used to capture photographs. Look it up.)
He claimed this wouldn’t hurt anything. But later back home there was a strange gap in my pictures. All of the church photos were gone. Obviously an important message from above. I learned the lesson and I learned it well.
And then there’s the strange case of Saturday Night by the Bay City Rollers. Inexplicably, I owned a 45 containing this song. A 45 was a song, called a “single,” pressed onto a small vinyl disc that played at 45 rpm on a turntable. It had a song on the “b-side” but I no longer recall what it was. One day, not knowing the dangers, I loaned it to a “friend.” When he returned it a few days later, he had cleverly scratched the shit out of that thing. It never played again. Was he a future music critic? I never found out.
These are just a few important life lessons that I was fortunate to experience at an early age before the shit got too real. What are some of yours?
I am not a foodie. (If you have to paint me in a box go with trekkie.) I know I’ve written about food a lot lately. It’s just this naive bleef that we have a right to know what we eat. And that increasingly the people who make food are seemingly at cross-purposes to that deceptively simple objective. (And sometimes cross-porpoises but that’s another story.)
Take Taco Bell, for example. (Figuratively, not literally, I hope.) A while back there was a hubbub that Taco Bell’s “seasoned beef” was rumored to be 35% beef and 65% other stuff. (Taco Bell eschews the word “filler.”)
Well, Taco Bell wants you to know the truth. They are proud to announced that their “seasoned beef” product is a whopping 88% beef and only 12% other stuff.
Forget about the daily grind, it’s time for an afternoon party! 88% is pretty damn good! Hot mess good. If only we could achieve that standard for everything in life.
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Somehow I doubt it.
It turns out that the blog world and the “real” world (for lack of a better term) are decidedly different places. I guess you could say they number among the many stages where I play many varied roles.
In similar fashion, some real life folks (damn them) might not feel I’m as erudite in person as I seem to appear on the blog.
Imagine you are face-to-face with someone and engaged in conversation. Let’s assume that the other person is actually willing to stop talking long enough to let you speak and listen to what you have to say. (Hey! This is my hypothetical. I can make it as outrageous and unrealistic as I want.)
Further, let’s say you are expounding on an utterly fascinating topic of great import to the entire universe. Your strangely attentive companion is hanging on your every word. Wow, situations like this don’t just grow on trees!
In that sort of scenario, what is the one thing you cannot do?
I suggest it is this: Control-T (to open a tab) to a new dimension and look up an elusive word in the dictionary.
Yet, when writing a blog or composing a tweet, I often find myself doing exactly that to help plug some leaking hole in my brain. I realized that it just might make me look smarter than I really is.
So I just wanted to take time out of my day to say thank you to the series of tubes, the internet, the internat*, WordPress, and even Twitter and so forth for making me look smarter (and taller) than I really is in the real world. I owe you one, guys. Just don’t ever ask me how to pronounce one of those words I’ve looked up. That’s the exact moment when the whole house of cards takes a tumble. Laws, yes.
* I received a package from the “internat” the other day. I know this because it said so right on the box!
Are you a “real” American? Or, perchance, are you the fake kind, like me?
I received a piece of shit snotty email from a customer of mine. For some strange fucked-up reason, I often get inside of customer’s email address books. They then send me all sorts of crap. This one said a bunch of horrible stuff about Obama and then posed the brilliant question of the day: “How many real Americans will you send this on to?” (My emphasis added.)
There sure are some warped motherfuckers out there. And it is a little awkward when they are your customer. Should I reply and tell this douchebag where to go?
The point isn’t so much that what he forwarded me was super-crappy. The point is that he doesn’t know me or my beliefs from a hill of beans so I don’t want him sending me his mental masturbations.
How often do you write (or forward) highly inflammatory stuff to people you don’t really know? Doesn’t matter who, right? More names on the list is better than less. The bigger the better. Now gimme my super-sized biggie drink with the double Quarter Pounder and the super-sized fries.
By the way, some kind soul wrote back to the motherfucker like this and graciously included everyone on the original distribution list:
Mr. XYZ: I write you this e-mail from Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Please take me off your mailing list ASAP. I find your political commentary offensive. If you didn’t have health care or if you were struggling to afford it, you might have a different opinion. I am one of the millions of Americans that has seen his health care premiums increase three-fold in the last eight years, and no, tort reform has not worked in Colorado or any of the other states in which it has been tried. The new law is good for America; the status quo was not. Obama was giving you the finger. And I am giving you the finger.
Please find below the musical pairing that has been selected for this post.