Saturday, February 26, 2011

Surviving the Chick Flick

"Thanks for watching this with me, honey."

It's not a statement of stupidity. It's just an unwarranted one. The kind of sentence that is spoken between a couple when you know your relationship is about to be tested to the utmost limits and you're both praying it can survive the ordeal that it is about to experience over the next 90 to 120 minutes. You're about to engage in the viewing of the chick flick.

"Has it been four months already?," I'm asking myself. Have I wasted the 119 nights in which I take for granted that my girlfriend will suffer through whatever superhero/action/kung fu movie I put into the dvd player as we end our night? My God...there were so many movies I could have chosen better... We could have squeezed in one more viewing of The 13th Warrior...

I'm not prepared. I'm too young. I need more time!

But, I don't say a word. Like a man condemned, I resign myself to the moment. I have lived with the knowledge that this night was coming since the last time I endured a similar fate. I suffered denial at it's resurgance, resigned myself to it's inevitability, and prayed it would never come. Yet, it always comes. It is the Rapture of the Man World, and I am powerless before it.

Tonight, despite the fact that all three remotes lie a scant 6 inches from my fingertips (closer, in fact, than my beer), the control of the television is lost to me. Tonight, Ashton Kutcher or Ben Affleck or Matt Damon or some other frat boy-esque cookie cutter actor will invade the space that is normally reserved for ass kickery. And I will be powerless to stop it. I will be like Superman in the face of kryptonite.

The sad thing? I relish my role as a good boyfriend. I want to be able to sit back with my girlfriend and enjoy the movie she desperately wants to view. Her uterus is doing flip-flops at the very idea of curling up next to me and watching this abortion to manhood. I try. Hard. I refrain from making every sarcastic and smart-ass comment that wants to jump from my lips like a cheerleader wants to jump on a cock. Mostly, I succeed.

But, I can't help but notice the differences between watching one of her movies and watching one of mine.

I'm no longer annoyed by the side conversations. In fact, I'm probably talking more than I ever do when we set about finishing our evenings. Suddenly, I'm a wealth of conversation.

The pee breaks I generally hold off to a point of discomfort have become a thing of the past. Out of the blue, I'm prepared to stop the movie in mid-scene to make room for more beer. I even shake it twice, after.

Getting up for a beer does not require pausing the movie, despite her protests that I might be missing 'the good part'. "I can see it from here, honey!" I can't.

I just want to get through the next 2 hours without stumbling into that gray area that no man wants to admit to.

I don't want to wind up liking the movie.

Yes, I said it. Every man alive has been exposed to at least one chick flick that he found himself liking against his will. On a day off, when your movie selection bores you, and you find yourself flipping through the channels and you catch Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing and the blinds are drawn.. and you know none of your buddies are going to randomly stop by... You know you're watching.

Quit screaming 'BULLSHIT!' and relax. I know. You know. We won't ever talk about it again, and that's okay. We're men. That's what we do.

But we know. Every single time our girl gets her one night to pick the movie, we know that we run the risk. We know that this could be the movie that takes us one step further from the Alpha-male Club. Holy shit... what if we cry?!?

I had to check on my penis. Yup. it's still there.

Of course, we have ways to defend ourselves. We suddenly become the kings of multi-tasking. "I'm watching," we exclaim as we peruse the internet during the movie. Our texts are no longer a thing to be ignored. A phonecall to our family doesn't seem like such a hassle.

Free advice:

To survive a chick flick and come out in tact, you should try the following:

1. Let your girl watch the movie uninterrupted. Keep your manhole shut. Degrading whatever doucher that is playing the male lead might make you feel better, but it isn't scoring you any points.

2. If you need a break, make it food related. Girls love to binge during these kinds of movies. Offer to run to the kitchen and make a snack. Refuse all offers to pause the movie.

3. If you find yourself becoming interested in the movie, think of John Wayne.

4. Try and remember that your girlfriend/wife/whatever has sat through 4 months of the mindless drivel you have selected. One night will not kill you.

5. Realize that it could always be worse. It could be a foriegn film. With fucking subtitles that she needs you to read aloud because she is crying too hard.

You have two options for surviving a chick flick. You can either curl up into the fetal position and crawl under the nearest piece of furniture until it's over, or you can take an active role in selecting the movie at hand. You've already got one chick flick that you know you love...suggest that one (but make sure she thinks it is her idea) and pray none of your friends stop by.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

As far back as yesterday, I posted that I wasn't interested in taking suggestions for this blog, that I wouldn't post polls, and that I would continue writing this blog even if readership dipped to zero.

After some reevaluation, I have decided a few things.

1. I found that taking a suggestion based off a stupid statement that someone else heard to be one of my favorite blogs to write. As much stupidity as I am exposed to personally, I was intrigued to write about something stupid that someone else had been exposed to. So, I will now gladly accept ideas from readers based upon the blurbs of idiocy that they have suffered through. I only ask that your suggestions be factual and detail oriented.

2. I have placed a poll on the blog. With readership continuing to grow, I'm getting tired of advising of new posts on my own facebook page. I'm curious what you think of Uncensored having it's own facebook to update you on new posts.

3. I'm changing up the format a bit and omitting the 'Most Intelligent Quote of the Day'. While I initially like having a two part blog that compared stupidity to intelligence, I am finding it harder and harder to segway between these segments and close the posts in a sensical manner. I want to continue blogging in a daily fashion, as well. And the two-parters have become a bit taxing. I'd rather continue with a well written diatribe regarding one subject, then half-ass a longer blog.

4. I'd love input. The problem with devoting a blog to the idiotic statements that people make daily is that; people are afraid to comment on the blog for fear of being the next topic. Guys... I'm not looking to beat down on my readers, okay? I already have to suffer through my girlfriend wandering about our apartment stating; "That isn't going to be in the blog, is it?"

"No honey. I like sex. Anything you say is free and clear."

I also like having readers. So, anything posted here is free and clear.

5. As those of you with slow internet connections can attest, no doubt in a string of curses that would leave George Carlin blushing, I love images. If you guys have a pic that would look good on the blog, or would make a great topic, send that fucker over. (Simmer down Art Penelli...)

I like this blog. I've stuck with it longer than I've stuck with most internet projects I've been involved with. I'd like to continue Uncensored America, but in a fashion that pleases both me and you. 

Now, excuse me, but the last beer of the night doth call to me. It says; Lo, there do I see my people, and they do call to me. To drink. And to be drunk....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Read Between the Lines

Today's subject matter comes to us via suggestion. Now, I know I recently stated I don't do suggested topics, however, this one is derived from a comment I have heard myself on more than one occasion. It is a matter I intended to address at some given point, as every time I hear this particular utterance of blatant stupidity, it makes me want to stab the issuer with the nearest sharp object at hand.

Today's gift from "The Best Parts of Me Ran Down My Mother's Thigh During Conception" Club?

"Why would I bother to read the book if theres a movie?"

Now, I realize I'm probably preaching to the choir on this one, but being as this is my blog and you are simply the passerby, I'm going to go ahead...

Let's open with a true story from a time in my life I generally avoid looking back upon. I once dated a girl for a brief period of time who said to me one night (this between bites of her twinkie) "Why are you always reading? Reading is stupid." This wasn't the whole reason we broke up, but you can see the mentality I was dealing with.

Personally, I love a good movie. I come home from work most nights and pop an old reliable in the DVD player and wash away my day with a few beers and mindless violence. Even better if said movie is an adaptation of a good book that I also happen to own. But, for every night like that, you could match it to a night of finding me on the couch with a good book and a cup of hot tea. (I seldom drink when I am engaged in literature)

Yet, while all of us are inclined to sit back with a good movie, it seems as though those of us choosing to shut off the television and enjoy the written word are suddenly social pariah. It's 'odd' that we can sit down and form images from words without the aid of Hollywood.

Non-readers seem to become offended at the prospect of someone pulling out a book and being able to enjoy themselves. I suspect that this has something to with our books not having pictures nor being written in rhyme.

You do not like books with words?
I will not try them.Yes, you heards.
My Mind is closed, I am a boob
I'd rather watch the mindless tube.
The shiny box makes me smile
It's where I get my ideas and style.
I can watch it in the dark
I can watch it on a lark,
I can watch it without a brain,
Of reading, I can not say the same.
I will not try these books with words,
those books are for geeks and nerds.
I would rather have TV
turn me into a fucking zombie.

Now, I probably would have dismissed the suggestion to write about this until such time as I heard someone utter those words on my own, except... Upon further inquiry, I learned that the book being discussed was Watership Down. And that folks, really tripped my trigger.

I never cease to be astounded by the amount of people I encounter that have not only not read this book, but seem to have little interest in the concept upon having it described to them.

"So, it's about talking rabbits?"

"No. It is a social commentary of the human condition."

" has talking rabbits?"


"Sounds gay."

"I hope the Black Rabbit of Inle reaps your soul."


"Nothing. Please feel free to rape my ear with more details regarding the episode of Jersey Shore you watched last night."

Not only is this a classic piece of literature, it should fall into the category of mandatory reading material for all future High School graduates. It is, quite possibly, one of the most important works of fiction that you haven't read.

Watership Down is one of those rare books that will not only invoke further thought, but it will invoke an emotional response from the reader. I cried. No shit. In two different parts. It was one of the first books that made me laugh out loud. Upon my first reading, I found myself dying for that next moment in time when I could be free to return to it. The use of rabbits, in place of people, allows the author to create charcters that are symbolic, rather than stereotypes. It also allows for a story that is timeless and could be used as a comparison for any age. That no educator in my misspent time in the churning factory of public education ever guided me towards this book is fucking criminal.

In fact, I would like to submit my Top 10 List of books that should be required reading for the American Populace (in no particular order):

1. The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
2. Watership Down by Richard Adams
3. Lord of the Flies by William Goulding
4. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (the unedited version)
5. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
6. The Lost Get Back Boogie by James Lee Burke
7. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
8. The Body (novella) by Stephen King
9. Last of the Breed by Louis L'amour
10. Redwall by Brian Jacques

I'm not going to go into detail on any of these books. If you haven't read them, you should, period. Outside of the Hitchhiker's Guide, I had crushed all of these repeatedly before I graduated high school. That one I kept putting off reading due to it's enormous cult following and my tendency to dislike most things that have become part of our growing pop-culture.

There are certain cases where 'waiting for the movie to come out' pays off. Forrest Gump springs to mind, quite readily. For those of you that loved this movie the way I do, I caution you to never read the idiotic piece of drivel that it was 'based' upon. That book made me want to soak my eyes in gasoline and stare at an open flame.

Yet, the idea that a 2 hour movie could capture the unspoken nuances in a 500 page novel is ludicrous. Books contain the hidden emotions and thoughts of the characters. We can readily empathize with the protaganists because we are privvy to the unspoken. Their actions do not need the clarification of forced dialouge that movie adaptations need to include.

But, who knows? Maybe I'd get a better response to this blog if I uploaded it to Youtube and gave my readers a movie version. But, I'm not sure we have the budget to cast Jason Statham, and I can't think of anyone else that would really portray my 'rip your fucking head off' style of monolouging. And, I'm just not pretentious enough to write, direct, produce and star in something myself. Yes, Ben and Matt...I'm looking at you...

No intelligent quote for today. It's my day off and I have better things to do than point out the obvious.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Called for Misconduct, Off the Field

If you're not a first time reader to the Uncensored America, then you will remember me refering to the "Chef", at work. (In my mind, this word is pronounced "Jeff". No reason, really, but I thought I'd share that little factoid of uselessness) Tonight, the Chef put on quite a menu to select from. No, not food. Stupidity Du Jour. 

The Chef reads the blog. He is also more up to date on current affairs than the vast majority of the people I know. Being a slow night, he made it his personal mission to engage people in conversations that would elicit statements of stupidity. It was quite an engaging show, and proved more than effective. (In fact, I'm more concerned about the survival of our species after some of the remarks I heard)

The winner...or is it Loser in this case?

"That bitch was just tryin' ta gets her college for free!"

This clearly elloquent and unbiased opinion was in regards to the sexual allegations made against Ben Roethlisberger. Now, guilty or not, I have several issues that are raised with this whole scenario.

First, just because Roethlisberger is a celebrity (and I attach that fucking label to sports stars very loosely), does not automatically mean that the (exceedingly) young girl leveling the accusations is looking for a pay off or her 15 minutes of fame. In point of fact, I live in Pittsburgh and couldn't tell you the girl's name to save my life. I don't recall seeing her whoring herself out to the media at every given chance, which makes me inclined to believe that the problem was; she wasn't willing to whore it out to a professional athlete either.  

Secondly, Big Ben's penance for being accused of attempted date rape? The NFL sat him for a whopping 7 games for violation of their conduct code.

Now, I've never had such an allegation made against me, but I'm fairly certain that the punishment might extend further than being told to stay home from work for 7 days. And believe me, I would feel the financial strain of 7 missed shifts a lot more than someone who earns seven figures for stepping on the field and doing little more than playing a game.

Yet, even if Ben never touched this girl, it's conclusive that he held her against her will in a public bathroom, exposed himself and intended to have sex, right there. While all three of those actions might not add up to more than a few misdemeanors, they are still criminal acts.

The NFL might as well wipe it's ass with it's 'code of conduct'. Michael Vick goes to prison for running a dog fighting ring, and the second he is released, he's right back to earning an 8 figure annual income?!?!

And, the NFL isn't alone. Anyone remember the debacle a few years back when they wanted to induct Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame? Yeah... here's a guy that was banned from baseball for gambling, suspected of throwing games, and did a bit of time. Hall of Shame material, not All-American hero.

Just my opinion, but... if a professional athlete garners themselves a criminal record of any sort, they should be fired and banned from playing sports for money. It's high time we stopped giving these one-talented fucks all the privileges they demand and carte blanche to run over society's laws just because they might bring us home a trophy.

Our educational system has been turned into a mockery where arts and music are becoming extinct because the money to fund these endeavors is being given away in the form of athletic scholarships to students that can't spell scholarship.

Americans are so brain washed into believing that their professional athletes should be given every privilege. That's ass-backwards. The reality is that making millions of dollars for the purpose of entertaining us is the privilege. These pussies should be held to a higher standard of living than the rest of us. If I see Brett Farve in a bar, that motherfucker should offer to park my car while Peyton Manning gives me a foot massage.

Why? Because just like police officers and elected officials (whom we do actually hold to a higher standard of expectations), we're paying their fucking salaries. Oh yeah...forget that fact while you were glued to the tube? They should get away with murder because they might bring you home a trophy? They should lose their jobs if they don't. If the kid waiting on you at McDonalds took your hard earned cash and failed to produce your cheeseburger, you'd be screaming for his head right?

Steroids are illegal. If I were caught taking them, there would be criminal penalties. If an athlete is caught taking them, the big decision is whether of not to place an asterisk beside their achievements. Because, despite Jimmy James' commercials for Extenze, performance enhancement is not okay.

What kind of message are we sending to our children by allowing convicted criminals to hold the highest paying jobs in our country? It's okay to rape, kill and run a cock fighting arena, as long as you can catch a spherical object? Thats the lesson that you, the audience member of this tragedy, want your children to take along with them as they grow up? Not me. I refuse.

Personally, I think there should be an automatic 5 year additional sentence added to any celebrity who is convicted of a crime. Call it the abuse of privilege sentence. We don't need cops with drug dogs in the stadiums policing the fans. We need them in the locker rooms, attending to the actual fucking criminals. I wonder how many Dallas Cowboys have had their lojacks set off while being tackled?

But, I digress.

Most intelligent statement of the night is also courtesy of the Chef.

He inquired about the amount of readers Uncensored America was garnering each day. When I told him the average number, he responded with:

"I guess people really don't have anything better to do."

I don't take this remark as an insult by any stretch of the imagination. I know the guy that delivered it, and understand that his comment was more of an observation about our society than any discredit to my blog.

The truth is, the internet has given us several new forms of media. From blogging to youtube, we have each been given a chance to express our beliefs, our opinions, or just share cute videos of our kitties with the entire planet. Such power would be frightening if it weren't mainly used by bored housewives and angsty teens.

I'd wager the first bloggers were the same people that had little better to do than write letters to the editor each and everyday, puling and whining about every facet of life in this country. The internet gave them a chance to self-publish and not have their tirades censored.

But really? There are an average of 25 people that swing by here each day to take a gander, a quick voyeuristic journey, into whatever topic I happen to choose to ramble on about. The average read is probably 15 minutes long? I could jerk off to asian midget porn twice in that time.

I wouldn't cease this blog if the readership was zero. Thats a fact. Its been a good release for me. A creative outlet and an anger management tool. I write it for me. I don't take suggestions for topics, I don't post polls, and I don't leave open-ended thoughts that invite debate. You can read or not, I will continue to rant.

But, if you have the time to read my idiotic diatribes...why aren't you taking the time to make your own?

Truth In Advertising

Let's wander off the beaten path tonight and talk about something that never ceases to annoy me. Television commercials.

I don't watch a lot of tv. On the vague occasion that I don't feel like settling in for a movie but still require some background noise, I might tune into Adult Swim, Law & Order SVU, or the Food Network. I used to be a huge fan of The Learning Channel, until the vast majority of their programming became basically the antithesis of learning. And I absolutely refuse to try and become involved in a movie on regular television. I can live with the editing, but not with the interruption to the continuity.

Commercials. Bringing you product placements for shit you wouldn't consider buying otherwise.

Here's a question... when HDTV and Blu-ray manufacturers show me commercials on my regular televsion... how do they do that super fucking cool trick where they make the image better? Are they messing with the original image, like those obnoxious Claritin commercials, or can they actually make my pixilated image more realistic without me needing to buy their product? Ever wonder?

Let me tell you about the commercial I saw today. Premise: a guy is trying to pass off take out food as a home cooked meal to his girlfriend. The product? Hefty's newest garbage bag; The Black Out. Okay... outside of the scenario presented in the advertisement, who needs to hide the contents of their garbage? Teen moms that didn't make the MTV cut and decided to go the Lysol and coat hanger route? Middle aged white men with a penchant for dressing like clowns and picking up gay men? Larry Flynt?

Dear Local Car Dealerships across the nation...please up your advertising budget or stay off my television. The daughter you think is a beauty queen makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs with a beer can tab. Your peculiar fashion sense is only equaled by that of the ambulance chaser looking to represent me for free if my father's uncle died of asbestos poisoning. And why are you always pointing at me? Is there some type of accusation being made here? Because, that wasn't me. I don't even own a Hawaiian print shirt.

Worst commercials ever? Feminine hygiene products. No one needs exposed to this awkwardness. Women aren't going to deviate from the product their mother taught them to use. Nurses may be the only women wearing more white pants than the actresses in these ads.

I'd love to see an honest insurance ad. Man emerges in a somber suit and announces in comforting tones: "Sure we're fucking raping you, but it's either us or them."

I don't mind movie trailers too much. What I can't stand though? Being exposed to previews for movies for a full 3 months before the movie hits theaters, only to be re-exposed to the same trailers 6 months later when the movie gets released on blu-ray, dvd, on demand, and netflix.

Don't they do demographic studies anymore? How about some relevancy with product placement? If I'm watching cartoons at 1:30 in the morning, I doubt I'm concerned about getting my taxes done, finding an exciting career in the military or buying a new car.

Even the most clever & unique commercials get old after two or three viewings. Pick an ad campaign and stick to it, Geico. Jesus.

America's 51st State must be hypocrisy. We can't have ads for tobacco products, but we can run commercials for products that won't help you quit smoking 24/7.

I'd love to continue, really. But I just saw a commercial for one of those single's hotlines and it turns out, real singles are waiting to talk to me right now. Just a guess, but I bet most of those whores come with more side effects than the latest medicine waiting to be approved by the FDA...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Throne of Power!!!

"Do you know what it will take to resolve all the unrest in the Middle East?"

No. And, actually, you don't either. Thats why we're both standing in the kitchen of a restaurant preparing food that neither one of us could afford to order due to the meager wages we earn because of a lack of a further education...

If there is anything worse than an armchair quarterback, it's an armchair politician. Reading the headlines of the World Section of your local newspaper and tuning into 15 minutes of CNN while drinking your coffee in the morning does not make you an expert on all matters global, political and otherwise newsworthy. Regurgitating information that you gathered from your lazyboy recliner and lacing it with your own slack jawed opinions does not make you look intelligent. It makes you look a pompous, mouth breathing moron.

First of all, if Jesus Christ couldn't resolve the upheavel in the Middle East during his tenure on earth, I suspect you won't have much success. Second of all, I don't care. If I wanted a weekly world update, I would go home at night and watch the news instead of killing a six pack while watching action flicks. Third, anyone that is willing to engage you in this conversation likely has distinctly differing opinions and is looking for an outlet for their own self important validations.

America is a country full of opinionated spectators that could all do a better job at everything from coaching a professional football team to running the country. Just ask them.

Following Pittsburgh's loss in the Super Bowl, I was assualted with a barrage of critiques on every player, coach and play that took place. My coworkers spent days assessing where everything went wrong and what should have taken place. Apparently, ESPN can draw it's next batch of analysists from Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Its pretty easy to postulate, and to pontificate, from the comfort of the sidelines and your reclinable soapbox. Which is exactly where that particular trash talking needs to be confined to.

Whatever happened to that old adage; don't discuss religion, politics and sex?

Personally, I freely admit to my ignorance in World News and Politics. The subject holds all the interest and appeal to me as hardcore gangsta rap. Now, before you go and accuse me of being apathetic, lazy, or idiotic, allow me to ask you a serious question. Do any of you really believe that even the most informed person on the planet, is anything more than misinformed?

Not to get off on a tangent about government conspiracies here, but do you ever think you're going to know everything about any pie America has it's fingers in? For every truth you're told, will you be able to sort it out from the five untruths that have supplemented it? How many bullets does it take to kill a President in Texas? The world may never know...

Ignorance is bliss, my friends.

Most Intelligent Statement of the Day?

"I'm not even sure if I have a ride home from work tonight."

Yes, I'm dead serious on this one.

While it may seem fairly idiotic to arrive at work, unsure of how you're going to get home... In a country whose work ethic needs a serious injection of Viagra, I salute your lack of forethought.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Start...

I love school-related holidays. A three day weekend is a virtual guarantee that my ex-wife will let me have my kids, regardless of whether or not it is my weekend. There's just something uber tantalizing about having a Monday free of children, I guess. I don't judge. I love having them around, but I'm not that much of a jaded prick that I don't remember what it was like having children up-your-ass 24/7. We'll call it a win-win situation, in which she gets a break to enjoy all the amenities that Hell has to offer, and I get to spend bonus time with my kids.

Was it the best day ever? No. If you expected more, you've probably never been the parent that only gets their kids every other weekend, and has to figure out how to fit them back into the life they've been struggling to reestablish. It was just another day, only with kids. It had highs, it had lows, and everything in-between. It was a day.

The end of the day was awesome, though. My oldest son busted out one of my plug-in-play retro atari games (I'm linking that for those of you too young to remember 8-bit video games), and between the four of us, we took turns at Pac-man, Dig Dug, Bosconians, and a few other old school video games.

"This thing cheats!"

Damn right it does. I didn't even question.

I remember announcing the same thing in our living room as a child around the same age. My father was always quick to retort: "Aw, did you lose? You want your quarter back?", as my brother and I played game after game of atari. In retrospect, I shouldn't have been pissed at him...I should have taken his damn quarter. I'd be rich.

I'm not much of a gamer. We've got an X-box that collects dust unless the kids are around. I think I lost interest in video games after the fall of the Sega Genesis. (It briefly resurged when Play Station began updating the Final Fantasy games, but quickly waned as I had already lost my virginity) This whole Call of Duty and Rockband thing is lost on me.

But, I know this much; video games cheat. They cheat like hell. They cheat like Tom Arnold. They're as fixed as professional boxing. You can only win a video game if you find the right codes, and cheat back.

Hell, tonight I found myself screaming "Bullshit!" as a random asteroid took out my intergalactic cruiser that was on the verge of wiping out the last Mothership standing between me and level 8 of Bosconians. Yet, when my children bitch and whine about video games, I can't help but channel my father and retort; "It's a game. It's supposed to be fun. If it isn't fun, shut it off and do something else!"

To quote Val Kilmer quoting Doc Holiday, "My hypocrisy knows no bounds."

If you're waiting around for my opinion on whether or not video games teach children violence, let me sum that shit up for you in a nutshell: I played a lot of Frogger as a kid. It never once inspired me to run into traffic. Although, it did leave me for a hatred of frogs to the level that I hoped Kermit contracted some incurable STD from Miss Piggy and died a slow, painful, and degrading death. The end.

Like most parents, I watch as video games advance faster than I can keep track, suffer the blow to my wallet as the system I bought last week is already obsolete, and pray my children will remember that there is a great outdoors. And, like most parents, you can find me on the odd night, indulging my inner child and creaming the shit out of bad guys as my kids lie sleeping in their beds.

"Oh my God. These games are so old! I've never had to worry about points to earn an extra guy. These days, you can just find them, Dad."

Listen...its all about the extra guy. I knew the secret code on Contra to start with 99 lives, I knew that every 25,000 points on any given atari game would give me an a bonus life, I'm not even above chasing down a funky 'shroom to score a 1UP.

And maybe this is where video games and I parted company...

What the fuck is the point in earning a score if it doesn't generate an extra life?

I just heard someone say 'bragging rights.' Was it you, sir? Yes, you... the guy that has clearly fucked his own fist more often than he has accidentally brushed up against a boob in an elevator?

Here is where we differ. My idea of bragging rights? My girlfriend firmly believes a woman's duty is to keep her man happy. And she's good at it. BRAG. So, while you're busy trying to be clever and decide which 3 initials you can use to leave a sardonic middle finger to the other guys on your online video game group, I'm busy hoping I won't wake up walking like John Wayne.

Not that I hate. I spent hours upon hours, and spent more quarters than Vin Diesel spent wasted hours on acting classes, in the arcade as a pre-teen. Games like Altered Beast owned me.

Yet, I gotta tell you guys: chics don't dig a guy that stands in line for 3 days to get the latest version of Madden, so that he can ignore her needs for the next few months as he attempts to degrade his buddies as the world's greatest armchair quarterback. Odds are, if you're that guy; your girlfriend is fucking your closest friend that doesn't game.

And, heads up: Just because you kick ass at Rockband... Well, hate to be the one to tell you, but... it doesn't make you a rockstar. In fact, it kind of makes you everything that a rockstar probably hates.

Video games haven't been good since a giant monkey threw barrels at an italian plumber. The graphics may get better, but I doubt Call of Duty is as challenging as keeping Space Invaders from landing on Earth after round 5. All Wii did was capatilize on the movements we were already making as we played Tetris, and shouted: "This fucking thing cheats!"

Tonight, I leave it up to you to decide if either of those quotes were stupid or intelligent. I find them to be both. Leaning one way or least they were provocative.

Well, provocative to a Trekkie, at least...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Da Boyz in the Suburbs

I'm not sure if anyone said anything above and beyond the call of stupidity today. To be honest, I woke up with the girlfriend and saw her out the door around 4:30 am, drank a cup of coffee, tooled around on facebook for a bit and drug my ass back to bed until around noon. I did some light cleaning, ran to the liquor store for a bottle of wine for the girlfriend, grabbed a bottle of irish cream for myself and returned home where I sat watching the clock with a feeling of disgust and anxiety until it was time for work.

At work, I spent the majority of my shift wearing a fake smile like cops wear a bulletproof vest and only interacted with the three or four people I can routinely count on to understand my above-junior-highschool level sense of humor. With one notable exception.

Somehow, I have become the unofficial trainer for our kitchen. Whatever plebe they hire to man any station that requires no actual cooking skill gets tossed my way. So, basically, we're talking about a group of 25-40 year old rejects whose names I don't even attempt to remember until they've managed to stay there a month. These guys work the french fryers and chicken broasters, they fill in for the dishwasher in the event of a call-off and you get the feeling that most of them view this as the best job they've ever had, because it isn't fast food. If you've had any exposure to the food service industry, you already know the kind of guy I'm talking about. They only come in one variety; hardcore gangsta.

They wear their pants below their asses, just in case you wondered what color boxers they opted for that day, their hats have uncurved brims with the holographic sticker still attached (and for some reason, their hats never seem to be worn facing to the front), their shoes cost more than they'll make in a month, their shirts hang almost to their knees, except in the back because you still really need to see their underwear and their oral hygiene is more disturbing than pregnancy porn. And everyone of them is whiter than Casper.

But, the thing about these guys that pisses me off the most has little to do with their fashion sense. Its the way they talk. They prefix every sentence out of their pie-holes with phrases like; "I'm sayin...", "I mean...", "You tryin' to..." Heard that...". They frequently pause in mid-sentence to refer to you as: Son, Cuz, and Holmes. And they end their sentences just the same. "...know what I mean?", "...true, right?"  In fact, these homeboyz can't seem to end a sentence in any fashion other than a query. Maybe thats because they are utterly confused about their racial origins and gender identities.

I'm over it. This whole hip-hop, gangsta wanna-be, Yo MTV Raps, wigger culture has been done to death. Seriously.

A few weeks back, I'm at the gas station. I found myself in that awkward moment of entering the building and the guy approaching being just far enough away from the door that I could slide through without being rude, or waiting with the door propped open for him to enter. Being that my mother raised decent children in her home, I elected to wait. If you need a description of the kid I held the door for, reread above... As he walks through the door I've waited (waited!) to hold for him, he grabs his dick, gives me a reverse nod and states, "Good look, cuz." Its a wonder my girlfriend didn't have to bail me out of jail.

Now, my problem with this whole scenario isn't racially motivated. Or, it is, but in a reverse manner.

You aren't gangsta. You're a white kid from the suburbs. I'm sure life is 'hard' as you sit on your wrap around porch, drinking aquafina with your crew because moms won't let you take the Jag for a cruise. When you're buying your crunk with your allowance, it's pretty hard to be legit. You love to quote lyrics from songs you can't sing in front of your friends that are only your friend because it's super cool to hang with black people, but they would kick the living shit out of you for using the word: nigger. When you pour the first sip of your Forty on to the ground, you're just wasting beer. None of your 'homies' are fallen. Cops aren't pulling you over for driving a car that is 'too expensive' for you to own, and no one has ever referred to you as 'you people'.

And personally, you guys piss me off because you make it hard for me to buy jeans. I want to be able to walk into a store and just fucking find a pair of white guy jeans. They hang on your hips, they don't drag on the ground, there is nothing bedazzled or written on the back pockets...

Maybe its me. I don't buy into any type of media/cultural identification. I can wear a pair of jeans, plain old tennis shoes and a shirt that isn't emblazoned with a logo and still manage to stand out in a crowd. My identity isn't defined by what I'm wearing and who I am emulating. In other words, my life isn't a parody.

Most intelligent quote of the day goes to a guy who didn't serve in Vietnam, but his moustache sure as fuck did. Seriously, this guy has a 'stache that would make Sam Elliot want to shave out of jealousy...

"Don't talk to me like I'm a child."

If you've ever not been the top rung of the ladder where you work, this has happened to you. For some unkown reason, people in a position of authority feel the need to try and dumb things down when talking to their subordinates. Especially when they are mad that said underling made a mistake that could be traced back to their own ineptitude.

I once got into a verbal altercation with a district manager who felt the need to lean forward and speak very slowly in my face. I responded brightly with: "I'm not an idiot, Joe. I have a multi-syllabic vocabulary."

"A what?"


The fact that I don't have a string of letters following my name doesn't make me a moron. Just because my personal circumstances made a higher education an impossibility for me doesn't mean you're smarter than me. My brother and I enlisted in the Marine Corps after highschool. Our recruiters took one look at our ASVAB scores and dubbed us Rocket Scientists 1 & 2. One of them pulled us to the side to ensure we didn't want to back out and go to college.

If you want to talk to me like a child, I'll be sure to start acting like one. Now...takers on changing my shitty diaper?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Verbal Abuse

I don't know what the weather was like for the rest of the country, but in Western Pennsylvania, today had all the qualities of a perfect Spring day. And so, naturally, everyone shed the cloak of despair and lethargic apathy that Winter seems to drape over our shoulders so regularly. People emerged from their homes and lined up in packs to wash their cars, they took advantage of the warmth and flooded the stores, and lawn chairs were used for other reasons than protecting one's shoveled out parking spot in front of their homes. And, of course, all anyone wanted to talk about was the weather.

Even I left the house today. Okay, mostly because I was out of beer and wanted to grab a case so it would be ice cold when I got off work tonight, but I ran a few unnecessary errands as well. I stopped at a few little stores to grab this, that and the other, and found myself moving at a more relaxed pace than my usual man-on-a-mission rapidity. I generally approach errands as I would a work related task. An interruption to my day that needs to be done as swiftly as possible so the relaxation can begin in full swing. But, today, I even found my errands to be relaxing.

My luck never holds, though. While driving past a store, I recalled that my girlfriend had awoken upset that she was out of one of the multitude of hair sprays required to make her hair look exactly so. No good deed goes unpunished.

I entered the store and selected my few items. It was going to be my last stop before getting home, loading the fridge with a fresh case of PBR tall-boys, grabbing a quick bite and then throwing open the windows for a short nap on the couch before going off to feed the sheeple. Having formulated said plan, I was suddenly anxious to pay for my shit and leave. The cashier, however, didn't share my enthusiasm for a sudden depature.

Before even considering ringing up my items, he began a five minute winded rendition of 'How about this weather?'. He exclaimed the joy he was going to receive from cutting his grass this year, how a trip to the beach might be in order this summer, dismissed the possibilty that winter wasn't yet over and prattled endlessly about how he wished he had had today off to enjoy such a rare February day. He concluded his montage of 'the life I couldn't give a fuck less about' with this little witticism:

"I'm so jealous that you're outside, while I'm stuck in here."

News flash, sport. I'm not outside. In point of fact, I'm standing inside, a virtual hostage to your terroristic attempts to unload mental images upon me that I will never be able to eradicate. Thank you for that. My stomach no longer wants that lunch as I'm left envisioning you shirtless, paler than the underside of a fish, in a pair of jorts, mowing your lawn and treating your neighbors to what I can only imagine as a grown version of Lord of the Flies, parading through the yard. Quite frankly, I was enjoying the weather... until you insisted that I had to.

I have never understood the fascination that our society has with small talk. If I don't know you, guess what? We can ride the elevator all the way to the top floor, alone in the car, without ever needing to speak. If we're stuck in a long line at the bank, I don't require your commentary on the number of closed teller windows vs the number of open ones. If we are in a public restroom, I certainly don't want to make idle conversation with you as you straddle up the urinal next to me, igoring the pisser apart rule, and we each have a penis in our hands. Particularly if your engaging bit of conversation is; "Yeah...I heard this is where all the dicks hang out."

Yet, the vast majority of us do exactly that. Left alone in a room with people we don't know, we are compelled to engage in some type of social obligation to communicate with perfect strangers. Especially about the weather. We looooooooove to talk about the weather. It's too cold, it's beautiful for this time of year, it's hot as hell, it's raining so hard I want to go home and build an ark. We always have some remark, good or bad, regarding the weather. No one has ever said; "Boy...pretty average fucking day outside, huh?"

The weather is like a safety zone of conversation. It is one of those rare things that we, as human beings, are subjected to and affected by. It is something that we will never be able to master and control, and therefore it both frightens us and amazes us. It's our go-to nugget of meaningless babble when we have no idea what to say, but feel a situation warrants us to say something. We're so obsessed with it, we even talk about the weather in places we don't live. "You think it's hot here? My cousin's sisters' son's roomate lives in Florida..." We even relate the weather to specific events in our lives. There isn't a married woman alive that couldn't tell you what the weather was like the day she became Mrs. Vapid Asshole.

We even have a weather channel. In the summer, my girlfriend watches the weather channel the way lonely spinsters watch the 700 Club. She wants a tan, and she wants it today.

Which brings us to the poor weather man. I wouldn't trade places with a meteoroligist for 15 minutes. Because the only thing we like to do more than talk about the weather? Blame it on the shmuck that tries to predict it.

I'm over it, to be frank. The next time a random stranger attempts to engage me in a weather-related conversation, I am going to make direct eye contact and tell them I have a third testicle.

I'm unclear why people feel the need to make small talk with me, at any rate. I wear a motorcycle jacket, T-shirts emblazoned with Punk Rock bands or superheroes, and combat boots. I sport a mohawk and a scowl. My outer shell does not leave one suspecting that my chewy center is filled with nougaty goodness. I look like what I am: angry, white and poor. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, I am the new majority minority of this country.

Now, we're going to depart from our normal procedure of the most intelligent thing I heard all day, and discuss what should have been the most intelligent statement, but wasn't.

"I just want to come to work, mind my own business and not get involved in any of the gossip."

Solid idea. In fact, if more Americans approached their jobs with this attitude, odds are that most of us wouldn't hate our jobs with the passion we do.

Sadly, this little glimmer of hope was delivered to me by a coworker that had spent the previous 20 odd minutes raping my ear with his life story, making comments about our coworkers, and making highly inappropriate comments regarding every female he encountered during our shift.

I think at some point, we all enter a new job feeling jaded over the drama of our last place of employment. And, with good intentions, we all swear we will remain outside the loop. We will treat our peers, our subordinates and our bosses as just that... people we work with, and nothing more. This time, we're not getting embroiled in their snarky bullshit. And we mean it, at the time.

The problem is that a normal person's day breaks down into 3 separate 8 hour periods. Work, Home and Sleep, in no particular order. For most of us, the Home part is spent with our families, whether it's the wife and kids, mom and dad, that strange uncle everyone warned you about but you found fascinating...whatever. On a routine basis, our 'outside' social interactions come from the people we work with. Walking into work is like landing on foreign soil. The culture is different, our views of what is normal become skewed, in short, we are fascinated by the diversity and can't help but become absorbed.

Bottomline: human beings are the most uncomplicated complicated species on this planet. Whenever we are separated from our individual tribes, whenever we find ourselves alone among others of our kind, we feel the need to open a line of communication; to combat the loneliness we refuse to acknowledge. We'll make conversation about the patently obvious, or even the weather, just to convince ourselves that we're not alone.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I think I was at work for a full 20 minutes this morning before I heard the stupidest fucking thing I have ever heard said in my 36 years on this planet. Really absorb that, gentle reader. I have worked in the mental health field as direct care staff, hands-on with delusion patients, I'm a father of three children ranging from ages 10-5 and I have partaken in drunken misadventures that would make sailors uncomfortable. In other words, I have stared stupid in the face and been able to walk away relatively unscathed. Not today.

"No, bacon isn't meat!"

Okay, now, I have been in mid-argument and realized I was wrong and perhaps taken great measures to defend my position. If you haven't, you're probably a 40 year old virgin living in your mother's basement content to play video games until the next comicon rolls into town. But, I've never said that the sky wasn't blue, water wasn't wet, sex wasn't better with a partner, or defied anything that the rest of the world banks on because it is fucking factual.

To make matters worse, this sentence, this vehement proclimation of grand stupidity, was screeched by the manager of the kitchen that currently slices a piece of my soul away each and every day. Usually, when it comes to matters of not knowing what menu item is which, you can count on the servers to royally bugger it up... maybe the new cook, from time to time... a front of the house manager with huge aspirations of coming back and displaying their 'big girl pants' can gum the works too... But, one can generally rely on the kitchen personnel to be able to identify which item belongs to which food group.

The problem? An ego the size of the Goodyear blimp combined with an undiagnosed eating disorder and no one policing the police. Welcome to the food service industry, y'all!

My 'boss' (and we'll get back to why that is in quotations shortly in this daitribe, I assure you) is a formerly morbidly obese individual that adheres to a diet that makes no sense to anyone with half a brain, makes her miserable, and causes her to lash out at anyone in sight. She is so obsessed with food, that it is all she talks about. Each day, we are treated to stories of what food she couldn't eat that was being served wherever she went after work. Just today, she showed us pictures of cake she couldn't eat on her phone. She suffers from all the classic symptoms of someone with Bulimia Nervosa.

She also isn't much of a manager. And here we fill in those quotes. When I needed to leave the mental health field, I fell back on the one thing I was good at, restaurant management. I've been in and out of the food service industry in some capacity since I joined the work force. I've managed for everything from Mom and Pop shops to franchises to multi-million dollar corporations. In other words, I know my ass from a hole in the ground. I was with my current company for two weeks as a manger before I declined the position as guy at the bottom of the barrel in a huge pissing contest and took a much less stressful position in the kitchen. I realized very quickly that I would be the guy pointing out the elephant in the room to a group of women that were so enraptured by their own self-images they couldn't see beyond their noses, and I didn't need the stress.

My 'boss' has been with the company since it was damn near founded. She is in her position due to her loyalty and through her means of manipulating everything around her to make her seem indispensable. As far as the owner of the establishment is concerned, if this woman ever quit, the building would burn to the ground, the world would cease to turn on it's axis and whole galaxies would be sucked into a black hole that would bring Romulan mining ships from the future to destroy what was left of earth.

Can't feed your face? Be sure to feed your ego.

I have a fairly high opinion of myself. I do. I feel I'm generally smarter than the people I interact with on a regular basis, that my opinion should carry more weight, and that people should metaphorically bow to my superiority. But, my ego only extends so far. I'm able to admit when I'm wrong.

For example, when a waitress puts in an order for a Bacon Cheeseburger with meat and cheese only, and I don't think to add the bacon... I might not begin a 5 minute long argument over whether bacon was a meat or a garnishment. I'd probably chuckle, admit I fucked up and fix the problem. Particularly if I were running the show.

How big is your need to be right, that you can state "Bacon is not a meat", and actually believe it, just to... be right?!?

Not only is your statement idiotic, it borders on blasphemy. Bacon is the food of the Gods. It is seconded only to cheese, which should have it's own food group. In a perfect world, we would have bacon flavored beer, gum, and edible panties. I would (and actually have) eat bacon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If given the choice between a BLT and oral sex, I would promise to not drop the crumbs in your hair. Bacon isn't just meat, its the meat doctors warn you about. Bacon is the cigarette of the meat world. It should come with a disclaimer: Hey, I'll clog your arteries and kill you with my fatty meaty goodness, but you'll crave me unto death, regardless!

I'd probably be able to take it all in stride, if this weren't the same woman who I had the following argument with (same day):

When our chef, I grant him that title because the man is good at what he does, asked me for help in creating a fish taco, my first response was; "Do we have cilantro?" I thought this was an innocent question, in fact, I was way off base.

Enter the bacon-hater. "No! We don't have cilantro. I don't like it."

"Okaaaaaay. But, we're talking about a mexican style feature, and cilantro is a pretty prevelant mexican spice."

"I don't care. It stinks. I can't stand the smell. We'll never have cilantro in this kitchen."

Awesome. Welcome to *name of restaurant excluded due to serious fear of lawsuit*, home of the un-fucking-spiced fish taco.

Oh, yeah, somewhere in my diatribe, I forgot to mention that our kitchen manager can't cook, huh? She can't. God forbid she have to saute something. God forbid the spice goes beyond oregano or parsley. This old bitch has been in the business of making people's food for 40 odd years and didn't know what a shallot was until our chef suggested we use them. How can you not cook and manage a kitchen? A-fucking-mazing.

What do I know about mexican style cooking? Damn little. But, I do know that traditionally, your sauce is spicy and you garnish with tomatoes and sour cream to counter this. I tried in vain to explain this to both the general manager and the bacon-hater. Our chef rolled his eyes and gave me a smirk that told me all I needed to know. I was wasting my breath. And oxygen is precious, Al Gore says so.

This whole blog, this rant of all rants, reminds me of something I once heard and firmly believe; You should love what you do for a living, but never do what you love for a living.

Moving onward...

The most intelligent thing I heard today?

In describing yesterday's blog to the aforementioned chef, and my concern that I might have seemed insensitive suggesting that welfare recipients be required to have inuetero birth control devices implanted, he responded with: Some people think, and I agree, that people on welfare should not be allowed to vote.

I gave this a lot of consideration.

Convicts don't have the right to vote. Are we talking about ripping the rights away from free individuals, the same as we're talking about stripping those rights away from convicted prisoners? We're not.

Bald reality; if you are on welfare, why would you ever vote for anyone but the current party? Why would you ever vote for a canidate that mentioned welfare reform? Answer? You wouldn't. Because you've already accepted a bribe.

How can we expect anyone that is garnering free money from the government to vote impartially? We can't. Welfare recipients probably hold a stronger political opinion than your average man on the street, simply because their paycheck is dependant upon it.

I probably sound like I'm down on assistance programs at this point. I'm not. My mother found herself divorced with two of her four children as minors. Between her, myself, and my brother, we worked about six jobs to put food on the table. I wish she had qualified for some type of aid.

I guess my problem is; because my mother was honest about the income my brother and I were bringing into her home to support our sisters, she couldn't get it. But, thats the catch. My mother was honest. Welfare is such an easy system to abuse. There is little to no regulation or follow-through. Once you've pursed your lips on the government's tit, the milk flows in a never ending supply.

It saddens me that there are people that genuienly need assistance, and can't get it because there are people that are already taking that money, have it locked in, and no one is policing the situation.

As a side note: blogger gives you the ability to review your readership, see your traffic and where it is coming from. I'm happy to report that 4 days in, there are 6 sites reccomending this as a blog worth reading and linking readers here. I'd insert a smilie, but I reserve those for texting with my girlfriend, for fear I'll get kicked out of the John Wayne Club...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

That Isn't Baby Fat

Today was my day off from work. For me, this is a special occasion in which I only leave the apartment if I absolutely must. (This usually means I have run out of beer.) Being that I had enough beer, and would therefore not be required to expose myself to the general populace, I assumed this would wind up being a day off of blogging as well. Thankfully for all of you, my upstairs neighbors find it impossible to go through a day without speaking at decibles that would shame Pavarotti.

Quote of the day?

"They didn't even know I was pregnant!"

Newsflash, it's because you're fat. You happen to be the stereotypical American that sits on her fat ass all day swilling beer and eating junkfood. (All at my expense, because, of course, you're on that bountiful government tit known as welfare.)

People like you are the reason that my children have to grow up with a Cookie Monster that eats vegetables and get served whole grain pasta in the school cafeteria. You're the reason fastfood places have lowered the quality of the food I used to go there for, so that they can cash in on the trend of serving low-carb wraps and salads. Going to McDonalds for a salad is like buying your pain meds from a crack dealer, by the way. The only exercise I ever see you get is walking back and forth from the bar with a six pack in hand and a cigarette dangling from your big mouth.

I wonder why people might not think you were pregnant? Your behavior is clearly that of someone carrying a newly developing life inside them. Your body is obviously a temple. Too bad it's the one Indiana Jones visited with his short asian sidekick. Both of whom could probably, in all reality, fit inside that baby making factory you call a womb. Maybe...just maybe, people assume that prodigious gut that sways in front of you is just that, a gut.

Option B: maybe people that know you just don't want to believe you could be so irresopnsible as to get yourself in that situation again. I've lived downstairs from you for less than six months, we have a barely nodding acquaintance and yet, I know that you should have been a bit more careful.

Let's see... you're on welfare. You are going to have 5 children to 4 different men. Two of your children, from two different sperm donors, have autism, which means you are the one carrying and passing the gene off to your offspring. You smoke so much pot that you set off our smoke detectors at least twice a day. You and your current boyfriend start drinking at sunrise and generally fight until 3 o'clock in the fucking morning over his infidelities.

If you weren't interested in the condom for birth control purposes, maybe you should have been for the disease control factor, huh?

Personally, I feel like the government should be drug testing you and forcing you to utilize an implanted birth control device until you don't need the bulk of my paycheck to get by.

People that don't know you migh be reading this and saying to themselves; "This is so unfair. She clearly can't get a job because she has two autistic children in the home that need constant supervision. And raising children like that is hard work. No wonder she has a drinking problem and eating disorder!"


Listen, I don't know what kind of Hills Have Eyes clan you're trying raise up there, but I can't wait until either my lease expires or you get evicted. In the interim, do me a favor and try to avoid wearing corduroy pants. I'm seriously scared that your congealed thighs will rub together and start a brushfire that will burn down our building, with me none the wiser because I assumed it was your drug use that set off the smoke detectors again.

I wish I could leave you all with an itelligent quote of the day. However, I think its fairly evident that I didn't encounter anyone with anything of value to say today.


Clean Up On Aisle 6, Jesus...

As I stood in line at my local CVS today for cigarettes, the cashier picked up the phone and called for assistance for about the third time since I had entered the store. Now, I hate going to CVS. Its wall-to-wall senior citizens with expired coupons, all of whom either still write checks, or should because they can't figure out how to use a debit card no matter how many times they're shown. They grip their circulars like the lost Book of Revelations and attempt to haggle over prices like they're still in the Old Country. Shopping there leaves me with the feeling that thumbing out my own eyeball might have been less painful, and a vastly more noteworthy event in my otherwise boring life...

But, its a 2 minute walk from my apartment and smokes are about a dollar cheaper there than they are anywhere else in town. So, I suffer this excursion about every other day and view it as penance for smoking in the first place.

The line moves at the pace in which the seniors occupying it probably fornicate, and I'm jockeyed into second place before the manager bothers to saunter to one of the three empty registers. She glances at the old lady being waited on, looks at me and the remaining customers behind me, shrugs and leaves. And then it happens. The cashier, a rotund black man with a lisp that makes him sound more effeminate than a pop diva announces:

"This is why I don't usually even bother to call her when she in da' building. I call on Jesus. At least He answers."

Yeah? No shit? Can you call Jesus now? Because, I have to tell you; I'm irate at this point. I woke up about 4 hours ago, smoked the only cigarette I had left in my pack and the frustration of waiting in line to buy the pack that contains the next one I need to sedate the monkey on my back makes me want to kick a puppy, punch a baby, drown a decide.  

Just do me a favor there, Ricky Bobby, don't call baby Jesus down to man the register. I need the grown version. The resurrected one with omnipotence that won't need to bother to ask me for my i.d. when I'm clearly old enough to have technically fathered the vast majority of the cashiers that wait on me daily. Get me the one with holes in his palms, so I can chuckle when he drops my change. That would be fucking awesome.

In reality, I'm not sure Jesus could get a job at CVS. Whats his past work history? Fishing and light carpentry? His charity work with the lepers might qualify as a people skill, but it isn't really customer service experience, right? We're talking about a guy that was reputed to have laid waste to a bazaar because he didn't care for it's location. And, I haven't seen too many of the long haired hippie types working at the CVS. So, I'm figuring the dress code might pose a problem.

Listen, I'm not saying that manning the cash register anywhere is a stress-free job. Working with the general public is always stressful and it always sucks. For whatever reason, people seem to enter a business with a sense of entitlement that leaves them feeling like they can treat the poor slob waiting on them like he/she is an object and not a person.

However, I feel like; if you're phoning it in to the messiah to get you through doing the basics of your job, you might be wasting His (and your) time. I'm going out on a limb here, but if I'm Jesus, and you start calling me over and over for trivial shit, I might start screening your calls. And then, when you have an actual problem, I'm looking at my caller i.d. and asking myself if I really want to take this call.

"Unrest in the Middle East? Baby dying of incurable cancer? Starving children in Africa being eaten by Sally Struthers as she films PSAs? Pfffffft...sorry homeys, I got to help Roberto run the register. Its all about priorities."

Maybe I'm jaded. This kid implied that Jesus always answers his call. Personally, I'm pretty sure Jesus gave me a bum number that time in the bar. I must be dialing it out to the rejection hotline...

Being as it was Valentine's Day, you voyeuristic fucks get a bonus quote o' the day. It happens to be the one I heard repeatedly throughout the day:

"I told him he didn't have to get me anything."

This reminds me of an old saying: How can you tell if a woman is lying? Her mouth is moving.

One of the women I work with had flowers delivered today from her husband. I thought this was a sweet gesture on his part. He had clearly gone out of his way to state that he was over looking her abrasive personality and the fact that she made Jabba the Hut look slender.

Later, this bitch was pulling her bouquet apart and counting how many of the three dozen roses were 'actually' long stemmed, and how many were just tied into the arrangement. Sweetheart, you've got the depth of a teaspoon.

The dishwasher (who is typical of his breed; John Merrick ugly with the personality of my left shoe) informed me that Valentine's Day should be renamed Singles Awareness Day, because if you're single, you're more aware of it on V-Day than any other day of the year. I'm sure he picked  this witticism up from the internet or a T-shirt he spotted at the mall where he cruises for lonely girls the way a lion stalks lame zebras. But, I understood his point.

My girlfriend loves penguins. Loves them. I think I drove half the state looking for a gigantic stuffed penguin that would ellicit the smile I wanted and got.

What a materialistic, greeting card induced holiday. It annoys to me to no end. I cook my girlfriend dinner damn near every night. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning, after having gotten in from work just hours before, to have coffee with her and pack her lunch while she gets ready for work. I buy her random cards when she feels blue, and have been known to surprise her with favorite candies and such on a whim. I don't need the pressure of topping my obvious affection for this woman.  

If you need a day designated for going out of your way to remind your significant other that you love them, the odds on your relationship making it aren't Vegas worthy. 

Don't get me wrong, the Flogging Molly tickets my girlfriend bought me as a Valentine made my heart stop. But, I also know that she would have bought them for me on a whim. Because she truly loves me.

Now, as promised, here is your most intelligent statement of the day: You'd figure that employers would just accept that everyone has a cell phone at this point and not make such an issue of it.

At first glance, this might seem pretty trivial. In fact, I considered it for my dumb-ass quote of the day. But, you know what? I'm guilty. I text at work all the time. I'm forever abandoning my post to check my phone or shoot out a quick ":)" to my girl. How much time would my place of work save if I wasn't forced to go running off to a hidden corner of the establishment to do this?

Don't mistake my intentions here. I'm not saying its okay to plug in your bluetooth and chat it up with your buddies while you're at work. Nor am I saying its okay to spend more time on your phone than at your job. But, really, the vast majority of the workforce is doing just that and wasting more time by trying to hide it than they would be by employers simply giving it a quick frown and not making a huge issue of it.

I'm not checking my facebook, I'm checking in with home. Like all modern technology, the cell phone has a bad reputation because it is abused more than it is used. But, I saw Jesus at CVS today, texting John or Matt or Luke or Sleepy, Dopey or Doc...and hell, I got waited on just as slowly as if the manager had bothered to come out of the office and do her job...