Tuesday, May 5, 2009

April Showers Bring May Swine Flu

...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. -Benjamin Franklin

Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to predict the future and few have been more accurate than the common fortune cookie. Actually, my last fortune said something to the tone of: "You are a loser." No argument there. That, of course, is spot on. But whenever anyone hears a soothsayer in action, laughter is the common response. Even with all the fancy gizmos out there, even the weatherman still brings his umbrella to work on the wrong days. So what of these futuristic predictions we hear all the time? Are they Nastradamus nuggets of gold we should heed? Or Ms. Cleo nuggets of poop that we should fling at umm... Ms Cleo? Well, speaking of paunchy, long-haired prognosticators, let us take a look-see at Benjamin Franklin. The quote up there. Read it again. To those with the untrained eye, that is just a witty comment. But others like me with untrained eyes AND bladders see an obvious fulfillment of prophecy. Allow me to expound.

First, the taxes. In March, sales tax was at a microscopic 8.5%. Now in May, it has ballooned to a macroscopic 9.5%! Really, 9.5? Does the number system even go that high? That means for every dollar spent, the sales tax monster will turn me upside down by the ankles and shake out another penny from my pocket! So remember to stuff a few extra pennies in those lederhosens before you step out the door next time.

Second, the deaths. Back in March, people were dying of natural causes - succumbing to the Bubonic Plauge, getting gored by unicorns, touching the Sun... just to name a few. But now, there's a new exterminator in town - the Swine Flu, or more correctly known as H1N1 Flu. The creators of the name must have been in a riveting game of Battleship when they declared it as "H1N1." But needless to say, this swine flu is causing quite the rumpus. And when sars masks are launching a comeback, people should pay attention. Symptoms of Swine Flu include incessant oinking and falling in love with green muppets. Alright, I made that up. That's just what happens when I watch Sesame Street. But seriously, people are dying.

So what do you think of Mr. Franklin now, huh? Not just a pretty face on the century note anymore, huh? Apparently, those bifocals of his were made to see through time as well. Ok, I'll admit that his quote was more of a general statement than a meticulous omen. But that's beside the point. Actually, nothing is beside the point because I don't really don't have one.

Perhaps, nothing is more certain than uncertainly itself.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presi-lentine's Weekend

Happy President's Day, everyone! No doubt, avid presidential supporters like this Obama supporter should be out parading the streets in full force today. Yeaaaaaah, right. Presidents are the last thing on people's mind today. Admit it. It's a hack of a holiday. I get the day off so I can do what? Actually, as I am typing now, I'm eating a tasty tuber in one hand and drinking a salty clam chowder out of a cup in the other. You skeptics are probably wondering how I can blog at the same time, yes? Am I doing it with a third hand? Am I using voice recognition software? Am I lying? No, no, and double no! I'm, believe it or not, doing it with my mind. Because you see, my mind tells me to put down the stupid tuber and the cup of soup so I can type.

Well, that's enough on President's Day. Let's talk Valentine's Day. Is it just a coincidence that the two days fall on the same weekend? Actually, yes. Yes it is. Nothing more. Nothing less. As a bitter loner, I'd like to think that Valentine's Day is a desperate, last resort ploy for couples with rocky relationships - and I'm not talking about couples that throw rocks at each other. I'm talking about couples who are on the precipice of a nasty break up, where acting upon the thoughts they have for each other would result in criminal activity. Because if I had a girlfriend, I'd treat her like every day is Valentine's Day, which means she would experience day after day of utter banality.

So I bet that everyone is wondering what I did for Valentine's Day. And by "everyone", I mean the neighbors who want to know that I didn't spend another day stealing their door mats, slashing their car tires, or defecating on their lawns. The problem with that last one is that nobody on my block has a lawn so maybe they are right for being mad. Maybe. Anywho, I'll do you one better and tell you what happend from about 1:45 pm to 2:31 pm. How is that doing you one better, you ask? It's not. And so my story begins... que the harp!

Chapter 1 - Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Once upon a time, at about 1:45 pm to be exact but not really, I left the house to go to Radio Shack to get a can of compressed air or canned air or gas duster or whatever you call it. By the way, do you see anything wrong that people make money by selling water and air? Or actually, what is probably even more wrong are the dunderheads like me who actually buy that stuff. Anyway, so I'm walking down the street. It's overcast. A little on the cold side. Minding my own business. And all of a sudden, I hear a honk. I look over to the road and it looks like it's coming from a mini van that slowing down and stopped in the middle of the street. I didn't think that honk was for me. I mean I'm used to being honked at but this didn't feel like something I was used to to. I look over at the van with the tinted windows tand he passenger window starts rolling down. There was a girl in the passenger seat and behind the wheel in the driver seat was this asian lady, who starts saying hello and yelling in a friendly Chinese tone. Have you ever noticed that most mini vans have a screaming Chinese lady behind the wheel? So at this point, I still have the deer-caught-in-headlights feeling. But then she said something about haircuts. And whammo! I recognized her immediately. It was the lady that used to cut my hair! Yes, this is a dumb story but what prevents this story from being totally stupid is that I haven't seen her in about five years. I'm surprised she remembers me. I'm even more dissapointed than I am surprisd that she remembers me. Some people are people I like to see. Others are people I don't like to see. That lady? Put her behind door number two for me.

Chapter 2: Signs of Life

So I keep going and eventually walk into a friendly neighborhood Walgreens that I thought might have what I was looking for. I peeked through every aisle I walk by to see if it had anything resembling a can of air. No such luck. So I start going from one end of the store to the other but this time, I read the signs above the aisles. I look at all the signs and I don't see anything helpful. Now that I think about it, I'm not even sure what sign I was looking for. Why would there even be a sign that says "canned air?" I might as well be looking for a sign that says "Hey goober, you're stupid canned air is over here. Either buy it and leave or go get a haircut from that lady." Well, I didn't see any signs resembling that but I did do a double take on this one sign I saw. It said "incontinence." Incontinence? That was a new one to me. I later looked up the meaning online. My incontinence of ignorance sure gets the best of me sometimes. Looking at all the diapers in the aisle, I should have known what it meant. And with me preparing to be the biggest user of diapers since Baby Huey, I should have known a long time ago. I guess you do learn something new every day.

Chapter 3: The Wisecracker

Alright, so after I left Walgreens, I go straight to Radio Shack. I walk in, take a quick look around and find the canned air. It's on sale for like eight bones but there was some fine print on the tag and it said that anyone buying this stuff has to be eighteen or over. Alright, fair enough. No biggie, right? I walk up to the cashier, he scans the can, looks at me and goes: "are you eighteen?" Then, I go: "yea, do you need ID?" Then, he goes, "no, I'm just kidding" and gives me the you're-such-a-gullible-fool look on his face. So then, he just gives me my change and a well deserved "i gotcha" smirk. Can't a guy get a can of air without getting some smart alec comment from the geek behind the counter? I certainly hope not. That's good stuff. I want to be that geek behind the counter. Some day, I will achieve such greatness. Some day...

Chapter 4: See You Later, Agitator

So I walk out the door and and see a girl with a clipboard loitering around the corner, looking for innocent people to prey on. I had actually saw her on the way to Radio Shack but I strategically cut the corner at the crosswalk to avoid her. I still think I deserve a medal for that. But on the way back, I knew I'd have to cross paths with her. And if I didn't, there'd be another girl waiting at the otherside of the crosswalk. So I bit the bullet and walked by her and of course, she opens her mouth.

Agitator : Hey, you want to help homeless people? :)
Me: No :|
Agitator: Why not? :)
Me: Because it probably involves giving money. :|
Agitator: Oh, that's not what it is at all! :D

I didn't expect her to say that so I listened to see how big of a liar she was. She starts flapping her gums about the organization she works for and what they do and how they need donations. So it seems her organization collects clothing for homeless people but they also collect money. So she asked if I would be able to donate anything, to which, I said no. And she kept trying to get something out of me but I think she eventually realized that I need more help than the people she's helping. So there was no way I was going to give in. What do I have to give anyway? My holy socks? My soiled undergarments? My can of air? Not that I think her organization is good for nothing. Okay, maybe I do. I just think there are more worthy causes out there, like World Vision! There's an organization you can't say no to. That girl is helping people who don't have a home to live in. I'd rather help people who won't even have a life to live. I'm just saying!

The End

So there, in a very verbose and pointless nutshell is 46 minutes of my Valentine's Day. Rest assured... No doormat was stolen, no tire was slashed, and no lawn was defiled. You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas The Night Of Christmas...

...when bowels of gluttons were moving in the bathroom stall,
kids played with their new toys, while I blogged about paintball...

Merry Christmas, everyone! Joy to the world, the Lord is come. I hope you at least had an above average day. There's no need to worry about the economic turmoil, no need to be afraid of having to pay full price for Christmas trees, and no need to worry if Christmas in 2008 will start with the coming of the apocalypse. No, not today, friends. Today is Christmas. Enjoy it.

Back in November, I went paintballing and I have the pictures to prove it! I suppose these could have been created through the magic of photoshop. But trust me, they are real. I can send you a certificate of authenticity if you want. Then again, the certificate would most assuredly be photoshopped. But please, peruse away:

Exhibit A: Here's me cowering in fear. Observe that yellow stick protruding out of my right bicep. Well, that's where my right bicep would be if I had any muscles. It's actually the trail of a yellow paintball being fired at me. Next to my shoe are a couple of paintballs that probably bounced off me, showing that having a tub of lard for a gut has its advantages.

Exhibit B: No, I'm not twenty feet in the air, balancing on my right leg over some mysterious rod. This is me taking the walk of shame toward the side lines after being hit. Raising your gun and your arms up in the air tells other players that I have been hit and to please refrain from pelting me with more paintballs.

Exhibit C: Here's me squatting down not doing anything. Note to self: when playing paintball, point gun at the opposing team, not the ground.

Pretty nifty, eh? Ok, maybe not. Here are some answers to questions I know you are dying to ask:

1. Does it hurt?
Yes, yes it does. The ones that really hurt are the paintballs that don't pop on impact. The ones that just bounce off of me made me want to crawl into my secret corner and cry.

2. Did you get any brusies?
Yes, yes I did. I had several unwelcomed welts and bruises. They were completely gone in a couple of weeks though, if that's any consolation. Actually, the thing that hurt the most when I slipped and scraped my shin running up a hill. That one stung for a while.

3. Did the paintball gear protect you?
Yes and no. The only protective gear I was able to rent there was a helmet, which was more of a face guard. I had several paintballs hit and bounce off the top of my head where the helmet did not provide any protection. Those paintballs felt like somebody throwing a marble on your head. I know how that feels because I was champion marble head thrower back in the day.

4. Why did you play in a t-shirt if it hurts?
If you want to minimize the pain in paintballing, you intuitively wear thicker clothing. But the problem is that you get hot. So you either play in sweat or play in pain. Perhaps not thinking so clearly due to the number of shots I took off the noggin, I doffed the sweatshirt.

5. How long is a game?
A typical game probably lasts about 15 minutes. And to play the game well, you need patience. Of course, I was one of the idiots in the front line that just sprinted toward enemy territory at the sound of the starting whistle. And of course, I got hit early and often. Once you get hit, you're out for the whole game. You have to learn to sit back and let the enemies come to you. But I wasn't having any of that and my gung-ho, attack-at-will, banshee-screaming style of play probably wasn't quite in the best interest of strategy.

6. Would you go again?
Yes, if I was playing with a bunch of rookies. It's not cool seeing other people bring their own equipment that makes yours look like something concocted out of Hee Haw.