Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Flicking of the Fleas

I was watching the NFL playoff games last weekend, because I am a virile American. I had no rooting interest in any of the teams, although I preferred two of the four, both of which predictably lost.

I am not going to chime in with my hot takes about why football is terrible, what with the traumatic brain injuries and enforced patriotism and institutionalized racism. Yes. I know. You can tell I follow football to some degree though, since I said "hot takes".

I am a little conflicted about the Jacksonville Jaguars being eliminated from the playoffs though—on one hand, they are historically really terrible and they have a quarterback named Blake Bortles, which sounds more like Bo Jangles than any other player in the NFL, so I really wanted them to win. On the other hand, now that they are eliminated, I don't have to hear the play-by-play guys saying jagWIRES any more, and that can only be good.

I did watch most of the Jacksonville - New England game, and I was very glad to see not one, but two instances of the best play in football. That's right, the Flea Flicker. Each team ran a flea flicker! For those not hip to the jargon, a flea flicker is when the quarterback hands the ball to a running back who fakes as if he is going to run through the line of large gentlemen, whereupon he turns and pitches the ball back to the quarterback, who then throws it to a hopefully wide open receiver.

I mean, check out this video of The Greatest Flea Flickers--the crowd loves the flea flicker. You can't argue with that.

If it were up to me, teams would call flea flickers when they were on the opposing team's 1 yard line.

Also I would be in favor of having a really tiny guy who you could sneak in, maybe in your helmet or your pants, and he could pop out at an opportune moment and sprint with the ball over the goal line. He would be so small that the other team would be terrified, as the ball seemingly moved by itself across the goal line. Of course, there's is a very real possiblity that any tiny guy in this situation would be killed by a gang of extremely large gentlemen, but that is a small price to pay for innovation.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Self-Evident Truth

Some months ago, for reasons that are unclear to me, I signed up for Quora. And every day I get emails with subject lines like "Was Hitler so bad?", "Why is Google not hiring me despite my Mensa membership?", and "Does this flight attendant/barrista think I am the sexiest or merely super sexy?"

And yes, these are terrible and dull questions asked mainly by terrible dullards.

But today, all the dull emails, all the agonizingly dumb questions, were made worthwhile by the pinnacle of interrogative achievement. By someone finally synthesizing a question so central to man's experience on Earth--and perhaps even the stars themselves--that years of wandering lost were erased in a heartbeat as the majesty of the question washed over me:

What is the endless shrimp deal from Red Lobster?

At first, you might dismiss this question as the mutterings of a fool. After all, the very definition of the deal is contained within the name of the deal. Endless. Shrimp.



Repeat it to yourself as a mantra. As proof of your existence. The sound forming, making invisible waves. It should be on Voyager. Or maybe not, since beings from RETICULON 12 might show up with bibs. And those guys can eat some shrimp, I tell you what.

Is there an end to the shrimp? Could there exist a shrimp such that, due to its endlessness, could not perceive its end? Does a shrimp have knowledge of its own mortality or can all shrimp be said to be subjectively endless? The shrimp is you, and your end is unknowable. And therefore you are an endless shrimp.

And beyond these very basic discussion points, consider the batter factor. If shrimp are completely contained in batter, they exist in a quantum state of simultaneous shrimpness and nonshrimpness, and could even be a human finger. And in this ambiguous state have never started shrimpness, so could never truly be said to have a perceivable end.

Have your essays on my desk by Thursday.

Friday, December 01, 2017


CHEEZ-IT tweeted for the first time in a while.

This is where we are as a culture. CHEEZ-IT tweets. And don't get me wrong. I had to actually follow CHEEZ-IT on twitter to get notified of this crucial news. And I may or may not have envisioned an anthropomorphic CHEEZ-IT hunched over a tiny keyboard, groaning its demands to an uncaring world. Through its CHEEZ-IT mouth. Isn't that what the little hole in the CHEEZ-IT is? God I hope so, because the alternative is unpleasant.

Maybe they have an articulated foot-mouth that is housed within their CHEEZ-IT body. Or teeth.

What if CHEEZ-ITs had teeth?

Friday, November 17, 2017

A Few Things

  1. While walking to school this morning, I had The Talk with my daughter. You know, the one about refraction of light, the light spectrum in general, and the non-visible band. She took it pretty well. Although I wonder if there's a name for the momentary panic you feel when you realize you may not actually be right about things you are telling your 8 year old.
  2. I listen to podcasts quite a bit. While I'm driving. While I'm vacuuming or doing the dishes. It's a good way to act like a sullen teen for a while, effectively muting the plaintive cries of your family. And of course, along with 8,000 ads for Blue Apron, Casper Mattresses, and, there are lots and lots of ads for other podcasts. And so many of them are "HELLO WE WILL TELL YOU WHAT IS COOL NOW". It's exhausting. All these people telling you what is cool. They are the new Wacky Morning Shows. And then back to the Casper Mattresses ads. 
  3. Speaking of podcasts, I was listening to This American Life on my drive home the other day and holy hell it was depressing. This particular episode focused on a guy in Japan who had set up a phone box in his front yard to conduct (probably) one-sided conversations with his dead wife. And after the Tsunami disaster, people would come by and speak to their dead relatives on this phone. The episode featured translated audio of people just wailing in existential anguish. And here I am sniffling, driving in the rain, possibly going to crash into a Mitsubishi Lancer because I can't see through my tears. And then I will be dead and my family will have to go to Japan, which is expensive, to talk to me on a phone in this guy's front yard. Thanks Ira Glass. Thanks a lot.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Huh? Did you? Did you? Would you like to be reminded STRANGER THINGS 2 IS ON NETFLIX on every device you own? YES YOU WANT THAT. You want your Internet of Things connected thermostat to tell you STRANGER THINGS 2 IS ON NETFLIX, first as a whisper, but gradually building to an alarming shriek STRANGER THINGS 2 IS ON NETFLIX YOU IDIOT GO WATCH IT NOW.

Every 10 steps your fitbit should scream STRANGER THINGS 2 IS ON NETFLIX just after it delivers a shock through the subcutaneous electrodes in your temples, reminding you that you are flabby as hell.

I know! I know Stranger Things 2 is on Netflix! I really liked the first one, OK? It had D&D jokes and that is pretty much good enough for me. I am a demographic--I know! Leave me the hell alone!


Thursday, September 21, 2017


We use HipChat at work, which is sadly not as hip as Slack. Although it is made by Atlassian, and they are an Australian company, and marsupials are pretty hip (except the very unhip echidna--get it together, echidna). If you want to appear edgy and kicky and down with the kids, you can use these curious image things called emojis in your chats to your coworkers. Weird, I know, but stay with me here.

If I start to type "(thumb..." I am presented with 3 type-ahead choices: (thumbsup), (thumbsdown), and one more--can you guess what it is? (thumbsideways)? (polydactalthumbsup)? No! It's (corpsethumb)! Corpse thumb? Why is that an emoji? Not to mention that the Corpsethumb is only available in the up position! If I was a corpse, I feel secure in saying it would be a thumbs-down situation. Or really more of a thumb-hanging-limp-and-lifeless situation really.

Why not a (handofglory) emoji that would render the receiver catatonic so you can sneak out for a well deserved drink or two until they recover and start sending you more annoying messages to prove that they are actually working and not screwing around looking at pictures of cats.

And if there is not a black metal band called corpsethumb, there really should be.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Monthly Jerk

I once bought my friend Chimmychanga a subscription to the Jerky of the Month Club. I think it was about 8 years ago. And I still hear from The Jerky People regularly. I kind of like it. Tell me of your dried meats.

Look, it's jerky. Jerky is fantastic and beyond reproach. But I don't want to get jerky in the mail. I generally don't want any food in the mail. I mean who knows what Harry and David did with those pears before they got to me? Butt stuff? Maybe. I know you put that one pear in gold foil, Harry and David, but you are not fooling me.

I have been known to devour jerky, and my quest for the perfect jerky is still told of in song and legend, when I and my merry band of peckish minions bravely traveled forth from Camelot on a years-long adventure that I think was about trying to capture virility. I don't know. I took a lot of lit theory classes in college.

The whole "of the month club" idea seems like like it has not been fully explored. How about a Pants of the Month Club where they send you unflattering pants that you have to wear every single day of the month in which they are received? That would be part of the club--a team of guys surveilling you and meting out punishment if you didn't wear the pants one day. I don't know what the punishment would be.

I can't think of everything.

Friday, August 04, 2017

I look like a frankenstein

I just thought everyone should know that I look like a frankenstein.

What happened was that I knocked heads with a coworker while playing basketball the other day. The top of his head hit me just under the eyebrow. That sounds a little passive-voice though. It's not like his head detached and zoomed into my eye like the last desperate gasp of Voltron, or like the Hellboy story Heads where a bunch of disembodied heads chase him around. No, this was your garden-variety head-to-head collision. I was playing TENACIOUS DEFENSE (or at least I think I was--I am not really very good at basketball) and went for a steal just as he turned his head. He made a sound like "Waaaaaah!" and staggered off. I made more of an "uhhhhhhhhh!" sound and ran off the other way, my hand pressed to my eye as blood spouted, making a pleasing blood puddle that no doubt frightened innocent children who would show up to the court later that day.

When you get an injury while playing a sport with your coworkers, you will have some percentage of them who insist that it is fine, some that say you have to go to the ER, and some who just kind of check out of the situation or look vaguely nauseated by the whole thing. Several of my coworkers ran for first-aid kits, thrust tissues at me, and one even insisted I wrap a huge gauze bandage around my head like a Civil War casualty, which seemed both anachronistic and a little much. Eventually I drove my self over to the Urgent Care where I got six stitches in my eyebrow area plus one "internal stitch" (which makes me queasy just thinking about it.)

So, like I said, I look like a frankenstein now. Six stitches in the eyebrow and a big, swollen black eye that makes me look like I'm going through a Bowie phase and felt like having one sultry smoky eye for a while.

If you are familiar with my head-injury work, you will will recall such exciting moments as "forehead lacerated by another soccer player's teeth", "knocked unconscious by ski", and a spectacular top-of-the-head bump on the Berliner Dom stairs.

Truly, an idiot for all seasons.

Friday, July 07, 2017

A List of Ideas

I feel like I used to have a lot of great ideas. When I look at my notes now, I am not impressed.

In no particular order:
  1. Last Supper replica with characters from Popeye replacing all the disciples.
  2. A tiny drone that cuts your hair/gets your hair caught in its propellers.
  3. Bananas, but smaller.
  4. Sentient cling wrap (or cling wrap that is willing to admit it has always been sentient.)
  5. New monster that has all the best qualities of Dracula and Toilet Duck.

---UPDATE! Apparently I was not the only visionary:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Some Great Reward

I have a vague notion that I should not participate in rewards clubs at stores. They will get my information! They will harvest me and sell me! I will become a cog in a meaningless machine--well, more of a cog than I already am. I will be only my data, my likes and dislikes. My shoe size and proclivities. My preference for romaine over iceberg. And my open contempt for savoy cabbage.

So I don't participate in any rewards clubs--although now that I think about it, that is not true. I have a card thing for Petco, because that is Where the Pets Go, and surely a place of pets means me no harm and would never rise up against us. Oh and BevMo, because I enjoy receiving a 5% off coupon once a year that I have never once remembered to use (and 5% doesn't even cover the tax!) So apart from those two--no clubs!

But the real reason I eschew these clubs is to disappoint cashiers.

Look, I know the poor cashiers are forced to ask me to sign up for the club. They get a bonus or something.

"Are you a club member? No?! Would you like to join?"
"No? It only takes a minute!" they say as they get the sign-up form ready.
But I am wise to them. No, I say. I will not join your club.

One hardware store in particular, I always make a point to go to the same cashier, because he asks me so plaintively, every single time. And I always say no. In fact, last time, he even responded with "Well, I am just asking, sir," as if I had wounded him to the quick.

It is also great to waver about signing up for a club when there are people behind you in line, possibly holding ice cream or other frozen confectioneries. Only take a minute, you say? Great! I will just stand here writing my name and address incredibly slowly while these people's ice cream melts. The people behind you in line in this situation are within their rights to murder you in cold blood and kick your body around the town square or other local landmark.


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