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Where the Hell Was I?

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  Punchline Fever!

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  11/16/03: Comedy Studio
  12/03/03: Emerald Isle
  12/17/03: Emerald Isle
  01/07/04: Emerald Isle
  01/08/04: The Times
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  01/25/04: All Asia Cafe
  01/28/04: On the Hill
  01/31/04: Chops Lounge
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  02/08/04: The Vault
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  02/18/04: Emerald Isle
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  03/10/04: Emerald Isle
  03/24/04: Emerald Isle
  04/01/04: Comedy Studio
  05/17/04: Comedy Connection

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  101 Things About For Me

  101 Things Posts About Me

  #6: Six Stitches
  #7: What's in a Name?
  #11: The Speling Bea
  #19: A Capital Weekend
  #35: Road Trippin'
  #36: Geronimo! Ditto!
  #40: Three for the Ages
  #43: Mishaps on the River
  #47: Puzzled Over Puzzling
  #53: Justifying My Tuition
  #55: My Yearbook Quote
  #56: Whatever It Takes
  #65: Pissing in the Middle
  #78: Losing My Faith
  #85: Goodbye, Teeth
  #88: A Painful Separation
  #91: An Only Child
  #98: Nothing But Putrid
  #99: Bovine Dreaming
  #100: 'Dudden Hurt'

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  02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004
  02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004


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Charlie/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Massachusetts/Watertown, speaks English. Eye color is hazel.
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United States, Massachusetts, Watertown, English, Charlie, Male, 31-35.

Where the Hell Was I? has moved!

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Saturday, August 23, 2003
I'm Back, But I'm Leaving... But I'll Be Back Soon...

For when you care enough to blog the very best.

Well, it finally went and happened. After a couple of weeks of playing the 'timestamp game' and conjuring posts at insane hours, I finally went and missed a day. I didn't register a post here for a full calendar day. Friday, August 22nd, 2003 shall evermore be known as 'The Day The Blog Passed By'.

Or something. Basically, I got lazy, and missed a day. I'm sure you're all crushed, and shocked, and a little sweaty. I know I am. But it's okay; I'm doing my best -- or some reasonable facsimile thereof -- and the mega-posts I've been banging you over the head with lately probably more than make up for an unscheduled off day. Assuming anyone's reading this on a regular basis, anyway.

Besides, it isn't like I didn't write anything, anyway. I just didn't post it. Or more correctly, I didn't post it here. (No, no, the first was more correct, actually -- I didn't post anything, but I did email a post to someone else, and they posted it elsewhere. Whew! I'm awfully glad we cleared that up, aren't you?)

In any case, the post in question was most graciously and nicefully prepared and posted by my good friend the Soup Lady over at The Joy of Soup. The post is about my recipe for bratwurst that I unleashed on unsuspecting party guests at our barbecue last weekend. (And again, on rather more suspecting guests, last night.) It's also about six million words long, so be warned. Still, if you like this stuff, you'll probably enjoy that stuff, so go check it out. And be sure to browse the Joy of Soup archives -- SueP (that's Sue Playdee, get it? Hey, I don't writes 'em, folks...) has got a veritable plethora of soup recipes, tips and hints, and other fun facts for food freaks. Or even phood phreaks, if you happen to be one of those. So go there. You know you want to. And many, many thanks to SueP for the opportunity to litter another site with my blithery prose. It's good to spread the love.

So, look, not to neglect you fine folks further or anything, but I've got another shindig to go to later today. And I'm not sure exactly what shape I'll be in when I get back. So please accept this mini-post, which points you to a much, much longer post, as a token of my appreciation, and a promise to do better tomorrow. Really. Cross my heart. So, until then, peace, folks. I'll be back soon. And do try not to miss me. I'll be thinking of you. Really!

Thursday, August 21, 2003
Hi! Can I Help You? Booga booga booga! *click*

It's not what you know that counts. It's what you blog.

Isn't it funny how a tiny little word or two can make a big difference?

Oh, I'm not talking about 'thank you' or 'please' or 'not pregnant'. Sure, those can make a big difference as you go through life (and, in some cases, save you a hell of a lot of money), but this is Where the Hell Was I?, not Reader's Digest. I don't care about all that kissy-kissy nice-nice crap.

(Speaking of which, why is it that the prissy little nerdy types get all the sing-song hyphenated descriptions, anyway? They get 'kissy-kissy' and 'namby-pamby' and 'goody-goody'. Some of 'em even get 'touchy-feely', which is at least a good excuse to clock them. But where's the love for the rest of us? You never hear of anyone being 'horny-horny' or 'pissy-wissy' or 'suicidal... um, -widal'. Okay, so forget that last one. Still, I think it's time we got in on the action. I say we take over, and beat the shitty-witty out of any puny-wuny pissant that stands in our way. I'm mad-mad as hell-hell, and I'm not gonna take it any longer! Who's with me?)

Anyway, I'm talking about little words that sometimes get accidently left out of, or added to, sentences by people who just aren't paying very much attention to what their mouths are doing. And then we, the marginally normal ones, have to deal with the ape gibberish coming out of their pie-holes and try to respond intelligently. Which only drags us down with them into the moron muck.

I had this happen to me just this morning. First, just a smidgen of backstory is in order. In case you're new around here, I'm currently looking for a job. (Actually, even if you're old around here, I'm still looking for a job. I don't even know why I say these things.) And I'm collecting unemployment insurance while I'm at it. You know, because I used all the money from the fancy day job I used to have to light expensive cigars, and paper the walls of my house, and wipe my ass. Important stuff, in other words. (Okay, I'm kidding. I really blew all my dough on beer and Girls Gone Wild! videos. But that's not nearly as sexy as the cigars and the ass-wiping. So don't tell anyone, okay?)

So, after a couple of weeks of this, the state gubment decides that it's had just about enough, and sends me a letter stating that I must sign up for one of their 'career center seminars' in the next two weeks, or lose my benefits. And since I'm only up to Girls Gone Wild IX (that's the Daytona Beach Spring Break one, if you're scoring at home), I really need to keep the money rolling in. On the other hand, I'm already working with a career counselor that my old company was kind enough to hire. (I suppose they could see that I'm nearly unemployable, and can use all the help I can get my grubby paws on.) But I really don't need a roomful of state employees with their fingers up their noses asking me what a 'Pooter Pro Grammer' does. Honestly, my blood pressure is high enough as it is.

(Okay, so if you're a state employee and you're reading this, I'm not talking about you, all right? I'm sure you, and all of your friends in the local office are perfectly competent, not to mention friendly, helpful, thrifty, brave, and all that other good shit. And you probably hardly ever stand around picking your nose, I'm sure. No, the people I really meant are those other bastards in your office that you and your buddies hate, who never do anything and are always yelling and getting into pissing contests, and generally making life miserable. Those people. Not you, okay. Unless you don't know any of those people, in which case you're those people, and I am talking about you. Shiftless no-good loser-bag.)

All right, what was I saying? Ah, the seminar thingy. Good show.

So, I talked to my counselor about the whole mess.

(Sounds like I'm in summer camp, doesn't it? Seems like I oughta be making leather wallets and practicing archery and trying to get to second base with the cute redheaded girl during a midnight skinny dip. Of course, during a skinny dip, pretty much any physical contact counts as second base, I suppose. I mean, besides the fact that she's naked all over, you know she's naked, which is pretty damned exciting. And which further means that if you're facing your swimming sweetie, it's pretty clear what the first thing you touch her with is going to be, whether you mean to or not. And that's second base, or at least a reasonable enough facsimile for a twelve-year-old boy to hang his hat on. Unless there's shrinkage, of course, in which case you have to try a little harder. Or try to be a little harder, I suppose. I guess this is one of those cases where adding in a couple of little words really doesn't change much at all, does it?)

Anyway, swerving back on track, my counselor assured me that she could get me out of the seminar with a simple letter saying that I was already spoken for. Or as I like to call it, my 'Get Out of Flunky Unemployed Boring Seminar Hell Free' card. All I had to do was call up the job center, figure out where and to whom the letter should be faxed, and she'd handle all the rest. And it was during that phone call that I was struck dumb by one of those creepy near-sentences that make you want to box somebody's ears for making you feel and sound like a raving idiot.

Okay, so maybe that was just a tad more than a smidgen of backstory. This is why I don't cook, by the way. A 'pinch of salt' becomes a handful, and a 'dash of hot sauce' morphs into a whole bottle, if I'm not careful. It just never works out very well. On the other hand, I do make the homeless people around here very happy when they ask if I can spare a 'little change'. So somebody's getting rich off this sickness of mine, at least.

Anyway, I made the call. Here's how it went:

Lady: Hello, Mass Employment Training Center.
Me: Hi, my name is Charlie, and --
Lady: Can you hold, please? *click*
Me: Um, sure.

Now, right away, this was odd. Sure, a lot of busy places will answer the phone and put you right on hold, but she didn't do it all in one breath like the pros do. Instead, she let me get my name out, and then banished me to holding pattern Hell. Which made me wonder, 'Do they know about me already? Am I walking into a trap?' When in doubt, folks, I turn to rampant, snarling paranoia. It ain't pretty, but I haven't been ambushed by ninjas yet, knock on wood. So it must be working.

But getting back to the phone call. After thirty seconds or so on hold, the lady came back. And this is where she threw me for a loop:

Lady: Hi, sorry about that.
Me: Oh, no problem. So I got this letter in the mail --
Lady: Excuse me. Are you the gentleman I'm talking to?

I mean, seriously, how the fuck do you answer that question? Unless your name is DeNiro, or maybe Pacino, 'Am I talking to you?' is not a rhetorical question. And certainly not during a phone call, when -- let's be clear on this -- by goddamned definition, yes, you are talking to me! If you're talking to someone else, then I can't see them, now can I? So what the hell was I supposed to say to that? I didn't know, so I stalled, hoping she'd clarify if I asked her to repeat the offending half-assed question. But, of course, I'm just never so lucky:

Me: Um... what?
Lady: Are you the gentleman I'm talking to?
Me: Uh... well... um, yes?
Lady: Oh, wait. No. You're not. Hold on a second. *click*

Okay, so I answered the question, in the only logical way I could possibly see how, and -- guess what? Apparently, I was wrong! What the hell was it, a date? I had no idea the conversation was going to involve trick questions and unanswerable riddles. I fully expected her to come back and spout, 'Does this phone receiver make my ass sound fat?' or 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?' Um, well -- don't care! Just get the hell back on the phone so I can get the hell out of the seminar you're randomly trying to make me go to! Bitch monkeys!

(Anyone still wondering why I have little faith in the state's best and brightest to run an employment seminar? They've got Fannie Gump here working the phones, speaking quasi-English and playing Whack-A-Mole with the 'Hold' button. And you're gonna find me a job? Greeeeeeat.)

After another fifteen seconds or so:

Lady: Okay, I'm sorry about that. I'll transfer you now to someone who can help you. *BEEP* *BEEP* *click*
Me: Um, thanks. I guess...

Now, I don't know whether she remembered who the hell I was, and she never asked what the hell I wanted, so I have no idea why the hell she thought she knew who would be capable of helping me. Maybe my paranoia was well-founded after all, and they knew exactly what I was after. Or maybe she mixed me up with someone else. Or maybe, just maybe, she's a toothless, babbling idiot, because five seconds or so after she dingled on the phone buttons and 'transferred' me, I heard an ominous *ka-click*, and then dead silence. No buzz, no Muzak, nothing. Bitch cut me off. Slung me back and forth, left, came back, spouted gibberish, and then cut my ass off. Maybe it was a date, after all. If only there'd been an eighty dollar check to pick up and a firm slap on the cheek for trying to smooch her, the picture would have been complete.

(Not that I would try to sneak a kiss from her, mind you. For one thing, I'm happily married and get all the smoochy-smoochy I need here at home. And for another, the receiver did make her ass sound fat. And I could see from our conversation that she had the IQ of week-old roadkill, so I wasn't interested. Not by a longshot.)

Anyway, after a bit of thought -- and a lot of cursing -- I finally realized that what she'd really meant to say was, 'Are you the gentleman I was previously talking to?' Or something similar. On the other hand, she repeated her fractured, meaningless question rather than the more coherent version when I asked her, so I still have to stamp her 'Moron, First Class'. But at least I understand where she meant to be coming from, though the message got garbled as it passed through her headmeat and out through her lips.

And, to be fair, after a couple hundred deep breaths and a few shots of tequila, I called back, and sorted things out rather uneventfully. Maybe I got the same woman, and she'd just had a brain lapse earlier. Or maybe she has multiple personalities, and one of them is Sylvester the Cat. Or Sylvester Stallone, for that matter, and that's who I'd reached the first time. Or perhaps I just reached someone more competent and phone-worthy when I called back. For all I know, the first lady was some crazy vagrant who'd broken in and started answering phones, until they subdued her with tasers and dragged her by her ankles back to the curb. Hey, it happens. How do you think Stuttering John's career got started?

So, it all worked out. I got the info I needed, and I got out of a seminar that would have sucked up another two hours of my life that I could never get back. And no, the fact that I just spent two hours blogging about the whole mess is not delicious irony. It's just coincidence, pure and simple. Besides, this way, all of you learn a valuable lesson -- if you decide you simply must open your yap and... well, start yapping, do try and make sure that all of your words are on board, and in the right order, okay? Otherwise, you'll just freak people out, and they'll call you names behind your back. And nobody wants that. Not even that headjob crack whore bozo bitch at the career center. It's too late for her, folks. Don't you be next!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Gee, Do We Really Need Yet Another Sucky Thing in the House?

All the crap that's fit to blog.

Well, hello there. Good to see you. Please, take a seat up front; I won't bite. You won't even have to wear a rain jacket. Really, don't worry. We're all friends here. Relax.

Now, for those of you who tuned in yesterday, you'll know where we left off. For those who didn't, I'll give you two options:

A. You can go read yesterday's post, explaining how we came to be expecting a visit from a vacuum cleaner salesman, or
2. Um, you can pretty much just read the sentence above, since it tells you just about everything you need to know.

There you have it, friends -- a long, rambly, windy blog entry, or a single simple sentence. Your choice. So don't you go telling people that I don't give you options, dammit. I know how you like to talk behind my back.

So, anyway, we were scheduled for an afternoon visit over the weekend. And at the appointed time, give or take an hour or two, our friendly vacuum representative huffed and puffed his way to our door, having just carried his eighty pounds of cleaning crap up our rather significant stairs. Poor dearie. So, we let him in, got him a glass of water, and got started.

Now, I don't know whether you've ever had the privilege of being called upon by one of these nice young chaps. But I can tell you, it's a bit of an experience. There are pithy remarks, and product demonstrations, and inane rhetorical questions. Not to mention winning smiles, triumphant grins, and sweeping voila-style hand-waving. Really, folks -- it's a boom mike and a drooling crowd of idiots away from having an infomercial in your own home.

(And honestly, in our household, the dog drools and I'm an idiot, so it wasn't even that far away. Only my wife has any damned sense around here, and I think we're slowly dragging her IQ down to our level. It won't be long before she's scooting around the carpet on her ass and trying to lick her own privates. And who knows? One day, she might even start taking after the dog, too! The dog. Dog. Yes, thank you. I'll be here all week.)

So, on to the actual festivities. Our 'sanitation contraption technician', as he liked to be called, started by unpacking a dizzying array of hoses, attachments, trays, and brushes. I could identify a few of them, based on my rather limited experience, but others looked more like devices from the annals of Nazi torture rather than Good Housekeeping.

'Ve use zis one to suction ze testicles, und zis one to viggle around in ze eye sockets. If zey do not talk by zen, ve vill jam zis tube up in ze pooper chuter, und blow ze cotton balls soaked in gasoline through it. No one can vithstand ze 'Great Balls of Fire Up Ze Ass' treatment!'

Anyway, like any good salesman, he started with the sex toy. And I respect that; all the pros do it. You're selling houses? Show the jacuzzi first. Cell phones? You lead with those leather sheathy things that are ostensibly to 'wrap around the phone'. Yeah, right. Maybe you work at a supermarket? Then you put the zucchini right by the door, and the cucumbers right next to 'em. Easy in, easy out. If you're really ballsy, you'll display the honey and whipped cream in the same case, but most grocers don't want to beat you over the head with it. There should be just a bit of subtlety to sex, after all. Nobody likes it when you go at it all chimp-style, like you're playing 'Finish That Screw':

Chimp 1: I can finish that screw in four strokes!
Chimp 2: Oh, yeah? I can finish that screw in three strokes!
Chimp 1: Your mother flings poop, bitch! I can finish that screw in two strokes!
Chimp 2: All right, fool. You think you a chimp pimp or something? Finish that screw!
Chimp 1: Um, er, too late. I guess I should have said one stroke. Ick. Uh, could I get a towel over here, please?

Okay, I think I lost track just a bit. Chimps and sex and cucumbers all in the same paragraph will do that sometimes. Let's see -- I think the salesman was just starting his routine. Let's join our blog entry, already in progress:

So, the sex toy. This particular vacuum cleaner model has both a high-speed intake (the 'sucky end') and a powerful outflow (the 'blowy end').

(And wouldn't it be useful if people were labelled the same way? I mean, when you first meet someone, it's hard to tell which end is going to suck, and which end is going to blow. Of course, if you're like a lot of people I know, both your ends are capable of each, and rarely stop doing one or the other.)

Anyway, he put some guard on the sucky end, and then a hose over the blow hole thingy. And onto the hose, he strapped -- yes, I said strapped, ladies -- an attachment with a soft flat red surface. He turned the engine on and made us feel it while it vibrated. With our hands -- our hands, you sick bastards! Anyway, he tried to explain it away as a combination 'sander' and 'buffer' and 'massager'. Pfffftt, I say. We know what massager means, don't we, folks? That thing's designed for 'tickling the pink', and nothing else. Don't try to tell me I can sand the floors with it, and don't dare suggest that I rub my neck with it! Ew! Not after it's been plunged down the mine shaft. Who wants to get that on the hardwood? (Um, floors. Hardwood floors. Funny how the answer to that question depends on that last little word, eh?)

So, we giggled appreciatively and he put his big red vibrating thing away. (Really, it was like a slumber party at Peter North's place. Creepy.) But then he got down to the business of showing us what the cleaner was really capable of, when it wasn't busy making sweet, sweet machine-assisted love in its free time. First, he regaled us with the blowy sorts of attachments. He replaced the big red sin against nature with a small nozzle, and tried to convince us that we could blow leaves, or even snow, with the thing. Right. Like I, as a marginally self-respecting male in this day and age, am going to go out into my yard -- in public, mind you -- and perform manly yard work with a vacuum cleaner. Uh-uh. That is a one-way express trip to get-a-wedgie-from-every-neighbor-on-the-block-ville, folks. And I'm not going there. I've got few enough unstretched undies as it is.

There was also this needle-nosed thing that he stuck on the hose and said could be used for those 'hard-to-reach' places. And he said it with a very sly, knowing look, which made me think that maybe this was another sort of sex toy. But I couldn't imagine exactly how several dozen foot-pounds of air blown at, or in, or up a person could be a turn-on, so I let my mind slowly drift back to whatever the hell he was actually saying. Something about computer keyboards and couch crevasses; I didn't really catch it. Though it did strike me that if the other attachment was capable of blowing snow off of my driveway, then this little concentrated shooter would hardly blast the crumbs and gunk from between my keyboard keys. With that kind of power, it'd heave the goddamned thing across my desk and embed it in my wall. But I didn't interrupt. Far be it from me to be rude.

Anyway, that was about it for the blowing. Next up was the sucking. (So now it's sounding more like a dinner party at Asia Carrera's pad. That's more like it! Rrrrrrrow!) Anyway, for this bit, he strapped a little doohickey onto the outflow pipe that allowed him to put little paper filters where the collection bag would normally go. That way, we could see all the crap and dirt and bugs and goop that his machine was pulling out of our rugs. Fantabulous! What a selling angle!

'Look, you pigs, at your nasty filth! Oink, oink, piggies! Look -- filth in the carpet! Filth on the floors! Buy this vacuum, or all of this filth that you've never seen, or touched, or known or cared about, will remain just where it was, undisturbed until the end of eternity! You don't want that, do you? Well, piggy, do you? Do you?'

So, that's where the horrific shame began. Now, I'd just vacuumed the carpets a day or two before. And my wife had dusted, and wiped off the couches and tidied them up. So, of course, when the guy jammed his carpet attachment on the machine and fired it up, she gave me dirty, withering looks as the filter was filled with hair and dirt and sand, and what looked queasily like small animal bones. And the same with the next filter, and the next, and the next. I could only shrug, and say that I thought I'd vacuumed up all the fur and dead animals, so how the hell was I supposed to care? Er, know. How was I to know? I got it right at the time, luckily.

But, ah, how the tables turned when our sanitation magician slapped on the upholstery attachment and went to work on the couch. 'Oh, suuuuuure you cleaned 'em, hon. No, no, I believe you, really. It's just that I thought you buried the cat in the yard, not between the cushions.' Okay, I didn't say that. Not because I'm nice, mind you, but because we've never owned a cat. But there was a cat's worth of hair on the filters, mixed in with all the goop and filth and muck. I swear to God, until that day, I thought our couches were green. Turns out, we're just unwavering slobs. Now we've got to paint the walls in that room, since the real color of the couches clashes with the decor. Damned lousy vacuum cleaner!

But that wasn't the end of it, folks. Not by a long shot, no matter how fervently you pray for this post to be over. No no. Next, he asked to see our mattress. And I said that was fine, but if he brought that damned 'sander' with him, we were going to have words. But he didn't. No, instead, he cranked the rug sweeper dealie back on, and strapped a handle on the engine, and joined us in the guest room.

(Sure, we could have shown him our room, but he was a guest, so that's where we took him. Plus, we knew this would end up being gross, and if there's one thing I like to avoid in life, it's being in my own bedroom with my wife and hearing her say, 'Ewwwww!' Not to mention that I try to keep other men out of the room while we're in there together. Sometimes I have to beat 'em off with a stick, but that's my policy, and I wasn't about to break it for Joe Door-To-Door.)

(Actually, if you'll indulge an aside to an aside for a moment, his name wasn't actually 'Joe', though he might have wished it were. He signed his name as 'Mike Angelov', which to me is just a sad, sad commentary on the state of parenting today. Or twenty years ago, when he was born. Whatever -- you know what I mean.

And if you don't get why that's so tragic, think for a second. His first name likely isn't 'Mike', now, is it? It's almost assuredly 'Michael'. Michael Angelov. MichaelAngelov. Or Michelangelo, plus a 'v'. Sure, it's not the most annoying, heinous trick you could play on your kid, but it was so easily avoided. Name the kid Joe, or Steve, or Frank, and it's done. No muss, no fuss. Name him Michael -- or even Mike, for smart-asses like me -- and you're inviting trouble. Most of which will be visited on your kid in the form of swirlies and getting the crap kicked out of him for no apparent reason. Nice legacy, Pop. Dickhead.

Look, if they wanted him tortured and ridiculed, they could at least have been more obvious about it. Name him 'Los'. Ooh, or 'Darkness'. Actually, that would be cool. So when he's sitting at the DMV, and they call for him, last name first, he'd be 'Angelov, Darkness'. Sweeeet! Mike, are you getting this? Your parents fucked up, but there's still time for you, dude! Get out there and procreate, fer Chrissakes! Time's a-wastin'!)

Okay, let's see, where the hell was I? Oh, right, in the guest room.

So, the dude -- aw, hell, let's just call him 'Dark' from now on, shall we? -- sets up shop on our mattress, and starts sucking on it near the foot of the bed. Um, I should probably also mention that he was using his machine to do so, lest you whip up some sort of disturbing mental image about what went down that day. Be good. Now, for this trick, he used a black filter, rather than the white ones he'd employed to that point. And why, you might ask? Or maybe you've already begun to suspect, as I had by then. The reason is that dirt and filth and hair show up quite well against a white background, but crusty dead skin flakes really only stand out with a dark backdrop. Like a black filter. And believe me, skin really shows up well on black. Trust me on this one. It was one of the grossest things I witnessed all day.

(Okay, not the grossest, quite. I did catch a few minutes of that new Roseanne show. Gag me with a putty knife, that shit was rank! And the bitch doesn't get any prettier, now, does she? You'd think she'd have nowhere to go but up, but goddamn, you'd be wrong. And nauseous, too. Gives me the crawly willies just thinkin' about it. Wuuuh-ooooh-uuuuuh!)

Anyway, after grossing the hell out of us, Mike -- um, Dark, that is -- had just one more piece of business. He had to show us that our vacuum cleaner was crap.

(Not a hard sell in our case, since our vacuum cleaner was older than we were. I think it was a family heirloom, passed down from my caveman ancestors. I'm pretty sure it was the first model made right after they phased out the prehistoric elephant kind that they had on the Flintstones.)

So, he set out to make his point. First, he vacuumed a small area of our rug with our vacuum. Over and over and over, like some deranged compulsive freakjob. 'Out, out, damned spot! Out!' Okay, he didn't say that. I did, but only in my head. My borderline insanity is not on trial here, dammit! What is on trial, or rather, was on trial that day, was his vacuum cleaner. So, after wearing a hole in the carpet with our model, he set to work with his, and -- like a true magician -- pulled a rabbit out of his hat! Well, okay, not so much a rabbit as a dust bunny. And not so much a dust bunny as a whole frickin' herd of them. And they didn't come from his hat, of course; they got sucked from the still-smoking patch of rug he'd just abused with our machine. Boy, you should have seen the proud look on his face. 'Look, piggy, more filth! Who's a dirty piggy then, huh? Who's a dirty little piggy?' Bastard.

But he didn't stop there. Oh, no. Next, he set out to prove that his uber-vac could handle all the spills and thrills of modern life, and pick up new dirt as well as old. So, he littered our rug with new dirt. You know, to make a point. Now, folks, I'm a fairly open-minded fellow. I'm all for amazing demos and dramatic demonstrations. So I really didn't mind when he poured salt all over our rug, or mushed grape jelly into it, or even flipped our dog over and ground the hair off her back into the fibers. All of that was cool -- I could see where he was going with it. Plus, it made the dog smell like salty grapes, which was a marked improvement. But did he really have to drop trou and pee all over the pile? Really, I ask you, was that necessary? Was it critical for the demonstration? Or was the glass of water we gave him just too big? I don't know, frankly, but I was a little taken aback. Not to mention disappointed. Somehow I'd always expected the Angel of Darkness to be, you know, bigger.

So, anyway, that was pretty much the end of it. He used our machine to roll all the shit around for a while, and then swooped in like SuperMaid and slurped up the sluice with his own vacuum. Not only did it not stain, but the carpet was even cleaner than before, and nicely scented with lavender. (And asparagus, disturbingly enough. Made me wonder what he had for lunch that day.)

And so, my wife and I were stuck between a rock and a giant, invisiible mound of our own filth. So we did what we always do in that situation, and gave the guy lots of money for the vacuum, and to make him stop calling us 'piggies'. In hindsight, it was probably the right thing to do. We needed a new vac, and nothing, but nothing, was going to suck as hard as this wonder machine we'd just been shown.

(Okay, except for that Roseanne show. Sorry, I just can't get over it. Of all the people whose behind-the-scenes shenanigans I'm not interested in seeing, she's right near the top of the list. With Weird Al Yankovic and Bob Dole in the running for top spot, too. I mean, did they really think that just because she's an overweight ex-trailer ho that it was going to work out like The Anna Nicole Show? Seriously, I have trouble watching that one, too, but at least she was in Playboy a while back. I think if you're going to be completely self-absorbed, barely literate, and stereotypically bass-ackwards, then the least you could do is have some naked pictures of yourself from when you were hot lying around. You know, to keep folks interested. But god forbid that Roseanne gets wind of that idea -- seeing her skinny-romp on a nude beach would be like watching the Michelin Man run wind sprints. Or Homer Simpson on a treadmill -- remember that one? 'The jiggling... it's almost... mesmerizing...' Eek.)

So, that's pretty much it. We shelled out a big wad of cash for a big ugly noisy thing that sucks, blows, and will even vibrate your ass if you ask it nicely.

(Which is a lot like hiring Sandra Bernhard to do a movie, from what I understand. Hey, come to think of it, that's another crappy bitchy monster that came out of the original Roseanne show. Was that studio built over a Hell Mouth or what?)

Anyway, our house will be cleaner, if nothing else. My wife's already given all the floors a good once-over, though we haven't tried the blower, or the shampooer, or even sucking our mattress yet. I'm a little frightened of that last one, truth be told. I'm worried that all the skin we've accumulated in there is the only thing holding it together and firming it up. What if we Hoover it out, and go from 'skinny' to 'saggy' in the blink of an eye? Oh, the horror!

(I think I'll wrap it up there, before I make another Anna Nicole joke out of 'skinny to saggy in the blink of an eye'. Really, sometimes it's just too easy, and I think you nice folks have had enough for one day. Just think of it as one for the road. G'night!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003
Funny, You Don't Look Like the Lady of the House...

Always bet on blog.

My wife and I demo'ed a vacuum cleaner over the weekend. (Or 'sweeper', if you're one of those people who go around saying that sort of thing. You know who you are.) And we learned about the lean mean cleanin' machine from an in-home salesman, if you can believe that. Really. Scout's honor.

I didn't even know those folks still existed -- I thought that the 'vacuum salesman house call' went the way of the dinosaur back in the fifties or so. Who knew that people still wander around with their little sucking machines, trying to pawn them off on invalid grandmas and bored homemakers? Maybe it's only in our neighborhood, for all I know. We just moved into our house a couple of months ago; maybe this is the Town That Time Forgot. Hey, it might be cool -- we'll have the milkman come by a couple of times a week, and get the mail delivered by Pony Express. Hmmm. Come to think of it, maybe it already is -- that would explain why it takes three weeks to get a damned letter around here. Not to mention the enormous pile of horse shit that magically appears on the lawn every time the mail runs. And all along I thought the mail dude was just getting me back for hooking the mailbox up to my car battery. Hee.

Okay, gotta focus here. Vacuum cleaners. Deep breath, in and out. Okay, here we go.

So, I suppose I can't really call the happy Hoover man that called on us a 'door-to-door' salesman, since he made an appointment with us before showing up.

(Come to think of it, I can't really call him a 'Hoover man', either, since that wasn't his particular brand of suckers. (Apparently, we were his brand of suckers, because we sat through his whole spiel. Of course, we were thinking of buying a new vacuum cleaner; our current one -- which is a Hoover, as it happens -- looks like it was manufactured sometime during the Eisenhower administration. Which also applies to how well the godforsaken thing works. I would swear that the damned piece of garbage is powered by three-legged hamsters unsteadily hippity-hopping around a lopsided exercise wheel inside the thing. Well, except that hamsters could never make that much noise, without the aid of a megaphone and a three-speed blender. But the hamsters would explain the aroma that the thing emits sometimes -- it smells like a stray mangy cat being barbecued over a tire fire. Or, um, so I've heard. You know, from people who might know. Not that I would, of course. That's sick.)

(Everybody knows you need mesquite for a good cat roast. Plus, the rubber fumes would make the meat all tough and stringy. Er, or so I would imagine. Perhaps it's time to get back to the story.)

So, anyway, this guy showed up at our door with three boxes o' crap to demonstrate for us. And to clean our couches, though of course, the order and importance of those two activities were reversed in the initial phone conversation with his company. That call went something like this:

We, like, picked up the phone, and then we were like, 'Yo, hello??'
And this voice answered, and they were all, 'How'd you like your couches cleaned for free?'
And we were all, 'Well, yah! Duh, dude.'
And they were all like, 'Okay, dudes. We'll send a guy over this weekend.'
And we're like, 'Okay!'
So then they were all, 'Oh, just one thing. Our dude's gonna demonstrate our cleaning stuff while he's there.'
And so we were like, 'Oh, dude, bummer.'
And they were like, 'No, dudes, it's excellent. It'll rock, no doubt.'
And we were like, 'Well. All right, dude. We'll give it a shot. But it better not suck. Hey, suck! 'Cause it's a vacuum! Duuude!'
So of course, they're like, 'Yah, dude. We get that all the time. It's sorta lame, all right?'
And so we were all, 'Yah, all right, man. Don't get all touchy, dude. Party on, man.'
And then, we like hung up. It was cool!

Um, yes, well then. That's the last time I hire 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Re-enactments' to help out around here. Damn. I'd have gotten a better job out of Elmer frickin' Fudd. Bozos.

Anyway, you get the general idea of the conversation. Not a hell of a lot else, but hopefully the gist manages to eke through. So, based on some loose approximation of what you've just suffered through, we made the appointment. Or rather, my wife made the appointment. And actually, it turned out not to be the appointment, but just an appointment. (God damn, it's hard to be precise about my life! Or the parts that I don't make up, at least.)

You see, I couldn't make the appointment because the vacuum people wanted no part of me. None. Now, if you've been paying attention these past few weeks, you'll know that I'm in between jobs at the moment, which means that I'm at home much of the time during the day. And apparently, that's when the carpet-sucker salespeople like to call. Normally, I wouldn't answer the phone, of course -- the signal-to-idiot ratio is far too high before about eight pm -- but for a couple of weeks there I took all of the calls that I could get to. I was hoping it was some company, calling to offer me an interview, or a job, or at least a free mouse pad. And, of course, I was wrong, dead wrong, and just damned delusional. Sitting on your ass at home and talking to the dog all day will do that to you, you know.

So for a while there, I talked to a lot of telemarketers. I think I may have mentioned a few of my experiences with them. But most of them would at least talk to me, so I could scream at them properly and waggle a disapproving finger at them over the phone. (They hate the waggle. Drives 'em crazy.)

But the lady who turned out to be the 'in-home vacuum cleaner demonstration scheduling technician' (Fit that on a business card, bitches! Yeah!) wouldn't give me the time of day. She'd call, and I'd answer. She'd ask for my wife. I'd say 'She's not here right now' (or 'She's busy churning butter' or 'She had Mexican food for lunch, so you won't be able to reach her for a couple of hours', depending on my mood), and offer to take a message. I'd then be rebuffed with a 'No, I'll call back' each and every time. When the lady was feeling 'chatty', she'd ask me if I could think of a good time for her to call. Again, depending on how frisky I was feeling, I'd either honestly try to think of a time, or I'd just say, 'You know, it's pretty rare for her to not be here at four in the morning. So that might be a good bet.'

But under no circumstances would the lady ever, ever, ever tell me who she was or what she wanted. I was actually beginning to wonder whether my wife was working some lesbian action on the side or something. I mean, if a guy had called for six days straight and been all coy like that, I'd have become a little wary. And sure, my wife has never given any indication that her door would even begin to know how to swing both ways, but at least the thought made my mini-conversations with this mystery lady a bit more interesting. She's probably still wondering why I started asking her, 'So, what are you wearing right now?' and 'Don't you miss all the body hair? Just a little bit?'

Anyway, after about a week of trying, this person finally hit the jackpot and called when my wife was home. I'm sure she was quite happy when I said 'Sure, just a minute' and actually handed the phone to my wife. (Before that, I'd tried putting the receiver next to the dog's mouth. I thought maybe I could fool the lady into saying more if she heard a female voice. Plus, I was betting that all the panting would get her going if she really was trying to score some sweaty snuggles with my wife. But all I got was hung up on, and a filthy, dog-licked phone. Do you have any idea where that tongue has been, people?)

So my wife set up an appointment for the couch cleaning. And the demonstration, but we weren't really all that clear on that point at the time. So, a couple of days later, Joe Slick comes bounding up our stairs, ready to show us all the wonders of his handy-dandy, once-in-a-lifetime deal, step-right-up, don't-be-shy, change-your-life-in-one-purchase vacuum extravaganza. This dude screamed 'used car salesman', from the top of his slicked-back receding-hairline head to his worn-but-newly-shined brown wingtips. He grinned a shit-eating grin, and chewed a shit-eating gum, and shook a shit-eating handshake. He came ready for the kill, and seeing 'the husband' (*gasp*) at the door barely fazed him. The bounce in his step and the greasy twinkle in his eye said that he was prepared for anything -- this guy would pawn his mother's dentures, and then pressure her into buying a half-ton of popcorn kernels. Selling was in his blood. (As, apparently, was nicotine, cheap gin, and snake oil, but who's keeping track, right?) Sadly for him, though, there was one eventuality for which he had no answer: My wife wasn't home.

See, thinking that we were really just getting our couches cleaned, or even primarily getting our couches cleaned, my wife scheduled the appointment for an early weekday evening, before she'd get home from work. Had we been correct in our assumption, that would have been well and good. Peachy, even. But Mr. Sells-a-lot had come with enough props for three dog and pony shows, with enough left over to make a nice Vietnamese dinner. (Oh, I kid, I kid. I love Asian food. Cut me some slack.) And without the 'lady of the house' present, it was all for naught. I looked at him, and I could see that he was girding his loins for a two, maybe three hour vacuum clean-o-rama, complete with product demonstrations, client testimonials, and lame jokes. He looked at me, and he could see that if he spent more than twenty minutes in my house, I was going to hook the business end of his product to the back of his pants, and let it suck his ass right out the door. So we agreed that my wife should really be present for such an important display of his vacuum's capabilities, and he high-tailed it the hell off my property. With only minimal coersion, and without me having to attach the business end of anything to the ass of his pants. Shame, really.

So, anyway, that was my first experience with the friendy vacuum man. It was another couple of days before the scheduling lady reached my wife again, and -- after what I would have sworn sounded like phone sex -- they coordinated a weekend date that my wife would be around for. And there was much rejoicing. (Yay!) But, given all that I've already put you through tonight, I think I'll save the scintillating details of the actual demo for tomorrow. I think this post is long enough as it is, don't you? (Don't answer that, dammit. I know what I asked, and I know the answer, all right? I don't need to hear it from you, too.)

So I'm off to bed, and I'll finish this thrilling tale tomorrow. I know, I know, how will you make it through the night? So many questions left unanswered -- is the vacuum actually any good? And will we get talked into buying one? Does the demo really take three hours, or does it just seem like it? Just what is the scheduling girl wearing? And more to the point, is she hot? Or a lesbian? Or, good gracious, a hot lesbian? My word!

All of these questions... erm, actually, only some of these questions, and more, dear readers, will be answered tomorrow. So until then, try to keep busy. Don't get too anxious or overeager. This sucking machine story will unfold in good time. Have patience, and I'll talk to you tomorrow.

(That's 'sucking machine' story, by the way, not sucking 'machine story'. Just in case there was any confusion about whether this story sucks or not. Because it doesn't, all right? The 'no sucking' rule is in full effect, so I don't wanna hear any rumblings to the contrary. Piss me off, and I'll make the story even longer. And you know I can do it. Don't make me go there.)

Monday, August 18, 2003
Hey, I'm a Man, and I Watch Shows. What's So Fricking Hard to Understand?

Please keep hands and feet inside the blog at all times during the ride.

Before I get started today, I'd like to thank each and every one of you (no matter how small) for taking time to read this. I know, I know, I should tell you nice things like that more often. I should be more attentive, and offer to rub your feet after a hard day, and bring you ice cream when you're feeling blue. On the other hand, none of those things is ever going to happen, unless you give me lots and lots of money in return. So, for now, let's just stick to the simple 'thanks!', shall we?

Anyway, I bring it up because our little blog has hit a milestone. Or rather, probably will by the time you read this. Because as I write this, the WTH? blog has received 2494 hits, or -- for those few of you who can read but can't manage simple math skills -- six hits shy of 2500. And that's a lot of hits. Now, it doesn't matter that 2450 or so of those hits were from people looking for naked cartoon pictures of Pamela Anderson. No. Really, it doesn't. Hits are hits, folks. And inadvertent or not, the blogodometer is about to roll over to twenty-five hundred big ones, so I thought I'd stop and say 'thank you' to the roses. Or stop and smell you people. Or something like that. Anyway, rock on. Throw some confetti if you want to join in the celebration. Dance a jig. Get naked. Whatever. Just know that I appreciate your readingness (No, it's not a word, dammit! Deal.), and that I'm thinking of each and every one of you.

(Of course, I'm picturing some of you just throwing confetti, while I'm imagining others of you slightly differently. Like, naked and dancing a jig. Or naked and smelling roses. Or, I don't know, naked and getting your feet rubbed with blue ice cream. Ick. And now I feel all dirty. See what you do to me?)

All right, back to bidness. If I want to sit at my computer feeling dirty and lewd, I'll go browse the 'Naughty Grannies' site. Or 'Livestock of the Rich and Famous'. But that's not what we're here for, so let's get to the action.

First, a confession. Or a complaint, I'm not sure which. But it seems that I don't quite have the TiVo thing down quite yet. Oh, I can switch between tuners and rewind and slo-mo when the need arises. (As in, 'See? See? His foot was in bounds! I told you!' or 'Look, right... there! See? A nipple! How cool is that?!') But apparently I'm having trouble conveying to the little hamsters inside the machine just exactly what sorts of shows are likely to be of interest. Last night was the first real test.

So, I've asked the TiVo to record several shows. Mostly cartoons and stand-up comedians, plus a couple of action flicks. (No, not that sort of action. I'm talkin' about bazookas and explosions, not, uh... bazookas and, um, explosions. You know what I mean! Anyway, we only have HBO, so I couldn't even get to the 'Skinemax' stuff if I wanted to.)

Anyway, guy stuff. Oh, sure, my wife's got a couple of workout shows in there, but I actually thought that was going to work to my advantage. See, the new Man Show premeired last night. It's the one with Joe from Fear Factor (and News Radio before that), and some other guy I've never heard of.

(Speaking of which, wouldn't Joe and Jimmy Kimmel be the absolute best combination for this show? Adam Carolla (previously of Loveline with Dr. Drew) was just a bit too smarmy for me, and the new guy is... well, just some guy. How the hell do I know if he's qualified? Is his last name Hefner? Did he write for South Park before this? Who knows whether he's got the right mix of infantile humor and boob fetish to be an asset to the show? Oh, wait. Right, he's a man. Okay, he'll be fine, then.

But still, Jimmy was the best. We old folks remember him from Win Ben Stein's Money, as well, where he semi-hosted and generally annoyed the crap out of the show's namesake. Hey, if you think about it, the lineage is sort of interesting. Ben Stein's Hollywood career, such that it is, was launched alongside a young Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. And Ben went on to unleash Jimmy on us, and later on the Fox NFL pregame goons. So in a way, Broderick begat Stein begat Kimmel. Or 'mild-mannered nice boy' gave birth to 'surprisingly unstodgy rich smart old guy' gave rise to 'snickering bozo who makes boob jokes and drinks beer on camera'. Now is this a cool country or what?)

So, anyway, the new Man Show was on last night. Now, I couldn't actually ask TiVo to tape it without getting the rolling-eyes-and-clucking-noises treatment from my wife. But -- but! If I could coerce TiVo into taping it as a 'TiVo Suggestion', based on my other choices, well, then, I'd have to watch it, right? I mean, if the TiVo went to all that trouble and all. I wouldn't want to be rude. So, given my penchant for South Park and Family Guy and sports and such -- and even the scantily-cladness of the workout chicks in my wife's taped shows -- I fully expected to have the new episode waiting for me when I wandered downstairs this morning. But, despite my best sneaky efforts, it was not to be.

You cannot imagine my Juggy-less disappointment when I found out. Oh, sure, the infernal machine had taped Saturday Night Live and MadTV and even SportsCenter, all without asking, but a show that actually contained comedy and satire and talk about sports? (Not to mention pajama-clad jiggly jubblies.) No dice. Obviously, the new machine and I have some issues to work out. And we'll get there. I just shudder to think how many snorty giggles I'm missing while we fine-tune the relationship. It's a damned shame; it really is.

And so, I'll be teaching class this evening to make sure this travesty never happens again. In a way, I'm a lot like Annie Sullivan. And the TiVo is my Helen Keller. I'll hold its hand and teach it, slowly but surely, about all of the important things in the world. I'll hold TiVo's proverbial hand under a tap, and spell out B-E-E-R over and over until it understands. I'll give the thumbs-up to Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda, and see if it picks up Fawlty Towers. (But not Around the World in Eighty Days. Snoozies!)

And some day, all the hard work will pay off. I'll have my Man Show, without having to ask for it. I'll circle around it, with Married... With Children, and News Radio, and even Benny Hill, if I can find it still on anywhere. And eventually, little TiVo will get the picture -- no pun intended -- and bring the Juggies bouncing and sproinging into my living room. And I'll watch it. And my wife will walk in, and say, 'What the hell are you watching, anyway?' To which, I'll be able to reply, with a perfectly straight face:

'Gee, hon, I don't really know. TiVo taped it for some reason, so I figured I should check it out. Hey, you might like it. See that guy drinkin' a beer, with the three chicks' boobs in his face? He used to be on News Radio. You like that show, right?'

And she'll still roll her eyes, and 'tsk tsk' at me. But at least I'll have an excuse. It's a game, really. Just another way to pass the time. (Hey, I can't blog every waking moment, now, can I?) And in the meantime, I've got plenty of other good stuff to watch. If TiVo doesn't straighten up until the Man Show is in reruns, that's fine -- I can wait. Plus, all this sneaky TiVo manipulation might come in handy when Cinemax -- or better, Spice -- has one of those free weekends:

'Wow, I don't know, babe. I didn't ask it to record seventeen pornos in one day. Look, they're all 'TiVo Suggestions'; what can I do about it? And I'm sorry it taped over your workout videos, but from the one I was watching, it looks like there's just as much exercise in these. It'll just take a little more, um, limbering up to do what they do. But if you want, I'll spot you. I'm only trying to help, after all. Here, I'll even go get you the baby oil and the bunch of bananas. I'll be right back...'

See, folks, there's a plan in all of this. There's always a plan. And it almost always involves baby oil or bananas, and usually both. Now if I can just find a good excuse to work beer into the equation, I'll be all set. I'll have my own little Man Show, live and in person and without commercial interruption. How could it possibly go wrong?

Sunday, August 17, 2003
And the 'Selfless Humanitarian Husband / Homeowner of the Year' Award Goes to...

It's the blog of the world as we know it... and I feel fine.

Hey again. (Or for you old-skool IMers and MUDders and such: 're-hi'. That's not in play any more, is it? Haven't seen good old 're-hi' in a while, now.)

Anyway, sorry that yesterday's (now today's) drivel is so late in coming. I'm just positive that you've been unable to get anything done, just sitting on this site clicking 'Reload' time after time, saying, 'Where's Sunday's crap? I want my inane blather, damn it!' No, really, I'm sure you have. Really. See, look, I'll check the logs. See? Oh, wait. You haven't. There's like three hits so far today. Poopstain!

All right, so maybe you haven't been obsessively looking for the next post. You're probably out there obsessively doing other things to keep your mind away from this temporary void in your life -- washing your hands over and over, or catatonically rocking back and forth, or maniacally giggling at nothing at all while you claw at your skin to get the spiders off. Hey, whatever gets you through the day. But fear not, friends and psychos -- Sunday's post hath arrived. Or arrivethed. Or something. Shit, just keep reading, all right?

So, I've got a good excuse for writing Sunday's entry nearly twelve hours late. (Nobody cares, of course, or even holds me to the once-a-day posting regimen, but I've got a good excuse for once in my life, and you're gonna hear it, dammit! Er, read it, anyway. Whatever.)

My excuse is that I was exhausted yesterday. Tired. Beat. All tuckered out. See, I spent the two and a half days before Saturday afternoon working like mad to help get the place ready for our little soiree that day. I shopped and I cleaned and I mowed and I swept. I clipped and I pruned. I washed and I folded. I straightened and vacuumed and tidied and bagged. It was all very draining, let me tell you. And, oh yeah, then I stayed up until five am on Saturday morning writing Friday's and Saturday's posts. But I'm sure that had nothing to do with it. Nah.

Anyway, I sat around like a slug yesterday. Yeah, yeah, I know -- but really, even more like a slug yesterday, if you can wrap your brain around that. I ate and I watched TV. That was about it for the fourteen hours or so that I could manage to keep my eyelids stretched open. And I only did those things out of necessity, mind you -- I would have been perfectly happy to just lie in bed, comatose and drooling, until it was happy happy sleep time again. But that wasn't an option -- for one thing, we have so much frickin' food left from the party that if we don't eat it, there's a fair chance that it's going to cast off its refrigerated chains and rise up against us. Seriously. We've got enough pasta and potato salad to paper our walls with, and the freezer is stuffed to the bursting point with bratwurst, chicken, and burgers.

(Oh, the burgers. We've got enough ground beef to sculpt a lifesize model cow. There'd probably even be meat left over -- we could craft a whole diorama, with a bull and a cowboy rider, complete with a beefy clown and a barrel for him to hide in. We could put in the back yard -- a veritable 'Salmonella Rodeo', and wait for the sun to slow-cook it for us over the next week or so. And whatever the birds don't take, we'll eat next weekend. It'll be cool. We'll throw it on some bread, with some pickles and mustard -- that'll mask whatever rancidity has developed by then. And we'll scrape off any bird poop before we eat it, of course. C'mon, it'll be fun. We'll have another party for it -- the 'Eat Our Sun-Drenched Cowboy Meat' bash. It'll be posh. No, really.)

And the beer -- don't get me started about the beer. Right now our fridge has a Tupperware bowl full of leftovers, a half-empty bottle of margarita mix, and beer. That's about it. That's all that'll frickin' fit right now. We must have four and a half cases shoved into that thing. I'm gonna be pouring beer on my cereal for the next three weeks, just to get rid of it. We'll cook with beer, and put it in the dog's water dish, and bathe in the stuff, if we have to. (Or at least, if I can talk my wife into it. I'll keep you posted.)

So, clearly, I had to contribute to the eating yesterday. I would have preferred a bedside IV at that point, but if you've ever tried to squish ground beef into an intravenous tube, you know how messy and frustrating that can be. (Plus, it feels creepy as it oozes into your arm. I really can't recommend it, as cool as it sounds.)

And, since we have TiVo, I was also obligated to help out with the television watching. The thing is awesome, truly a life-changing masterpiece of technology. But if you have a small hard drive (And yes, I really mean 'hard drive' when I say 'hard drive', ya perverts. This time, anyway.), then you really can't go more than a day or so without watching your saved shows, or they'll start to wink out of existence to make room for new ones. So we gobbled down a couple of Faking It episodes over lunch, and I munched on a between-meals Simpsons. We gorged ourselves on some sitcoms over dinner, and now we're back to a manageable list of 'Now Playing' shows. Whew!

But what I've just described to you is about all that I was good for yesterday. Apparently -- and there's hell to pay if this shit is really true -- but apparently, I'm not as young as I used to be. Dammit! I don't know when the hell this happened, but it's really starting to piss me off. It seems that I'm no longer able to grill and eat and party for eight hours after two days of preparation and a near all-nighter, and then just pop out of bed the next morning ready to go again. I might as well just get fitted for the dentures and Depends now, folks, because what else is there in life? What has become of me? Wanton hedonistic youth, why hast thou forsaken me?

All right, that's enough of that. So, I'm old. Tough shit, right? At least I can still drink beer from my sippy cup and gum my burgers and brats on the day of the party. Even if it does wipe me out the next day. So life's not all bad. And I'm feeling much better now. Maybe not good enough for lampshade-headed debauchery just yet, but soon, my friends. Very soon.

In the meantime, I suppose it's about lunch time, so I'm gonna make another run through the leftovers. Probably some chicken today, with some chips and salad and whatever else looks like it's going to topple over if someone doesn't eat it right away. And as soon as I can clear some fridge room, I'm gonna throw the rest of the brats in beer to soak for a day or two. You know, kill two birds with one stone. (Or two internal organs with one meal, more likely.)

Because I'm all about helping around the house, you understand. I want to do my part, as a loving husband, homeowner and part-time dog-wrangler. So I'll take one for the team -- I'll go gorge myself on grilled meats, fatty foods, and greasy sides. And I'll watch the Simpsons and Family Guy while I'm doing it. Just to create more room for my wife's shows, you understand. Nothing more. And you know what? I'm really feeling responsible and helpful today, so I may just have a couple of beers with lunch while I'm at it. Damn! I should get an award for this! C'mon -- how many people out there would sit down and stuff themselves with food and beer and animated comedy like that in the middle of a Monday? Not too damned many, I'd bet. This is Nobel-worthy shit here, folks. See how lucky my wife is? See? See?

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