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  #65: Pissing in the Middle
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  #91: An Only Child
  #98: Nothing But Putrid
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World Star Gazette

Charlie/Male/31-35. Lives in United States/Massachusetts/Watertown, speaks English. Eye color is hazel.
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Saturday, February 14, 2004
I May Never Learn... But My Sinuses Have Never Been Clearer

My parents got me a bag of 'wasabi peanuts' for Christmas. Or my birthday last summer, I forget. I doesn't really matter -- the point is that these things were sitting around unopened for quite some time before the Super Bowl a couple of weekends ago. We had a few people over to watch, so I decided to whip out the 'hot nuts' and see who might enjoy a taste.

(Okay, so that last sentence got awfully perverted all of a sudden. Look, you know what I mean. Or not. Either way, I'm gonna keep going; this train is moving on.)

Anyway, there were exactly two takers for the little wasabe balls -- me, and a friend of mine, T. He had two of them, maybe three. I ate three or four of them. Let's just say that we were not altogether satisfied with our tasting experience.

The bag of nuts is still in the kitchen. They mock me, sneering, from the countertop. 'Eat us,' they chant. 'Eat us -- what are you, chicken?' Bastards. They can eat me. I want no part of their little reindeer game.

Until today, that is. In a fit of 'if I didn't learn from it, how could it have been a mistake?' bravado, I tore into the package again after lunch, and popped one of the little green monsters into my mouth. And then another. And another.

And folks, I've got to tell you -- it was not a wise decision. I'm kind of a dumbass sometimes.

See, I love spicy food. Indian curry, Mexican sauces, Buffalo wings -- the hotter the better, and keep 'em coming. I don't care if I'm sweating; I'll tell you when it's too hot. Just bring me a towel and another bowl of chili -- hey, a beer to go with that would be nice -- and let's do this thing. Life's too short for bland food -- I'll eat meatloaf and carrots when I'm dead, dammit.

But wasabi is different. It's like horseradish -- a whole different class of hottitude. Most peppers burn your lips and mouth -- it's the oil you have to worry about. But with the radishes, it's... well, I don't know what it is, frankly. Something airborne, maybe, aerosoled out of the hot stuff and up into the nose. Too much habanero pepper, and you'll cry and sweat and burn, but it's a good kind of hurt. A double dose of wasabi, and the back of your throat will melt, your nose hairs will curl and fall out, and you'll snort like Mr. Ed doing a line of coke. Like I said, different.

And these peanuts are fricking serious with the wasabi, let me tell you. The shit is not spray-painted on there, or even brushed on. They gunk that green goo on there -- the damned things are still vaguely peanut-shaped, but they're huge -- like big green golf balls or something.

(Okay, so maybe not that big. Hey, I can't help it. Guys are always overestimating the size of their peanuts, right? It's genetic, or something.

Just be glad I wasn't discussing my pretzel sticks. Now those are huge. Fricking enormous. You hear me, ladies? Enormous.

Meh. Nobody's listening. Damn. Well, now who's gonna lick the salt off these things? Dagnabit!)

Seriously, there's probably an eighth of an inch of wasabi coated on each peanut. And frankly, that's just too damned much, people. There's no safe way to eat these little bastards. I've tried another dozen or so, and cannot for the life of me find a method that doesn't leave me with the 'back the fuck up; I'm about to cough up a hairball' look on my face.

(Yeah, you usually only see that on cats. But our dog does a lovely impression, just before she upchucks kibble all over our rug. And I was in a fraternity in college, so I've had plenty of experience with that face, both viewing and making. Trust me; I'm an expert over here.)

Anyway, I tried the following, with varying degrees of non-success:
  • crunching the peanut up really fast and swallowing the pieces -- this was my first strategy, and just about the stupidest damned thing I could have done. First of all, I don't get to actually taste anything, so what the hell is the point? I might as well ingest gravel, or packing peanuts, or fricking Brussels sprouts, if I'm gonna do this. Plus, the heat still finds a way to escape and get up my nose. This option sucks.
  • gently chewing around the middle of my coating with my teeth to break it in half, then swallowing the wasabi and eating the peanut -- not only is this a long-ass way to go to eat a peanut, it's also fraught with danger. (Okay, maybe it's not quite that dramatic, but I really wanted to use the word 'fraught'. Deal.) Generally, this worked okay, but during one test, I got the tip of my tongue stuck in the half-shell of wasabi before I could swallow it. Now I wish I'd swallowed my tongue, too, because it's on fricking fire. In a wasabi-induced panic, I sprayed Pledge on it to ease the pain. It didn't really help, but now my breath is lemony fresh. That's just peachy.
  • pressing the peanut onto the roof of my mouth and letting the wasabi melt off gradually -- this was generally okay. But I had to use my tongue to keep it glommed up there, and the tongue is where the tasticle buds live, so I'd occasionally hit just the right one and send a twitchy shot of pure wasabi straight to my brain. Now I can't remember what comes after 'I-J-K'. Bitches.
  • pulling the coating off with my fingers and just eating the damned peanuts -- the best solution so far, and I've had no trouble with the actual eating process using this method. However, I did lose track of what I was doing, and rubbed my itchy eye a minute ago, which nearly knocked me out of my chair with a burst of pupil-popping pain. I'm better now, but the whole world is tinted a fiery, teared-up green. And there are little Pikachus running around the room, giving me the finger and mooning me. I only hope my vision isn't permanently affected. Those little fuckers are gonna get old in a hurry.

I see now that I should have just left the bag alone, and maybe had a cookie. Or a couple of crackers. Or battery acid. Any of those things would have been far, far preferable to my experience with the wacked-out wasabi peanuts. But I learned my lesson this time -- after just a few nuts, I closed up the bag, got up, and put the bag away.

In the kitchen. Back on the countertop. Where the nuts immediately started taunting me again. 'Hey, chico, come suck on this, you big baby!'

Lousy frigging nuts. I'll put up with that crap for a few days, but I think we all know that I'll be back again, eating the stupid things, falling out of my chair, and likely blinding myself again. Honestly, I'm not the wiggliest dildo in the sex shop, if you know what I mean.

Still, in the end, I'm gonna win. I'll eat all those little bastards, and there'll be nothing left but that empty damned bag. It might take me a couple of years, but I'll do it. (And certainly, nobody else around here is jackassed enough to beat me to it.) And then, I'll have won. I'll have lost my sense of smell, and possibly gone completely insane, but I'll have won, and that's all that's important. No foodstuff is gonna come into my house and pimpslap me around -- just you watch. I'll shut those nuts up yet. Mark my teary-eyed, dizzy, huffy-nosed words.

Ugh. I think I'll lie down for a while. Somebody get those damned Pikachus outta here, would you?

Friday, February 13, 2004
Hey, You Know Me... Would I Do That Sort of Thing?

Well, this is not the way to start a long weekend, I can tell you that.

I'm still at work, just itching to make some semblance of progress on my project so I can declare 'mini-victory' and get my sorry ass home for the evening. There's a program running right now, as I type, and if it works, I am so freaking out of here. I shit you not.

You know, as an aside, I've been giving that little euphemism quite a bit of thought lately, in all of it's various forms. 'I shit you not.', 'Are you shitting me?', 'I wouldn't shit you!', and the ever-popular, if somewhat enigmatic, 'Don't shit a shitter.'

I don't know whether you've ever really considered this little group of sayings, but it begs the question -- who in the hell decided that a good analogy for 'lying to someone' would be something that sounds like 'forcibly expelling that person out of your ass'?

And more importantly, why the hell do we go along with it? Honestly, is there ever a time when you really, truly want to ask someone, 'Pardon me, ever so sorry to trouble you, but I really have to know -- are you, right now, physically shitting me?'

I'm thinking not. For one thing, if that's really what's going on, you're better off not knowing. On the other hand, if that is what's happening, then I'm pretty sure there's no way you could not know, and therefore no reason to ask. I know some people out there who struggle with that whole 'self-awareness' issue, but really, I have to believe that if you're being shat, you couldn't help but notice. It's got to be pretty obvious.

Which is exactly the opposite of the situation when someone is lying to you, which is really the point, of course -- the analogy doesn't make any damned sense. (And here, you thought all along I was just going to beat the literal 'shitting' thing into the ground, and then leave you hanging. Tsk. Silly reader.)

Anyway, I think we need a replacement for this whole 'shitting you' thing -- something that better captures the uncertainty and guardedness of what is really at issue, namely whether one person is willfully misinforming another, whether for fun or profit. (Or both. Who's picky?) We should have a euphemism that matches the mistrust, vulnerability, and moral indignation that comes with suspecting you're being lied to.

(Yes, that's right, I said 'moral indignation'.
No, I don't know what other kinds of indignation there are.
Yes, I'm just repeating something that I've heard a million times, without really thinking about it.
No, I haven't really actually heard it a million times.
Yes, I'm already regretting this whole set of parentheses.
No, I'm apparently not ready to straighten up and stop this nonsense yet.
Yes, I'll get back to the damned post, in just a minute.
No, you really have no control over when it's going to happen.
Yes, I think I've finally learned my lesson, and I'll never use 'moral indignation' again because it's redundant and superfluous.
No, I don't know what 'redundant' or 'superfluous' mean.
Yes, I know this has gone on long enough, I'm truly sorry, and I'm going to end it right now.)

(No. No, you can't spank me as punishment. Don't get me started again, dammit.)

Anyway, I say we need something that better captures the essense of 'Hey, dipshit, are you lying to me?!' I'm not sure I have the final answer, but perhaps something along the following lines would be more appropriate substitutes for 'Are you shitting me?':
  • 'Are you farting and then blaming it on me?'
  • 'Are you pissing in the shower and then denying it?'
  • 'Are you cutting me off in traffic and pretending you don't see me?'
  • 'Are you secretly masturbating in public when you think no one is looking?'
  • 'Are you keeping cloned babies in your basement to harvest for organs?'
  • 'Are you really a [man / woman ] leading a dirty secret life?'
  • 'Are you sneaking off for a three-martini lunch without me?'
  • 'Are you married to multiple partners without any of them knowing?'
  • 'Are you stealing my identity and slowly siphoning off all my money?'
  • 'Are you having sex behind the dumpster at Denny's for extra cash?'

See? Now there's some shock and outrage, and some realistic accusation! That's the kind of thing we need to be saying to each other -- it makes our intentions so much clearer, don't you think?

So, I tell you what -- I'll get things started. Whenever I think somebody suspects that I'm lying to them (not that I would, of course, but you know how paranoid people get), I'll turn one of those phrases above into my declaration of innocence. Like so, for instance:

'Hey, dude -- would I secretly masturbate in public when I think no one is looking? Come on!'

Um... oh. That was probably not the bext choice of example. Ouch.

On second thought, just never mind the whole thing. I'm cool with 'Would I shit you?', whether it really means anything or not. I see now that the status quo is the way to go. I have opened my eyes and seen the one true path. Just forget I said anything at all. And, um, especially that last thing, if you would, please. That's really not the sort of thing that needs to get around. I can barely look grandma in the face as it is. *sigh*

Thursday, February 12, 2004
Just Because She Strikes Twice Doesn't Mean She's Not Lightning

Folks, I don't know quite how to tell you this. Let's try it in stages:

First, the good news. I did, as expected, receive my twenty thousandth visitor to the blog this morning.

Better still, the visitor was not some pimply teenaged boy searching for animated Pammy porn. (Which I don't actually have -- are you hearing me, Pete?)

(However, if you're interested, you can read about my earlier experience with waves of huffy horndogs lusting after cartoon boobage.

I thought the saga was over, frankly, but my mention of a certain boobly blonde minx yesterday has driven droves more of them over here. I really should be more careful what I put in my posts, I suppose. I wouldn't mind the extra eyeballs; it's just the other body parts they bring along that I take issue with. I've had to put plastic down on all the flat surfaces -- it's out of fricking control!)

Anyway, back to the matter at hand.

(Heh. 'At hand', see, 'cause that could still be the wankers looking for the porn? Get it? 'At hand'?

Oh, screw it -- I'm tired. Make your own goddamn double entendres for a while, then. I'm taking a break.)

So, back to the original point -- milestone visitor, check. Not from a search engine, check. Actually, the visit seemed to come from a bookmark of some kind -- there was no referer that I could use to track who the person was. All I had was an IP address.

So, on a lark, I swept back through the comments that have been left here over the past few weeks, thinking that maybe the person had been here before, and had perhaps commented on something. And, as it turns out, she had, and she had. Finally, I had a name to put with the IP address -- I knew the identity of lucky number twenty thousand. And what's more, she's even got a blog of her own. Yes, folks, our fantabulous winner is:

Sabrina of LoserGenius Just Can't Win

What's so unbelievable about that, you ask? (Or maybe you don't, if you're a regular around here and have a good memory for these sorts of things.)

Well, the kicker about Sabrina being my twenty thousandth visitor is, she was also my ten thousandth visitor, too! I don't know how the hell she does it!

Maybe she's got a tap on my SiteMeter stats. Maybe she checks in thirty-eight times an hour, and I just haven't picked up the pattern. Maybe she's got a lucky leprechaun stuffed up her butt. Honestly, I don't know. All I know is that history has repeated itself, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer girl.

Hey, she even started her blog after 'winning' the last little milestone contest, so in a way -- a wrongheaded and misguided way, I'm sure, but still a way -- I feel a bit responsible for helping to ease her into the blogosphere. So choke back that disappointment, if you were hoping that you would be my big number two oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! (Yeah, you Office Space fans'll get that one. That was my 'Oh!' face.)

Anyway, put those feelings aside and check out Sabrina at LoserGenius Just Can't Win. Sure, based on my experience with her, it should be called 'WinnerGenius Can't Frigging Lose, Apparently', but it's still a cool spot to hang out in. And maybe she'll even share what I'm getting her off her wishlist for being the lucky customer in the right place at the right time. Again.

As for the rest of you, I'm afraid you're gonna have to wait till fifty thousand visitors for your next shot at a prize. Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't be moved to generosity before then, somehow or other -- there's always the chance that someone will get me a writing gig, or a comedy audition, or email me naked pictures of themselves.

(Okay, that last option is only open to a select few, I'm afraid. Mark's out of the running. As is Scott. And Andy, and Matt, and nef, and Buzz. J's excluded, too, as are Jeff, Brad, and TJ. But not the other one, of course.

Anyway, I love you guys, really... but you're guys, so I don't love you quite that much. You'll just have to concentrate on helping me further my career if you want free swag from me. Stripping down to your skivvies is simply not gonna get it done. I hope you understand.)

Okay, so that's about it for this post. Once more, congratulations and thanks go to Sabrina. And now that this place has twenty thousand eyeballs under its belt, it's time to start working on the next twenty thousand. I certainly hope you'll all be on board. Cheers!

Sure, I Hate Being Late... But I Don't Hate It That Much

I don't know about the rest of you, but I live my life in a state of perpetual tardiness. I'm always late for something. Meetings, work, parties, bedtime -- you name it. If it's an event, and has a scheduled start time, you can pretty much guarantee that I won't manage to show up until ten minutes to a couple of hours after the thing gets under way.

And frankly, I'm not sure that's ever going to change. My chronic lateness seems to be hard-wired into my brain. I was born late -- just ask my mother, after thirty-odd hours of labor; she'll tell you. I've been late to classes, late to final exams, even late to job interviews. At this rate, I'll likely die late, too. I'll hang on to a ripe, three-digit age, outlasting everyone I care about and tended to by bitter old hags thinking, 'Christ, old man, just die already, so we can spend the twelve fricking dollars you have left!' Hell, they might even say it out loud, or send it to me every so often in a Hallmark card. Lousy bitches.

Moving back to the present day, suffice to say that I simply cannot seem to find a way to be on time. It's a curse, or a character flaw, or a recurring brain fart. Call it what you will; the important thing to know is that if you want me somewhere at seven, then you'd damned well better tell me to be there at six-thirty, or earlier.

(And if it's seven in the morning you're talking about, then just give the hell up. I'm not coming at all. And believe me, I've been making creative excuses for enough years now to get out of whatever damned fool thing you're foolish enough to schedule for the ass-crack of dawn. I don't even start breathing for the day until eight. Not interested.)

Anyway, given my propensity for piss-poor punctuality -- okay, I'm kind of proud of that one, folks; alliteration is our friend! -- I'm always on the lookout for ways to get from point A to point B just a little bit faster. Especially when 'point A' is the bed, and the method for hurrying my ass up doesn't involve losing any beauty sleep.

(Or 'handsome sleep', I suppose, but that just doesn't sound right. 'Studly snoozing'? Mmmmmm... no. 'Dashing, debonair dozing'? Ugh.

Bah. Screw it. I'll just call it 'forty winks for lazy dinks', and stick with that. It's not how good you look, people; it's how many hours in a row you can remain unconscious and completely unproductive. And drooling, preferably. There's nothing 'pretty' about sleeping, dammit.)

So, over my many years and thousands of hours of research, I've come up with a few time-saving devices for getting up and out the door in the morning. And, since you might find yourself in the same sorts of dilemmas, I thought I'd pass some of my vast store of wisdom on to you. Maybe it'll save you a tardy slip some day. Ready? Here we go.

The real secret to reducing your 'prep time' in the morning is to multitask. You simply need to find combinations of things that you can perform simultaneously. Two five-minute preparations become one five-minute (or possibly six or seven, if you're not used to such trickery) combination. And voila! Instead of ten minutes late, you're only down five! (Or, in my case, only down twenty instead of twenty-five. Still, every little bit helps.)

And you non-tardy tadpoles (you know who you are) can benefit, too. Now you can set the alarm forward another five minutes or so, and still be on time. Extra sleep means... um, well, actually, I'm not sure. I've never gotten any, myself, frankly. But I'm sure it improves memory, or promotes a sunny outlook, or makes your breasts grow bigger. Something good like that, probably.

Anyway, let me give you a few examples from my personal experience. In my insatiable quest for insight into the world of sleeping more and being late less, I've tried just about every imaginable time-saving combination. Some of them work quite well. Others... well, maybe I'd just better get to the examples. You can see for yourself.

So, here's a list of the things that I need to accomplish every morning before hitting the door. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this list -- maybe make one of your own, so you can play along, too. It'll be fun.
  • Shower
  • Wash hair
  • Dry off
  • Brush teeth
  • Brush hair
  • Put in contact lenses
  • Shave
  • Apply deodorant
  • Take vitamin
  • Dress
  • Clean ears with Q-Tip (optional)
  • Use toilet (optional)

Wow, that's a lot of crap to get done every morning. I need a nap, just thinking about all of that. But let's look at a few of the combinations -- viable and otherwise -- that I've discovered when trying to manage all of these tasks:

#1: A Sprinkle Under the Sprinkler -- Certainly, we all know what a timesaver taking a 'number one' in the shower can be. Not... not that any of us would actually do such a thing, of course! Even in an emergency, right? Still... theoretically, one could pee in the shower while washing one's hair, if one were so inclined. I mean, it's physically possible, is all I'm saying. One would just have to be careful where one's pee-er was pointed, so as to not have to 'tiptoe through the tinkle' for the rest of bathtime.

Time Savings: Approximately one minute, perhaps two after a night of hard drinking (purely hypothetically, of course)
Recommendation: Hey, it's your shower stall; I can't tell you what to do. But a word to the wise -- if you've been eating asparagus recently, you might want to find another way to save time. Again, purely hypothetically.

#2: A 'Dry Shave' Is Never Good -- There was a time when, in my eagerness to get out the door, I would attempt to shave myself with my right hand while still drying off from my shower with my left. This time -- as well as various patches of body hair -- is no more. You see, it's far too easy -- for me, at least, early in the morning -- for the two hands to get confused about which is doing what, and which one has the soft fluffy thing, and which one has the sharp dangerous slicy thing. I luckily never bled myself anywhere sensitive, but I did have some rather, er, 'close shaves'. So to speak. Ahem.

Time Savings: Five to ten minutes, if you can keep each hand working full-time on its task without getting confused.
Recommendation: Don't try it, unless you're far less distractable than I. Or unless you don't mind accidentally giving your genitals a reverse mohawk. Hey, I hear it looks good on some people.

#3: I'm Really Not Sure That's How Vitamin C Is Meant to Be Taken -- I've also gotten a bit ahead of myself in gulping down a vitamin, sometimes grabbing the bottle while I'm still putting in my contacts. With a clear head and a little bit of dexterity, this is no problem. Of course, with my brain, and my fumble-fingered mitts, it often means a little piece of plastic in my mouth and a One-a-Day in my eye. And while I can easily fish the contact off my tongue, getting the vitamin out is usually far more painful. Not cool.

Time Savings: Thirty seconds, tops.
Recommendation: I wouldn't do it, frankly. The risk-to-reward ratio is way too high, and those pills fricking hurt if they get stuck under your eyelid. On the good side, though, the lenses taste like chicken. So there is an upside, I guess.

#4: I'll Never Hear Again, But My Cowlick Is Gone! -- I once tried to Q-Tip my ears while brushing my hair. You know that little game where you try to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time? Yeah, I could never fricking do that, either, so you can imagine how this went. The brushing part was fine, but I think I rammed the Q-Tip through my eardrum and all the way into my brain. Somewhere along the way, it broke in half, and I haven't been able to taste salt or multiply fractions ever since. Freaky.

Time Savings: A couple of minutes, if you're truly ambidextrous.
Recommendation: 'Huh? Reco-what, now? Whad'ya say? Speak up? Huh?!'

#5: The 'Number Two' Two-Step -- There are actually a lot of things that you can get accomplished, should you feel the need to 'take a seat' during your morning routine. It's perfectly reasonable to brush your hair, put on deodorant, and possibly even finish drying off while pot-sitting. Personally, I'd avoid putting a toothbrush or a vitamin -- or anything else, frankly -- in my mouth while so occupied, but still, a poo-poo pit stop doesn't have to slow you down, if you don't mind holding your nose and being creative.

Time Savings: Five minutes or more, depending on how long you take (and how far you can reach from your seated position to grab a Q-tip, brush, towel, etc.).
Recommendation: Sure, why the hell not? What else are you gonna do on the toilet? Read?

#6: Mmmmm... Just Like an Irish Spring! -- I know people who brush their teeth in the shower. These are innovative, ambitious people for having thought of such a time-saver... but more than that, they're completely fricking crazy. I tried it once, hopping into the tub with half my wits, still-sleepy eyes, and a brushful of Crest. It was a complete nightmare -- I scrubbed my teeth with a bar of Dial, rubbed the brush under my armpits, and I think I still have toothpaste in my hair. And I'm not talking about the hair up there, either, people. Remind me never to do anything that requires conscious thought ever again, okay?

Time Savings: I don't have any fricking idea. And everything I eat still tastes like Dial.
Recommendation: Don't. Just don't.

So, there you go. Some real time savers, and a few cautionary tales. I hope you've enjoyed this little public service message, and that it helps you get to whereever you're going just a little bit faster. As for me, I think I'm just going to resign myself to being late for the rest of my life. It's just safer that way, and I can keep the early-morning thinking to a bare minumum. Otherwise, I'm gonna find myself shaving my eyeballs, or pooping in the damned shower. And those are not combinations I wanna think about, no matter how late I'm running.

Really, I'll Make It Up to You! Promise!

I kow, folks, I know. I really didn't give you much to work with yesterday, did I?

Well, I'm here to make it up to you. I've got a topic or two queued up already, plus a bit of news to talk about. I even might -- in a horrible fit of guilt for neglecting you yesterday, of course -- let you in on a couple of things I've been thinking of tackling around here.

(Which would mean that I'd actually have to tackle the damned things, since you'd know about them, rather than sitting on my hands, singing 'doo-de-doo' and only pretending that I'm going to actually do them.

And yeah, when I put it that way... maybe I won't tell you about them, after all. I'm not that guilty, and now it just sounds really hard. But we'll see, my pets -- we'll see.)

Anyway, before we do any of that, I need to get a couple of 'operational' things out of the way. Ride along with me, won't you? You just might enjoy this.

First, I'm a day late in posting my Blogger Idol favorites for the week. (See? I wasn't just neglecting you; I didn't get to anyone yesterday. Damned day job getting in the way...)

Anyway, better late than never, here are give entries that enhumorated my humerus:

As you've come to expect from this fine and always consistent blog (*snort*), you can click on the icon above to get all the Week Four posts. And, if you missed it, you can check out my humble entry, as well.

(Yes, it's also in the 'all posts' section -- still, I thought you might like a shortcut. I'm cool like that.)

In other news, judging for the second week of this round's King of the Blogs is officially under way. All of the 'Challenge Response' posts are now available. Go check 'em out, and... well, and just appreciat4e them, basically. You don't get to vote or anything, so really, once you read them all, you're pretty much done until the rulings from the judges come back.

Of course, if that frustrates you -- if you're the type who likes to be more involved in the process -- then you can always hop on over to the Blog Madness 2003 tourney, where I'm currently trailing in the Bills Region Elimination Round. My adversary, Bear Left on Unnamed Road, is coming strong with his piece, Looking at and Longing for Mars, which is currently astro-kicking the ass off my Can I Buy a Damned Clue, Please?. So, if you're interested in such things, head on over, read 'em both, and vote for your favorite. Seriously. Vote for his piece, if it strikes your fancy, but get your clicky-fingers over there and do it.

(Yeah, I see you there, not voting because you think once I'm out of this little contest, I won't post about such nonsense any more.

Silly rabbit. All I post about is nonsense -- and are you sure you want to take the risk that this type of thing won't be replaced by something worse? Think hard about that one, my friend.)

Okay, that's about it. Back to the funnies soon.

Oh, one last thing before I go, just as an aside -- I'm currently six visitors shy of twenty thousand. (Sure, that includes a couple of 'mes', before I managed to filter my own hits, but let's not quibble here, people.)

In general, as this milestone approacheth, I'd like to thank all of you for stopping by, reading comments, or just looking for porn.

Well, okay, not so much the porn-monkeys. They tend not to stay and read, and they're frankly bringing down my property value. Plus they get the keyboard all sticky sometimes. So, yeah, no thanks to the (nineteen thousand plus, probably) hits that have come from those wankers.

But to the rest of you, my sincerest thanks. I'm glad you're here, and I hope you're having a good time. (And if not, try a margarita or six. That always puts me in a beter mod.)

And while I can't properly show my appreciation to all of you, I would like to commemorate the occasion by buying just a little gifticle for whoever is big number two oh. (oh oh oh, to be precise... but I thought I told you not to quibble, dammit!)

So, if you're the lucky twenty thousandth customer, and you've got a wishlist (and you're not one of those people looking for Janet Jackson's boob, or naked Stripperella pics, you sweaty little bastards), then you'll be getting a little surprise in the mail. You know, assuming I can figure out who the hell you are, and where your wishlist might be. But it all worked out at ten thousand, so here's hoping.

I'll let you know what's going on there as soon as I know. In the meantime, thanks again, and check back later for more nonsense. It's all blather, all the time, baby!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
Yeah, Maybe It's Just Me... Never Mind

So, am I the only one who's losing sleep over this:

There's such a thing as a 'spitfire'. And there's such a thing as a 'hellcat'.

(And both of these are very good things, often used to describe... um, well, gymnasts, I guess... and spunky strippers, and... uh, old warplanes, I think. And them's good eatin', right?)

Moving on.

So, in addition to 'spitfire' and 'hellcat', there's also 'hellfire'. Which is not so good, from what I understand, but it still gets a lot of play, particularly from the Southern Baptist crowd.

But with all of these combinations, wouldn't you expect there to also be a 'spitcat'? Where the hell's my 'spitcat', people? What do the wordmakers have against 'spitcat', dammit? I want my fricking 'spitcat'!

Oh, come on. Where's your sense of moral outrage? All used up on Janet Jackson's boob?

Yeah, well, you're not the first to 'use it all up' on those plastic taters of hers. Take a number.

And... you know, let's not tell anyone about this whole 'spitcat' thing. I just feel dirty now. Maybe I'll go watch some gymnastics. Those spitcats are tasty!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004
A Bit of Late-Night 'Forward Thinking'

Hey, I almost missed Buzz's latest Blog It Forward! Damn!

Well, to make it up to you -- you know, assuming you give an airborne rodent's heinie -- I'll break down and pick out two blogs to pimp this evening. That's two for the price of one, folks. You don't get this kind of deal just anywhere.

(Not from hookers in Vegas, I can tell you that for certain. I could also tell you that those high heels they wear hurt like hell. But I won't, because that might just make it a little too real. Let's move on.)

So, two BIFs, eh? Well, how about these:

I just met Disillusioned of American Diatribe today (why, yes, it does pay to have good timing; why do you ask?), but we've hit it off famously already, and she's definitely worth a read.

(Even when you get past the part in her most recent post where she pimps me for no good reason. Come to think of it, that's the least sparkling part of her site, because it involves me -- I tend to bring the whole team down, and make all the players around me worse. And angry, and sometimes a little gassy. Yeah, so forget that part, and move on to the good stuff. You'll like American Diatribe; go check it out.)

The other object of my adoration this time around has got to be Flip over at Here Somewhere. Seriously, what's not to like? She's smart, funny, witty, and -- big extra bonus -- Swedish.

(And no, she doesn't talk like that. I asked already.

The 'meatballs' question is still up for grabs, though -- get it while it's hot!)

Anyway, Flip has also been nice enough to correspond with me recently, and even answered a set of my interview questions. (And she got five long posts out of them, so you can see she's a verbose little puppy... just like me!) But all of her 'Stuff' (the term she prefers to 'blog') is very interesting, and well worth a thorough perusal. Go, Flip!

Well, that's it for my BIF duties, I suppose.

While I'm here, I'll add a quite footnote about the Blog Madness 2003 tourney -- despite my best efforts, I was thwacked out of the winner's bracket last round, and dumped into the 'loserly' pool. I'm not sure yet who I'm up against, but the voting starts up again tomorrow. Hopefully, I can stave off elimination and live to avenge my beating. I'll tell you more as soon as I know -- be sure to check it out!

Dammit, Now I Went and Got All 'Thinky'... Blech!

Hey, folks -- it's time for this week's King of the Blogs 'Judge's Challenge' question. I'm vying with two other challengers who've made it to the second round, so wish me luck. I'm not sure how entertaining this will be, per se, so please bear with me if this post gets all uncool and heavy.

(Give yourself a pat on the back if you know what TV show 'uncool and heavy' comes from. And add a quick little diddle if you can name the character who often said it.

Oh, go on -- diddle. It's okay; you've earned it. Just tell people I said it was all right. They'll understand.)

Anyway (aka, 'Stop me before I make you diddle again!') -- on to this week's Challenge:

'Why do you think what you have to say is important to blog readers?'

Well, it's pretty simple, really. The short answer is: I don't.

(But I've never been about 'short answers' around here, now, have I? My one-liners go on for three pages. So you just know I've got more to say. And far be it from me to disappoint -- that would just be rude.)

So, the long answer is this: I frankly don't think any blog has something important to say to blog readers, including those that are devoted to 'important' issues like politics, religion, current events, or the surprise unveiling of Janet Jackson's peek-a-boob. As a matter of fact, especially those.

(Now, before you fellow bloggers get your McKnickers in a twist, let me explain. Stick with me here.)

Let's face it -- blogs are, by definition, personal sites. Whatever the subject matter may be, however lofty the goals in starting one up, everything contained within a blog is colored, flavored and lemony-scented with the opinions, experience, and outlook of the author. There's no way around it, and frankly, there shouldn't be. Weblogs are intended to be vessels of personal expression, and there's no guarantee of impartiality, fairness, truth, or non-loopy ideas expressed or implied. And that's all well and good.

(Well, on the loopier end of the spectrum, it does tend to get a bit less well, and sometimes not at all good. But we're talking generalities here, people. Don't use crackpots and potheads (or crackheads and potcracks, for that matter) against me -- I'm making a point, dammit.)

And what I would say is this: If something is important to you, then I would submit that you should make up your own damned mind about it. Certainly, you're welcome to listen to (or read) the opinions of others, provided that you remember to take them with a siloful of salt. But to me, the only important thing in the process is what you decide to take away from it -- is there really a God? Who should really lead the country? Have we really landed two robots on Mars? And was Janet really wearing a ninja throwing star on that silicone-engorged love pillow of hers? (And for the love of halftime festivities, why?!)

I'd go a step further. (Maybe two. Maybe even a little cha-cha-cha further, all the way across the room. We'll see when we get there, yes?) I'd say that the more important an issue is to you, then the less important should others' opinions on that matter be. Why? Well, first of all, if you feel so strongly about something, then (and yes, I'm being shamelessly, optimistically naive here) you presumably found your conviction at the bottom of a large pile of hard evidence, well-reasoned discussions, and a helluva lot of 'me time' to think it over. And, no doubt, you've already heard a number of opinions, both 'yea' and 'nay', on the topic. So while I believe that you should remain willing to listen to others' views, and keep an open mind should new evidence present itself, I'm very skeptical about 'important' new information coming in the form of a personal opinion on a blog written for personal reasons by a person who (in nearly all cases) knows little to nothing about that particular reader's history and situation. It's like throwing darts at a postage stamp -- sure, you occasionally get lucky and find a gem of an idea to chew on... but with that kind of signal to noise ratio, would you really consider it 'important'?

The thing to remember, in my piddly little opinion, is that Everything (yes, with a capital E) is subjective. What's important to you may not be important to me, and some things that are beyond trivial for most folks are -- trust me on this one -- absolutely crucial, in my mind. So I frankly think it's impossible for me, or anyone else penning a web page for ultimately personal reasons, to predict what's going to be important for their readers, or even a majority of their readers, or even that one, over there, in California. Yeah, you, there -- drinking coffee, with your feet on your desk. How the hell should I know what's important to you? I wish I could, but I can't.

(Though I really, really suspect that it's probably important for you to get your finger out of your damned nose. Important to me, anyway. I'm trying to eat dinner over here, if you could put off those nasal excavations, just until you click through to the next site, please. Thanks so much.)

Of course, now that I've answered the question really negatively, and then suggested that it can't really be answered honestly at all... I'll go ahead and answer the question. And even try not to contradict any of the above.

(Hey, never let it be said that I don't try to cover my ass around here, folks. This is a tricky one -- don't try this at home.)

So, keeping in mind my views that:
  • all bloggers are essentially writing because it's important to them and not their readers
  • no single opinion on a subject is particularly helpful, and the more important the subject in your worldview, the less useful each opinion becomes
  • you can't predict what's 'important' as a writer without knowing your audience better than bloggers can reasonably know theirs

I'll say this: I write about things on my site that make me giggle. There are certainly some (rather outlandish) opinions expressed in my blatherings, but I'm frankly not interested in using my site to sway public opinion, or engage in debate over weighty issues like presidential primaries, spirituality, or the latest slap-and-tickle fight in the European Union. These may be important things to you, and they may not. Either way, what I have to say about them would likely mean very little to you.

(And in most cases, even less to me. Six old white guys grappling to gain the favor of a bunch of people I don't know in Iowa, so one of them will have a leg up to run against another old white guy for the privilege of throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day? Snoooooooze. Wake me up when it's all just a soul-numbing memory.)

So, my goal is to entertain. First myself, but if the 'poopenheimer's and 'boobered's and 'inflatable sheep doll's on my blog get a chuckle or snort from other folks, then frankly, I'm thrilled. And, based on the fantastic comments and emails I've gotten from kind readers, it seems that a few people out there really do appreciate this crap.

(And that does nothing but encourage me, which should really make you lot who don't get it shake your heads in dismay. Suck a sheep doll, ya boobered poopenheimers!)

And in the end, that's one thing that I do think is important -- taking time out of crazy, hectic schedules to have a little giggle or two. (Or to upsnort Sanka all over your monitor screen, if you're so inclined; it's all good.) Would I say that's 'important to blog readers', as per the question? Well... maybe. Some of them; who can say which ones are going to enjoy what I've got to offer, or whether a quick laugh is really all that 'important' in their world view? I'm not Santa frickin' Claus -- how could I know these things?

All I can really say is that what I write is important to me, and that I cherish the friends I've made by writing things that they enjoy, as well. And that's the most that I think any blogger can really say for certain.

(Well, would you look at that? There was a short answer, after all. Well, rip me a new one for blabbering on for so long before I found it. And that's twenty minutes of your life that you'll never have back, too. Ain't I a stinker?)

Monday, February 09, 2004
Just Pray That You Manage to Stop Reading Before the End, Folks

Hey there. I'm not sure how long this post is gonna be, for a couple of reasons:

1. I have no topic.
B. It's Monday, and that always puts a little cranky in my pants.
III. I just got done playing volleyball, and have fresh lumpy bruises on my right elbow (which rests on the arm of my chair while I type) and my right asscheek (which, hopefully obviously, rests on the seat of my chair while I type). Which is to say, sitting and typing are two pretty uncomfortable things to be doing right now, and far, far less inviting than, say, standing naked in a hot steamy shower for the next half-hour.

But, despite all of those issues, here I am. Why? Because I wuvs you, you spunky little readers, you! And that spam thing I posted from work probably isn't nearly as compelling to you as it was to me. Hey, they can't all be gems, people. Some of 'em are barely lumps of coal. Eh.

So, let's get going. I'm sure we'll think of something interesting to chat about. Heaven forbid this should turn out like one of those times with your in-laws, when your spouse leaves for 'just a minute', dumping you with various members of his or her family that couldn't possibly have less to say to you if their mouths were filled with cement and welded shut. Yeah, you've all been there -- maybe not with the in-laws, but you've been there. With friends of your parents, maybe, or business acquaintances, that random person you met on the internet, or -- for some of us -- any member of the opposite sex.

Yeah, it's happened to all of us, and we all do the same damned thing, don't we? We go through the same fricking thought process, and say the same stupid shit every time:

(Shit. I've gotta say something to these people. They're waiting for me to say something.)

(Dammit, nobody's said anything. I've got to say something. Shit, shit, shit, what can I talk about with these people? I don't know any of them, and none of them like me, and dammit, how the hell do I get into these things? Think!)

(Okay, one thing I can't talk about is the weather. Anything but the weather. That's so cliche, it's stupid. It's like a tie on Father's Day; you just don't do it. Gotta think of something -- think, think, think...)

(Shit. That one's looking right at me. If I don't say something now, it's just gonna be rude. We made eye contact, for chrissakes. If we all stood here staring at our shoes, that's fine. Uncomfortable, and awkward, but we'd have gotten through it. But now we looked at each other. Fuck. I've got to say something!)

*ahem hrm*

'So... sure has been hot lately, hasn't it?'

And of course, that's when you spend the next thirty seconds mentally banging your head against the nearest blunt heavy object, repeating 'moron, moron, moron' over and over in your head. Well, hopefully in your head, as opposed to in reply to whatever the other person said. If you make that slip, then you might suddenly have an awful lot to talk about. You might also find yourself hanging upside down from a tree, though, so I wouldn't recommend it. Depends on the audience, really, and whether you're wearing your running shoes at the time.

I don't know. Maybe I'm the only one that has that debilitating mental block around people I don't know well. Maybe the rest of you are normal, well-adjusted, straightforward and upstanding citizens.

(Yeah, right -- you've been reading this shit for fourteen paragraphs, so that can't be true, now, can it? You might not have my particular brand of dementia, but you ain't healthy, bub. Don't kid yourself.

And by the way, if you actually took the time to count the paragraphs... you're worse off than I am. Seek professional help, before you hurt somebody.

And if you hadn't counted the paragraphs before, because it didn't occur to you, but then went back and counted after I mentioned it... well, then you're not terribly bright, in addition to being unbalanced.

And if you counted just now, after all of that... well, then you're just a smartass. Nobody likes you much, do they?)

(Shit. I went back just now and counted for the first time. What the hell does that say about me?

You know, other than the fact that I can freaking estimate paragraphs, since I was in the fourteenth paragraph when I said I was. Drop a pinch of that in your bong and smoke it, Jackson!)

All right, where the hell was I, anyway?

Oh, right. So, maybe I'm the only one who has trouble talking to people. But I doubt it. The world is way too screwy a place for everybody but me to walking around with adequate social skills. If everybody else is so freaking 'normal', then how the hell would you explain The Anna Nicole Show? Or those spam emails I get about some girl named Lisa and her horse? Or Puppetry of the Penis, for chrissakes?

(I mean, sure, it's impressive and all, in it's own... 'special' way, but come on -- if those people had any clue how to strike up a conversation, do you think they'd have ever had enough free time to sit around fiddling with their diddlers until they could make balloon animals out of 'em?

Seriously, you have got to spend a lot of hours -- I'm talking mongo 'quality time' -- with Mr. Happy before you start seeing possibilities for sculpting the damned thing into shapes. Look, I'm a big fan of my genitals, folks, but I have never looked down at the little fella and thought to myself:

'Ooooh! Let's try origami!'

Well, okay, that's not technically true -- I did think exactly that once, back in college. But that's just because I thought 'origami' was some sort of Japanese orgy, and some really cool anime was on at the time. But once I discovered what the word really meant? No. Definitely not.)

Damn. Lost my place again. Did I have a point back there before all that nonsense? Was it that other people are probably just as fucked up as I am? Oh, okay, good. I think that was actually some pretty solid ground before that last tangent. Now... not so much.

Anyway, just in case you also have anxieties about talking to people, and end up saying that same stupid crap about how hot, or cold, or snowy, or locust-plaguey it's been lately, I just want to tell you two things:

One, you're not alone. I do it. I know other people who do it. And, like I said, I suspect everyone does it. And yes, that includes those assbags who stand there silent and let you stutter on about the weather, and then roll their eyes at your predictability. Those bastards do it, too. Don't let 'em fool you.

And two, trust me, as stupid as you feel for taking the 'easy way' into a conversation, it beats the rosy-cheeked fanny off the alternative. I think you know a bit now about how my mind works, so I have to tell you -- when in doubt, I always go the safe, easy route. I have put myself under pressure too many times to be 'different', and 'spontaneous', and come up with icebreakers like:

'Wow, that's some nose you've got there!'

'You know, I wonder how many licks it would take to get to the center of a lot of things.'

'Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time, and find out whether your grandmother was ever really hot?'

So do as I write, folks, not as I blurt. Stick to the weather. You'll be happier, the people you're with will be happier, and none of you will ever have to try to picture your grandma in a lace-up leather teddy and 'fuck-me pumps'.

Except that a lot of you just did, of course. And with that, I'm off to bed. I've dispensed advice, discussed my penis, and left you with a really, really disturbing -- but for some of you, strangely exciting -- image. My work here is done. Now aren't you glad I managed to find something to talk about tonight?

D00d! N0 \/\/@y! I @/\/\ 5ooo there!

Okay, I know it wasn't long ago that I took a tiptoe through the spam garden, to see what kind of crap my mail filter is weeding out. And there are only so many words that you can milk out of a topic that's so damned ubiquitous, but I just can't resist this one.

The following email was actually delivered to me -- the mail filter apparently believed that it was kosher and legit, for reasons that fail more or less miserably to make themselves apparent. But don't take my word for it; have a look for yourself (self-protecting edits in italics; everything else verbatim from my mailbox):

From: "Yahoo*"
To: *my email address*
Subject: _Your_ Yahoo` User ID (*my email address*)
Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2004 13:18:00 -0500


This` ema1l INF0RM You that _your _Yahoo_ @CCOUNT (*my email address*)
wi|l be b|ocked after* 13 _days_ (_as_ after autoomateed reegisttration) 1f Y0U will
_not_ _signup_ on Yahoo` white List (_to_ sign up - cl1ck HERE: http://*my last name*.yahoo.com/)

That_is D0NE beecause we* update now Yahoo` not` autoomateed reegistered @CCOUNTs.


To which I can only say... 'D00dz. What the fuck?'

Honestly, there's not a single level that I get this on. It's obviously not from Yahoo, and doesn't seem like it's meant to be taken seriously in that regard. Hell, they didn't even bother to fake a Yahoo-based email address.

But it's also one of those creepy hand-wavy emails that tells you that something baaaad is gonna happen if you don't do something, right away, and don't ask reasonable questions, man! Your account's at stake!

But... the link in the email is to (my name).yahoo.com. Which doesn't exist, and won't, ever, as far as I can tell. There's nothing sinister or dangerous about it, as far as I can see. So what the hell is the point? It's so weird that it's not even irritating; it's just... 'huh?' I just don't get it.

Maybe someone's out there just trying to confuse people. Or to convince people that their very own subdomain of Yahoo is out there somewhere -- maybe this is the 'net version of 'Hey, what's that on your shirt? Made you look!' But even then... 'huh?' How would the sender even know it worked? Really, this whole damned thing just makes my head spin.

Actually, I think I just figured it out. This mail was meant to be so bizarre, so contradictory, and so surreal... that someone would eventually have to post it online and write about it. And dammit, if that's the game, then I'll be the sappy sucker who does it. Hell, I'm glad to do it -- because I can't think of any other fricking purpose this email could serve, and I'm not gonna sleep at night unless I convince myself that there's some kind of meaning there.

Somehow, some way, some bastard is trying to steal my money, or get my account password, or make me buy penis-enlarging pills with this stupid cockeyed email, and I just haven't figured out how yet. I just don't see how it's possible with what's there -- it makes no damned sense. And if there's one thing I hate worse than a slimy weasel spam-spewer, it's a slimy weasel spam-spewer who confuses the living shit out of me. How the hell do I know whether he's won or not, with this garbage? I can't find the frigging catch, which means he might already have my money! Help! Argh! Run for the hills!

So, fuck it. I'm just gonna assume that it means nothing, and delete the damned thing. Except... maybe that's what he wants me to do. Maybe deleting the email is what sets off its diabolical little trap. Shit! Now I don't know what to do. I'm confused, people. Color me boggled. I'm gonna go home and crawl under the covers. I just hope I still own my house by the time I get there. This shit is scary!

Sunday, February 08, 2004
Hey, If You Press Your Ear to the Windshield, You Can Still Hear the Radio!

Okay, now it's really time for this week's Blogger Idol post. So let's get on with it before I go off on another tangent and have to do this whole thing again. Sheesh.


(Click icon to see all Week Four posts)

Week Four Topic: 'Ooops'

Well, this is a toughie. So many choices, and only one story to choose. Seriously, if my life had a caption, it would be 'Ooops'.

(Or 'Oh, fuck, no!'. Or possibly, 'Hey, how the hell did you get your head stuck in there?' But let's stick to the topic at hand, shall we? Nobody wants to rehash my college admission interviews, anyway.)

So. 'Ooops'

There are a lot of tales I could relay from my experience that involved an 'Ooops' moment, but I think I've picked the one I want to tell you. It's the story of the one time that I managed to lock my keys inside my car.

So, I was fresh out of college, still wet (with cheap beer, no doubt) behind the ears, and living on my own in Pittsburgh. My girlfriend (now my wife) was several hundred miles away, still at the college where we met. Because of geographical and financial constraints, we saw each other only about once a month or so. This story occurs maybe a year into that little situation.

(There. That's called backstory, boys and girls. Don't say I never gave ya nothin', okay?)

So, anyway, flying back and forth got to be pretty damned expensive, so we'd sometimes drive the six hours or so to visit the other. On this particular day, it was my turn to drive, and it had been close to six weeks since I'd seen my one true love.

(No, I'm not talking about my penis. Get your damned mind out of the gutter. Just sit back and appreciate the bonus backstory, would you? We're zooming in on the point now -- it should roll around any time now.)

So, I drove to see my girl. Only, she wasn't there yet -- she was doing grad school interviews at the time, and was getting back into town on the same Friday that I was driving in. So we arranged that I'd meet her at the airport, drive her back to her dorm, and we'd commence with the... um, er, well. We'd, uh, commence playing chess, and having tea together, and discussing the matters of the day, of course. Just the sort of activities that any two youngsters like ourselves would engage in, naturally. You understand. Ahem.

Anyway, I make the trek all the way there, and then to the airport, with just such things -- to review, that's 'chess', and 'tea', and 'the discussion of current events germane to our milieu' -- topmost in my mind. That's after six weeks of not being able to, er, play chess, and drink tea, and et cetera, and all the rest, and I think we all know what we're talking about here, dammit.

So that's pretty much all I was thinking about. I don't remember the drive there. I don't remember pulling into the airport parking lot. For all I know, I was carried the whole way in a cocunut husk suepended between the beaks of two European swallows. (Or African; whichever you prefer.) I may have smacked into dogs on the way there, or deer, or sheep, or little old ladies -- I didn't know, and I didn't care. I was finally there, to see my honey, and all I had to do was pop into the airport, collect her and her bags, and then it was wild, sweaty, freaky... um, chess time. With tea, and... er, stuff.

I say all of this in my defense, to indicate just what sort of an excited, joyous, agitated, anxious mood I was in. Not to mention mentally exhausted from the long drive, or coconut ride, or whatever the hell it was. I wasn't thinking straight, clearly. And that's why -- and the only reason why -- I hopped out of the car, and left the keys inside.

In the ignition.

With the car still running.

'Oh, shit. There goes that afternoon game of chess I wanted to play. Puckernuts!'

(No, I don't know what the hell 'puckernuts' means, by the way. It just popped into my head, and it seemed like the sort of thing I might say in a situation like that. If I remember, I'll add it to the list.)

Anyway, I didn't know what the hell to do. I just stood there for a couple of minutes, gaping and drooling. Some might say that this just exacerbated the problem. I like to think that I was just 'getting into character', doing my best to look like the stumbling, shriky-brained moron that I apparently was. Hell, I wish more morons would put in the effort, frankly -- that way, when I do have a lucid moment, I can avoid anyone who looks like a mouth-breathing assbag, and get on with my day. Too many assheaded jackholes out there operate in 'stealth mode', trying to make you think they're normal people before laying their wrongheaded boobered bullshit on you. Who was it, Bill Hicks, who said those people should wear fucking signs? Hear, hear, Bill -- tell the gospel, brother.

So, anyway, there I was, slobbering onto the asphalt of the parking lot, wondering what the hell to do next. As usual, I was borderline late to meet my then-girlfriend-now-wife.

(By the way, how and why she's put up with me all these years, I can't say; hell, incriminating pictures only go so far. Unless you're a politician, of course, which she isn't.

And never will be, based on these Polaroids. Don't ever run for office, honey pie -- you never know when I might need a little extra spending cash. Love you, snookums!)

Back to the story -- after a few minutes, I made my decision. As backwards as it seemed to leave a running car out in the parking lot where anyone could sneak up and steal it, the thing was locked. So at least there'd be one line of defense between my precious wheels and a would-be auto snatcher. And besides, most people probably wouldn't glance twice at a running car in a parking lot, just assuming that there's someone sitting in it. I mean, no assknacker would actually leave a running automobile completely unattended in a public parking lot, would they?

*ahem* Sir! Private Assknacker, present and accounted for, sir!

So, I did. I walked into the airport, found my honey's flight, waited with her for her checked bags, and helped her carry them out to the car. All was bliss and love and happiness, and impending 'chess' and 'tea'. It honestly wasn't until we were within sight of the car that a little nagging thought poked at me from my brain. I suddenly remembered my little predicament, and tried to find just the right way to explain myself to her:

'Oh, honey, that's right... I forgot to mention it, but there's a little 'problem' with the car.

Oh, no, no, it's okay. It's not dead or anything. Nope, got plenty of gas; it still runs. (Oh boy, does it run.)

What? Nothing, nothing. No, it's just that... um, well, with all the excitement and all of being here, and seeing your beautiful face, and getting to spend time with you, and all the romantic things I was thinking about on the way here... um, I sort of, kinda... lockedthekeysinthecar.

I said, I... lockedthekeys... in the car.

No, I didn't say I farted in the car! I lockedthekeys in there. Lockedthekeys! Lockedthekeys!

Fine. I locked the keys... IN... the car. There. You happy? My keys. Locked. In the car. Mine. In the car. Locked. I hope you're satisfied!

Oh... and, um, by the way... it's sort of still running, just a little. If that's important or anything.

Sheesh. Folks, that happened more than twenty years ago. And I still haven't lived it down. She laughed at me -- just laughed -- for... I can't remember how long, frankly. She laughed while we waited for AAA to get there, and had a nice little chuckle with the locksmith, and then giggled all the way back to the dorm, and cackled as she told all of her friends about it. Laugh, laugh, laugh, ha ha ha, ho ho friickin' ho. Funny, funny. She even laughed during 'chess'.

(And yes, I choose to believe that she was still amused by the scene in the parking lot, thank you very much. One humiliating expeirence at a time, if you would, please.)

So, anyway, that's my story. My most memorable 'Ooops' moment, made more difficult by the fact that I had to parade my sweetest love right by the evidence. And that I had to breathe gasoline fumes throughout the experience, but that's really secondary to the main issue, frankly. Hell, I'd have chugged gasoline at that point, if I could have just kept my brain fart quiet, and never let my sweetie be the wiser.

But that's not how it worked out, and she gleefully told me 'Don't forget your keys!' for months afterward. It's started to settle down a bit now, of course. Just a little. Of coruse., I did remind her about the whole thing this afternoon, because I had to ask her about a few details in the backstory. (Hey, I told you I was thinking of 'chess 'n' tea' the whole time.) So she'll probably be all over me again for a while, now that it's fresh in her mind. It'll probably be unbearable for a while, until she tires of the taunting.

Man, the things I do for you people who read this.

(Okay, okay, I'm kidding. Mainly. She was actually very nice and understanding about the whole affair. My wife's a wonderful woman, and really didn't give me much hell at all over such a stupid thing. Just a leeeeetle tiny bit. For like a month. Or two. The rest of the nineties, tops. But really, she was okay. That's just not as good an ending. Sorry.

But hey, people -- she reads this shit sometimes. And while I love a good ending as much as the next guy, I can't go painting her as vindictive and snarly when she really wasn't. That's not fair, is it, pookie?

And besides, if I'm mean to her, I might not get to play 'chess' for a long, long time. And I love you people and all, but that's serious shit. Good ending be damned -- I need my pawns knighted, dammit! We're storming the queen's castle at dawn!)

Wait for It... Wait for It... Wait... Not Yet!

Well, it's time for this week's Blogger Idol post. But before we get to that, I want to update you on a couple of other blogalicious developments:

1) If you haven't noticed, but you still care (and that reduces the audience for this item to zero people right there), I've availed myself of the Blogger 'Atom XML feed' option. I've had an RSS feed and a Klip file for a while now, for all of your auto-updating subscription type needs, but frankly, the Atom feed is formatted much closer to the way I'd like it, so I wanted to point it out. If more tools start supporting Atom, I'll use it as the subscription feed going forward.

If none of this means anything to you, but you wish it did, check out the links to my various feeds on the bottom of the left sidebar, and then click through to the people making each one possible. It's pretty cool stuff, and can come in pretty damned handy.

On the other hand, if none of this means anything to you, and you don't want it to, then just skip along to the next item. Which, as it happens, is coming up right now. Convenient, no?

B) The action in Round Three of Blog Madness 2003 is heating up!

As I type this... wait, lemme check to make sure I'm not accidentally lying to you; I think there's enough premeditated fibbing around here without doing it accidentally... yes, it's still true. Okay. So, as I type this, the race to move on in the Bills Bracket is tied between me, checking in with Can I Buy a Damned Clue, Please?, and Today's Shoes, with Back Home. Have a look, read 'em both, pick your favorite, and rock the vote. It's your civic duty, after all.

Remember, only you can prevent forest fires. (Or some other marginally relevant slogan... look, I don't know. 'Have a Hote -- Go and Vote'? I'm no good at this political shit, people.)

iii) For those who are still interested, the King of the Blogs is under way again, and the first week's judging is done. And, to my considerable shock and jaw-gaping amazement, I made it through to week two! Go have a look at the judge's comments if you like, or just read this summary, if you're attention-deficient like me:

A couple of the judges really, really seemed to like me.
A couple of them don't completely get me, but gave me a few points for making an effort.
One judge just doesn't think I'm funny at all, and another pines for the days when Cosby was king.

And frankly, I'm pretty thrilled with those results. For one thing, based on those opinions, I advanced in the competition, which is cool. Even better, out of five people, two of them seemed to really enjoy their stay. And given that most of the blogosphere is comprised of personal diaries, political arguments, religious musings, and, well, boobs (more or less equally distributed among every sense of the word), I'd be nipple-pokingly thrilled if 40% of the people who came here got a chuckle and a grin out of it, and maybe came back to visit again. Hell, Letterman never got those kinds of numbers, even back when he was funny. I'll take it.

Well, poop. That went on longer than I'd intended. I think I'll just post this now, and come right back with the Blogger Idol post. Man, I told you my day wasn't working out the way I'd planned. Meh.

I Think This Is What They Call a 'Sign'

I do my best to be an upbeat, generally optimistic sort of person. Really, I do.

However, I've got to believe that it doesn't bode well for the day that the first bit of really useful work I've attempted today was to fold laundry at two-thirty in the afternoon.

Or that, while performing said task, I accidentally smacked myself in the genitals. Hard. Twice.

And sure, I could qualify that, and explain exactly what I was doing at the time... but really, would it help any? I'm guessing not.

Frankly, I think the day is trying to tell me something -- it's time to either start drinking, or go the hell back to bed. Or quite possibly both.

Once I'm able to walk again, I'll decide which path to take. In the meantime, I thought I'd give you this update on 'My Sunday So Far'. And aren't you ever so glad I did?

Now... um, does anyone have an ice pack I could borrow? Ow.

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