Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Confessions of an allergy sufferer



I scoffed at the notion of allergies before moving here. SCOFFED, I tell you!

It just seemed so vague to me. “Oh, my allergies are really acting up.” What does that even mean? I’m sorry these beautiful flowers are somehow making you feel less than 100 percent, but maybe there are bigger problems in this world than your fragile immune system.

WELL GUESS WHAT? I take it all back. Two things about the Valley I will never, ever, ever understand are a) its bizarre predisposition for allowing rocks to hit your windshield on the highway and b) the havoc it wreaks on the bodies of people who have experienced zero problems in their decades of existence in other locales.

I seriously don’t even know where it comes from. People talk about the pollen count, and I’m like, pollen from what? Everything is a cactus or a dumb bush. I have to drive three blocks to see real grass in my neighborhood, yet I experience a violent, 10-minute sneeze attack every morning that thoroughly annoys my wife because she somehow thinks I should sneeze more quietly. And even if there is something in the atmosphere, why hasn’t the Arizona sun burned it off? For six months a year, you can throw a bucket of milk in the air and the sun will evaporate it before it can hit the ground, but it can’t destroy a little pollen? DO YOUR JOB, SUN.

I apologize for my angst, but I haven’t been able to see out of my eyeballs for the past three weeks. They are constantly watering and all I want to do is stay home all day in the dark and rub my eyeballs until the itch is satiated, which is impossible because the itch is NEVER SATIATED. I have a better chance of rubbing my eyeballs straight out the back of my head than reaching a point where I can say, “That feels better, I can stop now.”

The good news is that the action of rubbing the eyeballs feels great—better than sex—but the results … not so much. Unless you think appearing as if you just watched “Beaches” while holding your dying pet is attractive. The other day I sat at my desk at work and rubbed my eyeballs INTENSELY for a good few minutes, and then someone walked in and I looked up and they were like, “Ohmygosh are you okay? Did something happen? Do you need anything or just some time alone?” I was like, “I AM OKAY,” but then I really did start crying. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

I tried taking Claritin, but that did squat. I also tried Benadryl, which also didn’t work. (Fine, it was Wal-Dryl. Why would I pay for Benadryl when I can get Wal-Dryl? DON’T JUDGE ME.) I’m growing more convinced that my allergies are growing stronger with each passing spring, and are currently immune to all forms of medication. At this point, I don’t think my eyes will make it. I have already purchased a tiny headstone for them with the epitaph, “Mike’s eyeballs: rubbing them felt so good, but at what cost? RIP.”

And now I find myself, yet again, anxiously awaiting the sweltering heat of summer as an alternative to the absolutely perfect weather right now that is rendering me unable to fully enjoy it. Until then, I am practicing the art of sneezing more quietly because sneezing is a voluntary action that is totally under my control. WISH ME LUCK.

                                           Looking good, ADAM! (ADAM is me.)


Note: This column appears in the 4/2 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/3 issue of the Peoria Times.

Spam email of the week

I WANNA HELP SICK PEOPLE BUT WHO IS GOING TO PAY ME FOR IT? I AIN'T MOTHER TERESA



OH COOL KONSTANTIN POPOV IS GONNA PAY ME TO HELP SICK PEOPLE

KONSTANTIN POPOV IS UNDER THE IMPRESSION I AM CITRUS PARK OF PRONTO WASH

PLEASE NOBODY TELL KONSTANTIN POPOV THAT I AM NOT CITRUS PARK OF PRONTO WASH BECAUSE I WANT TO GET PAID FOR HELPING SICK PEOPLE

THANK YOU

OUR LITTLE SECRET

I GUESS NOW I'LL JUST FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND BE ON MY WAY TO SICK PEOPLE LAND

HANG IN THERE SICK PEOPLE - IMMA COMIN' FOR THAT $$$$

THERE ARE NO INSTRUCTIONS

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: AN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY.

I don’t know a lot about investing but this email seems nice.

Dear Friend,

See?

AN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY.

Got it.

I hope this email finds you in good health. I m Dr. Donald Adams, originally from Fiji Islands,

Oh thanks for clarifying. For a hot second there I thought you were Dr. Donald Adams of Afghanistan, the famous expert doctor of medicine.

but I am presently in Afghanistan as an expert doctor of medicine.

Afghan person: Help, this man is having a heart attack! Is there an expert doctor of medicine anywhere?

Doctor: I am a doctor.

Afghan person: An expert doctor of medicine?

Doctor: I am … but a neurosurgeon. (hangs head in shame)

Afghan: DAMMIT THIS IS SERIOUS.

On the 12Th of April 2014 my wife and I were approached by a British Soldier, Warrant Officer Faulkner Spencer, who handed a box full of cash totaling TWENTY-TWO MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ONLY {$22,800,000.00} to me and my wife for safe keeping and begged us never to disclose this to anyone.

I have two things to say: 1) nope; 2) you failed.

Unfortunately,exactly two weeks later news reached us that he had an accident and died in an Helicopter crash in Takhta Pul District, Afghanistan.

Kindly view the link below for confirmation:
 
 http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-10629358

This link without a doubt proves you’re taking the real name of someone who died as the thin veil of truth to cover up this cantaloupe of a lie.

My wife and I wants

WE NEED AN EXPERT DOCTOR OF GRAMMAR, STAT! Ha ha, j/k Dr. Donald Abrams—you seem like a good guy.

to use this opportunity to seek for your assistance to help us repatriate this fund to your country for investment purposes because the fund is not safe here and we can no longer hold on to this fund since Officer Faulkner is no more and we are willing to compensate  you with 35% of the total sum for your help.

This fund is no longer safe here. Only 65 percent of this fund is safe here.

We will be very grateful if our proposal is considered and given the urgent attention it deserves.

The gratefulness of strangers is what drives me to live. A THOUSAND YESES.

This is our private e-mails:
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Donald Adams.

Thank you for your private emails. This has been worth it.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spam email of the week

Subject: PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL,

Comma = CLIFFHANGER

My name is Barrister Daniel Gidado ESQ. I would like to present to you a Business Proposition for your consideration.

Unsolicited business propositions are kind of my thing. Spit your game, son.

I hold on Trusts the sum of $128,000,000.00 that belongs to my late client.


RIP your client. He hustled till he died. Now he dead. (That was my eulogy; I drop the mic at the end and break down in tears.)

The aforementioned funds were blocked in my Trusts Account pending when a Beneficiary will be appointed by me to claim the said funds as contained in the Trusts Agreement.

I have a feeling you’re going to tell me this dude who was worth $128 million had no friends or family, which makes sense because people hate being around money.

I am ready to appoint you

Here we go.

as the Beneficiary cum Investor

Whoa hold up. Is this a fertility clinic or somethin’? Because I don’t think mine works and I just-

of the aforesaid funds herein provided you accept my offer and ready to make the business with me.

At the risk of sounding all business-like with a bunch of #businesslingo, allow me to say: I am ready to make the business with you.

Our Sharing Ratio is 50/50.

As the beneficiary cum investor, I believe I am entitled to … (flipping through giant law book, searching for “cum investor”) … I can’t find it. OK.

I will appreciate if you will send me your telephone number for verbal discussion of this offer in full detail.

Yes, we should definitely talk about this over the phone. My number is 286-468-3787 (CUM-INV-ESTR)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The mystery of the missing birthday gift


During a phone conversation with my dad, he mentioned that he and my mom had sent my wife a gift for her birthday. Did we get it?

“I don’t think so,” I said. “I got the mail yesterday and there was nothing from you guys … and nothing at the front door either.”

“Well, they said it should have arrived yesterday,” he said. (Note that “they” are my dad’s No. 1 news source. I don’t know who “they” are, but my dad trusts them even though their information is iffy. Last year my dad claimed that “they” had discovered that tilapia is not an actual fish, but a manufactured combination of fish parts, like a fish hot dog.) “You know how they are with those things.”

Indeed, even considering how little I know about “they,” I do know how they are with these things (liars). Anyway, that was how we ended our conversation, with me telling him that I’d get in touch to let them know when she got the gift, which I totally would have forgotten to do if given the chance. In fact, I completely blanked on asking my wife if she had somehow received my parents’ gift unbeknownst to me, although I did check the mail again and under our front mat that afternoon. Still nothing. It dawned on me that my dad did not provide any clues as to what the gift was, not particularly helpful when you’re looking for something more vaguely defined than “they.”

Things took a turn for the interesting when my mom called later that evening. My wife missed the call, but checked her voicemail as we finished reading the girls their bedtime story. My wife then turned to me with that all-too-familiar expression of frustration mixed with bewilderment and said, “WHAT the heck did you say to your dad?”

As usual, I had no clue how to respond, although in that moment, as my mind raced with the possibilities of what it could have been I’d done wrong this time, I was reminded of a conversation about a birthday gift.

Welp, turns out what I had said to my dad was that my wife had not received a birthday gift. Which was wrong, apparently, because the birthday gift had arrived the previous day. Wanna know why? Because the gift—I am still laughing even as I write this—was an e-gift card.

An e-gift card! Guys, an e-gift card.

My mom’s voicemail was the result of a totally unnecessary customer service call with the chic women’s fashion store Anthroplogie, during which they apologized for not sending the e-card—which they had—and sent it again, so my wife had a flurry of YOU’VE RECEIVED AN E-CARD emails when she finally had time to log on later that evening.

In trying to get to the bottom of what happened, my dad initially maintained he had told me the gift was an e-card—false—which turned into a promise he had mentioned “a card of some sort.” That is not my recollection—the zero clues I had to work with left me with the impression he had no idea what the gift was—and I remain curious as to how he must have processed my assertion that I had not seen a card sitting by our front door, or why one would have been there in the first place: “COULDN’T FIT THIS TINY CARD IN YOUR MAILBOX SO WE SHIPPED IT IN A REFRIGERATOR BOX. LOVE, THE POST OFFICE.” Whatever the case, only the communication flow in my family will leave you looking under your welcome mat for an email from Anthropologie.

In conclusion, my mom bought my wife a birthday gift, and everything would have been fine had two people COMPLETELY uninvolved not talked to one another. And while some may be quick to blame my dad and me for the unnecessary confusion, we must not forget the misdeeds of “they,” who pretty much started this whole mess. Man, they are the worst.


                                                        

Note: This column appears in the 3/26 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/27 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: Message on hold

This message is on hold. Except it’s here because here it is.

 Hello,
   I do not know if you remember me, we had a discussion some time ago about your situation.

Ah yes, my in-depth conversation with a nameless stranger about my, ahem, situation. Of course I remember you! You were the guy who I gave my email address to and said, “Yo, rando—email me if you have any visions, aiiiiight? It’s been real.” And then I pretended to pay the tab but I didn’t LOL. Is that what this is about?

Can you imagine...tonight I had a vision about you, a vision in which you were the star!

OMG ... ME? Really? A star? In some wack-job’s vision? Hold up … (adds this new information to resume under subcategory of “Star Quality”) … OK, so … did I dunk from the foul line? Please tell me I dunked from the foul line.

I’ll admit, this really intrigued me.

You don’t say? Having a vision intrigued you? Ha ha this is you:

You: (has a clear vision of the afterlife) Hmmm, I am somewhat intrigued by this DERP DERP.

So much so, that I got up and did a study on you.

Seems normal. So … (crosses legs) … tell me a little bit about myself.

What I have discovered about you is incredible! We need to talk about it as soon as possible because there are some big changes ready to happen, in your near future!

I’m sorry—I didn’t get your name …

What will happen to you is incredible! Do not wait...click here now, so I can tell you what I saw.

Or—OR—you could just tell me here?

I know that you often question your decisions, or wonder if you did the right thing.

Wow, this information is so specific to me as a human being and does not apply to anyone else who has ever lived. I can honestly say the only decision I have NOT questioned in life is the decision to not click on your terrible link. I feel good about that one.

My friend, there is no doubt in my mind, clicking this link right now, will be the best decision you make today.

I don’t know though … maybe I should click the link? DAMMIT I have questioned all of my decisions.

 Awaiting your reply.
   Your Friend,
   Chris

CHRIS! Ah yes, Chris. That’s it. Chris, my man. Man? Anyway … (clicks link) (computer explodes) (immediately leaves work and tries to dunk from foul line at local gym) (fails)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spam email of the week



Subject: REQUEST TO ADD BANGLADESHI TOUR PACKAGE TO YOUR WEBSITE.

Request: ACCEPTED. It’s like, who doesn’t want to escape to Bangladesh after reading about a Phoenix metro area school board meeting?

Dear Sir/Madam,

REQUEST TO ADD GENDER TO YOUR EMAIL

Welcome To Bangladesh!!!!!

Thank you!!!!! IT’S BEAUTIFUL HERE.




It is our great pleasure to introduce Mam Holidays Bangladesh and our variety of travel products and services that we offer in Bangladesh.

Are we talking about Bangladesh? It is not clear.

Oh, and is this part of the Mam Holidays travel series? If so, COUNT ME IN. I did a Mam Holidays Key West excursion with some co-workers in 2006 and it was off the hook, yo. Let’s just say I’m no longer allowed on the Mam Holidays Key West Booze Cruise.

With over 10 years of personal experience in serving the individual and group travelers, we have the expertise in all kinds of leisure and adventure tour operations that include Sightseeing in Bangladesh, Holidays Tour Package, Honeymoon Tour Package, Expeditions, Cycling Tour, Trekking, Hiking, River rafting, Camping tour, Home stay

That’s dope how “not going to Bangladesh” is part of the Bangladesh adventure tour. I like options.

Adventure Tour, Hotel Booking, Car/Train/Bus Rental, Boat/Bus ticket booking,

These “adventure tour” highlights seem to devolve into the mundane things you have to do when you travel.

Mam Holidays Bangladesh Adventure Tour includes:

  • Seeing Things
  • Romantic Honeymoon Trekking
  • I Don’t Know … Riding a Bike?
  • Checking Into a Hotel
  • Unpacking Your Suitcase
  • Requesting More Towels
  • Renting a Car
  • Buying a Bus Ticket And/Or Flagging Down a Local Boat
  • Checking In For Your Flight Home 24 Hours In Advance

Anyway, I don’t know what this email is.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

High school drama interrupts classier one



There we were, my wife and I, sitting on the couch trying to watch a DVR’d episode of Downton Abbey, capping off yet another wild Saturday night (church, Pita Jungle), when we heard ruckus from outside.

We should not have been surprised. When we had pulled into our neighborhood an hour or so earlier, our street was flooded with cars, and there were kids on top of many of the cars and they were doing teenager-type things, like being dumb jerks. We drove by slowly to let them know what’s up, “what’s up” being that we had to get home to put our kids to bed and watch a PBS British drama. Anyway, they were on notice. (They were not.)

Our small dog, still woozy from the anesthesia of having a tooth removed earlier that day, was on my lap when we heard the noises coming from outside our front door. I unconsciously carried him outside with me when we went to see what was happening. What was happening when we opened our front door was that kids were scattering all over the neighborhood because, we later discovered, the cops had been called on a parents-aren’t-home party a few doors down. Two bumbling idiots in particular had just run across our front yard and were heading toward our backyard gate.

“HEEYYYYOOOO, I DON’T THINK SO!” I yelled, and I can only imagine how intimidating it sounded while holding a 13-lb dog who was half asleep. (Later on I was glad the stakes weren’t raised, forcing me to say, “Don’t MAKE me put my dog down who just had a tooth removed!”) My wife had added, “GET OUTTA HERE, [expletive]!” and this seemed to work, diverting the morons to our neighbor’s yard. Unfortunately for them, our neighbor was watching everything from his front balcony, and he said, “Get off my property,” only in a way that included several unprintable words and which seemed to imply he was Clint Eastwood and which convinced the idiots to do just that.

Kids were jumping into vehicles left and right and cars and trucks were peeling out. I heard a police siren and I motioned to the street, pointing, as if me pointing to the street would be the break police were looking for. “Thank you, Mr. Kenny, for pointing out where the cars were.” (pins medal to my chest) Only I soon realized the siren was coming from one of the culprit trucks, because OF COURSE one of these idiot kids had a police siren on his truck. Dammit.

The escaping vehicles honked incessantly and ran over the beverages they had left in the street, splattering fruity alcoholic drinks placed in Big Gulp cups everywhere. Most of our neighbors were outside by then, all of us standing in our driveways, and as the endless line of vehicles purchased by oblivious and enabling parents sped out of our neighborhood, these high schoolers yelled out, calling us very terrible names that I can assure you no one on Downton Abbey has ever used.

I felt like a dorky parental extra in Dazed and Confused II or Varsity Blues: Peoria, but at the same time my heart beat with excitement I haven’t felt since doing the same thing 20 years ago that time I thought I saw Joe Pesci while on vacation (it wasn’t him … still though! Joe Pesci!).

We conversed with our neighbors for a short while about how other people’s kids are the WORST. We never saw any actual cops, which was probably for the best considering I was pretty much in my underwear and also drinking a Miller Lite. Because yeah, I may be 36 and married with kids, but I still know how to party.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, then we went inside and finished watching Downton Abbey and then went to bed early. I mean, c’mon, guys—our dog just had a tooth removed.

Note: This column appears in the 3/19 issue of The Glendale Star and the 3/20 issue of the Peoria Times.