Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Boom, roasted: Insults from a 4-year-old


When she was six months old, our daughter rolled her eyes at my wife. No, I mean it—my wife, while feeding her, tried to convince her an airplane was coming in for landing, and our daughter, unconvinced, straight rolled her eyes. Pffft. Airplane? Really? Cliché much?
 
It was an apropos action for a girl who was born with the defiant attitude of a 16-year-old. From that point forward, it was clear we were not dealing with your average child.


Now at the ripe old age of 4, and able to verbalize pretty much anything, there is nothing you can tell her. In fact, according to her: “I know about everything—God, Jesus, lollipops … people … blood.” Not too much knowledge out there that doesn’t fall under that five-item umbrella, so it’s hard to argue with her.


No, literally, it is hard to argue with her. Impossible. Counter-intuitive. Damaging to all involved. It’s become, for us, the most slippery of parental slopes—trying to nurture that independence and intellect while remaining responsible parents. Simply put, it’s the worst.


As I’ve written before, her need for absolute control runs contrary to the control we, as parents, are obliged to exhibit. Never in my wildest dreams could I have conjured up a girl whose stubbornness, resilience and independence transcended that of my wife, and now that girl lives in our house and calls my wife “Mom.” She calls her other things, too.


Yes, while they are quite comical in their infantile nature, our oldest has recently resorted to calling us names when we have the audacity to exert our parental authority by telling her things like, “Untie your sister from the table” and “Stop flashing strangers your underwear.” Not yet armed with a more refined array of insults—although seemingly right on the cusp of saying something truly offensive that she learned at school, and OH BOY do I look forward to that day—she often responds by calling us “Meanie” or “Ninny-head.”


Now, let me interject, lest we come across like the type of parents who would ever condone such behavior. I cannot tell you how many conversations my wife and I have had that begin Can you imagine? Can you imagine if we called our parents a name? Can you imagine if we acted like that in public? Can you imagine if we [every behavior our daughters express]? It’s our ultimate struggle, trying to raise these kids the right way while being sensitive to their special needs. (Although the Can you imagine? preface is faux-rhetorical, the answer, of course, is that we would have gotten our ASS WHOOPED.)


Suffice it to say, our daughter has been disciplined for this name-calling. Disciplined in a way that, had I ever been yelled at as such by own parents, I would still be sitting in my bedroom today, too humiliated to come downstairs. But besides lacking any humility or remorse whatsoever, our daughter also revels in the negative reaction, so we often choose to simply ignore her.


Which was the method I chose on the way home from school last week. Our oldest had just said something rude to her sister and so, while driving and saying nothing, I reached behind me with one hand to grab the doll she was holding as punishment. Our daughter did not appreciate this, and struggled to come up with the appropriate burn.


“You’re a meanie, Daddy! You’re mean! You’re a … a … a knot-head! You have a knotty head! No, your head is … terrible! YOU HAVE A TERRIBLE HEAD!” (breaks down)


Sometimes the truth hurts, and in a quieter moment later that evening, I turned to my wife and said, “Babe, be honest—do I have a terrible head?”


She gently put her arm on mine and said softly, “Who told you?”

Note: This column appears in the 5/1 issue of The Glendale Star and the 5/2 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Facebook meme of the day





BE SAFE OUT THERE TRUCKERS

PLEASE KEEP DELIVERING GOODS

CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH TRUCKER SAFETY MEMES

BUT THIS ONE NAILS IT

THE TRUCKER'S PRAYER:

Please keep truckers safe
When They be in The SNow
To All Those Who Drive (trucks) and Familys (in general)
I APPRECIATE YOU!!!
(this is Susan, my Husband Mark is a Trucker)
Are Their Trucks in Heaven?
You betcha
Peace And Love
And Keep on Truckin (Safely)

LET'S HONK TO THAT SENTIMENT

OOPS I THINK THAT WAS DISTRACTING

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spam email of the week



Subject: Some new nail art products

Okay.

Hi,Friend,

Hello.

Wish you start a beautiful day from fingers to toes.

Awww, what a sweet and totally normal sentiment! My fingers are feeling pretty good right now … strong, flexible, and beautiful. My toes?



Not so much. Also I have a headache, but not your concern. Besides, I took some aspi—

This is Roger from Pretty—Nailart CO.,LTD. Glad to know that you in the market of nail art products.

I suppose the ends justify the means, and it is good that we’ve connected, Roger. Still, can you humor me? Who informed you of my affection for nail art products? I need to know so I can mail this person a dead possum thank you card.

We are factorys specialize in all kinds of nail art products.Iwould like to introduce some hot products with very easy price.

(Full disclosure: I sat next to Roger in creative writing class at Nail Art College University. This right here is classic Rog.)

Roger, before you get into your line of hot products, I want to interrupt because I am only interested in one specific, hot product: Do you have new Polish stickers for World Cup Brazil and if so, how much per card? J/k—that question was obviously just a bunch of words I incoherently pieced toge—

2014 new polish stickers for World Cup Brazil only 0.4usd per card

Me: Hello, ma’am. I would like one card of Polish-themed stickers for the upcoming World Cup soccer tournament. Here is zero point four United States dollars.

Cashier: What? Yo, this is Subway, dawg. And I am not a woman.

And THAT is why I only buy my nail art online from Rog.

GO POLAND! (blows vuvuzela while wearing nothing but nail art)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Non-contagious infection affects my nerves



When our oldest daughter was a baby and had her first ear infection, we reacted like, “Oh no, our sweet honey! Stop the world—we must remedy this condition with no regard for personal responsibilities like our jobs!”

By the eighth ear infection, we were like, “Are you kidding me right now, child? We have no vacation days left.”

Now it’s like this, with either daughter:

“Mommy, Daddy, I don’t feel so goo—”

“YES YOU DO. Stop saying that. Don’t you dare say that at school tomorrow because you ARE going to school tomorrow!”

We are cool parents.

Really though, it’s ridiculous. When our girls aren’t feeling well, it’s either an ear infection or an ear infection, neither of which are contagious. So when school called me a couple weeks ago to say they had our youngest daughter up front, and she had a fever (of 100.6, which doesn’t even really count) and I had to come pick her up, I already knew what it was.

But of course I had to go through the whole process. Instead of amoxicillin being available over-the-counter, I had to go to the doctor, fill out three pages of insurance info they already had on file, wait 30 minutes for the doctor to arrive while my “sick” child bounced off the walls of the office yelling “WATCH ME DADDY, YIPPEE (falls down face first) OWWEE!,” then watch the doctor utilize decades of medical experience to look in her ear and say, “Yep, it’s red,” all so that he could prescribe: amoxicillin. Thanks a lot, OBAMA. (that was a joke, everybody chill)

Although school policy dictates no child with a fever can return to school for 24 hours, they informed me when I picked her up that she could return the following day with a doctor’s note specifying her ailment was not contagious. So when I officially received the news about the ear infection—which is, again, not contagious—I was like, “Doc, can I get a note for school since this is, ya’ know, not contagious?”

Doc said, “Actually, I’d like to see her on the meds for 24 hours before she goes back.”

I was like, “By ‘see her’ do you mean you are going to come to my house and watch her so I can go back to my job, which pays me to live?”

He did not respond, mostly because I did not actually say that because I am intimidated by doctors.

Oh, then I had to go pick up the amoxicillin at the pharmacy which, “What is your child’s name again? We don’t have anything under that name. Let me call the doctor.” By the time they got their act together, it was like this:

“OK, you’re going to want to keep this refrigerated, and she gets 7 MLs—”

“GIVE ME THE BAG. I know what to do.”

“Okaaaaaay, but do you need a plastic syri—“

(I pull two plastic syringes from my trusty syringe holster, twirl them around in my fingers in pharmacist’s face, then pretend to blow smoke off them) “Don’t think so.”

I spent the majority of the following day home from work with a child who was feeling great and who also was not contagious. Eventually, I had to bring her with me to pick up her sister at school, and I desperately wanted to make a statement by having her wear a hazmat suit.

I didn’t, but only because it would have been unwise to make such a purchase after a day and a half of lost wages. And also because I am intimidated by teachers.

Note: This column appears in the 4/24 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/25 issue of the Peoria Times.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book announcement



I wrote another book that I am kindly demanding you purchase multiple copies of right this second. Or, ya' know, whenever. Please?

The book is titled The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo, and it is about my father-in-law. It is essentially his life story—his memoir—written from my point of view. Which is to say, it’s supposed to be funny. But also informative and touching in its exploration of one man’s path to America and family life in general.

Readers of So, Do You Like … Stuff? became familiar with my father-in-law through several stories contained in that book, and the feedback on those stories became the inspiration for this project. Speaking of the first book, I also want to mention—The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo is a very different beast.

For starters, while Stuff contained many stories readers of this blog were already familiar with, Garlic Tuxedo is all new. Minus a few anecdotes, this is brand new material, gathered through extensive interviews and recollections of personal experiences that have never been published. This is three years in the making, and I’ve only showered six times during that span and sacrificed many relationships in the process, all worth it. Furthermore, while my typical (predictable? stale?) style of essay-ish, short, easy-to-read stories remains in tact, this is a comprehensive work. A book-book. Beginning, middle, end, themes and everything. I know, I am as surprised as you.

To boot, The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo is a work of indie publishing, which is the term I prefer because it is cooler and a more apt descriptor than "self-publishing." Cynics may argue the differences between the two are minimal or even non-existent, but rather than get immersed in that discussion, I’ll just let the finished product speak for itself.

As such, The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo is not exactly cheap. Well, the Kindle version (coming soon!) will be, of course. The hardcover version—the book’s only available format at this time (my plan is to release it in paperback before the holidays, as Jesus would want)—retails for $28.99, but is available on Amazon for a few bucks less. I know, it’s a tough sell—an unknown, modest columnist/blogger whose book costs more than say, Tina Fey’s. All I can say is that I worked diligently to earn every penny of your hard-earned money (almost all of which goes solely toward production, fwiw), and I firmly believe this book will justify what you spend on it and then some. (I cannot more highly recommend the hardcover option, especially for those, like me, who prefer a book in-hand.)

I sincerely hope you buy this book because I believe you will love it, not because I wrote it but because the character it explores is irresistibly lovable. If you do love it, please pass the word along (not the book itself or I will CUT you, j/k) because that is the only way the book will take off. I need your help. (puppy dog eyes)

I want to end by saying that it still amazes me—truly, it is confounding—that people, you all specifically, read the stuff I write. I mean, that you take time out of your busy day to read it for free is enough of a mind-boggler, but that you have and hopefully will again actually buy it adds a whole ‘nother level of disbelief for which I am undyingly grateful. Thank you! So much, all of you.

UPDATE: Kindle version and Nook version now available!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spam email of the week



Subject:

This could be anything. Turns out it’s everything.

Respected chief editor!

Well howdy to you, too, “Savitsky Nikita!”

And all the staff members! I found a list of all the governors of all the states of USA and tried to send letter to them (but their emails doesn’t work!?). In this letter I inform next: «teachers and coaches tortured your children and all children of the USA with twenty harmful exercises!?...

“Governor Jan Brewer’s office. How may I help you?”

“Respected gubernatorial assistant!”

“...”

“My name is Savitsky and I found a list of emails but it won’t go through?! Don’t realize if it’s error on paper or my keyboard contraption device. Anyways, I wish to be granted your USA governor’s correct emails.”

“Okaaaay. May I ask what this is in regard to?”

“Certainly! I wish to send letters to inform about teachers and coaches torturing USA children with twenty harmful exercises!”

“Oh. Alright, uh, are you ready for the correct email address?”

“Yes! Have pen now!”

“Okay it’s: jan.bruer@unitedstatesbuilding.gov/yahoo/AZ.”

“Thank yous!”

Unscientific, inhumane ways and methods!?... And nobody observes it (at least looking at the fat kids)!?

(can’t sleep, turn on TV at 3 a.m., infomercial begins)

HELLO AMERICA! (studio audience claps) My name is Savitsky Nikita and I am here to stop the torture of children! Any of you lazy Americans ever look around to observe all the fat kids? (pulls fat kid into frame by his ear) (fat kid says, “Uh …”) LOOK AT THE FAT ROLLS. (tosses kid backstage) I can fix this with 555 magic steps.

I don't want listen excuses and justification…lies of the governors (about their employment and illiteracy).

USA Today headline: American governors: US kids fat, yeah, but have jobs, can’t read about how fat they are

I'm not interested in this. I want to offer my saving useful sports methods to one governor and create my own "World Center" in your country!

Welcome to Savitsky’s World Center for Fat American Kids, in beautiful downtown Boise, thanks to the efforts of Governor Butch Otter. Please go inside and utilize useful sports methods until you are skinny enough to be seen in public.

Please convey to all (!) Governors (anyone of them will dare!?...)!

If there’s anything a U.S. governor will respond to, it’s an email dare from a nonsensical non-person.

And please remind them - approaching summer holidays!? … The first time summer holidays can be filled with useful thing - performing perfect methods!... Delight, extraordinary and different enjoyment!

“I wasn’t going to approve Savitsky’s World Center for Fat American Kids, but then someone—I think it was Savitsky—reminded me: yo, Butch, summer holidays are coming? Can’t be having a bunch of fat kids running around with their shirts off. Let them enjoy performing perfect methods where no one can see them.” – U.S. Gov. Butch Otter

If this idea does not become a success, then I have to you a specific proposition. How much will cost this advertisement:

“If this idea is a complete failure, I want to advertise it.” Makes sense.

«Dear citizens of our state! I'm selling perfect sports methods (which consist of 555 copyright, magic exercises!) for just a one (five?) dollar.

Person: Hi, I’d like to sign my kid up for 555 magic sports methods.

Savitsky: Sure! That will be one dollar.

Person: Great. (hands Savitsky a dollar)

Savitsky: Five dollars?

Person: What?

Savitsky: Maybe you want to give five dollars instead?

Person: I like one dollar better.

Savitsky: Okay fine, ha, ha, I AM SAVITSKY, COME WITH ME, FAT BOY.

It guarantees any weight loss to any person! It also guarantees: happy life up to 150 years, life in motion!

“Listen, I’m not promising you the world. All I’m saying is that you will lose all the weight and I guarantee complete happiness and that you will live like 40 years longer than is humanly possible. For one (five?) dollar.” – Savitsky

It (even condensed 5 times!) guarantees your child a world title in any kind of sport!?

What if the title match is between two kids who used Savitsky’s metho—

How much will cost this advertisement in your newspaper?

Uh, one million (four million?) dollars.

Confirmation: it is originality, beauty, easiness, a huge amount of exercises and a desire to perform them!... Don’t stopping!.. Always!.. Everywhere! Evidence: it is set of 50 "sports laws" (new, scientific, substantiate and confirmed)! 40 normal children's motivations!? Only children can choose exercises and not sports ministers or primitive scientists!

Hey buddy—in ‘MERICA our sports ministers choose the exercises, okay? Ain’t that right, primitive scientist?

Primitive scientist: The sun revolves around the earth, and make sure to use your back when lifting heavy things.

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ‘BOUT.

How to improve this announcement or maybe make it shorter?

This announcement could best be improved by me printing it out, crumpling it up, setting fire to it, and scattering the ashes in four different parts of the world. Which, coincidentally, would also make it shorter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo - sneak peak

The following is an excerpt from my new book, The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo, which should be available in hardcover at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com next week. Please buy it because it will make me happy, and also you happy. Promise.

- - - - -

My mother-in-law, Anna, had me drive her car because it fit us all. We were going to pick up her husband from work in Bay Ridge and then go to the famous Gargiulo's restaurant in Coney Island. This was assuredly going to be Tony in his element, Brooklyn, and my parents would be witnesses to the lion in the jungle. Unfortunately, the stress I had been experiencing had now transferred to Anna.


Picking her husband up at work made sense logistically, but experience had taught her to be wary. If he had a bad day at work, there was no telling what he would say or do in the immediate aftermath. More importantly, she knew there was no way in heck he was going to be ready.


Tony was not ready. It was rush hour in Brooklyn. We had reservations. He recommended we double-park in front of his office while we waited. All I can say is thank God I was driving and not my parents, and especially not my then wife-to-be. She is an anxiety attack waiting to happen when parking in an area where parking is not permitted. She won’t do it. She couldn’t wait near the curb in the arrivals lane of an airport if her life depended on it. She’ll drive away the second she believes someone of authority is approaching the vehicle, even if that someone is a small, lost child. Though not as extreme, I am sympathetic to her plight, which is why it’s always a joy when Tony recommends doing what he would do in a situation: “Just double-park,” or “Tell them you want a discount of seventy-five percent,” or “Don’t worry about what’s on the menu—ask them what they really have.”


So I double-parked, and we waited, and waited. Anna was a ball of stress, hands in the air, checking her watch, apologizing to my parents. My parents were fine though. That’s the thing about my parents, and it’s a trait I most certainly share—if people are waiting for them, the tension between them will explode in a flurry of raised voices and condescending remarks. If they are waiting for someone else, they’re totally cool. Tony is the exact opposite of that.


As we waited, someone pulled up next to us, stopped, and then the driver got out of the car and ran across the street. Triple-park! Man, I love Brooklyn. I thought Anna was going to pass out. It was then that Tony finally emerged from the office. He indicated he was going to drive, which was fine by me. I hopped out and joined my parents in the back. Tony hopped in, threw his briefcase and papers at Anna and joyously welcomed my parents to Brooklyn.


“Jack, Judy! So happy to see you! Ready for some good food and … (cell phone rings, looks down) What the fff … (picks up) Hello? What? I told you already, fifth floor. Apartment 5C. Bring a wrench … (hangs up) So happy to see you guys!”


The only problem was, we were stuck. My guess in that moment was that Tony was going to lay on the horn until the person who had triple-parked reemerged. I was wrong. He put the car in reverse. He was going for it.


A person riding a skateboard could not fit through the space we had, much less an SUV. Tony yelled, “Jack, how’m I looking back there?” to which my dad replied, diplomatically, “Umm, not sure we’ve got enough room here, Tony.” Keep in mind that this was the second time my dad had met his son’s future father-in-law, and he was already being forced to say to him, essentially, “I do not agree with this decision you are about to make.” It was a nice touch though for my dad to say “we’ve,” as if trying to drive out of this situation was a collective decision.


Tony was undeterred. He cut the wheel hard, checking his mirrors. Anna began yelling at him that there’s no way we can make it. Rush hour car horns were beeping in the distance. The chaos of the situation and everyone’s general opposition to this attempt only strengthened Tony’s resolve. Insurance information was about to be exchanged.


Thankfully, in the nick of time, the triple-parker got back into his vehicle and rejoined the traffic flow. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Tony viewed it as only a minor convenience. He definitely would have made it, he assured us.


My dad was cracking up, and so was my mom. They had officially met Tony, and they really liked him.


Oh, and we had a great time at dinner. My dad had an allergic reaction to the shellfish. Tony made sure to alert him as to how swollen his face looked.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spam email of the week



Subject: We market for you, We close your sales ! ! !



Willie, is that you?



Hello this is Willie,



Hi, Willie!



My business partner has generated over 32k in just the last 6 weeks and you will see proof and you an do the same if you follow our simple instructions.



Willie, hold on. Back it up, okay? Beep-beep-beep.



First of all, I am good. Thanks for asking (rolls eyes). Classic Willie, getting right down to business.



Second of all, what the crap are you even talking about, Willie? Who is your business partner? Is it Mark Cuban? If it’s Mark Cuban, I am in. If it’s not Mark Cuban, I am also in because this sounds amazing.



I want to see proof. Also, I want to follow your simple instructions. You’ve always kept it simple, Willie. Hit me off with the simple instructions.



We market for you.



(writes on notepad “let Willie and Mark Cuban do all the marketing stuff”)



We  create your website and auto responder



What is my website and what is auto responder?



(pop-up box emerges on computer screen)



Hello Michael. This is auto responder. Your website is www.bizmarkets4u.blerg. Willie says hi. Auto responder, out.



Cool!



We  close your sales YOU keep 80% of the money and I keep 20%



So let me get this straight, Willie. You do a bunch of stuff that makes no sense as I stand idly by, and then I get 80 percent of the profits of whatever the heck it is you are even selling? Why don’t we eliminate the middleman—me—and then you can buy a helicopter?



This is a match made in Heaven!



You’re right, Willie, it is! (looks up to Heaven, God says, “Listen to Willie, for he is wise.”)



The first step is to is to visit my website to get all the exciting information!



==>Click Here For The Details <http://global-cash.net/><==



(looks back up to Heaven) God, “global cash dot net?" Really? (God says, “Oh yeah, totes legit.”) (hears rustling in bushes, megaphone drops on sidewalk) Willie! Get out of the bushes, brah!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The gong show: Bringing dad-in-law along for the ride

My new book, The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo, which is about my father-in-law, will be released soon. I hope this column, which does not appear in the book, whets your appetite. 
 
Next week I'll be posting a sneak peak directly from the book.


My father-in-law, Tony, recently accompanied me to the local car dealership. This is why.


Initial salesman: (with semi-strong accent) Hi, can I help you guys find a car today?


Tony: You are from the Philippines.


Salesman: Uh, yes, I am actually. How did you know?


Tony: Heh, don’t worry about me. My son-in-law needs a car.


Salesman: Okay. (to me) Which car are you looking for?


Tony: How is Manilla? Is it nice? How long have you been here, at this dealership?


Salesman: Three and a half months.


Tony: Oh. (licks chops)


We find the car I want. Unfortunately, the first salesman did not have authority to discuss numbers. Enter his manager, Phil.


Phil: (approaches a bit on the arrogant side, motions for first salesman to move out of the chair so he can sit down) Fellas.


Tony: (so disgusted with Phil’s attitude he doesn’t even bother to guess his ethnicity) Hmph.


Phil: (to me) So what kind of monthly payment are you looking at? You putting any money down?


Tony: Pffffffffffft.


Phil: I’m sorry?


Tony: We already discussed all this crap with Gary (not first salesman’s name). Why are you asking us again? What is your deal? Why is my time being wasted right now?


Phil: Okaaaaay, I’ll uh, be back with some numbers, alright guys?


While we wait, Tony begins telling me about a movie he saw the previous day. When Phil returns, Tony catches him through his peripheral but continues to tell me about George Clooney’s role in the movie while Phil waits, and waits, and waits. Finally, Tony turns to Phil.


Tony: Well … ?


Phil: Okay, I got some numbers for you. (slides sheet across the desk)


Tony: (looks at sheet, sits back in his chair and lets out exasperated sigh) Why don’t you go back there and see what you can do, okay? And let’s be serious here. (turns to me) Mike, can you believe this guy? Anyway, so the movie is really about art …


Phil leaves. A few minutes later a new person emerges, Phil’s manager, Corey.


Corey: Hi there Tony, Mike. I’m Corey. Nice to meet you both.


Tony: (impressed with Corey’s demeanor) Hello there, finally someone worth talking to! You seem to be … Irish, maybe? You have beautiful blue eyes.


Me: (in my head) Yikes.


Corey: Uh, thanks. Listen, I've updated the numbers here, and we’re really close to your bottom line, guys. But it seems like we’re the ones making all the movement here. You gotta meet us, if not halfway, just a little bit, ya’ know? We’re talking dollars and cents at this point. Mike, can you put just, say, $300 down so we can get to where you need to be?


Me: (mistakenly interprets ensuing five seconds of silence as license to speak) I guess I could do th—


Tony: No, he cannot. Despite what Mike has just said, he would rather not, cannot actually, do that. Please go do what you need to do so we can make a sale. I like your haircut, by the way.


Corey leaves, comes back and congratulates us, and hands me a mallet to bang the dealership’s sales gong, which scares but also pleases Tony to no end. A long while later, we are finally invited into the leasing manager’s office. There, the leasing manager tries to upsell us on additional coverage and, in doing so, misinforms us that the payment we had agreed to did not include tax. This sets Tony off to the point that the leasing manager’s manager—everyone at this dealership is someone’s manager—has to intercede. Steve, when he arrives in the office, thinks he recognizes Tony from somewhere.


Steve: Good afternoon, gentlemen. (looks at Tony) Hey, I know you. Did I sell you a car a few years ago?


Tony: (in stride) Absolutely! For my uh, daughter, I think. It’s Fred, right?


Steve: No, Steve.


Tony: That’s right, STEVE!


A few minutes later, I had additional coverage for free and my initial lease payment was waived because we were, apparently, repeat customers.


We took my new car directly to P.F. Chang's at Tony’s request, where we ordered beers at the bar and toasted to Fred.

Note: This column appears in the 4/10 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/11 issue of the Peoria Times.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Facebook meme of the day






LOL

ELECTRICITY HUMOR IS THE BEST KIND OF HUMOR

TAKE MY ELECTRICITY BILL, PLEASE

THIS MEME IS RELATABLE BECAUSE ERRRRRRRYONE BE USING ELECTRICITY ALL THE TIME, YO

BUT THEY DON'T WANT TO PAY FOR IT WHICH IS WHY THIS IS FUNNY

THAT LITTLE GREEN GUY WITH THE TEETH IS THE FAMOUS ELECTRICITY MONSTER

HE IS SYNONYMOUS WITH ELECTRICITY

IF YOU LEAVE A ROOM WITH THE LIGHTS ON HE JUMPS OUT FROM UNDER THE BED AND RIPS YOUR PENIS OFF TELLS YOU TO TURN THE LIGHTS OFF

I MEAN, WHAT'S THE DEEEEAAAAL WITH ELECTRICITY BILLS?

(JERRY STEINFELD)

WHEN I OPEN MY ELECTRICITY BILL, I GETS NO RESPECT I TELL YA

(BILL COSBY)

IN ALL SERIOUSNESS PLEASE INVEST IN SOLAR PANELS BECAUSE THIS PLANET IS GOING TO EXPLODE

THNX

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Spam email of the week




Subject: 123436 To the China Market Developer



I’m sorry—is this a children’s song?



1-2-3

4-3-6

To the China Market Developer!



Clap along, everyone!



1-2-3



Kid: This song doesn’t even rhyme. And the numbers are wrong.



Other kid: Yeah, this song blows.



YOU KIDS HAVE NO RESPECT.



2014 iFresh Fruit and Vegetable Expo

Shanghi International Exhibition Center,China

12th-14th June 2014



What is “iFresh Fruit”? Is that a—wait for it—Apple product? LOLZ.



HOLD UP, IMMA JUST DOWNLOAD THIS CANTALOUPE TO MY TUMMY RIGHT QUICK



iFresh Fru and Veg Expo



Fru and Veg!!!!



FRU and VEG



(slow voice) FRU AND VEG



We have officially crossed the threshold of acceptable abbreviations. Congratulations, everybody!



had booked out 143 exhibitors with 183 boothes( 117 boothes left)



Looks like the iFresh Fru and Veg Expo overbooked. Classic Fru and Veg mistake. You can’t make digital fruit plans before you have commitments! It’s putting the digital fruit cart before the iHorse, as the saying goes. And everyone knows the digital fruit community is a fickle bunch. They tell you they’re gonna be there when they’re drunk off iFresh smoothies, and then they’re nowhere to be found when it comes time to book their “boothe.”



New booking Fruit and Vegetable suppliers companies including:

CHINA: YANTAI FULL RED SEEDLING BREEDING FARM



Ain’t no Fru and Veg party like a YANTAI FULL RED SEEDLING BREEDING FARM Fru and Veg party cause a YANTAI FULL RED SEEDLING BREEDING FARM Fru and Veg party uses only the freshest vegetables, and also don't stop.



Tailand: Tailand Embassy Group

Chile: Foodinvest Chile SA, Chilean Cherry Committee..



I have just recently decided that the Chilean Cherry Committee is my favorite Fru and Veg supplier in the world. I am totes going to visit their booth. (For the cherries.)



American: FreshWorld Inc,



Really, America? FreshWorld Inc. is our only representative at the iFresh Fru and Veg Expo? This is embarrassing. There was a time when this country prided itself on its iFresh fruits and vegetables. Now look at us—one measly booth at the most famous expo in the world. Thanks a lot, OBAMA.



Anyhoo, the rest of this email is just an unintelligible, unending list of fake, worldwide Fru and Veg suppliers, and I’m not even sure what this email is asking me to do. That said, yeah, I booked a booth. I felt bad. But before I head to China, EVERYBODY SING ALONG:



1-2-3

4-3-6

To the China Market Developer!

7-8-9

10-28-12

Cherries in the Chilean tree!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Insects in outer space, on our kitchen counter



My wife bought the kids an ant farm. Actually, I guess they don’t call it an ant farm anymore for political correctness reasons—ants can live in hip, urban environments, too, you racist—so it’s actually called Ant Universe. The tagline of Ant Universe is “A Space Age Habitat For Ants!”

Indeed the space theme is well represented via a small, vertical block of hard plastic, which is filled with a solid blue gel. A mere glance at this magnificent structure will take your mind on a journey into the beautiful, infinite abyss of outer space. Also, I think the ants are supposed to wear tiny space helmets or something.

Speaking of the ants, they were only thing missing. Like the various marketed toys of my youth, the main attraction of Ant Universe was not included in Ant Universe. On discovering this, I couldn’t help but hear that fast-talking Micro-Machines guy voice say “antssoldseparately.” As such, my wife had ordered the ants from the ant factory (“$5plusshippingandhandling”), and we waited anxiously for their arrival.

And waited, and waited. Each day my wife pleaded with me to retrieve the mail, as she was very concerned the “poor ants would die in the mailbox.” Unsure what a package of ants looked like, I carefully opened each piece of mail daily, even junk mail from car dealerships, fearing a colony of ants would emerge seeking revenge.

Three weeks after placing the order, the ants finally arrived in a small tube. A label on the tube read, “CAUTION: Ants sting. Parental supervision required.” My wife allowed our older daughter to hold the tube of ants while she attended to our younger daughter, who had somehow managed to fall in the toilet. Our oldest was under strict instructions to hold the tube carefully and not shake it. I parentally supervised this, and it was literally 20 seconds before she started shaking the tube and I removed it from her grasp.

My wife carefully opened the ant tube, placing it at the entrance of the ants’ new space home. Apparently, the ants did not want to live there—possibly because they had just been violently shaken and had lost their capacity for reason—and several of them escaped, running rampant on our kitchen table.

Chaos ensued. The girls shrieked while my wife frantically removed the dog so he did not eat the ants. I furiously moved around, accomplishing nothing, feebly trying to corral the ants with a paper towel while yelling, “CAUTION, ANTS STING! CAUTION, ANTS STING!”

One by one, my wife calmly corralled the ants under the lid of her take-home Starbucks iced coffee container, which is just how they did it in the olden days on the ant farm when the ants became unruly. (It should be noted that if this had happened while my wife wasn’t there, I would have panicked and killed all the ants.)

The ants were all safely inside their space habitat. Now what? My wife and I checked the Ant Universe manual for helpful instructions, such as:

Check to see that an ant is dead before removing it from the Ant Universe.

OK. (I asked my wife if we would be forced to host several ant funerals in the near future, and she told me to be quiet because she was watching the ants.)

Ants in your Ant Universe dispose of bodily waste matter just like any other ant.

Out of their ant butts? Do ants have butts? I know nothing about ants.

Evidence will be in the form of small, brown spots/streaks (usually in the corners).

Duly noted. One thing I definitely needed in my life was to care for another living thing incapable of cleaning its own feces. 

Anyway, this is going to be the best spaced-themed ant habitat ever! I’ll let you know how things progress. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an ant funeral to host. (opens Bible) 

“Family and friends, we all loved ‘George Clooney’ …"

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