Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Star-Times,Quartz Countertops and Slabs

Bout to get my slab on.

Hello Star-Times,

My name is Mike.

This is Rachel from Luda Quartz Stone, who manufacturing & exporting quartz stone tiles, countertop and slabs

Come again?

This is Rachel from Luda Quartz Stone, who manufacturing & exporting quartz stone tiles, countertop and slabs

Can I just ...

This is Rachel from Luda Quartz Stone, who [sic] manufacturing [sic] &[sic] exporting [sic] quartz stone tiles, countertop [sic] and slabs [sic]

OK that's better. You were saying?

LUDA’s quartz stone consists of 93%  natural quartz,resistant to cracks, scratches and stains and Non-Toxic, Non-Radiation,

I have been searching far and wide for a kitchen countertop that doesn't exude cancerous radiation. Today is a good day. (-Ice Cube)

You will    know the quality after checking the sampl.e

This is how this sentence looks in real life:

Person: But how will I know the quality?

Rachel: You will

Person: ... ... Uh

Rachel: know the quality after checking the sampl (coughs, throws up in mouth, throws up on quartz countertop)

Person: Oh my goodness, are you OK?

Rachel: .e

Person: I'm sorry, what?

Rachel: .e

Person: I just-

Rachel: .e (urinates self)

Anything we can do, just right here (

What is ... I mean ... what? Is this a slogan? A slogan that ends with a frown?

Rachel: And remember, at Luda Quartz Stone: anything we can do, just right here (frowns)

Person: OK, I ... I don't know what that means. Are you sad?

Rachel: Anything we can do, just right here (frowns)

Person: Are you saying that you can anything, but it has to be here? Can you validate my parking?

Rachel: (frowns) No we canno (coughs, throws up in mouth, throws up on quartz countertop)

Person: I'm going to call 911.

Rachel: .t

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dentist dread a result of my lack of transparency, infinite wisdom

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to fret, more and more, the exercise of going to the dentist.

Not that going to the dentist has ever, for one second, been not terrible. But, I think, as you mature and adapt to brushing regularly (as opposed to brushing never as a child and using more effort to pretend that you had brushed your teeth than if you had just brushed your teeth … or was that just me?), there should be fewer reasons for dread. The opposite has been true for me.

For one thing, my wife convinced me some years ago to shirk, if not every time, almost every time, the x-rays. Not exposing ourselves to unnecessary radiation has been a modest life goal, call us crazy. And that is exactly what the people at the dentist's office call us.

Because let me tell me you something—the dentist's office does NOT like when you refuse the x-rays. They will say things like, “You know, the amount of radiation is less than two minutes in the sun” or some crap like that, like they’re reading off a portion of their dentist hand guide from the chapter “What To Say When Conspiracy Theory Gen-Xers Refuse X-Rays.” And the nerve, too, because if they manage to convince you otherwise, they’ll put a 50-pound bulletproof vest on you, shove a jaw-cracking device in your head, and then LEAVE THE ROOM. (For some reason, I always close my eyes when they take x-rays, as if closing my eyes will deflect the radiation to the wall.)

I’m telling you, the entire vibe of your visit changes. The pleasant small talk ends, and you become the subject of hallway whispering and the victim of passive aggressive comments like, “Of course we’d know more if we had the x-rays.”

Another reason going to the dentist stinks is because I have periodontal disease, apparently. This was something I was informed of a couple years ago, and the sudden diagnosis was likely retaliation for refusing the x-rays. "WE’LL SHOW HIM (checks off box that reads 'Periodontal disease')." I should solicit a second opinion but that would, you know, require going to another dentist.

While I’m unsure if the nature of periodontal disease was ever explained to me, I do know that it requires me to go to the dentist every four months instead of six—HOLLA ATCHA BOY—and to spend $35 out-of-pocket each visit on a special fluoride mouthwash that requires a) a stopwatch (“do not use for more than one minute, or less than one minute”) and b) avoiding water, even to rinse, at all costs for the ensuing 30 minutes. And the fluoride is actually Plan B, an alternative to some kind of regular laser treatment I refused that contains “less radiation than going through a metal detector.”

What else? They’ve been trying to get me to have my wisdom teeth removed for the past five years, and get this—I have six wisdom teeth. SIX! No joke. I am a case study. The dentist and dental assistants are like, “Everyone, come here! You gotta see this.” I will have them removed, by the way, when they’re sticking through my cheeks, exposed to the world.

(Now seems like a good time to mention that I wear a mouth guard every night as well because I grind my teeth like a mo fo. If I were single and had to place a personal ad based solely on my dental history, I would ... remain single.)

Oh, and I always have cavities. Always. It’s not even the treatment that bothers me that much—at this point I’m accustomed to having a giant needle stuck into my gums and becoming a drooling mess for the next four hours—it’s the condescending reminders of how to brush, as if I am 6. Make sure to brush in gentle, teeny-weeny circles, okay? And don’t forget the back teeth! They’re important, too. Now, for your new toothbrush—do you want Winnie the Pooh or My Little Pony?

I guess what I’m saying is, kids—brush your teeth. You don’t want to end up like me. Also, don’t have six wisdom teeth. And adults—refuse the x-rays. This is a revolution, and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. (And dentists—I’m kidding!)

COULDN'T HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THIS WITHOUT THE X-RAY

Note: This column appears in the 7/31 issue of The Glendale Star and the 8/1 issue of the Peoria Times.

Facebook meme of the day


HUSBAND DONE GOT LOST ON THAT THERE DESERT ISLAND LIKE THREE YEARS AGO

BEEN WAITING FOR HIM TO HOLLA BACK EVER SINCE

NONE OF THESE BOTTLES BE HIS, THOUGH

"DEAR BARBARA, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS UNDYING, UNLIKE MY PHYSICAL BODY, WHICH IS BEING RAVAGED BY UNKNOWN ISLAND SPECIES. TELL THE WORLD MY STORY."

PFFT

B*TCH PLEASE I AIN'T BARBARA

NOT SURE HOW MANY HUSBANDS WERE ON THAT SHIP

OR WHERE THEY BE GETTIN' THEIR BOTTLES FROM

THIS ONE JUST SAYS "WE DEAD LOL"

IF ONLY MATT COULD DOGGIE PADDLE

BUT IMMA BE PATIENT

IMMA JUST STAND HERE IN A POWER SUIT WAIST DEEP IN THE SEA WHILE HOLDING AN UMBRELLA

ELLA ELLA ELLA

CAN'T GET THE DOME WET

JUST GOT THE HERRRR DID

GOTTA LOOK GOOD FOR THE DUDES YA KNOW?

CAN'T WAIT AROUND FOREVER

BUT IMMA BE PATIENT

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Re:Best Selling High Quality eGo-C Twist CE4 from Kapopo , ego c twis t 900ma h,ego c twist 6 50best pl ace to buy ego t wist

This is a good subject. It is nice.

Dear Friend,

I have no friends.

Good day

Is it, friend? Is it? With so much strife in the worl-

I am very glad to know you from your professional website,

You must be talking about glendalestar.com, the very professional website I manage but also a place to learn a lot about me, personally, like that time I Council hears updates on Loop 303 improvements or how I always Property taxes go up 2 percent. I put myself out there, I guess.

you are the leading company of e cigarette products.

We are? Just kidding. We are. Our motto is: The Glendale Star: Glendale's community weekly since 1978 - news best enjoyed while inhaling an e cigarette (which we also manufacture)

I also notice that you pay much attention to lower your cost for quality e cig.

Weekly editorial meeting

Editor: And Mike, please make that correction online because that item is not included in the city's budget.

Me: Got it.

Publisher: Now, I need to make a point here. How much attention are we paying to lowering our cost for purchasing quality e cigarettes?

Me: I'll take this one. Boss, let me answer that truthfully, because I know it's been a point of contention among everyone in this room for the past few months. We are paying zero attention to lowering the cost for purchasing quality e cigarettes. But that is only because we do not purchase e cigarettes. We are a weekly newspaper.

Publisher: Is there anyone that can be of help?

That is where I can be of help.

Me: I think I know someone who can be of help. Let's just say it's a good friend.

When you next consider your arrangements for e cigarette products, I would welcome the opportunity to understand your requirements and situation.

Here are our requirements and situation, for your understanding. I wasn't exactly sure what you meant by situation, so I played it safe.

Requirements: zero e cigs 

Situation: not an e cig manufacturer 

Situation:



I will send you more detailed information regarding this product in another email.

Please don't.

Best regards

Martina


Martina, may I have your address so I can mail out my e cig requirements?

Address:9F,No.4 Houdishan,Xinsha Road,Bao'an District,Shenzhen,Guangdong,China

(writes out letter expressing love for low cost e cigs, mails to:)

Martina
9F
No. 4
Houdishan
Xinsha Road
Bao'an District
Shenzhen
Guangdong
China

(letter returned to sender eight weeks later with note that reads "Xinsha DRIVE")

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Frozen out by ‘Frozen,’ dang Disney



I’ve mentioned before our family’s distaste for Disney, but allow me to briefly elaborate.

Specific to the realm of raising two impressionable young girls, we—when I say “we” in this regard, people may assume that I mean “my wife,” and while she does spearhead this line of thinking, I honestly couldn’t agree more—feel that Disney, generally, too heavily markets the princess aesthetic to girls. Realizing the fantasy life is omnipresent during childhood, we’d prefer our girls be less influenced by a non-working, male-reliant position within a fundamentally un-American monarchy whose “job” is to, essentially, look pretty, than, say, virtually anyone or anything else (sans Katy Perry, of course). I mean, even Dora explores and is bilingual.

However, over the course of the past year or so, our stance on Disney has ever so slightly—gasp—softened. This is a result of equal parts our sheer inability to escape its wide-reaching entertainment net and, more specifically, Frozen. Though it touts not one but two princesses, its overriding theme is the love between sisters. That combined with its lack of bare midriffs and the color pink made it more palatable.

As if we had a choice anyway. Our girls are two of millions upon millions obsessed with the film. So, when my wife saw a post on Pinterest marketing the fact that, if your child writes a letter to a specific Disney character, Disney will send your child back a signed photo from that character, she jumped at the chance.

The timing was perfect. Our oldest, enamored with Elsa, is forever eager to practice her writing, and that very week at school she was learning how to write letters. My wife sat down with her and helped her pen a letter to her favorite ice queen:

“Dear Elsa, I love you. How is your ice castle? Please say hi to Anna and Olaf. (sporadic pictures of Elsa, hearts, and, I don’t know what that is … a shark?)

It’s entirely possible that, without compromising our ideals, our stance on Disney could have softened to mush had we received what was promised. No doubt my wife and I were more excited than our daughter to hear back; our daughters’ joys are our joys times two, and besides – they cannot see their own faces.

Welp, last week we received something back. It was a postcard featuring every Disney princess ever—the gentrified African-American and Middle-Eastern princesses stand out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of Caucasianness, as if Disney were unwittingly bound by Affirmative Princess Action (recall this is the same company that introduced this character as "Latina")—sans, of course, for Anna and Elsa, on the front. On the back is the well-thought out note, “May all your dreams come true,” signed by “Cinderella and my royal friends.”

Thanks for the meaningless cliché, Cinderella, but our DREAM WAS TO HEAR FROM ELSA, YOU WITCH. NO WONDER YOUR SISTERS HATED YOU.

We haven’t even told our daughter yet that anything has arrived in the mail for her because we’re not sure what to say. “Honey, I’m sorry, but the multi-kajillion-dollar corporation you wrote to couldn’t afford to mail you back a generic 4X6 photo with a stamped signature. But remember Cinderella? That movie we won’t let you watch because of its misguided ideals and because Cinderella is the worst? She sends vague well wishes.”

She will cry, but I will promise her that she can and should help forcefully release Disney’s chokehold on capitalist America by one day running for princess oops I mean senator.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, we’re back to despising Disney WITH MORE FERVOR THAN EVER. Won’t you join us? It is fun.

                                                  BELIEVE IN THE STARS
 
Note: This column appears in the 7/24 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/25 issue of the Peoria Times.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Wine Order Needed

OK, that is nice. This is a newspaper.

My name is James Adam i WANT TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE THESE Products IN STOCK OR YOU CAN ORDER THEM FOR ME.

Hello James. My name is Mike Kenny and WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME only I can use ALL CAPS SO EASE UP, SON.

Also, I am hoping the products you are looking for are newspapers because this is a newspaper.

1. Louis Roederer Cristal 2005/06, 12  bottles 2. Dom Perignon Vintage 2004, 12  bottles

Unfortunately, because this is a newspaper, we don't carry expensive champagne. We produce newspapers because we are, again, a newspaper. However, I guess I could order these for you? I mean, I have no problem ordering champagne for you, but I feel like I should mention - and I'm not saying this to be a dick; I just want to make sure you're aware of this fact - that another person who could order this champagne for you is: you.

Again, not trying to be a dick. I just feel like all the effort you've put into emailing entities like newspapers to question whether or not they can fulfill your champagne order would be better directed toward logging onto like, I don't know, a champagne website that could definitely fulfill your champagne order because they have champagne.

Forget it, I will order the champagne.

I want you to give me the total cost for everything it will be picking up in your store

Were that a sentence, I would respond thusly: The cost is $700,000. (Don't blame me, James Adam - your taste in champagne is Biggie-esque, and such excess comes at a price, both figurative and, in this case, literal.) I would humbly recommend starting with a lower end champagne since, judging by your subject header, I am skeptical you know the difference between traditional wine and sparkling champagne and run the risk of spitting out in horror your $700K investment. Most champagne is nonreturnable, including the champagne I just ordered for you, so forget what I just said.

ANYWAY, the store you will want to look for is our newspaper store. I will wrap the champagne in newspapers for its safety. (I will not, actually, because I will get in trouble.)

so that i will give you my Credit Card information for the prepayment prior to ordering.

Are you trying to reverse spam me, James Adam? Please don't try these tactics on me - been in this game for a minute.

You can email me the total quotation for everything with tax and how   soon can u have them  ready  .

Is this your first time using a keyboard? Here's a tip: press the "Print Screen/SysRq" to take a screenshot of your lunacy.

i will be expecting your response as soon as possible.Thanks

Don't put ASAPs in my mouth, James Adam. I work at my own pace. Also, you're welcome. The wine is ready. It is champagne and I drank most of it during a recent stay at the VIP section of a hot local club called "the bathroom of our newspaper store." You still owe me though.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Glendale Glitter and Glow block party rocks downtown Glendale ... 2014-06-13 3:29:35

So this initially didn't strike me as SO odd because the Glendale Glitter and Glow block party is an actual thing, something we cover and an event posted in print and online. But it was still kind of odd because the Glendale Glitter and Glow block party happens just after Christmas, and also:

From: ALan

Listen, I know to a lot of you something seemingly subtle like the first two letters of a name being capitalized can be perceived as an honest mistake, but let me tell you - as someone who's been in the spam game for a hot minute, that kind of stuff is crazeballs. Not to mention:

[alan@alan888.9299.org]

This is the most terrible email address. I hate this email address. It is offensive. I am offended.

Dear sir or madam,

Here we go.

How are you?

Ugh. Fine. I am fine, ALan. What do you want?

This is Alan from Ningbo Prolin, China.

ALan from China is emailing me about Glendale Glitter and Glow, got it.

which is professional Bar&Home ware manufacturer and supplier,barware, wine cooling... especially ice bucket,

Welcome to Ningbo Prolin! Please feel free to browse our fantastic display of barware and homeware, and PLEASE - form a single-file line near the ice buckets. We realize most of you are here to browse the ice buckets, and we only ask that you respect one another while doing so. We have plenty of ice buckets to go aroun- ... hold on, I am being told that several of our most popular ice bucket models are on backorder. EVERYONE PLEASE, MAINTAIN ORDER WHILE I CALL FOR BACKUP.

I'd like to recommend two hot-selling cup to you.

If I had a nickel.

This is classic ALan - reel you in by mentioning a Christmas show specific to your locale, and then close the deal by selling you the two hottest cup(s).

1.induction cup

  capacity:301ml-400ml

  material:plastic

  description:the cup will change color when you pouring the liquid.


Pfft, ALan, seriously, cups cannot change color while "you pouring the liquid." What is this, the future? I mean-




PUT ME DOWN FOR 30 INDUCTION CUPS.

2.size:12*5.5cm

  capacity:301ml-400ml

  description:the shape is unique


The description of this cup is: the shape is unique. I realize you just read that, but I feel compelled to remind you. Let us see if this description is accurate:




What is ... what? This cup looks like a science experiment and/or a headless rodent, but it definitely does not look like something I want to drink out of.

J/k I would definitely drink out of this:

Waiter: Which brings us to our finest red, an '86 Tuscan merlot, which is $229 per bottle; $38 per glass. Care to try?

Me: TOTES PUT ME DOWN FOR THE WHOLE SHEBANG.

Waiter: Lovely. (pulls out glass)

Me: HOLD UP THERE, CHIEF. GOT A BYOG SITUATION - BRING YOUR OWN GLASS. POUR MINE IN THIS BABY, IT'S FROM CHINA.

Waiter: Ummm, I just-

Me: IMMA DRINK IT OUTTA THE TAIL LOL.

We do hope there is a chance for us to cooperate with each other in the near future.

If a weird cup manufacturer from China can't cooperate with a newspaper publications manager in Glendale, Arizona, then I'm sorry, but I've lost my faith in mankind.

Any questions,let me know.

I have nothing but.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Poor pity, pondering pool problems, private probe

Growing up, our neighbors across the street had a pool. More important than this, they had a sign on the deck of the pool that read “Please don’t pee in our pool; we don’t swim in your toilet.” At the time, this was the absolute zenith of comedic commentary for me. A party at our neighbors’ house meant not only that we could swim, but also that I could stare at that sign and, in my head, break it down to bits until all the humor was lost, which was, of course, impossible. Swim in the toilet! Can you even imagine?

I still think about that sign* today, for several reasons. For one, the first time I laid eyes on it, my dream in life instantly became to grow into an adult, get married, have a family, and buy a house with a pool, all as mere means to my true end of posting that sign, claiming it as my own, and basking in its comedic glory. Where did you get that sign? Is there no end to your brash hilariousness? A toast to Mike!

Also, since I haven’t yet realized my ultimate dream, and our family is faced with the indignity of using our community pool (#firstworldproblems), I often wonder if we are, in fact, swimming in a toilet.

I was talked out of having a pool when we first moved here. You have a community pool for which you pay HOA fees, they said. Plus don’t forget about all the maintenance of a private pool, they told me. And the cost, they said. Besides, it’s not THAT hot, and you won’t use it as often as you think, no one said.

The problem, however, with the community pool is the community. Apparently, selfish people like to take up the entire pool to swim laps (pfft) or conduct “swim team practice.” Two years ago, some neighborhood kids thought it would be funny to throw a bunch of donkey feces (our community pool is surrounded by wild burro because, of course it is) into the pool, which—let’s be honest—was pretty darn funny, if I lived in a different neighborhood. The association had to drain the entire pool and we couldn’t use it for two weeks. CLOSED FOR DONKEY POOP REPAIRS. COME BACK IN TWO WEEKS.

(The hotel pool, a close cousin of the community pool, presents similar issues. While on vacation a few weeks ago, a sign posted at our hotel’s pool warned that anyone with “active diarrhea within the previous 14 days shall not be allowed to enter the pool water.” That kind of peace of mind is not something every hotel pool offers, but we don’t stay at just any hotel. Only the fancy ones.)

Oh, and just getting to the pool is a hassle. The ratio of pool prep/commute to actual pool time is at least 2-to-1. Also, for whatever reason I am some kind of child magnet, and it never fails that, while trying to watch a 3- and 4-year-old in a pool, I will be awkwardly approached by children who aren’t mine and who say things like, “I CAN HOLD MY BREATH FOR THREE MINUTES, WATCH” and “MY DOG AT HOME HAS A DOG TOY.” (There is no doubt they are peeing as they say these things.)

My point is, I would love a pool. In my backyard. I’m trying to convince my wife that it’s an awesome idea to have bulldozers tear down everything in our yard plus our neighbor’s block wall at a cost of $30K we definitely don’t have. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It failed. Alas, I remain deprived of my life’s dream, relegated to being Clark Griswold, staring out the window at what could be. For now. Someday we will have a pool, and I’ll finally be able to hang up a hilarious sign that my wife will immediately take down because it’s “tacky.” Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s been 14 days and thus ... (puts on one-sided banana hammock) ... it’s time to swim.


*A similar pool sign of my youth read, “Welcome to our ool. Notice how there’s no ‘p’ in it. Let’s keep it that way.” Had I saw this sign first, my feelings might be different, but as it stands this sign is obviously the lesser. Too wordy. And yes, my entire humor background is strictly based in pool signs banishing urine.

UPDATE: I discovered after writing this that The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo himself had the "Welcome to our ool" sign posted at his above-ground ool in Brooklyn because: OF COURSE HE DID. So that one is now my favorite. Thank you.

Note: This column appears in the 7/17 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/18 issue of the Peoria Times.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Run, don’t walk – or, you know, walk – to donate to ‘Team Garlic’


My mom walks faster than she runs. This seems impossible based on the very definition of those two things, but it is true. During a road race, her hybrid style of mixing each means that she is actually resting when she is running. It makes zero sense, but you know what? It works.

It didn’t always work. It was maybe five years ago when my mom entered some race in my hometown of East Brunswick, and was literally the last person to finish. Like, the front bumper of the police car trailing the race was nudging her in the butt, the police megaphone yelling, “Please run, miss, so we can all go home.” Then my mom would start running and the police would say, “OK, that’s our bad. Please walk.”

Since then my mom has honed her style through extensive training. If there were a movie about my mom perfecting her routine, it would include a 45-minute montage of her run-walking up the Philly monument steps, but instead of jumping up and down with her hands in the air when she reached the top like Rocky, she would sit down and start drinking chocolate milk, which is what she drinks when she is done her workouts. The movie would be called “Judy: The Journey” and I give it five stars.

Earlier this year, my mom made the admirable, bucket-list-type decision to enter the NYC Marathon. She put a lot of thought into it, discussed it extensively with my dad and, although she was afraid and feeling inadequate and unprepared, she took the plunge and entered.

Then, a few months later when both sets of parents were visiting us here in Arizona, my mom, already knee-deep in training, mentioned to my father-in-law that she had entered the NYC Marathon, and joked that he should enter too. Without missing a beat he said, “Yes. Yes I will do it.” The ratio of thought put into this decision between the two of them was 1,000-to-1 thought particles in favor of my mom, and if memory serves me well, my father-in-law committed to this life-altering event while processing LPGA golf highlights on TV and throwing a tennis ball to our dog. My mother-in-law threw her hands in the air in frustration, having not planned to spend the remainder of 2014 supporting her husband’s extensive marathon training routine.

My father-in-law’s commitment was likely moot anyway, since entering the NYC Marathon is not something you can do on a whim. You either have to qualify or enter through an organization. My mom, for example, is a member of Team in Training, a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-based organization that supports runners, walkers, triathletes, etc. and targets its fundraising for cancer research. It was unlikely TNT had any spots remaining, but my mom gave Tony the contact info anyway.

Less than 24 hours later, he was in, to the surprise of no one.

My mom had trained with TNT before for a half-marathon, and was familiar with, and inspired by, its mission. For Tony, TNT was initially a means to an end, but after meeting with their team’s coach and hearing the personal accounts of the loss and triumph associated with blood cancer, felt more committed than ever to the marathon and his fundraising efforts.

They’re a team, Judy and Tony - “Team Garlic” for reasons that are obvious to followers of this blog. Here is their team page. Maybe you will want to donate to them, for a good cause, certainly, but also for entertainment purposes.

You see, Team in Training is serious about, well, its teams and training. They have a rather regimented schedule of trainings and team meetings. Their coaches and trainers are experienced and they consider it important to utilize their vast network of support and encouragement. My mom is on board with this. Tony is … let’s just say he’s not exactly renowned for adhering to a routine. It’s more likely he considers himself a coach than it is he will utilize the support system at his disposal. Also, the NYC Marathon is in November. “PLENTY OF TIME.” – Tony

In all seriousness, I am super proud of these two 60-somethings for entering the biggest race in the world so they can run (run/walk) 26.2 miles in the effort of raising money for cancer research. They deserve your support, and if you can find it in your heart and wallet to donate, it’ll be worth it if only for the stories that will emerge from the ensuing months. 

I mean, you’ve got the fastest walker this side of the Mississippi, whose fuel is chocolate milk and revenge on the East Brunswick Police Department, paired with a man who once ran a half marathon with a hernia and a torn calf ligament and who will likely have to be reminded at some point in the next few months of the “exact date of this thing.”

Please also support my mother-in-law. Emotionally. 

Thank you.

                                   I mean, how could you NOT donate to these two?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Facebook meme(s) of the day

THAT WOULD BE HILARIOUS IF ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS HAD A MEME

THAT DUDE WAS CRAY 


LOL

THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DO IT, ANIMAL

YOU SQUEEZE IT IN YOUR HAND

THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID

HA, HA GUESS THAT'S WHY THEY CALL YOU ANIMAL

OTHER ANIMALS SLING FECES SO YOU ARE ACTUALLY KIND OF CIVILIZED

WHAT PEOPLE ARE STRESSING YOU OUT ANIMAL

THE MUPPET BABIES?

KERMIT'S LAZY ASS?

DOESN'T MATTER, THIS MEME CANNOT BE TOPPED, PLEASE END ALL MEMES



OKAY I GUESS

WHO ARE YOU EVEN TALKING TO

I DON'T THINK I'M THAT WEIRD - JUST SITTING HERE WRITING ABOUT ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS MEMES

OK THAT'S KIND OF WEIRD

BUT I TAKE SOLACE THAT YOU LOVE ME, MUPPET DRUMMER

NOT TO NITPICK, ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS, BUT THE FACT THAT THEY'RE "WEIRDOS" IMPLIES THEY'RE NOT ACCEPTED BY SOCIETY

SORRY THAT WAS TOO MUCH - SOMETIMES I FORGET YOU'RE JUST A WEIRDO ANIMAL PUPPET THING

NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT

I GUESS WHAT I'M SAYING IS, MAYBE COOL IT WITH THE MEMES CAUSE THE MORE YOU DO-



PRETTY SURE EVERYONE KNEW

YOUR NAME IS ANIMAL AND BASICALLY YOU GO APESH*T ALL THE TIME FOR NO REASON

NEVER THOUGHT I'D SAY THIS BUT THERE ARE TOO MANY ANIMAL FROM THE MUPPETS MEMES


YOUR "LOL" IS VERY PRESUMPTIVE

PLEASE STOP, HONESTLY


/THROWS FECES AT COMPUTER SCREEN/

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Classic card of the week



WELL HELLO THERE.

This card makes it possible for Tommy Aldridge to meet Oscar Gamble and have something to talk about. As for me, I want to be shrunken down to the size of cricket and exist in that 'fro for all of eternity, living solely off its lush forest of essential oils.

LET’S CHECK THE VITALS.



SPECIALTY Drums

You don’t say? I was going to guess: eggs Benedict

BIRTHDAY August 15

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOMMY ALDRIDGE!” – what I am going to write on Tommy Aldridge’s Facebook timeline on August 15th.

FORMER BAND Ozzy Osbourne

As someone who grew up listening to mostly hip-hop and dope R&B slow jams, I know very little about hair metal/rock. But even I know Ozzy Osbourne is a person and not a band. (checks Internet to confirm) My bad, the band’s name was Ozzy Osbourne. Please continue.

PROFILE Like all members of Whitesnake

This could read anything and I would believe it.

Tommy Aldridge’s rock pedigree stretches far back into rock history books.

He opened for Fats Domino at a New Orleans nightclub in 1950.

Originally this Southern born gentleman


A REGULAR RHETT BUTLER

was the drummer for the legendary Black Oak Arkansas

Oh yes who can ever forget Black Cat Arkansauce.

where his bare-fisted solos won acclaim from coast to coast.

Most drummers at the time wore gloves? Also, if I remember correctly, things got pretty heated there, with East Coast heads reppin’ Tommy Aldridge’s bare-fisted solos and West Coast heads reppin’ Bobby Blotzer’s (real person, I looked it up) bare-fisted solos.

He then performed with Ozzy Osbourne before assuming the “Snake” throne.

The Whitesnake throne is white (obvs), has snakes on it (obvs), and on each armrest sits a woman wearing a bikini (obvs), and the bikini is white and has snakes on it. Please wipe down the Whitesnake throne with a disinfectant cloth after use, thank you. - Management

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Fifty dead scorpions and hopefully not counting

I killed my 50th scorpion the other day. I’m not sure if that is actually true since I have not been keeping count, but it’s gotta be pretty close. And I always round up.

It never fails. We go away for a few days, a scorpion or two is there to greet us when we return home. WELCOME HOME. I SHOWED MYSELF IN, HOPE THAT’S O-(splat). In fact, as some kind of ominous warning sign, we found a dead scorpion in the girls’ playroom the morning we were leaving. This was disconcerting, sure, but not terrible since my second favorite scorpion is a dead scorpion. My first favorite scorpion is a pretend scorpion that abides by my blissful fantasy that scorpions aren’t real but only mythical creatures like the jackalope.


Part of the reason that scorpion was dead was that a lot has changed since I last wrote to you about scorpions. When we first moved to the Valley seven years ago, we were informed we should have our home sprayed monthly, and a very nice man was recommended to us. He used what he described as “environmentally friendly” spray. Forty-six scorpions later, we opted for a new service provider. They do not tout their spray as friendly to anyone or anything, and it’s not even a topic of conversation. Don’t ask, don’t tell, but please—put on this gas mask for the next 20 minutes. As such, their base service is every 90 days. As a precaution, we still use them monthly. The effects of the toxic fumes we are likely ingesting may indeed manifest themselves many years from now in the form of a third ear growing out of my knee or something, but for now things are good. When the ends = dead scorpions, the ends always justify the means. Besides, I feel no obligation to protect the environment when said environment gave us something as vile as scorpions. I REGRET NOTHING.


The service has been so good, it’s been a challenge to raise scorpion awareness for our girls. They live in a world where scorpions are mere casualties, not an active enemy that requires them to always be on guard. And the extent of the awareness we are trying to raise is not complex, but simply, “Please wear shoes around the house so you don’t step on a scorpion.” This, however, is something I must emphatically remind them of every day as they’re prancing barefoot through the living room, trying to enjoy childhood.


Girls: La, la, la … follow me! Ha, ha-


Me: GET YOUR SHOES ON! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU?


Girls: (cry)


To drive the point home, when the opportunity presents itself—like it did with the dead scorpion in the playroom—we place the terrible dead beast in a plastic bag and show it to the girls. See? SEE? This is a scorpion. Read it, study it … that tail will get you if you don’t WEAR YOUR SHOES.


(Truth be told, if a scorpion ever harms one of the girls, I will become like Liam Neeson in “Taken,” only it will be called “Takin’ … Scorpions” and I will make it my life mission to venture into the desert and take every scorpion I can find and execute them one by one via absurdly complex and inhumane means, like tiny little nooses.) (Oh, also, my tagline in this movie, when people ask me how many scorpions I've murdered, will be, "I always round up.")


No. 50 was actually outside, but attempting to scurry it’s way indoors while being followed by our brave, scorpion-hunting dog. I killed that scorpion so hard with my flip-flop that when we moved it to the plastic bag for morbid display, it was indistinguishable, in multiple parts. Also, I had left the bag outside, planning to show the girls in the morning, and when I went to get it, the bag was being overrun by an army of red ants that were eating the dead scorpion parts. This harrowing scene frightened the girls and caused me to rethink everything, and I ultimately decided that I have a new second favorite kind of scorpion.


Note: This column appears in the 7/10 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/11 issue of the Peoria Times.

Father-in-law update (sub-head: Please buy my book)

Scene: Face Time session yesterday evening between my wife and daughters and my in-laws:

Wife: Dad, I've been telling the girls about this - do you remember the song you used to sing to me before bed when I was little?

Tony: Oh yeah, oh yeah ... (sucks teeth) ... the song ... when you were little? I just ... hmmm ... you know I ... (becomes distracted)

Wife: DAD! You honestly don't remember? You sang it to me every night before bed! Then you bought me the music box that played the same song.

Tony: Oh yeah, oh yeah ... I just ... song, huh? It was a song?

Me: (in background washing dishes, joking) I bet if you asked him who won the Masters in 2008 he would remember.

Wife: Mike said if I asked you who won the Masters in 2008 you would know.

Dad: Ha, ha ... yeah, yeah, yeah ... (distracted)

Wife: C'mon, Dad, you seriously can't remember?

Dad: I don't know, I just ... Tiger Woods?

End scene

For many more stories like this, please buy The Man in the Garlic Tuxedo.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Spam email of the week

Subject: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The FBI, you may recall, makes no bones about being the FBI.

 OFFICIAL LETTER FROM FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
FBI.WASHINGTON DC.


Jiminy Christmas, is this the FBI? (It is not.)

 Mr James B. Comey
FBI SEEKING TO WIRETAP INTERNET


Uh, is this an email from the FBI incriminating the FBI? Mr. James B. Comey, what say you?

 ATTENTION: Beneficairy,
  We the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI)


I can't even.

through our intelligence monitoring network has discovered that the transaction that the bank contacted you previously for was legal.

So wait, hold up. This whole time I've been making fun of spam emails, one of those emails was actually true? Because you, the FBI, are "wiretapping the Internet?" This is wonderful news! For me.

Recently the fund has been legally approved to be paid via United Bank of Africa Nigeria.

Yo that is dope. I usually do my banking at Bank Here and United Bank of United States Arizona, which is a real bank. (Also I bank at Real Bank.) I bank a lot. At banks.

So, we the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI)

It's almost as if the FBI's incessant claims that they are the FBI are more incriminating than reassuring.

Washington Dc,

But not as incriminating as failing to capitalize the C in Washington DC, which is just cray.

in conjunction with the United Nations (UN) financial department

The United Nations is also involved in my email? GOOD WORK GUYS. I have never had more faith in world processes.

have investigated through our monitoring network noting  you that your transaction with the UBA Bank of Nigeria is legal.

Yes! (pumps fist)

You have the legitimate right to complete your transaction to claim your fund $4.7 (four million seven hundred thousand united state dollars) Because of so much scam going on internet.We the Federal Bureau of investigation decided to contact the FedEx Courier Service Company in Lagos,Nigeria for them to give us their procedures on how to sent this money to you without any further complain or delay.

THANK YOU FOR LOOKING OUT FOR MY BEST INTERESTS, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. INDEED THERE IS SO MUCH SCAM ON INTERNET.

This is normal FBI protocol, by the way: monitor the spam email of a random, average citizen and then work on that citizen's behalf alongside the Nigerian branch of FedEx to help make that spam email come true. U.S.A! U.S.A.!


We just got an information from the Zenith Bank

Hey, what's one more fake bank to toss into this clustercluck of an email? Besides, I bank at Zenith. They're cool.

and they have loaded your $4.7 (four million seven hundred thousand united state dollars) in ATM MASTER CARD and submit to the FedEx courier service company for immediate delivery to your doorstep.

All of this makes sense. My real bank (Real Bank) doesn't allow me to make online transfers exceeding $8,000 in an entire month, but hey - throw $4.7 million on a debit card for me, thnx. I WILL SWIPE IT TO PURCHASE GOODS.

You are required to choose one option, which you will be able to pay and also convenient for you, for quick delivery of your parcel containing your ATM CARD and other two original back up documents.
Service Type | Delivery Duration | Charges/Fees
------------------------------ ------------------------------ ---------------
Premium Express (24hrs Delivery)
Mailing $200.00 00.00
Insurance $150.00 00.00
Vat $100.00 00.00
TOTAL $450.00
$450(Four Hundred and fifty US Dollars Only).
.............................. .............................. ..........
Special Express (2 Days)
Mailing $180.00 00.00
Insurance $70.00 00.00
Vat $150.00 00.00
TOTAL $380.00 00.00
$380(Three Hundred and Eighty US Dollars Only).
.............................. .............................. ................
Economy Express (3Days)
Mailing $100.00 00.00
Insurance$?150.00 00.00
Vat (5%) $50.00 00.00
TOTAL $300.00 00.00
$300(Three Hundred US Dollars Only).
.............................. .............................. ........


The lucky email user's ultimate dilemma: How fast do I want my $4.7 million pre-loaded debit card? Hmmm. I feel like, I waited 36 years for this to happen, so what's another three days, right? Put me down for $300. Or, in FBI lingo, "$300.00 00.00" The FBI is right - there's no such thing as too many zeros, and it really cuts down on the confusion when discussing massive amounts of fake cash.

     You are hereby required to advice us, on your parcel delivery option by filling in the required form stated above. Please note that the deadline for claiming your fund is exactly one week after the receipt of this email. After this period,

this email will self-combust and your memory will be wiped clean.

your fund will be return back So take note.Moreover, this is some tracking number of beneficiaries that received their payment through us and via FedEx website (www.FEDEX.com).Here are the tracking numbers of the successful delivery made,you can take time out to track them yourself.
MARIE BESTA...........  798243990570
CHRISTINA SUMMERS........... 793412942447
JAMES R GRISHAMS...............793412984009


Spam guy: Quick, I need some fake names to assign to fake tracking numbers for this ridonk email I'm sending out. I'm feeling something Italian to start ...

Spam guy 2: I knew an Italian girl named Marie. She was the best. But she die-

Spam guy: Marie Besta! Perfect. Now something American ... something this guy can trust.

Spam guy 2: (watching Thighmaster commercial on one TV, "Three's Company" on the other) Christy Summers.

Spam guy: YOU'RE ON FIRE. I'm gonna make it Christina though so it sounds profesh. One more.

Spam guy 2: (puts down courtroom thriller, takes off glasses) Grisham ... s. Jo-. No. James. R.

Spam guy: Dude.

 Delivery Terms: International Delivery
Condition Of Delivery:Priority Delivery
Consignment Note No: MI 49866-2110
Color of Parcel: ...Brown.


FedEx delivery guy: (knocks) FedEx delivery!

Me: (looks through peep hole) Oh yeah? Under what kind of delivery terms?

FedEx: International.

Me: What is the condition of the delivery?

FedEx: Priority, sir.

Me: And the consignment note number?

FedEx: MI 49866-2110.

Me: OK, OK. But lemme ask you this: What is the color of the parcel?

FedEx: (looks down) The color is (dramatic pause) brown.

Me: (opens door) Well why didn't you say so?

 We are here to protect you from any problem till you receive your package,


Thank you.

You can as well get in touch with the FedEx delivery company assigned to deliver this financial package to your doorstep.Below is the delivery company's contact information:
Companies Name: FedEx Express Courier Service.
Directors Name: Mr. Nelson Carter
Email: mrnelsoncarter@gmail.com


The director of FedEx uses his gmail account and not a FedEx account and also uses the prefix "mr" in said address? OK. Probs cause he knows the FBI is watching. And also because there is

#somuchscam

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Unhappy birthday leads to me pulling the plug

Our girls like the pop songs they hear on the radio. This is unfortunate for several reasons. One being that they are too young for me to impose on them actual good music. Believe me, I’ve tried. Teaching them the virtues of [“indie” band X] is not worth the hemming and hawing that persists throughout whatever songs I choose to sample for them. Kids have the worst taste.

More importantly, there is the continual irony that the songs played on public pop radio stations for everyone to hear—as opposed to the “alternative” songs that are an acquired taste and that exist, by and large, beyond the scope of radio censorship—are the worst aesthetically and also subject matter wise. Like, pop songs are also the most inappropriate songs.

Not to make generalizations, but all current pop music is simply a juvenile sexual metaphor masked with a catchy beat. (Not like in MY DAY, when artists like Gerardo really meant something, you know?) So, not only do we have to bear to listen to this awfulness, but we have to sift through it so we don’t end up endorsing music that will lead our girls down the path of self-destruction. What this leaves us, since we are also bound by the girls’ distaste for “boy songs,” is Kelly Clarkson and the Frozen soundtrack. (If our girls are ever faced with the life challenge of a bad breakup or perpetual winter, they’ll know just what to do: sing.)

And I can’t live like that. Which leads to the other caveat. For me, terrible pop songs can exist in a vacuum, so I am OK with specific songs that are passable even if they are by “artists” who we otherwise would not let our daughters within 100 yards of. After all, if we start holding our musicians up to moral scrutiny, we will have no music to listen to. My wife disagrees. If Rihanna released a song called “Feed the Poor and Listen to Your Parents,” my wife wouldn’t want the girls to hear it because: Rihanna. (In my wife’s defense, the video for this hypothetical song would probably feature Rihanna in a bikini giving the middle finger while blowing smoke.)

I am less strict because, again, if I hear “Let It Go” one more time I am going to drive my car into a ravine. So yes, Miley Cyrus is terrible, but “Party in the U.S.A.” is terrible. But also OK. Katy Perry is a former Christian singer who is now a manufactured pop star who uses sex to sell music and herself, but “Roar” is a contrived, empowerment anthem that is actually right on the level of a four-year-old’s psyche. So that is fine.

In fact, while I was putting together their “Friday playlist” for the ride to school, I saw a new Katy Perry song called, “Birthday.” I added it thinking, “How bad could this be? It’s about a birthday.”

I was deep in thought as we drove along, not listening to the lyrics because I am, at times, a terrible parent. I was violently snapped out of this when I heard, in the middle of the song, Katy Perry utter “Happy birthday” in a sultry manner that would make Marilyn Monroe blush and, before what I had allowed could even sink in, my four-year-old daughter repeated it in the same manner from the back seat.

I unplugged my phone so hard from the adapter that the feedback through the speakers made a loud, piercing sound that forced my daughters to cover their ears, something I wished they had done about three minutes prior. NOPE. UH UH. NO MORE PLAYLISTS. EVER.

The lesson, as usual, is that I should have listened to my wife in the first place. Another lesson is something the great Katy Perry once said: “After a hurricane comes a rainbow.” (Not true.) The rainbow in this case is that we don’t have to listen to Katy Perry anymore. Hope the girls like Future Islands! (They are a band.)

Note: This column appears in the 7/3 issue of The Glendale Star and the 7/4 issue of the Peoria Times.