Friday, June 27, 2008


Where can a want-to-be intellectual sit with his/her Mac-Powerbook and look relaxed yet busy, important yet approachable, smart yet stupid, all while sipping on a $6.00 cup of $1.00 coffee? Why, Starbuck’s, that’s where!

Every now and again I will tag along with my work buddies to this Mecca of left-wing deep thinkers. I admit I am impressed with the service and selection (Starbuck’s sales lots more than coffee), but I am always disappointed with the laptop toting, New York Times reading, smart-wool wearing, deep issue discussing posers that come out of the woodwork to be seen at Starbuck’s. You can always listen in on their conversations:

“Now Chloe, tell me that this Mint-Chip-Chino is not simply marvelous! Say it, say its marvelous!”

“Well Roger and I attended the most splendid round cribbage last evening, and I’m afraid the combination of watercress and Shato-Brion has run me aground.”

“Were you able to catch last nights reading of Dickens? Oh Charly, if only you were still around. Heavens knows this place could use a bit of wit and wisdom.”

“Dear me! What are we going to do with all of these starving babies? Donald, just look at these starving babies!”

On a rare occasion, you can also listen in on some of my brief conversations:

“Hey weird guy in the girl shorts, hand me the comic section and stop sitting like that.”

“$2.50 for a doughnut? Never mind.”

“Why does this bench smell like duct-tape?”

“Yes, watercress and Shato-Brion also runs me aground… That and most cheeses, if you catch my drift amigo."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The One-Liner

(A brief lame statement, loosely geared towards humor that requires only a brief response)

Oh the one-liner. Humanities weapon of last resort when combating an awkward silence. This is basically a way of letting someone know, that you don’t yet consider them a friend, but have moved passed the stage of mere recognition. Long gone are the days of a brief head nod or a hand gesture followed by a half-hearted “what’s up”. No no no, now you’ve entered the dreaded realm of the casual acquaintance. Once you have entered this no-man’s-land of human interaction, there is no escape. You can only move forward to real conversations, or cut all ties completely. Each time you see this person, you have a decision to make. “Do I use a lame one-liner, or do I actually engage them in meaningful conversation?” You see them there, at the store, the gym, the game and you start to stumble over your words. Your lips move but no sound is coming out. Should you sake hands, high-five, make a comment about a relevant topic? Quick something, anything, you are almost to walk by!.!.!…. Then you hear your self say it “Hey stranger, long time, no see.” And against their better judgment they reply, “Tell me about it.”

And really, what else were they going to say?

“Boy, I guess they will let anyone in here.” – “Tell me about it”

“So you finally decided to show up to the gym huh” – “Tell me about it”

“Man, you are even uglier than the last time I saw you” – “Tell me about it”

“Hey, we figured you got lost on the way here” – “Tell me about it”

The list goes on and on. Real one-line abusers have endless lame statements they can call upon when needed, rather than making real conversation. The problem with this is that you might be sucked into their web of endless banter. These people can be seen making their way through a crowded room, using a different zinger for every person there. So choose your response carefully. Once you zing back, you’re in for life.

Here are some suggestions for avoiding this senseless cycle. Lets use the examples from above:

Someone says, “Boy, I guess they’ll let anyone in here.” You say, “That’s true, but I wish they would ban minorities and women”

“So you finally decided to show up to the gym huh.” – You say “Yes, my wife is cheating on me so I need to get into shape to beat the other guy to death”

“Man, you are even uglier than the last time I saw you.” – You say, “I think your daughter is hot! ”

"Hey, we figured you got lost on the way over" - You say, "We once got lost as kids, three of us starved to death before they found us."

Just a suggestion.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Proposed Rule Changes For The Gym

This year my New-Year’s resolution was to get back into shape. This involved actually attending the Gym where I have had a pass for two years. Now, you may not know this, but, I tend to get a little irritated with people at random times and for reasons that would not really matter to other people. Nevertheless!, Despite my best efforts, when I am at the gym, I find myself watching people without even knowing it, hearing people without trying, and most unfortunate of all, Smelling people who obviously can’t smell themselves.

With that brief stroll through history behind us, I would like to look forward to the future and explore what could very well be the solution to all my gym-based problems.

I would like to submit the following list of rules that I think should apply to every gym in America (or at least to any gym where I might be found). This is just a preliminary sketch mind you, but I think the overall idea really captures the essence of what I am trying to achieve. Try to imagine this list posted above the entry way in large, but friendly letters.

Rule #1

All patrons must leave their cell phones in their vehicles or be subject to having that same phone ripped out of their hands, mid-conversation and smashed bitterly against the nearest concrete surface.

Rule #2

When you are inside the gym, please refrain from chatting with friends, striking up conversations, hitting on chicks, lying about your life outside the gym, talking to me, using lame one-liners (my next post will be about one-liners), or any other sort of ongoing communication designed to get you out of actually working out.

Rule #3

Attention: All giant, meat-headed jocks with cut-off t-shirts, inflated self-esteems, outdated heavy metal music and bad haircuts, before beginning your workout, check to see if Shea is already working out. If he is, you will need to leave.

Rule #4

Women will be prohibited from wearing a) weightlifting gloves, b) weightlifting belts, c) Headphones that are from the 80’s and have an antenna sticking out of them. Women will also be asked to not “pump iron” as if they were a Russian power-lifter.*

*(It has come to our recent attention that men are sickened by the sight of a sweaty woman, benching twice her own body weight, grunting and straining, struggling for breath, and roaring like a angry Viking after each rep.)

Rule #5

If you are a person who produces a pungent rotting-flesh like smell when you sweat; please have the common decency to either wear a ridiculous amount of deodorant or to workout in some sort of NASA designed/approved space suit.

Thank you, the management.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Attention: Sports fanatics, fanatic sport-parents, hunting (huntin’) fanatics, multi-level marketing fanatics, religious fanatics, health fanatics, environmental fanatics and 18 inch lift-on-my-giant-truck fanatics; read no further.

For the rest of you, read on and enjoy a good laugh at the expense of these poor soles.

I know a lot of people in this world that are fanatics of one sort or another. I also see a lot of fanatics from day to day. I make a special point of avoiding these people. I avoid them so I won’t have to add them to my “Known Fanatic” list. I also avoid them so I won’t have to hear their endless babblings about whatever bandwagon they have blindly jumped onto. But mostly I avoid them because I find these sorts of people unimaginably annoying.

Above I listed some of the more prominent groups of fanatics. There are of course, dozens, if not hundreds more that we could list. However, I think for the sake of time we will just focus on a few who’s uncompromising commitment to their craft, makes them an easy target for those of us still living in reality.

1. The Fanatic Sport Parent:

Nothing says “I am a loser trying to relive my glory days”, (or trying to make up for a lack thereof) like a parent, red faced and screaming from the sidelines or the stands; carrying on about poor calls, bad plays, cheap shots etc. My absolute favorite is the has-been or never-was that will sit and openly berate the children on the opposing team, with their parents in plain earshot. “You suck number 15” “Take his head off Chet!, he’s a sissy!” “Let the baby have his bottle!”.

All of this could be taking place at a high school basketball game, or at an Easter Egg Hunt. The true sports fanatic will become over involved and over invested in anything that might be seen as competitive. Projecting their insecurities onto the world and their unfortunate kids is how these parents deal with their own shortcomings.

To you the fanatic sport parent, I say “You Suck!” And I put you at the top of the list.

2. Hunting or Huntin’ Fanatics:

Some day if I rule the world, or at least a small portion of it, I am going to collect and burn all things camouflage, and watch this group of bad-English-talkin’ morons scramble like chimpanzees in a banana famine. “What will we wear? What will we cover our truck-seats with? What color of shirts will we print lame hunting slogans on?”

Panic would ensue, countless cans of beer would be spared, countless lies would go untold, proper English would be spoken, wives and other intelligent people everywhere would rejoice.

3. Multi-Level Marketing Fanatics: (Warning, don’t read this if you have every tried to get me to sign up for any multi-level scam. Seriously, you are going to get mad, and when you confront me about it, I’m not going to pretend to care or to be sorry.)

If I were to write a book about why America Hates multi-level marketers, the title would have to be pretty long out of pure descriptive necessity. It would read:

Falling for the same stupid trick time after time because I wanted to believe I could make easy money and get rich quick;
The story of how I tried to sell out my friends and family for personal gain and shameless greed.

Catchy, don’t you think? (I would love to hear your title suggestions. Just click on the comment button below. Please note that all comments are open to the public.)

Now I’m not trying to say that all multi-level business plans are bad; just every one that I’ve ever dealt with or heard of. Look, everyone makes mistakes, if you have ever been involved with this sort of scam, it’s not too late to come back. You can still get a real job, work hard and pull your weight like the rest of the world. However, just in case you are still convinced you have found that one sure thing and it’s only a matter of time before you are making bank for doing nothing, let me take this opportunity to tell you a little secret. (Imagine me saying this to you in a whisper) You won’t get rich or make any money for that matter. Neither will anyone you lie to and trick into signing up... But most importantly, (Now imagine me yelling this in your face) don’t waste your or my time by telling me about it.

P.S. I also predict the Lakers will lose to the Celtics and Kobe Bryant will never reach the finals again.