A Sociopath’s Guide to the Holidays

The holidays can be a stressful time of year.  So many things to accomplish, so many people to see, so many presents to buy; and so little time to do it!  It’s crazy that we do all this because some little dude was born in a barn a million years ago, but tradition is tradition after all.  I’m here to give you tips and tricks that will make you the star of the party.

Dress the part.
Nothing you do matters unless you do it looking nice, which is something that homeless people will never understand.  If you walk into your grandma’s house wearing some poverty sweater you found at Target or Meijer or some other trash store, your family is going to talk tons of shit behind your back; and quite frankly, you’d deserve it.  They might even kick you out of the party; I don’t know how ruthless your family is.  Neither of us want that to happen, so listen up.

As a rule of thumb, always dress as if you’re going on a date with Brad Pitt; this goes for both men and women.  And guys, before you say anything, don’t act like you’d turn down dinner with Brad Pitt.  Don’t lie to yourself like that.  Brad Pitt expects pomp and class from his dates.  No t-shirts, no slippers, and for God’s sake, no cargo pants.  In fact, I’ve created a helpful list of people that are allowed to wear cargo pants without looking stupid:
1.             Actual soldiers in the military
That’s it.  Those are the only people.  Have some respect for yourself, and some respect for Jesus.

Pro Tip: Go to the mall about a week before Christmas.  Walk into the classiest clothing store you can find and browse the shelves.  Then, all you have to do is wait for some schmuck to spend a ton of money on a nice shirt, follow him out of the store, and bump into him hard enough that he drops his bag; then, take the shirt.  Some people might consider this “stealing,” but I saw Matt Damon do pretty much the exact same thing in Ocean’s Eleven, so that can’t be true.  Matt Damon’s never stolen a thing in his life, except the hearts of his audience.

Know a bit about fine food and drink.
The key to any holiday party; or any dinner gathering, for that matter; is making everyone else think you’re smarter than you actually are.  Chances are, your family thinks you’re an idiot, and they’re probably right.  That’s why you’re reading this article, isn’t it?  It’s your job to change their mind.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, but my personal favorite is to demonstrate that you know a lot more about fancy food and drink than everyone else there.  Nothing is more intimidating than someone who is clearly smarter than you.  Here are some things you can do to class yourself up.

  • Tell anyone that will listen about the season finale of Top Chef, and about how the contestants weren’t “adventurous enough” in the kitchen. Say you could’ve done better.  Say this multiple times.
  • Talk about how you’ve spent the past year “refining your palette.”
  • Buy a cheap bottle of wine from the supermarket, put a super expensive sticker on it, and talk about the various aromas that you experience while you swirl it around the glass.
  • Insist on bringing and using your own glass; give a small chuckle when the host offers you one of their glasses. Say, “that simply won’t do.  Not for this vintage.”
  • Use words like “full-bodied” and “astringent” to describe the wine.
  • Comment on the presentation of the food. Call it “sublime.”
  • Google a list of spices and ask people if they put them in a dish (i.e. “Aunt Pam, do I taste a hint of saffron in your turkey this year?”).
  • Talk about the reduction that the turkey was basted in. Say that it is “divine.”

Remember: nobody really knows what they’re talking about when it comes to fancy wines and expensive food.  When in doubt, keep it simple.  Lie.  Like everything in life, it’s not a lie if they don’t find out.

Pro Tip: Buy a turkey from somewhere like Boston Market or some place that cooks those kinds of things.  If you really want to get regal with it, buy a dish that is a bit more exotic; think pheasant or quail.  Then, watch a YouTube video of how to make it look decorative; put parsley on the side, whatever; and tell everyone you made it at home.  When people say that you shouldn’t have gone through the effort, insist it was nothing.  Boom.  Party star.

Buy better presents than everyone else.
On Christmas Day, don’t be afraid to resort to trickery and/or mischief.  Are you having a White Elephant or Secret Santa exchange?  Insist on a small price ceiling for gifts, i.e. $20.  After doing so, spend at least double that on yours.  This will ensure that your gift will be the best; and if it isn’t the best, at least you can subtly brag that it was the most expensive.  The key is to sound bashful, like you’re almost embarrassed that you spent above the limit.  Say things like “I felt bad spending that much, but I knew how much he/she would like it.”  This is a foolproof way to impress your family.  Oh, say you were “overcome with the spirit of giving.”  People eat that shit up.

Pro Tip: Use the term “cute” to describe other people’s gifts.  A well-placed “Oh, that’s cute” goes a long way in undermining a gift’s sentimental value, which in turn increases your gift’s value in comparison.  Also, congratulate people on a “good effort.”  This implies that while they tried their best, they kind of shit the bed with the gift.  Make sure nobody says this to you.  It’s fucking devastating.


In closing, have fun this holiday season.  Give some presents, see some family, burn down a pine tree, whatever you want to do.  And make sure to shower me in gift cards/cold hard cash.

Oh, and if you need some ideas on how to spruce up that party you’re thinking about having, refer to this handy dandy list for a few helpful hints:
https://thisisirrelevant.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/christmas/

The Time I Met Bruce Lee

Karen,

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you.  Too long.  I haven’t been in touch lately, and I blame Bruce Lee.

I met martial arts legend Bruce Lee at a Chuck-E-Cheese by my house.  Yes, THE Bruce Lee.  He was there for his nephew’s birthday party, and I was there to defend my Skee-Ball championship.  I’d like to take the time to point out that I beat over ten 7 and 8 year olds to obtain the crown, and I’d also like to establish that the fact I was 24 in no way gave me an unfair advantage over those kids.  Everyone is equal on the Skee-Ball court.

So there I was playing some Ball; killing it, obviously; when I saw Bruce.  I recognized him immediately, because he was featured prominently in a karate class that I was taking online at the time.  As excited as I was, I had to play it cool.  I knew we’d get along fabulously; he’s Chinese, I love General Tso’s chicken; but I knew that he probably had people fawning over him everywhere he went.  I was determined to be more than a fan boy.  I was going to leave a lasting impression.

My solution: I decided I was going to throw a flying kick straight at Bruce Lee’s back.  I saw two possible scenarios, and both promised me fame and riches.  That’s what we like to call a win-win, Karen.


Scenario 1: He blocks me.  Let’s be honest: this is the more likely of the two.  I figured that he would sense me coming; he’s Bruce Lee after all, and the Chinese are a naturally magical people; and block the blow.  But even if he blocked me, he would have to be impressed by my initiative.  Here I am, a white male of only 24 years and limited eKarate knowledge, attacking martial arts legend Bruce Lee?  That’s unprecedented confidence.  Surely, this would lead him to tutor me.  We would develop a close relationship; dare I say it, father-son or at least brother-brother; and travel the world in style.  I would be envied and revered by fighters around the globe.  I would be Bruce Two.  I would be the Karate Kid.

Scenario 2: I kick him.  I actually kick Bruce Lee.  I beat him at his own game.  That’s like if the guy who played Frodo Baggins windmill dunked on LeBron James.  But I did it.  I kicked Bruce Lee.  This isn’t even in sanctioned competition, this is in Chuck-E-Cheese, where street rules are the letter of the law and chaos reigns.  And I kicked Bruce fucking Lee.  He might get angry, he might get upset, he might beat the living shit out of me; that isn’t the point, Karen.  The point is, I kicked Bruce Lee and everybody around the world would know it.  I would get thousands of interview requests, which I would thrive at because of my rugged good looks and quick wit.  Kelly Ripa would love me.  Brad Pitt would know me by name.  I would go to Brad Pitt’s house.


So I jumped into the air, threw out my foot, and flew toward Bruce.  And I connected.  He was propelled onto the table where his nephew was opening gifts, his head hit, and he was knocked out cold.  I had won.  I danced around that Chuck-E-Cheese for a good ten minutes.  I high-fived strangers.  I went down slides.  I peed in the ball pit.  For ten glorious minutes, I was on top of the world.

I defeated Bruce Lee.

Turns out, it wasn’t Bruce Lee.  It was just an old Asian guy.  He wasn’t even Chinese.  When I kicked him and his head hit the table, he died.  I killed that Bruce Lee lookalike, Karen.  Kicked him dead.  It was a sad, avoidable tragedy; frankly, one whose blame falls squarely on the shoulders of that old Asian man and his family.  I’m willing to bet I wasn’t the first person that made that mistake, and if that old dude had survived, I wouldn’t have been the last either.  When it comes down to it, he should have been wearing an indicator; a pin, a shirt, a sash, etc.; that identified him as NOT Bruce Lee.  This guy was a dead ringer for Bruce.  Karen, he was practically begging to be attacked.

Now, I’m in jail and it’s all that old fucker’s fault.  I’ve seen things in here that even the real Bruce Lee would be powerless to stop.  So I need your help, Karen.  I need you to find me a good lawyer, someone like Bill Clinton or the guy who stars in Law & Order.  Is Bill Clinton a lawyer?  If he isn’t, he should be.  Tell him that from me, Karen.

I need your help.  Because as it turns out, the guys in here don’t care that I knocked out Bruce Lee.

Woodward Nightmare.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea.  Let’s take our old cars and drive up and down the street!” – An Idiot

“Yeah!  We’ll all bring ours too!  Let’s do this!” – Thousands of Other Idiots

I wasn’t around when the Woodward Dream Cruise started, but I imagine the conversation to get it started went a lot like that.  A lot of people say that if they had a time machine, they’d go back and kill Hitler.  I wouldn’t.  I would go back, get Hitler, bring him back here, and put him behind the wheel of a car while he’s stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for hours and hours.

Then I’m pretty sure Hitler would kill himself.

For those of you who are mercifully unaware of what the Woodward Dream Cruise is, I’ll enlighten you.  It’s an annual celebration of classic hot rods and American muscle cars; a weekend where people from all over the country descend upon a small stretch of highway in southeastern Michigan to rev their engines and waste thousands of gallons of one of the most valuable fuel sources available to mankind.  It’s like one big NASCAR event, if there was a NASCAR event that involved cars maxing out at 10 MPH; one where nobody wins, but almost everybody loses.

The Dream Cruise brings a lot of money to the area, and I suppose for that I should be thankful.  Except the businesses that tend to receive the money; motels, fast food restaurants, etc.; usually attract society’s lower rung.  For instance, one of the motels that rely heavily on the Dream Cruise weekend to stay afloat was the site of a murder last year.  But any press is good press, right?

Generally speaking, there are 4 types of people that attend the Woodward Dream Cruise.

  1. The Back Woods Families.
    They love the Dream Cruise because, well, it’s free. These peoples’ idea of entertainment is setting up a lawn chair, downing a few Budweisers, and watching old folks listen to Bruce Springsteen.  These are the people who have Dale Earnhardt-themed birthday cakes, even though he died 15 years ago (RIP, Intimidator).  The people who have Truck Nutz swinging from their ’89 Dodge Ram.  The people who eat regularly at Fuddruckers.  They often attend Monster Truck events.
  2. The Young Guns.
    These guys are different. They don’t care about the “Classic” cars, and they could give a shit about you and your family.  They drive something like a Ford Probe or Dodge Neon with tinted windows and a super loud muffler, usually blaring an “underground” white rapper (probably their cousin) who uses far too many curse words.  They use this weekend to try to forget that they dropped out of high school, and they’ll fight you if you look at their car wrong, or look too educated.  They’ll probably be wearing FUBU jerseys and smoking Menthol cigarettes.
  3. The White Trash.
    The classic Dream Cruiser. A cross between Back Woods and Young Gun, these people are here to get drunk and see how many people they can offend at once.  Taking a break from their trailers and guns, you’ll usually find male White Trashers with either camo shirts, Oakley Gas Can sunglasses, and sagging jean shorts; many times, all at once.  Like the Young Guns, they’re drawn to loud music, and tend to identify with the shittier cars on display.  They won’t take off their sunglasses if they’re inside, unless it’s to put them on the back of their head.  Females tend to sport lower back tattoos, multiple body piercings, and clothes that show far too much skin for a family event.
  4. The New Hot Shot.
    This is the guy from out of town who heard about “a place to show off your car” and decided to drive up his brand new Corvette. He’s under the impression that women will flock to his ride, and he’s usually wearing far too much cologne.  He gets pissed at little kids when they touch his car, and has little to no people skills.  In short, he’s a douche, one who’s way out of his element.

The Dream Cruise brings together these societal outsiders and gives them a place to thrive.  It also means that for three days, it’s impossible to find a parking spot in front of my own house.  My 10 minute drive to work turns into 45.  People throw trash on my lawn, fight each other, and occasionally, key my car.  Wohoo!  Dream Cruise!  REV YOUR ENGINE LOUDER, DO IT LOUDER, PEEL OUT, YES YES YES YES!!! CRUISIN’ WOODWARD!!!

The thing is, I honestly don’t have a problem with any of the people I listed above; as long as they don’t make my life a living hell.  Live your life how you want, enjoy what you want to enjoy.  If you want to spend your free time watching other people in traffic, go ahead.  If you want to buy your clinically obese 9 year old multiple elephant ears, you should do that!  Do what you want!  Just don’t do it so damn close to my house.

Fourth of July

More like U-S-YAY!

The Fourth of July is a holiday uniquely American in its tradition.  Independence Day, as it is often called, celebrates the day that George Washington first bit into a hot and juicy Ballpark Frank.  It’s called “Independence Day” because our country’s first president was tired of counting on the British for food and was determined to eat what he liked, when he wanted.  The British are notoriously disgusting eaters, and consume snails and fish eggs and even animal poop I think.  George wasn’t having any of that shit (ha!), which is why many people around the country tend to commemorate the holiday by firing up their grills (not the kind you put in your teeth) and cooking up some hot dogs.  Grilling hot dogs is one of the most American things you can do, along with owning guns and invading other people’s land.  George Washington did all three, and that’s why he was elected president.

People celebrate the Fourth in a number of different ways; in truth, there are very few wrong ways to celebrate the best country on earth.  I, for one, try to do everything that French people cannot do, like be nice to my neighbors and think about how my country has won wars before.  Could you imagine living in France?  I could never hate myself that much.  Here are a few popular ways to honor America on this country’s most special day.

  1. Hot Dogs.  I touched on the hot diggity dogs up above, but they can’t be mentioned enough.  It’s been said that along with hamburgers, hot dogs are one of the only foods that is almost entirely American in origin.  In fact, legend has it that the first hot dog ever was made by George Washington with the meat of his conquered British enemies on the battlefield.  I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know that the British aren’t to be trusted.
  2. Boats.  I believe that George Washington tactfully chose July 4th as the date with which America would be remembered, for the simple fact that in almost every part of the country, July represents the height of boating season.  Fun fact: it has never rained on the Fourth of July, not even once.  There are a few “Boats and No’s”, things you shouldn’t do on the open water, the most important of which is wearing a shirt while you swim.  It doesn’t matter how fat you are, that white undershirt isn’t doing anything to hide your girth, and frankly you’re disrespecting the founding fathers when you wear one.  The young men of America’s past didn’t die so you could embarrass your friends like that.  Benjamin Franklin (the guy who invented the kite) was pretty tubby, but he wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a shirt while swimming.
  3. Fireworks.  Depending on whom you ask, fireworks are either a child’s favorite holiday delight or a Vietnam War veteran’s worst nightmare.  Either way, fireworks represent the most legal way to blow things up, something that Americans have been innately drawn to do for centuries.  The Fourth of July is the United States’ birthday, and I consider fireworks to be the candles of America.
    Sidenote: “Sparklers” are not fireworks.  Unless you’re 1-5 years old and can’t comprehend the awesomeness of our country, don’t disrespect it with what are essentially really long matchsticks.
  4. Movies.  If you don’t have access to a grill, a boat, or fireworks, fear not; you can still bask in the glory of Uncle Sam.  Almost every television station in the country plays patriotic movies all Fourth of July weekend, as they damn well should.  Your tube will undoubtedly be filled with such iconic films as The Patriot, Independence Day, and the National Treasure series, among others.  These features star noted Americans Mel Gibson, Will Smith, and Nicolas Cage.  It’s estimated that if the Americans had the sleuthing skills of Nicolas Cage back when they were fighting the British, we would have won the Revolutionary War in less than three weeks.  He truly is The National Treasure.

Just remember: America was founded on the idea of freedom for every man, so no matter what, don’t let anybody dictate how you should spend your Independence Day.  If your neighbors, the “police,” or even your family try to get in the way of your patriotism, tell them you bleed Red, White, and Blue.  Show everybody just how American you are by chugging a Budweiser on your boat, with the Union Jack draped around your shoulders and Francis Scott Key’s pièce de résistance playing in the background; and know that you’re living in the greatest country on the planet.

Social Media

Social media is pretty much the best thing to happen to the world since that meteor killed all the dinosaurs, and it might even be better than that.  Without that meteor, we might not be here.  And without social media, we might all still have people skills.  Before social media, people talked to each other, like with their faces and mouths and stuff (ew!).  Now, I consider time wasted if I’m not looking at my phone.  But a lot of people aren’t using social media the way it was intended: talking about yourself, 24/7.

After all, it is social MEdia, not social YOUdia.  For anyone who’s looking to pick up tips and tricks to show off online, I’ve made a little checklist of things you should consider when you’re on the internets.

Workin’ Hard, or Workin’ Harder
Do you work out?  Prove it.  Instagram and Facebook are tailor made so you can show off those stunning ‘ceps, bro.  Zuckerberg and his nerd friends are pretty much begging you to post your routine online.  Don’t be afraid to post 4 to 5 photos/videos per workout, preferably showing as much skin as possible.  That’s it; flex.  Do you wear a shirt when you swoll?  Lose it, pussy. And don’t forget to throw as many hashtags as possible in that post.  A few favorites:

  • #fitness
  • #fitfam
  • #worldsstrongestfam
  • #insecurity
  • #gymrat
  • #wishihadfriends
  • #ieatalone
  • #flexthepex
  • #abercrombieandcrossfitch
  • #donkeyswoll

Remember, with each additional hashtag you’re gaining that much more exposure.  How else are strangers going to be able to look at your luscious bod?  As Jessica Simpson once said, “These glutes were made for stalkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do.”  No, she didn’t say that, but I did.  Working out is practically your job, because chances are you actually don’t have one.

#MusclesAreMyCurrency

Van Gogh In The Kitchen
What are you eating?  I want to know.  I need to know.  Did you make it yourself?  Bonus points.  Make sure you note that when you upload the pic of your glorified grilled cheese.  Subway turned you down when you were fourteen, so you need to show those asswipes what they missed.

As far as pictures of food go, there’s no better way to let everyone out there know you have a tenuous knowledge of a microwave oven.  We both know that “chicken” you grilled the other day was dryer than Clint Eastwood’s hands, but guess what?  That won’t show in the picture.  Get ready to reel in the likes, baby.  Don’t be afraid to throw in an inspirational quote, even if you don’t know/comprehend its full meaning.  “You are what you eat!”  Well I guess you ate a social media maven, my cannibalistic friend.

#ProteinIsALL

Buzzfeed Me To Death
How am I supposed to remember significant events and culture from my childhood if they’re not put into a list and shoved into my face on social media?  Did I watch Nickelodeon?  I can’t remember.  Oh, wait; now I can.  Speaking from personal experience, I had absolutely NO idea what to do after I graduated college.  It’s not like I spent the previous 21 years of my life preparing myself for the real world or anything.  So it came as a huge relief when someone I barely know posted about the 20 Things I Had To Do In My 20’s.  What a lifesaver.  I now know that if I’m offered anything other than my dream job in the only city in the world I want to live in, I should turn it down.  All thanks to you.

Oh, and if you read an article on Buzzfeed, be sure to take the “facts” presented and quote them incessantly.  After all, Buzzfeed is the pinnacle of journalistic integrity.  What they say is pretty much law.  If one of their articles says Brad Pitt is an asshole, well then.  I’m disappointed in you, Brad.

#IPledgeMyAllegianceToTheFeed

The Right Opinion
If you’ve got an opinion on anything it needs to be shared online, especially if that opinion deals with a controversial issue.  Abortion, gun laws, the legalization of gay marriage; it’s all gold.  Don’t know anything about the topic?  Doesn’t matter.  Don’t have any statistics or facts to back up your argument?  Even better.  Go into your iPhone, open up ‘Notes,’ and type until you’ve offended as many people as possible.  Screenshot, post, wait.

All you have to do is pretend you’re really passionate about the issue, and call any and all people that disagree with you racist/sexist/wrong.  “You don’t like Obama, is that because you hate gay people?  You must hate African Americans then.  You have to pick one, which one do you hate?  You bigot.”  It doesn’t make sense, but so what?  If they keep coming back, attack their personal character.  Pull out some really private stuff that they can’t recover from.  “You don’t like the gun laws in this country, but remember that time you kissed your sister on the lips and told me about it in complete confidence?”  Pat yourself on the back.  You just put your former best friend in his place, and became a trusted source for anything that matters in the process, to anyone that counts.

#MakeLoveToMyGuns

Famous People
Last but not least, we come to the people that really matter: the celebs.  Nothing is worth doing if it’s not something someone famous would do.  Do you think Keanu Reeves would post that picture of his lunch?  Yeah?  Your decision has been made for you; do it.  An easy way to let people know you’re deep and thoughtful as all hell is to post a picture of a celebrity with a quote in the foreground.  Notice how I said “a quote,” not “a quote from that celebrity.”  You can use whatever quote you want, it doesn’t matter.  Nobody knows if Marilyn Monroe said any of those things in all the photos, but nobody can prove she didn’t, either.  I posted a picture with a quote from Wesley Snipes the other day.  Don’t believe me?
Snipes Quote
Don’t think he said that?  He probably didn’t.  But hey, prove it.  Maybe he really hated his neighbor Jim.  We may never know for sure.

#NoTaxes #Snipes2016

There you have it.  Follow these basic guidelines, and you can’t go wrong; you’ll be racking up friends, likes, and followers in no time.  Never forget: social media is a contest.  You have to get more likes and retweets than your friends, or you’re pretty much the biggest loser that walks the earth.

Oh, and in case you forgot: follow me on Twitter.

World Cup For Dummies

Are you ready for some football?!  No, not that football.  The other football.  The one that’s played with, you know, feet.  Once every four years, the best national teams around the globe converge on a Third World country to determine who is truly the greatest team on the planet.  But that’s not all the FIFA World Cup does.  It also presents a great time for everyone around the United States to pretend they are emotionally vested in a game of which they probably don’t know most of the rules.

This year, the World Cup is being held in Brazil; a country that has won the World Cup a record 5 times, most recently in 2002.  You might also know Brazil as being the South American country with a 26% poverty rate, but hey, who’s counting!  The Brazilians enter the tournament ranked #3 in FIFA’s World Rankings, behind only Spain and Germany; but you already knew that, didn’t you?  You’re pretty much soccer’s biggest fan.

While a few of you reading this might actually know a thing or two about soccer, I’m betting that most of you can only name one or two players on the United States squad.  What’s that?  Landon Donovan didn’t make it this year?  Okay, nevermind.  Most of you probably can’t name a player on the US World Cup team.

But have no fear!  I’m here to bring you the crucial information you need to really show up your friends and those clowns at work (suck it, Diane).  Just remember these simple facts and wow the people around you with your incredible football knowledge!

  1. Don’t call it soccer.  That’s what assholes call it.  Call it football.  Or, if you’re feeling really superior, “fútbol.”  The important difference here is that you need to make the other person feel like an idiot for not saying it the way you do.  This also gives the impression that you may have at one point been to Europe.  It doesn’t matter if that’s true or not, it just matters that they feel dumb.
  2. Pick one team and learn 3-4 players’ names.  Nobody expects you to know every player on every team.  Just pick one team and figure out how to pronounce a few names.  In my opinion, it’s always good to find out who the superstar is, the second best player or so, the goalie; excuse me, the “keeper;” and one guy who probably isn’t as good.  Just read some World Cup preview online and pick a guy they don’t talk about.  Then you can say something like, “I don’t think the Netherlands has the firepower to match some of the better teams, but if Ron Vlaar can step up his game they might have a shot.”  I don’t know who Ron Vlaar is.  You don’t know who Ron Vlaar is.  And unless the person you’re talking to is actually Ron Vlaar, they almost certainly don’t know who Ron Vlaar is.  But guess what?  You just sounded smart as shit.
  3. Say things like, “That could have been a better ball.”  This is especially true if any play comes close to going in the net.  Don’t worry, that won’t happen that often.  But when it does, be the first to tell everyone how it could have been executed better; chances are it could’ve.  Nobody’s perfect, after all.  Except you, you soccer stud.
  4. Root for the U.S., but tell everyone they’re not going to win.  This is just the truth.  There’s nothing wrong with having a little national pride, but in all reality the United States is going to be hard pressed to make it out of the Group Stage (the first part).  Mia Hamm isn’t what she used to be.
  5. When in trouble, divert attention to something else.  There may come a time when somebody asks you your opinion on a World-Cup related issue that you know nothing about.  Don’t panic.  I’ve already written up a number of excuses for just such a scenario, which you can find here:
    https://thisisirrelevant.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/wanna-get-away/

There you have it.  You are now well-equipped to school all the fools you want with your impressive World Cup knowledge.  Oh, and always remember: sports.

Godzilla – A Review

I saw Godzilla over the weekend.  You know, that’s the one with the huge dinosaur who hates Asian people.  I thought going into it that the premise was a little racist, but then I thought hey, everyone’s a little racist now and then.  Most grandparents still don’t like people their own skin color.  Maybe Godzilla was a grandparent?  I had to find out.

The night started out great, because I found a parking spot right in front of the theater.  The space said it was reserved for a guy named Valet, but I decided I’d just tell everyone I was Mr. Valet if they asked; I’m a bit of a wild card like that.  When I got out of my car this guy said I had to give him my keys so he could park my car for me.  I said, “Thanks, guy, but I’ve got the parking thing covered.  I’m Mr. Valet.”  He told me it was his job and that I couldn’t leave my car there; he was clearly a little slow; so I tried to explain how parking spaces worked.  He tried to take my keys!  In the end I had to push him away and run inside.  I don’t know much, but I know not to give my keys to strangers.  That’s Driving 101, you guys.

I made my way into the theater and chose the best seat in the house, right in the middle.  Of course, I had to threaten a few kids; but hey, sometimes the ends justify the means.  There were a lot of cool actors in the movie, most of all Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm’s Middle).  He played a dad, just like in his hit TV show, Breaking Bad.  Maybe he can start a show for dads called Breaking Dad, where he plays a cool dad who breaks all the rules in a very cool way?  Something to think about.  There was also a guy who looked a lot like Jake Gyllenhaal in Godzilla.  I don’t know his real name, but he was a decent Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike, which I’m assuming is what they were going for.  The lizard killed a lot of people, most of them Asians I think.  No matter how many Asians died, it never seemed like enough.  In the end, Godzilla went back into the sea or whatever.  I think Jake Gyllenhaal would have swam after it and killed it with his bare hands, but he was held back because people thought enough death had come of the whole ordeal.  The real Jake Gyllenhaal would have never let that slide, because the real Jake Gyllenhaal is an absolute badass who’s totally capable of killing aliens and shit.  Love you, Jake.

Here are three things I liked about Godzilla:
–          Trains.  Trains are awesome, and this movie had a good amount of trains in it.  I think that the movie could’ve featured even more trains, which would have made it infinitely more badass.  Trains!

–          Jake Gyllenhaal.  I really liked that Jake Gyllenhaal was represented as a hero in this movie.  He’s a pretty good actor, and he deserved it.  I hope he’s on the new Bryan Cranston show, Breaking Dad, because he’s a cool customer.

–          No ghosts.  There were a lot of people that died in this movie but there weren’t any ghosts, which I thought was good.  I’ve been having a lot of bad dreams about ghosts lately, and I don’t know if I would’ve been able to handle a bunch of ghosts and a giant lizard.  Well done!

Here are three things I thought they could’ve done better:
–          No meth.  I think the director missed a golden opportunity to use Cranston’s drug manufacturing experience to really liven up the movie.  It’s his calling card, and I bet he could’ve whipped up enough to have the whole set hopping!  A giant lizard is one thing, but a giant lizard on crystal meth?  Now that’s cinema!

–          Racism.  I’m not a  fan of racism, and I thought it was unfair that Godzilla attacked the Asians first.  It just seems obtuse in this day and age to resort to race as a means by which to choose your victims.  Maybe an Asian guy slept with somebody Godzilla loved?  That would give him a decent reason to target Asians, I guess.  I hope that’s the case, for his sake.

–          No Iron Man.  I know this movie wasn’t supposed to have Iron Man, but I think he could’ve lent a lot to the story.  Robert Downsy, Jr. and a Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike exchanging wits would’ve been a real riot.  “I’m a billionaire!”  “I’m Jake Gyllenhaal!”  That’s just classic.

Well, there you have it.  I give Godzilla five out of five stubbed toes (I just stubbed my toe and it hurts a lot).  See you at the movies!  I’ll be the one asking for a sip of your Dr. Pepper 10.

My Day At The Zoo

The zoo should be a magical place.  For one, there are animals from quite literally all over the world.  Lions, tigers, snakes, sea turtles, eels; you name it, they probably have it.  Majestic beasts as far as the eye can see!  Also, they have ice cream.  Like a lot of it.  I really don’t see how you could screw up a place that has both ice cream and boa constrictors.  It’s almost impossible to do.  But they did it.

Sidebar: Matt Damon bought a zoo for his family in the major motion picture, We Bought A Zoo.  Matt Damon’s got a lot of cash, and if he’s out buying zoos for his kids they’re probably awesome.  Matt Damon does nothing that is not awesome, and Matt Damon bought a zoo.  It is reasonable to assume that if Matt Damon bought a zoo, Matt Damon visited a zoo.
–          Matt Damon only does awesome things.
–          Matt Damon visited a zoo.
–          Therefore, visiting a zoo is an awesome thing to do.
It’s science.

The first thing I saw when I entered the zoo was a giant monkey cage filled with chimpanzees.  I should’ve known right then and there that this zoo was bullshit, because the monkeys didn’t have a single banana; not one.  No sight of a banana anywhere in the cage.  I’ve seen The Jungle Book, I’ve seen MVP: Most Valuable Primate.  I know how this shit is supposed to go down.  Aside from bugs and probably their fair share of feces, bananas are pretty much all monkeys eat.  Speaking of feces, there was a serious lack of it being thrown around by the chimps.  I don’t know where these clowns at the zoo got their chimps, but it’s pretty difficult to imagine any REAL chimpanzee going less than 5 minutes without either eating a banana or throwing a pile of poop at something.

I made a mental note to come back and check on the chimps later.  If there wasn’t a big shit fight going on when I returned, I was going to speak to the administration as to the validity of their monkeys.

I decided to head to the polar bear exhibit (because fuck yeah, polar bears), and when I got there the guide told me I couldn’t feed the bears Coca-Cola.  Bad start to the day.  He said it wasn’t safe, and that polar bears don’t even drink sodas.  Said the plastic bottle was a “health concern” for the bears.  Yeah, okay.  Watch a Coke commercial and then tell me bears don’t drink soda, Mr. Expert.  As far as the bottle goes, they have no problem twisting the cap off on TV, and I told him so.  I told him to offer the bear a Coke, and let the bear decide.  I bet that bear would’ve loved an ice cold carbonated beverage.  The guy was an idiot.  I told him that if he was so smart and knowledgeable about the polar bears he would wrestle one right then and there, which of course he didn’t.  Zoo security showed up after about 15 minutes and forcibly removed me from the exhibit.  They said there were reports of a man heckling the staff, and that I was endangering both myself and my fellow zoo patrons; but I know they just took me away because I exposed that guy as a big pussy.

That was a pretty big letdown.  I was really looking forward to offering those bears a delicious beverage, because I’ve seen how much they enjoy them in the TV spots.  It’s fucking adorable.  And that ass-clown got me thrown out of the exhibit.  But I wasn’t going to let it get me down.  There were hundreds of other animals in the zoo, and besides, I could do a little drive-by and toss the bottle of Coke into the polar bear tank as I was walking out.  Those bears were going to get their soda, dammit.

I picked myself up and headed over to the Bengal tiger pen.  If polar bears are an 8/10 on the animal scale of awesomeness, Bengal tigers are probably an 8.5.  Now that it comes to it, I would pay good money to see a fight between a polar bear and a Bengal tiger.  I would also place a good deal of money on the tiger to win, because I’m not an idiot.  If polar bears are that easily distracted by Coca-Cola, a well-placed soda could decide that entire match.  I’d put my money on the tiger, throw a Coke into the ring about halfway through, and rake in the mula (fancy word for $) when the tiger destroyed.

I’m getting distracted.  Anyway as badass as the tigers are, I’ve got beef with the Bengal tigers, because nine times out of ten they’re just shut up in their caves.  I drive all the way out to the zoo, spend money to get in, and almost never see a tiger in action.  It’s really selfish of the tigers, if you think about it.  It’d be like going to a Broadway show just to see Bette Midler eat Wheat Thins on a couch or something.  Thankfully, the tigers were on their A-game that day.  There were a few out and about, playing with sticks and rocks and doing tons of other shit that tigers love to do; all of it infinitely badass.

I was watching two cubs wrestle when I looked up and saw an Indian staff member making his way into the pen with a huge bucket of tiger food.  I couldn’t tell what was in the bucket, but I bet it was 4-5 boxes of Frosted Flakes (minimum).  As the Indian man was turning to leave the pen, I shouted out that he should do a Life of Pi remake.  The man turned around and tossed up his hand, waving me away.  He didn’t get it.

I started explaining the concept to him.  “You know, the one with the tiger and the Indian guy?”
He continued walking away.  “On that boat?”
He was shaking his head.  Maybe he didn’t hear me.  “SIR, THE ONE WHERE HE’S STRANDED ON THE OCEAN WITH THE TIGER.  SIR?  THAT MOVIE WITH THE INDIAN GUY WHO-”

Again, security was brought to the exhibit.  As they led me away from what was quickly becoming a crowd in front of the Bengal tiger pen, they said that they wouldn’t tolerate racial insults being directed toward zoo staff members.

I was incredulous.

“Racial insults?  Come on, you guys know as well as I do that guy looked just like that kid from the movie.  Who let that guy work the tiger pen anyway?!  They’re the bad guy here, they’re the one that you guys should go after.  Let’s pay THAT racist a visit!  Oh, and you guys know you’ve got a total amateur working the polar bear exhibit, right?  AND fake monkeys?”

They didn’t see it my way.  They informed me that if I was caught harassing any more of the zoo staff, they would be forced to remove me from the premises and file an official police report.  I assured them it wouldn’t happen, and that this was all just a big misunderstanding.

I was intending to save the grey wolf exhibit for the last stop on my zoo tour, for obvious reasons; wolves are scientifically the most badass animals in the world.  But in light of the incidents at the polar bear exhibit and tiger pen, I needed a pick-me-up.  I decided to trek over and view the most majestic beasts in the entire place.  I had even worn my three-wolf shirt that day, to show the wolves that I, too, am capable of serious amounts of badass shit.

However, after walking around forever (15 minutes), I couldn’t find the wolf pen anywhere.  I had built up a good amount of resentment toward the zoo staff at this point, but this wasn’t the time to be a proud man.  The wolves needed me, and to a much higher degree I needed the wolves.  I went up to a female employee and asked very politely if she could direct me towards the wolf exhibit.

She told me there was no wolf exhibit.

I stared at her for a good thirty seconds without speaking, and then relief broke over me.  Surely, this was a clever ruse concocted by the administration.  They had seen my passion for animals at both the polar bear and tiger exhibits before this, and they were having a laugh at my expense.

“No, really,” I said, “if you could tell me where the wolves are located, I’d really appreciate it.”  I pointed at my shirt.  “As you can see, I’m a big fan.”

“Sir, I’m afraid we don’t have any wolves in this zoo,” she said.

No wolves?  What kind of shit eating zoo doesn’t have wolves?

“What kind of shit eating zoo doesn’t have wolves?” I asked loudly.

“What kind of shit eating zoo doesn’t have wolves?” I repeated.  People were starting to stare.

“WHAT KIND OF SHIT EATING ZOO DOESN’T HAVE WOLVES?

“WHAT KI-“

 

They threw me out of the zoo.

Supercuts.

One time I went to Supercuts, because I live my life on the edge.

Trusting your hair to a complete stranger is always a bit frightening, especially one that’s paid by a place that couldn’t come up with a better name than “Supercuts.”  That’s literally just the product they offer preceded by a third-grade vocab level adjective.  Supercuts.  Imagine if other places of business employed this cutting-edge strategy.

“Hey, I’m hungry.  Want to go to Awesomeburger?”

Awesomeburger sounds like a restaurant I’d go to if I wanted to catch e coli, then be verbally harassed by women who drive pickup trucks.

“I need a night on the town; how about Coolbar?”

Coolbar is the place where drunk dads make aggressive passes at college girls half their age.  Coolbar is where people get raped.

“I need my oil changed.  I think I’m going to take my vehicle to Fantasticar.”

That one actually doesn’t sound that bad.

Anyway, I went to Supercuts.

I’d like to start off by saying that I’m not a salon snob.  I even cut my own hair once, though I’m not too proud of the result.  I looked like Sloth from the Goonies, just way less ripped.  But I hated that I was going to Supercuts.  It felt like the strip club of barbershops, somewhere little kids played with garbage while their parents got swastika’s shaved into the side of their Macklemore haircuts.  I thought I’d read somewhere that nine out of ten race riots started or finished at a Supercuts.  Nine out of ten?  I wasn’t even a veteran of a single race riot; not one.  This was clearly not my scene.  Okay maybe I was overreacting a little bit, but you get my point; it isn’t exactly a chain of stores that inspires confidence.

I didn’t catch the name of my hairdresser, because her thick Slavic accent made everything she said sound like a death threat.  She looked like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, if the Hunchback of Notre Dame was a Bond villain capable of extremely evil acts.  She was the Cold War personified.  I think her name was Frida; I’m pretty sure I only think that because she looked like Frida Kahlo with hairier arms.  Her forearms gave me the impression she’d won some sort of professional arm-wrestling competition.  She’d probably honed her skills in her home country, where I’m sure arm wrestling contests determine who gets to eat and who gets to die.

I sat in the chair.  She roughly placed the apron around my neck.  As she did so, I realized that she could strangle me with absurd ease.  I was about to be killed by a semi-professional female arm wrestler.  At Supercuts.

I couldn’t understand a word she said, so I smiled nervously while she began talking and gesticulating wildly with her hairy Sasquatch arms; I assumed she was laughing about children crying, or describing a cock fighting ring she was running out of her basement.  I imagined her with a whip, striking the backs of Russian kids named Olga  and Boris as they tilled the Siberian fields for whatever the fuck they grow over there.  Probably depression.

I realized that she was staring at me in the mirror, pointing to my head.  My immediate thought was, “Oh wait, this is where she cuts my head off.”  Then I realized that she was asking me what I wanted done to my hair.  I tried to explain that I just wanted a trim.  I made the mistake of saying I wanted it “above the ears,” after which I repeated the word “ABOVE,” loudly over and over.  I also indicated with my hands; above the ear.  I like my ears, and I didn’t want them sliced off in some linguistic miscommunication.

As she began to work, my imagination started to get the best of me.  How did this woman get a hairdresser’s license?  Who did she bribe?  More importantly, who did she kill?  Was I next?  Her hands were pulling and tugging my hair.  They were rough, dry, and fucking huge; she could’ve palmed a basketball.  This woman could have absolutely starred in the WNBA, and she was going to murder me in the face.

After about twenty minutes, I decided she wasn’t going to kill me.  She’d had plenty of time to do so, and I was still alive.  I was relieved for about 20 seconds; then I realized that while she might not be murdering my face, she was probably murdering the shit out of my hair.  Oh well.  Better a shitty haircut than a stab wound.  But then I started thinking of all the shitty haircuts out there.  I imagined Richard Simmons’ afro.  I imagined Jerry Seinfeld’s mullet.  I imagined a monster.

Twenty minutes later, she stopped.  I was nervous, but I checked myself out in the mirror.  Worst case scenario I could just shave it all off, right?  I would look like a staunch anti-Semite, but it would grow back soon.  I don’t even have that many Jewish friends, so I really didn’t have much to be concerned about.  Maybe I should work on that.  Take out an ad in the paper: “Looking for fun Jewish people who like hot chocolate, contact sports, and watching the Travel Channel.  Don’t worry about the haircut; barbershop accident.  Again: don’t be turned off by the haircut.”  I’ll have to work on that ad.

Turns out, Frida wasn’t half bad.  I looked okay, and as far as I could tell my ears remained in their rightful position.  I didn’t even catch a disease from the barber chair.

Supercuts.  Who knew?

An Open Letter to John Krasinski, from his BFF Forevs.

Dear John,

First, let me say that I appreciate the hug you gave me before I left your house the other day.  You didn’t need to do that, but it was awesome that you did.  If I seemed a bit overzealous returning the hug, know it’s only because I care.  I know you were initially a bit standoffish about the whole thing; when we met I did reveal to you that I was neither sick nor dying, which I realize I might have hinted at heavily in my first letter to you; where I stated “I’m dying with sickness and all I want to do is hang out with John Krasinski”; but I know you had a good time, no matter what the police report said.  While I agree that it was morally wrong to lie to you about the terminal illness, it got me a day with you, so I’m not too worried about the whole thing.  I knew that if we hung out you’d realize we’d be best friends.

I had a lot of fun with you, John, and that isn’t just because you showed me tasteful nude photos of your wife, Emily Blunt, and your former costars, Jenna Fischer and Rashida Jones.  To be fair, you didn’t “show” me them as much as I simply stole your phone and locked myself in the bathroom with it, but let’s not get caught up in the details of the thing.  Point is you’re a regular guy, John, and we work well together. When we played mini-golf, you didn’t let me win.  Any other celebrity would’ve done it, because they would’ve seen how much it meant to me.  I was throwing my putter and using some pretty indefensible language in front of children; the game clearly meant more to me than it did to you.  I’m sure someone like Brad Pitt would have let me win, probably to “avoid a scene.”  But you competed, and I respect that. However let the record show you only won because I let you, because you’re my favorite actor.  Remember that.

You were really cool when we went to get ice cream after.  You got Neapolitan, which is gross, but I had no right to call you a bitch.  I would like to formally apologize, from one friend to another.  At the time, I was understandably upset that you didn’t want to get matching ass tattoos with me, something that I truly believe would have made our best friend bond even stronger.  What’s the point in having a best friend if you’re not going to get “BFF” written permanently on your skin?  I digress, but rest assured that at some point, we’re going to get some best friend ink.  I’ll drug you if I have to, John, but I don’t want it to come to that.

How’s the car treating you?  I know you probably thought I overreacted when a few times when we were having our joy ride.  If I did, it was only because I wanted to show off.  I was nervous!  I just want you to know I’m not proud of how many derogatory math jokes I made to that Asian man in the minivan, and I’ll admit the language I used in front of his children was questionable at best.  In my defense, he could probably kick your ass at Sudoku.  That guy was definitely good at math.

Also, I’m now comfortable saying that it was probably out of line to tell that cop to go “fuck his socks” when he pulled us over.  Yes, I know he only pulled us over because I flipped him the bird, and yes, he didn’t respond well when I told him you were “John Fuckin’ Krasinski.”  I’m genuinely sorry he took us both into custody.  I’m sorry for a lot of things, but you know what?  We had fun.  Everybody makes mistakes, John, and now you’ve got a (best) friend who’s man enough to admit when he makes them.

Warm regards,

Your BFF Forevs

 

P.S.  Apparently the authorities are under the impression that you never want to see me again, and that you’ve filed for a restraining order.  I feel like there may be some sort of misunderstanding; I only threatened your wife and newborn child because you were showing signs of backing out of our BFF friend date!  I never meant them any real harm.  And I know I told you I had a “gun,” but that was just joshing around between two best buds!  Years from now, we’ll look back at this whoopsie-daisy moment and laugh.