Thursday, August 31, 2006

Where can I get a 55-gallon drum of hand sanitizer?

Looking at this photo of a telephone, where would you assume the telephone was located?

The break room of the local Jiffy Lube?
The Greyhound Bus terminal in downtown Detroit?
A hog farm in Kansas?
The slums of El Salvador?
War-torn Croatia?

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, and also wrong. The telephone in that photo is in my workplace. Which is not (because you were about to ask, weren't you?) the Greyhound Bus terminal in downtown Detroit, but an otherwise clean and normal-looking office building in the reasonably shiny and attractive Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Go ahead, have another look:

Shocking, isn't it? More shocking is the fact that I'm the only one who seems horrified or even cognizant of this grime. My coworkers don't even notice the ample filth on this and every telephone in the building, nor do they notice that the receiver often actually emits a stench when you hold it near your face. But then, it would smell bad, wouldn't it? Considering it's coated in more microbes than a coke bottle floating in the sewer, and can safely be assumed to be a breeding ground for at least 14 new viruses as well as 27 established ones.

Bizarre side note: I just looked on for a synonym for dust, and it came up with "Mormon rain." Um...may I just take a moment to inquire: What the fuck?

The odd thing is I personally clean this phone on a regular basis, driven to do so by my survival instinct. How can this much muck accumulate again so quickly? It seems to defy the laws of nature, and yet there must be an explanation I'm missing.

Could one of my coworkers be a scarecrow, accidentally scattering dust on the phone every time he answers a call, and I've just been too self-absorbed to notice?

Is the building I work in eroding at an accelerated speed, scattering a mist of sediment from the ceiling so fine that I don't even see it?

Do homeless people parade in here in groups of 40 and 50 at a time just before my shift starts, each taking turns using the phone?

Or is someone screwing with me?

You tell me. I demand answers.

Bizarre side note #2: When I did the Blogger spell check of this post, it advised me to change the word "sanitizer" to snatcher. May I just take a moment to inquire: Where can I get a 55-gallon drum of hand snatcher?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Dear Jackass, Volume 10

Dear Garage Sale Entrepreneur:

The very concept of the garage sale is ingenious. The idea that a person could simply drag his used, unwanted household items out to his front yard and dream up random prices for them, and the buying public would come to him, rather than him coming to them, is a dream come true. Hardly any effort involved on the seller's part, and yet the home gets a good de-cluttering and the homeowner makes a quick buck--and all in cash. A lazy man's dream! And one I embrace wholeheartedly. But let's establish some boundaries, in the name of common decency. Selling your old coffee maker? Acceptable. Selling your kid's outgrown shoes? No problem. Selling your germy bedsheets? ....O..kay, sure. I'll allow that, I guess. But selling your disgusting used panties? No, no, no, no, no, NO. I will not stand for it. Do you really need the ten cents that badly? Please, for God's sake, retain a small portion of your dignity and throw those tattered little bacteria traps in the trash rather than peddling them to your neighbors. And to those of you there who I've seen actually buying panties at garage sales...get away from my blog. You're permanently banned. Take that steaming crock pot of toxic microbes you're stewing up in your nether regions and stink up someone else's blog.

Dear Purchaser of Tiny Figurines:

True, I have a Rottweiler, and no, she's not the first or even the second Rottweiler I've ever owned. So yes, one could infer that I'm a fan of the breed. But where is it written that a person wants a house full of tiny replicas of the things they own in life size? I own a vagina, but I certainly wouldn't want an assortment of miniature vagina figurines scattered across the shelves in my home. What shall I do with this wee porcelain doggie lounging on a wee porcelain couch? Or this stack of fanciful Rottweiler notecards? What kind of bozo would I look like in this horrible Rottweiler t-shirt? And what about me makes you think I like porcelain figurines and cutesy notecards and garish t-shirts, anyway? Where will this end? Next you'll be giving me a jumbo box of Rottweiler tampons. Let's put an end to this before it gets out of hand.

Dear Hysterical Email Forwarder:

I'll confess. Each time I receive an email with a title like "PLEEEEASE REEEEAD!!" I toss it without bothering to open it. It's not so much because I don't have the time, or don't care enough (although both of those are also true), but mostly because your hysteria is unwarranted and self-centered, and wholly inappropriate. Calm down, for Christ's sake. Get a grip on yourself. And when did we decide that adding extra vowels to words made them more important? Well, I won't bow to it. I refuse to "reeeead" your stupid email. Instead, I deeeleeeete it cheerfully and swiftly. Now go fuuuuck yourself, Assswiiipe.

Monday, August 14, 2006

An ethnic cleansing tale your toddler will love!

My 18-month old son loves books. But books have a short life in his hands. He goes through them like some people go through parole officers. So I find it necessary to constantly replenish his book supply as he repeatedly destroys the ones he has. The destruction occurs partly because he likes to flip through his books over and over, looking at the pictures and shouting the names of the things he recognizes, and partly because he also throws them, steps on them, spills things on them, and slices them to tiny shreds with his circular saw. In spite of the fact that he only gets board books--those hard, super-sturdy books you give little kids who are can't be trusted not to eat or defecate on a regular paper book--he still manages to render them unreadable in fairly short order. If I bought all his books at Barnes & Noble, I'd have to peddle ecstasy in the downtown bars to pay for them, so when I'm driving past a garage sale, I'll usually stop to see if they have any bargain kids books.

My criteria when purchasing these books is such: Is it a book? Is it for kids? Is it hard? I'll take it. I don't spend much time leafing through them inspecting the content. For 25 cents, I figure I can just buy it now, check it out later, and toss it if I don't like it for whatever reason. But what's not to like? Ninety-nine percent of the time, they're harmless little narratives about a bunny who loves flowers, an impish boy who befriends a toad, a ladybug looking for her mommy, or a ball that bounces super high.

Why am I telling you about my garage sale book-buying jaunts? Because it will help explain why my toddler has a board book about baby killing.

As mentioned above, I don't peruse these books when purchasing them. So when I saw this little gem, it seemed harmless enough:

Now, I don't normally go for the Bible-story books. Usually I find these stories to be not very fun-looking, and let's face it, my kid is only a year and a half old. What he's really looking for in a book is a picture of a kitty or a doggie or a balloon, not a picture of a burning bush or a pillar of salt. So I try to stick with what looks simple enough for a kid to grasp. But I examined the cover of the book and saw what you see above--a baby in a basket, some water, some birds, some friendly-looking, smiling folks. Seemed like a winner. So I bought it, along with a Clifford The Big Red Dog book and a Dr. Seuss book.

At home, I tossed it onto the massive, towering pile of Jake's books and forgot all about it for a couple of weeks. Jake put it in his regular rotation of reading (okay, pointing at and slobbering on), and it wasn't until yesterday that I happened to sit down and look through it with him. All was well and good on page one, but at page two we hit a roadblock:

In case you can't read the fine print, or in case you think your eyes must be deceiving you, yes! It really does say "The King of Egypt thought there were too many Hebrews in his country, so he gave the order that all Hebrew baby boys were to be killed." Note the cartoonish illustration (properly fashioned in the primary colors that best capture a toddler's eye) of a frantic mommy clutching her infant while an ominous-looking fellow with a baby-slicing sword ransacks the place.

Don't get me wrong--I'm not the kind of person who advocates censoring books. But I was thinking I'd hold off teaching jake about infanticide until he was at least 2 years old. There's plenty of time to discuss murder and slaughter of all kinds once he starts potty training. At some point, I plan to incorporate the holocaust into his bedtime stories, but I was thinking I wouldn't start that until we move him from his crib into a toddler bed.

So for now, I'll tuck this perfectly normal, perfectly healthy children's book away, and pull it out again when Jake is old enough to pronounce the word genocide.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

And the prize for "Most Unusual Birthday Gift" goes to...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The best part about birthdays isn't the presents.

Well, I mean, unless you've got incredibly rich friends who give you sports cars and tropical vacations as gifts. In that case, the presents might be the best part about birthdays. But in my case, considering my most "affluent" friends are the ones who aren't currently living in dumpsters, it's totally true: The gifts aren't the best part. The best part is being surprised by how many people remember it's my birthday, and actually care. My birthday was August 1st, and for about the span of a week, I was repeatedly surprised by how many people made a point to wish me "Happy Birthday," whether by calling, emailing, text messaging, or sending their Cambodian servant boy to my door with a fruit basket.

(I was kidding about the dumpster thing. My friends mostly all have jobs and homes. No way would a person be able to afford a Cambodian servant boy if they didn't even have enough money to pay their own rent. Oh, sure, I know what you're thinking: "Cambodian servant boys come cheap, right? I mean, if they're paid at all, it's probably slave wages," and yes, of course that's true. But you still have to feed and clothe them, and that takes money, buster. Believe me, I've done the math. Hoo boy, have I done the math.)

So yes, a touching array of birthdays wishes, and heck, some really, really great gifts thrown in there as well. It would have been an excellent birthday if it ended there, but no! This year brought one extra surprise that I bet none of you got this year for your birthdays. See, up to this point, you've been reading along and thinking, "Yeah, yeah, big deal. I get calls and emails and I get gifts on my birthday, too. So you've got friends; join the club. This post sucks. I came here to read something that doesn't sound exactly like a paragraph from my own life." Patience, asswipe. Read on.

I had just made my way out of bed on the morning of my birthday, and was crawling on my hands and knees toward the coffee pot when the doorbell rang. My hand, outstretched toward the coffee filters, retracted like a slingshot as I assumed the fetal position and commenced trying to wedge myself under my fridge, whimpering like a dog. When the doorbell rings that early, it can only be johnny law coming to take me back to jail for yet another parole violation. My mind raced. How the hell did they find out I've been trafficking in Cambodian slaves? Who snitched? I knew I shouldn't have trusted that guy with the eyepatch, the one who called himself, "Chainsaw Mike." Who gives themselves nicknames like that? Rat bastard.

But my fears were put to rest once I low-crawled to the window and peeked through the blinds to see the FedEx truck. So I wasn't going back to prison after all. But still, I was perplexed. I hadn't ordered anything recently. As I accepted the envelope from the courier, I wondered, "What in God's name can this be?" For someone to spend $20 to send something to me Priority Overnight, it must be very important. Did a relative die? Is someone I love sick? Did I win a million dollars? Are my services urgently needed somewhere far away? Am I being summoned to appear in court? Did one of my exes test HIV positive? What the hell could be so important, so time sensitive?

Any guesses? Don't bother, you'd be wrong. Well, unless you guessed "cock soup," that is. Inside the envelope was this little birthday gift:

Yes, I have some very odd friends. The kind of friends who:

a) Are thoughtful enough to remember my birthday.
b) Spend a lot of time thinking about cock.
c) Are willing to spend $20 to make sure a 65 cent joke reaches its destination on time.

I don't know who conceived the idea of overnight shipping, but do you think this is what he had in mind? I picture him, whoever he was or is, feeling very self-important and do-gooderish. "Overnight shipping--this will revolutionize the way people live and do business! Important papers, transplant organs, money, prized possessions, pets, heirlooms, important projects--they can all be shipped overnight! This will save people money, earn people money, save time, save lives! And the best part: Packages of soup mix with funny-sounding double-entendre names can be shipped in just one day!"

So thank you, Wombat and Sally. I can honestly say I've never gotten an overnight delivery of cock.


I mean, I can honestly say I've never gotten cock shipped to me via FedEx.