Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hate: Fine Print

Hey, look who's back!  It's Mr. Bloggenheimer himself!  I actually had someone ask me where I've been for so long (since my last post on 10/31) and I felt all guilty that my legions of fans were up all night waiting for my next post.  It's not that I haven't hated, dug, or didn't get anything in the last six months, I just didn't take the time to share it with you.  My apologies.

So of course I must resume my silliness with something I hate - fine print.  This may seem a bit obvious but my particular distaste for fine print is not that it is required in our litigious society but the way that it is done.  I understand that old ladies will spill the super-hot coffee in their laps at the McDonald's drive-thru and will be represented by scum-sucking lawyers hoping to go fishing in the deep pockets of Mickey-D's.  I got it.  It's 2009 and people want to get rich by buying lotto tickets/winning lawsuits.  Whatever - do what you gotta do, people.  In fact, I'm thinking of poking out my eyeball with a Sharpie because I noticed that that there was no label warning me not to do it and a decent lawyer could get me a nice little nest egg.  I would also be able to park in the handicapped parking spots - assuming I could keep my driver's license.

So my beef is less with the fact that we have to have fine print but does said print have to be so .... fine?  I mean, it's almost as if the people at the Sharpie company don't want me to know stuff!  Surely, that's not true!  Could it possibly be that in the Sharpie fine print, it says "Don't poke yourself in the eye, dumbass, because it'll hurt like hell and, despite getting a parking spot up close, it's just not worth it" and then, when I go and do it, they can say that they warned me and I can sue them all they want but I ain't gettin' a dime?  No one is going to take the time to read the fine print (except the lawyers) so those sneaky Sharpie bastards are just waiting to hose me when I take one for the team and poke out a pupil.  Bastards!

Ever see an ad for some medicine of some kind in a magazine?  Shitsky, talk about fine print overload!  There's more fine print than information about the burning sensation that the medicine is trying to fix!  I'm not quite sure what qualifies as actually needing to be included in the fine print so I think people just put everything in there just to cover themselves.  There's a good chance that I'm not going to use the remedy to my burning sensation to clean my fish tank but the lawyers know that I'll sue the pharmaceutical rep for $3.6million if my goldfish (retail price: 11 cents) starts spending a lot of time floating on his back at the top of the tank.  With all that fine print, my April edition of High Times magazine gets pretty hefty!

There's a new tactic that people are using on TV for the fine print.  The nice people at Big Company, Incorporated are now trying to incorporate the fine print into the conversations going on in the commercials, thusly:

Guy: Man, I have a bitch of a headache
Dude: I'll hook you up with some Headache-Be-Gone, if you'd like.
Guy: Sweet.  I'll take a couple and go drive a forklift.
Dude: My doctor recommends that you take Headache-Be-Gone with food and only when you have had a good night's rest.  Also, he suggests that you don't drive any heavy equipment within one hour of taking a Headache-Be-Gone tablet.  Occasionally, you might have heart palpitations and hair loss as a result of taking Headache-Be-Gone and your wife may suddenly find you unattractive.  You're not pregnant, are you?  Because, you shouldn't take Headache-Be-Gone when pregnant.  Lastly, Headache-Be-Gone tastes like shit.
Guy: Uh, thanks....  I'll just deal with the pain.

Who has these conversations?!  In an effort to eliminate the printed version of fine print, the dumb-ass advertising people have just caused me to change the channel and watch an old episode of The Golden Girls instead of possibly buying their fine product.  Kind of back-fired, if you ask me.

Another way to cram the fine print down my throat is to have some tool say the fine print super-fast at the end of the commercial.  I assume there is some legal requirement for what has to be included in the fine print and the consumer has to be able to read/hear it easily.  Well, I'm here to tell you that this consumer can't understand shit when Mr. Speedy-Talker rattles through the legalese at 100 mph.  A variation on this is to actually do this exercise at the BEGINNING of the commercial which kind of catches everyone off-guard.  Either way, my ears glaze over and the whole thing is just a waste of time and vocal chords - which is probably what the lawyers want in the first place.  Nice work, lawyers.  You suck.

Don't get me wrong, people, I'm a big fan of covering my ass, blank checks and loopholes - and that's pretty much what fine print is all about.  If I don't cover my ass and you find a loophole, you get a blank check from me if you take me to court.  God bless America!

And now I have a headache.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hate: Other People in Meetings

As a middle-management lackie, I attend a lot of meetings.  At some of those meetings, shit actually gets done but most of them require some sort of follow-up meeting.  And, quite often, there is a meeting immediately following the meeting which is sort of a post-meeting meeting to meet about the stuff we just met on.  Regardless, it's a damn lot of meetings that take up valuable time that could be better served writing blog posts (because I post SO often) or, my latest addiction, skulking about on Facebook.  Dude, we don't have enough time to talk about Facebook but if I had my own company, I would install something in people's chairs that would cause their pants to catch on fire if they ever visited Facebook while on company time because it is such a time-waster!

OK, where was I?

Oh, yeah, meetings.  I was originally going to write about a particular guy who just bugs the piss out of me.  Let's just call him Talks Way Too Much Guy (TWTMG, for short).  I'm not a big fan of people and I'm even less of a fan of people who talk so this guy didn't stand much of a chance of being my best pal in the first place.  Got a point to make?  How about using only 50 words instead of 10000000?!  TWTMG also chews his fingernails.  Or, should I say, fingernubs?  Now, I ain't perfect (surprising, I know) and I chew my fingernails too but I sure don't do it in meetings!  I wait until I'm in the comfort of my own home to gnaw my fingernails until they bleed.  Not TWTMG - he'll stick half his hand in his mouth and start chewing away!

TWTMG also taps his foot.  Loudly.  He only does it every once in a while so he catches you off-guard when he does it.  You know how some people get the whole knee going up and down thing?  That's not as bad as the one-tap because the up-down thing is quiet.  If I close my eyes, I don't even see them doing it.  Mr. One-Tap stomps on the carpet in a random pattern so I can't brace myself for it.  Bastard.

And then there's Mr. Talk About Something Even Though Everyone Else In The Meeting Is Talking About Something Else (let's just call him The Interrupter 'cause it's shorter.)  Like I said, occasionally a meeting will actually produce something of value.  The team is working through something and the next thing you know we're solving world hunger.  Everybody except The Interrupter, that is.  He's talking to his sidekick, Drinking Buddy (with all due respect to Chris Farley and Mike Meyers) about something completely unrelated to world hunger.  And then we all have to re-hash everything we just talked about so he can get caught up.  Oy!  Hey, Interrupter - shut the fuck up!  

A variation on the Interrupter is the I'm Never On Time To Meetings Guy - also known as That Asshole Who Thinks The World Revolves Around Him.  Look, Asshole, if I wanted the meeting to start at 9:13, I would have told everybody to be there at that time.  Usually, though, I stick to the hour and half-hour times.  You know, 9:00, 9:30, that sort of thing.  When you grace us with your presence at 9:13, you're just as bad as The Interrupter because everybody has to stop what they're doing to go over everything that your rude ass missed for the last 13 minutes.  Do us all a favor, if you're going to be more than a couple minutes late just go update your Facebook page instead of wasting my time.

Of course, these days we also have Mr. Cell Phone Bastard.  Mr. CPB loves his phone.  He's got goofy ringtones that he actually changes semi-regularly.  He's texting people and calling people and generally making love to his phone.  If he could marry his phone he would.  The only thing he is not doing with his phone is setting it to vibrate during meetings!  Dude, that's why God made the vibrate feature - so that I could hold a meeting without you disrupting it!  Here's a new feature for you.  It's called the Cell Phone Up Your Ass feature and it's pretty self-explanatory.

Do NOT get me started on Miss (it's always a chick) Loud Gum Chewer!  Hello, do you think we can't hear you just because your cud, I mean gum, is in your mouth?!  I know that you aren't really a two-bit whore but you sure look and/or sound like one the way you chew your gum!  All the rest of us are trying to conduct a meeting here so please take a minute to not snap, crackle and pop your gum.  It would be much appreciated.  Also, you probably won't "accidentally" get a dry-erase marker jammed in your eye.

So, unfortunately because of my middle-management-ness, I have to attend meetings all the friggin' time.  Sure, occasionally I get lucky and a cute chick shows up but I work in manufacturing and cute chicks are about as rare as an Alaskan governor who doesn't de-rail a presidential campaign.  Until that happens, I have to suffer in misery.

That's it for today.  Gotta run to a meeting.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dig: The Nooks and Crannies of the Internet

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  I'm sure ones of people have been drinking themselves to sleep at night waiting for my next commentary on the things in my life that make me happy or miserable or confused.  Fear not, for today I am finally getting off my caboose and sharing with you something that I dig.  And what is that, you ask?  I dig nooks.  I also dig crannies.  Plus I dig the internet.  And together?  Puh-lease!  It's like when two really good-looking people have a baby and the baby comes out already signed to a modeling contract.  Kind of like Brad Pitt and Angeline Jolie and not so much like, say, Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.  See, Christie is hot and Billy, well, isn't.  For a future post, I might discuss the love life of Billy Joel:  He lost Christie but is now married to some other young thing who is also hot.  See what being a musician will do for you?  Damn Bill Joel to Hell!  See also my post about not having any musical ability.

Here's the deal.  I'm a lurker.  There, I've said it.  In certain circles, I could be called a stalker but I prefer lurker - mostly because it's kind of a fun word to say and also because it's not a felony.  And what better place to lurk than the internet?  I've found that when I surf (do people still use that word?) the internet, I prefer to skip over the "big" sites like yahoo, cnn or google and dig deep into the soft underbelly of the internet.  Certainly, is fine for major, mainstream information but I can find out the latest on Sarah Palin on about a million websites out there - and I prefer the ones that have photoshopped her head onto bikini-clad, gun-toting bodies.  That's what the internet is all about!

So this post was prompted by trading comments with a chick who has a blog in NYC.  I found her blog through some comments on another blog and the next thing you know I'm learning all about life in New York City.  It was sort of a Six Degrees of Separation kind of thing.  This chick is nothing like me.  In addition to not having a penis, according to the pics on her blog she is always dressed to the teeth.  She is not a middle-management suck-ass in the automotive industry and she does not live in a small town.  She does seem to have a command of the language so reading her stuff doesn't feel like heavy lifting.  It's a match made in heaven!  And the more I read her posts, the more I realized that the reason I kept reading was because I had nothing in common with her except for her ability to communicate at some level higher than my seven year old kid.  As much as I like to read all about myself, I'm pretty familiar with the subject matter and I get bored of reading what a great guy I am pretty quickly.

I find lots of blogs and sites through other people's comments and recommendations and the common denominator is that the weirder the content, the more I'm interested.  I don't visit blogs/sites of people who post pictures of their kids' birthday parties.  Do you know how many pictures there are in Internet-Land of babies sitting in high chairs?  There are exactly a shitload of high chair pictures and there is more shit going in the load every day!  I'm not interested in people's crafts - unless it's something unique like making furniture out of discarded ball point pens.  If you have a site about your nifty needlepoint pictures of your cat, I'll take a pass.  I also don't visit sites with too many words.  Mr. Short-Attention-Span just can't handle too many words.

The internet is kind of like the Olympics for me.  The nice people at NBC heaped hours and hours of Olympics television coverage on us last month.  There was also some stuff on non-NBC cable channels.  That goofy-looking Michael Phelps was on NBC.  The guy who won the trampoline competition was not.  (Yes, there was a trampoline competition in the friggin' Olympics!)  He wasn't even on the second-rate channel at 3am on a Tuesday.  And the dude that won that event sure ain't hosting Saturday Night Live and nobody knows a damn thing about him.  He may be just as goofy looking as Mike, but we'll never know. He spends a shit-load of time jumping on the trampoline and he is theoretically the best tramploliner in the world - just like Michael and the whole swimming thing.  Where I'm coming from, though, is that Mr. Trampoline Man probably maintains his own website and just by virtue of NOT having nifty little bios about him, I want to know more about him.  He's not slick and I don't like slick.

People put stuff on websites because it is important to them and they think others will find it interesting.  Yep, Mrs. Smith puts pictures of her brat kid blowing out the candles on his Garfield birthday cake because it is important to Mrs. Smith.  Unfortunately for her, though, she is wasting valuable space on the internet because NO ONE ELSE CARES!  Garfield sucks and unless the cake is worthy of being on Cake Wrecks, it's a waste of everyone's time to talk about it.  Mrs. Smith should be posting pics of the dent in her minivan where she backed into Mrs. Jones at the daycare place and then go on to say what a bitch Mrs. Jones is because she stole her brownie recipe.  Follow that up with a dissertation on why Mrs. Jones' kid will never get into a good college because he doesn't know the difference between a square and a rectangle in pre-school and now you're talking my language!  A good story always has conflict and what causes more conflict than pre-school angst?!

Now, I am not going to list for you the sweet websites I visit, mostly because they change all the time and I never remember to mark them as favorites or anything.  (Before you say anything, yes, I know I can look at my history file...)  You can do like I do and click on the names of people who have left comments on this blog (especially this post because it has a lot of comments) and see where it takes you.

And now, just like a singer in a cheesy wedding reception band who is going to switch from the Chicken Dance to "When a Man Loves a Woman", I'm going to bring it down a little.  It's a big world out there, gang.  I do my thing, you do your thing and most of the time my thing doesn't touch your thing.  (Sometimes it does, but I usually have to pay extra for that.)  Think about that chick in New York.  Walking down the street and taking the subway and cabs and buses and stuff, she probably interacts with a thousand different people just on her way to work in the morning and they're all doing their thing.  They're all unique.  Each one of them has something interesting going on, even if it's their upcoming doctor's visit to have that thing finally removed from their left butt cheek.  And that's the stuff that I dig.  If you've got a story about a butt blemish, I want to hear all about it.

OK, sorry to wreck your buzz there for a minute but I had to make my point.  And now, before we get out on the dance floor for the Macarena, go here for a blog about bad parking or here for a blog about passive-aggressive notes.  It's internet gold and it can only be found in a nook or a crannie.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dig: Quoting Move Lines

OK, so I think this is mostly a guy thing. Some chicks quote movie lines to each other but I think generally girls think whipping out the occasional "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like .... victory" (Apocalypse Now) is stupid and immature. However, by now you've probably learned that a lot of things in my life are stupid and immature so this fits in quite nicely. It's also similar to my love of trivia which is also stupid. If ignorance is bliss, I'm one happy camper!

The beauty of quoting a movie line is that there aren't many times when it is inappropriate. Not that I'm against doing inappropriate things, but when someone isn't paying attention in a meeting, how can you not say "Bueller..... Bueller...." (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)? Everyone gets a laugh and I look like Mr. Funny Man and all the chicks swoon for me. What more could a boy want?!

There are a few hazards with this activity, though, and one of them is quoting a movie line that people aren't familiar with. Maybe the line is too obscure or the movie went straight to DVD or something. You have to remember your audience as they always say in those stupid public speaking training sessions. For instance, in the event that the topic of a prom queen comes up in a meeting, you could use "Let's get the prom queen pregnant" (Breakfast Club) at some point but if the dolts in your meeting only remember "Wouldn't I be out-standing in that capacity?" from that movie, your quote will fall flat. And falling flat sucks. People look at you like you are more of a freak than you actually are and there is definitely no swooning involved. However, if someone in the room DOES get the line and comes back with a "You mess with the bull, you get the horns" you have found a new best friend and you can continue to quote lines while de-railing the rest of the meeting. Finally, a reason to attend a meeting (other than the promise of bagels)!!

Another reason to remember your audience is that if you start into a quote session including lines like "Inconceivable!" (Princess Bride) or "You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me?" (Taxi Driver) with some young punk at work, he/she will most likely not have a friggin' clue what you're talking about. He may even come back at you with a line from Juno or some dumb-ass movie like that. In general, young punks don't know squat and if you want to fuck with them, throw out a "I'm going to kick 100% of your ass" (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and watch their eyes glaze over while all the rest of us cool 40+ year-olds laugh. I'm a product of the '80's so if you want to have kind of a dueling John Hughes movie line quote-off, I'm in.

A variation on the theme of quoting movie lines is quoting song lyrics or TV lines. You never know when a well-placed comment about man-hands (Seinfeld) or a reference to not wanting to go to rehab (that freak Amy Winehouse) will come in, uh, handy. Because there are so many stupid TV shows and obscure bands out there, though, the falling flat thing becomes a little too real. Please do not quote a line from Golden Girls. Please also do not quote a song from Kenny Chesney. Yes, we know that you love them both and, according to TV Guide and Billboard magazine, so do plenty of other people but Bea Arthur is just not quote-worthy. And the only quote I want to hear from Kenny Chesney is why he married Renee Zelwegger one day and then divorced her like a week later. I'm sure it has something to do with her squinty eyes.

So WHY do I dig quoting movie lines? No clue. You would think that I would want to wow people with my own words, not those of Al Pacino from Scarface ("Say hello to my little friend"). But when the time is right for a "You feeling lucky, punk?" (Dirty Harry), I just can't resist. I also use a lot of cliches when I speak and, according to a former boss of mine, cliches are a grammatical crutch of sorts. Whatever. I can live with it. Besides, I don't need no stinking badge (Blazing Saddles).

Now, for those of you playing along at home, I've listed some nifty movie lines for you to use when the opportunity presents iteself. Please note the two quotes with asterisks. Those are a little over-used and further use can sound lame and un-original. Proceed with caution. Also note that there are very few high-brow movies from which I quote lines. What am I going to do - quote that line from Schindler's List about how the ring on Schindler's hand could have saved one more person? Yeah, I don't think so. By the list below, you can see that my brow is pretty low. Enjoy - and now I'm going to go have myself a Royale with cheese (Pulp Fiction).

Wax on, wax off - Karate Kid
Look kids, Big Ben! - European Vacation
It's a Cinderella story - Caddyshack
I wish I was a loofah - Stripes
Try the veal. I'm here all week - Shrek
I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore - Network
* Houston, we have a problem - Apollo 13
Reeeaal tomato ketchup, Eddie? - Vacation
Those aren't pillows! - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
We're on a mission from god - The Blues Brothers
This one time, at band camp - American Pie
Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life - Animal House
You'll shoot your eye out - A Christmas Story
You can't handle the truth! - A Few Good Men
* Show me the money! - Jerry Maguire
Juuuust a bit outside - Major League

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dig: Being a Tree-Hugger

Don't get me wrong. I'm no Ed Begley, Jr. (whose ANNUAL electric bill is $200 because of all his solar-poweredness), I'm more of a fair-weather environmental freak. I kind of dig the feeling I get in my belly when I do my little part to protect this big blue marble that we live on. Here are some things that I do so my grandchildren can enjoy hay fever because the goldenrod has a place to grow and the whole place isn't just paved over like a big parking lot:

I pick up litter. Not all of it but if I see a Snickers wrapper on the ground, I might just pick it up. As you know from a previous post, I don't really understand littering so I'm kind of enabling the inconsiderate assholes who throw their crap on the ground. That means you, Mr. Smoker-Man.

I recycle newspapers, bottles, cans, etc. That's kind of a gimme. Everyone should do that especially if your friendly neighborhood garbage man provides one of those nifty blue container things to put the Target ads, Spaghettios cans and skim (I'm trying to watch my girlish figure)milk jugs in.

I use those funky fluorescent light bulbs at home. Those bastards are expensive but they do last a lot longer. I've been using them for a couple of years now and have yet to replace one.

I use those re-usable canvas bags for my groceries. This one kind of puts me over the edge, I think. I actually bring my own bags with me to the store like a true granola-lover - and one of them is even made of hemp! Unfortunately, I forget to do this sometimes so I still throw away a lot of those damn plastic bags. I have to admit, though, said damn plastic bags are good for throwing away diapers with poo in them. They're not necessary for diapers with just pee but you really don't want a diaper with poo living in your garbage can for a whole week unless they are sealed up sufficiently like the Anal Retentive Chef would do.

I turn off the light in my office at work when I leave it. According to a website that I think did actual research on the subject, if you're going to be gone from your office for more than 15 minutes, you should turn off the light. My co-workers used to make fun of me but after I popped one of them in the nose, they stopped. If you're a cube-dweller your life sucks anyway so you have my permission to run all the electrical appliances you see fit.

I use my own mug at Starbuck's instead of using yet another paper cup. I win three ways on this one. First, I'm not using a paper cup (which isn't even recyclable because there is a small amount of plastic in it). Second, I actually drink less VentiNonfatNoWhipMocha because the mug is a grande size, not venti. Third, the nice people at S'buck's take a cool ten cents off the price for using my own mug! I'm huge! I must confess, though, that this little token of eco-friendliness comes at a cost. See, that mug I'm using is made out of dead dinosaurs which sacrificed themselves to become oil which could be turned into plastic which eventually became my mug. Not very granola-y. For that matter, when I wash said mug, I use electricity to run the dishwasher and natural gas to heat up the water to make it clean. I may have to rethink this one...

I only use cold water to do the laundry. I suppose if I actually worked for a living and my clothes got real dirt on them I might need to use hot water but I'm happy to report that the dirt and odor associated with being a middle-management slacker comes out just fine with cold water!

So those are the things that I do to reduce my carbon footprint - whatever the hell that is. In the scheme of things, I'm pretty much doing the easy stuff which is kind of how I live my life. Even though I drive a Toyota, it's not a Prius - and I don't carpool even though there are a handful of people who work in the same building as me that live within a 5-mile radius of my house. I also still get two newspapers a day even though all the news that I need is available on line (stopping the newspapers might be next environmentally selfless act, actually).

I'll keep you posted on my progress on adding a 200' wind turbine to the top of the house and convincing the family to only flush every other time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hate: The Number of Words on the Shampoo Bottle

I debated about posting this in the Don't Get section because having a whole bunch of words on the shampoo bottle just doesn't make sense to me. However, my confusion over the whole issue soon turned to hatred and I'm pleased with my decision to share with you my hatred (not confusion) for the number of words on the shampoo bottle. You could say I Dig my Hate, which could quite possibly put this whole post in the Dig category. Or, you could just agree with me that the whole thing matters about as much as anything related to Jamie Spears' underage pregnancy.

In case there was any doubt that this slacker is a morning person in any way, shape or form, let me kill that rumor right now. I hate getting my lazy arse out of bed in the morning. If I was told that tomorrow at 7:15, Pam Anderson would be backing up a Brink's truck full of money to my front door, I would set my alarm for 7:06 so that I could hit the snooze alarm once before Pam knocked on my door. Upon receipt of said cash and perhaps a quickie (and I do mean quick!)with Pam, I would go right back to bed and enjoy my new found wealth at a more civilized hour like 10:30.

And yet the shampoo people expect me to read their stupid bottles in the shower. Inconceivable (that's a Princess Bride reference for all you Andre The Giant fans out there)! I'm lucky to make it into the bathroom every morning without shedding any blood from my kneecaps or shins and you think I care if my shampoo is gentle enough for me? Gentle, schmentle! Dude, I've used the bar that sits in the nasty soap tray thing far too often to worry about if the shampoo is for dry hair or oily hair. How about one that's just for hair? Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Usually, the label on the front of the shampoo bottle uses a whole bunch of words like rejuvenate, gentle, fresh and clean. Apparently, all shampoos perform these tasks on your hair whether you have oily hair, dry hair, permed hair, colored hair or generally fucked-up hair. I'm convinced that the only thing that makes one shampoo different than other is the shape of the bottle. It's all in the presentation, you know, and a gallon jug just don't look as nice as a lavender-colored bottle with a nifty little flip-top thing on it that is impossible to open with wet hands. I guess the color of the stuff helps to differentiate one shampoo from another although there aren't really that money colors either. You have a few shades of blue and green and white but not many blood-red shampoos out there. There's a look for you!

OK, back to the number of words. Lots of shampoos have a conditioner that go with them. They're a system. God forbid you wash your hair and not use the associated conditioner with it! What are you, a heathen?! And so the conditioner bottle and the shampoo bottle are designed with the same colors and shape and top and crap until the only difference is that one says shampoo and the other says conditioner. Again, unless Pam hops in the shower to read the labels for me (pause here to wrap your brain around that for a minute) after she delivers my money, it's a real pain to sort through all the nifty adjectives (fresh, clean, etc) to get to the one word that is really what I'm looking for.

So that's the front of the bottle. Lots of words and the one I'm looking for (I'll give you a hint - it ends in "poo") is buried under a bunch of stupid-ness.

The stupidity continues on the back of the bottle. Do I really care what the ingredients are? Aren't the ingredients really just "shampoo"? I know there is other crap in there but quit wasting my time and your ink with telling me all about it. I don't care. Lastly, we must discuss the directions on a bottle of shampoo. Yes, I'm sorry, we must. Many a lame stand-up comedian (or blogger) has built an act (or blog) around those goofy directions to Lather, Rinse, Repeat. However, you would be hard-pressed to find such beautiful simplicity on a bottle of shampoo today. You would long for such simplicity while lathering up your 'do. No longer do you Lather/Rinse/Repeat. Now, you Apply shampoo to wet hair, Massage into the scalp, and Repeat if desired. Who repeats? Whose hair is so frickin' dirty that they must repeat? If you need a shower so bad that you must repeat, you should probably be out shopping for a hat instead of fouling someone's shower stall!

Remember when there was a big push on to have generic products in the store? The packaging was black and white and the beer said "Beer" on it and the ketchup said "Ketchup" and the Dorito-like nacho cheese-flavored chips said "Nasty Tasting Pseudo-Doritos"? That's kind of the direction I'm going here, boys and girls, plunk down a black and white bottle that says "shampoo" and I'm a whole lot less inclined to screw it up and I'll have that much less bitterness in my life. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sit patiently by my front door for Pam to show up.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dig: Old School Saturday Morning Cartoons

You know how much I dig TV. Despite stupid game shows, I take great pleasure in sitting in front of the boob tube letting my mind turn to mush. Don't get me wrong, there ain't much on the old telly that does much to make me smarter with the exception of some of the stuff on the Discovery Channel ("Bone Marrow is Your Friend!"). And what makes your mind mushier than a quality Bugs Bunny cartoon?!

So I'm 40. I've got all kinds of responsibilities with kids, dogs, cars, house (singular) and my on-going efforts to keep them fooled at work. But let's go back to those carefree days when I was about seven, shall we? I do my thing in first grade all week long and go to bed Friday night with nary a care in the world. And then Saturday morning comes, the clouds part and the angels sing - to the tune of the Looney Tunes theme song! Pour me a bowl of FrankenBerry cereal and begin the slightly racist, highly violent entertainment! See you at noon!

Because of the aforementioned kids, I could still watch plenty of cartoons. My kids know that the cartoon channels are 29, 63 and 65. They sure don't know which channel is C-Span but, for that matter, neither do I. And let me tell you something about the cartoons that are on these days - they're kind of freaky! The artwork is really pretty cool and there are boatloads of references that only parents would pick up - just as much, if not more so, than the old Merrie Melodies cartoons of old. But they're not quite as innocent as the ones I used to watch...

So, let's review a few of my old faves, shall we?

Bugs Bunny is the man. He has a devil-may-care attitude, gets all the chicks and makes Elmer Fudd look like an idiot all the time. Heck, he even had that sweet job in the army checking to see if any of the missiles were duds by hitting them with a hammer. And how about all that pain and misery he put Daffy Duck through? That's good stuff! Rabbit season? I think not!

As we've discussed before, I have zero musical ability. Bugs, however, could play the piano with his hands (feet?) AND with his ears! Certainly, if it weren't for Bugs, I would never have been exposed to opera in that old classic, The Barber of Seville. The scene where Bugs shaves Elmer's face with the little lawnmower just kills me!

Let's move on to the Road Runner. Bugs had his Elmer and the Road Runner had Wile E. Coyote. What a great name! That poor son-of-a-bitch sure got screwed by the Road Runner, didn't he? Just how many anvils are out in the middle of the desert, anyway? And who is the mastermind behind the quality products at Acme? One of my favorite aspects of the Road Runner cartoons, though, was the ability to defy gravity all the time. How many times did Wile E. suspend in mid-air long enough to hold up a little sign and then have his body stretch all out before plummeting to his "death"? Now that's entertainment!

Tom and Jerry sucked.

There were a few minor players that I enjoyed, though. Pepe Le Pew ("le pant, le heave"), Foghorn Leghorn ("Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for, for just such an emergency"), Droopy ("Hello, boys"), Marvin the Martian, the Tasmanian Devil and even that bulldog on the construction site who befriends the kitten (no voices, just music). These guys added a little variety to the falling anvils, mis-firing shotguns and Acme Electro-magnets with their own brand of violence. They didn't have the same stereotypical references to the Japanese or Native Americans as Bugs did but, in hindsight, they were still plenty offensive.

Do NOT get me started on anime as an art form. They don't even have anvils!

So, there you go. If you want to make me happy (and I'm sure you do) just hook me up with some Frankenberry cereal (I'll settle for Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries in a pinch), crank up some old Bugs Bunny cartoons and don't disturb me until the last boulder crushes Wile E. Coyote!