Our entire lives we’re taught a lot of things about what’s healthy and what’s not. It comes flying at us from all directions, and it’s hard to keep track of it all. From the internet and television, gossip and conjecture, doctors and pharmacists even. But how often do you hear some fact about some thing being good for you, only to find out a year later that now people are saying it’s bad for you? All the time. Or at least you would if you hadn’t lost your hearing back in 2009 during that ear-augering trend everyone was going on about.

There’s all these questions that seem to constantly flop back and forth. Am I supposed to eat lots of eggs or no eggs? Should I be worried about this skin cancer or just power through it to get that perfectly bronzed tone? How many glasses of wine should I give my children per day? We may never get a straight answer out of the so-called “experts” about a lot of these questions. But here are three long-standing beliefs that I happen to know* are full of as much crap as the big adult diaper-mulching craze of summer 2011.

Marijuana smoke is less harmful than cigarette smoke

This is a doozy. Weed activists love to tout this one out at every turn, but the simple fact is it’s untrue. Just look at the evidence; you look way cooler smoking a cigarette than you do smoking pot in any form. The act of lighting a cigarette alone is one of the coolest looking things a person can do. Compare that to the chimp-like awkwardness of someone trying to smoke from a water-based “bong” device, and suddenly that cigarette is infused with an even more urbane elegance.

Just look at the historical figures we associate with smoking marijuana. People like Bob Marley and John Lennon; unbathed musicians who beat their wives. Do they have the same class and sex appeal as the likes of Audrey Hepburn or that one guy from The X-Files?

Cholesterol is bad for you

If you eat a lot of fatty foods, cholesterol can build up in grimy deposits in your arteries, and for that reason has been vilified not only by the healthing community but by society at large. But, really, are huge lumps of grease in your arteries such a bad thing? The answer is no. And here’s why. As cholesterol buildup erects monuments to indulgence at various points in your blood stream, it is at precisely these points that a bottleneck is created and the blood flow is forced to push through at a much faster rate. The result is that the pressure of the flowing blood, or “blood pressure” as I’ve named it, is significantly increased.

Now, how can this increase in “blood pressure” benefit us, you ask? Simple. Look no further than one of nature’s simplest and most widespread creations, the garden hose. Even with the water cranked all the way to the max, the slow, lazy arc of the hose’s discharge will take a long time to wear down and wash off that hardened-on muck from the side of your filthy automobile. But, were you to slide the edge of your thumb over the nozzle, say a third or half of the way, the water would be forced out at a much faster velocity, tearing up that gunk in a matter of moments and leaving the rest of your day free to do whatever it is you like to do with a free afternoon and a length of hose.

So, naturally, the same is true with your arteries and blood. The more of these cholesterol points there are along the arterial highway from your heart to your various extremities, the faster the abundance of functions your body needs to perform will be done. And all the more efficiently. So keep piling in those processed meats and cheeses, and just remember that chest pains and shortness of breath are signs that your body is operating at its fullest capacity.

Condoms are an important part of a safe and healthy sex life

Sex doesn’t feel as good with a condom.

*Johnny Scott holds no licences or credentials in medicine or nutrition. He does, however, own a comprehensive book on cat anatomy, and is pretty sure that’s enough that he can just go from there.

Photo by kokopinto via Flickr

 

There are two kinds of guys: guys who watch pornography and guys who say they don’t watch pornography. Or, more accurately put; guys who watch pornography, and guys who watch a lot of pornography. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, it’s perfectly natural. Or, at least as natural as getting off from watching multiple women fart on one chocolate cake at the same time can be.

But it’s important to realize that everybody’s porn habits are different, and there should be no judgement when it comes to someone else’s preferences. In fact, a quick scroll through a man’s sordid browser history can tell you a lot more about him than you might realize. Here’s a short guide to what your porno penchant says about you.

If you pretty much stick to the straight ahead, heterosexual, no-fetish-attached, boy parts in girl parts brand of porn, you’re a pretty common personality type. You’re the person who eats their toast with only low fat margarine, and sticks to one or lower on the spiciness scale when you go out for Thai.

Your girlfriend has cheated on you at least twice, and your friends only hang out with you because you have a car. But grudgingly, because it’s a Ford Focus. You work in a bank or an insurance agency, and you named your dog a person name, like Dennis or Sheila. You get indignant when the wait for a table at the Olive Garden is too long, and then go next door to wait just as long at Red Lobster.

Maybe your tastes are a little bolder than that. You know, you’re not a freak or anything, but you like to get a bit wild. Perhaps you enjoy some action with toys, or light fetishism like mild S&M or foot play. Well, if that’s the case, then congratulations, you’re a total scumbag. Yes, it’s true. You may not realize it, but you’re occupying the sleazy, sticky limbo between guys who watch vanilla porn to match their vanilla lifestyle, and guys who watch bizarre extreme porn in a direct reaction to their vanilla lifestyle.

You’ve bought an El Camino through Kijiji. You consider tequila a sipping drink. You own multiple cats, and they’re all named after well-known literary heroines, though the only book you’ve ever read all the way through is Catcher In the Rye. Eight times. You trim your moustache to specific measurements. You vehemently defend your tattoo sleeves when no one’s said anything about them. Your vinyl collection is organized according to mood. You claim to have a deep appreciation for the films of Stanley Kubrick, but have only ever seen the ones with nudity in them. You play bass guitar.

If you’re mainly into gay porn, you’re most likely a gay dude, and you’re not ashamed of who you are. Or maybe you’ve watched a little because you’re writing an article about pornography, and you needed to do a bit of research. It doesn’t mean anything. So what? So you’ve done it a few times? Well, you’re just being thorough, right? You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, it’s nobody’s business anyway.

Look, just because your ex-roommate walked in on you five years ago and thought he caught you watching something, doesn’t mean he should’ve went around telling everybody. Besides, you totally just accidentally clicked on the wrong link. That’s what you keep telling everyone.

If anime porn or cosplay is your thing, you need to get a better grip on things than you think you have. You live in a relative’s basement and work part time at a grocery store, but only until you get your dream job at the comic shop. You wear cargo shorts more than three hundred days of the year, and you’ve been hosting a self-produced, twice-per-week podcast since 2011 that’s up to 19 subscribers now.

What you’re most proud of in life are your internet rants, and you’ve alienated every woman you’ve ever gotten slightly close with by projecting onto her an unrealistic ideal that you’ve composited from the love interest in every superhero movie you’ve got entirely committed to memory. You non-ironically use the term “friend zone.”

Now, if you’re all about the big butt porn, then I’ve only got one thing to say about that; stay the course, friend, you know what’s up! High five!

Speaking of which… uh, gotta go.

 

Photo by Rilind Hoxha via Flickr

The zombie apocalypse is upon us. People said it wouldn’t happen. Sane, rational, reasonable people. But they were wrong. It just didn’t come in the way we were told it would come in the movies. It came, not in the form of ragged reanimated corpses shuffling up and down the city streets crying out for brains, but in the inane dinner party discussion, in the impassioned jabbering of the late-night cocktail hour, in the insipid silence-filler of the office break room at lunchtime. Yes, the zombie apocalypse is here, and it’s far more horrifying than anything George Romero could have ever imagined.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the zombie invasion went from threat to full-on takeover, but we’re in the thick of it now. Where once zombies roamed only in the niche realm of gruesome horror shlock and the warped minds that brought it to the screen, now they’ve chewed through the fleshy bounds of genre film and burst into the mainstream with a bloody spray. With the course we’re on, we’re about eight months away from the first zombie Disney sidekick, and word has it that the cast of How I Met Your Dad will consist mainly of undead characters.

It’s a wasteland out there. Where simply having zombies in something lets it pass as entertainment. Did the love story in the last romantic comedy you saw fail to capture that certain spark you’re looking for? Try this one instead, one of the characters is a zombie. Now the lack of that spark can be chalked up to irony. Did you try to get through a Jane Austen novel, but found it too dry and uneventful? Well lucky for you and your pea-brain, someone “wrote” a rehash of it with a bunch of zombie stuff tossed in, and for only 21 of your dollars this glorified sheaf of toilet paper can fill the void left in you from trying to understand subtle meaningful prose.

The plague is spreading. Rapidly. Just walking down the street earlier this week I encountered several clusters of people—or what may have at some point been people—talking vacantly about how great the latest episode of The Walking Dead was. It’s getting frightening out there. No one who hasn’t been reduced to a barely functional husk with only enough brain power for the most basic motor skills would see an episode of that show and react that way.

It’s getting to the point that I’ve had to start defending myself. At a party this weekend I was cornered by two such creatures. One kept grunting about how much of a badass Carl has become. “You should see him in the graphic novels,” the other kept shouting. I had to break the leg off of a nearby coffee table and cave in both of their skulls to get away. I was chased for blocks by other ghoulish party-goers who wouldn’t stop moaning about how “the show really hits its stride midway through season three, though!” After taking out several more of them they became too overwhelming and I had to hide until dawn in a stairwell.

I made it home, and now I’m holed up here, the doors and windows boarded up, anything that could be used as a weapon within arms’ reach. It’s only a matter of time, though. Before too long I’ll run out of food and have to venture out again. But even more pressing is that the threat looms over me within these very walls. Each time I turn on the television or sit at my computer, looking for brief diversion from the horrors around me, I’m assaulted by more TV shows, movie trailers, articles discussing TV shows and movie trailers, and TV shows discussing other TV shows. And I’m beginning to fear it’s already happening. That I, too, through sheer amount of exposure, am becoming one of them.

Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe it’ll be a relief, not to have to fight so hard anymore, to just accept it. To shut down my higher thought processes, and live out the rest of my life and beyond as a mindless drooling zombie fan. It could be worse, I suppose. I could’ve been gotten by the vampire fans.

 

Photo by Victor Savio via Flickr

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest bar holidays of the year. It’s a celebration of all things Irish, and everything the Irish have contributed to modern society. And by that I mean it’s been stripped of any real cultural significance it once may have had and is an excuse for hordes of non-Irish people who can’t hold their liquor to go out for one of the three nights of the year that they party, put on an abundance of cheap gaudy green clothing and accessories that an actual Irish person wouldn’t wear for a barrel full of Guinness, and puke up so much green food colouring-drenched Bud Light that any given bar bathroom looks like a crime scene Agent Mulder would soil his suit pants over.

So, in the spirit of the day, here are a few fun St. Paddy’s Day activities that you might enjoy trying. Because, remember, today everyone is a little bit Irish! Except, of course, the Irish, who are a lot Irish, and who are probably downplaying it as much as they can to disassociate themselves from the monstrosity that this holiday has become.

The first activity of the night involves shots. Because we all know the best way to kickstart an extended night of dangerous levels of alcohol consumption is to do shots. Specifically, see how many Jameson shots you can force into your “Rock out with your shamrock out” t-shirt clad stomach and still make it out your front door. This is a good game to start with, because it gauges how prepared you are for the rest of the night. If you can make it off your couch and get past the door frame without concussing yourself, you might be ready for round two.

If you do end up making it out, another fun thing to do is see how many people you can get to kiss you by claiming you’re Irish. This is a competitive game that you can get a few friends involved in, or even just compete with yourself to beat last year’s record. Either way, you’ve got to play to win, so you’ll need to dress the part. Make sure you’re wearing one of those tall green dollar store hats (which also doubles as an emergency puke collector), and four-leaf-clover-shaped sunglasses. I can’t stress enough how important the clover-shaped sunglasses are. No one is going to take you seriously on St. Patrick’s Day if you’re not wearing clover-shaped sunglasses. The bigger the better, too. Oh, and be sure not to forget the old Irish custom of wearing leftover green Mardi Gras beads.

Now, the goal here is to try to get more and more people to kiss you the drunker you get. The rules are pretty simple; walk up to someone, preferably interrupting any conversation they might be having, and shout “kiss me, I’m Irish” at them. Then, when they look at you disgustedly and refuse, try to force them to until you get kicked out of the bar. Then move on to the next bar. You get bonus points for each time you get pepper sprayed. The trick to winning this game is that the more slurred your speech gets and the more vomit crusts the front of your clever green novelty shirt, the harder you have to try to insist yourself upon people. The game ends when all participants are either unconscious in an alley or in police custody for assault.

Another fun game, though this one is for more advanced players, is to shit your pants and try to make it home to pass out in your bathtub. This can be a challenging one. The way it works is that you shit yourself, ideally while you’re trying to make someone kiss you or when you’re getting belligerent with bar security or the police, and you try to remember A) where you are, and B) where you live, then figure out how to get from A to B. Taxis and buses won’t let you in because your leprechaun pants are clearly filled with enough green-stained poop to fill the pot at the end of the world’s most disgusting rainbow, and who knows if you’ll survive the walk, so you have to get creative. Bonus points if you can convince a drunk ex to drive you in their car and make them kiss you but then be unable to perform sexually.

Finally, the most difficult St. Patrick’s Day challenge of all; convincing your friends and significant other to forgive you the next afternoon when you wake up. As far as I know, to this date, no one has successfully won this challenge, so godspeed and get texting.

This should provide you with enough exciting fun to make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration the best you’ve had yet. Be sure to proudly post on social media about how aggressively drunk you are so I can see how well you do on each game, because god knows I won’t be setting foot outside my apartment to interact with you morons until this travesty of a holiday is long over.

 

Photo by afagen via Flickr

We’re all getting older. There’s no escaping it. But it’s not all bad. In fact, there are a lot of advantages to getting on in years that you may not even think of. Like anything, it’s got its pros and cons, but with the right attitude the good can definitely outweigh the bad. Let’s look at a few examples.

Sleep. Boy oh boy, when I was in my early to mid twenties I hardly slept at all. Between bars and parties and drugs and hanging out with all my cool friends and all the anonymous unprotected sex I was having, I just didn’t have time for it. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” I’d proclaim to the universe at 6pm, starry-eyed on ‘ludes and 56 hours since my last rest, from the sunroof of a limousine while raining champagne upon all the poor chumps on their way home from work to eat dinner and fall asleep reading at 9 o’clock.

Well, I’ve hit 30, and I’m still breathing, but maybe all that partying made me die inside, because now I sleep all the time. Not even intentionally a lot of the time. I’ll fall asleep watching TV or at the movies or on a bus bench. I’ve taken impromptu naps in restaurant washroom stalls, during job interviews, and while driving. And you know what? I’m okay with it. More than okay. I’ve realized that I’ve been missing out all these years. Sleep is the best. Hell, I just slept for five hours between writing that last sentence and this one. And I’m thinking of sleeping for a few more before the next paragraph.

Music is another thing that changes drastically as you age. Or, more accurately, your reaction to music. I remember the days when I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest albums from the popular music groups of the era. The days when I wanted more than anything to shock those around me with the edgy sounds that I was hip enough to be into. Going to concerts, the louder the better, and leaving with ringing ears and spattered with every manner of bodily fluid. Nowadays, though, things are different. I don’t care much for the new music of today. If you can call it music. Sounds more like a lot of noise to me.Nope, I’m pretty set in my ways now. I’ve even begun to regress, I think. Some of the stuff I used to love to listen to is a little too rowdy for my current tastes. Just set me in my recliner with my slippers and put on a little Chicago and I’ll be perfectly content. If I’m feeling particularly exuberant I might switch it up to some Steely Dan. As far as live music goes, my criteria haven’t changed much. All I really look for in a venue these days is if it has a comfy corner somewhere where I can nod off for a couple hours during the show.

Of course, one of the biggest things that changes as you get older is sex. Gone are my days of hitting the scene in search of scandalous one night stands, of blurry cavalcades of so many nameless women, of being able to achieve or maintain an erection without pharmaceutical aid. No, I’ve slowed down as time’s gone by, but what time has taken away from me in quantity, experience has bestowed upon me in quality, if you know what I mean. What I mean, of course, is that if I can make it through even six minutes of semi-vigorous intercourse, afterwards I’ll be down for a good nine hours of solid, quality slumber.

What else? Hmm, my eyesight’s getting pretty bad, and I can’t really remember how much of I’ve said about… whatever it was I was talking about. My memory isn’t so good these days either. Oh yeah! I was telling you about the time I ran for office and was beat by a golden retriever. No. I was telling you my secret steak marinade recipe. Or, was it… well, it’ll come back to me. Just give me a little while to rest.   Photo by Jyle Dupuis via Flickr

Can you believe how much money the Russian government put into the Sochi Olympics? Like, do you even know how much money that was? I mean, I don’t know exactly, but it was like billions of dollars, I heard. And where do you think that money comes from?

It’s not just sitting there, waiting to be spent on hockey games. It came from killing dogs, you guys. You people need to know that. You should know it, I posted a Huffington Post piece about it. Maybe if people stopped caring so much about what medal their country got in the skeleton or whatever and read the internet for once, they’d see what’s really going on.

The president of Russia killed a guy because he didn’t get a medal in figure skating. It’s true. I read an article about it. Well, I read the headline and the first two paragraphs, but that’s what it said. And there’s all this stuff happening in Ukraine, you guys. Like, really bad stuff. I don’t think you realize how bad it is, but it’s bad. You want to know how bad? I’ll tell you exactly what’s happening there; there are so many news articles about it online, on CNN.com and stuff you can go read. I posted a bunch of them yesterday on Facebook, so just check out my profile to see them.

See, maybe I just care too much about what’s going on in the world or something, but I can’t help feeling that I’m doing so much more than my part to make a difference. If more people read these articles, maybe they’d see that something has to be done. We can’t just keep sitting around doing nothing, we have to get engaged and make a real difference. That’s why I hit “share” on so many of these links. If no one else is willing to do it, how will we ever make any progress?

In fact, just earlier today I posted a status admonishing people for caring so much about a hockey game, even if it was the gold medal one, and expressing my hope that now that it’s done, maybe they can take a look at what’s going on in the world around them. And you know what? That status update got several likes. Now that’s what I’m talking about when I say making a real difference. The world needs more people to spread awareness like that. It’s called having an impact, and most people just don’t seem to have the guts to do it.

I watched a bit of this TED Talk the other week, and the guy in it was saying something about how nowadays with the internet and social media we’re all more connected than ever before, but at the same time we’ve never been so distant from each other. Was “distant” the word he used? Whatever, something like that. Like, he was saying that even though we’re all communicating with each other all the time, we’re not, like, really saying anything, or anything. Y’know? I posted the link, you should check it out.

“Disconnected!” That’s the word he used, not “distant.”

Anyhow, I guess I can sort of understand why so many people don’t care enough to get involved. It can be hard work a lot of the time. I’ve spent so much of my time the last couple weeks telling people why they shouldn’t be paying so much attention to what’s going on in Sochi when there’s so much terrible stuff happening outside Sochi. It’s been exhausting. And that came right on the heels of me spending weeks telling people why they shouldn’t be paying so much attention to what Justin Bieber is doing, but should be outraged by what’s happening in Sochi! It can be overwhelming.

If you’ve read this far, you’re obviously someone who’s concerned with what’s happening, and wants to make a difference. Or if you’ve just skipped to the last couple paragraphs to see what the point of the whole article is, which is what I usually do. So I encourage you to share this with your friends. And not just this, but every link you come across that talks about important stuff. Without people like you and me to take the problem into our own hands and make a difference, nothing will ever change.

We need to get the message out. That someone needs to do something. We have a voice. And we owe it to ourselves, and to the world, to use that voice to make it clear to everyone we know that we’re serious about this change. And we need to do it with the smallest possible amount of effort from ourselves. So, please, click “share.”

 

Photo by jcburns via Flickr

Heed my story. A story of a once vibrant past, a bleak present, and a hope for the future.

Once I was a fresh, baby-faced young lad, with nary a care in the world. I had a nice apartment that I shared with my beautiful girlfriend, I had a great job, and I was going to be happy for the rest of my life. It was a good time for just about everyone in the whole country, as a matter of fact, and for people all over the world. Our cares seemed so far away. Looking back now it’s easy to see it as the calm before the storm. This was ten years ago. This was before the Beards came.

It started to happen here and there, to people you knew. Suddenly your cousin showed up to Easter dinner with a Beard, or one of your co-workers came back from a long weekend with one. Then, soon, they were popping up on the face of nearly every man you’d see. The Beards’ takeover was as meticulously planned and expertly cultivated as the thickets upon the chins of the growing multitudes were not.

I was one of those early casualties. My story, at least its beginning, is like most others’. Leaving a friend’s place one Friday evening after some pleasant after-work drinks, I was approached from a dimly lit alleyway by a mysterious yet authoritative figure. A description of him would have been next to impossible, except to say he seemed to consist only of a long coat, a wide-brimmed hat, and a mane of tangled hair sprouting from between them.

That description proved to be more accurate than I could have possibly imagined, for once he had drawn me into the alley, the coat and hat dropped to the ground, and all that remained was a detached, floating Beard. I tried to scream, but it was already upon my face.

Over the next few months, my life as I knew it began to dissolve. People at my workplace treated me differently, and I was made aware of a strict no facial hair policy that until then I hadn’t known existed. Maybe it didn’t exist until then. The nascent dread of these horrible beings was causing the first hints of what would become a wider-spread panic.

After I lost my job and began walking the streets in search of a new one, I was often mistaken for a homeless man. Which I very nearly became, after the pressure put on my home life reached fever pitch. When my long-time girlfriend left me after I started wearing vests all the time and constantly listened to banjo music.

But, for me to be writing this now, I’ve obviously gotten out from under the Beards’ control. The Beard remained, but control was reversed. I don’t know how or why it happened; if it was through sheer force of will, or that the soul of the Beard inhabiting me withered from lack of attention after I consistently refused to join one of the many facial hair clubs that were now springing up in pubs on every street corner, but suddenly I found myself free.

And what I discovered horrified me. In just a short couple years, the Beards had completely taken over. Lines of bearded men marched the streets and took over parties. The number of outdoor music festivals had exploded exponentially. Wool knit cap and conditioning wax had become the cornerstones of the economy. Craft beer breweries had replaced churches and temples as the premier place of worship. I had awoken in a hairy dystopia.

I was chosen, for whatever reason, to be bearded salvation. To walk the streets among the Beards, unnoticed. To take action against them and all that they’ve come to stand for. A brush-faced vigilante, my beard the feared symbol of the fight against unchecked corruption in the same manner as Gotham’s Bat Signal or McDonaldland’s Grimace Beacon.

So, if you’re reading this and you’d like to join the revolution, look to my Beard. The Beard of the underground, the Beard of the people. Know that together we can lead ourselves out of this dark time, right our path, and send the Beards back to where they belong; the lazy, the unemployed, and the lazy unemployed struggling artist.

Do your part, punch the next guy you see. Punch him right in the Beard.

 

Photo by Johnny Scott

Hey, guys, I’m ordering some pizzas. Guys. Hey! I’m ordering us some pizzas. How many people are here? Five? Six? Wait, who’s out smoking? Okay, what, nine? Well, are Ross and Shelly coming? So, what, like four pizzas should be good, right? Five? No, I think four is good. Okay, Wendy, we’ll get five.

Okay, what kind does everybody want? Pep and bacon? That’s a classic, we’ll get one of those. Yeah, Terry, I know you don’t eat meat, we’ll get a veggie one too. Oh, but Marcie doesn’t like onions, can we get something other than onions on it? We could do green pepper and mushroom? No mushrooms either? Well what then? Tomatoes? There’s already tomato sauce on a pizza. Okay, okay, green pepper and tomato.

What? Avocado? I don’t know if they even have avocado, I’ll have to ask. Well, if they don’t have avocado, are you fine with just green pepper and tomato? Kale? If they don’t have avocado I don’t think they’ll have kale either. How about spinach? Okay, green pepper, tomato, and avocado, and if they don’t have avocado, then spinach.

Sue wants a Greek. How about a Greek? Is anyone else interested in getting a Greek pizza? Okay, good, we’ll do a Greek too. Wait, what? No, of course we’re not going to get no olives on a Greek pizza. I don’t care if you don’t like olives, Mark. If you don’t like olives then don’t eat a Greek pizza. Because that’s what a Greek pizza is, Mark. It has olives and feta cheese on it. Well, pick the olives off then if you like feta so much, we’re not getting two pizzas with feta on them.

Well, fine, if that’s what everybody else wants, then we will. Okay, show of hands, who wants to get two pizzas with feta cheese on them? … Anyone? Last chance. No, okay, that’s it, no one else wants feta on another pizza, if you want feta you’ll just have to deal with the olives. Well, if the olives “taint the whole pizza with their olive taste,” then just have a slice of something else, Mark. Jesus, I’m sure this isn’t the last time you’re ever going to have a fucking pizza, take a look at yourself!

I’m sorry, Mark. Mark. Mark, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. No, I know you’re not fat. I got a little irritated and I said something I didn’t mean. Are we cool, Mark? Really? Yes, okay, we’ll get another one with feta. Feta and what, Mark? Feta and eggplant? No, yeah, that sounds really good. Doesn’t that sound really good everybody? See, everybody says it sounds good. Feta and eggplant, I can’t wait to try that one.

Okay, what about a Hawaiian? That’s my favourite. Is everyone alright with the last pizza being a Hawaiian? What? It’s ham and pineapple, how do you not know that? No, it’s not “gross,” it’s really good. Well have you ever tried it? Then you don’t know, Gord. Is anyone else interested in a ham and pineapple? No one? Really? Oh, Ted, you’d be down? One slice? No, no, it’s all good, it’s fine. I’m not going to order it if I’m going to be the only one eating it. It’s okay, really. I’ll share the eggplant one with Mark.

I’m going to call the order in now. Does everybody have a bit of cash to chip in? All you have is a fifty, Terry? Okay, well give me the fifty and everyone else chip in a bit and we’ll give that to Terry. Okay, a five, you’ve got a ten. $2.75, Ted? Really? Well, fine, just give it to Terry. What about you four? You all only have debit cards? Fantastic. No, we’re not going to be able to split the whole order up between cash and four debit cards. Whatever, I’ll cover it and you can owe me. No, it’s no problem.

Okay, everyone, I just got off the phone with the pizza place, and they won’t deliver here this late. I know a good Chinese place that will, so what do you all want? Everybody’s good with Chow mein, right? What else?

 

Photo by nettsu via Flickr

Success is measured in many different ways by many different people. What some might consider being successful, others may view as trifling. It’s all a matter of setting goals and achieving them, and being content with how far you’ve come in your journey.

I’m standing in the kitchen of my one bedroom apartment, eating a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli, over the sink, right out of the can. And you know what? I’m feeling pretty successful right now. Oh sure, other people might scoff; there are people out there with houses and jobs and families, there are people who have prestigious awards on their shelves and diplomas on their walls from Ivy League institutions.

And I’m standing here, in a small apartment, in my underpants, eating canned food over a sink, thinking I’m successful. What could possibly be considered successful about that? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s not so much the destination, which I’ll admit falls a little short of a lot of other people’s achievements, but the road taken. I’ve had a lot to overcome in my life, a lot more than most people. So the fact that I’m here doing this right now is a testament to my sheer force of will and ability to overcome obstacles.

From the moment I was born, there were major obstructions in my path to any kind of success. I couldn’t walk or talk, I couldn’t even sit up. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I was often unable for several years of my life to go even a day without uncontrollably vomiting. Often onto other people. It doesn’t seem like such a minor accomplishment to be standing here, eating canned pasta over the sink, now does it? Or that so far I’m managing to do it without smearing the tomato sauce all over my face and head?

Do you think many CEOs of multimillion dollar companies had to go for years of their lives needing help just to burp properly after a meal? Let’s not kid ourselves. How many Pulitzer Prize-winning authors do you think had to struggle for years to learn even one language? I didn’t know how to speak any languages when I was born. It’s no easy task to try to work your way up the social ladder when you can’t express to someone that you’re terribly sorry, but you need to be excused for a moment without resorting to urgently shouting about how much poo is in your butt.

Now, I’m not trying to say that no one else has suffered setbacks or hardships, but to be besotted with so many from such an early age must be fairly unique to my experience. I know that many great minds have struggled with substance abuse and addiction, often for many years. I experienced this as well. Until I was forced to wean off it, I was nursing a breast milk habit that took root and didn’t let go from day one.

Think about that. From the day I was born until the last drop I drank a couple years later, I didn’t go one day without the stuff. Now talk to me about habitual substance use. And just because I quit, doesn’t mean the experience had no lasting effect on me. To this day I think about breasts several times in any given hour. How many successful men can you say that about?

The picture is starting to come together now, isn’t it? Standing at the sink in an apartment I rent myself, eating a can of Chef Boyardee. A man who once could not even get onto his own two feet under his own power, now maintaining that stance for minutes at a time; A man who once could not go for mere moments without supervision, now living alone in a sensible apartment. A man who was, at one time, unable to eat solid food, now feeding himself mid-priced brand name processed canned foods with a fork.

With all that information, my accomplishments seem a lot more remarkable now, don’t they? I thought so. And I’d really like to flesh out the background story even a little more for you, but I went poop in my pants from eating so much Chef Boyardee and now I have to go wash up and put myself down for a nap. The road goes ever on.

 

Photo by Johnny Scott

Look, I’m not judging anyone here, but the world is made up of all kinds of people, and not everyone is, let’s say, at home when attending some of the fancier events the world has to offer. That’s okay, though. Symphonies and lavish galas aren’t for everyone. But even those on the lowest rung of decent society have to climb up a few steps and try to keep their filthy pants on for a few hours to be part of one classy affair now and then.

It can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it, and frankly a little bit intimidating. But don’t you worry your pretty little tiara-topped head, because I’m here to give you all the advice you’ll ever need to be a bona fide smash at your next formal shindig. If you follow my guidelines, you can transform yourself from the crudest of turds to the hottest of shit.

Let’s start with the upscale dinner. Now, I’m not talking anywhere with unlimited breadsticks and bottomless pasta bowls here, you barn-raised cretin. The thing about real fancy restaurants is you pay more money for less food. The fancier the restaurant, the more expensive the entrée and the less meal on the plate. Most high-end eateries have very few buckets of anything on the menu.

Start by ordering the third most expensive wine on the list. That shows you have good taste, but you’re not a sucker. Make a comment about how whatever year it’s from was a good year for grapes. Wait, is wine made from grapes? That doesn’t sound right. Anyhow, say that it was a good year for grapes or potatoes or limestone or whatever wine is made from.

And don’t call the waiter “waiter.” Fancy restaurants don’t have waiters. They have concierges and maitre d’s, which I think are French for janitor and maybe blacksmith? Anyway, the proper way to address a server is “madam” if she’s a woman, which is French for “madam,” or “garçon” for a man, which is French for “dude” and is pronounced gherkin, like the pickle.

Another event many of you unwashed plebians might have trouble with is going to an art gallery, perhaps for an opening or a reception. Now, nothing says “class” like art, so it makes a great impression if you know a little about it. First off, there will probably be people serving wine or champagne, so snag some from the first one that passes you. Make sure to grab a couple glasses until you’ve got a handle on how fast they circulate. Once you’ve gotten a few drinks down your greasy philistine trap, you’ll be ready to look at some art.

Most art is kind of bullshit, actually, but just pretend for ten minutes that you don’t still stink like whatever gross cave you just crawled out of and that you understand it. It’s pretty easy. You don’t even have to say much. Act like you’re really contemplating it for a couple minutes, then say that you admire the artist’s bold brush strokes and gesture towards the dick. There’s always a dick in art. Talk a lot about the dick part of the piece and how viscerally it impacted you. Dick talk really gives the impression that you get art.

Finally, we have the opera. This one can be tough. There’s a lot going on at an opera. And they’re long, too. And in a lot of operas everybody sings everything. I guess that’s how they do things in Europe. There’s usually an intermission, and a reception after the thing, and you’re expected to talk about the opera. It can be done, though. Drop names of famous opera composers like Verdi or Gandolfini.

Make a big scene about how much you wept when Mimi died in Rodolfo’s arms, or when José killed Carmen, or when Aida died, or Violetta or Nedda or Antonia. Operas are all about women dying. Really you could just talk about how much it moved you when the lady died, and play Candy Crush through the whole thing.

That should pretty much do it. If you’ve managed to pull yourself out of your own filth for long enough to read this far, then you should be in for a resoundingly successful night. Just remember everything I taught you, and don’t forget to have fun! Have fun for me too, I can’t go. I’m not allowed back to the concert hall. Or the art gallery. Or any restaurant that isn’t Arby’s.

 

Photo by Beraldo Leal via Flickr

So, you want to learn to play the guitar, do you? You got one as a gift or you found a great deal on one at a pawn shop that you just couldn’t pass up, and now you fancy you’d like to be the next Jimi Hendrix?

Newsflash, slick, Jimi Hendrix is dead. That’s the price he paid for his talent. And that’s exactly where you’ll end up if you try to pursue this dream. Oh sure, I know your type. You picture vast fortunes, stadiums full of fans throwing themselves at you with abandon, fame beyond your wildest fantasies. Well I’ll tell you right now, you’re not going to find any of those down this six-stringed path to destruction.

The only fortunes you’ll find are the scattered spurts of change tossed into your weather-beaten guitar case out of pity as you busk for passers-by hurrying along to escape your filth. The only things throwing themselves at you will be the monkeys clawing for a spot on your back. And fame? The closest you’ll get to fame will be the locally printed newspaper obituary your mom clips out for her scrapbook.

But still you’d like to press on? You think with the proper training and the right amount of gumption you’ll be one of the few out of millions who make a name for themselves? I admire your determination, however foolish. All right, I’ll teach you. But heed my lessons well, for if you stray even slightly, your fate is doomed without salvation. I urge you to turn back now, throw away that guitar and forget all about it, or you could end up suffering a hell worse than death, like a regular gig on a cruise ship, or touring with the Dave Matthews Band.

Lesson one: Take your guitar to bed with you every night. Feel its body next to yours as you sleep. Its sumptuous curves, its long rigid neck. If you share a bed with a spouse or partner, banish them. From both your bed and your life. You no longer have room for such trifling affairs as love or companionship, you’re a guitar player now. You have forsaken all earthly relationships. Your guitar is all you love now.

And so, you must make love to your guitar. It will let you know when it’s time, don’t force it. All guitars are different, it could take weeks or months or years. But, if you sleep with it each night, the time will eventually present itself for you to consummate your bond with it, and it is only then that you’ll be ready to move on to the next lesson.

Lesson two: It’s time to learn chords. Chords are the ancient and mystical runes passed down from guitarist to guitarist for hundreds of generations, traced back to the powerful scholar known in our tongue as Les Paul. Each chord is summoned with a specific hand position, though the most successful guitarists have mastered those positions with not only their hands, but their entire bodies, becoming twisted parodies of human beings upon the stage, all in the name of entertainment. The more varied and complex chords you can summon the higher your chance for survival when you’ve entered into the final lesson.

Lesson three: This is the last lesson I can teach you. It’s now time to go forth and conquer. Find open mic nights, talent shows, coffee shops looking for entertainment. If you’re able to form a band with other musicians, do so. But if your band has more than one guitar player, you must assert your dominance immediately and keep them subdued.

The goal of this lesson is to seek out and destroy as many other guitar players as you’re able to. Show them no mercy, for they will show you none. Start simple, with lower level guitar players. If a dude at a party spies an acoustic and starts strumming on it to impress girls, now is your time to strike. Take opening spots in other bands’ shows, and slowly work your way up. It’s a lonely road, fraught with peril, and your only friend is a good sound check.

As I said at the beginning, chances are you won’t succeed. There are thousands upon thousands of others attempting the same thing you are. What makes you think you’ll be better than all of them? It’s unlikely you’ll do anything but crash and burn. But don’t despair completely, know this one piece of wisdom that has belonged to guitar players for ages, and can never be taken away from you; even if you’re the worst guitarist out there, you’re still way better than some stupid lame crummy bass player.

 

Photo by Doug88888 via Flickr

To our valued customers,

We at Crazy Jerry’s Used Cars and Trucks would like to offer our most sincere apologies. Many of you were offended by our ad campaign which ran in newspapers, on bus benches, and on local television stations. It was brought to our attention that there were several insensitive statements made within the campaign, and we are working our hardest to find out how these were allowed to be used, and seeing to it that the responsible parties are suitably reprimanded.

First of all, the claim that our prices on used Kias would make you think that we’re “actually retarded” was in bad judgement, and understandably angered many mental health groups in the community. We would like to make it clear that we did not set out with the intention to offend anyone, least of all any of our customers with disabilities.

We regret any offence, and would like to remind everyone that despite this lapse in professionalism, our extensive selection of used Kias are priced so low that one might make the assumption that whomever set the amounts suffers from some kind of severe brain malady.

Next, we realize our assurance that our stock of used 2006 Nissan Altimas are so well-built and maintained that “even a woman could drive them” was out of line, and we deeply regret that it was allowed to be published. We are fully aware that many women in fact drive cars on a regular basis, and a great deal of them are just as capable as men. Several may even be more capable.

We value the continued business of all our female customers, and would like to remind them that, despite the unfortunate slogan, we are company that is built on equality, and we have the utmost respect for women. Some of our hardest working employees, including our receptionist Suzy, are women. And so, as a gesture of good-faith, for the next month the purchase of any 2006 Nissan Altima will come with a complimentary set of high-quality cookware.

Now, with respect to the claim that our array of foreign-made models will have you “seeing so many Krauts and Japs you’ll think it’s goddamned World War II all over again,” we once again apologize for the gaffe. Frankly, it’s shocking that this kind of language could ever have slipped past us. There is no excuse for this at all, but we do maintain that our selection of used Volkswagen and Toyota models is the largest in the province. Come see for yourself.

Another unfortunate choice of wording was our guarantee that we have “more deals on used Pontiac Azteks than cocks your mother can fit in her whore mouth at once.” It goes without saying that this is not only inexcusable, but impossible to verify.

While we have had many pleasant and successful business relations with a great deal of our customers’ mothers, what they may or may not do in the privacy of their homes is none of our concern. It should also go without saying that our deals on used Pontiac Aztecs are quite plentiful. Come on in and test drive one today!

Finally, we regret terribly our decision to include the statement that “if you pass up deals like this, you’re a shit-eating piece of human garbage who should’ve been aborted so your stem cells could’ve been used to cure the cancer of someone with big enough balls to put a down payment on a fucking Ford Focus, you brain-dead cunt.”

Though this was utterly unacceptable, we remain confident in our deals on Ford and other great makes of vehicle, and think it would be foolish of you to miss the opportunity to take advantage of those deals just because of a little insensitive language. To be honest, we here at Crazy Jerry’s Used Cars and Trucks think maybe you should just grow up a bit, stop whining, and just buy a damn car already.

Jesus. We’ll hold your hand if you need us to. Change your goddamned diaper.

Deepest apologies,

“Crazy” Jerry “Arab Hatin’” Chesterson

 

Photo by Mark Coggins via Flickr

Well, it’s that time again. Time to say farewell to all the failures of the old year and greet the promise of the new one with verve and gusto. To look back one year and reflect upon the resolutions we didn’t manage to achieve, and set forth into the next year with the drive to do better this time around.

I’ll admit it, I didn’t do too well with my promises for 2013. Maybe they were too ambitious. Maybe this year I should set my goals a little more realistically.

For example, one of my resolutions last year was to join a gym and go to it regularly. Well, I achieved half of that one. Joining the gym was easy. But who has time to go to they gym on a consistent basis? I sure don’t. I’m a busy man. I have a job and a social life and a lot of my time is devoted to keeping the forest around my village free of prowling wolves and imps.

I think it’s too easy to fall again and again into the stock resolutions like “lose weight,” or “quit smoking,” or “drink less potions.” You’re never going to be successful at bettering yourself unless you take a real, honest look at your own personal situation before you commit to anything.

I mean, it’s totally impractical for me to try to quit smoking right now. I’ve still got this jade spectre possessing my lungs; if I stopped smoking a hash of sycamore root and oleander, by this time next year my New Year’s resolution would be to not be a reanimated scion of the Dark Gnome Emperor, Gord.

It’s also important to prioritize your goals. If you overwhelm yourself by trying to conquer all of them at once, you’re bound to fail. Rather, take each one at a time and focus on the most crucial ones first. Everything falls apart if you don’t have a firm plan of action.

For example, I know I must defeat the terrible sorcerer Jeremy to free my father from the grip of his spell of Draining. But I can’t defeat Jeremy without first having my sword tempered with the mighty ore of Magmar, which I must obtain from the belly of the great fire-breathing salamander, James, who lives in the depths of the Cave of Woe. And to even get in to that cave, I need the Key of Sorrow, and getting a hold of that is another quest entirely.

So you see, it would be ridiculous and imprudent of me to just traipse into the terrible sorcerer Jeremy’s lair and try to slay him with a regular sword. It’s all about prioritizing. Like, don’t you think I want rescuing my beautiful Elfin bride, Stacy, from the clutches of Ted, Warrior King of the Mountains, to be at the top of my list?

But there’s, like, a thousand little side-resolutions I have to take care of before I even get access to the airship that will take me to the continent that Ted’s Skull Fortress is on. And even then I have to first defeat his Ravenous Hordes.

Anyway, my point is, don’t over-extend yourself. Most New Year’s resolutions fail within the first few months, because people try too hard to make them all happen at once. You’ve got a whole year to make sure you do this right. Don’t try to rush things and end up like so many other wayward travelers, wandering for eternity in the misty Swamps of Displaced Souls.

You have it in you to achieve whatever lofty goals you seek and conquer whatever twists and trials your adventure throws your way this year. The first goblin you slay on January 1st may not seem like much at the time, but when you’re heaving that final decimating sword slash upon the Undead Lord of Chaos next year at this time, freeing your land and people from centuries of darkness, you’ll look back on that runty little thing and realize that slipping your dagger between his gnarled ribs was the first step on a much larger journey.

Happy New Year, Hero. Your quest begins now. Please enter your name and press start.

 

Photo by arbyreed via Flickr

Dear Santa,

Man, I’ve been pretty good this year. Like, really good actually. Even better than last year. And last year was a good one, too. I think I deserve a decent present this year.

Look, I’m not trying to be ungrateful here, but you’ve really shit the bed the last few years on my presents. Last year you gave me a book. A book, Santa. Seriously? You can do better than that. Did I do something to piss you off?

Like, I thought you’re supposed to have a line on everybody and know what they’re into and all that. I don’t read. When have you ever seen me read a book? I barely know how to read. It’s all I can do to even write you this letter.

Get your shit together, old man. Maybe stop thinking about cookies for two seconds and do your damn job. My taxes pay your salary, buddy.

Hey, I’m a pretty reasonable guy. I’d like to believe it was just a mix up. A bureaucratic slip. I get it. The holidays are a busy time, things are stressful, mistakes are made. But it’s happened for a number of years now, and I’m beginning to think you’ve got some sort of problem with me.

I don’t want to cause any trouble, Claus, but if you’ve got something to say to me, just come out and say it. Don’t give me this passive-aggressive bullshit year after year.

I know you’ve seen how good I’ve been this year. So you’d better check that list one more time, you fat bearded bastard. I haven’t missed one of my anger management courses. I’ve quit drinking except for weekends, Thursdays, holidays, and Tuesdays because I bowl on Tuesdays and you know I can’t bowl good if I’m not drinking. I finished all of my community service. I’ve been a regular fucking saint this year, and I think I deserve a little recognition of that!

Is a big screen TV and an Xbox One so much to ask from you? You owe me, you jolly elf son of a bitch. All I asked for two years ago was a new set of golf clubs and some lottery tickets. What did you bring me? Yeah, you know what you brought me, and it sure as hell wasn’t a new set of golf clubs and some lottery tickets.

You come into my house, eat the cookies that I leave out for you, and you basically take a big shit on me. This isn’t how a man acts, Santa. This is how a goddamned child acts.

Now, I don’t want to overreact here or nothing, and I’m not making any threats, but let’s just say I know some people. Some people who, from time to time, are involved in some little accidents. Accidents where some people might get hurt real bad. Hey, the last thing I want to see is you getting hurt, Kringle, but these people, sometimes I mention something to them and they go and do some things I can’t control. You ever had your kneecaps busted with a tire iron, Santa? I’m not saying anyone’s getting their kneecaps busted with a tire iron, it’s just an innocent question. Something to think about.

Look, we’re both hard working guys just trying to do our jobs the best we can and get by. We’re not that different, you and me. I’m in construction, you’re some kind of weird fuckin’ goblin who breaks into people’s houses and leaves them with some stuff they wanted. Hey, we’re both in the business of helping people out. And I know you’re a smart man who’ll do what it takes to make things right here. Because it’s in both our interests.

You try spreading any more of this “I don’t exist” crap again, then we have a real problem. You think I’m an idiot, Santa? You think you can just pull one over on me like that and I’ll forget all about this? Yeah, you try that shit again with me and you really won’t exist.

Just think a while on all this, Nick or Pere Noel or whatever your real name is, and I know you’ll make the right move. And while you’re at it, tell me how to get in touch with your pal Jesus there. I got a few things to say to that bastard, too.

 

Photo by DaylandS via Flickr

Citizens. Comrades. Um… people. I want to be your mayor. Though many of you may never have heard of me, I assure you that I have the qualifications, the passion, and the ideas to do a fine job of running this fair city. Or any city, really. I’m kind of up for anything. If you’re reading this and think to yourself, “there’s a man who would do a fine job running my city,” whichever city that may be, drop me a line.

But why should you, the citizenry of your bustling metropolis, elect me to the big seat? Great question. What a smart city. Attractive, too. Have you been working out? I mean, a lot of cities get bloated with urban sprawl, but you’ve kept yourself trim. And your infrastructure looks great! Ah, but yes, I digress, why should you, the gorgeous and brilliant populace, vote for me?

Well, for one thing, I’d clean up the streets. We’re all familiar with the undesirables and riff-raff that terrorize entire neighbourhoods with impunity. And clearly the police aren’t doing anything about it. I’m of course talking about squirrels, scampering about stealing our hard earned nuts, chattering away outside our windows while we’re trying to sleep. Causing nuisance to our dedicated taco vendors.

I know, a lot of politicians in the past have made some crazy promises about the squirrel problem that were just too good to be true. But no outlandish, impossible to follow up guarantees from this guy. My plan is simple. An army of highly trained cats to patrol each sector, effectively not only eliminating the rampant spread of these heinous rodents, but disposing of their bodies at the same time. And, of course there will be designated litter box stations throughout the city to ensure our sidewalks aren’t strewn with the remains of this. In addition, there will also be a vast increase in the number of taco stands in each sector.

I’m a steadfast supporter and patron of arts, and under my leadership this city would see a flourishing of culture unlike it’s ever before witnessed. I fully intend to devote a significant portion of the budget to seeing through this renewal. I see no reason why tacos shouldn’t be available at every museum, art gallery, concert hall or opera house. Good tacos, too. Not cheap ones. When I’m dressing up and going to the symphony I don’t want to be eating a $1.39 Taco Bell hard shell. The hardworking citizens deserve quality tacos. They can be integrated into the event. Why not a Tchaikovsky and Tacos festival?

And I won’t stop there. I’ll issue incentives for residents to create and display their own taco-inspired art. I’ll issue grants. Think of it now; taco installations at the local galleries, taco poetry readings, a taco opera. I will make our city the centre of the taco eating world. Tourists will flock to our blossoming taco scene and fill our coffers like so much sour cream and melted cheese. Our fleets of taco trucks and the establishments of the Taco District will make ours the leading taco-driven economy of this century.

It will be a time of unbridled and heretofore unseen peace. Violent crimes and racial tensions will disappear, unemployment and homelessness will be a thing of the past with all the taco jobs created, no one will go hungry again. For what man or woman could be dissatisfied or driven to disreputable acts with a taco in hand? Truly, it will be a taco utopia.

And all of this will happen under me, your new mayor. This prosperous and peaceful future will be yours under my guidance. I will probably be given a Nobel Peace Prize, and I’ll ask for the cash reward all in tacos. I’ll be Time magazine’s man of the year under the headline “Taco the Town.” And all I need is your vote. One vote from each of you and this wondrous future will come to pass. One vote and one taco. Actually, even just bring me the taco.

Wait, I don’t want to be mayor, I think I just want a taco.

 

Photo by KCIvey via Flickr

I’m not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person, and I’ll never be a morning person. I don’t want to be a morning person. Frankly, I find morning people to be intolerable. Traipsing around with big smiles and cheery chit-chat for hours before I’m capable of even mildly acceptable levels of human interaction of any kind. No, I’m not envious of the morning people, except when it comes to one thing; the ability to face that damnable alarm every morning.

Once I’m up and going I’m somewhat functional. It’s that struggle to come to terms with the fact that I have to get up out of bed, and then actually do it, that I’ll never get accustomed to. Those groggy half-conscious moments when my brain and body are betraying each other, and I briefly start to understand things like the ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the intricacies of how 9/11 was an inside job.

It usually follows the same pattern, no matter what the reason is for which it’s set. The first ringing is distant. It’s the far-off horn blow heralding the coming battle. I hardly register it, except to hit snooze, and to steel myself in preparation for the wave of attacks that are about to come my way in the great war on sleep.

The next two times it sounds almost finish me. These are the most concentrated advances in the entire campaign. It’s all I can do to find and neutralize these charges. There’s an awful lot of wild flailing in my attempts to target the snooze button, and there are more misses than at a CNIB free throw competition. If anyone were studying tactics in this morningtime skirmish, it would seem clear at this point who the victor would surely be.

But now my faculties are slowly seeping back to me. There’s some fight in me yet. From my weakest point I now draw strength and confidence. And so, when the alarm unleashes its next volley, I’m ready, and I hit that button with the cold calculation of a seasoned general who knows from his countless triumphs on the stage that this is the final decisive strike. I’ve got it now.

But I don’t got it. And the next blast is where things start to fall apart. I begin to plead with it, to try to reason with it. There must be something it wants. I have money. I have connections. I know every other electronic device in the apartment. Which one does it fancy? The toaster oven? The air conditioner? The fridge? I don’t judge. Whatever you’re into, man, that’s your business. But I can make it happen. Say the word. Just give me a little longer on this next snooze.

But the alarm clock is indifferent to my pleas for mercy and my paltry offerings. The next time its horrific voice shrieks out I’m on the verge of giving up completely. I start to question why I’m even trying to get up in the first place. To go to work? Screw it, I’ll find a new job. It can’t be that hard. I’ll find a job that I don’t have to get up early for. Like a haunted house vampire, or the guy who sells MDMA at the club on weeknights. Is it for social reasons? My friends will understand. They shouldn’t’ve scheduled brunch so early. And if they don’t understand, screw it, I’ll find new friends. Friends who don’t get up before nighfall. Like vampires, or people who do a lot of MDMA at the club on weeknights.

Then it’s the last battle. It’s Waterloo. It’s the forest moon of Endor. It’s Kobayashi versus that bear. This time I go all or nothing, and turn the alarm off. It’s a gamble, that’s for sure, but it’s the last play I’ve got in my book. It’s risky. Either it’ll give me the push I need to do right, because I have no safety net, or it’ll be my undoing, because I have no safety net. Whichever way it goes, it’s down to the wire, and action needs to be taken.

But, of course, I’m not a man of action. If I was I wouldn’t have spent the last hour unable to even get out of bed. So, I’ll go back to sleep for a while, hopefully be rested enough to get out of bed in time for what I’ve got to do tomorrow. But don’t hold your breath if you’re reading this, mom. Six o’clock dinner reservations at the Olive Garden? Maybe next year plan your birthday party at a civilized hour.

 

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr