Thursday, March 29, 2007

You've Got Snail

Each time it rains, someone lifts my mailbox lid. The contents get soaked. Nothing like peeling the bills apart and laying them out to dry.
Yesterday I sorted though my letters and magazines and grabbed a snail. The creature had slimed up the joint and took a dump in the corner. Slob. What was he doing in there? There's no way he could have crawled in by himself. The mailbox is up on a dry wall, far from shade, dampness or vegetation that snails need.
This was sabotage.
Stupid sabotage.
What kind of person puts snails in people's mail? I can understand rotten eggs, lit cigarettes and death threats, but snails...?
Part of it my dinner was fresh broccoli. The snail ruined it. I kept envisioning him hauling his slimy caboose over each floret. Broccoli grew out in the open, right? Certainly something gross had oozed over it between the time it sprouted and the time it was picked.

Thanks, snail.
Thanks, saboteur.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Drop Dead Cute

Cute people annoy me. By "cute" I mean anyone who gets away with horrifying crap because they're adorable.
This starts out in school. There was always at least one kid who suckered the teacher into thinking thet were bright when, in fact, they were just cute. He or she was rarely punished for bad behavior or poor work. The teach gave the bastard a pass because how could such a darling creature really be dumb or naughty?
The rest of us toads had to hustle to do well in school and stay out of trouble. The cute people glide through school and then life, giggling and mooching off people who can't get enough of them.
Cute offenses include:
  • Getting out of work by pretending to be too dumb to know how to do it (and acting impressed with the skills of the sucker that does it for them.)
  • Rationalizing atrocious deeds as innocent mistakes or worse, examples of how funny-crazy-cute they are.
  • Saying "cute" things that, if said by anyone else, would label them a jackass.
  • Baby talk.
  • Prima Donna histrionics that would get us mere mortals shunned, arrested or institutionalized
  • Suddenly being your best buddy when they need money
  • Gossip
  • Murder
You think I'm kidding about murder? Ted Bundy played it cute all the way to the electric chair. His friends (and up to a point, his victims) thought he was the nicest guy ever. So funny, so charming. Meanwhile he's on a murder spree that would freak out Jack the Ripper. Mr Cute sometimes kept their severed heads as trophies.
Okay, I suppose your typical cute person isn't killing people. They're smarter than that. Why kill someone when it's so much easier to fleece them? A dead guy won't help you move, get you a job, give you a place to stay, or lend you fifty bucks.

Note- Yeah, yeah, I know it's considered uncool to use the Comic Sans typeface in the speech balloons. This says "I'm an amateur , I'm not very original, and I'm too ignorant to realize what a lackluster typeface this is." Then again, I'm not getting paid for this and few people read it. I'm considering getting buying custom typeface software to look a bit more savvy. Then again, when you put a designer sweater on a dog, it's still a dog.

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Namowal Show

At work we have a Toastmasters club. Sounds pretentious, but it's just an informal speech club. Many of the speeches are done on the fly and get hilariously silly. It's not like we're debating the cultural aesthetics of modern vs. postmodern interior illuminated signage and the societal aesthetic blah blah blah...
Trying to attract newcomers, one member sent an email to everybody. She added details, including "Namowal's speech is 'My Goofy Life'".
Uh Oh, I thought, feeling shyness creep in. Now everyone knows I'm giving a speech about myself. What if people are curious and I have to give the speech in front of a big audience? What if I'm boring? What if they walk out...?
I didn't have to worry. Lets say we almost had to postpone the meeting due to low attendance and leave it at that.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dolphin Games

When I was a kid I lived near Marineland. It was a common family outing. I remember playing catch with dolphins. Some lived in a tank surrounded by an outer wall. The dolphins had a basketball and would fling it our way. We'd catch it and toss it back.
Half the time the dolphin's toss landed between his tank and the safety wall. We'd have to fish it out with a stick, coaxing it up the wall untill we could grab it. The dolphin watched, tipping his head and body so he could view our struggle. I think he liked that. He was strong enough to toss the ball beyond the wall. He wanted to see us sweat.
"Isn't he cruel," his tankmates probably observed, "The way he keeps teasing those dumb animals!"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Head Cheese

Head Cheese: Rogue of Luncheon Meat.
Most cold cuts are dull. Baloney, ham, and turkey are homogeneous. Olive loaf is a bit goofy, like someone in a pop art shirt. Head Cheese steals the show. That crazy mosaic of flesh and tongue, suspended in dishwater gelatin. Look up close and you can see skin layers and taste buds.
It's the one meat product (the other is octopus) that kids giggle about at the butcher counter.
Head Cheese is honest. You can see exactly what you're eating. Some people get grossed out by the tongue, but I figure, there's already one in your mouth., so it can't be that alien.
Baloney and hot dogs grind their contents into putty. How do I know the grinders aren't adding stuff that doesn't belong as a goof?
The gelatanous element also disgusts people. Meat chunks seem out of place in Jello. At least toss in some pineapple rings, one thinks. But, technically, gelatin comes from skin and bones. A home-made head cheese actually uses the head if the pig to derive the gloop. Who knew a pig's head could come in so handy? Again, it's honest. The gelatinous element isn't masquerading as fruity goodness. It's saying "I'm not ashamed of my origins! Behold: my fellow pieces of pig."
Do I eat the stuff? Not much, but if I had to choose between a slice of head cheese and a slice of baloney, I'd pick head cheese.
One final thought:
Head Cheese comes from the pig's head. Baloney comes from the other end. Take your pick.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Down for the Count

The party had an open bar, but I didn't drink. I had to drive afterwards and didn't want to risk it. Others drank instead.
Guess who passed out? Me.
Once in awhile I feel faint for no reason. Maybe once or twice a year. Nothing's wrong with me. It's just one of those things.
There's a few places where one should never pass out:
1. Behind the wheel
2. On a tightrope
3. At a party with an open bar
I remember chitchatting with friends. The lightheadness came in waves. The room grew quiet, muffled by a hiss. Reality seemed rolling and dreamlike.
No! Not now! I told myself. Sit down! Find a chair! Find a chair!
The house was crammed with people. Even if I spotted a chair I wouldn't have been able to get to it.
Maybe this feeling will go away... I thought.
The hiss grew louder, my vision tunnelled
"Oh my God" a friend said....
Minutes, probably seconds later the world returned. I was on a couch, surrounded by curious party goers.
"It's nothing," I said, feeling stupid. "This happens all the time. Probably low blood sugar."
Someone shoved a bread slice at me and another handed me the phone. 911 was on the line. I told them I was fine. No, I wasn't diabetic or anything else.
"You sure you don't want us to come check you out?"the man on the line asked.
Yeah right! I thought A freaking ambulance visit! That'd be completely embarrassing to have the paramedics wailing up to the door, while party goers and neighbors watched. Even worse, I'd look like a double dip jerk when it was confirmed that I was fine. No thanks! (I also wasn't insured and didn't want to pay the bill.)
I convinced them I wasn't in danger, hung up, got up, and the party continued.
"Guess you had a bit too much," another friend joked, days later.
I didn't get it. "Huh?"
"You know," he said, mimicking someone drinking.
"I wasn't drunk! I didn't have anything to drink!"
"Sure," he laughed, convinced otherwise.
That was years ago.
To this day he thinks I got hammered and passed out. Ouch.
Another witness later accused me of faking the whole thing for attention. That was nice of her.

Friday, March 16, 2007


I was a weird kid. At recess I'd spend half my time wandering bizarre worlds I dreamed up. Ramps, arches, glowing vats of liquid, dinosaurs, and whatever craziness I dreamed up. Some characters I concocted included a lemon on wheels who squirted enemies with lemonade out of his nose,

an evil yam with spaghetti hair, a robot ladybug, a set of rogue set of flying knives who cut off every left foot they could find, monsters, and more. I didn't actually see these things. I knew they weren't real . When you're a kid who is shy and laughably uncoordinated recess is boring if you don't spice it up with pretend stuff.

After I drew the second pic I realized that since he's rolling, his spray shouldn't be linear. I'm pretty sure. Then again, since he's a freaking lemon, he shouldn't have a face or wheels either.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tell it to the Plant (Baloney Cubed)

I don't know how these catalogs find me.
This one offored "Holistic" courses and workshops. In my experience, when you see a word like "holistic", you're going to see a lot of half-baked sillyness nearby.
Sure enough, for a few hundred bucks you can take classes on "talking to the spirits", alleged past lives, and general mind-body voodoo.
Including this workshop:
"Tree WhisperingTM
Coming from the plant's point of view"
Plant's point of view? Huh? Do trees get embarrassed when their leaves turn red and fall out? Does the Chrismas tree feel sad when he's shown the curb? Do weeds feel persecuted? I'll bet bonsai have issues.
"Come from the plant's point of view by expanding our heart-oriented perception to feel tree growth energy and experience connection with nature's life force."
Tree growth energy? What are they talking about? I thought trees got their energy by converting sunlight energy to glucose. Silly me.
"Brief lessons in 'new' sciences and ancient wisdom..."
This sounds like the same crowd that thinks afixing an "ologist" to their idea makes it scientifically valid. Ancient Wisdom? Isn't that a positive spin on "folklore?"
The discription continues:
"lay the foundation for mediditive and sensory excercise that activate or validate our mutual collaboration with trees..."
I think this is fancy talk for :"we'll do stuff to help us appreciate trees." Maybe the inflated language helps justify the $280 price tag.
Curious as to what "mutual collaboration with trees " entailed, I looked them up on the web.
This is an actual quote from their web page:
"You’ll feel the Life Force energy of plants and know them as powerful, complex (yes, even intelligent) living beings."
Intelligent? Gosh on a platter, I thought you needed, maybe, A BRAIN for that?

I think I'll pass on this course, but I might contact them to see if they'd let my cactus audit it.

p.s. For those curious on why people think plants can think, read your mind, and tap dance when you're not looking-- and why it's a load of fertilizer, click here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Calf Eats Chicken

I always thought the world was screwy, but if this is true, it just got screwier.
A family in India who raised chickens couldn't figure out why they were vanishing. Theft? Preditors? The mystery was solved when someone caught their pet calf eating them.
Supposedly he sneaks into the chicken coop and snatches them up with "the precission of a jungle cat." Huh? What kind of cow confuses live poultry with the lawn? That's nuttier than a Snickers bar.
If he was my pet, I'd be afraid. As a calf he's chomping chickens. What happens when he's a full grown bull? How do I know he won't sneak into my house and eat me?
Lucky for him, he's in India, where eating a cow is as unthinkable as eating a horse is to Americans. It's probably just as well that nobody eats him. With his diet, he'd probably taste like chicken.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Haunted Toilet

I was in the tub at my parents house when it happened.
Thud! A big jug of bubble bath flew from the toilet tank and hit the floor.
Startled, I leaned out of the tub and replaced it. Seconds later, it fell again, as if it had been thrown.
Was the house, nay, the toilet, haunted?
My imagination spun to concoct a scenario that would cause a toilet to be possessed.
Had someone been playing with a Ouija board on the can? Was a body in the sewer trying to make contact? Was the porcelain in the toilet made from sacred bones?
And why was it throwing bubble bath at me? Did it have a problem with the "Cucumber 'n' Mellon" scent?
Maybe the haunting would escalate. The lid would slam open and shut! The walls would bleed Tidy-Bowl Blue! The plunger would attack anyone who entered the room! Maybe that hag Sylvia Browne would come in and do a toilet reading. There'd be a televised exorcism where a plumber/priest combo could flush out the demon. I'd get paid for the story! I'd be rich! Rich!
Except there was one problem. Closer examination showed that the lid on the tank sloped slightly. Anything you put there would slip off. The trick to keeping the bubble bath where it belonged was to tuck the bottom of it in the bottle into the space between the back of the tank and the wall, which worked like a shelf.
The other problem is, if ghosts exist (which I find hard to believe), do they really have nothing better to do than to throw things, slam doors, and make the walls bleed?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dingy Girl Magazines

I used to subscribe to magazines aimed at 20-40 something women. Then it hit me. What did any of this have to do with me? This was for someone who spent way more time and dough on her hair and clothes than I ever would. In fact, this gal doesn't seem to have any hobbies aside from shopping, decorating, looking pretty, and fishing for Mr. Right.
I'm not someone who touts ratty clothes and uncombed hair because I'm too enlightened to be obsessed with appearances (or "societal paradigms of beauty blah blah blah"). I shave my legs, wear lipstick, and avoid junk food to keep my weight down. The similarity ends there.

Typical articles (and my responses)
Fab Fall Fashion Finds!

My Response:
200 bucks for a pair of pants!? Are you out of your mind? That's 100 dollars per leg! For something I'll eventually spill coffee on. And do you really think Mr. Right (or anyone not in the fashion industry) is going to reject you because you're wearing last season's pants? At least get the cheap knockoff at Target, which will fall apart by the time it's out of style. And if I see "fab fashion" (or "luscious lips", "silky skin") one more time.

New Hairstyles For You!
My Response:
For me? Most of these take twenty to forty minutes of fussing with the blow dryer, the curling iron, and or a straightener. Who has time for something so frivolous? Besides, when I run my hairdryer it blows a fuse and I have to go outside with a head of wet hair to flip the damn switch. No thanks.

Our Most Scintillating, Steamy, Hot Fiction Romance Read!
My Response:
I can't stand these. They're about as romantic as overhearing neighbors fooling around. I don't like kissy kissy stories and movies anyway. Next.

By These [insert season here] Shoes!
My Response:
Why? I already have shoes. What's the point of more? I don't get it.

Your Horoscope!
My Response:
A fortune cookie is more credible. At least I get a snack with the cookie. I find it mildly disturbing that grown, college educated women read something like "Venus is retrograde brings trouble on the 15th" and take it seriously. Trust me, the only way Venus will bring trouble is if you mistake it for an UFO and drive into a tree because you were watching the planet instead of the road.

The Editorial about Woman's Rights.
My Response
I'm for womens equality, but considering that 95% of the magazine focuses on clothes, shopping, beauty and hair, these editorials stands out like a duck shooting article in a vegetarian magazine. Equality? With what? A Barbie Doll?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Meal

I found a cute plush toy in the back seat of my brother's car. I'm not sure what it was- it looked like a hybrid of Spongebob and a rottweiler.
"What is this?" I asked.
"Oh that-" he said. "It's a Happy Meal toy."
A Happy Meal toy? I thought. That thing would retail for $12.99!
I couldn't believe it. When I was a kid, Happy Meal toys were crap. Maybe you'd get a flimsy riddle book book or a mini-frisbee with the structural integrity of the coke cup lid.
I did some online research. Today's kids have it sweet:
Transformers. Wind up toys. Dolls. Legos. Play Doh. Hotwheels. Beanie Babies, and in a few cases, electronic toys.
What a rip! Today's kids get a mini video game and all I got was a Grimace pencil or a crude chunk of plastic with the Hamburgler embossed on it?
O.K., when I was a kid the smallest video game was the size of a dishwasher and I suppose it'd be tough to squeeze it into the little box. This was back in the days where the phone had a dial, the T.V. had a knob, and the phonographs (remember them?) could be set to 78 or 16 rpm. Tapes were 8 track, the wallpaper was foil, and Chicken McNuggets hadn't been invented. Primitive times.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Smeared Science & The Boring Truth

I like science and history channels: Discovery, Animal Planet, History channels etc.. but it drives me up the wall and through the ceiling when they present nonsense as serious documentaries. This includes, psychics, ghosts, alien abductions, UFOs, Bigfoot, and so on. It's entertaining, but it's about as scientific as me saying I got bad luck because I walked under a ladder. Sometimes they bring in a good skeptic like James Randi or Joe Nickel to counter the nutballs, but typically this footage is edited down to a "That's not true..." leaving out the explanation as to why it isn't true. I suppose the boring truth isn't as exciting as some yo-yo talking about his torrid affair with the Loch Ness Monster.
Then again, considering the way human beings behave, the boring truth isn't important to them.