Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gift Ideas for People Who Don't Need Gifts

We all have those people in our lives who seem to have everything.  We often struggle this time of year to come up with a gift for these people.  We squint our brains, for lack of a better term, to peer into their lives, trying to find something we can offer that would be of use or have some sentimental meaning to them. At the very least we hope to get an honest "Thanks" or "Oh that's....interesting".

As one of those people, I feel qualified to provide suggestions on what you might get me, or them, as a gift this Christmas. Here is a short list that I came up with in twelve seconds:

1) $1,000,000:  As a general rule, they won't complain.  

2) A Donald Trump campaign tee shirt autographed by Hillary Clinton.  Unique. Original.  One of a kind.

3) A miniature elephant.  One that is genetically engineered to grow no larger than a typical house cat.  Because cute.

4) True Love.  You'll have to get creative here.  Maybe you can order it online, probably from an Asian country.  The shelf life isn't the best but at least when it leaves it will only take half of their stuff.

5) A set of good knives.

And for some bonus tips on delivering these gifts; if you are mailing them please don't send $1M cash.  A VISA gift card is more secure and fits nicely in the envelope.  You can mail the tee shirt, it's fine.  Send the elephant via FedEx 2nd day air but starve it for two days prior so it doesn't mess in the box.  True love is best delivered in person and so are the knives.  

Peace on Earth!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Jury Duty: Day One

8:00am:  I arrived at the courts building along with several hundred other "randomly-selected" citizens, all eager to become cogs in the wheel of justice.  A sense of civic pride welled up in me as I made my way to the check-in desk.  The woman behind the counter was friendly.  I smiled at her and refrained from making any kind of a scene.  It's too early for that.

9:00am: I've been sitting in this room for an hour now, alternating between staring at my phone and staring at people who are staring at their phones.  That sense of civic pride is becoming drowned out by sheer boredom.  The realization that I am surrounded by strangers is starting to set in.  For the moment, I am resisting the urge to stir up a commotion.  I'm not sure how long my restraint will hold though.  The TV is looping the same instructional video over and over and over again.  I'm refusing to look at it anymore, but I assume it's still going because the background soundtrack for it is still repeating in the overhead speakers. I wouldn't use the word "rockin" to describe it. This music may very well be causing minor brain bleeding.  It has the potential to drive me to violence.  And YES, instructional video, THANK YOU for continuing to display the wireless network password that DOESN'T WORK!  I smashed the TV to tiny bits.

9:10:  That thing I said about smashing the TV.....not true.  No violence just yet.  I thought about getting a drink.  They don't have whiskey.  Settled for a diet soda. 

9:13:  Why is the guy next to me talking?  More importantly, why is he talking to me?  Don't do that.  Please don't.

9:33: Twenty minutes just went by. They took their time though.  If I didn't have a clock I would have bet money it was halfway through next week by now.

10:02:  This room is a cross-section of America.  I see people from all walks of life.  Well, there are no rich people here.  I guess rich people are exempt from public service?  Then why am I here?  Obviously there has been a mix up.  They clearly don't know who I am.  I am finding it difficult to detect happy people here as well.  But other than rich people and happy people, we've pretty much got it covered.  Surprisingly,  there aren't that many fat people.  You'd think there would be more chubbies. Still, a good mix.  There's a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, blue collar, white collar, no collar, blacks, whites, Hispanics, people with good hair, people with no hair, normal people, weird people, and what appears to be a pedophile.  There's even a Japanese guy.  Where did he come from?  He looks so young!  Hey Yamamoto! You better move away from that pedophile!

10:17: I'm really enjoying watching all these people trying to use the coffee vending machine that doesn't drop a cup before it sprays out the coffee.  It's comical.  I would warn them but if these people were paying any attention at all they would have noticed the first half-dozen unfortunate saps who wasted 75 cents on coffee that poured directly into the city sewer system.  And these people are going to be jurors?  Folks, let's scrap this whole system and go back to the days of challenging people to a duel.  Sure, sometimes the bad guy wins, but this is rolling the dice here.  If I was an attorney selecting jurors, my first question would be "Did you put money in the broken coffee machine?".  If you answer "yes", you're out!  Oh, there's an idea.  Now I'm thinking of investing 75 cents myself.

10:59: They just called my number.  I have to go.  It is an accomplishment that I've made it this far without hurting myself or someone else, and without making any friends.  They probably won't let me tell you about most of the remainder of the day, but we'll see.

11:17: The judge seems nice.

11:37: You know how there's always that one guy in any group?  That guy who just wants to talk, to share his opinions, to express himself to the whole assembly? Yeah well there are four of them in this group.  We would have been done by now if they would just cork it.

11:42: HaHaHaHa!  The prosecuted just mispronounced the name "Czeczevzeckoflip".  Or I don't know.  Some name that probably was spelled similar to that based on how he pronounced it only different because he pronounced it wrong.  It was obvious.  No one corrected him though.

11:55: Recess!!  Haven't had one of these since grade school.  Actually, this is better because I don't have to be back until tomorrow. 

11:57:  I checked with the bailiff.  It wasn't a mix up.  They wanted me here even though I'm extremely wealthy.  But, as I suspected, he had no idea who I am.  Guess I'll just come back tomorrow and see how much more nothing happens.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Quick and Easy Ways to Ruin Things

Ruin what?  

How about dinner with a group of friends?

Sure.  That's easy.  First, know everything. It doesn't matter if the conversation is about the weather or sports or politics or leafy greens or quantum physics.  Know it all.  You'll obviously have to fake it, but that's fine.  However, you can't expect to ruin dinner with a group of friends if you don't share your "knowledge".  And remember, delivery is key.

You must speak loudly.  Your voice should be so loud that it over drives your friends ears, making them completely useless other than to hold up a pair of glasses.  You want people to receive your words by absorbing them as they penetrate through the skull directly into their brains. Deaf people should complain about the vibrations on their bodies.  Babies should cry when you talk. Dogs should howl.  Cats should (and will) look annoyed. Pretend you need to be heard from across the room with a pillow over your mouth while music is pumping and a construction crew is jack hammering and making all kinds of unnecessary ruckus like they always do.  Yes, people will want you to shut up.  That's perfect. But they won't tell you to shut up.  Instead, they'll sit there and politely pretend that your intense volume level isn't bothering them and that you are interesting.  

Then you must touch someone.  Well "touch" is not the right word . Replace it with "grab and shake".  Pick a victim and place your hand on their shoulder.  Begin to shake them and compress their shoulder until they become short of breath and nearly pass out.  They will begin a process of vigorous head-knodding as if they vehemently agree with whatever you might be saying.  But they don't.  In fact, it kind of sounds like complete bullshit.  Everything you say needs to seem like complete bullshit.  That shouldn't be difficult since you are faking your knowledge anyway.  It needs to be so loud and annoying that, if the government got ahold of it they would build a massive speaker array on the west coast of Alaska and aim it a Russia to drive them out of Asia.  And don't forget, you need to squeeze that shoulder good.  

With the knowing of all, the loud talking, the grabbing and shaking, and the bullshit, you are most likely to have ruined the evening for everyone.  If it still looks like someone is having a good time, continue the process until everyone is ready to leave.  Be careful!  If they bolt you might get stuck with the tab.  Excuse yourself to the restroom, ask the server for the checks on the way, and just leave without another word.

Your Friend's Son's first birthday party?

It's at 1:00.  Ignore the time.  Do not leave for the party until your friend calls or texts you asking where you are.  That should allow you to show up between 1:33 and 1:42. Plenty late so that everyone thinks you forgot. They won't be expecting you to have a gift for the little slobber box.

Back up a bit.  This takes some preparation.  Before you leave, throw about twelve of those 16-ounce cans of Stag in a cooler and ice it down.  You're going to wheel that puppy into Chucky Cheese's. Sure, you'll get some looks.  You might even get scolded by some overzealous teenaged employee.  See the techniques in the dinner party example above.  A little taste of that and they will leave you alone.  Teenagers don't have the stomach for it.

Since you were late, you hopefully missed the overpriced cardboard pizza.  Ask for some anyway.  Then grab some cake. Eat it fast and make a mess.  Pretend you are one year old.  The birthday boy should have to compete with you to see who can be the most covered in icing. Throw back a few cans of Stag while you're at it.

When it comes time to open presents, sit patiently and wait for an opportunity.  You'll need to snatch away a good-sized chunk of used wrapping paper.  This will be harder than it sounds.  Everyone knows that a one year old loves the wrapping paper more than the present inside, so he may fight you for it.  If you are good at this, you'll make him cry.

Once you have the piece of used wrapping paper pryed away from the bawling child, grab a can of Stag from the cooler and wrap it up with the paper.  Hand it to the cry baby.  Maybe he will stop crying, maybe he won't.  Doesn't matter. At this point you are more than likely going to get dirty looks from several adults.  Someone will probably say something like "What are you doing?".  To which you will reply, "Giving an awesome gift, that's what! It's baby's first beer!"

When the kid's parents grab the Stag and bitch at you, you should respond; "See!  I knew his parents would be too pussy to get him a gift like this!" Grab a Stag, chug it, smash the can in the rest of the cake, take your cooler and leave.  Shout obscenities on the way out.  Make sure the birthday kid is crying as you do.  That should ruin it real good.

How about A funeral?

For this one you'll need a few things if you want to ruin it right.

1 Large bottle of Bourbon
1 Canary Yellow golf shirt
1 pair plaid shorts
2 white tube socks
1 pair sandals
1 pack of Parlament cigarettes
7-10 tasteless death jokes

Take one shot of the bourbon.  Put on the golf shirt, the shorts, the socks, and the sandals, taking a shot of bourbon in between each item.  Spill a decent amount of bourbon near the collar of the shirt.  Smoke 2-3 Parlaments at once and roll the pack up in one of the shirt sleeves.  Rehearse the jokes in the mirror.  One more shot and you're ready to go. Take the rest of the bourbon with you.  

If you've followed the instructions precisely, you don't have to worry too much about anything else.  You are bound to ruin this funeral.  When people see your get-up, they'll feel the disrespect.  Every crying relative you hug will smell the bourbon and the cigs.  They'll probably wish they could have some.  It's ok to share.  Get the immediate family of the deceased together in a circle and pass the bottle around.  When the second round is done, offer up the smokes.  One more round with the bottle and you can start telling the jokes.  If the bourbon is working, they'll be laughing. A few will be stumbling,  one kid will puke on gramma. If anyone needs to urinate they can use the open hole in the ground. The rest of the funeral-goers will be watching with disgust.  The master of ceremonies will ask you all to leave.  Convince the family to tell him they want the body back.  Help them load it in Uncle Randy's van.

You're job is done.

The scenarios presented above are just examples, but I'm sure you can use the techniques demonstrated here and apply them to other situations.  Make them your own.  Add lib if you like. Try it in a business meeting or at a movie.  Practice practice practice.  Pretty soon you'll be able to ruin almost anything.

Monday, February 2, 2015

How to Keep Your Pretend Job

Let's pretend you're employed.  How do you go about remaining so? 

For some of you the answer is: you won't.  What I am about to share is not for you.  It's also not for children, pets of any kind, rocks, witches, migratory birds, single-celled organisms, or giants.  This information is strictly for people who can pretend they are employed, and additionally, have the ability to imagine that they would want to stay employed. Oh, and its also for anyone and anything not included in the list of things that it is specifically not for. 

Was that confusing?  Let me try to simplify.  There was a list given.  That list contains the specific people and things that this post is NOT intended to help.  Anything or anyone else is probably going to benefit from it.  But, it is most helpful to the people who can play along with the concept as explained already a little bit ago.

So, a quick review.  Hypothetically, you're employed.  You have a job (that's just another way of saying you're employed).  You want to keep your job (again, hypothetically).  What should you do?

Well, the easy answer is that you should DO your JOB.  Sure.  That's true.  But in and of itself it is not enough.  Apparently its also not that easy.

Wait.  I'm being confusing again.  The answer is easy, but is not easy.  Damn!  I just made it worse.  Take two:  the answer to the question "how do you keep you job" is easy.  No, the answer is not "easy", its......  Oh hell!  The answer that is most commonly shouted out immediately without thinking much about it is " do your job".  There!  Shit!  Got it.

Anyway, right!  If you do your job you won't be fired for not doing your job. Good answer. But, what I was saying before I interrupted myself is that it seems not as easy to do one's job as it sounds like it should be. That isn't even the point.  Rather it is just a side bar observation and I really don't want to discuss it other than to say that its usually a problem with laziness or from missing appendages and such.

Do you realize that most employees do their jobs at least part of the time?  Its true.  Yet, in the US, over 36 million employees are fired every second.  (That's a statistic. We use them sometimes to prove points).

It doesn't take a Volkswagen mechanic to deduce that just doing your job is not enough to keep your job.  So what else do you have to do? 

There are really only two other things an employee can do to remain employed.  They are as follows, in no particular order;

1) Show up on time
2) Stay the whole time

That's it.  Show up on time and stay the whole time. Never let them see you when you aren't there.  That's not quite the right way to say it, but you know what I meant. There have been cases where just those two things alone have kept people employed for years.  I know a guy who did those two things, never once did his job, just showed up on time and stayed for his entire shift, every day for 42 years.  He died, but that doesn't mean you will.  The point is he never got fired.

There was another guy who did his job pretty well, he showed up on time and stayed the whole time, but still got fired.  I think he punched an Asian woman or stabbed the security guard maybe.  Probably would have been fine if he hadn't done that. 

Now that throws a wrench in the works, doesn't it?  I was trying to explain that you just need to show up on time, stay the whole time, and do your job to keep your job, but now I have started this partial list of things you shouldn't do if you want to keep your job. I could probably think of a lot more things to add to that particular list, but I don't have time for all that.  Anyway, it's not my job.