I am not Tiger Woods

This is a confession. Forgive me father, for I am about to admit a sin. You see, nearly two years ago I quit stealing cable and stopped watching tv. Yes, I take some pride in this fact, but it is a double-edged sword. I’m often left out in the cold during mindless conversations about The Swan, Survivor, My Two Dads, and other hit shows of the day. Let me tell you, it hurts. But this won’t be a rant about reality shows, corporate media, or major-network television programming (cue collective sigh). No, this will be a rant about commercials!

That being said, every now and again, I happen to catch a little tube. I’m still a big fan of the Daily Show, some SNL (hit or miss as it is), and, of course, Live with Regis and Kelly. But now when I sit down to watch tv, it’s amazing to me the number, length and sheer psychological manipulation that is so evident with television commericals. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grown fonder, I’m afraid.

Specifically, I should mention that I am not Tiger Woods. You might have been misled awhile ago by the ads that Nike ran. True, I wasn’t featured in the commercial, so you might not necessarily associate me with that ad, but the intention was to make us all believe that we all are or could be Tiger Woods. Last time I hit the links, I kept reminding everyone in my foursome (cool, bonus points for a legitimate use of the word foursome!) that I was Tiger Woods and to make sure to study my form, take some pointers, and learn from my sweet stroke. I really believed it. So you can imagine my constant malaise when time after time, shot after shot, I was in the woods chopping down Douglas Firs with my two-iron looking for Tiger Wood’s errant duff. I assured my partners that they must use more special effects on tv than we are led to believe.

So I’m asking you all, is it just me or when you catch a sitcom on tv these days does the quality of the show seem subpar compared to the commerials? Should it be the other way around? I’m seriously guessing that commercials have bigger budgets than primetime shows now.

A Muff for All Seasons

As winter motions to the charging spring to let it “play through”, I’m both elated and slightly melancholy. You see, with the passing of the cold season I am forced to reckon with the fact that I won’t get to see, hear, or utter a word about ear muffs for months. Yes, that’s right, ear muffs. It’s not that I spend all winter jabbering on about ear muffs or anything, but without fail, every time I see someone wearing them I laugh. They seem so practical, yet absurd. Such a great contradiction. Why are they so furry on the outside, I wonder? What about the rest of the head, doesn’t it get cold too? Can I get other fashion accessories that look like music paraphenalia? I’m still waiting for “jewel-case” themed boxer-briefs, for instance (why thank you, that is a clever pun isn’t it!).

But it’s not just the sight of them that makes me chuckle. I love saying the words. Ear muffs. Muffs, in particular, is the humdinger. It’s one of those words that sounds just how it looks. A perfect of example of onomatopoeia, in my opinion. I’m so happy saying it I might just start describing all my clothing using the ear muff formula. It’s easy, just pick a body part that can get cold and is normally protected from the elements by some swath of fabric and add the word “muff or muffs” to it.

Some examples:

  • Shirt = Chest muff
  • Bra = Breast muffs
  • Scarf = Neck muff
  • Boxer-briefs = Nut muffs
  • And my personal favorite… Panties = Muff muffs

It’s only a matter of time before this catches on, I think. And don’t forget, you muffed it here first. I think I just found a new nickname for that next someone special I meet as well… the muffler!

Note from management: I apologize for the graphic nature of the above, but I think you’ll agree PG-13 is sometimes way funnier than G. Please keep the comments decent. We are getting hits from Google now.

Donate Your Vestigial Organs

Do me a favor. Take out your driver’s license. Flip it over. Does it read “Organ Donor?” If yes, give yourself a high-five and congratulate yourself for not being a completely selfish organ hoarder. If it doesn’t identify you as organ donor, go to your local church, steal the biggest, most elaborate pipe organ you can fit in your hatchback and donate it right away. Maybe then, God will forgive you.

Of course, being the saintly guy that I am, I have gladly taken it a step further. I am proclaiming right now that I don’t need to wait for death to come knocking on my door in order to turn the good deed. I am hereby willing to donate any and all of my vestigial organs to any who need them… on one condition, however. Your need for my vestigial organs must be life-threatening. That’s it.

So if your appendix is over it’s 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty and you want a new one, prove to me you couldn’t live without mine and viola, it’s yours. Same goes for your nipple. What do I need my nipples for? I’ve been looking at these same little nipples for a long time anyway so feel free to give them a test drive and see if you want an upgrade. I could use a blank slate at the moment.

There, I’ve done it. Wow. Some intense emotions are building up in me right now. I’ll tell you, there is nothing as satisfying as giving the gift of life. It’s better than that packet of anklet socks I got for Christmas even. They say giving is better than receiving but I always thought that was a crock of bull, but now I’m seeing things differently. I’d say they are about even in my mind now (note: condition only applies when life is on the line).

So I guess I’ll be starting a list, but I don’t want to compete with that “other” list so I’m not going to publicize it too much. Plus, the media might make me out to be a hero or something and that is not what I’m after. (A few press clippings for my scrapbook wouldn’t hurt though.)

I’m sensing there might be some questions regarding my gracious offer, so fire away. And no, I don’t consider my charming good looks or my “junk” vestigial organs no matter how little they are being used right now.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

Valentine’s Day, 11 am:

Well, it’s here again: The Valentine’s Day gun to my head. I decided to write a post today that is continually updated with increasing levels of desperation as I scramble to find a suitable gift for my wife. Please post suggestions, as I can honestly state that any idea will be given my full consideration.

I’m really hoping I can deliver a clutch performance when the pressure is on. I’m looking for some last minute heroics, a real buzzer beater here, instead of the epic choke that appears imminent.

Of course, if I spent a fraction of the time I will spend writing about how I can’t come up with a gift idea actually researching some gift ideas, none of this would matter in the first place.

And on that note, I’m going to wander over to the vending machines and Lost and Found box in our office to see if there are any suitable gifts to be had…

Valentine’s Day, 12:02 pm:

Well, the Lost and Found box was a big disappointment, although I did find some Star Wars action figures that I thought were stolen. My file cabinet felt naked without a recreation of the battle for the Moon of Endor sitting on top of it.

And the vending machines were equally lackluster. It was a long shot to begin with, but I thought that maybe if they had a peanut butter Twix I might be able to pass that off as an acceptable Valentine’s Day gift. No luck though, just regular Twix. We all know that won’t fly.

This probably goes without saying, but vending machines are generally not a good place to do your gift shopping. This is especially true of vending machines in men’s rooms. Trust me, despite claims to the contrary; a novelty condom will not drive her wild.

I can feel the first twinge of sweat proliferating on my brow…

Valentine’s Day, 1:53 pm:

Finally, the first stroke of good luck: I’ve got dinner plans taken care of. It was hectic there for awhile. First, I was calling restaurants offering to tip well, bus my own table, provide my own candlelight, eat standing up, whatever it would take to secure a reservation… No dice.

Then I started dialing restaurants pretending to be a celebrity hoping it would cause a table to suddenly open up. So, I began calling restaurants delivering my dead-on impersonations of Mayor Quimby (from the Simpsons), Pee Wee Herman, Chewbacca, former president Bill Clinton, and Kermit the Frog. Not surprisingly, this plan backfired as well.

It wasn’t until a Chinese Restaurant fell for my “regional health inspector” routine that I landed a table… suckers. As long as my wife doesn’t mind me carrying a clipboard to dinner and excusing myself periodically to inspect the kitchen for health code violations, this has all the makings of a romantic evening…

Valentine’s Day, 2:46 pm:

Thanks for all the suggestions… Good work gentlemen.

Gabe suggested that I get my wife her own Xbox for Valentine’s Day. I’ve actually thought about this from time to time. Every so often though, she asks if she can play “MarioKart” on the Xbox. Obviously, she’s clearly not ready for an Xbox.

Solo, thanks for the advice. Although, I’ll need to find a “Hip-Hop to English” dictionary to translate it.

Booth, also provided some solid advice. Next year I’ll begin laying the groundwork weeks in advance to get out of finding a gift. I really should have set aside some of the gifts I purchased for her on Groundhog’s Day…

Valentine’s Day, 3:58 pm:

This is starting to shape up like an episode of “24.” Although I kind of doubt Jack Bauer would switch spots with me. Battling terrorists and stopping a nuclear apocalypse is nothing compared to scrambling to find a last minute gift on Valentine’s Day.

I’ll admit, things are getting desperate. I may even have to stoop to calling the International Star Registry. This is the last ditch effort for many pathetic men. For $39, this organization allows you to name a star after someone special and place it in the International Star Registry. Believe me, this is a horrible gift idea. First off, anytime a trip to the local observatory is required to actually see your present, you know you’ve given a pretty crappy gift. And when it comes to gifts, in general, if it’s not visible with the naked eye, it’s not worth giving.

Finally, it is said that there are as many stars in the universe as grains of sand on earth. Think about that. There’s literally a zillion stars out there. So, I’ve decided to take it one step further. I’m going to name a grain of sand after my wife as her Valentine’s Day gift. I’ve already picked it out too. It’s located in the backyard, near the mailbox. It’s kind of brownish in color… Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetheart!”

Well, I’m heading out to meet my wife for dinner. Good times. While I’ve spent the day writing this post, I’m sure she’s spent the day filing divorce papers. I’m sure she knows me well enough to know I always have a trick up my sleeve…

Valentine’s Day, 6:32 pm:

I hope you didn’t think I’d leave this post with a cliffhanger like that… I know you all need closure to this running diary.

The truth is, all along, I had planned to surprise my wife with tickets to the Gonzaga game on Thursday. Honestly, the list for tickets for these events surpasses organ donor waiting lists in length. In other words, surprising my wife with Gonzaga tickets was harder than surprising her with the Holy Grail.

So how did I pull off this fourth quarter magic? Aside from having a dominant “Elway” gene, I also have a friend with connections to the Gonzaga athletic department. A relentless campaign of groveling emails and phone calls over the last week to the aforementioned connection eventually ended with a pair of tickets that saved my marriage.

Valentine’s Day, 7:08 pm:

Well, it’s time for me to join my wife in the hot tub with a bottle of wine. Unfortunately, I won’t be updating you on the rest of the evening… (unless it ends up involving the Xbox, which is likely.)

In Defense of Costco

I can’t believe I have to write this. There are just certain things you don’t expect yourself having to defend. For instance, I doubt I’ll ever have to write a post entitled “In Defense of Mother Theresa” or “In Defense of the Xbox.”

Unfortunately, every so often someone with a dominant “Grinch” gene comes along to attack that which we all hold most dear. Let’s face it, aside from the part about the bulk quantity of “air freshener” he possesses, there was very little accuracy in Dave’s post about Costco .

Please consider the following:

  • To be fair, I agree with him on the whole membership idea. Why should I have to pay for the right to be your customer? Costco sticks us with a cover charge without providing any live music or karaoke. The only way I could look past this whole membership thing is if everyone had to wear a “Members Only” jacket to get into the store. At least this way it would feel like it was 1985 again.
  • Three words: Champion Duffle Bag.
  • Costco sells all kinds of magical products that up until now only existed in the make-believe world in my imagination. Things like a double pack of cereal containing both regular and Honey Nut Cheerios. I challenge you to find that item in any other store in the universe. It’s only available in the fantasy world of Costco. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if Costco also sold unicorns and Leprechauns.
  • The pizza slice for $1.99. Admittedly, it’s not Sbarro quality, but it’s still foldable with ample cheese and pepperoni and it usually has a reservoir of grease sitting on top of each slice. These are the things I look for when making a pizza purchase.
  • Outside of school cafeterias, who else gainfully employs more old ladies in hairnets?
  • I like how there’s no customer service. I seriously do. Don’t even try and ask someone for help, because there’s nobody around. You’re on your own. Figure it out. I’m sick of how all these other stores try to coddle their customers by greeting them, answering their questions and assisting them with their purchases. The Costco system keeps out all those high-maintenance and emotionally needy customers other stores cater to.
  • Finally, here’s a partial listing of the many diverse items I’ve purchased at Costco in the last year: 32 inch Panasonic Television, my second wedding band, the faucets currently in use at the Zillionaire’s Lounge, our dual Sonicaires, ski goggles, and enough frozen buffalo wings to sustain an army of Zillionaires.

    That’s just scratching the surface, you can also get your home loan through Costco, and book a vacation, and get photos developed, and get warehouse pricing on a mail-order bride (they sell them in two-packs). I’m telling you, they’ve got everything.