Top Ten (Best of the Worst) SPAM Comments From 2017

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to get this blog up and rolling more professionally (don’t tell the IRS, but I’ve already earned a whopping fifty cents by doing this).  Over the course of 2017 my blog posts received over 6,000 comments…71 of them from my readers.  This tells me two things: ONE – you guys have to make some more comments!  SHOW SOME LOVE, Y’ALL!  And TWO – I really need to take care of the SPAM mail much more frequently.

In cleaning out all of the junk from my comments, I came across some real doozies!  Anything from outward expressions of love and adoration to blatant hatred to invitations to join communities for hair loss medication pyramid schemes.  In any case, if these were sent to me by “real” people, there would be grounds for legal action – however, since these are just SPAM messages, they’re just fun to share with you guys.  I skipped the ones about “Hot Singles In Your Area” or “Male Enhancement Pills” because those are so cliché in the world of SPAM – to make this Top Ten list, they needed a little something special to leave me shaking my head.

WARNING: Some strong language ahead (mostly not my fault).

#10 – From Russia With (Paid) Love

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Most of my SPAM, you’d be proud to know, was created in good ol’ “Murica!”  But I also received quite a few messages from China and Trump’s home office in Russia (sorry, couldn’t resist).  For these posts, I needed to employ my dear friend, Google Translate, to help me see what they were saying to me.

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They collected ALL the prostitutes?  Kind of like Pokemon with the danger of STDs?  Watch out for her “Jigglypuff” you might end up with a “Bulbasaur.”

#9 – What Language Are You Trying to Use?

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Someone somewhere must have done what I did and used a translator which is how they ended up talking about Mr. Trump’s “chiffonier” and not his “cabinet.”  I am still not sure what kamagra is because the link was broken when I tried to get more information on it.  However, the way they just throw it randomly in the middle of the text, I like to imagine it being whispered by some sultry voice in the background like a Calvin Klein perfume advertisement.  Finally, I also wonder, as do most of you, I’m sure, whether or not “the bitch directed at law makers” was indeed “anecdotal” or perhaps something more (Insert dramatic organ stinger: dun dun duuuuuuuunnnn).

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#8 – The Victims Get Enough Help

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Aren’t you sick of all the anti-bullying campaigns?  At what point do the victims start bullying the bullies?  Poor bullies.  With all of this push to empower the targets of bullying, we are in need of more well-trained bullies.  Lucky for us there is the American Bully Training Program – just in case you need to re-up on your Wedgie Certification.

#7 – Why Have I Been Working So Hard?!!

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“Fed up of typing ‘who can write my essay’ in the search bar?”  Boy howdy, am I!  If I had a nickel for every time I had to type that out, I’d have…well…a nickel, because I just wrote it one sentence ago.  But I can tell you, I shall write that phrase NO MORE!!!  From now on I am just going to essayerudite and pay them to do all of my blog posts.  I know I said I wanted to make money doing this and this would require me to spend money instead of doing the writing myself…but think of the minutes of my life I would get back!

Okay, so I’m kidding, but it would be fun to contact them and see if they could handle my subject matter.  “Yes, I was wondering if you had a writer who could give me one thousand words about accidentally dropping a flaming Kleenex on my friend’s cat?  No?  Okay.  What can you guys give me on Reindeer Boobs?

#6 – SPAM Sweet SPAM

Sometimes the SPAM messages were so flattering – I almost accepted them and let them get published on my site.

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Even if sometimes, I didn’t always know what they were talking about…

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But then the lovefest started getting a wee bit creepy…

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I’m sleeping with one eye open from now on.

#5 – Ummm….What?

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#4 – There’s So Much Wrong Here

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Where to begin?!  The guy plunging to his doom?  The dead guy’s girlfriend admitting her apathy toward her late beau?  The hook up with his best friend?  The INSANELY gratuitous ending to that short story which, NO, I am not going to let you read?  Or how about the fact that these folks  are capitalizing on AUTISM!!!  Not cool, man, not cool at all.  Now, as a responsible adult, I can not tell you to contact this upstanding citizen.  But I also forgot to blur out the email address…

#3 – I Kinda Wish I Wasn’t A Man Right Now

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Wow.  Just wow.  Ladies, I officially apologize that people like this exist.  Oh darn it – I forgot to black out that email address too…

#2 – I Seem To Have Upset Him

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Someone REALLY took offense to my post about my “spirit salmon.”  I don’t know if he has a fish allergy or perhaps a popcorn intolerance or maybe it is an extremist branch of PETA who believes no animal should be forced to be a spirit animal.  In any case, this dude seems a wee bit peeved at me.  Now the most interesting part of the message, besides figuring out the seven hundred ways I could be killed by his bare hands (I could only figure out three hundred and eleven – I’d never suggest that a Navy Seal’s pants may or may not be on fire, but he may have exaggerated just a tad), was when I hovered over the link (because, no, I didn’t have the guts to actually click it being worried about his secret network of spies and all).  The preview that popped up was risqué to say the least (NO, I’m not going to show you).

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“This is NOT a dating site!”  Just in case you were unclear that the initial message was NOT a pick up line.

#1 – It Takes A Community

 

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What else is there to say?

 

***DON’T FORGET TO GET SUGGESTIONS FOR THE 40 BY 40 LIST TO US VIA COMMENT, EMAIL, FACEBOOK, OR TWITTER BY THURSDAY***

“The Internet is the most important single development in the history of human communication since the invention of call waiting.” ~ Dave Barry

 

Mooooove Over Jaws

My family LOVES Shark Week on the Discovery Channel!  We have no reason why – we just do!  We don’t live by the ocean, we aren’t big marine animal fanatics, we rarely even go fishing.  But we tune in every year and we go all out with shark themed foods and drinks, we sport temporary shark tattoos, we wear shark clothes, we watch while we snack on Goldfish crackers.

Growing up I always had a fear of sharks – but I never went into the ocean.  I lived by a lake and I was sure I saw shark fins cutting through the surface of the water.  My cousin had a pool – yup, sharks in the deep end. Now, watching all these shark programs I totally understand why people would be scared of these creatures!  They are the most badass animal around!  Strong, fast, resilient, ridiculously smart – I love this animal but if I ever saw one out in their natural habitat, I’d freak out even though I know I shouldn’t.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned, they usually don’t attack people on purpose – they mistake us for seals.  So, I got to wondering how many mistakes do sharks make a year.  Good ol’ Google told me: 19.  Only 19 people are killed by sharks in an average year.

But did this hold my attention?  No.  My eyes were caught by another article a couple lines down.  Apparently, according to the CDC, my childhood fear was misplaced for there is a much more dangerous predator in our midst.

Moo cows.

Cows, on average, are responsible for the deaths of 22 people every year and this is the part that really got me – 75% of these deaths are DELIBERATE ON THE PART OF THE COWS!!  And some of those were the result of people getting ganged up on by the cows!  COW GANGS JUMP PEOPLE!

Sure, I get it – some people do the running of the bull – that’s stupid. Some people jump into the pasture and mess with the cows – they’ve got it coming.  But, I’m not just talking about those people – there was a guy in England who was just walking and a cow just decided to attack him! This gives a whole new meaning to “mad cow.”

Not to cheapen the tragedy in either situation – but if I got to choose between the two ways to die, I’m going to have to go with shark.  I wouldn’t last long with a shark and I probably wouldn’t know what hit me.  But a COW?!!  That sucker isn’t going to sneak up on me!  I am going to see that guy coming for a long time and he will eventually outrun me. And then he’s not going to use hundreds of razor sharp teeth to tear me apart – he’s going to hop up and down on me for a while!  And have you ever smelled a cow?!!  That is the last thing I’d smell – I wouldn’t smell a shark.  And look at a shark – that is a cool looking animal.  The last thing I would see would be this awesome looking monster pulling me under the water in the middle of the ocean surrounded by other sea life.  A cow has to be one of the dopiest looking animals on the planet.  So the last thing I would experience would be this two ton smelly, dorky-looking animal jumping on me in the middle of a field surrounded by piles of my attacker’s poop.  And what about my loved ones?  They’d have to explain my demise!

“Oh my God, how sad.  How did he die?”

“Shark attack.”

“Whoa…”

Versus:

“Oh my God, how sad.  How did he die?”

“Cow attack.”

“….no really.  Was he sick?”

“*sigh* Nope.  Jumped by a cow.”

“Oh…well, that’s…sad………. Like a moo cow kind of cow?  Milk and burgers?”

There’s no way anyone would take me seriously in Heaven except the other dude who got jumped by a cow.  We’d get pretty close quickly.

I think we should have a Cow Week just like we have Shark Week and have them treat it the same way.  Scientists tagging cows and tracking their movement – they’ll probably be in the same spot where they left them. And, I suppose there aren’t many elusive species of cows that they need to try and track down….okay, this is starting to sound like it might not be my best idea.

“My cow is not pretty, but it is pretty to me.” ~ David Lynch

Top Ten Foods That Will Probably Kill You As Soon As You Eat Them

It’s been a couple weeks but Top Ten Tuesday is back!  The idea for this list popped into my head as I was driving around on my lunch break. Now, I’m very conscious about what I eat – I try to make good choices.  I still have my guilty pleasure meals once in a while, but for the most part I try to be healthy ever since I caught a mild case of near death experience.  However, I am far from a “food Nazi.”  If you want to eat something, I’m not going to guilt you by talking about fat content or sodium – everyone needs to make their own decisions.  If we’re ever out to eat together, you can order anything you want and I won’t judge you at all…

…unless you order these.  These are just stupid.  These are going to kill you as soon as you eat them.

10.  Candy Corn  Candy-Corn

Someone mixed sugar and wax and made a million dollars overnight. These little Halloween-themed bits of yuck lure you in with their pretty colors and novelty – they even try to trick you into thinking they’re an acceptable food with the whole “corn” ruse.  Candy corn is neither candy, nor corn – they are sugary crayon tips that never expire.  NEVER EXPIRE!!! Nothing immortal should be eaten!  Rocks.  Uranium.  Candy corn.  None should be eaten.

9.  Jello Salad  unnamed

You start with salad – lettuce, cucumbers, shredded carrots.  A good healthy choice.  You add lime jello – okay that’s a little weird, not the direction I would go in but people put fruit in jello so other produce isn’t too far fetched.  And you finish with a dollop of mayonnaise – what in the actual hell? No, just no.  How bad were your munchies when you decided to make this combination?  There are way too many contradicting elements in here. This plate of gross has an extra level of evil because you’re used to seeing jello with whipped cream.  Whipped cream looks like mayonnaise.  This is the work of Satan.

8. Fugu Fugu_sashimi

I love fish. Big seafood lover. But this stuff?  This is just stupid!  It’s pufferfish sushi.  Pufferfish are toxic.  Not like food poisoning toxic.  Not like allergic reaction toxic.  We’re talking, blood pressure dropping, paralysis inducing, heart stopping TOXIC!  It takes a sushi chef three years of training with this fish alone to know how to avoid the poisonous parts so you don’t drop $200 on a plate of “eat-me-and-die.”  Sure, they know what they’re doing.  Sure, I’d probably be fine.  But I’m almost 100% sure that my taco is not going to kill me.

7.  Mac n’ Cheetos mac-n-cheetos

This is what I saw as I drove around today and my only reaction was, “Why?”  First of all, don’t mess with Cheetos.  Whoever started their idea with, “You know what would make Cheetos even better?” should have had the lack of taste slapped out of their Cheeto hating Burger-hole before they could finish their thought. NOTHING.  The answer is NOTHING!  On the seventh day, God rested.  Then on the eighth he jumped right back into work and made Cheetos.  Who hollows out a Cheeto, stuffs it with macaroni and cheese (something else that needs no improvement), and then deep fries them?!!  Not since Burger King introduced that creepy king mascot have I cringed so hard as I drove by their “restaurant.”  Aw yeah, that’s right, this misstep has caused me to put quotes around the word restaurant.

6. Fried Beer tumblr_lifsiwN0w01qi2ijgo1_500

To the surprise of no one, these were born in Texas.  It’s like they thought, “How can we outdo George Dubya on our list of bad ideas?  I know let’s make some pretzel raviolis stuffed with some weird beer jelly crap!”  Fried beer.  FRIED.  BEER.  Deep fried beverage!  How bored do you need to be to figure out how to turn a drinkable liquid that’s bad for you into a chewable solid that’s worse for you?  Attention Charles Darwin: your theory has been disproved.  There is no way some of your “fittest” survived long enough to create these.

5. Grilled Cheese Burger  grilled_cheese_burger_friendlys

I love grilled cheese.  I love burgers.  But I love my arteries and I can almost hear their little Watership Down, terrified bunny screams that they would squeak out with every bite of this culinary bad idea.  Sandwiches are made WITH bread; sandwiches are not THE bread.  I can see how that can get confusing.

4.  Big n’ Cheesy MacAttack-746506

Total disclosure – this is not an actual picture of the McDonald’s Big n’ Cheesy.  It’s like McDonald’s wiped the memory of this atrocity from the world’s memory.  The actual burger came out near the turn of the century and consisted of a quadruple cheeseburger.  A new foam-lined, vaulted box needed to be created to accommodate this grease-ridden behemoth.  I admit that my coworkers and I were some of the first in line to grab these when they came out.  The bottom bun disintegrated, the first bite squished and a waterfall of grease poured out the back, most of us never took a second bite.  McBad McIdea.

3.  Luther Burger luther-burger-doughnut-burger-t.j.-mulligans

A reported favorite of legendary singer, Luther Vandross, it’s a simple bacon cheeseburger…with two Krispy Kreme donuts in lieu of a bun.  In some of its most basic forms it can still tip the scale at 1,500 calories.  You know what else is 1,500 calories?  The vast majority of what you’re supposed to consume in a given day.  You can’t use the “sum of its parts motto” with food.  Burger?  Yay.  Krispy Kremes?  Yay.  Together? Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep (that was the heart monitor). Unfortunately, Mr. Vandross passed away in a car accident before he could read my blog….Nah, just kidding.  It was complications from diabetes and hypertension.

2. Deep Fried Butter ht_fried_butter_jp_110811_wmain

Seriously?!!  SERIOUSLY?!!!  Sure, just about everyone likes butter.  But how many look at a stick of butter and think, “I’m just gonna chow down on this whole thing.”  That would taste ridiculously horrible.  But if we batter it and fry it in oil, all of a sudden it’s a fair ground delicacy!  You should NEVER eat a whole stick of butter.  Nor should you ever do anything to improve the taste of raw butter so that you CAN eat a whole stick of butter!

1.  Hot Brown hot-brown-tousey-house

I apologize to my family in Kentucky – I love you all dearly, I truly do, but this is the biggest pile of death inducing grossness ever compiled on one plate.  Do you know what it is?  It’s a turkey sandwich.  I kept this picture full sized so you can get a close look.  THAT is a turkey sandwich!  Can’t see it?  Move the tomato and the bacon and the BRICK OF CHEESE!  What kind of cheese?  DOESN’T MATTER!  IT’S A BRICK!  I’ve tried this – I hate tomatoes and I love cheese but I started eating the tomatoes just to kill the cheese flavor that was assaulting me!  There was so much cheese there was a layer of cheese grease floating to the surface and drowning everything.  It gets its name from its creation at the famous Brown Hotel but, if you’ve ever eaten it, you know the real reason why that is the perfect name for this innard-rotting concoction.

“Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” ~ Mark Twain

The Blog Formerly Known as Bobbing for Popcorn

Man, 2016 has sucked for music!  David Bowie, Merle Haggard, Maurice White, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Alan Rickman, and now PRINCE?!!

Okay, Alan Rickman wasn’t a musician, but if you aren’t still mourning the loss of Severus Snape/Hans Gruber/Alexander Dane/The Metatron you are no longer ALLOWED to read my blog!  So GET OUT!

***Note: Please don’t get out, I was just being dramatic – I need you guys.  You’re the kernels that make up this popcorn bowl of love…too much?  Okay, back to the post then***

How can I even describe what music is to me?  It’s woven into everything! It’s my fuel!  I hardly ever sit down to write without my earbuds in or with the volume cranked for the whole family to listen.  My iTunes is packed with everything (except for the bulk of country music…I can’t do it…I’ve tried…) and as I’ve been researching and writing tonight’s post, my shuffle has taken me from the Eagles (*sigh* oh Glenn) to Ben E. King to Lady Gaga to Dean Martin to Eminem to John Legend to St. Paul and the Broken Bones.  If I ever experience writer’s block, I just stop trying to write and listen to music – sooner or later the right song will pop up and I’ll be back on track.  Sometimes I find one song that does the trick and I put it on repeat (I once listened to The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” for nearly six straight hours while I wrote a play).

My wife and I have raised our boys with a plethora of music – avoiding the mental vacuum of Top 40 pop radio.  Not that everything released nowadays is garbage…

***Note: I’m not that grumpy old guy who talks about how kids today don’t know music…except “Stitches,” that song is poop…and Nikki Minaj…any of her stuff…any of it…especially “Anaconda.”  Excuse me Ms. Minaj – the song was called “Baby Got Back” and is was pleasantly dirty enough without taking it to your level and giving us aural STDs***

…but there is no reason to forget the old just to keep up with the new. Trust me, I can listen to “Uptown Funk” all the live-long day (and I usually have to because it’s my toddler’s favorite song and he’s not big on “moderation”) but he also loves singing Bob Marley and listening to instrumental music by Danny Elfman and, yes, he has been known to wail the “sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-knees” part of “Welcome to the Jungle.”  My oldest has had those awkward moments at his lunch table surrounded by One Direction and Justin Bieber fans but chimes in with his fandom of The Rolling Stones and AC/DC (side note: so help me God, Axl Rose, you better not screw this band up, too).

More and more, listening to music is becoming bittersweet.  We’ve lost SO MANY amazingly talented individuals WAY before their time!  Besides the ones I mentioned above – we can never replace Michael Jackson or Freddy Mercury or Whitney Houston or Elvis or Janis Joplin.  Sooner or later, another great is added to “The Great Gig in the Sky.”

Except Keith Richards.

How the hell is Keith Richards still alive?!!!  Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish any ill on the man, but damn dude, how many lives do you have?!!  The Nazi’s dropped a bomb in his crib during the London bombing in WWII – he lit his bed on fire in his sleep TWICE – he was electrocuted – he snorted strychnine and ended up catatonic – he fell out of a palm tree and needed brain surgery – and he quit doing drugs for a while, not because he was turning over a new leaf, because there was no longer a drug strong enough to have any effect on him at all!  He built up a tolerance to EVERYTHING and is just waiting until someone creates something more powerful so that he can willingly fall off the wagon!  THE DUDE SNORTED HIS FATHER’S ASHES!!!  Read that last sentence again and let that little conscience of yours scream it into your brain and may you realize that no matter what crazy-ass things you’ve done in your past you (hopefully) never snorted your parents’ remains…no, let’s make that ANY relative’s remains…nay, shall I be so bold as to say ANY remains of ANY deceased creature!  This guy is still rockin’ and rollin’ and Prince supposedly got taken out by the flu?!!  Scientists should quit studying sharks and reptiles for the keys to disease immunities and start tapping into Mr. Richards because that dude is friggin’ immortal!  When the end of the world comes all that will be left will be Keith Richards and cockroaches…until he snorts all the cockroaches.

Now, as David Bowie and Freddy Mercury’s timeless duet pops up on my iTunes (which is kinda freaky considering what I’ve been writing about – and NO I didn’t pick it), I encourage you to listen to your Prince tributes (check out his Superbowl halftime show and Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame performance with Tom Petty) – but don’t stick to just him, I mean even he covered other people’s stuff; your favorite musicians have their own favorite musicians, you know (Mind.  Blown.).  Put your playlists on shuffle and see what pops up.  Do some time traveling and find old favorite you’ve forgotten and download them.  Push yourselves out of your norms and find the new up-and-comers and show them some love (speaking of which, check out Brielle – good stuff).  And I can think of no better way to end this post than with:

“Music is music, ultimately.  If it makes you feel good, cool.” ~ Prince

Like Shooting Crackers in a Barrel

When we were in college, my wife-to-be and I practically lived at our local Cracker Barrel. It bordered on addiction.  It may or may not have something to do with some massive weight gain during my college years, but I’m not one to point fingers, or jump to conclusions, or state the obvious.

It was a sad day when they shut it down – we both went through the DT’s.  We didn’t have one where we lived – it was a minimum two-hour round trip to eat at the closest one. Needless to say we haven’t partaken…partook?…partookened in the lardy loveliness that resides on the Cracker Barrel menu. And, like most things, you need to take a step back to really see things clearly – which is exactly what happened tonight, when we returned to the infamous Barrel o’ Crackers.

I remember one episode of That 70’s Show where the main characters thought they came up with the best ideas when they were in their weed smoking circle in the basement so they decided to record their next session so they could have a record of all the brilliant brainstorms they had and when they listened to the recording the next day when they were completely sober they heard a mash-up of the most incoherent rambling they could imagine.

This is how I picture Cracker Barrel coming into existence.  A bunch of stoners sitting around with a mega case of the munchies and they start bouncing ideas off each other.

“Hey man…you know…you know what would be cool, man…fried chicken…and mashed potatoes…and Beanie Babies…and a buttload of rocking chairs…”

“Yeah man, why can’t you buy Beanie Babies and rocking chairs at a restaurant?  Then you could sit on the rocking chair and play checkers with your Beanie Baby!”

“No way, dude, I’d be too stoned to see those little checkers…”

“Naw, man, not the little ones, our restaurant would have those big-ass checkers that are the size of your head!”

“Yeah, man!”

And there you have it!  The birth of Cracker Barrel!  Where else can you go and have a whole friend chicken, fried potatoes, an assortment of other fried vegetables, and apples…fried, of course (I didn’t even know you could fry an apple!)…and then while you pay your bill you can do all of your Christmas shopping for people who you marginally like.

We pulled into the parking lot, our car dwarfed by the huge sign beckoning to everyone from the highways traveling in every direction.  We walk toward the front door and pass by dozens of rocking chairs and it strikes me, how many people do you know who buy rocking chairs from Cracker Barrel?  It must be a hot seller – there are literally dozens of them.  I want to know the sales statistics – has the world’s leading rocking chair exporter been breading my chicken strips all these years without me knowing it?!!

We make our way to the hostess station and I nearly knock over a ceramic frog in a straw hat fishing in a birdbath.  We leave our names with the hostess and begin to browse the store while we wait for our table to be ready.  There is nowhere else in the world where you can stretch your arms out, spin around, and touch large scented jar candles, Confederate flag trucker hats, rubber band guns, greeting cards, singing animal heads, prayer beads, fart putty, ambiance music CDs, and a DVD full of classic Andy Griffith episodes.  If you mixed Alice in Wonderland with pure grain alcohol, you’d come up with the Cracker Barrel gift shop.

Then the quirky kitschiness doesn’t end when it comes time for your meal because you are seated underneath the most unsettling decor imaginable.  All sorts of old tools, signs, pictures, and various whatnot from days gone by are tacked on the walls.  I believe that whenever a new Cracker Barrel opens, an Amish family somewhere nearby gets robbed. Poor Jedediah Yoder goes out to his barn and finds it completely emptied out.

“Elizabeth!  We’ve been robbed!  The curséd English must have opened another Cracker Barrel!”

“Oh, Jedediah, we might as well pack up the children and move on because that will ruin our rocking chair business as well!”

***I apologize to any Amish people who are reading my blog***

And if your appetite isn’t set off by having an axe and sickle hanging over your head, the photos on the wall might do the trick:

These are the kinds of photographs that steal your soul if you stare at them too long. They’re from the days when families dressed up dead relatives like they are still alive and pose with them and you never really know which ones they were because NO ONE smiled in those pictures!  Think about that the next time you’re munching on your okra!

Once we finished our meal, I went to pay (after I bought my younger son a beanie baby and my older son a couple packs of squishy zombies…no joke) and my Cracker Barrel experience ended the only way that it could – I was asked by our cashier if I would be interested in buying a 5-pound box of Jelly Bellies.

Not gonna lie…I thought about it longer than I should have.

“Always remember you are absolutely unique.  Just like everyone else.” ~ Margaret Mead

Top 10 Things That Should Never Have Been Invented

Let’s try something new – Top 10 list time…

There are many things that have come around that have made our lives infinitely more convenient: the wheel, fire, Kit Kats.  On the other hand there are other things whose existence should never have cursed our world.  Here are my 10:

10.  Crocs

1024px-Crocs

For those of you who have been keeping up on my blog, you knew these would make an appearance.  They’re the freaking anti-Christ!  For those of you who are new to my feelings toward these abominations, read this.

9.  Banana Caddy

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I can count on my elbow the number of times I needed a fake banana to hold my banana.  It’s supposed to protect your daily dose of potassium from getting bruised in your lunch bag.  Seriously, what kind of gauntlet do you run through on your way to work?  I didn’t know you carried a sack lunch with you during a roller derby!  Your banana doesn’t have aspirations to be Iron Man, you’re not going to kick it along the ground the entire way to work, and it’s not going to catch some weird banana-born STD from your coworkers bananas who have lived sordid pasts in the red light district of the produce section.  It’s a banana – peel it (from the bottom, like monkeys do, it’s the proper way), eat it, and move on with your life.

8.  Burger King Cologne

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I’ve been out of the dating game for a while.  However, I don’t remember ever getting ready to go out during my bachelor days and thinking, “I wish I could smell like cheap meat.”  Steak?  Prime Rib?  Brisket?  Naw…I want flame broiled grease patties from the dollar menu – how can I slather myself in that stanky goodness?  If only someone would bottle the essence of “L’eau du Whopper” so I could stop wiping these used wrappers all over my Adonis-like physique!  But look out ladies – my prayers have been answered and you will no longer be able to resist me.  You’re all in luck tonight, there’s a new item on the dollar menu: it’s me with a Super-Sized side of love.  Rawrrrr.

7.  Child Leashes

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Nothing says, “My child is the monkey on my back” like this monkey on his back.  Now you can have all the fun of watching a dog sprint to the end of their chain without worrying about PETA getting on your case!  You can read the backs of your boxes of soy-free organic wheat germ toast points while your little hellion plays human tetherball with your legs. I get it, really I do, parenting is tough.  Especially when you have a rambunctious little tyke.  It’s God’s fault really – he didn’t equip children with anything to hold onto while we walk…oh wait.

6.  Autoflush Toilets

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Because this is when you need something playing with your anxiety – a robot with an electric eye to help you drop a deuce.  First of all, there should be nothing with the word “eye” in it anywhere near your bare keister!  Second, you are a horrible, wretched, ghastly human being if you need help remembering to FLUSH!!!  What are you- a monkey?!! (third monkey reference so far, for those of you keeping score)  Are you planning on saving it to throw at someone later?!!  Flush the damn toilet!  I don’t want to stand up and have the thing malfunction leaving me to figure out how to manually flush a handleless toilet!  Nor do I want to shift (read carefully, I said shiFt) and have it prematurely flush causing splashage on the no-nos.  Automatic faucets, fine.  Soap dispensers, cool.  Hand dryers, more power to ya’.  But toilets?  No sir, good day to you!

5. Sucker Spinner

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I’m not going to waste much time discussing this one.  If you are too busy to manually eat your own sucker, you need to loosen up your schedule a bit.  If you are too lazy to manually eat your own sucker, you are probably well on your way to Type-2 diabetes and you probably shouldn’t be eating that sucker in the first place.

4. Stupid Self-Shut-Off Faucets

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I don’t even know if this asinine bit of plumbing even has an actual name!  You know these: you push down the knob and the water turns on and you have about a millisecond to wash your hands.  When I wash my hands, I want to be clean – I don’t need a test of my reflexes and dexterity!  I want water to come out of the faucet and continue to do so until the job is done!  What’s next – poke holes in the bucket coming out of the well?  Slowly close the holes in the shower head?  There is a special place in Hell for the practical joker who brought this idea into fruition!

3. iPotty

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No.  Just no.

2.  Butthole Charms

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Do you get distracted when you’re out for a walk and you can’t stop staring at a dog’s butthole?  Yeah, me neither.  The proper name for these backdoor doodads is Rear Gear, but let’s call it what it is, it’s a sphincter cover.  Who wanted to save people from seeing a pooch’s whale eye by creating something that draws even more attention to it?!!  And let’s address the elephant in the room shall we…you know what’s it’s covering, right?  You know that thing has a purpose, right?  You know that purpose is usually in full effect when you take your dog outside, right?  So….what happens to this little butt necklace (buttlace?) when it comes time for Fido to do his business?  Are you going to tell him to wait until you undo his little charm?  I’d actually love to see people who bought this product engaging in that race against time and nature and see the realization come across their face as they wish with all their might that they didn’t use a double knot to tie that on their puppy’s tail.

1.  Selfie Sticks

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Did you know the number of selfie stick related deaths outnumbered the shark related deaths in 2015?  So not only are selfie sticks more dangerous than sharks, they are also upsetting our delicate ecosystem by depriving sharks of some of their food (if you think about that long enough, it starts to make sense).  We get it.  You love looking at your own face.  But what would be even nicer is if you could capture more of your narcissistic self in that pic, but DAGNABBIT your arms just aren’t long enough.  Lucky for you, someone capitalized on all of your duckfaced goodness and made you a telescoping rod to make sure you never miss a second of seeing things you are already living through.  I remember when I was a lad, we had a similar device that was perfect for taking pictures of you from a reasonable distance – we called it “other people holding the damn camera.”  Trust me, it works.  So weird.

“America is a nation that conceives many odd inventions for getting somewhere but it can think of nothing to do once it gets there.” ~ Will Rogers

I am sooooo sorry…

A few years ago, I had the privilege of going on a business trip with some of my colleagues.  First of all, my colleagues are freaking awesome!  I work with the best group of people in the world.  You might think you do, but you’re wrong – your coworkers suck; you should come work with us.

We were going to a conference in Indianapolis and we had to fly.  I was super excited because I had never been on a plane in my life and this trip would require four flights to get there and back again.  I wasn’t nervous – I didn’t have a fear of flying, I just never had the opportunity to fly anywhere.  How the air marshall didn’t take me down is a miracle.  When a small child goes on his first flight, it’s cute when he flaps his arms during take off, presses his face to the window, compliments the flight attendant on the delicious peanuts, and makes zooming noises during the landing.  However, when you take your first flight in your 30’s, these things lose their charm for some reason.

The trip was awesome (even the parts when we weren’t on a plane).  Very educational conference, lots of good stuff to buy, lots of cool information to bring back, tons of good food, and a super sweet hotel too!  On top of the plane ride, I also got to go to my very first NBA game as well – I was pretty pumped.  Now, granted, I’m not a huge basketball fan, but c’mon, it’s a live professional game!

The arena was within walking distance from our hotel and as soon as we turned the corner the massive building came into view.  Thousands of people crowded the blockaded street as they migrated through the wall of doors to see their beloved Pacers.

Now because I was on a trip for work, I had left my lovely wife and young son at home.  My wife is a huge NBA fan and has a lot of family in Indiana and my son was about 3 or 4 at the time, so I had to make sure I brought them back some cool souvenirs from my travels.  Because of the enormous crowd of people, I decided I would hit the gift shop before I joined my colleagues in our seats.  I walked into their ProShop and browsed around for a while before deciding on a nice, thick Pacers hoodie for my wife and a stuffed Boomer (they’re mascot) for my little buddy.  I brought them to the checkout, remortgaged my home to pay for them, and made my way to our section.

This place was immense!  I came in at the very back of the main section and I had a long walk to get down to my seat; we weren’t too far back from having court-side seats!  It was awesome!  About halfway down the stairs, young people in suits and dresses started walking toward center court with some official looking people.  The lights dimmed slightly and the announcer came over the loud speaker.  I stopped and stood still to see what was going on, being sure to watch out for these two young boys who were chasing each other up and down the stairs and through the rows of seats.

The announcer said that someone very important to the team had passed away; I’m not entirely sure who because I was distracted when I needed to dodge those two hyper little monkeys as they zipped around me again.  They were retiring his name up to the rafters of the arena and his grandchildren were there to do the honors of the actual dedication. I really wished the parents of these two little gremlins would get them under control; it was starting to get disrespectful under the circumstances.

The announcer asked the crowd to please join them in a moment of silence as the jersey was raised up to the rafters.  It was awe inspiring to hear thousands upon thousands of people go completely silent.  You would have been able to hear a pin drop if not for the two hooligans – but they must have caught the attention of one of their parents because they quieted down and started making their way back to their seats.  I was just about to nod my approval to the situation when the two passed in front of me and one grabbed the other by the shirt collar.  The horse-collared tyke whipped around to punch his captor but missed and his fist caught me right in the “Pacers.”  The pain made my vision flash white for a second – I was instantly nauseous – my knees buckled – and, worst of all, I bellowed…

“SON OF A……”

I’d like to say that my filter was strong enough that I stopped right there…but alas…the final “ITCH” sound resonated throughout the arena and made the moment of silence a little less silent.

Luckily, my seat was still pretty far away from where the incident had occurred and the lights were still down so I hobbled down to my seat and nonchalantly (and very gingerly) sat down with my compatriots.

It is because of this moment most of all that I hope there is no life after death.  I foresee being greeted, not by lost loved ones, but by that guy waiting so many years in the afterlife to relive his basketball glory days by giving me one hell of a flagrant foul.

“I haven’t been able to slam-dunk the basketball for the past five years. Or, for the thirty-eight years before that, either.” ~ Dave Barry

Dead Hamsters, Transvestites, Onsies, and Muerto Moth

I really want to make good on my vow to keep this blog going, but all of this “responsible adult” stuff keeps getting in the way.  What kind of world am I living in if all of the things that I need to do to sustain life and keep a roof over my family’s heads get in the way of all the activities that I do for absolutely no reason or payoff whatsoever?  A crappy world, that’s for sure!  I was supposed to start a blog to get paid for mindless ramblings.  HOWEVER, I was informed that I could not receive any sponsors for my mindless ramblings until I mindlessly ramble a lot more, which I would happily (and mindlessly) do if someone were to pay me so that I could have more time to mindlessly ramble!  My plan is simple, why can’t everyone else see that?  Of course none of this would be an issue at all if someone would just agree to pay me $50,000 a year to come up with fart jokes and to photoshop people’s faces into other pictures and mass email them to the rest of the company.  So far, extensive resume…no offers.  Fingers crossed, though.

I have also taken an interest in looking at other blogs to possibly get ideas for how to put mine together a bit more efficiently.  I thought the best way to do this would be randomly.  Not the best plan because the first thing I came across was a blog from a family that was reporting on the death of their pet hamster.  The blog had a picture of a young girl holding the small creature who seemed a wee bit petrified (as opposed to all of the lionhearted hamsters that are out there).  I was wondering if this little photo shoot may have lead to the untimely demise of this rascally rodent.  “Aw, Brittany” –in my mind all little, blonde, yuppyish girls are named Brittany– “he looks so cute when his eyes get big like that!  Squeeze him a little tighter for Mommy!”

The follow up click to the “Next Blog” button took me to the blog of a gothic, Victorian transvestite.  Take one part Marilyn Manson, one part Marie Antoinette, and one part RuPaul and shake generously in a cement truck full of bricks.  Please take a moment to mix this recipe together in your mind…go ahead, I’ll wait…

Better?  Good.  Welcome back.  So, in only two simple clicks we’ve gone through dead hamsters and took the express lane to transvestites.  That sounds like the chorus of The Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection,” doesn’t it?

♪♩♫ “Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection, Dead Hamsters, Transvestites, and me!” ♫♩♪

Now, what could possibly come next?!  If you guessed a woman who blogged and posted photos of EVERY gift she got at her baby shower, YOU WIN!  Who does that?!  I mean, there are people who don’t want to look at pictures of a stranger’s actual baby!  I don’t think there is a sane person alive who is fishing through the blogosphere hoping and praying with all their might that they randomly stumble across an unabridged, annotated guide to someone else’s baby shower presents.  Now what am I supposed to do with that information?  I feel obligated to buy something this woman didn’t get and carry it with me at all times on the off chance I bump into her somewhere.  “Oh thank God I finally found you!  I’ve searched for you for years!  I have something for you, sure your child just graduated from high school, but I found these ‘Mommy’s Little Attention Magnet’ onsies I thought you would love!”

The “Next Button” escapades just kept the jackpots a-rolling!  My next stop featured a post by a distraught poet who wrote a piece lamenting a moth he inadvertently injured.  After his short, repentant ode (in blank verse of course, that’s classiest and most heartfelt), he wrote a short prose dialogue updating his readers on the condition of the injured insect and made a public apology for his negligence and a wish for the moth’s speedy recovery.  You can’t make this stuff up!!!

Unfortunately, the next seventeen blogs I went to were all written in various dialects of Spanish.  I really wish I didn’t take (and moderately pass) French in high school because some of those blogs looked way cooler than mine!  There was one with a Zombie movie poster whose title (if I translated it right using my knowledge of another European language – France is close to Spain after all) was something like “Hot Dead Fish.”  They should plan a sequel entitled “HÁMSTER MUERTO DEL BRITTANY” starring an undead rodent and his crippled moth sidekick who are hellbent on revenge.  I’d go see that.

“The internet is a good way to get on the net.” ~ Bob Dole

You Can’t Spell Funeral Without “Fun”

It’s been a rough couple weeks for my family.  We’ve lost three loved ones between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.  It’s never an easy pill to swallow, especially around this time of year.  As I was sitting in church today, I realized how most of these ceremonies are very much the same.  I remember a couple things here and there about funerals I’ve gone to in the past, but, for the most part, there weren’t many things that stuck out in my mind…except one.

I know what you are probably saying, “I thought this blog was supposed to be funny!  You’re not being funny right now!”  Whoa – hold your horses, Honcho!  First of all, don’t tell me what to do, you’re not my real mom.  Secondly, I did not forget my vow – read on.

A few years ago, a good friend of mine lost his mother.  I knew him better than my wife did and we had a young child at the time – for these reasons, I decided to go to the funeral home alone.  I tried to get there early, this was sure to be a busy place – it seemed like everyone in town knew this wonderful woman.  I was surprised.  There were still a few parking spots left – I expected to be circling the place for a while.  I took a deep breath, straightened my tie in the mirror, popped a couple pieces of gum, and exited the car.

I start playing through the typical scenario in my head – I hate this part.  Nothing you say ever sounds right.  All you want to do is say something to make everything better, but those words don’t exist.  So I just think the sincere, “I’m so sorry,” paired with a firm handshake pulled in to the manly “bro hug” would suffice.

I enter the funeral home and see that only one of the three viewing rooms was open – no need to check the directory to figure out which room to go to.  There’s also no line!  That’s like winning the funeral lottery!  It’s not easy or enjoyable to talk to the family during this difficult time, but I really hate trying to engage in small talk with complete strangers at a place where I really don’t want to meet new people.

I start feeling a bit more confident, I won’t have to wait and stew about what I’m going to say.  I won’t have to have idle chit-chat with Aunt Beulah’s nephew’s neighbor’s gardner about his drive in from Sheboygan.  I can just walk in, pay my respects, let my friend know I’m there for him if he needs anything, say a silent prayer, and leave the family with one less person solemnly watching them.

I sign the guest book, walk past the picture collages, and boldly march right up to the casket.  I’ve never gotten used to seeing the body and I severely hate it when people say how “good they look.”  I usually try not to stare.  But this time, I couldn’t help it.  I had only met his mother one time, so my memory might not be that vivid.  She had also been sick, so that might have something to do with the way she looked.  My friend’s mother…looked like a man.  Not just manly features – like mustache, beard, suit and tie…the whole nine yards.

I look over to the family.  My friend is nowhere to be seen.  His father (a small old woman in a pretty periwinkle dress) was staring at me much the same way I was staring at the casket.

You know how sometimes you feel like it’s a Friday when it’s really only Wednesday?  Have you ever done that on a day you were supposed to go to a funeral?  I have.

This man was very old.  His children were a solid 30-40 years older than me.  This was a small, intimate family visitation.  It was kind of obvious that I wasn’t supposed to be there.  I was that guy.  The funeral crasher.

I didn’t know the right thing to say to my friend!  What was I going to say to THESE PEOPLE?!!  However, I was past the point of no return.  I walked over to the widow, took her hand, kissed her on the cheek (yes, kissed her), told her that her husband was a great guy, and then pulled each of his children or children-in-law or whoevertheywere into a solid handshake/”bro hug” combo, and walked out the door.

“Saying, ‘I’m sorry’ is the same as saying, ‘I apologize.’ Except at a funeral” ~ Demetri Martin