The Christmas-themed tie is the most useless gift I can think of. Even if you find the rare one that an adult would actually want to wear, and you give it to someone who dresses formally and would be of a mind to put on a Christmas-themed tie, if you give it to them for Christmas, they won’t have any rational opportunity to wear it for at least 11 months.
Fart candles are a thing. Sometimes I think we might be ready for an asteroid to come and shake our Etch-A-Sketch.
Anyway, if the deodorant industry is to be trusted, fart smells don’t appeal to men any more than flowers. No, if they want to sell candles to men, they should come in “Cool Wave,” “Arctic Blast,” and “Fresh” scents.
Back when I had my office job, we used to have these little hour-long socials at the end of every Thursday. During one of them I was talking to a couple of my geekier coworkers about the casting news coming out of the film they were making at the time of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I mentioned that they got Alan Rickman to do the voice of Marvin, which I thought was brilliant. A coworker standing all the way across the room, talking to someone else, shouted over at me, interrupting my conversation and calling all of the attention in the room to our exchange. Here’s what everyone heard us say to eachother.
Him: Who’d they get?
Me: Alan Rickman.
Him: Who’s he playing?
Him: What’s this in?
Me: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Him: What’s that?
Me: Man, why do I even talk to you?!
I lived in Orlando for many years, and never went to Medieval Times. It seems strange, given how much time I’ve spent writing about a highly fictionalized Medieval England. It’s just that if beer, roasted chicken, macho posturing, and the smell of horse poop had appealed to me I probably would have never left farm country.
That said, when we first moved to Orlando, there was a lower-cost non-name-brand alternative to Medieval Times that went out of business. Its former building, an extremely fake-looking faux castle, just sat there gathering dust for years. Missy and I talked more than once what kind of crazy home could have been made inside that shell.
I based this comic on a coworker. I noticed myself tensing up and being defensive whenever I had to interact with him. I looked around and saw that everybody else did the same thing, and as such, every person that coworker ever dealt with at work was tense and defensive. To him, it must have seemed like the whole world was tense and defensive.
I made an effort to be looser and more friendly the next time I talked to him. Not surprisingly, he made me regret it.
I had the goatee long before I started losing my hair. I grew it because of Blackadder II. I figured if facial hair could make Rowan Atkinson look dashing, it was worth a shot.
The first time many of my relatives saw me with the beard was at my paternal grandmother’s funeral, in something like 1993. At the gathering after the service one of my cousins gave me a hard time about it. I proclaimed that my facial hair was the future, and that eventually, many of his friends would have the same facial hair. I am proud to say that I was right.
If that seems like an inappropriate conversation for me to get embroiled in at my grandmother’s post-funeral gathering, you should know it was catered with the contents of her fridge and freezer, and my aunts and uncles were all around my cousin and I, divvying up grandmother’s stuff, arguing over picture frames, and pulling up chunks of her carpet.
Before anyone writes to criticize my spelling of “Collectable,” I’ll point you to my good friends, Merriam and Webster.
Yeah, I know. My spelling here is a less common variant. This spelling makes more sense to me, as a collectable is something one is able to collect.
Also, you have no idea what a pain it is to correct the spelling in a single-layer image file.
Here’s an interesting fact. There are no shot glasses for sale in any of the gift shops at Walt Disney World.
It’s true. Selling shot glasses would be unwholesome.
Some of you who have been to Walt Disney World are probably wondering if I’ve lost my mind. I have not. No shot glasses are available for sale in any of the parks. There are, however many places where you can purchase a souvenir glass “toothpick holder” that can hold exactly 1.5 ounces of toothpicks.
I loved the idea of trained attack bees so much I ended up using it in my novel The Authorities, available . . . well, it used to be that a book plug like this would end with the phrase “Available anyplace books are sold.” Times have changed, I’m afraid. The Authorities is not available anyplace books are sold, but it is available in the one place where the vast majority of books are sold.
I prefer to buy the bucket of litter over the smaller jug and the giant bag. It’s a good balance point between carrying very little while wasting money and saving a buck but destroying my back. But, if I’m being honest, I just like the idea that I get a free bucket out of the deal. A bucket’s one of those things that is instantly recognized as useful.
Nobody has ever asked anyone, “Why do you own a bucket?”
That said, after so many years of cat ownership, I’ve come to realize that the used litter buckets aren’t so much useful items that I got essentially for free by being clever, and are more empty packaging that I can’t bring myself to throw away, even though I have a huge stack of them.
People never ask anyone why the own a bucket, but they often feel compelled to ask, “Why do you own twenty-three buckets?”
When I was a bachelor, I would cook a frozen pizza directly on the middle rack of my oven. While it cooked, I would cut the box along the sides then flop the top of the box over so that I had a clean brown cardboard square. When the pizza was done, I’d slide it onto the cardboard with just one edge of the pizza hanging off of the edge where it could be easily bitten off. I’d sit on the couch, watching the Simpsons, and sliding the pizza forward, off of the box, and eating the exposed part until it was all gone.
I was full, it tasted good, and I dirtied no dishes at all. It was the perfect meal, except for the fact that it had almost no nutritional value.
I get that, at the time, Lucas and Spielberg thought of Indiana Jones as a sort of American James Bond, and having a different beautiful woman in every film was just part of that formula. But even as a kid, I was disappointed that Marion wasn’t in the second and third movies. Willie and Elsa weren’t half as good in my opinion.
There are rumors that Disney will try to reboot the Indiana Jones movies. If that happens, I hope they Keep Marion around. Or, failing that, if they made a series of films for their streaming service of Marion’s adventures on her own before or after Raiders of the Lost Ark, I’d watch them. An American woman in the 1930s doesn’t end up owning a bar in Nepal without there being a good story attached.
When I was a kid, the Legion of Doom always seemed like a much cooler organization than the Super Friends. Not because evil always seems cooler than good, but because they had a much cooler clubhouse. The Hall of Justice looked like a 1920s bus station or something, and inside it was a giant computer and shiny floor. The Hall of Doom, on the other hand, looked like Darth Vader’s head, rose up out of the swamp somewhere, and inside the villains were all seated like they were attending a Friar’s Club roast.
In the ’70s, nothing was cooler than that.
I’m genuinely serious about this. It seems to me that if they made a vape that made no visible smoke and looked like pen, smokers wouldn’t have to go smoke outside anymore.
It doesn’t have to be a pen. Heck, make it a bagpipe. You could also use it as a purse, and while it would be weird to just sit at your desk with your bagpipe in your mouth, I doubt anyone would complain that the bagpipe wasn’t making noise.
I was a member of the Junior Grange. For those who don’t know, the Grange is sort of a cross between 4-H and the Freemasons. Our mom joined us up as a means of allowing us to socialize with other farm kids our own age, which is a good thing when your nearest neighbor is a half-mile away.
Junior Grange also taught me about parliamentary procedure. Each meeting involved a highly formalized meeting with specific roles and a structured order of events. The very first meeting I attended, when I was in something like the 4th grade, I was made Gatekeeper. I learned many valuable lessons about “grown-up business.” Primarily that it is stupefying boring, it usually accomplishes nothing, and that you shouldn’t ever agree to do something until after the person asking explains, in detail, what is involved.
Ric really did did take issue with me saying that he’s a defeatist, complaining, “I’m just profoundly negative.”
There are those who argue that you’re not really defeated until you admit defeat. To them I say that if defeat is something you have to admit, it clearly already exists. That argument rarely convinces them, or if it does, they never admit it.
“Let me put on a Speedo and ride you to Thailand” is one of the best things I ever came up with.
If you think about it, Omnipresent Man could transport any object from any place, to any place, instantly, for free. That’s actually a tremendous power. At the very least he’d be great at serving subpoenas.
If you watch any episode of House Hunters, it seems like you’ll hear the phrase “happy wife, happy life” at least once. It’s usually said by a husband who does not look happy.
I’ve tried to come up with a male equivalent, but the only words I can come up with to rhyme with groom are broom, womb, doom, and tomb, so any poem made with them would be horrific, sexist, or most likely, both. I don’t want that.
How about this for an alternative: “Make each other happy, and you’ll both be happy”?
I know. It’ll never take off. It doesn’t rhyme, and it’s not nearly adversarial enough to be repeated on House Hunters, which seems to be a show built on the idea of taking a pleasant couple and pitting them against each other.
There is a Chick-fil-A and an In-N-Out within a ten-minute drive of my home. Many people would consider it un-American that I’m not having lunch at one of those places right now, but there’s only so much lunch one man can eat.
Many would consider the concept of placing any limitation on the concept of lunch un-American as well.
Wait a second. Chick-fil-A . . . In-N-Out. Maybe the key to great fast food is to have two hyphens in your name.