Friday, May 29, 2009

Loose lips sink milk ships...apparently

The Milk People are coming to town. They plan to go to a local grocery store, distribute milk, give away prizes and promote their product.

I called the marketing person to get a few quotes for the news and the promos we will be running. It turned out that she was on vacation, but someone else called me back.

I asked my first question about milk tour and the friendly tone of the conversation stopped. It seemed I was only talking to the person that SCHEDULES the person who will tell me about the milk tour. On the subject of milk and/or the milk tour, she had no comment.

Have I missed something? Is this such a delicate subject that they need a unified message dealt by a PR professional? I really wasn’t planning to ask them for a comment on the link between milk and the North Korean Missle test…or to discuss whether Louie Pasteur invented the White Russian…I just wanted them to tell me when the van full of milk would pull into the parking lot.

I guess I’ll talk to her on Monday. I hope I can sleep this weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I hope Holli doesn't find out about this...

He won’t mind if you watch Lifetime, the Food Network or TLC!

He’ll take out the garbage, mow the lawn and clean out the gutters!*

Want flowers on occasion? No problem!

And the toilet seat will be where YOU left it!

The perfect man? No, he doesn’t exist. But this is the next best thing. Our labs have produced the most realistic dummy (and you can call him that if you like) ever produced for domestic use.

He’ll sit on the couch (or the floor if you prefer) with a smile on his face while you watch Jon and Kate air out their problems, while you channel surf between the Iron Chef America and Dancing with the Stars and he won’t say a thing…and since his expression will never change, you can be sure he won’t be thinking anything either.

Every once in a while, you’ll receive flowers or a card in the mail from him…and he’ll expect nothing in return. He won’t even ask if you got them.

Just send $1249.95 to Perfect Man, PO Box 11239, Elm Ridge City, AK, 45669. Expect 2 to 3 weeks for shipping. You’ll receive a life-like plastic replica, but without the smells and complications of a real man. You’ll be billed $27.50 a month to cover expenses, such as flowers, cards and personal notes from that special someone that never complains, belches, or comes home late.

(If you would prefer to do without the hassle of the actual mannequin, just let us know and we’ll bill you $27.50 per month...just put you want "the perks minus the guy package" on your order form.)

Either way, the perfect man is only a phone call away!

*well, actually, he won’t

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I never found out who the lady over there was...

During the grilling of hamburgers a night ago, the propane ran out. I’d been figuring this was about to happen about the last 10 times I went to grill, but yesterday was the day. I do have an extra tank, but hadn’t gotten around to filling it yet.

So off I went to Wal-Mart. I went in and the guy at the door (the greeter) had no idea what I should do. “Try the lady over there,” he suggested…it occurred to me he didn’t even work there, but he had the blue vest on, so off I went. On my way to the lady over there, I realized I needed to buy some other stuff, so I went and selected the items and returned back to the lady over there.

I was almost to the lady over there when another lady in a blue vest started yelling at me. She told me I wasn’t allowed to bring that (propane tank) in here and that I should leave it outside.

And now we take time out for the real county music lyric of the day…

We don't like to go out shoppin',
We don't care what's on sale.
We just want to sit with a bag full of chips,
Watchin' the NFL.
When you come over at half-time,
An' say: "Does this dress fit too tight?"
We just look you in the eye with a big fat lie,
An say: "Uh, uh: Looks just right."

Well, that's the truth about men.
Yeah, that's the truth about us.
We like to hunt and golf on our days off,
Scratch, an' spit, an cuss.
It don't matter what line we hand you,
When we come draggin' in.
We ain't wrong; we ain't sorry,
An' it's probably gonna happen again.

Back to the story. I told her that the guy at the door told me it was okay. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing, he just tends to the shopping carts” she said, “What if someone had a cigarette in here? You got to get out of here with that.”

Well, I thought, there are signs that say “No smoking” but there are none that say “No propane tanks” and it isn’t my fault the greeter/shopping cart guy doesn’t know what he is doing, but I just smiled at the lady in the blue vest.

After she calmed down and I got to the cashier to pay, I realized I had forgotten my money clip out in my car.

“I’ll be right back,” I said and then ran out into the parking lot, leaving the propane tank and Nyquil on the counter.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

And then he'd get to be on Oprah...

I’m watching TV last night and I see a commercial for Scientology.

I don’t want to get on L. Ron Hubbard’s bad side or anything, but if you have to advertise your RELIGION, it isn’t one.

What I don’t see are commercials for Christianity or Judaism. You do see churches advertise, yes, but the religion itself isn’t advertising.

Such as…
Hey you there on the couch! Don’t you think you’d look good in a beanie? Come join the world’s oldest religion!
Hey you there on the couch! We know a guy. You can meet him too. It won’t cost you a thing!

Now there are people out there putting forth this message using the media, but the relgion itself doesn't have a central office carving a PR formula to draw people in to their way to eternal bliss. And God Himself doesn't have a web site.

If there is a central office with a PR plan, it’s a business. Now I understand there are many that think churches are mere businesses (with a tax dodge) operating in the name of God. And I’m sure there are some doing just that.

But anyway, I'm not sure what they are advertising. If there is eternal life, it is given by a higher power...not by man saving himself...otherwise somebody would have comeback to prove his "way" worked. Wouldn't he?

Sunday, May 24, 2009


After a stellar freshman year in Algebra One, I was a certain hit in Algebra Two. However, someone forgot to tell Mrs. Perez and the nightmare began. For some reason, I was the only one in the class that couldn’t figure out what this woman wanted me to learn, while people like Rudy Somebody answered all the class questions with answers I needed translating for.

And Mrs. Perez seemed to take it personally that I didn’t know what she was talking about 89.7% of the time. Apparently, the people who taught me the year before were incompetent or they just wanted to help me with my self-esteem and not my math skills.

Well, there was one more overmatched (seemingly...we at least shared the same level of comtempt as delivered by Mrs. Perez) student, a guy named Jeff Koke…it didn’t help we sat next to one another and did things like make up alternative lyrics to “Hey Jude”…something about making some “batter”…I’m sure he’s done better work since then too.

The following year, with Algebra Two behind us, Jeff asked me if I wanted to play soccer for a club team his dad was in charge of…it seemed safe until we went to play at a boys prison (sort of) for angry young men and they rioted during the game, throwing rocks at us and our bus as we peeled out of the parking lot before halftime even arrived. Then the basketball coach told me that I couldn’t play an outside sport (involving random violence from spectators), so I quit.

I respected his authority and did what he wanted me to do, even though I didn’t want to. Besides, I was afraid he’d call Mrs. Perez.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The two weeks of my life that I just sat by the phone...

While still a college student, I interviewed for a job at a fabulous place in a fabulous town. I couldn’t imagine working there, but here the boss was, telling me I was just what he wanted and he would call me next week with a job offer.

Next week came and went. He didn’t call.

I called him and left a message. He didn’t call me back.

I waited another week.

I called him and left another message. He didn’t call back. He never called back.

Nine years later, I went to his place of business (on official business) and had a meeting with him. He showed no signs of remembering me. I didn’t remind him. We talked about a business venture of mutual benefit. He loved the idea and said he would call me the next week to confirm.

I told him I’d call HIM back.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My buddy will fix your dresser and no one gets hurt...

With the roof having caved in, the endless line of strangers in my house has begun again. Yesterday, the insurance adjuster came. He told me where to get my stuff fixed (from dry cleaning to woodworking), how the water meter works, the real reason the Beatles broke up, and why I won’t be getting carpeting to match the rest of the carpeting because there is a “door jam” issue. He also told me WHO should fix these things (besides the Beatles break-up). All friends of his. What were the odds?

He told me I couldn’t get new things in most cases. I guess because he doesn’t know people in retail. Maybe he wasn’t trying to intimidate me (by shaking his head and sneering no to anything I suggested before I had even completed my sentence) into using friends of his to do all the work, but it seemed that way when he had a dry cleaner drive from 75 miles away to pick up our curtains.

Time now for the Real Country Music lyric of the day. (Real Music lyrics heard on the air of the station of my employment)

I love sleeping in on Saturdays
And I love college football games
I love not acting my age
And good barbecue

Yea I'm a fan of Faulkner books
And anything my mama cooks
Small mouthed bass have got me hooked on Sunday afternoons

Yes I love good cold beer
And mustard on my fries
I love a good loud honky tonky rock song Friday nights
And hell yes I love my truck but I want you to know
Honey I love your love the most

Man I love how Redman tastes
Damn I love my Nascar race
Any song sung by George Strait is country at it's best

Yea I love scuffed up cowboy boots
And broken torn up jeans
My 4-wheel drive and 8 point bucks
And rocky road ice cream

And hell yes I love my dog
And Jack D in my Coke
But honey I love your love
I love your love the most

Anyway, it really was a treat to have Robert Vela/Albert Einstein/Don Corleone pay me a visit.

He said he’d let me know about my lunch plans later. Turns out he doesn’t like fried okra.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The fossil that made Milwaukee famous...

Milwaukee— Remains found in the excavation of an old bowling alley this past week are being seen as proof that man descended from men with poor fashion sense who liked to drink and smoke.

“We can’t believe we have finally found the missing link between men who were here before light beer,” stated Dr. Bill Garrison. “The cans of Old Milwaukee, Shlitz and Olympia are proof that man finally broke free from only a ‘tastes great’ philosophy to enter a world of beer that promised to be ‘less filling’ as well.”

Also found near the bodies were what paleontologists say are old bowling “scoresheets.” It appears before computerized scoring the bowlers used these “scoresheets” to see who would have to buy the beer after the 5th frame. The ancient codes used on these sheets are being studied in hopes of unlocking many more mysteries, like why Ray Stevens was ever allowed to record music for public consumption.

The old bowling clothes worn by our “ancestors” appear to have been made from polyester and were emblazoned with large print on the left chest, proving that men had trouble remembering each others’ names.

“Clearly, we have come a long way from these primitive predecessors,” added Dr. Garrison.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

No word on whether it will give you a hug...

Seattle, WA -- Microsoft will introduce a new computer operating system with voice recognition and profile recognition in the next eight months, said a company spokesman said today.

“Our profile recognition will debut to help computer users who up until now couldn’t yell at the computer and get it to respond,” explained Bob Norris, “This system will learn the users habits and knowledge in order to tailor it’s configuration to better help the computer-challenged or skip unnecessary things to help those who already are computer savvy.”

The inspiration, explained Norris, came from many hours of watching customers struggle with tasks. The computer will have a “disengage mode” in which a hard shell cover will be triggered if the computer feels it is in danger of being struck with a blunt object or shoved off the desk it is sitting on.

A walk-through for the media showed the operating system asking questions such as, “What are you trying to do, can I help?” with statements such as, “Hey, come back, I think we can figure this out” and “I don’t think this is my fault and you need to put the baseball bat down.”

A Beta version should be availabe in early 2010.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Well, from now on you do know someone who will do that.

Today’s familiar phrases (in our house, anyway):

When it rains, it used to be outside and…into each life a master bedroom ceiling must fall onto the floor.

It was interesting to see what is above us when we sleep…and unfortunately it is our hot water heater. The good news it, the water heater is still there. The bad news is that all of the water didn’t take the usual trip to the downstairs via an endless series of pipes, but instead took the rather direct route to our carpeting, dresser, TV, Wii, Side tables, Bed, Books, Really Nice Pair of Pants, printer, and sewing machine through the ceiling.

When the ceiling finally fell, we had cleared everything out of the way. So it could be worse.

Our master bedroom is now decorated with a fabulous studded ceiling that gives you a nice view of the attic, a concrete floor, and a 6-foot high fan on high in the middle of the room.

The plumber told me he usually turns off his water when he goes on vacation. Another friend told me he has never heard of anyone doing that.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I'm just kidding about the police...

Gracie and I played UNO today. In 1971 some guy invented this game.

The game was brought into my home somewhere in the late 70’s and it would have been better if my parents had bought throwing knives or boxing gloves to bring us closer as a family.

The game was an out and out war. In my house, we played to win. Well, Mom didn’t play to win, she just played. The reason I never thought she played to win was that she rarely slammed down the draw four and yelled, “Ha! Draw Four Buddy!”

The rest of the people in the house (me included) played like the very existence of the planet depended on who won. And with extreme prejudice.

We played Scrabble the same way. We probably still would if our board and letter tiles hadn’t been seized by the police as evidence.

We didn’t own a Risk game...who needed the game of global domination when a game of checkers was a bloodbath?

I don’t know where the games are today, but wherever they are there are tear stains on our Monopoly Board, a cracked pop-o-matic, and blood on our Yahtzee scoresheets.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The vacation song...

We went to the beach on Sunday
We played and we had a ball
But we took it easy while knowing
We’re going to be here a week after all

We didn’t got to the beach on Monday
For this I have to explain
Maybe we’ll go tomorrow, we said
But, today all we have is this rain

We went to the beach on Tuesday
But only for a moment or two
For there was a chill in the air
That made all our lips turn blue

We went to the beach on Wednesday
But came back as quick as you please
We got sand in our eyes and in our face
As the wind was a 30 mile breeze

We didn’t go to the beach on Thursday
For again the sky let loose with the rain
And the forecast for tomorrow
Calls for the same again

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Easy come, easy go...

“Don’t go!” he pleaded.

As the others readied themselves for a walk in the neighborhood, he repeated, “Don’t go!”

She patted him on the head and told him she’d be right back. He cried. He really wanted to go with her.

He asked Mommy if he could go. He asked Daddy. He asked Grandma. They all told him no. He cried a little more.

Then, in the corner, he spied the crayons and the paper. “Can I color?” he asked.

He sat down to color as the others got ready and headed toward the door.

“I’m not going,” he said happily.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

You've got to fight for your right...

I heard on the radio today (I’m out of town, I can’t get the station here) that everyone loves a party.

Well, not me. Not at least in the sense of the partying that was being discussed. Now I like good food, good drink and good conversation with a few people, but the parties involving loud music, kegs full of Milwaukee’s Best Light and/or trash cans full of Kool-Aid and Everclear is not my thing.

(now, I realize you may be reading this because you just googled “Kool-Aid and Everclear”…for you I have some advice…make sure you wash the cans out before you make the mix…and buy new ones, it’s worth it)

Anyway…I got invited to a party in the Paris suburbs one night…the women all dressed like they just came from a Robert Palmer video…there was champagne and cheese for party fare and they danced to the Bee Gees…this was 1991. I told them this was considered quite lame where I come from and they assured me that Disco was making a comeback.

Another time I got invited to a party (in the Dominican Republic) for a guy who had just finished his house. I went because I didn’t want to insult him by not showing up. When I got there I saw that the other one thousand people he invited felt the same way along with President Leonel Fernandez (the president of the country) and the Catholic Bishop. So while El Presidente gave him a key (or the combination) to the entire country, I made my way to the exit and walked the half-mile back to my car.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Vacation day one...

Sometimes in the most restful of moments you find out the truth about a few things. Or even when things aren’t so restful.

The will of a little boy to “drive” any apparatus having an attachment resembling a steering wheel is stronger than the will of anyone else to stop him. Even if you miss the live divers explaining why a shark is NOT about to come up behind him and bite his head off and the seafood specials as the Calabash restaurant.

The ocean is just as fun in North Carolina as it is in the Caribbean, even if Holli won’t bring me Strawberry Rum Punches in carved out pineapples.

That even though I spent yesterday body boarding in the Atlantic Ocean, I still hate getting rained on.

And finally, that the dumpster behind a seafood restaurant is capable of producing odor behind belief. The diaper I threw in there will improve it, if anything.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

When life is (exactly) like a punch in the stomach...

Jimmy Potter and I were walking across the parking lot about three blocks from school.

I saw Tim walking toward me. The previous summer, he was the opposing pitcher in the last Little League game I ever played in. We beat State Bank 5-1 to win the league (against them) for the second straight year. I had a good game, pitching a one-hitter and going 4 for 4.

He was a year younger than me in school. I didn’t know him, just knew who he was. Probably spoke to him a few times, it was a small town.

He walked up and without warning or a word, punched me in the stomach and (while I gasped for breath) kept walking into the open field on the other end of the parking lot.

I’ve never figured that one out.

Ten minutes of my life...

It was raining as I climbed the steps at the public library. I had books to return and I wanted to read the newspaper.

I had sat down in the reading room and opened the paper to the sports section when someone tapped my paper. I lowered it and there, standing in front of me, was a small child with a big grin on his face and a book in his hand.

“Read this to me?” he asked.

I looked around…but didn’t see anyone. No parents running over to rescue him (or me).

“Uh,” I said, “Where’s your mommy or daddy?”

“Read this to me?” he asked again.

Still no one coming to the rescue. “Okay,” I said.

He got up in my lap and I read Green Eggs and Ham to him.

“Thanks. Bye,” he said getting down from my lap and running around the corner.

I never saw him again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm known as "The Microwaver"

Extreme Cage Fighting is coming to my area and being the one stop shopping place for ads on Truck and Tractor pulls, Country Concerts and the like, we are of course, publicizing the fight between a couple of guys who are tougher than I am.

In the world of Extreme Cage Fighting (I think the “fighting” is the thing that is extreme, not the cage…it’s a regular cage I suppose) you need a nickname like “Hitman” or “The Hammer” or “The Crippler.” Some of the names, like “The Axe Murderer” or “The Natural Born Killer” appear to cross the line of good taste, but it is Extreme Cage Fighting, not the Betty Crocker Cook-off.

However, a check of the Betty Crocker Cook-off yields some interesting pseudonyms also. This year “The Egg Separator” will face “The Lemon Zester” in one semifinal, while “The Whisker” will take on “Bearnaise Girl” in the other. This year’s semifinal is the first time in four years that “The Chopper” didn’t qualify for the final four. A bloodied finger in the quarterfinals doomed her chances of a three-peat.

But with a name like “The Chopper,” she may have other options.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I have to buy new tires for my car and I can’t believe how much they cost.

I mentioned this to a buddy of mine and he couldn’t believe the cost either, but told me that I wasn’t paying enough.

In the old days, you bought a new tire when the old one stopped being a tire and morphed into a pile of rubber, usually on the side of the road.

Now, feeling less excited about changing a tire in the dark or rain, I buy tires when the old ones quit passing the penny test or when my local mechanic tells me to.

I once had a flat tire in the middle of nowhere on the interstate in Southeastern Ohio. I can still feel the rush of the 18-wheelers going by threatening to knock my Renault Le Car off the tiny little jack I had it perched upon. And the excitement of knowing that the next flat tire would require a walk in the dark (it was about 3 am).

So tomorrow I’ll go and get four new tires, balanced and aligned. But maybe today one of them (I’m betting on the front left one) will help educate me as to where the jack is in my trunk and just how tight the lugnuts are fastened.

I just hope it isn’t raining.

Monday, May 4, 2009

When pigs were the cats meow...

It shouldn’t bother me, but the local humane society is selling meat (Boston butt pork roasts) to raise money for their new animal shelter.

Apparently, all animals were not created equal. Some deserve the shelter, others the slaughterhouse.

I found it interesting and (a complete fabrication) that the ancient Phoenicians raised pigs as pets, often calling taking them for walks and having them wear sweaters in the wintertime. There were stores devoted to the care and health of pigs. (happens here also, but it’s called Richard’s Bar-B-Q)

If I were a local pig, I’d try to get a dog suit as a disguise.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The bathwater, the baby, the soap and the towel...

We didn’t kill all the Legionnaires to cure Legionnaires Disease, did we?

Or the Asians for the Asian Flu?

And why didn’t we just talk nice to the cows so they wouldn’t be so mad?

But, there are people out there killing pigs.

I think I know what is happening here.

The same people who brought you the $7 bag of Fritos (by using corn for gasoline and driving up the price) are at it again. If half the idiots kill their pigs, Farmer Brown will get more bang for his bacon at the market.

It’s all a scam to drive up the price of the BLT.

As I read it, it’s more likely you will get Swine Flu from a person than a pig.