Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"But What Makes Wage Slaves? Wages!"

28 clever quips
My Love funds the bulk of my At-Home Dadness, bless her cold capitalist instincts. Now and then, though, I feel a strange twinge. Then it becomes an itch. An itch to contribute something more to the Uncool Household than my mastery of reusing plastic bags to pick up doggie landmines, locating misplaced video game cartridges and shuttling forgotten lunches to the kids' school.

Ack! It's my deeply recessed alpha male/breadwinner gene!

GENE: Hello, Gen-X slacker and friend of failure.

UNCOOL: Hi, Gene. Ha. "Hygiene." That's a dirty word.

GENE: So is "unemployment," you half-wit.

UNCOOL: Hey, I'm self-employed.

GENE: Yeees. You love to work at nothing all day.

UNCOOL: "And I'll be takin' care of business -- every day! Takin' care of business --"

GENE: Spare me the Bachman-Turner Overdrive, you unproductive sloth! Now feel guilty! Guilllll-tyyyyy! GUILLLLL-tyyyyy!

UNCOOL: Jesus, I suck!

GENE: Excellent. Now, scratch your balls, spit and swagger. Think more Christian from Nip/Tuck than Roseanne singing the National Anthem.

UNCOOL: Jam it, a-hole.

GENE: Ha! Now that I likey!

After these pep talks, I often feel compelled to scour online job boards, call old contacts and pound the pavement in search of big bucks for hard work. Unfortunately, my efforts usually end not with paychecks but with the pangs of rejection and remorse over my general lack of skills and talent. Frickin' liberal arts education!

In one of my recent "gotta find extra work" jags, I found what sounded like a promising telecommuting contract gig writing copy for a catalog selling stuff for babies and children. It promised possible future opportunities such as news releases and other types of one-off projects.

The more I re-read the ad, though, the more I became convinced it was yet another Internet posting that essentially wanted a writer on the extreme cheap which pretty much describes all jobs for writers you can find online. This ad just didn't have the balls to flat out say it, instead asking applicants to submit their "salary requirements" -- code for "ask for peanuts and maybe will offer shells."

As it seemed I was destined to get rejected again, I figured at least I'd have a little fun with it. So here is the cover letter I sent in:

As a professional writer (at least that’s what I claim on my “income” tax form) and father of two grade-schoolers, I think I’d be a perfect fit for your business. Why? Just look at these bullet points:

  • I’m used to working on tight deadlines because most of my past bosses were poor planners;
  • the "factual, yet lighthearted, flowing and conversational" writing you desire is my mainstay because I’m fairly shallow; and
  • I’m more than familiar with children’s products as my boy and girl, ages 7 and 9 respectively, love to spend what little money I do bring in.

As for salary requirements, I’m looking for the minimum equivalent of $40 an hour. I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a reasonable price given my experience (see attached resume). Also, I’m sure your outfit is more reputable than the zillions of companies that think they can pay telecommuters and online writers a pittance and a bag of Circus Peanuts for their craft. I have that kind of faith in YOU!

Attached with my resume are some writing samples. Please contact me if you are interested in my services or at least if you found this e-mail entertaining.


As for their reply, well, I'm still waiting ... along the interstate on-ramp with the rest of the day laborers.

* * *

Speaking of people who need real jobs, please read "Jon & Kate Plus 8" Must Die -- my thoughts on the most annoying of reality show couples who are seemingly headed for divorce while the TV nation and their eight kids look on. It's only on DadCentric!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How Dorothy Parker Got Started

19 clever quips
They gathered around the long stone table, sipping from their frosty glasses, letting the cold, clear liquids slide down inside them.

"Now, say happiness very slowly," their leader said to him.

"Haaaaa-peee-ness."

Laughter. It forced all seated to lift their heads and toss back their hair just as they had done seconds earlier in tossing down their drinks.

"You," the leader announced loudly, "said, penis! … Now say, very slowly, meatballs."

"Meeeee-eeeeeat-baaaaalls."

"Eewww!" said the leader's sidekick, who happened to be my 9-year-old daughter who then cupped her groin in illustration of the gag to the further delight of those gathered around the table.

I smiled but looked down and shook my head, keeping my eyes closed so as not to see how many of my thinning brown follicles had jumped and floated down to the floor in an attempt to save themselves from the coming teen years.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When Jesus Tags You ...

15 clever quips
Some Jesus freak hit me up with a meme. Here goes:

WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT OBSESSIONS?
Coaching youth sports. Not an obsession so much as a punishment for past childhood crimes against adults.

WHO GAVE YOU THE BEST ORAL SEX OF YOUR LIFE?
Who hasn't. You? Sorry, but applications are not being accepted at this time.

WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
Turkey tacos, assuming I can coax the fat bastards into the corn shells.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR AT THE MOMENT?
Not producing a single funny or interesting answer to this meme. Now it's death by cattle prod. Is that spot on the back of my hand cancerous? That egg salad I had smelled a little funny. NEXT QUESTION!

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Old 97s Blame It on Gravity CD. Just finished this tune:



"He takes your hand tenderly / and he whispers sweet surrender. / Nothing is how he feels about girls like you / with your flip flop smiles /and your big blue eyes on vacation."

The Old 97s, by the way, are one of the handful of great things I found in Dallas. Shiner Bock and Sonic drive-thrus complete the list.

IF YOU WERE A GOD/GODDESS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
Vengeful. I'm sick of minding my manners for idiots' sake. Some cathartic release would be tasty. As would receiving the best oral sex of my life. Huh -- where was I?

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HOLIDAY SPOTS?
The ones the eggnog leaves on your coffee table and your liver.

WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
This meme. And An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England by Brock Clarke. Not simultaneously, mind you. I only do that when I'm driving and texting.

WHAT ARE FOUR WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU?
Seated. Mostly upright. Sarcastic.

WHAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Cheese, glorious cheese; reruns of Quantum Leap; and power pop. This video kinda covers all three (with time travel to the '80s being the QL connection):




Sometime I'll have to tell you about my meetings with The Knack. And that is "meetings" -- plural.

WHO OR WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
The catchphrase "Shave My Poodle" and the men who say it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPRING THING TO DO?
Try the new line of seasonal ales, sneak in a ball game while the rest of the world is at work, smite the unworthy heathen. Sorry, I flipped back to that vengeful god question for a sec.

WHERE ARE YOU PLANNING TO TRAVEL NEXT?
About four feet to the left to let the dog back in through the sliding glass door next to my desk.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU ATE OR DRANK LATELY?
The last thing I ate or drank. I try to enjoy every sandwich. Especially with a Copperhook Spring Ale.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE TIPSY?
A few weeks ago on my birthday. Complimentary champagne goes right to my head. The Tanqueray and tonic before the bottle of pinot noir didn't help the cause.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE EVER [MOVIE]?
Obviously Almost Famous. It reminds me of a time when I was the smart kid on the block with endless potential and enthusiam ... all of which I inevitably failed to do anything worthwhile with. Meh -- it happens.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LIFE LESSON YOU'VE LEARNED FROM YOUR KIDS?
Everything is negotiable when you make the sad, puppy dog eyes.

WHAT SONG CAN'T YOU GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD?
It may be because I just turned 41 or that I've been listening to the "Classic Vinyl" channel on Sirus/XM too much lately:



The Who - Dreaming From The Waist 1975

I feel like I want to break out of the house
My heart is a-pumping, I've got sand in my mouth
I feel like I'm heading up to a cardiac arrest
I want to scream in the night, I want a manifest

I've got that wide awake, give-and-take, five o'clock-in-the-morning feeling
I've got the hots for the sluts in the well thumbed pages of a magazine
I want to drive, want to fly like I do in the dreams I've never really been in
I want to hump, want to jump, want to heat up, cool down in a dream machine

I'm dreaming ... from the waist on down
I'm dreaming ... but I feel tired and bound
I'm dreaming ... of a day when a cold shower helps my health
I'm dreaming ... dreaming - of the day I can control myself
Day I can control myself

Drive like a priest and then I'm shooting lights
I'm burning tires with some guy whose hair is turning white
I know the girls that I pass, they just ain't impressed
I'm too old to give up, but too young to rest

I've got that numb-to-a-thumb over-dubbed
Feeling social when the world is sleeping
The plot starts to thicken then I sicken and I feel I'm cemented down
I'm so juiced that the whorey lady's sad sad story has me quietly weeping
But here comes the morning
Here comes the yawning demented clown

I'm dreaming ... but I know it's all hot air
I'm dreaming ... I'll get back to that rocking chair
I'm dreaming ... of the day I can share the wealth
I'm dreaming ... dreaming - of the day I can control myself
Day I can control myself
Hey, hey!
The day I can control myself


WHAT BOOK DO YOU KNOW THAT YOU SHOULD READ BUT REFUSE TO?
The Bible and Stephen King novels. I'm a vengeful god so I know how they will turn out.

WHAT IS YOUR PHYSICAL ABNORMALITY/ABNORMAL PHYSICAL ABILITY?
Does my peg leg cover both?

WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE CALLED INTO THE REALM OF THE LIVING?
Someone must have needed a date for the prom.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Only a Paper Moon

34 clever quips
The blog's been dormant and I've been lying low online lately while I rehab from a week's vacation at the Club Med in Punta Cana of the Dominican Republic. This story will give a clue as to why I need some down time from my down time.

Your Faithful Correspondent,
Un.

*

Our fellow vacationer raved about the oceanfront massages.

"The sound of the waves. The salty breeze blowing over you. Oh, my God. I didn't ever want to get up," she said.

We didn't need a hard sell since my wife and I usual figure spa services into our trip itinerary. Besides, this was an all-inclusive resort. I couldn't imagine any massage experience so awful that it couldn't be overcome with the help of a few of the prepaid rum concoctions served at the poolside bar.

Before signing up, though, I should have remembered the one other time we received a glowing recommendation for a vacation spa service. That occurred in the northern California wine country and it left me with these two pieces of wisdom:

  • "Mud bath" is code for "steeping in a steaming pile of peat moss."
  • Complete removal of said peat moss from every nook and cranny of your being will require the following: power washer, stiff-bristle brush, rubber gloves, Easy Slide dental floss and half a case of cellar-chilled pinot noir.
When I arrived at the resort spa, the hostess told me to shower, put on underwear and a robe then proceed to the waiting area. This brought about Issue No. 1 -- I was going commando.

Now, before you mentally have me twirling on a brass pole, know that I was sans boxer briefs because I arrived fresh from the beach in swim trunks. This wearing underwear for a massage, I deduced, must be some sort of local health-code requirement even if didn't make much sense given the resort's one open-air dining hall featured tropical birds, stuffed with pilfered croissants and fresh-cut mangos, that regularly performed bombing runs upon unsuspecting guests. (I have a stained T-shirt to prove it.)

But, as I said, this place was all-inclusive. When I opened my locker, I found a tiny plastic pouch about the size of the travel-size Kleenex package grandma's always have in their purses. I popped it open and ta-da -- my first disposable paper thong:



(OK, OK -- get me off the pole again. Let's get back to the story.)

I padded out to the waiting area and, mindful of the delicate-looking Asian woman across from me, crossed my legs with care. In a couple of minutes, in walked my masseuse who quickly directed me toward the beachfront massage tents.

Which brings me to Issue No. 2: I quickly learned my masseuse, Ramona, spoke virtually no English.

When she asked, in a tone closer to begging, if I spoke any Spanish, I dutifully did my best.

"Si," I answered. "Una mas cerveza, por favor, bonita seniorita."

My request that she bring me one more beer got a laugh followed by a lesson from her in how to say the same thing, in of all languages, Italian. Further proof that alcohol -- not love -- is truly the universal language.

We arrived in the tent and I deduced by her hand motions that she wanted me to take off my robe and lay under a towel on the table. She stepped through the opening in one of the fabric walls so I could do this in private, which was polite and all, except for Issue No. 3.

The tent completely lacked one wall.

The wall that happened to face the ocean.

And the beach.

And the two dozen adults and children on that beach -- all of whom were so inclined as to look up in unison at my tent just in time to see my southern exposure.

Did I mention that the paper banana hammock I was dressed in was literally thin enough to read baseball box scores through?

Another two singles for Ichirio Suzuki. The man's a hitting machine!

I dived under my towel, buried myself face down, closed my eyes and hyperventilated while awaiting Ramona's return. When she did, she proceeded to pull my towel down just far enough so I could enjoy the warm Atlantic winds blowing through the palms trees and across the hills of my now fully displayed butt checks.

Rather than painfully detailing the next 50 minutes, I'll sum it up thusly: Shortly afterward, I developed a deep, meaningful relationship with the resort's lemon daiquiris.

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