Monday, November 27, 2006

Holiday Letter Writing

May God bless us, every one. Except for Lamby.

I'm kidding, of course. If anyone is deserving of God's blessing, it's Lamby. What, being Republican, and all.

Still kidding (except about Lamby being deserving).

But I digress.

Yes, unfortunately it is that time of year again. A time to empty your wallets so that they match your hearts. A time to stock up on booze as you anticipate the next invasion of humanoids whose DNA, alas, too closely resembles your own. A time to cruelly be reminded that brains don't always "run in the family". A time to curse Little Orphan Annie, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Twist and yes, even Tom Hanks' "Castaway" character, for their good fortune.

"Why so cynical, pug?" .... you may be wondering ... "What if you need a kidney (or liver) someday? After all, it's the circle of life. They drain you of it. Then help to extend it (and add to your guilt) via timely transplant.". Sorry gang, but for once I'm one step ahead of you. No family for the holidays means no need to drink heavily (okay, you caught me: no need to drink QUITE as heavily). Hence, no need for organ spares as a result.

But this post isn't about get-togethers with family (or even friends ... assuming any of you have REAL* [* bloggers don't count, since the reason most of us are here in the first place is because we're incapable of bonding with "real" people] ones). It's about AVOIDING (or better yet: REPELLING) them through the use of a time-tested pre-emptive measure: the "Holiday Letter".

My inspiration this time was an insert in last Saturday's paper, entitled "The List: A Manual For Holiday Shopping". Contained therein are several recipes* (* What? No "Reefer Brownies"? Bah! Humbug!), along with multiple articles chock full of great advice for Christmas-related tasks. And, to my surprise, there were a "few" advertisements as well. I have to give the Devil her due: it was extremely well-done. So much so, that I've read much of it already!

Anyhoo, one article in particular captured my interest. It addressed the sorely neglected topic of holiday form letters, and specifically: what NOT to include. But the problem I have is that their example featured a letter written by a ficticious* (* At least I HOPE they were ficticious, because these rich bastards went on 5-f*cking vacations and garnered 3-promotions between them during the past 12-months. Assh*les. At least I probably m*sturbated more. So stroke THIS, you jet setting, most-likely Hummer-owning, never use your brand new turn signal {so you KNOW that they work!], m*therf*ckers!) family.

But let's face it: most of us are middle-class (lower than that, for some of you) schmucks. Where is OUR "Holiday Letter" advice? Well, allow me. The following is my FICTICIOUS example form letter, with helpful criticism and advice in parathentheses.


Happy Holidays!

(Way too enthusiastic. They will know you've upped your Prozac dosage.)

What a year 2006 was for the Smith family! We had our share of tragedies and triumphs.

(No one cares about your triumphs.)

Our son Paul turned 24 in February, and despite being the target of frequent gang rapes, he is hopeful that, as a model prisoner, he will qualify for early release.

(Way too specific. Instead, consider this alternative: "Our son Paul turned 24 in February. He is very popular with his peers, and seems to be the center of attention wherever he goes. He is very focused on an early graduation.")

Our daughter Priscilla turned 18 in July and we are optimistic that DUI's and drug abuse are finally out of her system. After several months of house arrest, including the wearing of a tracking monitor on her ankle, and frequent visits from her parole officer, she is slowly returning to reality.

(Again, there's no need to get explicit. People have short attention spans, so you need to keep it equally short and sweet. Try reworking it as follows: "Our daughter Priscilla turned 18 in July and we are looking forward to new horizons for her. We love having her around the house. Our baby is growing up. She enjoys fashionable and functional jewelry, and her best friend (who we always set out an extra plate for) is a perfect role model and is like a daughter to us.")

Peter still is an Account Manager with Toilet Cozies, Inc., despite his subpar performance and sexual harassment of clients. His chronic alcoholism appears to be under control, and we're relieved that the latest paternity test was negative. We knew the bitch was lying.

(Keep it light. Perhaps it would read better as follows: "Peter's tenacity in Sales is as strong as ever. We admire his ability to thrive under the most adverse conditions. Things are looking up for him these days.")

Pam's addictions to painkillers and compulsion for engaging in extra-marital affairs finally seem to be in the past. She goes to treatment twice a week, and we drive her everywhere she needs to go. Though she continues to be withdrawn and unrepentent, we remain hopeful that divorce can be avoided.

(Consider a wee bit of wordsmithing, such as: "Pam is currently pushing herself in a new direction. She's really getting into her adult coursework, and we are happy just to be along for the ride. Her present routine leaves little free time for family interaction, but of course love means never having to say you're sorry. We have each other, and that's what matters.")

In October, Peter made some ill-advised bets and ran afoul of the mob. His arm was broken as a warning, and Pam was forced (back) into prostitution in order to pay off some of the debt. Since there is no way we can possibly repay those animals, we have no choice but to take it on the lam and find safe haven somewhere. So we may be out of touch for quite some time.

(How about: As fall approached we realized it was time to tighten our belts. But at the same time it dawned on us that we were overdue for some time away. As such, we are making plans for an extended sabbatical so that we can travel and spend quality time with our friends. For those of you that we don't get to see, rest assured that you are in our thoughts, and we will be in touch real soon!")

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Peter, Pam, Paul and Priscilla


Happy Holidays, everybody!

I sincerely hope this exercise has been of value to you as you ruminate over your own holiday correspondence. And my apology if this form letter is precariously close to your own realities. All the best to you and yours this holiday season!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Blonde Jokes

Hi all,

Last Friday morning on the way to work, I looked like much more of a moron than usual. How is that possible, some (okay, all) of you find yourselves wondering? Well, in order to explain, I first have to let you in on a dirty little secret: I listen to the local ESPN radio station during morning commutes. There. I said it. I'm not proud of this fact. But there you have it.

Anyway, on Friday morning they were doing blonde jokes (while I, on the other hand, was busy doing blonde women!). Callers could win a case of beer for the best jokes. Here are some of the better ones.

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Why did the blonde keep failing her driving test?

Every time the tester told her to park, she hopped into the backseat.


Why did the blonde's house burn down?

When she called 911, and they asked her how to get there, she said, "Duh, in a fire truck!".


A blonde gets on an airplane and - even though she only has a coach ticket - takes a seat in first-class.

It's a full flight, and the rightful owner of the first-class seat asks her to move.

The blonde says, "I'm a hot blonde, I always get everything I want, and I can sit wherever I please.".

So the stewardess is called. The blonde gives the same answer, and refuses to budge.

Finally, the Captain is summoned to the scene. He carefully assesses the situation, and then whispers something in the blonde's ear.

She promptly responds by quietly and calmly getting up and taking her assigned seat in coach.

Everyone is blown away. What did the Captain say to obtain her immediate compliance? Later on in private, the stewardess asks him.

The Captain says he simply told her that first-class wasn't going to Cincinnati.


On opposite sides of a river stand a blonde and a brunettte.

The brunette shouts to the blonde, "How do you get to the other side?".

The blonde replies, "Duh, you're ALREADY there!".


How does a blonde turn the light on after making love?

She opens the car door.

A group of blondes walks into a bar. They are high-fiving each other, chanting "Three years! Three years!".

During the next couple of hours, the boisterous group drinks champagne and periodically repeats the chant.

Intrigued, the barkeep comes over and asks them what they are celebrating.

One of the blondes joyfully explains how the group collaborated on and just completed a jigsaw puzzle.

The barkeep asks her why that's such a big deal, and cause for celebration.

To which, the blonde responds, "Duh, the box said "5 to 7 Years", and we did it in THREE.".


A blonde comes home from school and exclaims to her mom, "Today we were learning numbers, and I could count all the way to 20, while the rest of the class could barely make it to 10! Is that 'cuz I'm blonde? The mother says, "Sure, sweetie.".

The following day, the blonde comes home from school and exclaims to her mom, "Today we were learning our ABC's, and I could recite them all the way to "M", while the rest of the class could barely make it to "G"! Is that 'cuz I'm blonde? The mother says, "Sure, sweetie.".

The day after that, the blonde comes home from school and exclaims to her mom, "Today we were on the playground comparing our bodies, and mine was the curviest"! Is that 'cuz I'm blonde? The mother says, "No, sweetie, that's because you're 28".

How do you get a blonde to marry you?

Tell her she's preganant.

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Bonus Feature: Memorable Dan Quayle Quotes

I am not part of the problem. I am a Republican.


I have made good judgements in the Past. I have made good judgements in the Future.


People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.


Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.


The American people would not want to know of any misquotes that Dan Quayle may or may not make.


The future will be better tomorrow.


We don't want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.


We have a firm commitment to NATO, we are a *part* of NATO. We have a firm commitment to Europe. We are a *part* of Europe.


We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made.


Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.


What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.


When I have been asked during these last weeks who caused the riots and the killing in L.A., my answer has been direct and simple: Who is to blame for the riots? The rioters are to blame. Who is to blame for the killings? The killers are to blame.


[It's] time for the human race to enter the solar system.


Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.


One word sums up probably the responsibility of any vice president, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.


Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.


I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.


Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe.


Murphy Brown is doing better than I am. At least she knows she still has a job next year.


The Holocaust was an obscene period in our nation's history. I mean in this century's history. But we all lived in this century. I didn't live in this century.


Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.


We're going to have the best-educated American people in the world.


We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.


For NASA, space is still a high priority.


Public speaking is very easy.


I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.

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Geez, Quayle is an idiot. Does he ever think about what he says BEFORE he says it? - Yogi Berra

Geez, Pug is a doofus. Does he ever think about a post BEFORE he posts it? - Yogi Berra

I hoped you enjoyed these. I'm sure that some of you have more to share. I am sorry if I offended any natural blondes out there. Wait, who am I kidding? Natural blondes ... reading my blog? I should be so lucky. Just a warning, though. Anyone* (* females only this time, please) claiming to be a "natural" blonde will be required to submit to a physical exam in order to prove their status.

If THIS doesn't draw CrashTestComic out of hibernation, nothing will.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Perspectives: Pop Culture

How do!

I chose "Perspectives" for the title of this installment for several reasons:

1) I'm already running out of post titles quicker than Planet Earth is running out of souls (okay, I exaggerated a tad ... how about, "it SEEMS like I am running out of post titles quicker than Planet Earth is running out of souls" ... better?);

2) I'm visualizing my post as being akin to one of those dreadful early Sunday morning talk shows about "community affairs";

3) I'm too lazy to think up a witty play on words.

But mostly, I suppose that I chose "Perspectives" because it probably does fit. At least as well as an off-the-rack suit from Target would. So here goes, with Perspectives on "Pop Culture".


The first "perspective" (see how I nicely tied into my post title by "reinforcing" the "perspective" concept?) I have to share, was triggered by a visit to Dykesdog's blog after a couple of beers. Her latest post triggered an exorcism* comment (* as most of her submissions do) from yours truly. As I basked in the afterglow of my comment and went to grab a beer, I had a thought (when I DO have a thought, it's important that I let people know).

WHAT IF: they remade the original "The Exorcist" with - get this - Courtney Love as the mother? Picture the scene where the priests first visit the little girl, and then consult with "mom".

Priest to mom: "Lady, that's simple genetics. Don't waste our time!".


The next perspective is of the Alanis Morissette "Ironic" video. During yet another moment of quiet and blissful introspection, a bizarre idea popped into my consciousness: what if annoying beotches COULD clone themselves for long car trips? How would this impact society? Sure, they'd have total supremacy over carpool/HOV lanes. And they'd no longer require any of US to accompany them. And of course, I suppose one COULD even stage orgies without the stigma or the implication of cheating. But is it worth the Quadraphonic PMS or having an entire set of women that one is eventually unable to understand or please? It's like the rain (of urine) on your wedding day.


My final perspective is on the topic of pets; dogs and cats, specifically. Why is it that people are way ruder and more inconsiderate in conversations about pets, than they are about their own damned children (Disclaimer: by "damned children", I don't mean "possessed". Even though they well could be. "Damned" was only used for dramatic effect.)? When most folks are done droning on about their spawn, the vast majority of them will naturally inquire if you have any kids. If you are a woman, you may want to consider responding with a wink and "None that I know of". This tends to reduce the tedium to some extent.

But God have mercy in the event that you foolishly ask if they have any pets. By the time you're finally able to get them to shut the hell up, you shall know more about their lame-ass animal than you know about yourself. Using long-range binoculars you'll be able to efficiently identify one of their pet's stool samples from the same field that thousands of other animals have defacated upon. But will they ask if YOU have any pets? Hell no. Pricks. Screw them.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

State Naive (Not a Native)

Hi everybody!

FINALLY. A rare opportunity to sling a new post at you from behind the bars here at the zoo. At least I've been collecting random droppings hither and yon* (* I like that phrase so much, I had to use it for the second post in a row), for incorporation into this humble offering.

So without further ado, submitted for your mild entertainment are more "Random Musings".


Observation #1: What is up with those friggin' "(YOUR STATE) NATIVE" bumper stickers? Were they all out of "FROM THE LOCAL STAGNANT GENE POOL" ones? Listen up, morons: if you cannot conclusively PROVE that your ancestors meandered their way across the Bering Strait Land Bridge, then you can take that sticker off of your damned bumper, and shove it up your ass. Perhaps I should send that weepy roadside Indian dude from the classic "Don't Litter" commercial over to do it for you. Then I'll shove some "native" Trilobite fossils with "SWAMP LOCAL" etched on them up there to keep you company, as you (and the other fossils) drunkenly reminisce about the good old days before unappreciative nomadic assholes like yours truly came to town to shit things up even further.


Observation #2: I don't know about your neck(s) of the woods, but here in the "Great Southwest" we had new voting machines to contend with on Tuesday. It took me 2+ hours of waiting in line to cast my vote. Surprisingly I didn't mind, though. For reasons I won't go into (any further than I've done in various comments), it felt great to see so many people as determined and passionate as I was. Plus I was able to check out my neighbors in close proximity without actually having to talk to (most of) them. I could see which ladies were potentially "doable", and which guys were assholish enough for me to walk my dogs on their lawns. Anyway, the new machines were electronic (imagine that! hoooo doggies!) and way cool. They could've only impressed me more if Pac Man characters came onscreen (complete with sound effects) to "eat" any votes for Republican candidates. I was pleasantly surprised that far fewer of my neighbors behaved like "Natives"* (* see previous paragraph) than I expected.


Observation #3: My voting place was at a local church. For those of you who have "known" me for awhile, you're likely wondering if I burst into flames upon entry. Amazingly I did not. Although the pea* (* that's the one spelled with an "a") soup did start to come up a bit; probably acid reflux due to suspected Republicans being present. A back wall in the room containing the voting machines had an interesting mural. On a flat black background, there was a lone fireman viewed from the back, with a wall of flames in front of him. This was an earnest and sincerely touching tribute, apparently in response to 9/11. I thought it was neat. But then, I started to wonder: what if there was an ACTUAL fire in the church? What if there was a real firefighter in there, trying to work toward an exit, perhaps attempting to follow the figure on the wall? People, you need to think things through.


I hope you enjoyed this installment. I will TRY to post more often.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Random Musings

Howdy folks,

I have a few yeasty ideas fermenting, but need a bit more time in order to distill them into the high quality feature-length posts that you've come to expect from yours truly. So in the interim I would like introduce a concept that is brand new to the world of blogging. I call it (drum roll please) ... "Random Musings". Think of this revolutionary format as a couple* (* this time, just to give you a "taste") of "mini-posts" in one convenient offering.

So here goes.

You've probably been wondering what exciting and mystical new adventures and experiences I've encountered during the past two weeks (and if I've been alive to enjoy them). During which time, I've managed to extrude only two new posts. Well wonder no more! Today I will share some truly amazing observations from the "Great Southwest" version of The Odyssey.


Observation #1: Tightly focused business concepts may be viable in today's "boom" economy.

This morning I was snugly ensconced* (* love that word, BTW) in stop-and-go traffic, when I noticed a white commercial van for a company called, "Dryer Vent Specialists". Needless to say, I was enthralled (I am "cat-like", that way). Who knew that the seemingly trivial and oft-overlooked world of dryer venting could produce a vertical market worthy of at least one commercial van roaming hither and yon, tending to its needs? Certainly not this pug.

Makes me wonder if there are other mechanical orifices that could justify other start-ups. Other than ductwork cleaning, of course, which is already taken. Ditto for chimneys.

How about tail pipes? I already know a whole bunch of folks I'd like to see sucking on one. Why not hire them to perform this task as part of their job description, and therefore benefit in no less than TWO ways?


Observation #2: It pays to pay close attention to radio commercials.

I've been getting more into radio commercials lately as a form of mental exercise in order to combat the effects of automotive solitary confinement. I evaluate them against a proprietary multi-layered assessment model and once the various metrics are carefully weighed and tallied, assign a grade which I almost immediately forget.

But there was a commercial today that I vowed to remember for this post. It was for Wrangler Jeans, with the tag line, "Wrangler Jeans: the official jeans of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.". This got me to thinking, what if I HADN'T paid such close attention? Quite possibly I would've missed the "Jr." at the end of Dale Earnhardt, and assumed that Dale Earnhardt Sr. (who I'm guessing didn't go by "Sr." until "Jr." was born) was the official endorser of Wrangler Jeans.

Then I wondered what THIS incorrect assumption would imply. That he was buried in a pair of Wranglers? Frankly, this scenario would creep me out. A decomposing body in a pair of Wranglers would leave me hesitant - at best - to run to WalMart in order to snap up a pair, despite my love of "Forensic Files" and "Psychic Detectives".

Or rather, like the deity that many NASCAR fans project him to be, did he rise from the dead in order to shill for one last staple from redneck culture (Obligatory Disclaimer: I own approximately 5-pairs of Wrangler Jeans, enough to outfit the entire starting unit of the Memphis Grizzlies if they ever go line dancing)?

It's a moot point for this particular radio LISTENER, as I conclusively know that his SON is the Wrangler Jeans official endorser.


Stay tuned for future "Random Musings", and thanks for watching!