I recently came across an event that takes place in Boston every spring. The event consists of a myriad of workshops with titles that made me wonder if it were part of some kind of parody.
One of my favorites was "Roadkill Arts & Crafts: Using Mammals and Birds After They Have Been Killed by Cars." The lesson plan includes "harvesting roadkill and de-fatting." Interestingly enough, the facilitator has no last name. Maybe he himself has actually run over the animals whose carcasses he will bring to class, and therefore wishes to remain anonymous.
"Urban Beekeeping" strikes me as a rather risky pastime in which to engage, particularly in the sense of establishing a reputation in your neighborhood as "that crazy bee lady." Personally, I'd rather not be involved in any hobby that would require wearing a net over my head.
Then there's "This is a Stick-Up! The No-Gun Guide to Home Tattooing." Toxic dye and a needle in your kitchen. Now that doesn't sound like a disaster waiting to happen.
And how about "What's All the Fuss About Growing and Eating Heirloom Vegetables?" First of all, what fuss are they talking about? Heirloom vegetables haven't really been a hot topic of conversation, as far as I'm aware. And what exactly are heirloom vegetables? Are they really, really old vegetables that have been rotting in the crisper from generation to generation?
And you have to give credit to anyone who attends "Hair Cutting for Those with Low Standards" for acknowledging that they just don't give a crap.
But I have to admit my favorite is "Female Ejaculation - You Too Can Squirt!" In this workshop, the "legend will be examined, and the reality that is squirting will be revealed." Legend? As in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?" I couldn't help but wonder if the lesson plan for this workshop would consist of a group of women pleasuring themselves, but apparently it's all discussion. All talk and no play, as it were. The facilitator's perspective is that squirting is a desirable goal to attain, though there are likely many men who, instead of finding it erotic, would merely ask, "Did you just pee?"
I read on MSN the other day about a guy who lived for 10 years with a dead guy under his living room couch. Apparently the dead guy had been staying with him for a few months when he just keeled over one day, presumedly from sudden heart failure or something similarly unassuming.
When the undead guy saw that his friend had expired, he decided it was preferable to just turn the couch over on the corpse and leave it there indefinitely, rather than risk pissing off his landlord for taking in a boarder. I guess a dead boarder wasn't a problem. Mr. Undead apparently proceeded to continue his daily routines, including eating his dinner and watching Oprah with the corpse lying a few feet away. You'd think the blue feet sticking out from under the couch would have been distracting.
But that wasn't the weirdest part. The weirdest part was that, a few months in, two city officials showed up at Mr. Undead's apartment in response to complaints from neighbors about an offensive odor. Not one, but two, city officials who both examined the premises and not only failed to notice the corpse under the overturned couch, but determined that the stink was coming from the toilet. Nice going, fellas.
I heard on the radio today that it was officially declared Boob-Quake Day. Apparently this new holiday is the result of a worldwide protest against some Iranian bozo who claims that women who don't dress modestly anger the gods-in-charge and, consequently, cause earthquakes.
As a result, women around the globe - or, at least, around the Harvard Coop - deliberately wore low-cut tops and no bras so that their boobs would hang out as a collective "f*ck you" directed at the aforementioned bozo.
I like the idea of various body parts linked to natural disasters and the combined results thereby being declared national holidays. How about Ass-Fire Day? Or Dick-Hurricane Day, which men would celebrate by blowing free in the wind. Or Thunder-Balls Day, perhaps in conjunction with Thunder-Thighs Day.
Bunker Hill Day sounds pretty boring now, doesn't it?
So a woman has been attacked by her underwear. Personally, I've always been apprehensive about wearing underwear that sports any form of hard object near vital parts that could pop off, ricochet against said parts and disappear into the abyss. Perhaps she was lucky it hit her in the eye.
Apparently, the injured woman is suing Victoria's Secret, where she bought the offending thong. I can't help but wonder if she considered the ramifications before arriving at that decision. Did she not realize that, from this point on, her name will forever be associated with homicidal lingerie, and she will be the object of countless Jay Leno jokes and skits on Saturday Night Live? What will happen the next time she interviews for a new job? "Hey, aren't you the woman who sued Victoria's Secret for selling you homicidal underwear?" Might be difficult for her to ever be taken seriously again.
Of course, it could have been worse. At least it didn't get stuck in an orifice and have to be surgically removed.
We as a culture have become obsessed with minutiae. I blame the seemingly endless stream of information floating into every orifice via a myriad of technologies. There are countless websites on every topic we could ever want to, or wish we couldn't, imagine. Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow us to record for posterity every insignificant detail of our lives - "I just took a piss, and it was slightly green. Maybe I'm eating too much broccoli."
There are now over 500 channels on our TVs (remember when there were only 7? Yeah, you know you do). This means that network execs have to come up with a vast number of programming topics to fit into a rapidly multiplying amount of "niche markets," which essentially means a target audience for topics that are more and more narrow, to the point where any specific subject may interest maybe three people, and bore the crap out of the rest of us.
Yesterday while recovering from the rooster flu or whatever the hell other barnyard animal from which it was originallyderived, I was channel-surfing and came across a documentary about beans. This was not even about the health benefits, which would have been somewhat interesting though not particularly new, but rather the history of bean growth in America. I think it was on the History Channel. I guess they ran out of material about World War I and decided to go with veggie folklore.
Of course, this couldn't compare in sheer entertainment value to what was showing on the National Geographic Channel - "Sizing Up Sperm." This apparently involved the simulation of conception with mountain-climbers clad in white, doggedly scaling up a series of precipices, determined to reach their destination even if it meant that either they, or all of their comrades, would be wiped out along the way.
Not that I'm uninterested in sperm, per se. But some topics are better as concrete experience.
There are some pretty scary guys out there in Single Land.
I have a sort of philosophy statement on my online dating profile that states my aversion to getting or giving thanks-but-no-thanks rejection messages on the site, as I explored in some detail in an earlier post, "Get a Pair." I mean, if you get an email from someone you've never met and you're not interested, it should be perfectly acceptable to just not respond. To reply to everyone, or to expect it, is pretty unrealistic, and if you're that sensitive you probably need at least a few more months of therapy before participating in online dating.
Apparently, Scary Wacko Guy doesn't think so. Scary Wacko Guy believes that sending a message on a dating site to someone you don't know is similar to (I'm paraphrasing) making a meal that has been "lovingly prepared," and that "expressions of love should be acknowledged."
Excuse me, expressions of love? We've never met. Definite stalker potential there. And as far as emailing a stranger being similar to "making a meal that has been lovingly prepared," I'd say that a more accurate food-related comparison would be leaving a muffin in a Dunkin' Donuts bag sitting on a table.
I also received an email from someone who mentions in his profile that he's looking for someone who "wants to spend every minute she's not at work" with him. Apparently he actually wants a clingly, wacko stalker girl.
I saw a commercial recently for a nursing home that claims to provide "successful aging." As opposed to unsuccessful aging? What would unsuccessful aging consist of? I suppose if you keel over and die before you get too far into the aging process, that could be considered unsuccessful aging. Or being brain-dead would probably qualify as well.
Maybe unsuccessful aging is not actually managing to age at all, which doesn't really seem like a bad thing, unless you're a vampire or have had so much Botox you can't move any of the muscles in your face. It could also refer to pretending you're not aging, like if you continue to wear a thong and attempt to seduce 25-year-olds even after your boobs have dropped into your shoes.
Or maybe unsuccessful aging is when you start wearing kneehose with miniskirts and plastic rain bonnets. When you start walking around under an umbrella when it's not raining, and wearing a coat when it's eighty degrees, you know you're in big trouble.
So Obama was called for jury duty in his former home city of Chicago. Oops. Guess what? He moved.
We can only hope that generating and sending out these notices is automated, and no actual humans are involved. Otherwise, I think we're all in trouble. Next they'll be calling Georgie B. to help decide the fate of some poor shmuck on trial for trying to rob a convenience store with a toy gun. After all, he did so well making important decisions before, didn't he?! How scary would it be to look over at the jurors and see Bushie sitting there with his finger in his ear?
You never hear of A-list actors doing jury duty. I guess if you have to be charged with a crime, there are worse things than staring at George Clooney in the jury box all day. Plus you could pretend you were actually in a movie and not on trial with the possibility of going to a real prison and having to go to the bathroom in public. Not to mention having to eat really bad food. I don't know from experience, but I wouldn't imagine prisons get their supplies from Whole Foods.
In 9 short years, plane travel has become an exercise in patience and the ability to withstand discomfort and humiliation. Not only do we have to take off our shoes with the fervent hope that the smell of our feet doesn't offend our fellow passengers, but now we will have our bodies scanned, electronically stripped, and studied by a guy in a room. Supposedly our faces will be pixelized, thereby encouraging Scanner Guy to leer or jeer at our naked bodies without actually being able to determine who we are when he leaves his post to use the men's room.
What I wonder is, who will be watching him? And how popular will this job be? At first glance, it would seem like a voyeur's wet dream job. But seriously, if you picked 100 people at random, how many would we actually want to see naked? Will the occasional hottie be worth the more common not-so-physically-appealing bodies Scanner Guy will be forced to look at? Will it be worth having to peer at the body of the 85-year-old guy on his way to visit his great-grandchildren, to make sure Great-Grandpa isn't packing explosives in his Depends?
Of course, there may be female scanners too, but will they actually be in different rooms? Chances are, passengers will just have the illusion of gender privacy, but in reality they'll both be looking, in addition to having someone else to make fun of the passengers with. "Hey Bob, look at THAT one! Bet THOSE tits aren't real!"
I heard we might actually be able to choose our terrorist-detection method. If we don't want Scanner Guy to see us naked, we can decide to have someone pat us down and stick their hand in our pants instead. Or we can choose the crotch-sniffing dog method. Hmmm. I'd probably choose Pat-down-Guy if he's cute.
Unfortunately the ordeal isn't over once we make it onto the plane, either. Now we have to do what we can to control our bodily functions in the last hour of the flight, lest we be forced to rush into the bathroom before the flight attendant can strong-arm us, resulting in an international incident and a cover story in TIME. Not exactly how I'd like my 15 minutes of fame.
I went to the post office the other day to put the rent check in my landlord's P.O. box. When I got up to the counter, I asked the postal guy to put the letter in the box number indicated on the envelope. He replied, "I can do that for $17.50."
I stared at him. "Are you kidding?"
"No, that's the price for 'Express Mail.'"
I stared at him in disbelief. My mouth may have been hanging open. He grudgingly relented at my shock. "I'll do it, but I'm supposed to charge you," he grumbled, moving toward the back. I managed to say "thank you" with as minimal sarcasm as I could, fervently hoping he didn't toss the envelope in the trash. Of course, if he did he'd be fired and probably arrested, forced to spend New Year's in jail dodging the advances of a no-necked, tattooed guy named Big Leroy.
Now, I know Postal Services hasn't exactly been raking in the bucks in the last few years. Still, to actually charge someone seventeen dollars for walking a few yards and dropping an envelope into a box seems excessive. And calling it "Express Mail??" Express Mail is when you send something to somewhere that isn't in the same 10-feet radius you're standing in, and it goes through a somewhat elaborate process involving several parties to get to its destination the next day because you zoned out on your twin sister's birthday.
I couldn't help but wonder if this wasn't in fact a new regulation, but merely the brainchild of the asshole behind the counter, perhaps hoping to make some bucks. Maybe postal workers now work on commission. Or maybe this type of behavior is a symptom of Bureaucratic Maladjustment Syndrome, or BMS for short. At least it's better than bursting in the door brandishing an Uzi.
marketing writer and career counselor by day, comedy writer by night, weekends, holidays....
Recently completed a tongue-in-cheek resource book on employment entitled, "What Color is Your Straitjacket? A Pocket Guide to Getting and Keeping a Job Without Going Wacko."