Monthly Archives: November 2012

Christmas Carol Lyrics

I listen to song lyrics closely.  Sometimes too closely.  With the Christmas season in full swing, I am once again bombarded with all of the typical seasonal song titles.  Some of these lyrics leave me scratching my head.  For instance:  We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  This is a happy little song.  I can picture carolers walking up my driveway singing in perfect harmony with all the good tidings that their heart can muster.  It’s a beautiful scene, right up until the point where they start their demands for Figgy Pudding.

“Oh, bring us some figgy pudding.” “We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here.”

It’s takes a kind of creepy turn.  Suddenly I’m backed into my house with an ugly fear in my gut.  I don’t even have any figgy pudding.  And they aren’t leaving.  After hours of them singing and demanding and getting more aggressive, I’m forced to serve up some Jell-O pudding—hoping that it will serve as a good substitute.  What started as a happy little Christmas song has turned into a group exercise in extortion.

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly is a lovely song spreading cheer and joy.  A “bough” is a tree branch.  So this song basically promotes deforestation.  And who decorates the hallway anyways?  And the stockings were hung down the hall just outside of the half bath with care.  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I also have another theory about this song.  I think the writer of this song scribbled this one out and was struggling with the overall length of the rough draft.  “It’s too short.  What to do?  Maybe I’ll just jam in some Fa-La-La’s between each line.  Yeah, that will double the length of the song.  Perfect!”

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  No, I am not.  While you’re busy dreaming of falling snow, I’m dreaming of global warming and how nice it will be not to have to shovel my driveway ever again.  Ever.  Cincinnati could be the new Florida, with less sink holes.

How about “I’ll be home for Christmas”?  Listen carefully here.  He says that he’ll be home for Christmas.  He promises it many verses over and over.  He even adds “You can count on me.”  And then he hits you with “If only in my dreams.”  Really?  Is that how you justify your ugly broken promises?  As if dreaming about doing what you say makes it acceptable.

“I’ll do the trash and empty the dishwasher.  If only in my dreams.  There, all done and off of the hook!”

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.”  I’ll be honest with you about this one.  I don’t really know any more of the lyrics to this song.  Although I usually hear every word of almost every song, this one leaves me confused after just one line and then I just stop listening.  It came upon the midnight clear?  The what?  What is a midnight clear?  I know that midnight is the time between the PM and the AM.  I get that part.  I know that “clear” is typically an adjective implying that you can see through the object.  But a midnight clear?  This makes no sense to me.  Are we trying to describe the weather pattern of this particular night?  It was a clear night, specifically at exactly midnight—and that is when it came.  Perhaps I would know what “it” was if I could get past this opening line.

I have a thought about the song Silent Night.  I’m willing to bet everything that I own that this song was written before The Little Drummer Boy.  Everything on that holy night was amazing, serene, and beautiful—little baby Jesus, the savior of our world resting easy, new mother Mary finally getting a good night’s sleep after carrying the savior in her belly for nine months, Joseph squeezing in a quiet round of poker with the three wise men.  Joseph whispers to avoid waking the Savior, “I’ll see your one Frankincense and raise you two Myrrh.”

Everything was perfect!  Perfect that is, until that little poor boy showed up and started banging away on his homemade drum.  “I’ll play my drum for him.  A bang, bang, bang.”  Baby Jesus starts wailing.  Mary wakes with a start.  The poker table flips over.  The ox and lamb start a stampede.  The manger collapses.

Yeah, the silent night occurred long before that little drummer boy showed up.

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Food Construction

The loss of Hostess is a sad thing.  I cried a little.  But I’m not going to talk about the jobs and the economy.  No, the true loss is the sunset falling over the Twinkies and the HoHos.  It’s a sad thing to think about my world with a little less crappy food choices.  I have a theory that the true reason that the company is failing is because they actually lost their recipes in the 1960’s, but they had enough stock to carry them through to 2012.  And since the Twinkie has a shelf life of three to four thousand years, it took this long for the stock pile to deplete.  I think the Mayan’s were correct when they predicted the upcoming catastrophic event in December of 2012—but it’s not the end of the world—it was the end of Hostess.

“I’ve been working on this whole calendar thing, and since I am predicting the end of a long run of really yummy snack foods near the end of 2012, I just don’t have it in me to keep working on this calendar.  Too depressing.  Screw it, I quit.”

I hope you read that last paragraph with a Mayan accent.

The reason these snacks gained so much popularity was the construction—Twinkie spongy goodness surrounding the creamy filling.  A perfect package.  It requires only two fingers to eat which makes cleanup only a few lick task.  It’s even simpler than a Charms blow-pop which requires the typical owl three full licks.  And the HoHos are even better.  A chocolaty outer cover which provides even more finger protection.  It’s all in the construction.

The original Oreo design was one cookie surrounded by two white creamy disks of yum.  A complete failure.  The packaging alone was a nightmare—one snack unit sticking to the next.  They had to implement individually wrapped cookies in order to make the sale.  Eventually they got wise and constructed the cookie-filling-cookie approach and sales have never been the same.  Still, you’ll find the die-hard Oreo lover tearing them apart and telling tales of the reverse Oreo from long ago.

You can’t tell me that the success of the “chocolate covered cherry” isn’t due to the order of construction.  Reverse the process and serve up some “cherry covered chocolates” and you’ll have a long line of people attempting to get a refund.  Each of them with ten sticky fingers attempting to retrieve their receipts from their pockets.

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Household Tip #77

I named this blog entry the 77th household tip because of the Star Wars lesson.  They started with episode four and years later made zillions of dollars filling in the first three movies.  Since I started with number seventy-seven, I am guaranteed that public will demand that I fill in the previous editions.  I’ll be rolling in the cash.  Genius.  Wait a minute.  No one is paying me for this blog.  Not Genius.

I don’t carry my laundry basket up the stairs often.  It’s not a chore that brings me joy—unlike cleaning a toilet.  Now there is a chore that I just can’t get enough of.  The cleaning part doesn’t produce the joy.  No one wants to clean a toilet.  The joy comes from the sitting on a cleanest toilet seat in the whole world—knowing that your butt has been placed on a surface that is 99.99% free of all household germs.  At least that’s what the bottle of cleaner claims.  A movie theater seat is only 23.78% free of all household (and public) germs.

Back to household tip #77.  Like the Dos Equis man:  I don’t always carry my laundry basket up the stairs, but when I do, I make sure the clothes and towels stand and teeter at least three feet above the height of the basket.

In my household, the four of us each have our own basket sitting next to the dryer in the basement.  When we are folding the laundry, the item gets placed into the owner’s basket.  That way, each person becomes responsible for bringing their own laundry up the stairs.  My basket often stands towering over all the others with towels, jeans, shirts, socks, and underwear.  This tower of clothes isn’t necessarily a sign of laziness.  Oh no sir.  I see it more of a challenge and a good work out.  I’m a tall guy, so if I extend my arms as low as they can go, lean slightly backwards, and use my chest as a place to support the tower of laundry, I can carry this load up two flights of stairs and receive an excellent bicep workout in the process.

So here is where household tip number 77 comes in.  When constructing the tower of clothing, and preparing for the journey up to the bedroom, do not complete the tower by placing underwear on the very top.  I did this the other day and I didn’t work out so well.  After I squatted down, placed my hands on the basket handles, adjusted my grip, and propelled the laundry tower upward like an Olympic weight lifter, the underwear at the very top of the pile was exactly at face level.  Sure, they were clean underwear, but they were still full grown men’s underwear right in my face.  In my face!  Let the challenge continue.

Well the tower of clothing started to wobble as I placed my foot on the first step.  I quickly corrected for what could have been a catastrophic-laundry-failing event by slamming my nose and chin downward onto the top of the stack.  More determined than ever, I trudged up the first flight of stairs with a renewed sense of determination and a pair of whitey-tighties pressed against my face blocking my breathing passages.

Breaking into a mild sweat, I cleared the final step of the basement flight of stairs.  I was now maneuvering around the foyer toward the upstairs flight of steps.  As I was approaching the front door with underwear pressing into my face, slowly becoming part of my inner soul, the doorbell rang.

Some of my preteen children’s friends have an annoying habit of ringing the doorbell and then immediately pressing their faces to the glass in order to watch inside the house to see who is coming to answer their call.

I continued breaking in a sweat while carrying this amazing tower of laundry.  The door bell startled me.  The big kid face pressed into the window startled me even more.  The handle of the basket sliped from my sweaty grasp.  The beautifully arranged tower of clothing collapses, covering an awesome amount of floor space in my foyer.  And I am left standing there with a pair of my own underwear clinging to the perspiration forming on my face.

I look toward the window to see this kid staring at my underwear decorated face with this odd freighted look on his glass pressed face.  He screams and runs off.

Household Tip #77:  How to teach children to ring a doorbell and respect the privacy of those inside.

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Swearing

I’m going to crank up the parental guidance just a bit for this blog entry.  Just a bit anyway.  Maybe this one will earn a strong PG-13.  You’ve been warned, you big bastard.

Swearing is on the rise.  You’ll find a cuss here and curse there.  There is swearing on television, in books, and in movies.  You’ll find it in the schools.  You’ll find it on the streets.  You might just find it in your own kitchen…

When my children were still too young to be introduced to foul language, they learned a few of the whoppers on the bus.  On the kindergarten bus.  So our lesson to them was the same lesson that we give them today.  It’s ok to swear and cuss.  You might be frowned upon if you deliver it in the wrong setting.  You may be judged as unintelligent.  But what is never ok is to use words to harm another person.  Calling someone “stupid” is far worse than talking about a bitchin’ car or talking about your shitty day.

Back to the swearing in the kitchen.  My wife had this talk with my two boys.  I was upstairs and they were sitting at the kitchen table.  After she had them on the right page and understanding the difference between needless swearing and hurting someone’s feelings, she wanted to help them get it out of their systems.  They started chanting “shit, shit, shit, shit.”  And it wasn’t a quiet chant either.  I walked down the stairs to be greeted by the “shit shit” chant.  My two boys, four and five years old, were chanting “shit, shit, shit” with the biggest grin on their sweet little faces.  Precious.

Who’s up for a little analysis?  When someone disagrees strongly with a situation, you might get to hear “that’s bull shit!”  How does that make any sense?  Its bull shit?  Like an actual pile of bull shit?  I don’t see the correlation.  If I was walking down the street and saw a real live pile of bull shit, I wouldn’t think “hey, that pile of dung is just so incredibly out of line with reality.”  No, rather, I would think, “hey, gross.”  And then I would no doubt watch where I was stepping.

“Someone just stole my wallet!  Man, that is some serious fecal matter produced by a full grown steer!”

The term “bull shit” is completely arbitrary.  You have a scenario that you are disappointed with and you claim it to be bull shit.  Why?  Why not something else equally as arbitrary?

“Someone just stole my wallet!  Man, that is some serious squirrel piss!”  Maybe that’s not gross enough.  Not likely to draw flies.  How about this?

“Someone just stole my wallet!  Man, that is some serious pig intestines!”  No, I guess bull shit just works better.

Ok, one more.  Douche bag.  In my life, I have not had the opportunity to find myself in contact with many douches.  What I am saying is, I am no expert in the field of douchology.  But I think that it’s been a long time, if not never, since there was a bag involved in this process.  I think the right term would be bottle or canister.  I think what I would like to see is a change.  I like the term bag.  I can work with that.  But let’s use something that actually has a bag involved.  How about an enema?  Would that would use a bag?

“I can’t stand that guy.  He is a real enema bag.”

But remember, it would be wrong to call someone a name.

Haven’t bought my books yet?  That’s bull shit!

Important Election Issue

A Facebook friend of mine asked me to cover a peculiar aspect of Election Day.  We’ll call him “Pat K” so that you can’t stalk him and yet he can know that I’m using his idea and thankful for it.  By the way, I went to grade school and high school with Pat K, so he is an actual friend and not just a Facebook friend.  I have a lot of Facebook friends, but most of them I picked up just hoping they would buy my book.  I don’t even know some of them.  Oh, wait, I’m not supposed to say that.  Strike that out.  I love each and every one of my Facebook friends like toothpicks at a corn-on-the-cob eating convention.

This wonderful Facebook friend posed the question “If someone votes absentee and then dies, does their vote still get counted?”  He went on to point out that a lot of people vote and a lot of people die, so logically there must be some overlap.

I looked into this scenario extensively.  As it turns out, there is an organization that tabulates the “vote from the grave” after each election.  They call themselves the “Dead Counters” which is an amusing play on “DC”.  Their goal is to tabulate the votes that should be “revoked due to death” prior to the eleventh day after Election Day when the final and official count is registered and certified by each state.  I found this information using Google on Wikipedia.  I made a call and got a hold of their spokesperson.  I attempted to conduct a short interview.  They declined to answer anything on the record because I’m just a blogger and not “reputable news agency”.  Actually, I made that last part up.  Actually, I made up the whole thing.

I was talking to my son about this issue and he came up with the flip-side of this question.  What if you vote early and then the person that you voted for passes away?  Do you get to vote again?  I doubt it.  I think you’ll be stuck with voting for a dead guy.  What if the dead guy wins the election?  What if the dead guy is still a better choice than the winner?

I have too many questions for you and not nearly enough answers.

Alright, back to the first question.  Someone really should count up those ballots from dead people.  Do you remember a couple of elections back when the vote in Florida came down to just over five hundred votes?  How many of those ballots were cast by soon-to-be-dead people?  Really, think about it.  It’s Florida.  The average age of the population in that state is one-hundred and three.  I think you really can find that on wikipedia.  There were probably at least five hundred dead votes.

Because of these questions, I’ll be voting on Election Day and not a minute sooner.  This way I’ll be reducing the odds of voting for a dead person by a dead person.

Buy my books and don’t be dead.