Monday, May 30, 2011

Price Check, Please!

Sorry, but I don't use the self-checkout line at the supermarket anymore.  I just don't and won't.  And here's why: I end up needing help anyway!  "How do I work this darn thing?!"  Call me dumb (I rather you didn't) but I don't know how to use those fancy thingamajig scanners.  "Somebody help me, please!  Anybody!"  I've tried, believe me, but I just can't get the hang of it.  "How do I ring up these squash?!-- and what about this cow tongue?!"    I remember vividly the first time I approached the do-it-yourself machine: "Good morning," I said. "Good morning to you, too," I said right back as I turned to face myself (you have to be quick on your feet).  People looked at me like I was some sort of nut.  Like I was some sort of lunatic.  I didn't like that, people looking at me all weird.  (Maybe it was the name tag and apron I put on as I struggled with the celery sticks.)  Another thing I didn't like was having to round up all those carts in the parking lot.  "Hey, this is a lot of work, here!" The last time I attempted to use the self-checkout, I got really frustrated with some fruit.  "I'm supposed to scan each grape in the bunch, right?"  Call me old fashioned but I think we all need a little human interaction every once in awhile.  I think it's healthy to want to have a friendly face smiling at me as I pay for my groceries.  "Would you like to donate a dollar to I.Q. research, sir?"  Boy, I sure wish this cashier would just go away... "Leave me alone!"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Camping Anyone?

I'm thinking of surprising my wife and kids with a camping trip this summer.  "Hey guys, let's do something different."  Why not?  I can be the outdoorsy type when I want to be.  Heck, I mow the lawn all the time.  "Don't forget your allergy pill!"   Yeah, I can be the second coming of Johnny Appleseed and Daniel Boone without a hitch.  "Hey, who took my Coonskin cap?!" Yeah, I've slept outdoors dozens of times, sometimes by choice. "-- And stay out!"  (It's awfully nice of the dog to leave a spot for me.) From what I understand, bears have moved out of state, so what's there to be afraid of?  "Spider...!  Spider...!"  Also, air conditioning is now available at all national parks, right? "Leave the temperature at 75..." Yeah, I feel like "roughin' it" for a few days, living off the land.  "This is how the pioneers lived, kids."  Yeah, I'm pretty sure my wife and daughter will have a good time, too.  "Waddya mean there's no five-star hotel?!"  I can't wait to go camping, it's going to be a blast...  I'll take the boys fishing with me, go possum hunting... "Dad, what about my Xbox?!"  Yeah, we're going to have the best time of our lives... "Sweetheart, where's the bedet?"  Who needs a crowded tourist spot like Hawaii when we have the great outdoors at our fingertips... "Don't forget the bug repellant?"  Wait a minute, are you telling me there's bugs out there?  "Big as a house."  The kind that bite every nook and cranny of the human anatomy?!  "Uh... guys, why don't we go to Disneyland instead...?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where's My Prize?

I'm really proud of myself.  No, not for saving someone from a burning building, or anything like that.  No, I'm actually really proud of myself for a successful visit to the dentist a few days ago.  "No cavities.  No bleeding gums. " Yay!  And, no, I wasn't scared.  Not one bit.  "Why are you so pale, sir?" But now that I've had time to reflect, why didn't I get a sticker?-- or  a balloon?  "Sir, are you shaking?"  I don't get it; I was a model patient.  "Go ask the dentist."  I didn't bite, I didn't gag, I didn't even cry (well, at least not that I recall).  You know, I'm starting to smell age discrimination.  "You're gonna hear from my lawyers!" Nowhere in that dental office did I see an age limit on prizes.  Nowhere.  I'll have to file a protest on my next visit.  "Maybe you should complain AFTER the dentist sees you."  In the meantime, I'll continue to practice good dental hygiene everywhere I go.  "It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President."  (I still say the Secret Service overreacted on my recent visit to the White House.) "The guy's got a weapon!"  No, actually it was my electric toothbrush...  "Uh, sorry about that, Mister..."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cool As Ice

Why do people in America take sports so seriously.  "Why?"  Case in point: Lakers fans during playoff losses.  I mean, they go absolutely berserk with every Kobe turnover and every blown layup by Derek Fisher.  Amazing... Let me tell you, I've always taken pride in staying calm, cool, and collected when rooting for our local teams.  "How do you do it?"  I'll be happy to answer that.  See, for as long as I can remember, I've had an uncanny ability to stay calm while watching tight ball games.  It's as if I'm in a trance.  Win or lose.  "Are you awake?"  In fact, people from all corners of the world have come to study my yoga-like manner during Laker games.  "You should try it, " I suggested to actor Jack Nicholson as we quietly shared popcorn during a Lakers' loss to Boston in the '08 Finals.  While I'm on the subject, something that really cracks me up is when loco fans yell at the television.  Why?  "It's not like the players can hear you."  That's mind boggling as far as I'm concerned.  I simply can't relate to such Neanderthal behavior...  "Why-are-you-yelling-at-me? I-am-just-a-flat-screen-TV." Remember, electronic devices have feelings, too.  Beside that, I've been told that many sports fanatics spew venomous language when their teams lose.  "Chill out, guys."  There's more to life than just sports, no?  Then again, I've heard of people (who shall remain nameless) who've snuck radios into church to hear ballgames.  During mass! (good luck explaining that one to Saint Pete)  Can you believe that?  "That's unbelievable."  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find a knife for my steak dinner... For some strange reason, it appears that my wife put away all sharp objects... I wonder why...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Askin' About Alaskan

So I find out a high school buddy's been living in Alaska for years.  I don't know how he does it.  I mean, who likes dressing like Chewbacca, right?  Also, having to stress that the house may turn into a giant puddle on any given day isn't cool... "Honey, our family room just melted..."  And what about having to go hunting for your own food?  No thanks.  "I'll take mine with plenty of preservatives, please."  Nothing against the people of Alaska but... What I want to know is, who lives there, beside my buddy and Sarah Palin?  At least the lines at the local shopping center aren't long... "Price check on men's polka dotted long johns!"  And what must the locals do with all that fish?  "One large salmon shake comin' right up!"  Can you imagine?  And I don't know about riding a dog sled to work, either-- "Mush!"  I mean, I can barely handle riding in a breezy convertible, let alone a vehicle that I have to stand on-- and fill up with unleaded dog biscuits! "Down, boy!"  I don't know, my buddy's trying to convince me to go for a visit, but why?  "E-mail me some pictures, instead."  What if I got lost in the snow or something...With my luck, I'd run out of food, and then what?  "Great, now I have to eat my own thumb."  Another thing to consider is the lack of neighbors for miles at a time.  "Can ANYBODY hear me?!"  And who do Alaskans "borrow" their cable signal from?  No thanks, I'll stay here in sunny California.  Beside, I wouldn't want to send my lungs into shock: "What is this, fresh air?--  Get me outta' here!"