Friday, May 31, 2013

Walkin' and Talkin' -- and Whistlin', too.

I saw a sales ad the other day.  "That's nice -- and I saw a chicken cross the road..."  The ad read: A walk-in tub at an affordable price.  I thought it was rather silly.  "How silly?  As silly as your predictable wardrobe?"  Talk about a waste of money.  "Why do you say that, Mr. Financial Guru?"  First off, why would I spend my hard-earned money on a tub to take walks in?  "I have a better question: Just how hard do you work for your money?  Because I've heard conflicting stories..."  Let me remind you all that tubs were originally intended for something other than walking.  "Yeah, to watch our rubber duckies float in a perfect line..."  Think of the drawbacks; there's only so much to look at while walking in a tub.  There's the tile, the grout -- the hand towel somebody  always forgets to wring out and hang!  "Hey, there's some very nice shower heads out there, too.  Do give them their due..."  And what's with the door on these walk-in tubs?  Are guys expected to open it for the little lady every time she steps in?  "If you're a gentleman, you certainly will..."  The existence of such doors,  should I knock first, before I swing one open?  "That reminds me -- I love knock-knock jokes!"  Well, don't look at me...  "I always try not to..."  But getting back to my original thought, I'm the first to say that there's much better places to walk than walk-in tubs.  "Really?  Such as?"  Well, I prefer a stroll in the park any day of the week.  "Even Sunday through Saturday?"  Outdoor walks allow me the chance to whistle a happy tune.  I like whistling; it get me in a good mood... "How nice -- do you take requests?"  Sadly, whistling is a dying art these days -- especially outdoors.  People just don't pucker up for the right reasons anymore... "Yeah, but whistling can be offensive to some, especially birds.  They think you're mocking them."  Oh, yes -- like who?  "The Mockingbird.  They gather their bombardier buddies, start flying overhead... Before you know it, it's 'Look out below!'"   In any case, nothing compares to taking a nice walk in the great outdoors.  "You forgot one thing: what about the land mines?"  What land mines?  "All those dog owners that don't clean up after their pets -- why carry those plastic bags if they're not going to put them to good use?!"  Don't get me wrong -- "It's hard not to since you usually are."  There probably is a market for those who prefer to take walks in their tubs, just don't include me...  "We try to exclude you as much as possible..."  I'm just not into walks that have such limited space.  Three steps and you bang against a wall -- again.  "And I thought you were dropped as a baby..."  There's also the worry that I may slip on a wet spot; that's a troublesome thought, too.  "That's why you post a sign: 'Slippery When Wet' -- as a reminder."  Maybe it's just me -- "It's you, alright."  Too much time in a bathroom puts me in a bad mood anyway.  "Maybe I can be of some assistance.  I have strategies to help flush negative thoughts from the human mind..."  To be perfectly honest, bathrooms put me in a crappy mood.  I guess they remind me of just how costly plumbers are these days.  "These days?  How about all days!"  All they care about is the bottom line.  "So, what are you going to do right now?"  Oh, I think I'll go for a nice, long walk.  "But there's thunder and lightning -- you can't go outside."  I'm not.  I'm gonna walk laps in the freight elevator next door instead...  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Servicing yourself isn't for everybody...

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you something.  "Of course I mind -- but ask me anyway."  Are you regular?  "Did you just ask me if I'm regular?"  Yes, because -- "I should slap you.  How dare you ask me if I'm regular!"  Let me -- "What business is it of yours to ask me about my business!"  No, no, let me clarify.  "Go ahead -- but when you clarify, speak very clearly."  What I'm asking is if you self-reflect on a regular basis.  I know I do.   It's a very good habit to get into, I think.  "Now that I reflect on it, how you tolerate your reflection in the mirror, I'll never know.  You're no eye candy."  Anyway, self-reflection allows us the chance to look at ourselves at a deeper level, to analyze our strengths and weakness.  "Oh, okay..."  I know it's worked for me.  "Well, right now I can tell you something's not working for you -- your breath!  Wow..."   Sorry about that -- I'll stand back...  "A little farther... farther..."  Going through the process of self-reflection, I've discovered I have this silly little phobia.  I'm almost embarrassed to talk about it.  "Oh, no phobia's too silly to talk about."  Are you sure?  You won't laugh at me?  "To do that would be cruel and insensitive."  Thank you, I appreciate it.  "I'm never cruel and insensitive -- unless you're a fly or niño del la tierra (potato bug for the monolinguals) and I'm bored, with a pair of tweezers..."  Okay so, getting back to my phobia, self-checkout at the supermarket makes me nervous.  "Say what?"  My heart starts to race, my hands get all clammy... I know, call me weird -- "I'd much prefer other synonyms.  You're afraid of self checkout?!"  Well, yeah, I -- "Excuse me while I guffaw.  Guffaw!  Guffaw!  Guffaw!  What are you, some sort of nut case?! -- that was a rhetorical question, by the way.  How'd you escape?!"  I don't know where it all started, but I just don't like the idea of ringing up my own groceries.  "Why?  What is it about handling your own papayas?"  I don't know, I just have this thing -- "Yeah, your lobotomy, what about it?"  I dread the idea of holding up a long line of cranky people as I try to figure out how to scan and bag my own stuff as I get scolded by a damn machine!  "Damn, I hate it when you say 'damn.'"  Then I have to call for assistance, and I hear the deep sighs... People mutter to themselves as they roll their eyes, waiting and waiting... That's a lot of pressure to put on a guy!  "Speaking of pressure, does the store have anything for bloating?"  I've learned the hard way that self-checkout lines aren't for everybody.  That's one of my shortcomings, I guess.  I have to learn to deal with it.  "So, uh, how do you do it when your car needs gas?  You pump your own gas, don't you?"  Well, you know those people that hang around gas stations begging for money.  "I've met a few hundred of those individuals, yes..."  Isn't it funny how their car always breaks down two blocks away?  "Yeah..."  I give them money, alright -- after they fill my tank and check all my fluids.  "Um, I suggest you go back and reflect on what you just said.  Very, very carefully..." 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Care for some bear?

I consider myself somewhat of a romantic... "Oh yeah?  Cool.  When's the last time you surprised your wife with flowers?!"  Well, uh, uh, I did surprise her with a new sports package from our cable provider the other day...  "When's the last time you took her on a romantic getaway, just the two of you."  Well, um, I am planning on getting her some Dodger tickets very soon -- for a night game.  Watching the sun set with thousands of our closest friends is always nice... "You're no romantic -- you're a termite!  A parasite!"  I'd rather you not call me that -- I met parasites up front and center on a very memorable trip to Mexico one year...  "I love Mexico -- I've gone as far south as San Diego!"  Anyway, I bring up the subject of romance because a new bit of Cupid talk was passed my way.  "Did you call me stupid? -- 'cuz if you did, that was stupid of you!"  Cupid.  I said 'Cupid!'  "Oh, never mind..."  Much to my surprise, I recently heard about the late great Marvin Gaye's music being played for, of all things, Panda bears... "And what's wrong with that?"  Come on, mood music for Pandas?  "What did you expect -- a visit to a doctor of dysfunction?"  Wait a minute, I'm being punked, right?  This can't be real.  There's no way the sounds of Let's Get It On are being played for Pandas.  "Why not? Pandas have feelings too, you know -- and needs!"  Yeah, maybe you're right... "I usually am..."  In that case, I'd like to make some suggestions to help the love-hungry bears... "Thank you, but let's  leave it to the experts..."  First off, I suggest that Pandas begin with a bear hug.  That usually breaks the ice... Then, I'd follow up with a candlelight dinner... "Hey, that's not a bad idea..."  You think so? -- I'm being sarcastic!  I mean, why do us humans have to meddle in the love life of Pandas?   Tell me, why?!  "Why?  Why ask why?"  I  really don't think Pandas need our help, do you?  "Duh.  I do think they do..."  Okay then, what else should we do for the Pandas -- love poems?  Love letters?  "Like you've ever written one."  Let nature takes its course!  "But of course.  Let the Pandas become extinct.  Will that make you happy?!"  I'm sorry, but I smell whiffs of commercialism in all this...  "I smell something else."  Before you know it, we'll be hearing about a love cruise for bears.  And let's not stop there.  "What else you got?"  Back in their cabin, the Pandas can pop in a movie to get things going: Bad News Bears, perhaps?  "You know, I can't bear the thought of how your wife puts up with you..."  Speaking of my wife, I'd recommend her favorite restaurant, but the last time I checked, most places require shoes and shirt.  Are you going to tell the Pandas they need shoes and shirt?  Are you going to dress them, be their chauffeur?  It's a lot of work.  "You're being silly -- bamboo's not even on the menu..." 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

But there's always a but...

Don't you hate it when your day is ruined?  "Hanging out with you,  I know that feeling very well..."  Things were going smoothly for me the other day, when something from my past came back to haunt me.  It's awful news... "Oh no -- ¿qué pasó? -- did your in-laws finally realize you're never going away?"  Uh, actually, it has to do with an unsolicited e-mail.  "How unsolicited was it?"  To be honest, I am partly responsible... "Oh really?  Do tell..."  The e-mail stated something along the lines of: I hate to break this news to you, but... "But what?  What did you do, you dopey dope?!  I told you to stay away from Tijuana that one spring break!"  Will you shut up and listen?  "Go on, my lips are sealed -- until my next insult."  I knew what the message alluded to, so I ignored it.  Why read it?  What's done is done... I can't waste my time rehashing the past...  "Now that you mentioned it, you're wasting my time..."  No, wait, hear me out...  "I'd rather not, but... Come on, the news can't be all that bad..."  No, it's bad.  Really bad.  You see, back in junior high school, right before graduation, I got in a fight and -- "Let me guess, she gave you a black eye."  Of course not!  It was a fat lip -- and the other guy was actually a guy.  "You sure about that?"  I'm pretty sure, yeah... Look, I don't want to disappoint anybody, but I lost that fight.  It was the only fight I ever lost.  "That week, maybe..."  No, listen, back in the day I was pretty good at defending myself.  "But you lost this particular fight..."  Right.  "Shame on you!  Booooo!  Hiss!!!  What kind of a role model are you for your sons?!"  I was so embarrassed, I tried to spin a positive out of a negative... "Don't talk like that -- it reminds me of math!"  I walked to my next class with fat lips, trying to come up with a story.  "Let me guess: you told 'em you were a Mick Jagger impersonator." No, not quite. "You were part of a bee-stung lips experiment that went horribly wrong!"  Not that, either..."I give up!"  In hindsight, I had good reason for losing that fight.  "Yeah, you were a lousy fighter -- still are!"  While the other kid was getting the best of me -- Pow!  Bam! Wop! -- I was preoccupied with getting suspended.  I mean, we were exchanging blows right by the main office.  "Correction: you were posing as a punching bag on legs."  Okay, fine... Ever since, I've often wondered what would've happened if I'd gotten caught that day.  I might've been kicked out of school, turned to the streets... My life would be so different... And now, I'm afraid my past has caught up with me.  That's what that e-mail was about, I bet.   "You have a betting problem, too?"  I'll bet you my last dime that some eyewitness finked on me after all these years...  "I gotta get you to Gamblers Anonymous  -- quick!"  I'll surely have to return to junior high to face the consequences... What do I tell my family?  What do I do?  "Beats me, but while you're at it, bring back one of them school coffee cakes, will ya?"