Friday, August 15, 2003


(He who laughs last, laughs last.)

I was on the elevator at work when three of the big supervisors got on. I tried to avoid any stupefying pleasantries and stilted conversation by giving a quick noncommital nod and returning to my magazine, but it was not to be.

"What are you reading there?" one asked.
I held up a copy of the magazine (Forbes) to show him. "I'm trying to work on some investment strategies," I said.

All three of them burst out laughing.

So, apparently, yes, I'm a heck of a funny guy. I'd be doing stand-up in the comedy clubs right now if they had a good dental plan.

"I don't have to be here ya'know. I could be basking in the sun down in Florida." - Handsome Dick Manitoba

Tuesday, August 12, 2003


Attention all online pedophiles, pederasts, perverts, and would be internet weidros. Please disengage from that AOL chat room for a second. I have news for you.

There are no 14 year old boys waiting for you at the in the park.

There are no 12 year old schoolgirls waiting for you at the mall.

Those people you have been corresponding with, messaging, chatting up: Those people are policeman, investigators, detectives. When you leave your house for your planned assignation, you will be arrested, exposed, and humiliated.

The local televisions stations and the all news radio stations will take the story and run with it. The anchors and announcers will be shocked and outraged. After your specific story and the tawdry details have been hashed and rehashed, there will be a special report on the dangers of the internet.

Consider yourselves warned.

Note: This goes double for teachers, scout masters, coaches, priests, counselors, probation officers, parole officers, and shoe salesmen.

Friday, August 08, 2003


I went to the same high school as F (who was obviously not a doctor yet), but I didn’t really know him. He was some sort of big athlete and our paths didn’t cross much. I had him figured for a gung ho rah rah All-American type. Not someone I wanted to spend a lot of time with.

F and I both ended up going to the local college. One night I walked over to the college pub. The World Series was on. Reggie Jackson hit homer run after home run. The mood in the pub was electric. All the frat boys were chanting “Reggie. Reggie. Reggie.” I noticed F walking up to the front of the pub, where the big television was. He motioned everyone to quiet down. When he had everyone’s attention he announced, “Fuck Reggie Jackson. Fuck Reggie.”

The excited Yankee fans didn’t like what they were hearing. They surrounded F and started jostling him. I was working my way through the crowd when I saw F being hustled toward the door, then being ejected. I followed him out.

“That was quite a show in there,” I said. “What was that all about?”
“I hate that whole scene,” said F. “All those morons laughing and shouting. I was trying to make them think. You walk over? Want a ride home?”

When we got to the car F opened the trunk and pulled out a baseball bat. “What’s up,” I asked.

“Just wait here for a couple of minutes,” he said. “The game’s almost over. I going back over there and hide in the bushes. When the first one of those fuckers comes out I’m going to show him what else you can use a baseball bat for.”

“Sounds like you might be a while,” I said. “Maybe I’ll just walk on home.”
“Suit yourself,” F said. “See you around”

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

SPENDING #3 ("I prefer to eat at places where they cook your food after you order it." - Calvin Trillin)

I had lunch at Arby's last week. It didn't go very well. There were two people in front of me, so I had quite a wait. Finally I got to order.

Me: I'll have a regular roast beef and small fries."
Sullen Eastern European Cashier: "We don't have small fries. Only regular and large."

Me: "Regular fries."
SEEC: "Regular fries or curly fries?"

Me: "Regular, regular fries."
SEEC: "Do you want cheese on that roast beef?"

Me: "No."
SEEG: Is this for here or to go?"

Me: "Here."
SEEC: That's $6.77

Me: "That can't be. It should be about $4.00."
SEEC: "That's $6.77"

Me: "The roast beef is $2.59. The fries are $1.29. That can't be $6.77."
SEEC stares into space. Says nothing.

It's a Mexican stand-off. I'd like to stand there as long as possible, but I'm in a screaming hurry or I wouldn't have come there in the first place, so I blink.

Me: "Can you get the manager?"
SEEC rolls her eyes, shrugs. Slumps over to the manager.

Me: "My total isn't right. I ordered a regular roast beef and small fries. That total can't be right."
Manager: "Is what?"

Me: "Is wrong!"
Manager: "You have order?"

Me: "One regular roast beef. One regular fries."
Manager: "Is $4.01"

SEEC reappears with her hand out, but before I have a chance to pay the guy behind me leans over and addresses her:

GBM: "Is there a good place to get pizza around here?"
SEEC rolls her eyes, shrugs. Slumps over to the manager.

Manager come over, GBM repeats the question. Manager brightens.
Manager: "Is right there, across the lot. Is good."

Three of the four people in line behind me turn and walk out. I pay. My food eventually shows up. I know it's mine because SEEC drops it on the counter and walks back to the register without making eye contact.

Me: "This was for here, not to go."
SEEC rolls her eyes shrugs.

I took my bag and slink and to the far corner, trying to get the gunfighter's seat. However, this Arby's had a strange configuration. It was a shotgun shack set-up and instead of the door I found myself facing a big poster of the talking Oven Mitt.

---- From Arby's Oven Mitt advertising campaign: "In November, Arby's said it would make across- the- board changes.... from restaurant image to technology, with the goal of enhancing customer experience. ...the company said most of the new technologies would provide faster service.... The company said the only process it won't work to quicken is the three hours it takes to roast its beef." ------
(The South Florida Business Journal 2/24/2003)

The fries were stone cold, the roast beef slightly less so, with the mealy consistency of wet cardboard (I won't say, "but not the taste," that would be a cheap shot.) The roll was hard on the outside edge, as in stale, not crispy. The middle was mushier than the roast beef.

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