Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's All About Joe

It really is.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Blog is Alive!

I’m back.

Yes, it has been a while since the last update of Humor, Comedy, Life and Other Random Neural Firings by Joseph Simmons. I apologize for the lack of new content, but I know my loyal readers are understanding of my needed time off. You see, great writers like Stephen King, George Will, Dave Barry and myself all need an occasional sabbatical to get the “creative juices” flowing again. Now that I’ve had my rest, I am ready to crack my knuckles and get bloggin’ again.

One thing I should mention: I would like to thank my readers for the hundreds of e-mails complimenting my writing and encouraging me to continue. Okay, maybe “hundreds” is an overstatement. It was more like “twelve”. But still, it is certainly nice to know that there were those out there in readerland who were missing me. In fact, I’ll be happy to share a few of those kind e-mails with you right now. Let’s go to my inbox:

Dear Joe,
Where do you get the nerve to call yourself a writer? This is complete garbage! You are a certified idiot. If your blog was the only website left on the web, I’d cancel my Internet service and throw a rock through my computer monitor. Why, I—

Whoops! Um, looks like I clicked on the wrong e-mail there. I wonder who that message was intended for. Uh, ha-ha, must be a zillion “Joes” on the Internet. Ha-ha. Okay, let’s try another message:

Mr. Simmons,
Congratulations and thank you for your subscription to! Your $19.99 a month subscription entitles you to unlimited—

WHOOPS! Okay, maybe we don’t need to be looking in my e-mail box, like ever again. Because you just never know what kind of, you know, um, spam, yes, SPAM, you may find in there. Anyway, my point (yes, I did have one) was, I am flattered that people are enjoying my blog, and I wish I could update it every day. Alas, as a mortgage broker I have a pretty full schedule, making daily updates impossible. Just as an example, here is a typical morning for me:

6:00 AM: Alarm clock goes off. I turn it off and immediately get up and start my day.

6:30 AM: If you believe the line for 6:00 AM, you are, no offense, a complete moron. No mortgage broker-slash-humor writer has ever willingly gotten up at six o’clock in the morning without the threat of a house fire. And even if I did smell smoke, I’d probably assume that I could still get another 45 minutes of sleep “before the fire gets real bad”.

7:00 AM: I’m still completely and thoroughly unconscious, most likely dreaming about Keira Knightley. Have not moved at all except possibly to scratch my butt.

7:30 AM: Alarm actually goes off. I don’t even touch it. I just glare at it. It knows. It turns itself off and apologizes. I go back to sleep.

7:39 AM: Alarm goes off again. I slam on the “snooze” button. I say to the alarm clock, “I probably should go ahead and get up”. We both have a hearty laugh as I go back to sleep.

7:48 AM: Alarm goes off yet again. I reach for the “snooze” button again, but this time it dodges my hand. I reach to slam it again. It jukes me again. I curse at it. It replies, “No more snoozes, lazy ass!” “Please, one more!” I reply. It asks, “Do you promise to replace my emergency battery? I’ve had the same dead 9-volt since the Clinton administration!” I agree to.

7:57 AM: Alarm goes off for the final time. Instead of hitting snooze, I actually turn it off. I sit up…then I crawl back into bed. The alarm clock is powerless. I chuckle.

8:34 AM: I wake to a constant whining. As I slowly obtain clear vision, I notice I am looking directly at my dog’s eyes, and she is telling me, in no uncertain terms, that she will not be held responsible for any mess that is created if I don’t let her outside right now.

Of course at that point I am up, so I get ready for work and then actually go. Of course, I can’t blog while I’m at the office…it would interfere with all the sitting around I have to do. And I work late hours a lot, so that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time in the evening to write either. Even on the days I do get home at a decent hour I usually spend that extra time drinking two-for-one beers at happy hour volunteering or spending quality time with my family.

Ahh…but not to worry. I now know that I have a responsibility to my readers. So I will make every effort possible to find the time to keep this blog updated with a new essay at least once a week, with maybe a humorous blurb in-between. Because I know, deep in my heart, that every one of you will thank me by clicking on my Google ad above.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What Was I Writing About Again?

I was taking a shower recently when a question struck me. It was the question that every man approaching his mid-thirties eventually asks himself, and it is an indication of his maturation, experiences, mortality, and where he is in his life:

“Um, did I already wash my hair?”

Yes. I was actually standing in my shower, water splashing on me, while I wracked my brain for several seconds trying to remember whether I had already shampooed. This is very frustrating, since I have to imagine that most people would recall something that happened only a few seconds prior. Apparently, I do not have this “gift”, so I had to play the part of Shower Detective, testing the crime scene and looking for clues:

First Test, Running My Fingers Through My Hair: Um, it felt like wet hair. Inconclusive.

Second Test, Looking on the Shower Floor for Drips of Spilt Shampoo: I found two pounds of body hair, three ancient shards of Dial, a mildew colony so developed it has its own navy, about a half pound of wet dog fur, but no shampoo. Inconclusive.

Third Test, Inspecting the Shampoo Bottle Cap: This tells me nothing. I knew it wouldn’t tell me anything. I have no idea what I was expecting to find there. Maybe a little sign that said, “Yes, you’ve already shampooed you moron”. Inconclusive.

So, I was forced to do what I pretty much knew I would have to do all along: shampoo my hair, perhaps again. I had no idea whether it was the first or second time. But at least it was going to be clean.

So what the heck is going on with my memory? Does this have to do with me reaching the age of 35? I had always thought memory loss was something that happened when you got old. (And I when I say “old”, I mean “way older than I am right now, even though I am not as young as some of you loyal readers, but I really don’t want to hear about that right now, so why don’t you just shut up?”) My memory should not be wreaking havoc with my life the way it has. I mean, here is another recent shining example of how it has affected my morning routine:

Day One Shower: I notice that I am almost out of “body wash” (whatever it is called—the liquid stuff that replaced soap), so I make a mental note to make sure to stop at the grocery store that night and pick some up.

Day Two Shower: I curse myself as I realize that I had forgotten to buy body wash the night before. I squeeze as much as possible out of the old bottle and tell myself to definitely stop that night to pick some up, because there is nothing left in this bottle.

Day Three Shower: I berate myself as I realize that my idiot brain had forgotten again to pick up body wash. I squeeze and squeeze the old bottle, mostly just making fart noises. I end up somehow showering with about two molecules of the liquid soap. I make a mental note to absolutely, positively, definitely go to the store tonight to pick some up. No one can forget something three days in a row.

Day Four Shower: Shower with Hartz flea and tick shampoo.

Even after my shower, my memory affects my routine. For example, sometimes I’ll be staring at myself in the mirror* after my shower when I will suddenly think to myself, “have I brushed my teeth already?” And I will have NO IDEA what the answer to that question is. This means I have to go through yet another search for clues (“Is the toothpaste out? Is my toothbrush wet? Does my mouth taste like a goat’s ass?”) before I can leave the house for work.

So, is there a solution to this problem? And, is it really a problem, or just a product of nature? Is this something I can deal with? And furthermore, what was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, my memory. I had another point to make here, but I forgot what it was.

*Never for more than 15 minutes. I’m not a complete narcissist. Okay, maybe 30 minutes. Alright, an hour tops!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Apologies for Lack of Blogging, Episode 2: Procrastination Strikes Back

I am very sorry for my lack of blogging lately. I’ve just arrived back in Florida, having been out of the country for a while now. I wanted to post my latest column before I left, but due to my rigid, strict schedule of procrastinating doing any sort of packing or preparing for my first-ever international trip until the night before I left (“Where do I apply for a passport at 3 am?”), I really had no time.

By the way, what a wonderful vacation! I can hear the pangs of jealousy whenever I tell people where I went. Everybody reacts with the same excited response:


Don't worry...they weren't fooling me by hiding their envy with confused looks.

Anyway, I went to Riga, Latvia. It is the capital city of the northernmost of the three Baltic States in Eastern Europe. I have a friend from there who invited me, and she was nice enough to be my tour guide for my entire stay. I have begun to write about my experiences there, so you’ll be able to read about my trip in an upcoming blog (estimated posting date: February 2008).

Okay, unlike a lot of bloggers, I have this thing called a “job” and I need to get there pronto. Look for an update within the next day or two.

Special note for my sister Lori: At last count, I still have two kidneys and one liver, and the only torture device I encountered during my trip was my hotel-room shower. So I guess I made it okay.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

To All the Naysayers Who Said I'd Never Find a Girlfriend (UPDATED!)

My latest attempt at dating Posted by Picasa

In case you are confused: no, I have not settled down yet. This picture was taken with a crappy cell phone camera, which is probably good since the "special effects" consisted of my sister holding a Barbie Doll with her hand as she was taking a picture of me on the couch.

All you ladies jealous yet?

UPDATE: I regret to announce that our relationship is over. While I definitely enjoyed the conversation (I noticed that I seemed to do most of the talking, which was fine with me), I found her to be too materialistic and plasticky for my tastes. I mean, come on, a pink Corvette with her name all over it? The real deal-breaker, though, was all the weird positions I'd find her in on my niece's bedroom floor. I'm thinking she needs to lay off the cosmopolitans a little.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Where Would I Be Without the Support of My Sister?

(I was on the phone recently with my sister Lori discussing, among other things, a new update for my blog. I’m struggling a little on my latest column, and this is definitely not it. However, I thought this conversation was too funny NOT to post. Oh, and bear in mind that my sister is a website designer with a incredibly expensive digital camera, whereas I wouldn’t know HTML unless it’s printed on the bottom of a Miller Lite bottle and I think I got my digital camera free with five proofs-of-purchase of Cap’n Crunch. Therefore, along with her world-renowned sarcasm, she is also an Internet elitist snob.)

Lori: That picture you posted of your bumper sticker is terrible. It isn’t properly cropped and the resolution is really poor.

Me: Could you make out what the bumper sticker said?

Lori: Well…yes.

Me: Then yeah, I'm sure there are people out there that are thinking, “Well, I would have laughed at the sticker, but the humor is just killed by the cropping”.

Lori: (Laughs)

Me: Face it: you’re jealous that I am a skyrocketing Internet star and you’re a piece of roadkill on the Information Superhighway.

Lori: Oh, yeah, sure you are. They might even make a movie about you. They could get Tattoo from Fantasy Island to star.

Me: Whatever. I think they’d have to have Keanu Reeves play the part of me, though I’m not sure he’s good-looking enough.

Lori: Plus, I don’t think he has the acting range to play someone that dumb.

Me: Whatever. They’d probably get Janeane Garofalo to play you, though I’m not sure she is sarcastic enough.

Lori: Whatever. They’d probably get Screech from Saved by the Bell to play you, but I’m not sure he’s ugly enough.

Me: Whatever. Maybe they’d try to get Jessica Simpson to play you, but she’s not airheaded enough.

Lori: Whatever! Maybe they’d get Tom Cruise to play you…oh, wait, he’s probably heterosexual.

Me: OHH! So we’re going to the gay jokes now? Okay, let’s see, they’d probably get Rosie O’Donnell to play you…

(In case you are wondering how this conversation ended, IT HASN’T. Verbal volleys have been going back and forth all day, most of it unprintable, and will recommence with the next phone call. Love ya, Sis.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

I've been wracking my brains (I have more than one) trying to make up some humorous crap for a new column. Silly me...I forgot the best humor comes from real life:

You can’t make this stuff up (Part I): I knew today would be just a banner day from the moment I woke up all the way to the moment I yawned, stretched and threw out my back.

Yes. What a way to start the day. I apparently “slept wrong”. This is an amazing concept to me. I’ve screwed up a lot of things in my life, but I’ve always learned from my mistakes and moved on. So exactly how do you screw up sleeping? Is there a manual? Did I not follow the directions? And how am I supposed to learn a lesson from this? Am I supposed to never yawn again?

Anyway, I knew I was going to have to go get a chiropractic adjustment and some muscle treatment. My chiropractor is extremely competent and books up fast, and I also knew that on Wednesdays and Fridays he only works a half-day. His customer service motto is “never miss a tee time”. So I groped for my cell phone and called his office. They said he was already booked, but that they could squeeze me in if I got there in 10 minutes.

At this point, I should back up and mention that I had worked out at the gym the night before and immediately went to my parents’ house for dinner. I ended up staying the night and woke there the next morning. So I probably smelled like an old gym bag, had no time for a shower, brought no fresh clothes to change into, and had ten minutes to get to the chiropractor or else suffer excruciating back pain for an entire weekend. I had no choice. I had to go “as-is”.

So I lurched Frankenstein-like to the front door to grab my gym shoes, when suddenly I felt a warm wet sensation under my left foot.

“Oh,” my dad said. “ I think your damn dog peed on the carpet again.”

Now I was livid. I had no other socks to wear. I had to make a choice:

1. Have my chiropractor fix my back, while exposing him to a refreshing aromatic blend of bad B.O., old gym clothes, and dog urine, or
2. Stagger around for three days randomly yelping.

Well, let’s just say I’m glad my chiropractor didn’t charge me extra. He probably, however, took his adjustment table out back and burned it.

You can’t make this stuff up (Part II): This afternoon, I was working on a mortgage file when I received a phone call:

“Hi, this is so-and-so* from Collision Revision and Neal told me to call you.”

Not shocking so far. I have a friend named Neal that works for an auto-body shop. “Hi, how are you?” I replied.

“I’m great,” she said. “Listen, we’ve had a Ford Expedition here for a few days now, and we’d really like to begin working on it. However, there’s a problem. You see, the thing is, it is absolutely infested with cockroaches. And we can’t bring a vehicle like that into one of our bays, because they’ll crawl around and lay eggs in the other vehicles.”

“Um…okay,” I said, wondering where this was going.

“Can you believe it?" She asked. “A vehicle with roaches EVERYWHERE. I don’t know how these people live. Anyway, I don’t know if you handle automobiles, but we would like to use your services. We understand it is an unusual request.”

“Well,” I said. “It is definitely an unusual request of a mortgage broker. I rarely deal with extermination. Though I have been to some real estate closings that made humans want to die.”

“You’re WHAT? I’m sorry! I think Neal gave me the wrong Joe.”

“Yes, I think so. And tell him he still needs to repaint my front fender.”

You can’t make this stuff up (Part III): Here’s a tip for all you up-and-coming humor writers: Try not to piss off an entire gender. About a week ago I posted a column where I blamed all chain e-mails solely on women. Since then, I have received countless e-mails from women saying things like:

1. They receive chain e-mails from men all the time.
2. Their uncle sends them three chain e-mails a day.
3. They personally never forward chain e-mails.
4. I should do some research before I write anything.
5. I am very unfunny.
6. My work is comparable to excrement.

By way of sincere apology, let me announce to all of those who complained that everyone has a different view on this matter, and yours is wrong. REAL men would never send a chain e-mail. The only way you received a chain e-mail from a man is that he is a man hiding an “alternative” lifestyle. I also promise you that he took great care not to distribute the chain to any other men. (Really! Go check!)

One side benefit to that column is that I’ve now become a Fabulous Famous Internet Star…to a group of about 20,000 female scrapbookers. I am not making this up. (I KNOW this is a Dave Barry catchphrase, dammit. But what am I supposed to say? I’m really not making this up!) A fellow blogger announced on a scrapbooking message board called Two Peas in a Bucket (don't ask...I have NO idea what it means) that I had made fun of all women, and therefore she wanted to play a practical joke on me. She asked everyone to post comments on this blog claiming that they forwarded my column to all of their friends, wonderful things happened as a result and that chain letters really worked.

Well, as the old saying goes, "you have to get up pretty early in the morning to put all your eggs in one basket with your shoe on the other foot up a tree with the wool over my eyes". My site meter tells me where the referring website is that I get each visitor from. So I went to that message board, registered as a member, and let them know that they were busted. I was very friendly, and I have been posting there pretty regularly ever since. They seem like a group of wonderful caring women, and as a token of their sincere appreciation, they make sure to continue to bash me daily.

And finally, the most miraculous thing to happen today: I got my craptop computer back!

For those that haven’t been following this ongoing saga, I was pretty sure the Second Coming was going to happen before I would ever be stroking this keyboard again. However, I received an e-mail yesterday saying that my craptop was ready and being shipped. So when I heard the doorbell ring earlier today, the first thought through my mind (other than “I am almost positive I paid the electric this month”) was “Can this be?”

It was. Thank goodness. I can blog again. I’m BACK, baby!

*Obviously, her name wasn’t “so-and-so”. It was “what’s-her-face”.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hopefully, My Final Laptop Update

Yes, yes, yes, I know that it has been a while since my last blog. I’m still working on my latest column, and this isn’t it. In fact, this is not an attempt at humor at all. I just absolutely had to post this wonderful piece I just received in my e-mail:

We are pleased to inform you the following product has shipped from our
service department:
Product: Portable 450ROG
Serial #: xxxxxxxxxx
Shipping address: xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Account: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Simmons, Joseph
I have been without my craptop computer for over three weeks, people. No matter how incompetent customer disservice has been and no matter how mad I should be about how I’ve been treated, I am just ecstatic to know I am finally getting it back. My life has been a disorganized mess without it. (It was also a disorganized mess with it, but that is not my point.)

For my attempts at turning my craptop nightmare into humor click here, here, and here.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Breaking the Chains

I know that I should rarely use the word “hate” because it has such strong negative connotations, but sometimes the situation just calls for it:

I HATE chain e-mails.

For those that have been living in the Antarctic (which is only slightly colder than it has been here) for the last twenty years, a chain e-mail is simply an e-mail that claims if you forward it to a certain amount of people, a good thing will happen to you; If you ignore it, I don’t know, I guess your family will eat you or something. Chain e-mails are only forwarded on by a certain gullible, illogical segment of society. In order not to embarrass anyone, I’ll refer to this particular segment using only the term “women”.

Yes, it is ALWAYS women. I have no idea why women believe what they read in chain e-mails. Maybe the Y chromosome is what gives a person the ability to discern a serious message from a prank. Maybe estrogen is logic-depleting hormone. Maybe testosterone makes you intelligent enough to realize that forwarding an e-mail message will not give 7 cents to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or help pay for an imaginary child's bone marrow transplant (Why didn't I think of this? To think all this time I've been frittering my money away on health insurance). I don’t know. I do know this: ever since I got on the Internet in 1995, I have never, ever received a chain e-mail from a man. We men are simply too busy to spend time on such stupid nonsense. We use the Internet for serious business, like writing memos, checking stocks, forwarding nasty jokes, viewing pornography, etc.

The thing is, it is usually hard to get mad at the generally well-intentioned women who send chain e-mails to me, because all they are guilty of is having the common sense of road tar. That is why I usually send a very polite note back to them that says something like “please die already” or “have you thought about a lobotomy?” I wish I could send a message to every woman in the world who ever forwarded a chain e-mail saying:

Attention Moron:

1. Good things don’t happen as a result of sending chain e-mails.
2. Bad things don’t happen as a result of not sending chain e-mails.
3. A bad thing WILL happen as a result if you ever send ME a chain e-mail.

Your loving blogger,

P.S. Are you smoking hot? If so, I was only kidding about the “moron” thing. And, what are you doing Friday?

But it wouldn’t make a difference. No matter what anyone says, women won’t stop forwarding this crap. Like the old saying goes, “There’s a sucker born every minute” (this explains my burgeoning readership). So I guess I have no choice but to take full advantage of it. In fact, I’ve already started. That’s right…you are now reading a chain blog. You have to forward the link to this blog to ten of your friends in the next twenty minutes. If you do, something good will happen to you in the next twenty-four hours. If you don’t, something horrible will happen to you by the end of the day.

This is absolutely true! Ken Simmons of Cape Coral, FL forwarded this blog, and won the lottery without even buying a ticket. Doug Holland of Cashiers, NC failed to forward it and had his arm yanked out of its socket by a wood chipper. Evita Iljenkova of Riga, Latvia forwarded it to twelve people, and she received a call from a long-lost friend. Allan Wells of Atlanta, GA ignored it and died from a heart attack related to a fried pork skins overdose. Jason Teeters of Fort Myers, FL forwarded it and got a call from an NFL team for a tryout. Troy Neher of Plant City, FL failed to forward it and got hit by a municipal bus. Larry Roth of Farmington, MI forwarded this blog and became engaged to be married. Also, something good happened to him. Domenic J. Valentine of Cape Coral, FL ignored this blog and got slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Traci Wilcox of Cape Coral, FL forwarded this blog and got a huge raise despite the fact that she is not employed. Lori Holland of Cashiers, NC didn’t forward this link and suffered a concussion in a sledding accident. (Luckily this only affects the brain, so no real loss was suffered here.)

So don’t be a fool! Learn from the mistakes of these 100% true examples! You CAN control your own destiny! Start by sending this website's link to everyone you know!

Only, don’t send it to me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Winter Sports, the Suicidal Way

I am considering flying up to visit my sister and participate in some winter sports, which just proves how prolifically stupid I am. My sister, Lori, lives in a small town called Cashiers, located in the mountains of western North Carolina. It is a beautiful area that, during February and March, can get quite a bit of snow. This allows her and her family to partake in certain winter activities that we never could as children growing up in Florida. Now I see that this was probably a good thing.

The story: Recently they had a good amount of snow fall, so her family and a few of their good friends decided to drive to a small hill and take advantage of it. Now, at this time you are probably wondering, “I wonder what exciting equipment Lori used to go down the hill? Skis? A snowboard? A sled?” The answer, as I understand it, was that she used mostly her face.

Apparently just before Lori’s incident, a family friend named Rick had successfully negotiated the hill with three children using two sleds. The way he did this was by having my niece, nephew, and his grandson (all ages 10 and younger) on the front sled while he, in a face-first, stomach-down position, held on and “steered” from behind on the rear sled. Now, if you are about to get all upset and gripe about how dangerous this was and ask me what kind of backwoods redneck would do this, STOP RIGHT NOW. Listen, Mr. or Ms. Smarty-Pants: as EVERYONE knows, when sledding down a hill there is always the possible danger of hitting a tree. That’s why leading winter activity experts all agree: you should always have at least three expendable children in front you to cushion the blow.

Anyway, after Rick somehow safely got to the bottom of the hill, Lori’s kids started begging to do it again. My sister, understandably fearing for her precious loved ones' safety, immediately declared, “Sounds GREAT! Let me steer!” So she, apparently utilizing the common sense of road salt, climbed onto a sled in the exact same position Rick was in, this time with four children on a different sled in front that she was responsible for navigating. There were only two problems with this plan:

1. If I am asked to describe Lori’s athletic prowess in two words, those words would be “website designer”. (Experts agree that website designers should not participate in any athletic endeavor that requires a separation of their office chair and their hindquarters.)
2. The new "child" was in fact a 24 year-old woman who was (this was apparently unforeseen by the group) taller than the other kids. This prevented Lori from being able to see anything past the first sled. (Experts agree that this is usually a requirement for “steering”)

They decided to follow the same path Rick did, which presented another problem: Rick’s run had packed down what was once fresh-fallen snow, making the track harder and a LOT faster. This became apparent as soon as they pushed off. The sleds accelerated to dangerous levels of speed very quickly. The three young children immediately began screaming for my sister to slow the sleds down. The 24 year-old, who was a family friend named Stacey, began wondering exactly how she came to be a friend of this particular family. Lori, on the second sled alertly scanning for any dangers looming on Stacey’s back, began wondering whether her health and life insurance premiums were up to date.

Lori’s husband Doug, who up to this point had apparently been back near their vehicle preparing for the strenuous day of winter activities by drinking beer, climbed to the top of the hill just in time to see the sled of screaming Mensa candidates (I know this is a Dave Barry catchphrase, but “Screaming Mensa Candidates” really would be a great name for a rock band) rocketing uncontrollably down the hill at near mach I. “Who are the idiots doing that?” he asked himself. “And by the way, where is my wife?”

Back on the sleds, a weird level of calm was maintained, as long as you define “calm” as the mad screaming only heard when death is certain. Suddenly, they came to a three-foot drop that, luckily, they handled with the smooth precision of a train wreck. Details are sketchy about what happened next (unconsciousness tends to have that effect), but apparently everyone was thrown from their sled in a big ball of appendages and open screaming mouths. My sister’s sled actually disappeared from underneath her, causing her to land face-first in the snow.

Lori really did lose consciousness briefly, and the other passengers sustained very minor injuries. However, I am happy to report the most important thing: I was not there. I have poked a lot of fun at my sister and her friends in this essay, but believe me, if I were taking part with them (“Go ahead, Joe! It’s perfectly safe! Your job doesn’t require you to be able-bodied, does it?”), funeral arrangements would be in place by now. As it was, everyone is now safe and sound.

So, I plan to visit Lori and her family very soon. Like maybe this summer.

For my sister’s account of this, please go to her blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Laptop Update, Part IV

I called my computer manufacturer Monday afternoon to find out the status of the craptop I sent in for a warranty repair the previous Wednesday. After keying in, at a conservative estimate, 1,826 touch tone prompts, I talked to someone who said that the latest, most up-to-date news is that they received it safe and sound last Thursday morning.

“Wait, no one’s worked on it?” I asked.

“Well, they may not have updated the repair order in our system,” he replied. “Call again tomorrow.”

Good thing I sent it priority overnight! I bet no one’s worked on it at all. It probably hasn’t even been turned on. I bet when they opened the box they laughed and decided to use it as a TV tray in the break room. Or they propped it underneath the short leg of a chair so the 350 pound man that sits there would stop rocking back and forth. Tomorrow at the company softball game they’ll probably use it for third base. Then they’ll dust it off, put it back in the box, include a note that says, “COULD NOT REPLICATE THE PROBLEM”, and ship it back to me.

The damn thing will probably work, too. Until the warranty runs out next month, that is.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Now For Five Complaints

(In order to keep this blog “family friendly”, I had to make small, hardly noticable edits of a very few words that some may find offensive. If you pay REAL close attention, you may see some of the editing.)

Complaint #1. I ----ing HATE this --- ---- ------ ----ing COLD WEATHER! Jack Frost can KISS MY ----- ---! GO ----ing AWAY! I LIVE IN --- ---- FLORIDA!

Complaint #2. Why is it that every time I make a small purchase in cash, the total always comes to some annoying amount like $11.03 and I never have any change in my pocket? I always end up standing there with a stupid grin on my face, hoping to get the “ah, just forget about it”, but apparently three cents is too much to let slide, so I either have to run out to the car in freezing wet temperatures for three miserable pennies or accept enough change in coins to start my own register, which I eventually put in the cup holder of my car, where they never get used except to collect a gooey substance on them, which makes me so mad that I have to come home and compose a blog entry with such a horrible run-on sentence that I can’t even remember if I started it as a statement or a question. (or possibly, “?”)

Complaint #3. Speaking of cup holders, I own a Honda S2000, which is a wonderful car and an absolute blast to drive. However, if J.D. Powers and Associates ever contacts me, I will definitely nominate my car for Worst Cup Holder of the Year. It is located right in front of the gear shifter, meaning I have to choose between having my drink in a cup holder or, you know, shifting gears. The few times I do use it, the drink is usually teetering so badly because of the $67.28 in spare change underneath it that if I hit the accelerator it topples over so that my refreshing beverage spills into the cup holder itself. I usually end up using my patented CrotchHolder, but whenever I hit the brakes my drink is a threat to tilt and spill back into my pants. I’ve spilled enough McDonald’s Diet Coke in my car to fill an Olympic pool.

Complaint #4. I now have FIVE unfinished columns for this blog. One of them is absolutely hilarious, but you’ll have to take my word for it because I’ll probably never finish it. Apparently all I can do anymore is start columns. Seriously. However, I absolutely promise to finish this one.

Complaint #5. (Joe, remember to put in a fifth complaint and finish this blog)

Quick Update to My Quick Update

I am e-mailing my partially-completed column to my parents' computer to finish it over at their house. The reason I am doing this is because I'm mooching yet another free meal um, I mean, unlike my computer, theirs tends to be fully booted up within approximately the same year that you hit the "on" button. Their computer also doesn't usually require multiple restarts while scolding me for not shutting it down correctly. I can do nothing right with my own computer. It's just like having a girlfriend.

I apologize for the delay. I am counting the minutes until I get my craptop computer back.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Quick Update

Note to my many loyal readers: I finally got my craptop computer shipped to the manufacturer for repair. Until I get it back (allow six years for this), updates may be less frequent. I know what you are saying. You are saying, “How can it possibly be LESS frequent than it has been?” You should show me more respect, loyal reader. When I become famous, do you really expect me to allow you in my entourage with all the complaining you do?

Anyway, I almost have the new column complete. It will be another work of literary brilliance. However, it takes a little longer to compose a humor column when you have to restart an old computer after every third word. It’s hard to be funny when you are constantly screaming obscenities at an eight year-old monitor.

That was NOT a joke. This computer really is eight years old. I bought it with my then-girlfriend in 1998, and when we broke up later that year I had to write her a check for the half she originally paid for. Lauren, if you are reading this, I want my money back. Also, I’m now a multi-millionaire writer that dates only supermodels. I just want the money back on principle.

Anyway, I, as a professional writer, just wanted to post a quick update for my loyal readers. You can tell this is a quick update because it is all in italics. You probably didn't know that. You probably thought that I accidentally hit the "italics" button on my web page editor. You are pretty stupid, loyal reader. Don't worry. All you have to do is keep reading my website daily and your IQ will jump by leaps and bounds. And, if you REALLY want to become a genius, make sure to click on one of my Google ads every day.

Expect the new column to be posted by Friday (2/10) afternoon at the latest.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Coming Soon to This Very Blog: Actual Humor!

Due to the immense popularity of this blog (four readers and counting!), I now have people who want to post guest columns. A very good friend of mine named Larry wrote a good article on his view of women and their “market value” in the singles market. I plan to post it online as soon as I have time to draw on my elite web programming expertise and figure out how the hell to do it. Since it is a long opinion piece designed to make people think (usually frowned upon in this blog), I would have to figure out a way to post a “teaser” of it with a link to the rest of the article. I told Larry that I needed to do this so it wouldn’t take up the whole front page and confuse the readers that come here just for the humor.

“Humor?” he asked. “You're putting in a humor section on your blog? That's terrific; as one of your readers, I can't wait.”

In case you, the loyal reader, ever wonders how I came to be such a smartass, please remember this enlightening story.

Laptop Update: Since I posted an article on January 26th illustrating the problems with my laptop computer, I am sure many of you have assumed that I’ve already taken the necessary steps and had it repaired.

You stupid fool. Apparently, you have no idea what kind of procrastinator you are dealing with. The only steps I have taken to get my laptop repaired are any steps that specified bitching about it. In my defense, in that phone call on the 26th, they said they were going to e-mail me shipping instructions. They did not. So I am about to make the dreaded phone call to Customer Disservice again. I am not optimistic. All I am asking for is that, whoever I talk to, please have a triple-digit IQ. I know many of you are probably wondering who this manufacturer is. In order to protect this fine company, I will not reveal anything, except to say that their name rhymes with Dategay.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make the dreaded call. If you never see me post here again, you can safely assume I am in prison and that somewhere there is a customer service person with a laptop jammed in a very unnatural place.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My One and Only MySpace Survey

First and foremost, I have to warn my loyal readers: do NOT join It starts off as something boring and stupid, yet when you are a member long enough you find yourself on it constantly, looking for old friends, checking your messages, looking at your friends' friends, checking your comments, looking at your friends' friends' friends, checking your messages, postingcommentsfillingsurveyscheckingyourmessageslooking
atfriends'newestfriendsAAAAGH!!!! Yes, it can be that addicting. And the thing is, the website itself is very poorly designed (read:ugly) and always down. I suspect that the server they use is a 1995 IBM 486SX with 4 megabytes of RAM. Yet, somehow it is a phenomenon.

Anyway, one of the popular things to do on this website is to fill out surveys, which you then forward to all of your "friends" (mutual contacts to your profile), so they can fill it out and forward back to you and all of their friends. I think it is kind of stupid, but last week, when I was incredibly sick, I had absolutely nothing better to do so I filled one out. I have received quite a few messages since then letting me know how funny it was, so I decided I would share it with my blog's loyal readers so I can get an easy column out of it so they can enjoy it also.

Here it is:

Body: The Honesty Quiz

1.Honestly, where are you now?
My parents' house because I'm sick as a dog and when I am sick I want to be babied.

2.Honestly, have you ever failed a subject in high school?
Yes, due to blatant immaturity I managed to fail "Biology", "Parking in the Correct Lot", and "Attendance"

3.Honestly, what's on your mind?
Getting over this God-forsaken miserable cold

4.Honestly, what is it that you really should be doing right now?
Marketing mortgage-related services

5.Honestly, have you brushed your teeth today?
No, because that would require opening my mouth, which causes instant pain in my throat

6.Honestly, are you a good friend?
A GREAT friend, unless you expect birthday and holiday cards on time...

7.Honestly, do you think school is important?
I think it helps you become a more complete person, but it is not neccesary (neccessary? necessary? I NEVER get that damn word right!)

8.Honestly, what are your dreams mostly about?
sex <-- this was the answer left by the previous survey taker, but it works for me

9.Honestly, who/what makes you happy most of the time?
See the answer to question 8. Also writing humor on my blog (

10.Honestly, what hobbies do you have?
Hmm... I guess that would be writing on, and Madden 2006.

11.Honestly, what song are you listening to?
The voices in my head are singing something, but I can never understand what they are saying.

13.Honestly, who do you want to see at this very moment?
My bed. I'd also love to see you learn how to count.

12.Honestly, do you have a deadly disease?
I am stricken with procrastinationism. I know what to do about it, but I'll get around to doing it later.

13.Honestly, do you hate someone right now?
I don't hate anybody. I am very good at empathy.

14.Honestly, do you wanna hug someone right now?
I'd hug Osama bin Laden if he could make this sore throat go away.

15.Honestly, are you bored right now?
I'm filling out a stupid survey, aren't I?

16.Honestly, who do you wanna slap right now?
Anyone who says, "Come on, just one more!" (If you don't get this, read my blog)

17. Honestly, would you rather be having sex right now?
Um, duh--I'm a man. I could be at a presentation honoring me with the Pulitzer Prize and I'd still rather be hooking up with the female CNN reporter in the front row covering the ceremony.

18. Honestly, are u single?

19. Honestly, does anyone like you?
Everybody likes me. See my bumper sticker on

That was it! That is the kind of mindless chatter that goes on all day on I need to delete my profile and quit going to that site.

Oh, and I have started three columns for this blog, but none of them are ready yet. If you don't know how anyone can have three columns started and none finished, then you obviously don't have A.D.D. (Look into getting it! It's great when you are trying to accomplish absolutely nothing!)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go. I must check my MySpace messages IMMEDIATELY.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Yes! Even a Moron Like You Can Win!

I have to apologize in advance because I will be out of town on business for the next two days and will not be able to update this blog until Tuesday evening at the earliest. I realize the incredible disappointment and even emotional trauma this may cause some of you, so I have a special treat for my loyal readers.

You see, I've noticed recently that I can't go to a single website anywhere on the Internet without seeing some ugly flashing ad screaming at me that I've already won an iPod or a Motorola Razr or some other hot product that, no offense, only a complete moron would think they could actually win. I mean, only the stupidest of idiots would think they could click an Internet link and get something for nothing! Plus, they make you fill out a bunch of surveys and it's a real pain and you don't end up getting anything.

Um, so I heard.

ANYWAY, I have decided that enough is enough. Since I won't be able to post for the next two days, maybe my loyal readers can, and be rewarded for doing so! So for the next two days, anyone who posts a comment anywhere on this blog wins a 42" Sharp Aquos Plasma TV!* That is right! I am asking you to participate, and I'm paying you to do it! So take advantage of this right now! I'll see you Tuesday night!

*No need to look at the fine print here...everything the author said is true! Except the part where you get a TV.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

January 28th, 2006: A Day That Will Live in Infamy

As most of my closest friends know, I am a very easy-going, friendly, and peaceful person. That is why it is so painful for me to announce that Humor, Comedy, Life, and Other Random Neural Firings by Joseph Simmons has no choice but to declare war.

The story: there is currently a blog on the Internet right now that, at first glance, appears to be a nice, friendly blog about a nice, friendly family living a nice, friendly life in a nice, and of course friendly, town called Cashiers, North Carolina. Don’t let it fool you! This blog is actually the work of the nefarious Lori Holland, also sometimes known as the “Evil Web Mistress” or “My Bratty Little Sister”.

Anyway, she recently wrote a column, located here, that makes your loyal blogger, the Pulitzer Prize-deserving Joe Simmons, look stupid. How DARE she! That’s MY job! No one does that better than I!

Uh, wait, that came out wrong. Anyway, if you want the link to the main page of her blog (so you’ll know where to never, ever go), it’s on the right side of this page in the navigation bar under “links”. I also added a link to a brand-new website called, that is a revolutionary concept in news. It’s brilliant and thought-provoking, and my excitement and enthusiasm should in no way be minimized by the fact that I've been asked to write for it. (Luckily for, my blog is not currently at war with them.)

As far as my sister is concerned, she and her husband Doug own and operate at least four websites, all lovingly designed and updated in a heartfelt, humanitarian effort to avoid gainful employment. Doug, in his spare time (also known as "the hours he's not asleep"), also runs, a site that supports Branson, Missouri tourism. I love my sister and brother-in-law dearly, but let me assure you that their hindquarters are currently “adapting” to meet their web-programming needs as you read this.

So, I encourage you, the loyal reader, to visit their sites frequently. However, I ask that anytime you visit my sister's evil enemy blog, please show your support for me by spitting on your monitor.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Unreliable Laptop Leads to Dreaded "Customer Service" Phone Call

I was just working on my latest blog entry, entitled “The Column That Apparently Will Never Be Finished in This Lifetime”, when my laptop computer decided that being a part of this process was just too much for it, so it turned itself off.

No, it didn’t give me the “blue screen of death”. No, it didn’t say it “performed an illegal operation and must shut down”. I just heard a “click” and suddenly my computer was off, and my work was gone with it (work that, undoubtedly, if it was saved, would have won me many accolades, fame, fortune, and hot women).

Unfortunately, this is not the first time my laptop has mysteriously shut off. This is actually the fourth or fifth time. I knew after the first involuntary shut-off that there was probably a problem and that I should call someone to get it fixed. I thought it would be wise, however, if I waited until it shut down near the end of myself composing a very long unsaved column before I made that decision. You don’t want to jump to conclusions in these situations.

Anyway, I decided there can be no more taking chances. What if I were in the middle of something very important like paying a bill electronically, filing my taxes or, God help me, downloading a needed file from It was definitely time to Take Action. It was time to Get Something Done. Yes, that’s right…it was time to call (ominous music here) Customer Service.

(Before I get to the Customer Service part of the story, you, the loyal reader, should know that my laptop just shut down AGAIN. That’s right, after having it shut off on me and ruining one column, your loyal idiot blogger, showing no apparent pattern recognition, said to himself “Hey, I have an idea! Let’s start another column on this extremely reliable laptop!” Luckily, I had set the autosave to “Every .0001 nanoseconds” so no work was lost. I am now composing this column on my old computer, a computer that I believe once retrieved e-mail for Dwight Eisenhower. But at least it @$%&ing stays on.)

Anyway, I called my computer manufacturer’s Customer Disservice, and I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a real human voice after only 67 touch-tone prompts. I explained to the highly–trained lady who answered that my computer has a propensity for shutting completely off, and lately the screen has been flickering and probably needed work also. The first words out of her mouth after I described the problem were: “Do you give us permission to reformat your hard-drive?”

What? We hadn’t even discussed whether my laptop was going to be shipped anywhere or not! And how the heck does erasing all my files solve what is obviously a hardware issue? Is this their solution to every problem? I was afraid that if I said “yes” instantly computer nerds dressed in black would crash through my windows, wrest my computer from my hands, tie me to a chair, and reformat my hard drive right in front of me:

Me: Who are you?!?! What on earth are you doing?!?!

Computer Nerd #1: Settle down, we’re here to help. Your hard drive is almost reformatted now.

Me: You IDIOT! You deleted all my files! How the heck will that help? It’s a power problem! And the screen is another hardware problem!

Computer Nerd #1: (Turns to the other nerd) Shut him up.

Computer Nerd #2: (Knocks me out with his company-issued baton.)

Computer Nerd #1: Damn customers are never happy…they complain when you tell them nothing is wrong and they complain when you reformat their hard drives. Let’s go.

Obviously, she was asking if they had permission to reformat my hard-drive if it became necessary after it is shipped to them, after it was discussed how it would be shipped during this phone call. She just forgot to ask a few questions first. I actually found myself feeling bad for her, because during the conversation it became apparent that she was very inexperienced and was most likely, as we spoke, reading from her Customer Service Manual (Page 1: Tell them nothing is wrong. Page 2: Reformat their hard drive. Page 3: Congratulations, you’re now fully trained!).

So, in the end, I guess I am going to be without my laptop for a while. Not to worry, loyal readers. I won’t let the fact that my backup computer is about as technologically advanced as an abacus prevent me from posting my ingenious insights and observations. I’ll just have another convenient reason why they are late. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to now try real hard to resist playing “laptop discus” and go to bed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Excuses for the Lack of Blogging

I apologize for not having made a blog entry for a little while. I've been out celebrating the last three nights. Right now, you are probably asking excitedly, "I wonder what the Internationally Acclaimed Humor Writer Joseph Simmons, who should be awarded, at a minimum, the Pulitzer Prize, for his blogging, plus his overuse of commas and incoherent run-on sentences, which sometimes run-on so badly that you forget what the sentence is even about, has been celebrating?"

The answer: I have no idea. Not one of the parties I attended had anything to do with my birthday. That was today, and I celebrated it by tearing up my birth certificate. However, the past three days I somehow always ended up having to:

1. Get dressed
2. Drink alcohol

The first item I do damn well at, thank you. The second item, not so much. I am definitely a "lightweight". I'll put it this way: Every morning I felt like whoever gave me alcohol the previous night deserved some small punishment, like getting dragged out of their house and shot.

Anyway, I have a new column almost complete. I was going to have it out today, since the subject matter is me bitching about turning 35, but I seem to have caught a nasty cold. It's tough to write humor when every time I swallow I feel a serrated knife going up and down my throat and my entire body feels like I've just been out joyriding with Ted Kennedy at the wheel. So, if you, the loyal reader, will forgive me, I should have the new composition out tomorrow.

Don't even think about asking me for $75.

(If you don't get that last joke, then you have not been a loyal reader. In this case you owe ME $75. Pay up, pal.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Pretty Girl Smiles, My Imagination Runs Wild

I walked into Publix, a local grocery store chain, for my normal healthy lunch (A light salad with diet dressing, minus the tomatoes, carrots, cheese, olives, cucumbers, lettuce and diet dressing, with a sprinkle of a large roast beef sandwich), and as I was walking inside, a stunningly attractive young woman, perhaps in her mid-twenties, gave me a big beautiful smile on her way outside.

Now, this may seem like a trivial thing to you, the ignorant loyal reader, but this means the world to me. Why? Because on Monday I turn 35 years old, and I know that my days of random smiles from beautiful women are Quickly Coming to an End. Pretty soon, it will always be me that has to smile first. Soon after that, I’ll be prohibited from smiling at any young woman ever again:

Me: Officer, all I did was smile at her!

Officer: (handcuffing me) I’m sorry, but ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it.

Me: WHAT law?

Officer: Section 467.372, part 8, paragraph 2 states that anyone over 35 that smiles at young girls is a creepy old man like Joe Simmons, and should be incarcerated.

Me: Wait, there’s a law WITH MY NAME IN IT?

Officer: It was only a matter of time, you miscreant.

So, as you can see, I have to enjoy this while I can. I don’t want to run afoul of the law. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go. I hear they are having a sale at Publix.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Maybe This Explains Why No One Calls Me "Humble"

One of my very good friends had these made using a service she found in the back of a Rolling Stone magazine. She's given them out to several people. I have about 50 of them left. I would sell them (market value is currently hovering somewhere around "free"), but I am sticking them in random bars, clubs, and of course hotels hosting charitable functions throughout the U.S. Let me know if you see one.

I swear, I'm really not conceited. I do say this constantly, but it's as a joke, people. A JOKE. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Love Hurts...Let Joe Simmons Be Your Anti-Bacterial Ointment

Relationships are difficult, yes. However, meeting someone special in order to get into a relationship in the first place is sometimes even more difficult. I cannot count the amount of times that lonely, quality single people have asked me, “Joe, will you please chew with your mouth closed?” But sometimes they also ask me about relationships.

Looking at my profile picture and reading how smooth I am with the written word, it should come as no surprise to most of you that I do pretty well with the ladies. I like to think that the reason for this, other than my legendary good looks, is because I understand women. Not how they think, mind you (modern psychology considers the understanding of female thinking a laughable pursuit, similar to finding the repeating decimal in pi) but how they want to be courted and treated by men. The key, of course, is showing women respect. I have helped to show many a man how he can use his strengths—his inner gentle charm and chivalry—to really help him score with a lot of hot chicks.

Ha ha! That’s a joke, people. I think very highly of the finer sex, and over the past few years I’ve actually become a valuable resource for many women who need assistance in their dealings with men. I’m now quite the expert in helping women to search their own feelings and learn to get in touch with them. In fact, for the benefit of my loyal readers, I will go ahead and open my e-mail inbox right now and offer a never-before-seen look at how my sage advice helps those who dearly need it:

To: Joe Simmons

For the love of God will you please, for the 11 billionth time, STOP contacting me? I will NOT go on a date with you!!! If you—

Whoops! Wrong e-mail! That must have been spam or something. I’ll have to check on that. Let’s go to the next one, so you can see with your own eyes how helpful I can be to women who desperately need my assistance:

To: Joe Simmons

Aren’t you the creep that hangs around on the bench outside Victoria’s Secret at the mall? I quit shopping there because of you! You should really seek some help and—

Um, that must be, uh, spam too. Yeah, SPAM. That e-mail definitely wasn’t for me! I must be getting someone else’s messages. Besides, I sit on that bench because I get tired. Now, let’s get to a serious e-mail from a poor woman in need:

To: Joe Simmons

I recognize your picture! You’re the guy in the ’87 IROC-Z that parks near cheerleading practice! I almost didn’t recognize you without your binoculars!
Our cheerleading coach says if she sees you again she'll call the police! You better—

Okay! Maybe viewing my inbox isn’t the way to go here, and I’ll thank you in advance for forgetting any of the erroneous e-mails you may have just read. Clearly not all the males out there are as gentlemanly as I am. However, I sincerely want to impart my wisdom on my loyal readers, and I think the best way to do that would be to use the popular “Q and A” format:

Q: Joe, I’m a 26-year-old male and I see this beautiful girl every weekend at a dance club, yet I don’t think she even knows I exist. How can I get her attention and possibly her phone number? Keep in mind that I’m very shy.

A: The next time you see her at the bar area, walk up and offer to buy her a drink. She’ll accept the offer. (In recorded history, there are only four accounts of a woman turning down a free drink, and three of them involved nuns.) Then purposely order the most expensive drink in the entire club for each of you. After the bartender serves you two lovebirds the drinks and tells you what the tab is, pretend that you forgot your wallet at home and ask her if she can “pay for it this time”. This will give her an unforgettable impression of you. Make sure to gulp your drink down quickly.

Q: Um, does that really work?

A: I’m kind of curious about that myself. Make sure to send me a detailed e-mail and let me know how it goes.

Q: Joe, I’m a six-foot, blonde-haired, 24-year-old female astrophysicist and part-time bikini model, and I can’t decide between two wonderful men who are courting me. One is a good-looking, world-renowned neurosurgeon who spends his weekends volunteering at the Salvation Army and constantly treats me with love and respect. The other one is the Founder and CEO of a charitable organization that helps blind children in Third World countries, and he is also good-looking and showers me with affection and respect. What should I do?

A: I hate to be the “bearer of bad tidings”, but it is obvious to me that both men are cheating on you. Clearly, you have been putting up with those two losers long enough. You should dump them right now and seek someone out that will truly be good for you. Someone with a creative mind. For example, I don’t know, a humor writer.

Q: Uh, are you sure I should do that? Dump them both?

A: Well, it depends. I'll need a recent picture of you before I can say for sure.

Q: Joe, how can you call yourself a “humor writer” and “love expert” when you’re actually a no-talent, Dave Barry-wannabe hack who last went on a date during the Clinton administration?

A: Well, will you look at the time. I guess “Q and A” is just about over!

I hope that I’ve been able to help my loyal readers out there who are still seeking that “special someone”. Believe me, it will happen for you as long as you believe in yourself. Guys, please feel free to continue to ask me any questions you have in your pursuits. Take advantage of my years of experience. And ladies, if you need any help, my e-mail address is also always available to you. Make sure you attach a picture.

Friday, January 13, 2006

My Guarantee to You, the "Loyal Reader"

My sister says I have to post entries to my blog nearly every day. This way, readers have a reason to keep coming back, most likely making it a habit. However, there are some important points I need to make here:

1. No one is paying me for this
2. Posting every day sounds suspiciously like work
3. No one is paying me for this
4. I am, uh, “energy-challenged”
5. No one is paying me for this

However, I am willing to post, in a sincere humanitarian effort to make money from my Google ads, this rock-solid guarantee: I will publish a new essay at least once a week, interspersed with random short amusing thoughts every other day or so. If I ever fail to do this, I will pay you, the loyal reader, $75.00 in cold, hard cash.* This will be an iron-clad, no-questions-asked guarantee. That is how committed I am to making this blog successful. My next essay is almost complete and should be ready for posting tomorrow. This is my way of thanking my fans. All three of you.

*Offer void outside the continental United States. All claims must be submitted one week prior to the week without a post. Offer defines “loyal reader” as anyone who’s ever cleaned the author’s bathroom (including survivors). Claimant must send request for $75.00 on parchment paper written in Mandarin Chinese. Offer void inside the continental United States. Offer doesn’t like you. Offer thinks you should probably switch to another brand of deodorant. Offer void after 12/31/1987.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Is a House Without "Window Treatments" a Home?

Thanks to recent information given to me by a member of the female gender I now know that, as a homeowner, I’m a complete idiot. I bought my house brand-new a little over two years ago, and was conversing with my sister Lori a few months ago about the purchase. It went a little like this:

Lori: When you were going over the plans with the homebuilder, what options did they give you for the kitchen counters? Where they all pre-fab? Or did they offer any solid-surfaces such as granite or concrete?

Me: (Blank stare)

Lori: You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?

Me: (Eyes glazing over)

The conversation went on for quite a while (I did manage to actually speak at some point), the rest of which illuminated for my sister the depth and breadth of my ignorance about all things homeowner-related. She stated that I should not be the one making home-design decisions, due to the fact that I might forget to include one of the many subtle yet important features that all “cozy, warm” houses should have, like say a kitchen.

I thought this was unfair. Clearly I’d notice if my house didn’t have a kitchen. I’d need someplace to put my leftover delivery pizza. Besides, it is also the number one place for me to look when I absolutely, positively, cannot find my television’s remote control. Just when I reach the point of complete exasperation, I’ll decide to look in the kitchen, where it will most likely be found in the refrigerator next to a container of sour cream dip (“best if used by 8/13/01”). The kitchen is actually the one place in my house where I find the oddest items. I’ll sometimes find car keys, old rental DVDs, envelopes marked “Final Notice”, food, etc.

I have been given a lot of grief because of the current state of my house. This is a true fact: I have owned my house for over two years now, and I still have yet to hang anything on any wall. I also do not have a single blind or curtain covering any of my windows. Without fail, whenever I invite someone over for the first time, they always ask the same question: “So, um, did you just move in?”

When did having a home become so complicated? It certainly wasn’t this difficult when I was in college. I didn’t have to worry about interior details when I shared a two-bedroom apartment with my old high school chum Eddie Murnane. We never thought about things such as "crown molding" or “window treatments”. We used more simplistic, practical ways to deal with the incoming sun, such as squinting. If we absolutely had to block the light, we would just jam couch pillows into the windows. We did what we had to do. Hey, that Nintendo wasn’t going to play itself.

Don’t get me wrong; I care about how my place looks now. My motto is “I'll do whatever it takes to have a nice interior, unless, you know, it takes time or effort or money or anything like that.” This is the same strong, smart, efficient process that got me through college, and I'm "staying with what works". Now, if you’ll excuse me, I'm about to go to the kitchen. I need my remote control.