Sunday, January 29, 2006
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
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 NoggaNews.com, 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 NoggaNews.com, 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 BransonCritic.org, 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
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 HotSororityGirls.com? 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
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
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
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.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
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:
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:
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—
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 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
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.