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.