Sunday, August 26, 2007

So What has That Lazy Blogger Been Doing, Anyway?

I apologize for the almost complete abandonment of this blog. A funny thing happens every time I try to crank this baby back up: life starts throwing tons o’ crap at me.

A lot of it is self-inflicted. I’m happy and excited to announce that I’ve been spending a significant amount of time lately creating and developing material specifically for stand-up comedy. I’ve actually tried writing material like this before, but I soon learned that it is very different from writing humor pieces. I struggled, got discouraged and gave it up for a while. However, something clicked in the last few weeks, and I’ve been writing like a madman.

Will I be successful? Who the hell knows. I could still bomb. In fact, a comedian friend of mine assured me that I will bomb…but that everyone does. At least I am having fun with it. I’m very excited about some of the material I’ve written. I just have NO idea if I have the talent to actually perform it.

I’m also the commissioner of a fantasy football league, which if you are not familiar with this, it’s when 10 or 12 idiots draft pro football players in order to win fictional games. As the Commissioner, I’m the Head Idiot. At least I make the rules.

I’m also a mortgage broker in a horrific real estate market, which for all intents and purposes makes me unemployed. At least that is what the income has been lately. As you can imagine, this has me scrambling for solutions as well.

So, with the stand-up crap, the fantasy football crap, and the mortgage crap, I am a seriously busy person for someone making $0 a month. However, I will try to get back here more often, especially after the draft is over. Meanwhile I have snuck over to MySpace and written four blogs since I last posted here. Why? I don’t know. All the blogs I post over there are kind of off-the-cuff spontaneous crazy stuff. Yet for some reason they always seem to turn out funny and get boatloads of comments. Maybe I should stick to random nutty blogs.

Anyway, here are the links to my most recent blogs:

Available for Hire: Top-Notch Applicant Eagerly Seeking Position for Non-Work

Are You Tied to an Electronic Leash?

A Blog About a Crappy Mortgage Market, Stand-up Comedy, and Commercials

Attention MySpace Photoshop Gurus (a Sort-of Contest)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Why Microsoft Needs to Hire Me

There is something distracting about a blinking cursor when you are trying to write creatively. Whenever I'm in one of my many bouts versus writer's block, I'll sit there looking at the screen, and the cursor will blink back at me with impatience, as if it's thinking, "Well? Still thinking? Not so funny today are you, Loser?"

I think they* should change that. Instead of a blinking vertical line, they should have something more soothing and conducive to the creative process. As I'm sure you've probably already guessed, my proposal is a mini-Keira Knightley. That's right; I think in every computer program that uses a cursor, a small picture of the British beauty should be looking back at you. She should have voice capability and speak in that incredible English accent, too. This way I don’t feel so badly when my idiot brain goes blank:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketKnightley: “You haven’t typed in a little while. Is everything okay, Joeykins?”

Me: “I’m just drawing a blank here.”

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketKnightley: “Poor lad. I’d give you a massage if I could. Would you settle for me disrobing?”

Me: “Well, if that’s the best you can do…”

Oh, I know what some of you are thinking: “What about us women? What kind of cursor would we get?” And I have the perfect answer: Keira Knightley. Come on! She’s beautiful! Even another woman can appreciate that. She’d look better than a cursor, right?

Besides, I don’t want to borrow one of your computers and have some dude looking back at me.

*Whoever. Or maybe “whomever”. I’m a blogger, not a writer, dammit.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Jesus Christ, Action Figure (Apostles Sold Separately)

I read recently that Wal-Mart will soon be selling Jesus and other religious “action figures” designed specifically for children. Of course, being Wal-Mart, this surprises me about as much as another Bush Administration indictment. But I have to wonder: Who will be buying these things? Can you imagine the “playing” that will be going on in a typical household with these toys?

Mom: “Timmy! Quit hitting your sister with the Virgin Mary this instant!”

Timmy: “But Mom! She cooked one of my Three Wise Men in her Easy-Bake Oven!”

Sister: “Did not!”

Timmy: “Did too!”

Mom: “Both of you, shut up and stop ar—OH MY GOD…who flushed the Son of God down the damn toilet?!?

Sister: “That was Timmy!”

Mom: “Timmy, do you know how much a plumber costs?!?!”

Timmy: “But mom, YOU said he could walk on water!”

Mom: (sighing) “Jesus Christ”.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I Got Served


That’s my age, but a part of me basically refuses to believe it. And that is the part of me that decided to go play indoor volleyball last night.

I should know better. If I had to describe in five words what my feeling was after playing volleyball for three hours, those words would be “Burning Thigh Muscles of Death”. Well, I suppose “Very Painful Lower Back Contusion” or “Wrist Possibly Broken in Half” would also work, but those ailments aren’t the ones causing me, every time I sit down, to wonder if I’ll ever be able to stand up again for the rest of my natural life. You don’t even want to picture what it is like for me get up from the toilet.

Ha ha. Too late. You have that image stuck in your mind, don’t you?

Well, no offense, but screw you. You aren’t in anywhere near the pain I am. I think I may have bruised every surface of my body. I’m currently on an all-Advil diet. I’ll even take some Vicodin if anyone has it.

And to literally add insult to injury, physical ailments weren’t my only issue last night. I haven’t played volleyball since about 1993, and apparently since then, they changed all the rules. In the early nineties, the rules basically were:

  1. If the ball came anywhere near you, try and hit it up in the air.
  2. But don’t use your beer hand, lest you might spill some.

Last night, however, I was playing with semiprofessionals that take their volleyball very seriously and have all these new rules about what each position is supposed to do. They were always yelling things at me like “Get in the V!” and “Cover short serve!” and “Beer is not allowed on the court!” and “Stop crying!”

Okay, I’m kidding about the last two, but I really was always getting yelled at, mainly because, no matter where I went on the court, I was always in the wrong place. My teammates tried to help in-between serves, but they were always giving me incomprehensible advice like, “Make sure to play short on serve and immediately fade back afterward but only when we are serving. When they are serving be sure to cover the middle short zone then fade back to let the setter set”.

I would always say “got it” but when play commenced I’d continue to run around randomly bouncing off of my teammates. I’m pretty sure they all thought I was, um, “differently abled”. I’m beginning to agree.

Anyway that was last night; tonight I am just dealing with incredible pain. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m signing off now to go curl into a fetal position and die.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Butt-Crack Postcard

I just came up with a brilliant idea of how I’m going to become rich, and it involves my butt-crack.

I got the idea from the three newspapers I find in my yard every week. Now bear in mind, I don’t have a subscription to any paper. I haven’t had one since about 1999, mainly because of the Internet. Who needs a newspaper when they give their crap away free online? It makes no sense. Regardless, the fatheads that run these newspapers apparently think if they keep throwing me a free one every week, eventually I’ll read their tripe, like it, and subscribe. But that isn’t even close to what happens. What really transpires is:

  1. Some jackass throws a newspaper in my yard at 4 am.
  2. I, not having a subscription, do not expect a paper so I don’t see it as I pull out of my driveway to go to work.
  3. When I get home I may or may not see it, and may not pick it up even if I do see it, because I didn’t want the stupid thing in the first place and resent having to deal with it.
  4. It rains.
  5. I end up cleaning newspaper-slush off my driveway with a trowel while uttering expletives and fantasizing about shooting the jackass’s tires out.

Obviously, this pisses me off. I have never read a damn word out of any of these papers in the four years I’ve owned this house. But how do I cancel a newspaper subscription I don’t have? I would pay these jackasses to NOT throw their stupid papers in my yard!


Did you read that? As a businessman, blogger, and World Champion Lazy Ass, I am always on the lookout for ways to make money by not doing something. So this gives me a great idea: The Butt-Crack Postcard. The plan is simple. I’m going to get the address of every single person in a given city and start mailing them all a postcard about three times a week. The picture on it will be nothing but my bare ass, in super high resolution so you can see all the detail. When you flip the card over, you’ll see: the same picture of my ass. There’ll be no escaping it! At the bottom of each side it’ll say:

We sincerely hope you are enjoying the postcards we have been sending you and will continue to send you three times a week for the rest of your life. However, if you wish, you can subscribe to unsubscribe for the low, low price of $79.99 a year. Just send a check or money order to:

Simmons Full Moon Enterprises, LLC

P.O. Box 54321

Cape Coral, FL 33914

Isn’t this idea brilliant? People will be paying me not to moon them anymore! Pretty soon, I’ll have every single person in an entire city sending me eighty bucks a year to do absolutely nothing! Man, I love capitalism.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have postcards to make up. Um, anyone want to volunteer to take a few pictures?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Phone Check!!"

Blogged on MySpace again. But before you go over there, you MUST read the following disclaimer:

WARNING: This blog entry contains genuine “guy talk”—the kind of conversation men absolutely NEVER have around women. If you are a woman and want to believe that men never have repartee like what you are about to read, turn away now. However, you would only be lying to yourself, because ALL men have these conversations.

Do you still want to go? Are you sure? Okay then, here's the link.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Dog

Remember the movie “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom”? One of the plot points of the movie was that Indy, the title character played by Harrison Ford, discovers a powerful stone called a “Sankara Stone” that, when put in close proximity with another Sankara Stone, magically creates a golden glowing light. We’ve made a similar discovery in my family. My dad and I each have a normal, well-behaved, housebroken dog that, when put in close proximity with the other’s dog, magically creates a golden glowing pee stain on my carpet.

I have no idea why these two normally well-behaved dogs, that almost never make mistakes when they are in their own homes, suddenly become four-legged urine spigots when they are put together in my house. To make matters worse, when we discover a new pee stain, we never know which damn dog is the perpetrator. Neither Fred, my dad’s dog, nor Smudge, my own, has ever been caught in the act.

So, when a new puddle is found, My father and I usually get into this weird dynamic where we start defending our own dogs, like a parent might defend his or her child:

Dad: “Well, it looks like your damn dog peed in your house again.”

Me: “MY dog? My dog is housebroken! How do you know it’s not yours?”

Dad: “This stain is way too big for Fred. He couldn’t have done this.”

Me: “Oh bull crap. Fred has easily done that much before. Besides, Smudge was too far away. And Fred is male, so he’s probably trying to mark his territory.”

Dad: “Well, this doesn’t look like Fred’s pee.”

Me: “You’re kidding me, right? It’s pee. All dogs pee yellow!”

Dad: “This definitely looks more like Smudge’s pee.”

This will go on and on it until we become like attorneys for our respective dogs, arguing our case using evidence such as:

1. Alibis

2. Character witnesses

3. Which dog was let out most recently

4. Analysis of the Crime Scene, and

5. Motives

After our closing statements, the result is always the same: Hung Jury. Tied 1-1. So we just grumble and eventually forget about it. Until the next pee stain is discovered.

I really think this is the dogs’ idea of a joke. They know if they pee in their own homes while they are by themselves, they’ll get into Big Trouble. But if they are together and no one gets caught in the act, neither one can get convicted later when it is discovered. They probably discuss the plot in some dog-sniffing language:

Fred: “Smudge, do you feel a pee coming on?”

Smudge: “Yup. Just drank a gallon of water.”

Fred: “Heh heh! Good. Okay, wait a second until I tell you the coast is clear. Try and get it in the walkway so one of them steps in it.”

Smudge: “Are we a go?”

Fred: “Wait…wait…wait…NOW NOW NOW!!”

Smudge: “Ahhhh…”

They then walk off to their hiding places, waiting to watch the show. Later on they’ll share the stories of what they saw and laugh so hard they'll be on their backs with drool coming out of their mouths.

“Did you see the look on his face?” One of them will say. “HAHAHAHA!!”

Sneaky damn dogs. Next time I'll get Sankara Stones instead.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Evolution, Creation, Or Oil of Olay?

The origin of mankind has been debated for as long as humans have had intelligent thought. While there have been many different theories as to how we came to exist, the two most popular are evolution and creationism. Evolution is the scientific theory, originally postulated by Charles Darwin, that all life started millions of years ago as simple unicellular beings and slowly evolved into different species, and that humans actually evolved from an ape-like creature. Creationism, of course, is the religious theory that a supreme being created all life only a few thousand years ago.

So which theory makes the most sense? Which theory “holds the most water”? Which theory should be the one we teach our young so they can lead our future generations as informed and educated as possible?

If you think you are about to get the answer here, then you are, no offense, not the brightest light in the harbor. Yours truly got a “C” in Philosophy at Edison Community College, and was happy to get it, considering my eyes glazed over during every lecture. The reason I am writing about evolution versus creationism now is because it brings me to my absolute favorite subject: me.

I don’t wish to brag, but I am told constantly that I look very young for my age. Being a humble writer, I am almost embarrassed to disclose this, but it is necessary to the story inasmuch as I look quite youthful for my age. So, this begs the question: why is it that I, Joe Simmons, look so very young for my age?

Well, one theory (as to why people think I look amazingly young for my age) could be that evolution is the correct explanation of life. You see, I am the current eight-time Defending World Champion Procrastinator. I put off doing laundry until the stack is taller than my actual house. I put off graduating college until I was 26. I put off maturing until, well, it is debatable whether I have actually done any of that. And, at thirty-six years old, I still have yet to get married. The thing is, my DNA would know this. I come from a long line of procrastinators. If all species evolve in order to give themselves the best chance to survive, then obviously my DNA knows that I have to stay young and good-looking long after my similarly-aged friends have become bald, fat slobs if I want to have any chance to procreate.

However, the creation theory could work as well (in case you forgot: we are trying to figure out why people think I look so fabulously young for my age). Maybe God is up in Heaven right now discussing me with St. Peter:

God: “You know, I think I may have really screwed up with this Simmons guy. I never intended for ANY human to be that damn lazy. I ought to smite him. However, I am a kind and loving God. I’ll write in my notebook to give him three more years of youthful looks so that he will at least have a chance to procreate.”

St. Peter: “God, we just got word that he’s been publishing blogs where his penis actually talks.”

God: (Erasing and scribbling furiously) “Me dammit…better make it seven more years.”

Clearly, either one of these explanations is very plausible. So, after discussing both the religious and scientific hypotheses about one of the biggest questions in life, what have we learned today?

1. Basically, nothing.

2. Except that this blog is not a place to come to for answers.

3. And, I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but people think I look incredibly young and handsome for my age.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Self-Help Books Certainly Don't Help Me

For the most part, I try to keep my social life out of my blogs. This is because I have a lot of good friends, and I’d like to keep (most of) them. However, I have decided to implement a new Statute of Limitations. From now on, I will post funny stories from my social life as long as:

1. It’s been at least 12 calendar months since the event occurred.

2. The story is not hurtful in any way to anyone I know.

3. Unless it’s REALLY funny.

4. Then I’ll just change the names of all concerned.

So, on to my first story.

A few years ago I met this girl, let’s call her Maria, through a friend. Maria was attractive, very nice, and—aren’t they all—seemed to be “into me”. I liked her well enough, but for whatever reason was not really into her. So I rarely called her and mostly only saw her when we were partying in a group of mutual friends. I did, however, drunk-dial her occasionally, and those parties would sometimes end with us making out.

One night I was dropped off at a buddy’s apartment where my car was. I knew I was probably too buzzed to drive, plus I knew Maria lived in the same apartment complex. So I called her and told her I was coming over. She told me she’d prefer I didn’t, as her place was a mess. I basically said that I live in a mess, it didn’t matter, and regardless I was already outside her door.

She wasn’t happy.

Anyway, she let me in and we sat down on her couch. I’m pretty sure I was trying to act flirtatious and all, but she wasn’t having any of it. In my buzzed state, I grabbed a book that was sitting on the coffee table that she had obviously been reading.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Nothing you’d be interested in,” Maria said.

“Let me see about that,” I laughed.

I then opened the book to a completely random page somewhere in the middle, and read out loud:

“If a guy rarely ever picks up the phone to call you, and only visits late at night when he’s drunk, he’s just not that into you.”

My voice actually kind of trailed off during the last four of five words. I could feel my face turning red. I closed the book and looked at the cover. The title, as I’m sure you’ve probably guessed, was the best-selling book “He's Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys”. Needless to say, the rest of that visit was pretty damn uneventful. I went home.

It took me about a year to forgive Greg Behrendt.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Wasp Exterminator

Due to the embarrassing nature of this story, I have to keep the person featured in it completely anonymous. So, no matter how many times you Loyal Readers ask, I absolutely will not reveal that it was my sister Lori.

Whoops. I guess there goes that. Anyway, she called me today to tell me there had been a slight emergency in her household. It seems two wasps were flying around in the large upstairs bedroom where my niece and nephew were playing. They screamed for their mother’s help.

No big deal. Lori is a veteran “home engineer” and was prepared. She had never had to use it before, but she kept on hand a can of special insecticide spray made especially for wasps. It kills nearly on contact, and you can shoot it from as far as 20 feet away.

“Of course, the tricky part was aiming it,” she said.

Makes sense. A wasp isn’t very big, so hitting two of them from 20 feet away would be no small feat. And missing could be very dangerous, as the wasps might get angry and come after her. However, this was no time for fear; she had her children’s safety to think about. So, she waited until the wasps settled in one place, aimed, and fired.

Unfortunately, her aim was slightly off, inasmuch as she shot herself directly in the face.

“AAAUGH!” Lori exclaimed, dropping the can. “I’M THE STUPIDEST PERSON I KNOW!” *

She then blindly stumbled downstairs until she could get to a sink to rinse out her eyes. Luckily, she was okay; nothing a little cold water couldn’t take care of. She climbed back upstairs just in time to duck from almost getting sprayed again, this time by her son. Apparently, Bo picked up the can and started shooting at the wasps himself. Only he decided he didn’t need any namby-pamby sissy aiming method such as waiting for them to settle on a surface. He was going guns-a-blazin’ wherever they flew.

“There was insecticide everywhere,” said Lori.

Finally, having secured the can back from her son, she successfully killed the two wasps by shooting them when they landed near the window.

“The wasps were dead,” she said. “But when I told my husband about the whole ordeal later, he took my can of mace away.”

*Her words, not mine. I promise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Take Me Out To the Ballgame

For those that are new to this blog, your loyal loving blogger has a younger sister with a similar smart-ass sense of humor. A lot of our conversations spontaneously become “contests” to see who can either:

1. Persevere the longest, or

2. Irritate the other the most

Actually, it is usually a combination of the two. Anyway, what follows is a near-verbatim conversation we had on the phone about a year and a half ago:

Lori: “Joe, don’t forget that you promised to come with me and my son to the baseball game next week.”

Me: “Of course. Can you do me a favor and send me an e-mail so I can put it on my calendar?”

Lori: “No problem. Can you do me a favor?”

Me: “Sure, anything.”

Lori: “Can you give me a call to remind me to send you an e-mail reminding you about the baseball game?”

Me: “Of course, I’ll do anything for my sister. Would you mind doing something for me?”

Lori: “Sure.”

Me: “Would you leave me a voicemail reminding me to call you to remind you to send me an e-mail reminding me about the baseball game?”

Lori: “Of course. But, um, would you mind doing me a favor?”

Me: “You name it.”

Lori: “Could you send me a fax reminding me to leave you a voicemail to remind you to call me to remind me to send you an e-mail reminding you about the baseball game?”

Me: “Of course I will! You know I’d do anything for you, Lori. But would you mind doing me a favor?”

Lori: “Yes, of course.”

Me: “Could you send me a text message to remind me to send you a fax to remind you to leave me a voicemail reminding me to call you to remind you to send me an e-mail reminding me about the baseball game?”

Lori: “Sure. But would you mind doing me a favor?”

This went on and on and on and on. I cannot remember who “won” this conversation, but since she is not here to argue, I will go on record as saying that it was I that came out victorious and she that embarrassingly lost track of who had to do what.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cash Only, Please

True story: When I turned 20, my grandma gave me a check for ten dollars. I worked full time and didn't have an ATM card, so the only time I could deposit the damn thing was between 5:30pm and 6pm on Friday, or get up early and deposit it on Saturday morning.


  • The only branch of my bank anywhere near my office was a few miles in the wrong direction in rush hour traffic
  • I hate rush hour traffic
  • The chances are, I had forgotten the check at home that morning anyway
  • I could never get up before 1pm on a Saturday, and
  • Let’s face it—it was a lousy ten bucks.

So I didn't deposit it for months. Every six months or so, my grandma would call my mom asking politely about it, and then my mom would pester me about depositing it.

“All right, I’ll do it this week.” I knew it was a lie.

Finally, no kidding, about TWO YEARS later, I deposited it. I must have been on vacation or something. It cleared.

I never received money from Grandma again. That’s okay; the only thing I want from her is her love.

Unless it’s a hundred bucks or more.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The New Blog

Welcome to the improved humor blog! Let me say right off the bat: The new design of this blog is not something I created. I had to use a template. I have no clue how to design a website. I asked my sister, who has designed a few in her time, how I could make my own. However, as is usually the case when she answers one of my questions, I tuned her out and fantasized about Keira Knightley. So I was stuck with picking the best of the available templates.

It sucks because I know somewhere on the Internet there is probably a blog that looks exactly like this where some bratty 16-year-old emo chick is bitching about the Homecoming Queen. I think that will severely affect my coolness factor. Though, let’s face it: my blog has polka dots. Coolness is probably not something I have to worry about any longer.

(Note to emo chick: She’ll be fat and married to a loser in five years. Trust me.)

Anyway, this blog is undergoing a change of direction. I actually have two humor blogs: this one and my MySpace one. MySpace is now where I do my craziest, zaniest stuff. However, I only update that blog like twice a week. THIS blog I will absolutely update every single day.* The updates will most likely be one of the following:

1. A funny paragraph or two.

2. A humorous conversation I had

3. A short story, or

4. A link to my most recent MySpace blog.

What this means is, if you like the crap I write, and you know of both my blogs, you can’t go wrong by adding this blog to your “favorites”.**

So do it. I’ll hold my breath until you do.

*Except for some days.

**Unless, of course, the attempt to revive this blog is a complete and utter failure.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Apologies For the Lack of Blogging and an Update

I am in the process of overhauling this blog. New layout, new format, new everything. Soon, there will be a new post almost every single day! I hope to have this completed by Friday, June 15th. Until then, please check out my other humor blog on MySpace. I have been blogging on there like a mother.

Um...I assume doing something "like a mother" is a good thing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Simulation (My First Ever Non-Humor Blog)

Imagine that you are given the opportunity to enter a simulation program that allowed you to seemingly go back in time. You would be transferred into your young body during your senior year in high school, or possibly another time in your life you enjoyed. You wouldn’t actually be going back in time; since it’s a simulation, you could do anything you wanted without worrying about how it affects your future. You would be allowed in the program for one week.

What would you do?

Of course, the answers are individual to everyone. Hang out with some friends you’ve lost touch with. Enjoy the Mexican pizza from the cafeteria you liked and haven’t eaten in years. Play your heart out in band practice, as it’s the first time you’ve touched a trombone since high school. Make sure to say “hi” and even hug that favorite teacher that actually passed away five years ago. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells of the Friday night football game. Drive around proudly in that piece of crap car you had that you now miss. Maybe even ask that guy or girl out that you never had the courage to way back when.

Now imagine that at the end of the week, the simulator made a mistake, and you were stuck in it another week, but in someone else’s life. The simulator made you a pastry chef in Paris, France circa 1950. You never had any desire to have such a vocation, but you have no choice: you have to remain there for a week and then the simulator would safely let you exit back to your normal life.

What would you do?

Again, the answers are individual, but certainly most people would make the best of it. Get up early, smell the Parisian air, make those delicious pastries, and serve the French customers. When you were finished with your workday, you’d go exploring old France! Walk the cobblestone streets, see the sites, drink at the pubs, and meet interesting French people. You’d take it all in before the week was over, possibly not wanting to leave. At the end, though, you would have to.

In both scenarios, you would make sure to enjoy every minute that you possibly could in the simulation. You know it is temporary, and there is no effect on the future, so you’d make sure to see every sight, hear every sound, and smell every scent.

Now ask yourself: do you put this much attention into enjoying the actual moments in your real life?

Why would you enjoy the high school simulation more than the moments when you were actually in high school? Did you take it for granted? Were you worried about achieving some future happiness instead? So many people put off being happy, or even paying attention to the moment they are in, for some perceived bliss in the future:

I can’t wait until we move to that new neighborhood!

It’s going to be so great when I finally graduate college!

My new plasma TV will be delivered on Wednesday!

When I get that promotion, we’ll be living on easy street!

I sure can’t wait to retire…that will be the life!

However, how many times do you reach a goal and find out it’s not all you thought it would be? Or perhaps it was, but you were too busy thinking about the next goal to pay attention? Are you actually living your life? Are you paying attention?

Every moment you have is precious. Even now, as you are reading this blog, amazing things are happening all around you. Maybe it is simply your young daughter learning a new word, or a bird laying eggs in its nest outside your window, or just light jazz playing on your stereo…but this moment is not ordinary. It is unique and will never ever happen again.

So what if you are not in high school anymore? So what if you can’t walk down cobblestone streets in Paris? When was the last time you took in the moments of your “right now”? When was the last time you took a walk down your own street?

In many ways, this life is like a simulation. We have no idea why we are here and why there are certain rules like gravity, respiration, fluid and thermal dynamics, and temporary existence. However, we have no choice but to live in this simulation, and therefore we should always make the absolute best of it. Stop stressing over some future plans for happiness. Start enjoying your life’s moments now!

Are you paying attention?

(This essay was in no small way inspired by the movie “Peaceful Warrior”, which I saw about a month ago. Many of the ideas have been rattling around in my head for years, but the movie helped me put it together. While the movie is not a masterpiece, it is still very good and, more importantly, delivers an excellent, possibly life-changing message. I highly recommend it. For those that came here expecting my normal humor-based fare, I promise I will return to immature bathroom jokes in my next writing effort.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I Stayed Home This Morning and Watched Enthralling, Amazing, High-Quality Daytime TV


"—Are you overweight? Do you regularly get made fun of at parties? Was your nickname in college 'Hippo Harriet'? And your name wasn't even Harriet? Then we here at the Obesity Research Institute have great news—"


"—I'm Wilford Brimley, and I'd like to take a moment to talk to you about Medicare supplemental insurance. Do you realize Medicare hates you? Have you—"


"—and with us is Dow Jones market expert Fred Moneypits. Fred, where do you see the market headed today?"

"Well, the jump overnight in Japanese tech stocks has really given American investors a confidence boost. The market will undoubtedly go up today."

"That's fantastic news, Fred! Your forecast says it will go up?"

"Oh, definitely, Rick. Unless it goes down."


"—all I do is drop the tablet in the tank and you can see for yourself how the Mildew Fighting Polymers keep my toilet perfectly clean with no scrubbing!"

"You're RIGHT! And I love how it changes the color of the water to green!"

"Green? It's supposed to be bl—oh, wait a second." (Flush)


"—been injured on the job? Have you been injured on commercial property? Have you been injured while thinking about a Fortune 500 Company? Then we here at Wewill, Sueyer, Assoff, and Howe believe you have a case and should be compensated. Please call—"


"—you don't need to exercise! You don't need to change your diet! You can shovel entire buffet tables down your throat and sit motionless on your couch and you will STILL lose weight with this amazing pill!! And if you order now, we will—"


"If you are relying solely on Medicare, I have a message for you. Hi, I'm Dwight D. Eisenhower, and I'm here to tell you about a new Medicare supplement program that—"


"—oh yeah, the market is heading right to the crapper today. Wait, can I say 'crapper' on TV?"

"It's fine, Fred. But didn't you just say that the market was heading up?"

"Yes, it IS heading up, but in a downward direction. I know that may be hard to understand, but remember, I'm the Dow Jones market expert, not any of you chowderheads."


"—and with New Improved Klorox Bleach, I'll never have to worry about my husband noticing dirty spots on my kitchen floor again!"

"That's fantastic! Wait, what are you doing?"

"Putting the bleach in his soup. That bastard won't be bitching about the floor anymore, that's for sure."


"—Are you forced to buy two plane tickets due to your large ass? Do you have to grease your doorway just to get into your house? Have whales ever tried to push you back in the ocean? Do your high heels mysteriously become flats? Have you—"


"Do you realize Medicare is sending hitmen out for you at this very moment? Hi, I'm Edgar Allan Poe, here to talk to you about Medicare Supplements—"

(Click) "I really see the market going kind of sideways now, and doing some loop-de-loops around—" (Click) "—just spray on the window, wipe, and your windows will be clean enough to peek at your neighbors who actually do have a sex life—" (Click) "BUY IT! BUY THIS PILL NOW YOU FAT-ASS!! YOU TUB OF LARD!! BUY—" (Click) "—Medicare? I'm Christopher Columbus, here to—" (Click) "I believe our market has been having an affair with the German market—" (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click) (Click)


Monday, March 05, 2007

Taglines for My Blog (Plus My $100 Guarantee!!)

Now that I am part-way to my stated goal of Global Blogging Domination, I've decided that my blog needs a "tagline"—that is, a catchphrase that also advertises it. I have thought of a few that I think have a nice ring to it, but I would appreciate it if you, the Loyal Reader, would help me decide which one I should use.

Of course, in order to protect myself legally, I had to add some footnotes to maintain accuracy. Please don't read them. They mean nothing. They say nothing. Just legal crap. Anyway, here are the ones I'm considering for my blog:

Jim Gaffigan's favorite blog!!*

Published in countless newspapers, magazines, and journals!!**

Often compared to Dave Barry!!***

Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005 and 2006!!****

If you read a single blog that doesn't make you laugh, I'll pay you $100 in COLD HARD CASH!!*****

Endorsed by Victoria's Secret Model Adriana Lima!!******

"Reading Slow Joe's blogs…is time well spent." – Famous Literary Critic*******

Again, PLEASE DON'T READ BELOW THIS PARAGRAPH. There is simply no reason's just ho hum boring legal mumbo jumbo. Anyway, these are the best taglines I can think of. Please let me know what you think! Or offer one of your own! I could use the help. What are your ideas for a tagline?

* Not the comedian. James Gaffigan, a retired drywall subcontractor from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Great guy, though.

** As long as you define "countless" as "the inability to count the number zero".

*** The comparison usually goes, "Dave Barry is phenomenally funny. Who the hell is Slow Joe?"

**** Eliminated in the round where the selection committee called Security to remove me, screaming, from their premises, and told me for 14th time not to come around anymore.

***** No I won't. I don't think I even have $100.

****** Now I'm really reaching. I think this is actually a sexual fantasy.

******* Missing text: "…can make you physically ill. Afterwards, a trip to the ER…"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Don't Make It Seem Like You Are TRYING to Get Off the Phone With Lori

At the end of a two hour phone conversation with my sister:

Lori: “Well, okay, I guess I’ll let you go.”

Me: “Alright.”

Lori: “Why did you agree so quickly?”

Me: “Huh?”

Lori: “I don’t like how you were so willing to go.”

Me: “Um…I meant, ‘that’s a shame that you have to go, Lori’.”

Lori: “That’s better. Love you mean it.”

Me: “Love you, bye.”

Sunday, February 11, 2007

With Me, Even Buying T-Shirts Can Be an Adventure

I hate shopping at discount clothing stores. I do it because I am, more than anything else, a cheap-ass, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. I went into Ross Dress for Less today with only two things to buy: V-neck undershirts and black dress socks. I knew where the socks were, so I decided to hunt down the undershirts first.

Pop Quiz Question #1: Can anyone tell me exactly which five minutes of the entire year Ross’s undershirt shelves aren’t a disorganized disaster?

There was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way the undershirts were arranged. I’m pretty sure the display was put together by vandals. V-necks were mixed with crew-necks and tank tops. Medium size was mixed with XXL. Calvin Klein was mixed with Polo. Some of the packages were upside down, some were backwards, some were open or torn, and nearly all of them were presented in a way where you couldn’t see the size. You had to dig through and look at every single package to see if it was exactly what you wanted.

This can’t be an accident. I’m fairly certain that Ross has a Customer Impediment Program to make sure you never get what you want without a lot of work and frustration. If Ross employees see you heading towards a display that some bonehead rookie employee accidentally actually organized, they’ll distract you momentarily while another employee runs ahead of you and firebombs it. “Death before Customer Satisfaction” is their motto. There could be stern warnings from management:

Manager: “Suzie, I heard a rumor that about twenty minutes ago a customer in Men’s Undergarments almost found what he was looking for.”

Employee: “I’m sorry! I swear it will never happen again!”

Manager: “If it does, you'll be updating your resume.”

So, after digging for what seemed like two college semesters and inspecting every darn package, I found exactly zero V-necks in my size. It’s just as well, because I’m fairly certain if I would have found one, an employee would have leapt from behind the Ties and Belts display and squirted mustard on it, then dematerialized into thin air before I could complain. Since I was not going to wait in a long checkout line just for the socks (Ross apparently has about three cashiers in the entire state of Florida at any one time, and two of them are on break), I left without making a purchase.

Pop Quiz Question #2: What store do you think I, utilizing the common sense of spackle, chose next? (Hint: It’s a place you can buy a plasma TV, eggs, new tires, a haircut, Pop Tarts, and a family portrait, all after being greeted by a genuine dead person.)

That’s right: I went to Super Wal*Mart. Surely a store so big that it probably has its own military force would have V-necks in size XL. Thankfully, it did, along with everything else on my list of crap to buy. What a relief! I got all I needed in one place and all I had left to do was wait…in…line. HOLY COW. Where in the heck did all those people come from? Every register had a hellacious line in front of it. I needed binoculars to see the actual cashiers. I tried to pick a fast line, and ended up settling on a spot behind a man and his seven-year-old son.

Pop Quiz Question #3: With all the lines at a bustling Wal*Mart, how adept do you think I am at picking the fastest one?

If you answered anything like “pretty good”, you are, no offense, even stupider than I am. I picked the slowest line in Wal*Mart history. I think, at one point, we were moving backward. As I looked out the glass doors, I saw the sun go down and then come up again. I saw seasons change. I noticed the seven-year-old in front of me now had a full beard and was calling his wife. Tumbleweeds were blowing by. I turned around to see shoppers steering their carts around the decaying corpses of the people in line who just couldn’t make it.

But I did make it. And by golly, I may be receiving Social Security checks now, but I am going to wear these damn undershirts and socks while doing it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My Price Would Never Be Right

I found out recently that Bob Barker will finally retire from hosting “The Price is Right” game show, effective early this year. This is sad to me for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that watching the show always seemed to bring me back to my childhood. And why wouldn’t it? In the thirty plus years I’ve been watching it, nothing has ever changed. Same charming host, same gorgeous models, same idiot games, same ghastly stuck-in-the-sixties set, same moron contestants. Tuning in to The Price is Right is like going through a time warp. You could flip it on tomorrow and not be surprised if there were a news break announcing President Nixon was resigning from office, or that Challenger just exploded.

That said, I have always wanted to compete on the show, but only with Bob Barker as the host, which means I’ll probably never get the chance. This is just as well, because there is one part of the show I absolutely detest. During the opening segment, where contestants bid on one item to see who gets to play an idiot game, I hate, and I mean really loathe, when a contestant bids exactly one dollar more than the previous contestant. I root for the latter contestant to lose. I don’t know what I would do if I were the victim of that strategy. I’d probably kick the guy under the podiums:

Bob Barker: "The first item up for bid is a beautiful pool table by Snotwick Industries. Joe, what's your bid?"

Me: "One thousand, Bob."

Bob Barker: "And Fred, what is your bid?"

Fred: "One thousand and one, Bob."

Bob Barker: "And Martha, what--"

Fred: "OWWW!"

Bob Barker: "Um…uh, Martha, what is--"

Fred: "BOB! This jackass next to me is kicking me!!"

Me: "I don't know what he's talking about, Bob."

And I just know it wouldn’t end there. "One-Dollar-More" bidders always keep up their strategy, and I, being the stubborn mule I can be, would continue to give retribution. The second round:

Me (whispering to Fred): “If you outbid me by one dollar again, You’re going to find that microphone jammed right up your—"

Bob Barker: “The next item up for bid is a gorgeous set of American Terrorist luggage. Joe, what is your bid?”

Me: (Giving Fred a dirty sideways look) “Um, eight hundred, Bob.”

Bob Barker: "And Fred, what is your bid?"

Fred: (smugly) “eight hundred AND ONE, Bob.”

(The camera starts jerking wildly as you briefly see a fist connect with Fred’s jaw before complete pandemonium ensues. Podiums are knocked over. Martha gets clocked by a wild punch. After a commercial break order is restored.)

Bob Barker: “I apologize for the interruption. Martha, what is your bid on the luggage?”

Martha: (bleeding above her right eye) “Can I just go back to my seat?”

Martha may want to give up, but not me and Fred. The hate between us would make Osama bin Laden and George W Bush look like a happy gay couple. You would be able to cut the tension with a hacksaw. By the third round we’d both be ready to kill the other:

Bob Barker: "The next item up for bid is—"

Me (seething): “A BILLION DOLLARS, BOB!”

Bob Barker: "Wait, you don’t even know what—"

Fred (snarling): “A BILLION AND ONE, BOB!”

Bob Barker: "But that's way too mu—"


(screen goes black)

So I guess I would never be a winning bidder. In fact, I would be lucky to avoid a felony charge. It’s just as well, because I’d probably also be a bitter winner. When I’m watching, it always cracks me up when the winner comes on stage and Bob Barker announces "you'll be playing for THIS!" Then the big door opens and the prize is something truly lame. You can always tell that the contestant was coached to act excited, no matter what it is. I don’t think I could do that. I’d have to be honest about the prize:

Me: “Bob, what the hell am I going to do with a Real Mahogany Sewing Table?”

Bob Barker: “Um, like the announcer said, you’ll surely get years of enjoyment—"

Me: “Bob, I’m a thirty-six year old bachelor! Why did the last contestant get a ‘New Car’ and I get stuck with this crap? I bet it isn’t even worth a hundred bucks!”

Fred, yelling from off camera: “I bid a hundred and ONE, Bob.”

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

May the Force be With You, Even in Your Sleep

I once read that there is nothing on this Earth more boring than listening to someone else describe the dream they had the previous night. I never really thought about it that way, but it sounds right. Whenever I describe a dream to a friend, I’m as detailed as possible in order to communicate the wild events, as well as the emotional effects that it had on me. Stunningly, this “friend” always seems to be only feigning interest until the misery is over. Sometimes, possibly as revenge, they start describing the dream they had the previous night. This is usually a convenient time for me to discover that I’m late for an appointment. Or that I need a nap.

So loyal readers, this is your last warning: I’m about to describe the dream I had last night. Seriously…turn away now!

You simple fools. I knew you couldn’t walk away. You’ve already committed to reading the first paragraph of this tripe, so now you are going to read about my dream. I’ll spare you the details, and get right to the “meat” of it. Anyway, I was using my Snowspeeder as cover as I aimed my blaster at the gunner of the evil Imperial AT-AT Walker and—

Um, wait. I guess I should tell you, in my dream I was Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Sorry if I left out that small detail.

You know, I have no idea how dreams work or why we dream certain things, but I gotta tell you, this dream was fun. I had a laser blaster and was firing at a rear gunner on an Imperial AT-AT Walker while hiding behind a snow drift (in the real Star Wars movies, there was no rear gunner on an AT-AT…apparently my dreams are even more imaginative than creator George Lucas). He had just blown my Snowspeeder to smithereens with his laser cannon. I was seriously ticked. And a little scared.

Which is kind of confusing, because a part of me knew it was a movie. The reason I know this is because I vividly remember my last line in the dream. I swear I am not making this up. I had just run around the corner of something and saw a bad guy. I immediately fired my laser blaster at him, and he fell to the ground. Then I yelled:

“HEY! I only had it set to ‘stun’ so you can be in the sequel!!!”

So he got up and ran off.

I think I need to place a phone call to Lucas now.