Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Archive for September 2011

The Boston Red Sox: Charlie Brown to a Football-Wielding Lucy

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Since I’ve failed miserably at generating a new post today, I’ll simply refer y’all to an ever-more-relevant post from August 6, back when the Boston Red Sox were sitting pretty atop the American League East. I’m going to sleep. Wake me up when the World Series is over.


Written by Thag

September 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm

At Our School, Sarcastic Answers Get You Extra Credit

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What They Taught in High School

What They Should Have Taught

The Monroe Doctrine Why Latin American Countries Are Right to Hate the U.S.
How to Dissect a Fetal Pig How to Subsist on the Most Hideous Things When You End Up Homeless and Penniless
Physical Education Avoiding the Draft by Failing the Physical
The Periodic Table What Not to Say to a Girl When She Gets Her Period
Romeo and Juliet Fox in Socks
How to Avoid Getting STDs How to Treat STDs
Expository Writing Exposé Writing
Preparation for the SAT Preparation for Community College
The Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo Why Latin American Countries Have Even More Good Reasons to Hate the U.S.
WWI and WWII – Germans Bad, Russians Good After WWII, All of a Sudden Russians Bad, Germans Good – WTF?
The Articles of the U.S. Constitution and Its Amendments The Art of Burger Flipping
For Any Right Triangle, a²+b²=c² Judging Distances When Flipping Burgers
French Chinese
Driver’s Education Daddy Gets Really, Really Angry If You Take the Car without His Permission and Get into an Accident
C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6 → 2CH3CH2OH + 2CO2
Organic Chemistry How to Talk to Girls without Letting Your Dorkiness Ruin Everything. Dork.

Written by Thag

September 27, 2011 at 12:26 am

Your Kid’s Ability to Display No Ability Whatsoever

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My Kid Can:

And Yet:

Get undressed by himself

Takes all evening to get ready for a shower

Take out all the necessary implements for cereal and milk

Cannot take the used implements to the sink upon finishing

Find exactly the CD he wants from the hundreds in the cabinet

Remains unable to return a single CD to its proper place

Do complex arithmetic in his head

Show no awareness whatsoever how little time is left until the school bus comes

Spot a piece of candy or chocolate from across the house

Stares helplessly at a basket of clean laundry, unable to locate the item he seeks, right there on the top

Run like the wind to chase after a ball

Moves more sluggishly than an actual slug on the way to bed

Schlep all of his books to school every day despite needing only a few

Pleads weakness when it comes to putting all his dirty clothes in the hamper

Remember the lyrics to songs heard only twice

Needs daily reminders not to throw in the house

Tell the same knock-knock joke a billion times

Constantly neglects to say “please” and “thank you”

Devote hours to fashioning a homemade birthday card

Lies helpless in the face of a few minutes’ homework

Shovel pizza into his gullet at breakneck speed

Will not tolerate pasta with tomato sauce and cheese

Stacks blocks carefully and intricately

Knocks over cups full of water at the table

Hates being yelled at

Communicates primarily by yelling

Claims to value his possessions

Actively encourages his two-year-old brother to mistreat his possessions

Read way above his grade level

Thinks Dad’s blog is work

Written by Thag

September 25, 2011 at 1:44 am

Even More Indications of Clueless Loser Blogging

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1. You find, upon checking your blog’s visitor stats, that exactly zero people have visited your blog today. This means:
(a) Everyone else’s internet connection is down.
(b) The manifest merit of your most recent work is far too much for the web to handle.
(c) Your enemies have conspired to deprive you of recognition for your creative efforts.
(d) The enemies of mankind have conspired to deprive the world of your apocalyptically awesome writing.

2. Bots that visit your site in order to leave a false footprint, gambling that you will click on the link they show, are evidence of:
(a) Artificial intelligence, since the bots clearly recognize  talent when they sense it.
(b) Users wary of being directly blown away by your Earth-shattering coolness, who therefore resort to scripts to visit your blog discreetly.
(c) A big break lurking just around the corner.
(d)  Your rivals scouting for valuable inside information on just how you pull it off, you avatar of amazing.

3. The proper internal reaction to comments criticizing your writing involves:
(a) Disbelief that anyone could misread your clear, plain-spoken sentences so wrongly.
(b) Shock that anyone who disagrees with your position has the intelligence to negotiate the comment submission routine.
(c) Security in the knowledge that anyone who fails to arrive at the same conclusion as you must have even worse visitor stats, or they wouldn’t be fishing for visitors to their site by commenting elsewhere, and no, that is NOT projection at ALL.
(d) Dismissal of the comment as evidence that WordPress’s spam filter is malfunctioning.

4. So-called friends who casually mention that they haven’t had a chance recently to look at your blog:
(a) Were sent by the Devil to test your control over your Fist of Death.
(b) Were sent by your enemies to lure you into getting arrested, thereby stopping you, at least temporarily, from continuing to favor the world with your crucial musings.
(c) Lack a soul.
(d) Deserve to be scratched up and dumped into the shark pool at Sea World.

5.  The online world’s preference for interactive content:
(a) Just means that hoi polloi will naturally stay away from your blog, which is great, because you only want the smart, discerning people to become your fan base.
(b) Cannot last in the face of your patently superior text-only content.
(c) Is merely a tool for someone with abilities in creating interactive content to discover your incredible blog and feel compelled to bring it to the masses.
(d) Proves your argument, maintained all along, that your adherence to a rigorous blogging schedule, and your ability to produce material of reliable quantity, demonstrates the inherent merit of your efforts, since nothing of lesser value could have lasted this long.

Written by Thag

September 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

The Assumptions Your Preschooler Makes

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Trips to the bathroom require an announcement.

Different foodstuffs on the same plate must be eaten in a particular order, and one must finish all of one food before starting another.

Different foodstuffs on the same plate must not touch one another.

Yelling “No!” is enough to undo objectionable circumstances beyond anyone’s control, such as the unavailability of a given friend for a play date.

Napkins are for decoration; shirts, for digital hygiene.

Food tastes better from the right color plate.

A parent placing an object out of a child’s reach merely indicates that the child must try harder to reach it, not that there might be some constructive purpose in the child now being unable to reach it.

The best way to show one’s objection to a lack of parental attention is to destroy property or bother siblings.

A sibling leaving the dinner table upon finishing his food means dinner has finished, and everyone else may leave the table, too.

Cups are filled completely regardless of the size of the cup, the amount the drinker can drink, and the mess that will inevitably result from handling the full cup. Corollary: cereal bowls are filled to the brim with corn flakes and milk, irrespective of the quantities involved.

Once a dish of food has been placed in front of another person, it becomes contaminated.

Walls and floors make ideal surfaces upon which to test the usability of markers, crayons and pencils.

The consequences of mistreating a younger sibling can be avoided by running into the next room and hiding one’s face.

Requesting permission is merely a ritual; in essence, I have the right to partake of everything anyone else has.

The answers to questions last at most a few hours; questions must be posed again after that time.

The claim of tiredness is sufficient grounds to be released from any unwanted duties.

The best place to look for something is nowhere near where it was last seen.

Written by Thag

September 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

To Ride this School Bus, You Must Be at Least this Rude

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1. No fighting on the bus unless you can pretend the driver doesn’t see you.

2. Seat belts are for wusses.

3. It does not count as fighting if it starts out as a game.

4. The No Fighting rule only applies to children who have an actual seat. Children forced to stand in the aisle as a result of crowding may fight to their hearts’ content.

5. Any personal property left on the bus will be given to the driver’s children.

6. Any movies shown during the bus ride must feature just enough inappropriate images, language or violence to make the parents uncomfortable, but not quite enough to get them outraged.

7. A child who misses the bus through no fault of his own will be subjected to a driver-administered tongue-lashing the following day.

8. Children may attack, deface and destroy one another’s personal property as much as they wish, but the moment an object is thrown out the window, the driver reserves the right to refuse further transportation to that child for the duration of the academic year.

9. The decibel level in the bus shall remain higher than 90 at all times when children are on board. This level may be sustained through yelling, the radio, DVDs or CDs.

10. Music played by the driver must be of the cruddy or ethnic pop variety. No Beatles, Billy Joel or The Who shall be played.

11. All chants and songs in which children on the bus engage shall feature at least one (1) objectionable lyric.

12. The children must be at the designated pickup point at least five minutes before the scheduled time; the driver reserves the right to be as late as he damn well pleases, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so nyah, nyah.

Written by Thag

September 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Mazel Tov. Today You Are a Mockery

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Dear friends, family, and honored guests:

That’s how Rabbi Stein wanted me to begin this bar mitzva speech. Out of deference to him I kept the opening line, but the rest, well, you’ll understand in a minute.

Let’s face it: today is not about my becoming a man. I’m this little pipsqueak whose voice hasn’t even started to change. My parents’ friends routinely describe me as “cute,” and they don’t mean it in a Ricky Martin kind of way. I’m not even old enough for Ricky Martin to mean anything to me, for crying out loud. How can anyone expect someone who hasn’t even hit the pimply-faced stage to answer to manhood? It’s time to stop pretending that’s what this is about.

It’s also not about celebrating some milestone. You want a milestone? On Thursday I managed to restrain myself from running away and playing Grand Theft Auto when I was supposed to be preparing the reading in the synagogue. First time that’s ever happened. But don’t attribute that to any onset of maturity – attribute it to Dad threatening to ground me for a month and take away my iPhone if I didn’t buckle down and practice.

Alternatively, you might think this celebration has something to do with my ability to read a text in ancient Hebrew and recite a few benedictions, as if I didn’t simply get a recording and memorize it. A budding star, the ladies all cooed. A real ear for tune and rhythm and trope, the men declared. A real load of garbage, I say. A parrot could do the same. Would you celebrate a parrot with a lavish party, maybe force him to wear an ill-fitting suit and a tie too big for his neck? Wait, don’t answer that. I’m not sure I want to know.

So let’s give the honest answer to why we’re all here today. We’re all here because Mom and Dad want to show off, or at least make the social statement that they can throw a shindig like the next assimilated couple. Keeping up with the Schwartzes – no offense, Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz; I like you a lot – is the great temple-centered pastime. We bar mitzva boys are just pieces in this glorified board game our parents and grandparents feel compelled to play.

I asked Rabbi Stein how bar mitzvas were celebrated when he turned thirteen. He said they weren’t. You turned thirteen, you assumed some new responsibilities and went on with your life. If you were lucky, your parents could arrange a bit of herring and schnapps after services one morning. But hey, since the goyim always knew how to party, why couldn’t we Jews learn to do the same? After all, trying to blend in with the surrounding societies has worked so well over the last twenty centuries or so. They love us by now, right? Show the neighbors you can hire some dancing waitresses and they’ll forget all about your reputation as a Christ-killer, or a blood-in-the-matza murderer, or an imperialist Zionist, or whatever the epithet du jour happens to be this century.

It’s pretty convenient that you celebrate this occasion, or whatever it is, when your kid is as likely as not to be years away from facial hair of any significant quantity. He’s not really a teenager yet, so you can get him to cooperate with your hedonistic, consumerist bash without a major risk of adolescent rebellion upsetting your big plans. Mom? Dad? How’s that working out for you?

Honored guests, if you want this event to be about maturity, I suggest you so-called grown-ups exhibit some. I want to be proud of my heritage, but the only message I get from you is that my heritage is only important if it doesn’t interfere with a business opportunity, or trips to Aruba, or social climbing. Somehow I get the feeling that’s not the message in the ancient Hebrew text you all say I – and I quote every last one of you – “read so beautifully.” I shouldn’t even know the word “travesty” at my age. So how about “bitter irony.” Will that do?

Mazel tov. You’re now ready to become grown-ups.


Written by Thag

September 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm