Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘fashion

NY Jets Embarrassed They All Wore The Same Thing Onto The Field AGAIN

leave a comment »

JetsEast Rutherford, NJ – Adding a fashion faux pas to a season already shaping up as a disaster, every single member of the New York Jets roster chose an identical outfit in which to appear for their game today.

The team’s 0-6 start to the season results from what commentators are calling the perfect storm of rotten luck, bad decisions, lack of coordination among players, and simmering tensions among rival teammates. To make matters worse, say analysts, the team committed an aesthetic and cultural gaffe by appearing in public all wearing the same clothes, save for different numbers on their jerseys.

“Oh, my gosh, lame,” explained commentator John Madden. “I mean, they have stalls, like, right next to one another in the locker room – you;d think they’d pick up on the fact that someone else is wearing, like the exact same thing.”

Bob Costas of NBC Sports concurred. “This could have been avoided with a minimal amount of preparatory work on the part of the players, and, failing that, the coaching staff. This really gives new meaning to the term Offensive Coordinator. I can’t think of a more apt term right now.”

Numerous Jets squads have begin their seasons 0-6, with the franchise often serving as a metaphor for perpetual cellar-dwellers. The team last won a Super Bowl in 1969, leaving athletic achievement to the more talented, better-trained, and more prestigious clubs in the National Football League. The lack of expectation from fans that the team post a winning record, let alone advance into the playoffs, has freed them to pursue attainments in other realms, such as sniping at one another and trying to wear their helmets at the jauntiest angle possible.

Players expressed shock and disgrace at the mistake. “I thought I had the original idea to match my jersey and football pants to the green and white of the turf and yard markers,” said Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. “Imagine my chagrin upon discovering that all 52 of my teammates made the same fashion decision. I wish I could die.”

The incident recalls a similar episode in Borough Park, Brooklyn, last year, when fisticuffs broke out among adherents of Bobov and Ger Hasidic sects over which group had usurped the black frocks of the other.

Written by Thag

October 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Hamas Unveils Winter Line Of Suicide Bomber Fashions

with one comment

suicide BarbieKhan Yunis refugee camp, Gaza Strip (AP) – Times may be tough, but Hamas designers are busy releasing their winter 2014 looks for the suicide-vest-wearing crowd, and the new offerings are to die for. Or in.

Chief Hamas fashion designer Mahmoud A-Zahar has completely revamped the classic martyr look, replacing the traditional bulky vest and its busy, busy pockets of pipe bombs, with explosive plates and improvised shrapnel that put the slim in Muslim. The male models showing off the new offerings prance about the runway, and when they are finished, they head back outside where they get a stylish bullet to the head for homosexual behavior.

“It’s all about the trim and the sleek in this time of austerity,” gushes A-Zahar, referring to the deprivation that Gaza Strip residents undergo because the sassy Hamas refuses to waver from its goal of eliminating as many Israelis as possible by violent means. “Just because we’re death-loving, barbaric fundamentalists, we shouldn’t look fashionable?”

The new vest’s slimness is engineered to help its fashion-forward wearer blend in with infidels, even those far beyond Gaza’s borders. “We can export these to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, you name it,” he said.

A-Zahar had to have the materials for his new vests shipped into the Gaza Strip at great expense, now that Egypt has closed off most of the underground smuggling routes and Israel maintains a naval blockade. Unable to obtain the standard steel ball-bearings that typically serve as the shrapnel in what is essentially a sartorial Claymore mine, he appropriated materials such as screws and nails from critical public works projects.

“The people of Khan Yunis have lived with pitiful sewage systems for the longest time,” he laughed. “Another two years won’t make such a difference. Besides, the European Union will always sponsor a few more containers of raw materials for the poor, poor Gazans.” With an artist’s wave of a hand, he revels in the willingness of foreign governments to underwrite Gaza’s infrastructure, freeing him and his fellow designers to dedicate funds to the stylistically more significant effort of eliminating the Zionist Entity next door.

The fashion endeavors do not end with the suicide bomber vest; A-Zahar’s fellow Hamas designer Ismail Haniyeh oversees a grassroots effort to bring design sensibilities to the people by having them contribute metal pipes and tubing from plumbing, construction, electrical, and other infrastructure projects so they can serve as components of rockets to be aimed at Israeli civilians. “We put the art in artillery,” beamed Haniyeh.

Written by Thag

December 19, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Classic Thag, December 2010: Why You Should Become a Zombie

leave a comment »

Originally posted December 20, 2010

Zombies might not exist, but do you want to take that chance?

I don’t mean you should take some stupid, superstitious safety precautions to keep zombies at bay; that’s clearly a waste of time, resources, and whatever passes for your credibility. No, I’m thinking about the future: what happens to you after you die and your body starts to decompose? Wouldn’t it be the coolest thing in the world if your body could be reanimated as a zombie?!

Your remains, wandering around spooking people – and maybe even eating some brains for good measure. Does an urnful of cremation ashes offer the same jaw-dropping, scream-inducing coolness? Of course not. Just opt for burial over cremation and you’re set, on the off chance that bodies can rise from the dead as zombies.

I know what you’re thinking: it costs less to cremate a body than to purchase and maintain a burial plot. But not that much more, especially in some outlying areas – and as any good horror film student knows, it’s the suburbs where the undead action is. And no one says you have to have the grave maintained to be eligible for zombiehood. So if you’re willing to lay out a few thousand dollars more, at most, you can guarantee a chance to give your old skin, bones and rotting flesh a new lease on something vaguely resembling life! It’s like joining a retirement community!

We all want to make an impact on the world that outlasts our physical sojourn on this mortal coil. Unfortunately, we can’t all be Shakespeare, Einstein, da Vinci or Marx (Karl or Groucho). Or Stalin, for that matter. If we’re lucky, we might inspire a nice once-off memorial gesture by relatives, such as a donation in our names to the Elmer Fudd Speech Pathology Foundation.

Burial, however, offers the advantage of keeping a body available for diabolical reawakening and the overrunning of sleepy hamlets. If circumstances permit, your body might even participate in an full-scale zombie invasion of a major metropolitan area! There’s no way you could do that with a bunch of ashes. And the carbon emissions from the cremation process are just wrong. Your decomposing flesh will reintegrate with the ground in the most natural way while it waits to be mobilized for an undead offensive.

And if you’re really serious about it, you can even invest in embalming. But that’s for the really hardcore zombie wannabes, people willing to pay to guarantee an intact physical frame, even if the skin does take on a disturbing hue. But disturbing is exactly what you’re aiming for, after all; you want your remains to be disturbed so they can rise up and terrorize the populace.

The choice is clear. I know I wouldn’t be caught dead being cremated.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook, and you, too, can join the community of zombies strangely enamored of a guy named Thag.

Written by Thag

October 15, 2012 at 12:43 am

What Do Marsupials and Comic-Con Attendees Have in Common?

with one comment

Written by Thag

July 23, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Teen Vogue Vows to Use Only Digitally Manipulated Images of Models

with 3 comments

New York (AP) – In response to Seventeen Magazine’s newly announced policy of refraining from the use of digitally manipulated photos, its rival Teen Vogue has adopted the opposite policy: it will only publish images of models after they have undergone digital enhancement of some kind.

Seventeen publicized its policy after a campaign by a Maine teenager prompted them to make their image policy more transparent. The campaign focused on extracting  commitment from the magazine to provide a more realistic portrayal of its teen modelsand Seventeen responded. Teen Vogue, however, intends to pursue digital alteration of models’ images as far as is profitable, according to a statement by Condé Nast, Teen Vogue’s parent company.

“Our competitors are welcome to try scoring a few short-lived brownie points with do-gooders,” the statement read, in part. “Teen Vogue, however, will continue to give its readers what they want: images of impossibly perfect teen models guaranteed to harm adolescent girls’ self-esteem.”

Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley, before (top) and after (above) her portrait was digitally manipulated using Adobe Photoshop.

The statement continued: “Our advertisers – the real source of our revenue – have a stake in keeping our readers dependent on their products and services, and that can only be served by perpetuating our readers’ sense of inadequacy.”

Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley addressed reporters today at a press conference, and pointed to the increasing sophistication with which teen girls can be manipulated into buying cosmetics, hair care products, push-up bras, and even investing in plastic surgery. “It would be an irresponsible use of our shareholders’ resources to waste all that potential revenue,” Astley noted. “Our first responsibility is to our parent company; the paying customer can go to Hell.”

Teen Vogue‘s move comes amid a rising tide of popular sentiment opposed to the use of digitally altered images in fashion magazine, and not only in the U.S. An Israeli law, the first of its kind, was passed in May, outlawing the publication of manipulated fashion photography created in the country.

“They’re obviously betting on the sentiment becoming no more than a fad,” said fashion magazine industry analyst Slim Stiles. “What’s different about Teen Vogue‘s announcement isn’t its existence – everyone does it – but its stated commitment to old-school, P.T. Barnum marketing.” Late nineteenth-century entertainment magnate Barnum was famous for his cynical exploitation of American entertainment clientele.

Stiles voiced cautious optimism over Teen Vogue‘s strategy, noting a precedent: Hollywood has not suffered significantly despite nearly a century of promoting impossibly svelte and attractive women as role models for American women to emulate. “You might quibble and say that teen magazines aren’t trying to fill the same niche – that they’re not selling a fantasy as entertainment. That’s only half-true: they’re selling fantasy, alright, but presenting it as attainable reality.”

The Teen Vogue press statement also included an announcement that Condé Nast had acquired a 20% stake in Butler, Riess & Co., a firm that handles advertising for therapists and psychiatrists who focus on clients with body-image issues.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook.

Written by Thag

July 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

To Do: Make To-Do List

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

May 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Also, I Can’t Figure out Why My Desk Chair Keeps Sagging…

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

April 22, 2012 at 8:59 am

Raise Your Hand if You Want Your Daughter to Dress Like a Hussy

with 6 comments

Written by Thag

December 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Indication No. 624 that You Lack a Soul: “Leverage” as a Verb

with 3 comments

Written by Thag

December 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Take This Pregnancy and Childbirth Quiz, Then Go Throw Up Again

with 13 comments

1. Which is the most appropriate verbal reaction to discovering a female friend is pregnant?
(a) “Ooooooh – was it an accident?”
(b) “Well no wonder you look like a hippopotamus with a gland problem.”
(c) “My sister knows someone whose cousin was carrying twins, but she had a case of food poisoning and miscarried and sank into a suicidal depression, but thank God they were able to pump her stomach and get all the barbiturates out in time.”
(d) “Goddamn breeders.”

2. The 20th-week ultrasound procedure is meant to:
(a) Give the parents the opportunity to agonize over whether they should find out the baby’s sex.
(b) Give the ultrasound technicians the opportunity to yank the chains of the anxious parents.
(c) Provide yet another source of material for the expectant parents to share ad nauseam with absolutely anyone who might seem to be listening to every last excruciating detail of the developing fetus’s epic journey.
(d) Force the mother to take time off from work to undergo the procedure, as a harbinger of the much more daunting family vs. career decisions that await her a few months down the line.

3. Morning sickness:
(a) Is all in the woman’s head. Yeesh. Women.
(b) Was named by an insensitive clod who thought his wife vomited her guts out only in the morning, as he only saw her in the morning  since he was working late and carousing with his buddies until all hours after work.
(c) Lasts only through part of the second trimester, unless it decides to stick around THROUGH THE WHOLE %$#@! PREGNANCY! WHY ME, LORD, WHY ME?! WHY CAN’T I FEEL NORMAL FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME?!
(d) Disappears entirely after the child is born, to be replaced by sleepless nights, cracked nipples, breast infections and tension in relationship with your husband as you both discover how difficult and uncomfortable your previous level of intimacy will become, breeding enough resentment and mutual recriminations to support a bevy of marriage counselors for years to come.

4. What is the function of the placenta?
(a) To make the delivery room cleanup staff earn their pay.
(b) A post-partum entree.
(c) To gross out the supposedly stoic, unflappable father.
(d) To offer hippie idiots another wonderful idea for a baby name.

5. The baby’s temperament is determined by:
(a) Choosing exactly the right kind of yoga and listening to exactly the right kind of music and eating exactly the right kinds of foods during pregnancy.
(b) How assiduously the parents threaten the newborn during the first few weeks.
(c) The parents’ Adjusted Gross Income.
(d) Whether it belongs to you or someone else. If to someone else, it will be an absolute angel; if to you, Satan incarnate.

6. What is the best way to minimize the difficulties of labor and delivery?
(a) Lamaze classes that primarily teach you exactly when to demand an epidural.
(b) Breathing exercises. See, if you breathe just so, you’ll forget how humiliating and endless your childbirth experience is becoming. Don’t believe me? I can’t imagine why not.
(c) Pay the servants to have the contractions for you.
(d) Birth control.

7. Many women find that pregnancy affects their memory. What is a pregnant woman likely to forget?
(a) Why the hell she ever consented to this.
(b) Where all the clothes that fit her have gone.
(c) What non-swollen ankles feel like.
(d) What her feet look like.

8. What is the most common reaction of strangers to encountering a pregnant woman?
(a) To reach out and touch the pregnant belly, as if it’s perfectly OK to touch someone else’s body without permission.
(b) To pretend not to notice her, thus successfully overcoming social pressure to offer her a seat on a crowded bus or train.
(c)  “My sister knows someone whose cousin was carrying twins, but she had a case of food poisoning and miscarried and sank into a suicidal depression, but thank God they were able to pump her stomach and get all the barbiturates out in time.”
(d) Wise-ass comments.

9. Maternity clothes:
(a) Fit the models very nicely, but apparently no other pregnant woman in the world is shaped like you, so good luck finding stuff that fits.
(b) Are just fat-people clothes with higher prices and fancier names.
(c) Basically shout, “Look at me, I’m gestating and gaining an obscene amount of mass! I can’t imagine anyone who WOULDN’T want to call attention to herself in such a manner!”
(d) Might be nice, but I’d rather have enough money to pay the rent.

Written by Thag

November 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Not “Fat”. Just “Stupid”.

leave a comment »

Like European fiscal incompetence, my midriff region has expanded in recent years. This is perfectly consistent with impending middle age – only four years till forty! – but it’s rather annoying to find my trousers no longer fit as they used to. I don’t have time for an exercise regimen, and dieting is out of the question, unless it’s an all-Ben & Jerry’s diet. And I don’t mean sorbet. Yuck. Just for the thought you should be flogged.

Clearly, the only reasonable option here involves physical removal of the excess tissue. Cosmetic surgeons will do that, of course, but elective cosmetic surgery is only slightly less repulsive than that sorbet idea you had (what the hell is wrong with you?). And it costs more money than I care to spend – think of how much Chocolate Therapy ice cream you could get for $2500! So paying someone else to perform the liposuction procedure is out.

Fortunately, I’m a do-it-yourself kind of guy: I brush and floss my own teeth; empty my own bladder; shave my own facial hair; prepare my own meals; do my own laundry. I even clip (or bite) my own nails – fingers and toes. I’m pretty handy with a funnel, too. So how hard can this be to do at home?

They sell over-the-counter topical anesthetics, right? I’ve got my old science kit somewhere upstairs, with a scalpel, and there should be a sewing kit in my wife’s closet. We have some spare plastic straws in the kitchen, and a big plastic bucket to catch drainage.

Now, as I understand, some suction might be necessary. No problem: we have a wet-dry Shop Vac. Once I’m done, some soap and water ought to get that baby clean as a whistle. I just need to practice my stitching and I’m all set.

There are plenty of peripherals to worry about: containing the mess, dusting the house beforehand to make sure it’s sanitary, picking the right color thread for the stitches. I’m thinking purple, mostly because we would otherwise never use the purple thread; it just sits there. As for the possible mess, we’ve got plenty of rags, and plastic garbage bags will do fine to protect the floor.

I’m looking forward to fitting into all those trousers again without a struggle. I’d put an elastic waist on them, but that’s a lot of work.

Written by Thag

July 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

Oh, Kate’s Dress Will Be White. WHY DO YOU CARE?

with 4 comments

I thought I could not care less about the impending nuptials of Prince William and Kate Whatsername. Then an article in today’s NY Times made me realize that in some small way I do care, if indirectly. The article discussed, with no sense of irony or existential shame, how watching the wedding on TV will serve to bridge a generational divide as parents and children bond over the event.

Although I could not bring myself to read the article – my gag reflex did its job – I realized that I could care less – that there was a little bit of caring I still had in me: I care that our society has degraded to the point that the marriage of a person famous for nothing at all other than being born to other people famous for nothing at all, etc., can so captivate an international audience. I care that people in general feel such a lack in their own lives that they must latch onto the lives of celebrities for vicarious excitement. Why do you give a damn one way or the other what Kate’s dress looks like? Does it change your existence in any way? Would not knowing be unspeakable? So why do you waste time reading about it, discussing it and possibly imitating it? What is WRONG with you people?

Serious journalism should not involve Kate Middleton’s dress. The roster of people involved in discussing Kate Middleton’s dress should be: the designer, the craftspeople, Ms. Middleton herself, and possibly William, if he cares enough. Really, that’s it. The dress is an accessory. It will be worn once, featured in photographs of the day, and should then be either left to rot or donated to a dress bank for indigent brides. Or a costume shop. But otherwise reputable news organizations have teams of journalists covering this thing, as if it deserves even a fraction of the attention of the developing Syrian crisis.

I appreciate the little-girl princess fantasy. I, personally, have one daughter and three sons, so the princessing is kept to a minimum; but I do have two nieces whose mother is much more inclined than my wife is to indulge those fantasies. That’s what this whole hullabaloo amounts to, after all: an adult princess fantasy. And that’s just the problem: the idiots yammering away about every last glamorous detail of this party have not matured past the point of the princess fantasy. News flash: that point should have passed at about age twelve, and if you are male, age four.

“But that’s what our audience wants to read about,” protest these news organizations, citing market pressures. Market pressures, my foot. Your audience, as a rule, doesn’t give a fig about border skirmishes between Thailand and Cambodia, but there it is, smack dab among the headlines. Make up your mind, then, and don’t pretend to engage in genuine journalism while peddling hyperbolic nonsense. The Public Interest does not mean, “what the public is interested in seeing,” but, “what the public would be interested in knowing if they knew what was good for them.”

From here, it looks like the public needs a swift kick in the pants.

Written by Thag

April 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

My Butt Keeps Getting in the Way of the Keyboard

leave a comment »

Why yes, I am supposed to cleaning the living room, not putting down roots in front of the computer. Why do you ask?

Oh, please. It’s not like the kids won’t trash the place within ten minutes of coming downstairs tomorrow. Wouldn’t all that hard work just be a waste of time and effort? At least in front of the computer I waste only time. I have to save up my effort for the important tasks, such as dragging my expanding butt out of this chair and upstairs to bed.

I used to have a butt that stayed more or less the same size most of the time, but recently, a kind spouse whose relationship to me shall remain undivulged pointed out that the pleats on the back of my trousers were no longer pleats. This was news to me not because I don’t generally look at my butt (I have other people to do such things for me), but because I was unaware that my trousers had pleats in the back. In fact, until that moment, I couldn’t have told you with true confidence whether those trousers had pleats in the front, either (I have other other people to look at my lap region).

It could be that the trousers in question are simply showing their age (as opposed to mine). They’re made by Bugle Boy, a company that went belly-up (hah!) in 2001, which should give you some idea. I tend to wear my clothes beyond wearability. The Timberland boots that got me through winter after winter from 2001 ceased to keep the water out in about 2006. I finally replaced them in the summer of 2010. My undershirts resemble Swiss cheese, and that’s just the way they look; the way they smell cannot be easily captured with mere words. I’ve worn the same light hand-me-down jacket during spring and fall since who knows when, and I keep wearing it despite the stained, frayed cuffs and moody zipper.

So you’ll have to find a more convincing argument than fitness (or fitting) to get me to move my butt and clean the living room. And doing both at once is out of the question. Not to mention hazardous. You want the kids to come downstairs in the morning to find their father collapsed in a heap with a strained butt?

OK, don’t answer that question.

Written by Thag

April 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Dear Alumnus: Give Us Money in Exchange for This Ugly Magazine

leave a comment »

Dear Alumnus,

It has been an exciting year at St. Ignoramus University: a new president, renovated facilities and an invigorated campaign to involve our loyal alumni in on-campus affairs. We trust that this letter finds you as enthusiastic about the future as we are.

Dr. Rudolph de Redneaux Eréndière assumed the duties of President on the first of February and immediately transformed the atmosphere on campus by barring the use of air conditioners or heaters in offices, classrooms, dorm rooms and communal facilities such as cafeterias and auditoriums. In a single warm afternoon, Dr. de Redneaux Eréndière thus gave the lie to claims that St. Ignoramus could not hold its own in comparison to the stuffy likes of Yale and Harvard.

In December, the university inaugurated its refurbished athletic facilities in venerable Luddite Hall, furnishing students with state-of-the-art jump ropes, in addition to an ever-changing, ever-growing obstacle course consisting of dining hall food scraps and chemistry lab refuse.

The Michael Jackson School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences celebrated its grand reopening in January, welcoming back all the students who recovered from inhaling toxic fumes there the previous semester. In recognition of their devotion, the entrance features a plaque and a modern sculpture inspired by the chemical structure of the compounds that eroded their bronchial tubes.

But of course one of St. Ignoramus University’s principal strengths lies in its active alumni, who remain in continual contact with the goings-on on campus and strive to give successive generations of students the opportunities they enjoyed during their own time here. In December, the university was thrilled to host an afternoon with prominent graduates of our dear alma mater: Michael Tyson, relationship counselor; Roger Clemens, renowned expert on controlled substances; Idi Amin Dada, therapeutic touch clinician; and John Galliano, cultural sensitivity trainer, among many others. Our current and former students got to rub shoulders with some of St. Ignoramus’s most storied and accomplished alumni, and of course gained inspiration to last a lifetime.

Naturally, all of these endeavors require the continued financial support of our loyal graduates. You need not be told about he expenses associated with running a top-flight academic institution; but even St. Ignoramus needs funds. We invite you to contribute to our annual campaign, so that the next generation of underachievers can rise to the mediocrity for which we so adequately prepare them, just as you benefited from the apathy, hostility and petty rivalries of our somewhat esteemed faculty.

Please, help us nurture the next class of students. Enclosed you will find a half-assed brochure with the humdrum stories of our typical students. Help us transform them into people capable of turning a performance of our national anthem into an epic failure on national television. Help us continue to nudge our students along the path to questionable careers in fields of mystifyingly resilient weltschmerz.

Yours truly,

Belle Wether
President Alumni Association
St. Ignoramus University

Written by Thag

March 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm

It’s a Good Thing My Three-Year-Old Doesn’t Need to Shave Every Morning

leave a comment »

I think I’ve figured out how to get out of the house on time in the morning: forget personal hygiene.

I don’t mean neglecting activities essential for health, such as brushing teeth or emptying the bladder. No, I mean such peripheral activities such as brushing or combing hair; shaving; applying deodorant (who needs it in winter, anyway?); and caring whether my socks match. It’s time-consuming enough just to make sure I take out all the right items of clothing; don’t saddle me with aesthetic requirements on top of that (shoes, in case you were wondering, fall into the “essential” category, as some cases of mismatch can lead to tripping, unsuitable protection from the elements, etc., and the consequent injury, illness and death. I think we can agree that’s not an aesthetic consideration, though it is something of a faux pas).

My children espouse the extreme opposite of this view. They will not don clothing until all elements of the day’s garb are arrayed on their beds. They often will refuse to remove pajamas unless and until this condition obtains, but not always; it frequently happens that one will remove pajamas and only then go about extracting the various sartorial items from the dresser or closet, as if prancing about in the altogether during the northern hemisphere’s tilt away from the sun is an acceptable, wise course of action. Any suggestion that one should don, say, the underwear, shirt and trousers, and only then initiate the search for matching (!) socks – especially when said search requires the assistance of a grown-up – will be met with resistance, puzzlement and pouting.

Overcoming this resistance cannot be accomplished by logic; logic has no bearing on the will of a young child resolved to wear only the underwear at the bottom of the laundry hamper. Logic cannot penetrate the youthful desire to wear three button-down shirts at once. Logic fails in the face of a child’s stated goal of wearing rain boots in the middle of the dry season.

Curiously, this insistence on getting dressed only one way or not at all has no bearing whatsoever on the youngsters’ bathroom habits. Their fastidiousness with clothing is inversely proportionate to their concern with matters hygienic or sanitary. Thus the streaks of toothpaste on the vanity; thus the stench of many a badly aimed urination; thus the utter disregard for washing hands. And we shall not get started on the frequency, lack of discretion and choice of disposal method when it comes to nose picking.

But they’ll come around. One of these days they’ll begin to find the inconsistencies in their behavior inappropriate, and adjust accordingly.

So the bathroom will still need constant cleaning, but at least they’ll make less fuss about getting dressed.

Written by Thag

February 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Happy *Cough* Cough* Valentine’s *Cough* *Cough* Day

leave a comment »

Wow, isn’t that just lovely? How did you get the cigarette smoke to come out of your nostrils in just that fashion?

I’m blown away, if you’ll excuse the pun. I had always thought that voluntarily inhaling and exhaling a mixture of tar, nicotine, smoke and various other harmful materials had little in the way of aesthetic appeal. But rowrr! You, sir, have just proved me wrong!

I have been wrong all these years to frown on people who display little regard for their health; I have misjudged the importance of the joy one gets from engaging in such activity, importance that far outweighs the disease, cardiovascular damage, impaired senses of smell and taste, and just plain yuckiness of the habit.

Is there some sort of ceremony to undergo now that I’m a convert? Should I immerse myself three times in a tub of saturated fats? Circumcise myself with a butane lighter? Take communion with lead-laced wine and salmonella-infested wafer? What does our deity, Baal Philip Morris, ordain? Wait, lemme guess: it involves a monetary offering, preferably twice a day, for the rest of my shortened life. Or a burnt offering every few minutes. Am I good, or what?

Addictive behavior is just an idea to me, so I don’t really know how to go about relating to all you smokers now that I no longer think of you as irresponsible, stinky, short-sighted, inconsiderate bastards with no self control. Would it help if I accompanied you outside in the freezing weather for your smoking break instead of continuing to do the work we’re all supposed to be doing? How should I deal with the omnipresent stench that settles upon clothes, furnishings and hair that have been hanging out with a smoker? Or do you have no idea what I mean? I suppose if I spend more time in your company the question will cease to have relevance rather quickly. At least for me; my family and other friends might still retain olfactory abilities, but I won’t have a clue what they’re yammering on about.

But back to that nose smoke. That’s just irresistible. It’s dragon-like. The sexiness and virility it radiates are on par with sticking an automobile tailpipe in there, minus the obstacle of getting the thing in. The casting of caution to the wind has always been romantic and adventurous, so what could be more romantic and adventurous than sustained and total disregard for one’s well-being? Funny, though, I’m still waiting for a satisfactory answer to why you don’t spend time with your date jumping off the roofs of skyscrapers. No rush, though; you’ve got plenty of time to think during the time your nicotine-starved receptors quickly negate your brain’s ability to function until plugged by more nicotine.

Associated with this change in world view is the realization that I don’t really need all that money for anything else, and the tobacco companies, with all those employees to pay, need my disposable income more than I. How much a does a pack cost these days? On a yearly basis, that’s a good chunk of change those American heroes at Marlboro can put to good use. Even if I don’t smoke, I can at least send regular checks their way.

But if I really want to secure those companies’ future, I should actively encourage kids to take up smoking. America is good at producing sexy people, and what could be sexier than a newly christened adult who already has the habit? Rowr indeed.

Written by Thag

February 14, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Will You Shut Up? I’m Trying to Swim

with 2 comments

Rules of Pool Use:

1. No one wants your bodily slime in the pool, and we hope you do not want anyone else’s there. So shower thoroughly before entering the pool.

2. Urine goes in the toilet only. We really should not have to tell you that it does not belong in the pool. If people wanted to swim in your urine, they would go to your toilet, not this pool.

3. Speedos are prohibited unless the wearer has a physique that is a pleasure to behold.

4. If you wish to run in the pool area, you must first sign a waiver absolving the pool management of responsibility for the consequences. As an aside, the pool facility does have some medical supplies, but we charge for their use.

5. Idling is prohibited in the lap lanes of the pool. Swimmers who encounter persons idling in the lap lanes may forcibly remove the swimwear of the idlers and hold it for ransom.

6. Do not flirt with the lifeguards.

7. All ogling of lithe bodies must be done discreetly. Catcalls, stares or other non-subtle appreciations of the human form in all its sensual beauty will result in dismissal from the facility.

8. The pool management accepts no responsibility for injuries or damage sustained to persons or property resting within twenty feet of the pool edge. You want to lie around and get a tan? Go to the beach or rent a lounge chair.

9. The pool is not a love nest. Couples who wish to embrace or intertwine their limbs must reserve this activity for more private environs.

10. Changing rooms function as their name indicates. Pool guests may not inflict their nudity upon others present beyond the bare minimum necessary for preparation and/or changing. Violators will find their names and photographs published on Facebook.

11. Food is prohibited in the pool area. So are littering, smoking, shouting, fighting, playing music, dancing and foul language. Your right to express yourself through these activities disappears when you enter this facility. Violators will be given violent swimsuit wedgies by frustrated children’s swim instructors.

12. When the pool is in use for swimming lessons, you must wait until the lessons end before entering it. Any mention of your “valuable time” in objecting to this arrangement will be met with a knee to the groin.

13. Faking a need for rescue will result in intentional drowning of the perpetrator.

Written by Thag

January 18, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Need a Change of Clothes? Urine Luck

leave a comment »

I’m not one to focus excessively on clothes.

OK, that’s a flagrant lie. I focus a good bit of my time on clothes, primarily in gathering, cleaning, folding and storing them.

So let’s try again: I’m not one to focus excessively on choice in clothes. My sartorial rule: dark top with light trousers or vice versa. No stripes, no patterns, no confusion. I have better ways to spend my time than frittering away half the morning trying to coordinate an outfit: I can blog about frittering away half the morning trying to coordinate an outfit.

Mrs. Thag pays even less attention to such things than I do. Her wardrobe suits those sensibilities as well; if ever we need to attend an event that requires something other than casual dress, a brief powwow precedes the selection of garments from the Rarely Used section of the closet (that’s also where we keep the tact).

Our children have naturally inherited no sense of style, which presents quite a social and parenting challenge for us, since they have inherited plenty of clothes that do not necessarily match. It’s one thing for me to feel contented with my limited repertoire of chinos and button-downs; it’s another thing entirely for my offspring to encounter a drawer full of stripes, plaid and assorted other patterns that complicate the matching calculus (and they’re much more inclined toward poetry).

Thus, this morning, in the interest of preserving marital harmony and adherence to an already strained morning routine, I withheld my critique of certain sartorial choices. I remain idly curious whether our three-year-old daughter’s outfit today came solely of her own selection or whether her mother had some say in the process. It will remain a curiosity, as I do not wish to make such a triviality a topic of conversation, a conversation that will inevitably contain at least a trace of perceived dissing vis-à-vis sense of style, or lack thereof.

But requests to change do occur. Just the other evening, in fact, we requested of one of our sons to change his pajamas, since they reeked of urine – as you can well imagine, quite the fashion faux pas (urine is sooo last season). We shall accept, provisionally, his assertion that he had nothing to do with it, and that the stench resulted only from a surreptitious visit from the Urine Fairy, who seems to enjoy stopping by that bedroom and staying a while. What we could not initially comprehend was his refusal to comply.

It turns out not that the pajamas in question were no more or less visually suited to the occasion; no, he refused to change because that would mean he was no longer the first one in pajamas that evening. It took a while for us to persuade him that changing pajamas would not automatically strip him of the all-important title. But he was still suspicious as he grudgingly replaced them (I’m suspicious, however, regarding the sincerity of his devotion to being appropriately garbed first. He betrays no such drive in the mornings – see “strained routine,” above).

The following fashion wisdom I can, however, impart to you, lest your sense has been affected by our toddler: hats go on the head, not in the toilet.

Written by Thag

December 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

The Three Little Kittens Probably Did It on Purpose

with 2 comments

The Toddler Principles of Mitten Use

1. I am dimly aware that my thumb plays a role in the process, but am as yet incapable of aligning that thumb with the thumb compartment. Either that, or I mastered the required level of digital dexterity and am just messing with you.

2. You will regret not clipping the mittens to my coat sleeve. Are you trying to lose these things?

3. The number of times I will remove the mittens and cry that my hands are cold is inversely proportionate to your patience.

4. I am perfectly capable of disproving your contention that mittens only disappear one at a time.

5. You are fooling yourself if you think that I cannot remove mittens that have no separate thumb.

6. Because washing mittens is inconvenient at best and outright destructive at worst, I will make sure to wipe my runny nose on the mittens as frequently and messily as possible.

7. The compromised manual dexterity that mittens cause will in no way prevent me from demanding foodstuffs that necessitate full finger use, such as pretzel sticks or Cheerios.

8. The odds of my removing and dropping at least one mitten increase in proportion to the wetness of the ground.

9. If you do wise up enough to attach the mittens to my coat sleeve with clips, if you then make the mistake of trying to do so while I am wearing the coat, I will move around as much as possible, and might throw a tantrum.

10. Despite all your precautions and efforts, at least one mitten will disappear by the time winter ends.

Written by Thag

December 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

I Clothe My Prejudice in Other Terms

leave a comment »

I don’t want to sound like a bigot here, but children have absolutely no aesthetic sense.

Don’t call me anti-children, because some of my closest relatives are children. I interact with them everyday; my conclusion comes from many years of association.

It just takes some maturity and life experience to recognize, for example, that two items of clothing – say, a shirt and pair of pants – do not actually match if they are the same color in slightly different shades. Or that black and dark blue don’t go together. Or that two vastly different patterns and textures, despite having in them a common color somewhere, do not an outfit make. Or that an undershirt, should you choose to wear one, should not be left untucked if it will stick out beyond the lower hem of the outer shirt.

The fashion faux pas (What is the plural of that? Fauxs pases? Faux pax? Here’s a bigoted statement: the French chose one weird phonetic system) perpetrated by children can nevertheless be quite endearing, at least until a certain age. The flagrant violations of sartorial taboo, however, are not confined to the must-still-hold-hands-to-cross-the-street demographic. People of age, who should know better, are walking around with utter disregard for good taste.

Me, I know better than to set foot outside any more than absolutely necessary. Considering what we now know about exposure to the sun, that’s a pretty sound healthcare policy, but that’s not what I have in mind. It’s apparently quite the fashion statement to have a baby strapped to oneself, and my little ones aren’t always available as fashion accessories (although just the other day I had the toddler strapped to my back and the three-year-old in my arms, and felt dapper indeed as I inched my way around the block, suddenly remembering the back pain I had all of last week). Lord knows what the fashionistas would say if they saw a super-cool cat such as I walking around sans enfant (I take it back; French has its place). And we know just how reliable barometer of fashion I am, since I just made the phrases “super-cool” and “such as I” appear together with no internal irony (“I, Meta-Man, from St. Ives…”).

However, since such a powerful tool of fashion sense is far too dangerous for children to use as accessories – the local authorities seem to have the same aesthetic sensibilities, as they also seem not to be enamored of using children thus (I do have a story about that, actually; some other time) – I do not let my children wear other children unsupervised. Who knows what kind of visual offense they may commit? Would they wear them upside down? That might get noisy. Would they neglect to change a soiled diaper? See, that’s the thing: children as fashion accessories are high-maintenance.

As opposed to when they’re not fashion accessories.

Written by Thag

November 3, 2010 at 8:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,