Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘work

Study: Too Late To Make Resolutions For 2015

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resolutionsBethesda, MD, January 5 – Scientists at the nation’s leading institute for chronological studies have concluded that as of today, there is no point in resolving to make a positive lifestyle or behavioral change to mark the new year.

Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed data from each year over the last 50, and determined that the temporal deadline for making a New Year’s resolution never occurs later than the fourth of January. Any resolution voiced or otherwise accepted after that date sill simply not take force, and the would-be resolver will have no choice but to wait until the following January 1 to make a valid commitment.

The study carries important implications for commitment studies, especially as they affect diets and relationships, says researcher Indyan Giver. “For many people, the onset of January activates their resolutions, but that only works when a person has a resolution lined up that can kick in the moment midnight arrives to usher in the new year,” she said. “But the calendar has some flexibility, meaning that as many as three more days can pass before it’s simply too late to make a resolution, and that person will remain unable to make any lasting positive changes for nearly 365 more days.”

To some, notes Giver, missing that tiny window of opportunity is a blessing in disguise. “Our study also found that up to 75% of Americans are physiologically incapable of sustaining a resolution beyond the third week of January, and 95% beyond the first week of February,” explained. “So this study is good news for most people, who shouldn’t bother anyway.”

The consequences of missing the resolution deadline generally involve becoming stuck in a rut of weight gain, bad habits, dysfunctional relationships, and undesirable work situations, with no hope of personal, professional, or any other sort of positive transformation. Which is just a well, says Giver.

“Imagine the deteriorating self-esteem that would result from all these losers being forced to confront their own inability to stick to anything positive,” she said. “The realization can be crushing, and send a person into an even more acute downward spiral of binging, guilt, inadequacy, shame, and a bevy of other unpleasant emotions. This way, they’re better off, knowing that it makes no difference most of the time anyway.”

Written by Thag

January 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

With Visibility Of Posts Downgraded, User Sues Facebook For Emotional Distress

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FacebookMenlo Park, CA, June 9 – The owner of a Facebook page struggling to reach and expand his audience is suing the social media giant Facebook for emotional distress resulting from the social media giant’s deliberate withholding of many of his updates from his audience.

Thag Boogerman, who writes for the blog Mightier Than The Pen and the satirical news site PreOccupied Territory, filed  a lawsuit today charging that Facebook, with malice aforethought, displays posts and links to only a handful of users, even when hundreds of users have expressly requested to receive those updates by Liking that page. For each post, the page operator is invited to “boost” its visibility for a cost; the lawsuit charges that this puts beyond Boogerman’s reach the level of exposure necessary to maintain, let alone expand, his audience, thereby thwarting him in his efforts to earn a living, exacerbating domestic tensions, and causing untold emotional distress. Boogerman is asking the courts to order Facebook to pay him $89 million.

Just yesterday, says the thirty-eight-year-old father of five, a user who Liked his page more than a year ago sent him an angry message, asking him why she had not received any updates from his page in six months. She refused to accept his explanation that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm was at fault, and accused him of neglecting his audience.

“I can’t afford to promote every single post, link, and status update,” says Boogerman, who lives in Yehupitz Park. “Every one of my posts is important to me and my users, and Facebook makes truckloads of money on ads, data sharing, and who knows what else. This whole thing is a naked attempt to gouge people for more money, and it increases the gap between the haves and the have nots.” He added that this results in the sad irony of Facebook functioning for so long as a social equalizer – notably during the Arab Spring, when the masses of protesters used the site to coordinate anti-government demonstrations – becoming yet another tool with which the moneyed class presses its wealth to its advantage.

Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but experts expect them to argue for its dismissal on the grounds that they don’t give a crap about little people when there is so much money to be made. This consideration is especially important, they are expected to argue, since the disastrous IPO of the company’s stock last year.

Written by Thag

June 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Report: You’ll Never Make It As A Writer

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suicideNew York, January 29 – An analysis of the data available to date indicates that you have no hope of earning a living as a writer, let alone breaking into the big-time.

A new study that interpreted the information on the writing field, your talent, available opportunities for exposure, and competition from established or moneyed entities led the researchers to conclude that not only will your efforts to establish a career  as a blogger fail, they will do so in such a fashion you will be continually confronted with doubts regarding your worth and identity. You might be able to console yourself with the notion that at least the fruits of your creative impulses have been preserved for posterity, but that will prove cold comfort in the face of the overwhelming futility of your writing enterprise and the long odds of future generations caring at all.

Although the researchers recommend that you immediately cease pouring such time and energy into a fruitless pursuit, they also found that you would not heed such advice, and would proceed to double down on that investment, digging yourself into an ever-deepening cycle of disappointment, redoubled efforts, frustration, and self-doubt.

“There’s no way anybody can compete with the big boys for the online eyeballs,” said Arthur Buzzfeed, the lead researcher. “The established media companies can afford to spend big on exposure, whereas small-time operators can hope for, at best, an occasional item that makes the rounds on social media before fading away.” As a result, says Buzzfeed, your efforts will be stymied, but not in such an immediately convincing way that you will be prompted to pursue other, actually productive, outlets.

Social media expert Mark Zuckerberg agreed that the fate awaiting you involves pathetic stretches of time during which you will repeatedly refresh the browser tab that shows your visitor stats, hoping in vain for an uptick in traffic. “Alternatively, those periods will be spent staring at the Google Analytics real-time traffic monitor, with the horror and dread building as the minutes tick by and the big, black zero remains on the screen.”

According to Buzzfeed, that mix of negative emotions will be multiplied by the petty frustrations that confront all users, such as spotty internet connectivity: with every interruption of connectivity you will become convinced that you are missing some redeeming spike in visitor stats, “which will culminate in the crushing realization, when the wifi signal returns, that no one has been interested the whole time,” he explained.

At press time, you were laughing at this article and thinking how well it applied to several other people you know, but definitely not to you.

Written by Thag

January 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Wall St. Broker Can’t Land Dream Job Picking Fruit Because Of Illegals

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migrant workersNew York (AP) – The debate over immigration reform attained added urgency today when securities investment broker Wayne Stockton, 50, of Bronxville, NY, announced that he was unable to pursue his lifelong desire for a career in seasonal fruit harvesting because migrant illegal immigrant workers would work for far less.

Stockton, who handles trades for stock and bond investors totaling at least $50 million each day, has struggled to find a rural employer who can meet his wage demands. The Lexus-and-BMW-owning Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Thag

November 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Man’s Prayers Answered: ‘Shut Up Already’

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Gary BonnerRockville Centre, NY (AP) – The Lord God Almighty finally responded to repeated entreaties by a local man, instructing the 27-year-old to stop pestering Him and do something to improve his own life for once.

Gary Bonner, currently unemployed, has been praying for a windfall since he lost his job as a welder in late 2012. Rather than immediately seek another position, Bonner elected to place his trust entirely in the Lord, restricting his own revenue-related efforts to collecting unemployment benefits and buying various tickets from the New York State Lottery.

“Any God Who can provide for me by arranging a working position can also engineer events so that I don’t have to do any work to have a steady income, as well,” he reasoned, ignoring the Lord’s own pronouncements regarding the sweat of man’s brow as the default method for gaining bread.

Fed up, as it were, by the man’s attitude, the Lord appeared in a vision to Bonner and instructed him to cease all petition until he takes measures to indicate active participation in the live he was given. “I did not create thee to sit around on thy duff, waiting, as doth a goldfish in a tank, for magical food flakes to float down from Heaven,” the Creator of the universe informed the misguided soul. “Go forth and seek sustenance by thine own hand, and wait not, for thou art not a fetus in the womb that thy provisions be pumped directly into thy bloodstream.”

Unswayed from his lassitude, Bonner attempted to argue with the Almighty, citing the precedents of Elijah being brought food by the ravens, and the Israelites in the wilderness receiving a daily allotment of manna. “Lord, You’ve shown before that not everyone needs to work – why can’t I be one of those people, instead of the loser I am now?”

Although the Lord’s last serious debate occurred in the second millennium BCE, He demonstrated that He had lost none of His rhetorical sharpness. “Art thou Abraham, who beseeched Me to spare to wicked city of Sodom, that thou wouldst now engage in dispute?” the Lord retorted. “When was the last time thou sought to save anyone, let alone those whom others have dismissed as unworthy?”

“And as for your invocation of Elijah,” continued God, “when I see that thou hast devoted thy life to uprooting idolatrous practices and oppression of the meek, then shall I consider providing thee with thy daily bread through less effort of thine own,” admonished He Who spoke and the world was created. “And thou comparest thyself to the Israelites, My chosen people? The ones who followed Me into the wilderness, ready to accept My covenant of devotion when all other nations preferred to mire themselves in their orgies of oppression, castes, human sacrifice, and unbridled pursuit of power?”

According to witnesses, Bonner hesitated only a moment, but persisted nonetheless. “Lord, plenty of people have it easy, and they don’t seem to be doing anything worthy with their lives. Celebrities. Playboys. Bankers. I just want to be one of them instead!”

“Shut up already,” answered God, dismissing Bonner’s argument with a wave of His metaphorical hand. “Trust Me: if thou had any potential as an avatar of iniquity, thou wouldst already be decades into a life of debauched vanity. Now, for the second time, get off thy duff and seek gainful employment!”

At press time, Bonner was scouring the classified section of Newsday for available positions as corrupt dictator of a small Latin American country.

Written by Thag

September 27, 2013 at 10:26 am

8:00-9:30: Existential Shame

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Schedule

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Written by Thag

May 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Breaking News: Panhandler Successfully Avoided

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alcohol researchNew York NY (AP) – Bruce Feiler, 28, scored a coup this morning when, on his way out of Grand Central Station on 42nd Street, he managed to maintain a buffer of other pedestrians between him and a panhandler. Feiler thus averted eye contact with the pathetic soul, and thus prevented the profound awkwardness of encountering a fellow human in such dire straits and not offering substantial assistance.

The incident marks the second time this week that the accountant has evaded the massive guilt he would otherwise feel had he walked directly past the panhandler and given the man nothing. Instead, minuscule pangs picked at Feiler’s conscience for approximately 2.8 seconds, the time elapsed between the non-encounter with the beggar and arrival at the nearest crosswalk, where Feiler’s focus shifted to the red-light-green-light dynamic that governs the remainder of his walk to work.

Feiler selected the route within the first few days of his employment at his current firm, as he had observed that crossing 42nd Street any farther east would bring him into potential contact with at least two other panhandlers. He works on the north side of 42nd at Third Avenue, which requires him to cross back over the east-west artery. On several occasions he rationalized the specifics of the route by electing to use the ATM at the Bank of New York branch at 42nd and Park, which would necessitate crossing the street almost immediately upon exiting the terminal.

Other times, he bought coffee from a streetcart vendor on the south side, and felt compelled to praise the superiority of that purveyor’s wares over those of a competing seller on the north side of the street, despite the utter lack of distinction in quality or flavor between the two. Twice, Feiler also manufactured an intention to visit a housewares store on the south side of the street in order to justify his roundabout itinerary.

In an average workweek, Feiler succeeds about half the time in avoiding the awkwardness of direct proximity with the panhandler at the Grand Central exit, which is an excellent achievement, says Hope Liss, an analyst with GOP Poverty Solutions, a for-profit research firm. “Most working pedestrians have to plan their beggar-avoidance path at least twenty feet in advance of the panhandler, but emerging from the station on a crowded weekday morning during rush hour doesn’t afford you that wiggle room,” she explained. “So managing with such consistency to create a convincing image of not noticing the beggar takes considerable skill.”

The beggar in question, Felix Henderson, 50, has a history of drug addiction and unemployment, though he is currently clean, and is considered by veteran Grand Central commuters to be relatively adept at forcing eye contact and engendering sufficient empathy to warrant a donation of at least a dime, sometimes a whole dollar. He pleasantly thanks each contributor, and praises Feiler’s skill at pretending the panhandler does not exist.

“That guy with the gray suit and always-polished shoes? Yeah, I seen him. He one of the guys who happen to remember to be on the phone as they approaches,” said the homeless man.

He shook his head. “Never seen a more pathetic sight.”

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. Yeah, you – we see you. We know you can see and hear us. Don’t pretend to be so absorbed in what you’re doing that you can’t spare a click or two.

Written by Thag

January 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm

NYC Subway to Allow Sane People in Stations, Trains

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New York, October 3 (AP) – Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Joseph J. Lhota announced yesterday that the NY City subway system would, for the first time in over thirty years, allow a limited number of sane people each day to enter and use the trains and platforms.

Since 1980, sane people have been barred from entering the labyrinth of track and concrete connecting four of the city’s five boroughs. In the first two decades following the decision, continual review of the available data pointed to positive results and minimal hassle to the average commuter, who was spared the awkwardness and unpleasantness often associated with encountering the sane.

But things began to shift in 2001 and 2002. “Sane people have been getting much better treatment and access to rehabilitation since [Mayor Rudolph] Giuliani’s second term in office,” recounted Lhota at a press conference. “And that has continued under Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg, to the point that now, commuters encountering sane people on the subway probably won’t even notice the difference between them and any other fellow commuters.”

Joseph J. Lhota

The repeal of the subway sanity ban is limited to passengers, and does not affect other branches of the MTA network. Buses will still be restricted to people over the age of 73 and the physically ill, except for schoolchildren capable of producing noise greater than 85 decibels for extended periods. Metrocard sales clerks must still undergo mandatory surliness and obesity training every two weeks, and decisions regarding track closures and repairs must be made by a committee with a collective IQ of no more than 73.

Lhota says the Authority is constantly reviewing the available information about all parts of the system, and will make other necessary changes as circumstances warrant. “We’re looking at a fifty-fifty possibility that a similar change will take place next year on the bridges,” he said, referring to the policy, in effect since 1993, that allows access to non-EZ Pass lanes only to the willfully ignorant and the utterly clueless. The SideTrack Plan, as it is known, has eased congestion at all of the major river crossings into and out of Manhattan. Lhota noted that the number of clueless drivers has decreased drastically since that time, largely as a result of several dozen major accidents that the Authority engineered in order to clear the road of such menaces.

Commuter reaction has largely been muted. “I’ll go to Hell with Obama first!” yelled Oscar Morton, 55, emerging from the 59th Street station. “No more green onions!” he shouted, shaking his fist at no one in particular.

Sally Evans, 40, agreed. “Awwwwwrrrr!” she said, licking the turnstile at the Rockefeller Center station as she went through.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how this works out,” Lhota concluded. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get this invisible suit back to the cleaners.”

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get this invisible blog some exposure. No, not THAT kind of exposure, you pervert.

Written by Thag

October 3, 2012 at 10:33 pm

If You Need a Job Not Done, I’m Your Man

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Look no further. You need something not done. I don’t do things. Perfect.

Some people spend countless hours looking for just the right person not to do work. I’ve seen it at company after company. The administration spends who knows how many days interviewing candidates, whittling down the list of potential employees and finally making an offer to one or two lucky ones. All to determine which candidate will not do the work.

But you’re fortunate to have found me here and now – I don’t do work, so if there’s a job you want not done, give it to me and it’s as good as not done.

I’ll roll down my sleeves and not get started right away. Need that deck not sanded? Got it covered. Your car not washed?  Exactly my cup of tea. Need someone not to watch your kids? Hey, I’ve done that hundreds of times. In fact, you name almost any job, and I can guarantee I’m tops at not doing it.

It takes a certain panache, a certain je ne travaille pas when it comes to not building up an extensive resume. In my case, my innate talent essentially paved my career path from a young age, when I discovered the pleasures of not working, way back in grade school. I’ve followed that dream ever since. Sure, I’ve had rough patches, but every career does. I recall being forced not to work as a garbage man, and at some point even volunteered not to work for pay at several NY City agencies. I was forced to doze in a city-provided car all day instead of not working behind a desk – but I was prepared to cope with what I knew would be temporary non-work.

And today, I have nearly thirty-five years of not working behind me. That may not sound like much, but if you ask around, you’ll discover pretty quickly it’s hard to find someone who has done no work for so long, or so often. Only politicians can claim numbers anywhere close to mine, and they have to do bona fide work when election time rolls around. I have no such handicap. I can do my not working anytime, anywhere, and regardless of the prevailing political situation.

What’s more, I can take non-payment in dollars, Euros, pounds sterling, yen, yuan, rupees – I’m flexible. I can do my not working overseas if necessary – in fact there’s a burgeoning not-working market in the Far East and Africa. They’re the up-and-not-coming labor markets. But it’s always best to hire your non-worker close to home, so here I am.

Best of all, you’ll never even notice I’m on vacation. The quality of my not working won’t diminish one iota when I’m not not on the job. Guaranteed.

So you know what to do. You have work not to do. I’m your man not to do it.

Please Like Mightier than the Pen on Facebook. Or are you even lazier than Thag?

Written by Thag

September 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm

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

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April 22, 2012 at 8:59 am

Ten Bucks Says You’re Reading This in a Pointless Meeting

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April 3, 2012 at 1:36 am

…and When You Finish Wiping, Please Slit Your Wrists

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March 22, 2012 at 9:49 pm

The Top 12 Phrases to Avoid in Business Communication, You Moron

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Listen up, business people. And housekeepers. And pets. OK, maybe not pets. Not many of you communicate using words, so this might not be relevant to you. You can decide afterwards, I suppose.

This little item from Inc.com asserts that the phrase, “I will try” signals an openness to failure that automatically dooms your proposed activity in the eyes of supervisors, prospective employers, clients, rampaging badgers, etc. “3 Words that Guarantee Failure,” the writer calls it. And it may be so. But those can hardly be the most egregious words to avoid in any proposal. They’re just so…lame. And everything about business communication is lame. It has to be, or you frighten off the delicate wallflowers who have the money you want.

But we can do better. Here, therefore, are the top 12 phrases and statements that guarantee rejection or failure before you get off the ground:

12. Dear Ugly: Using this greeting, or variations thereof, to open a cover letter or other kind of business communication will invariably result in rejection. Remember that at many companies, the first person to see your letter will be not Ugly himself or herself, but a less secure individual acting as clerk or secretary to Ugly, and will be moved to relegate your letter, and CV, no matter how impressive its contents, to the circular file. And even if your mail goes directly to someone important enough to matter, you want to flatter. Really. I know it’s hard for someone as bitter as you, but you must, uh, try.

11. I has: Grammar, you imbecile. You are not an LOLcat, and even if you were, proper LOLcat syntax calls for “I can has,” and even then, only as a way of seeking permission. You will note that few, if any, cats hold positions of influence at major corporations.

10. …and in general, embezzle as much of your assets as I possibly can: Bad form. Advancement and wanton misappropriation of property may go hand in hand in today’s corporate (and political) world, but it is impolite to aver such things at the outset. Subtlety is your friend. You goddamn idiot.

9. Despite repeated arrests for disorderly conduct…: You do not want to call attention to your more troublesome skills until you have had time to secure an adequate severance package.

8. …to destroy your company: As threats go, this one’s a biggie, but this formulation risks not offending the reader personally. As we all know, personal affronts are your ticket to rejection, failure and lawsuits. Play your cards right and you might even earn a contract – on your life.

7. Companies like yours, who give thieving bastards a bad name: “Such as.” Grammar again. Careful, ladies and gents.

6. As you could see from the attached CV if you weren’t an illiterate toad: You have no idea whether toads can read, or whether the reader is in fact a toad. This shows sloppy research at best, and outright carelessness at worst.

5. My strong nose-picking skills: Although the cover letter is the place to highlight attributes not necessarily evident from your CV, you do want to reserve the space for talents germane to the position for which you are applying, or the project you are proposing. This writer doubts that nose-picking skills of any kind are an asset in business. Even if you are applying for President of the Fourth-Grade Gross-Out Club, that organization can hardly be expected to solicit CVs and go through the arduous process of selecting candidates when turnover in that position happens, by nature, every single year.

4. My political views, which can only be described as Neo-Caligulan: It’s unclear what you mean by this. You cannot assume that the reader knows Roman history, and will therefore remain unaware that you plan to promote an equine to a senior position and slaughter most of the leadership. Perhaps you see this as an advantage, but keep in mind that Caligula did not end well. You might fare better with Stalin. Meaning emulating him, not actually trying to fare with him personally. That would be stupid. He’s dead, you know.

3. My plan to convert all employees, and their families, to homosexuality: You know that’s not possible, right? Ambitious is good; unrealistic is not so good, and prospective clients and employers have a very good grasp of the difference. Aim high, but not ridiculously high.

2. All office space not currently occupied by space aliens: This meaningless detail detracts from your main points – as far as the willfully ignorant sheeple are concerned, all office space remains free of alien life, and you risk confusing the reader. You might do better with something closer to the general (if erroneous) perception of reality such as, “all space not currently in use as a hiding place for illegal immigrant workers.”

1. But while I consider driving customer satisfaction to unprecedentedly low levels to be only a minor achievement: Such weak phraseology. Be forthright. State things directly: “I relish making my client/employer regret entering this line of business in the first place.” Less wordy and more to the point.

You can apply these lessons. I know you will try.

Written by Thag

March 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Guys Just Don’t Do This

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February 28, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Job Search Discovery No. 1: You’re Not Good Enough

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February 27, 2012 at 12:08 am

A Day in the Life of a Cog in the Machine

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February 21, 2012 at 11:07 pm

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I’m Sorry, I Didn’t Mean to Call Your Mom an Idiot. That’s Your Dad.

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February 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I Object, Sir! I Distinctly Yelled, ‘Not It!”

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Also see: http://wp.me/sSXPz-86 from way back in May 2010.

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February 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm

And at 7:15, I Plan to Burp Loudly

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January 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Take Your Future Leech to Work Day

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January 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm

“Get Off My Lawn!” and Other Signs of Impending Senility

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Age

Ambition

Investment Sensibilities

Taste in Food

Catch Phrase

0-1

A good bowel movement

Not much diversification, but the output doesn’t stink that much, either

Whatever fits in my mouth

N/A

1-6

Defy Mommy

“Mommy, is this a nickel or a dime?”

Whatever Mommy says I can’t have

“Mommy!”

6-12

Avoid homework

Spend most of allowance on junk food; save some for entertainment

Pizza

Whatever gets the biggest rise out of Mom and Dad

12-17

Get laid

Ringtones

“You never let me do anything!

17-23

Really primo weed

“What’s your major?”

23-30

Bullish

Whatever the rest of the unemployed hordes manage to get their hands on

“Would you like fries with that?”

30-35

Score the VP position

Bullsh*t

Sushi

“That’s what I thought, too, sir.”

35-40

Get out of this VP position

Thinking about getting a 401(k), whatever the hell that bullsh*t is

Caviar, or at least I’m going to drop hints that I eat it all the time

“I’ll settle down when the right person comes along, Mom.”

45-55

A good dental plan

A good dental plan

Whatever doesn’t interfere with a good dental plan

“Have they got a dental plan?”

55-65

Early retirement

Viagra

Maybe I’ll try that low-carb thing everyone seems to be hyping.

“What ever happened to good, old-fashioned manners?”

65-75

Keep the lawn looking just so

Weed killer

Let’s eat outside and look at the lawn

“You kids get off my lawn!”

75-85

Get the kids to visit more often

Bizarrely out-of-touch gifts for the grandchildren

More fiber

“You never call.”

85-whenever

A good bowel movement

Cat figurines

“Has anyone seen my teeth? They’re serving flapjacks today.”

“I’ll be going home from this senior residence any day now.”

Written by Thag

November 2, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Posthaste: adv; How I Got this Blog Update Done

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Term

Definition

Toilet Paper Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader, daily edition
Surprise Party Dark horse electoral victors, viz: Democrats
Balzac Scrotum
Underwriter The guy whose job it is to put in all the footnotes
Anger Management My boss’s leadership method
Pass Interference Colon obstruction
Corporal Punishment …and his fellow soldiers Private Parts, Major Payne, Colonel of Truth, General Malaise…
Phone Company Party line
Fishing Pole Stanislaw Kaczynski in his funny hat and box of tackle
Triple Play Shakespeare’s Henry IV-VI
Key Largo Musical direction by complete ignoramus
Statutory Rape http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by5i2NI6lvI
Quarter Horse Centaur genealogical boast
Hurricane Irene Your little sister
Runaround Sue Insurance fraud scheme
Auto Asphyxiation The mechanic said the choke is faulty
Belgian Waffle “Ja…uh…nay – nay, ja!…uh…ja?”
Wind Farm Baked bean manufacturing facility
Presidential Runoff Election campaign waste stream
Slugfest Our patio in autumn
Star Trek A trip down Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
Star Wars Supermarket tabloid mainstay
Aspic Constipation treatment
Side Dish Arm candy
Spoiler Alert Every grandparent should carry a warning about this
News Briefs When getting updates to your handheld device is too obvious

Written by Thag

October 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Actually, You COULD Make This Stuff Up

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In the B Movie

In the Trashy Novel

In Your Life

Tuxedoed men and elegantly gowned women holding glasses of wine in a plush room; police detective enters. Crockett felt out of place in the vast hall of Hathaway Manor. The dazzling crystal chandeliers only emphasized his sense of displacement as every eye in the room turned toward him and then away again, dismissing the sight as yet another irrelevant intrusion. But the criminal was there. He’d made one crucial mistake. Arrive at work. Find coffee carafe already empty. Exchange insipid banter with receptionist. Curse life-sucking routine.
Our hero leaps into a convertible and takes off in pursuit of the villain. Hot on the Slade’s heels, Pruitt took the steps three at a time, ducking at each landing in anticipation of gunfire. But all he heard on his way down to the parking garage was the continued rush of footfalls three flights ahead. Pruitt kicked open the door to level B3 in time to see Slade’s black BMW disappear up the exit ramp and into the night. Drop your keys repeatedly on the way through the liquor store parking lot. Accidentally kick them into a storm drain.
Obligatory sex scene showing his rippling pectorals and much more of her. Sasha’s breath quickened as Dale ran his fingers down her neck, tracing the contours of her torso with his lips. A six-pack of Bud Light and the underwear models page of the 1988 Sears Christmas catalog.
Gripping, thrilling music to accompany a violent horseback chase. Despite her dainty looks, Vanessa’s equestrian skills were second to none. She guided her black mare at a gallop toward the bridge over Grissom Gulch, unaware that Anderson’s henchmen had burned it down the night before, and lay in wait in the surrounding woods. You stepped in horse manure at the parade again, didn’t you? Eww. Go clean your shoes before you come into the house.
Band of pirates converges in the forest on the young boy and girl who have absconded with the lost treasure. In the moonlight Alan could see the shadows of men massing in the clearing. He checked to see whether Clara still had the bundle strapped around her waist. To attempt escape now meant finding their way past a hundred armed thugs. To sit tight meant certain discovery and capture at daybreak. He stifled a shudder. The abridged version of Treasure Island quickly scanned before the quiz at school tomorrow.
Futuristic technology that enables instantaneous communication across impossibly vast stretches of space. When the engineer entered the code again, the soft hum of the neutrino antenna array told Koss it was ready to transmit. Easterbrook’s mission to Andromeda, and thus the fate of human civilization, hung in the balance. Koss thought again of Alicia and her ebony tresses. “Hello? Who is this? I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up. Hello? Hello? Are you still there? Hello?”

 

“%$#@! cell phone.”

Breathtaking scenes of wildlife in pristine habitats. Marshall’s crew battled fierce winds and icy waves as the Dreadnought plowed farther south in search of the lost elephant seal colony. “Trevor! Stop knocking on the glass of the snake exhibit or we’ll leave the zoo this instant!”
Characters with impossibly convincing disguises Clark’s knack for languages and culture allowed him to blend in seamlessly anywhere between Morocco and Osaka; and with the help of his connections in Hollywood –a holdover from his previous life as a stuntman – he could get his hands on almost any mask imaginable. On several occasions, in fact, he had impersonated heads of state in three African countries, fooling even the men’s personal bodyguards. Children’s trick-or-treat costumes are 3 for twenty bucks at Target.
Glamorized historical figures Lincoln took a long drag on his cigar before answering. He regarded the general curiously, as if considering whether to order the filet mignon or the duck l’orange. In fact the President intended to have both the next evening after a trip to Ford’s Theater, with perhaps a sip or two of champagne at the show itself. He knew what Mrs. Lincoln would have on under her gown, and that champagne worked like magic to turn her on. “You know, George Washington’s false teeth weren’t actually made of wood. You can look it up.”
Fascinating alien creatures, alternately terrifying and beautiful. The desert mongbat of Perseus II feasted almost exclusively on the flesh of errant astronauts, but not before tormenting them with hallucinations of the most exquisite erotic imagery. “Daddy! The goldfish died again!”

Written by Thag

October 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

How Did You Get that Finger So Far Up Your Nose?

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To the fellow picking his nose at his desk across the street:

Please, sir; I’m trying to work here. But every time I look up to check the clock over the window my eye is drawn toward the movement it spots through that window, specifically the movement of your finger as it twists and turns inside your left nostril.

I, too, enjoy a good nasal rooting on occasion, as it can clear the passages more effectively than plain old nose-blowing when the mucus is dry and crusty. But unlike you, sir, I engage in this maintenance work out of sight, in a place such as the office restroom, or perhaps behind a tissue. You, however, must place such value on your time that you cannot spare the extra few seconds it might take to perform this hygienic task anywhere other than in plain sight.

Or maybe you lost something priceless and delicate in your nose, and the unpredictable nature of forced expulsion into a tissue might damage whatever jewel you’ve got jammed up there. But don’t you think the pressure of your drilling index finger will similarly mangle the prize? What of the scratches your fingernail will impart to the valuable material? If it’s so important for you to extract that object digitally, I suggest a pair of tweezers, a mirror and a location that does not involve an audience.

From what I gather, this object you’ve been trying to extract since at least returning from lunch gives you trouble regularly. You embarked on a similar quest yesterday, though unfortunately I had to leave at 5:30 and remain ignorant of the outcome. Is today’s effort merely picking up where you left off, or are these discrete events (as opposed to discreet, which they certainly are not)? Do you have a particularly prolific proboscis, or perhaps a structural quirk that makes everyday production such a production? You might see a doctor about that.

I’m not a doctor, but I can suggest a couple of treatment courses. One involves saline drops in your nose; it works wonders for my kids when the weather’s dry. The other, though admittedly more drastic, provides a permanent solution: amputate your picking finger. That way, you won’t have to go looking for the saline every time a dry booger shows up; your solution will already be on hand, so to speak. And you could still use the saline, if with a bit less dexterity.

I, for one, wish to offer you only encouragement in your efforts to pick kick the habit. When you finally do so, please forgive me for not shaking your hand.

Written by Thag

October 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm

At the Tone, the Time Will Be Ten Minutes Later than You Thought

with 2 comments

Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity
6:30 AM Wake up; get children dressed for school Misread watch as 5:30 instead of 6:30
7:00 AM Serve breakfast; pack lunches Wake up with a start; panic; haphazardly pack children into clothes and yell lungs out in comically futile attempt to get seven-year-old ready on time
7:15 AM Send 2 older children to catch school bus Shove older children out of the house bodily, each one holding a handful of corn flakes and a half-open schoolbag with messily prepared peanut butter sandwiches made in five seconds flat
7:30 AM Clear away remaining breakfast dishes; pack up 2 younger children for day care/preschool Discover how far two-year-old can fling unwanted corn flakes and milk when left alone for 0.00003 seconds by otherwise occupied parent
7:50 AM Drop off four-year-old at preschool Finally find the missing shoe that kept four-year-old from being ready to leave
8:00 AM Drop off two-year-old at day care Arrive at four-year-old’s preschool; realize she forgot her stuff at home
8:10 AM Return home; eat leisurely breakfast, peruse news headlines Practically throw two-year-old into caregiver’s arms and run back home to fetch four-year-old’s forgotten stuff
8:30 AM Begin workday from home office Return home sweaty, exhausted and frustrated at the day’s inauspicious beginning
9:00 AM Scheduled visit from washing machine technician Wolf down breakfast of corn flakes and the remaining tablespoon of milk from the bottom of the carton
9:50 AM Send plumber or technician on his merry way; put in load of laundry Finish surfing web for now; make half-hearted attempt to work
10:00 AM Resume work Wonder whether  washing machine technician was supposed to come today
10:45 AM Chat with spouse online; plan dinner Finally remember that technician was supposed to come between 9 and 10
11:30 AM Take short break to move laundry to dryer Call technician to find out what seems to be the problem; discover he thought he was supposed to come tomorrow
12:30 PM Lunch break Finish yelling at technician; lunch break
1:00 PM Resume work Remember that little maintenance project that’s been waiting around
2:00 PM Pick up little ones from day care/preschool Finally hit a groove in work
2:10 PM Arrive home from pickup Receive call from preschool/daycare personnel investigating possibility of pickup
2:15 PM Snack time for four-year-old; nap time for two-year-old Sprint to preschool, daycare; arrive home sweaty, exhausted and frustrated at inauspicious continuation of day
2:25 PM Settle four-year-old in quiet activity; resume work Fail at getting two-year-old down for a nap; fail to please four-year-old with selection of snack
3:45 PM Greet older children upon their arrival home from school; two-year-old wakes up; serve snacks Explode in anger as older 2 children arrive home at maximum volume and deposit their school bags smack dab in the middle of the front hallway
4:00 PM Older children begin homework Take refuge in office as arrival of older children somehow distracts younger children from the fact that they are miserable and they wish to blame that on a parent
4:02 PM Spouse calls; finalized dinner details Bench-clearing brawl among children
4:30 PM Spouse arrives home; homework finished; dinner preparation begins Spouse arrives home, inquires why older children have not begun homework
5:00 PM Relaxed review of day’s events with each member of family Discover there’s nothing in the house with which to make a reasonable dinner
5:15 PM Serve dinner Fend off children’s clamoring for Pizza Hut delivery; threaten no pizza ever again if whining continues
5:45 PM Begin clearing dinner Call Pizza Hut
6:00 PM Run bath for younger children Play referee; discover two-year-old and four-year-old have fallen asleep
6:20 PM Remove children from bathtub; get them ready for bedtime Receive pizza delivery; participate in sickening display of gluttony
6:30 PM Help seven-year-old shower Rush seven-year-old into shower for token bit of hurried cleaning
6:40 PM Notify ten-year-old of shower availability; choose book for reading to other three children Try to calm and feed now-awake and intensely grumpy toddler and preschooler while arguing heatedly with ten-year-old whether it’s his turn to shower
7:00 PM Kiss smaller children goodnight; remind ten-year-old to brush and floss on his way to bed Remind ten-year-old to shower
7:10 PM Finish cleanup from dinner Remind ten-year-old to shower
7:30 PM Plan next day with spouse; prepare lunches Inform ten-year-old that showering usually features actual water and soap
8:00 PM Resume work Give faces and arms of toddler and preschooler a cursory wipe; shove said children in bed and pray they stay there
8:45 PM Take break to joke with spouse Send various children back to bed for the seventh time
9:30 PM Finish work; watch old M*A*S*H episode with spouse Confirm that ten-year-old has indeed showered
10:00 PM Get ready for bed Start blog post
10:30 PM Sweet, sweet slumber Restart blog post; repeat as necessary; in desperation, dash off something perfunctory of marginal wittiness that’s still somehow ten times better than most of the crap out there

Written by Thag

September 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm