live fast, die hard, leave a good looking corpse

I got a text a few days ago from Jon.

JON TEXT: Fess Parker is dead.

JIM TEXT: Was he killed by a bear?

A few days earlier Jon texted me with:

JON TEXT: Peter Graves is dead.

JIM TEXT:  I guess the IMF will disavow any knowledge of his existence.

I used that same Mission: Impossible joke when Greg Morris died a few years back and I’m sure I’ll be using it for Marin Landau and Tom Cruise.  Recycle, people.  We only have one Earth.

Nothing is worse than a celebrity death that is disappointing.  If Axl Rose dies at the age of eighty in a nursing home after slipping in the shower I am going to be highly pissed.  I want to read:

Musician Axl Rose died today after diving off an eleventh floor balcony at the Dakota at Central Park West.  The act, which has not been determined an accident or suicide was witnessed by Lars Ulrich, Colin Farrel, Jenna Haze and Sheena Easton.  Illegal substances are suspected.

And this should most definitely happen when he’s eighty.

The reality is celebrities should die as they (or at least led you to believe) lived.  People like Elvis Presley, James Dean, Lynyrd Skynyrd got it right.  Fess Parker’s death may have been a surprise to me mostly because I thought he he died fifteen years ago.  Their lives have been fabricated for our entertainment… why shouldn’t their deaths be also? 

Russell Crowe gets stabbed in a bar fight over a woman.

R Kelly gets shot on the steps of a courthouse by some girl’s father, Nino Brown style, after being acquitted of another child molestation charge.

James Caan dies in a hail of gunfire at a toll booth on the 101.

Leonard Nimoy dies sacrificing himself to stop a leak in a nuclear power plant.  Then William Shatner shoots him into space.

Leonardo DiCaprio gets shot in the back by Matt Damon.

Tiger Woods was found suffocated in a suite at the Bellagio.  The golfer was found under a pile of nine naked strippers and magician comedians Penn Jillete & Teller.  It’s undermined if the weight of the group prevented his lungs from expanding or he choked on the four thongs and body glitter found in his mouth.

We should all hope to die with that kind of dignity.

mental health days

Due to unforseen personal events, I am putting this blog on hiatus. 

I can tell you my time had become limited and although I tried to keep up with my weekly schedule (something I have always been proud of), I tend to write much more content than most blogs and much more frequently.  This stuff doesn’t just come to me… okay, it does, but it still takes effort and nobody is paying me for it and I got a mortgage to pay.

That being said, I can tell you the personal events, though inconvenient and a pain in my ass, are not catastrophic.  Nobody is ill.  Natalee and I are together and fine.  Hopefully this blog will be back soon and I’ll have my way with you as I have every Friday for the past few years.  Until then, there is a little area on the right (“Tell me when this thing updates”) where you can type your email and as soon as there is an update you’ll get it in an email.

Like Netflix with smartassery instead of Harrison Ford reminding you how boring he’s become.

My apologies, Judy.

Mom 2.0

A few weeks ago I was sent an IM from a coworker with this clip and the comment: Watch this!  Awesome!

JIM (Instant Messaging):  What is wrong with you?

PETE:  What?  That’s hysterical.

JIM:  No it isn’t.  It’s someone’s grandma getting hit in the face with a ham… at a volunteer food drive… at what looks like a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

PETE:  I think it’s funny.

JIM:  I think you’re an ass-stain.

It isn’t that I’m above seeing celebrities get hit in the face with hams, but come on… what kind of douche bag laughs at a sixty-two year old woman getting physically maligned?  Not that grandmas are completely off limits and can’t do something that warrants an assault and under certain circumstances, I would laugh at that.

But those people have it coming.  We’re talking celebrity chefs.  Martha Stewart with her eerie calmness and Stepford Wife exterior… maybe.  Anthony Bourdain… that guy is just a conceited shit.  Giada DeLaurentis is ridiculously beautiful even suffering from a severe case of Kitten Head, hitting her with a ham would be like beating a unicorn to death with a sack of rainbows.  Paula Deen?  Who hates Paula Deen?  What did she ever do to anyone?

Maybe I am taking this all a bit too seriously because in my head, Paula Deen is my backup mom.

You know how some people have a list of three (or in Natalee’s case, five) celebrities (or in Natalee’s case, rappers… I’m looking at you TI), you can sleep with in the event your paths cross?  Well I have a backup parent list.

Now let’s be clear, I love my mother and would never want anything to happen to her.  That being said, if I could pick another mom, it would be Paula Deen.

It has less to do with her insane cooking skills which follows the basic Deen Equation (which is (Food + Cream) + (Butter * 5) / BlueCross BlueShield = Tasty) and more to do with that southern Georgia vibe she gives off.  I have a fascination with that southern mothering thing which also explains my crushes on Sissy Spacek, Holly Hunter and  Sally Field (even though she was born in California and was beach bunny Gidget, that never stuck with me like Places in the Heart and Forrest Gump did).  And possibly Dolly Parton (not for the obvious reasons… she’s my mom and that’s gross.

There is something to be said about being able to pick your own parents and it says a lot about who you are and what you need or are missing.  I’ve asked the question to other people and I’ve had people give me answers like Catherine Zeta Jones or Jessica Alba.

Again, she’s supposed to be 1) Old enough to be your mom and 2) Someone you wouldn’t want to see naked.

Like if I were picking someone else to be my brother…

I could probably just stick this guy in there and my sister-in-law wouldn’t even notice for three weeks.

I do a thing called “Movie Jim” where in my head I recast the people I know as if there was a movie of my life.  They really don’t have to be close but that would be the Movie version of that person.

My friend Jon gets to be played by Jude Law (and I want him to keep the accent… no reason).

His wife Amy is Kat Dennings from Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist.

My friend Tony gets Adam Richman from Man vs Food.  This is really unfair since Adam Richman is about ten years old and fifty pounds heavier than Tony.  In fact. we don’t even call him by name.  We just call him “Fat Tony.”

I know you’re wondering about who plays me.  I would be created by a series of professional motion capture mimes and a team of computer animators using state of the art technology to recreate my mannerisms and gestures with a technique they’ll refer to as “The Jimmy Effect” which mimics my rapid-fire speech patterns and sarcastic faces.  It’s a lot like bullet-time from The Matrix but just much, much cooler.  I would be voiced by Meryl Streep because she can do anything.

And I’d live on Pandora.

reasons the terrorists hate us – turducken

Having just survived the six week celebration of capitalism and gluttony known as “The Holidays,” I’d like to point out something disturbing I found existed a few years ago.

The Turducken.

For those of you who watch much less Food Network than I, this is what happens when someone thinks it’s necessary to jam a deboned chicken into a deboned duck and then that bastard union into the ass of a deboned turkey creating the aviary orgy known as the Turducken.

And if you’re really clever and there is three square inches of space left in this Frankenstein bird, you fill it with sausage stuffing because nothing says insanity more than eating four different animals in one dish.

Someone once caught my fat ass ordering potato wedges and mashed potatoes as my side dished at Lee’s Famous Chicken and completely called me out on it… and I had it coming.

My defense was, “Wedges are good.”  I lost that argument and I have a scale that proves it.

There is a part of me that questions, “Is that really necessary,” and not in the same way I question deep-fried Twinkies.  I understand animals have to die so I can have meat, and trust me, I want the meat.  Waking up a vegan is right behind “Zombie President Reagan” as my worst nightmare.  I like my food to have had parents and a face.  Humans have worked their way through millions of years of evolution (yes, evolution) and I should be able to eat anything dumber than me.  This is why God made stupid animals tasty.  Grizzly bear might taste like bacon wrapped lobster but I won’t be the one to find out because they’re hard to kill.  Cows can be tipped over in their sleep.  Chickens can’t even fly.  The only way God could have made that easier to make them butter Creole flavored.

And if dolphins are so damn smart they’d figure a way out of those nets.

The problem is Americans never know when enough is enough.  There is never too much.  We’re not content with pizza… we have to jam cheese into the crust.  Maybe make one out of Oreos.  A cell phone that makes calls from wherever I am standing isn’t good enough.  I need to be able to take a picture of myself, telling everyone on Facebook I am watching a three hour zombie pirate movie based on a theme park ride on a four inch screen while driving my car on the interstate.  I live in a country where it isn’t good enough that someone will make my food and hand it to me without ever leaving my car… the food has to be this.

The holidays should be about being thankful we get to live the lives we have with the comforts afforded to us.  Not how many birds we can jam into each other like Russian nesting dolls just because we can.  At that point, we’re just being show-offs.

Knock it off.

Pictures With Santa And Other Socially Acceptable Forms Of Child Abuse

This blog was originally posted December 2008.  I am on vacation… deal with it.

I don’t believe in Santa Claus.  I really never have.  We didn’t have a chimney in Pennsylvania (ironically, in Florida we did).  What we had was a piece or horrible furniture that looked like a chimney and where the mantle would be opened into a combination wet bar/phonograph where my father would store his apricot brandy and my mom’s Seals & Croft records.  The lit logs were plaster with circulating red and orange lights.  Because of this atrocity, this conversation ensued:

JIM: Dad, if we don’t have a chimney, how does Santa get into the house?

DAD: He has a key.

JIM: For everybody?

DAD: Yeah.  Everybody.  Now go to sleep.

JIM: Okay. (Pause)  Wait.  There are twenty-two houses on this block.

DAD: And he has twenty-two keys.

JIM: But that would mean on this side of the highway to eighth street he would have over one hundred and sixty keys.

DAD: It’s a really big key chain.  Go to sleep.

JIM: In this city alone there would thousands of keys.

DAD: (Frustrated).  You got me.  There is no Santa Claus.  Your mom and me buy all the stuff.

JIM: Really?  So there is no way I am getting that Star Wars Millennium Falcon for my Han Solo you said you’d never buy me?

DAD: No.  And you’re not getting a ColecoVision either.  You already have an Atari.

Two words, Dad: Skeleton Key.  But my father, God bless him, wasn’t know for his creativity.  This is the same guy who used to give unwrapped cartons of Menthol Kools to his friends for birthday gifts.  As you can tell, my father never really tried to sell the concept.    My brother wasn’t much different.  I can’t imagine I will be either.  I remember my father watching Walter Cronkite during the Great Cabbage Patch Scare of 1982 and commenting, “It’ll be a cold day in hell when I wake up at 4:00a and get my leg broken by a bunch of assholes* to get you boys some stupid toy.”  I learned very quickly there are things you do for yourself and things you do for your children.  My father had a very distinct line that separated these things.

I have one picture of me with Santa.  I was dressed in a red onesy (shut up, Spell Check, that isn’t even a real word) with a hood over my head and mittens.  I am not able to walk so I am completely trusting on my parents judgment of who I should have my picture taken with.  The point is I don’t know where I am nor do I care.  So why is this picture being taken?

For my mom.

I have come to the conclusion that parents will sometimes do things to their children that do not serve their best interest for the sake of a good photo op.  The difference is my mom is not a whack-a-nut.  If your kid, like me, sits on Santa’s lap with the same expression Humphrey Bogart has when someone points a gun at him, more power to you.  Enjoy your picture and fond memories.  If your kid reacts the way I would assume Richard Simmons would if someone pointed a gun at him, you ma’am, are a nut.

Exhibit A: The Moms.

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I am going to assume this woman is from France or some European place where berets are still fashionable or I am going to hate this lady even more.  Look at her kid’s face.  Santa isn’t a jolly bringer of joy to that baby.  That is a fat man in fuzzy pajamas she doesn’t know.  And let me tell you something else.  Your kids hide behind your leg and refuse to talk to the people you work with.  What makes you think this guy is going to fare any better?  Now the kicker is look at the mother’s face.  This crazy chick is completely oblivious the the entire process or just doesn’t give a shit.

I know my baby is upset, terrified and crying… tell you what, let me hold her just long enough to get a picture.

Again, I am assuming that baby is a “she” which is the only thing preventing me from calling Child Services on this woman.  The second mom here looks like she actually had to sit on Santa’s lap in a failed attempt to calm her kid down.

Exhibit B: Singled Out.

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If you let some random stranger hold your kids while they screamed their heads off, begging for the secure embrace of their mother who is standing five feet away, anytime between January and November so you could take their picture, you’d be a psycho.  At Christmas, people line up and pay money to do this.

Exhibit C: Once, Twice, Three Times A Baby.

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And out of curiosity, under what circumstances would you expect anyone to ever hold more than one baby at the same time?  I am sure there are moms out there who do it but not willingly.  If someone, probably anyone, offered to hold one of those kids most moms would jump at the chance.  Most of these Santa’s look like kindly old men who make a little extra coin six weeks a year pretending to be Santa.  He’s retired.  He doesn’t need this shit.  Why don’t you just ask that poor old man to spray himself with pheromones have a knife fight in an elevator with a crack-addicted monkey?  Seriously, that one in the center with the three babies?  What the hell was that parent thinking?

What, you can’t hold three babies at the same time?  What kind of dime store half-ass Santa are you?

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Unless you’re Amish or a biker (or an Amish biker) how many people really have beards like that?  To a child, that’s just a masked stranger taking him from his mother who probably lured him to the Galleria with promises of toys and hot pretzels.  And at what point will anyone look at these pictures with fond memories of the event?  It isn’t like their crying is necessary like you’re getting your four-year-old daughter her Depo-Provera shot.  They are crying for your enjoyment.

Let’s make this clear, this is about you.

I worked with a very nice woman named Tara who had one son named Alec.  He was the Chosen Son.  The reason we haven’t all frozen and died is because the sun shines every morning out of his ass.  There were seven pictures on her desk, all of them of her son.  If you didn’t know you would assume she was a single mother since excluding Alec, there was no proof a husband existed (or maybe, just maybe, she conceived him herself… cue cherubic choir).  She once showed me a scrapbook she’d finished which was a four inch thick testament to Alec’s first three years… not a picture of his father to be found.  She once called me to show me she had finally put a picture of her husband on her desk and when I got there to bear witness, there was a picture of her husband… holding Alec.  I immediately disqualified the picture as invalid.  At three they decided it was time for Alec to go to Disney World and when her mother made the reservations… she cried on the telephone to the customer service rep.

Seriously… she cried.

Meanwhile Alec was somewhere minding his own business oblivious that his mother and grandmother were making memories for him that he wouldn’t recall a year from now and hoping that Mickey Mouse, a character reduced to corporate mascot that hasn’t appeared regularly in cartoons in sixty years, would fill him with glee and isn’t just a six-foot rat in a tuxedo.

There are people that will tell me, “Wait until you get kids,” to which I will kindly refer you to the first paragraph and my upcoming biography of my father, “I’ll Give You Something To Cry About: The Wit And Wisdom Of Edward Ford.”

I don’t cry in Santa pictures.  I knew better.

* My father seldom swore in my childhood and I am quite certain he didn’t at this occassion either.  That is my own colorful interpretation.  I don’t drink and smoke.  Please leave me and profanities alone.

Reality Used To Be A Friend Of Mine

On occasion, I write.  Several times someone has told me incidents in their lives, their work, their marriage, their wacky kids that invoke hilarity that they think would make good screenplay material.

I always thought a TV series set in a bank would be a great idea.

No.  It wouldn’t.  Neither would an insurance company or law office or a manufacturing plant.  Those are settings and settings are seldom compelling… people are compelling.

Or at least they should be.

The problem is most of us aren’t.  I am perplexed by the amount of people willing to forgo their own boring-ass lives to watch someone else’s boring ass-life.  Those who would actually pay money to see Jennifer Ringley of JenniCam make toast and coffee.  I would bet a paycheck that 95% of subscribers to her service were dudes hoping to see, literally, the girl next door, get naked.  You could put a webcam in my house and there is only so much farting, playing Call of Duty 4 and eating pizza rolls any human should have to endure.

Hell, a lot of times I didn’t like being me.  Why would anyone else want to watch the slow disaster that is me unfold?

When I was a kid my brother and I used to stand in front of the RPG-sized VHS camcorders in Sears and dance in front of the televisions until my father dragged us away.  We did the same thing in front of security cameras.  The funny thing is adults did the same thing.

We were on TV.  That never happens.

I can’t remember the last time I saw kids impressed to see themselves on TV.  For that matter, I can’t remember the last time I saw cameras plugged into a television.  The novelty is gone.  You’re on closed circuit television… we get it.

But to us, we were famous… because famous people get on TV.

It used to be you had to do something to be famous.  Kill a bunch of Nazis, win a Superbowl or walk on the moon.  Now you just have to get on TV and they’ll let anybody on TV… I’ve seen Frankie & Neffe… I know.

This brings me to the Tiger Woods Freak Train.  Now let me be clear that I am not giving Tiger Woods a pass.  I don’t subscribe to all that role model crap unless that’s what you’re selling.  Like most Americans, I can tolerate a liar… what I hate is a hypocrite.

Now that I have established that Tiger is a 100% USDA Asshole, who are these skanks he’s been banging?  Seriously, I watched some cocktail waitress on The Today Show tell me she had to come forward to “clear her name” after there were rumors she was a prostitute.

You are a cocktail waitress in Las Vegas.  I can’t swing a broke dead tourist without hitting a cocktail waitress in a Vegas casino.  Who were you trying to clear your name for… the three hundred people on your Facebook page?  You realize the other three hundred million of us in America have no idea who you are and will forever refer to you as “Skunt Number Four.”

Or really were you just trying to get on TV?  Most of them have been with no shame for what they’ve done.  I have one on television with the absurd confession she thought she was the only mistress and now she feels betrayed.

But she’s on TV and I guess that’s what counts whether you’re some idiot that builds a weather balloon and falsely tells police your child is in it or you’re the former Vice Presidential candidate and think blacking out the campaign logo on your visor will make you less noticeable.  And if by “less noticeable” I mean it’ll get yourself some ink on CNN on a slow news day then we’re on the same page.

I remember years ago seeing Monica Lewinsky on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.  I’m sure someone invited her but how many White House interns do you think get to go to the Oscars?  Someone invited you because they know who you are and they know who you are because you’re the most famous cocksucker in history.  Nothing to be proud of.

Lewinsky, Frankie & Neffe and the Tiger Bunch aren’t famous… they’re infamous and there’s a difference.  And what’s worse is they are my least favorite type of fame.  Fame by proxy.  The same reason I know who LaToya Jackson is and have no idea why.  She isn’t a singer.  She isn’t an actress.  She’s famous for being Michael Jackson’s talentless sister.  She’s famous because she’s standing next to someone who is famous.

This also goes for you Heidi Montag, Kim Kardashian, Nicole Ritchie and anybody that has ever been on a show that starts with “The Real Housewives of…” or has the words “Real World” or “Road Rules” in the title and now gets airtime on Access Hollywood.

A few years ago I was at work and the Orlando CBS news was reporting what happened the previous evening on Survivor.  When I questioned it one of my co-workers said:

CO-WORKER:  Well, people watch that and it’s important to them.

ME:  It’s a game show and it isn’t even the season finale.  They might as well report what happened on Wheel of Fortune and WWE Smackdown.  I don’t care who wants to see it.  It isn’t news.

We live in an era where being on TV makes you famous and being famous means you’re somebody.  And sometimes it doesn’t even take television.  It takes a Twitter or Facebook account and a few hundred followers.  Just type in the first thing that comes to mind even if it doesn’t make any sense.

Cheese is good.

Work sucks.

My babies are cute.

Case in point is Dana Hanna, who felt the need to Twitter during his wedding ceremony.

The next time someone points out how sacred marriage is I am going to point this douche out and then promptly drop my pants so they can kiss my ass.

Then there is Shellie Ross who has 5,400 Twitter followers as a military wife of four.  When her two-year old son Bryson was found in their pool she called 911 at 5:38p.  Thirty four minutes later she Tweeted her son’s death.

I’ll say that crazy shit again for anyone who thought they read it wrong.

Thirty four minutes later she Tweeted her son’s death.

For all intents and purposes she did what any celebrity would do: she held a press conference.

The Police said it’s normal in mourning to reach out to your community for support but I am suspecting she’s never met ten percent of the people in her Twitterverse.  They aren’t friends.  You’re friends know you and you know them.  These are spectators.

The bottom line is that few of us are that interesting to warrant updating people on our status no matter where we are or how cold it is.  If anything, it’s made us lazy that now we don’t have to choose our friends because we can have them all because friendship isn’t something we work at… it’s a series of memos we use to keep people updated.

In our own little reality show.

But Jim, you write a blog every week telling us what you think and about your personal life.

Well, kinda.  If you know me you know this isn’t the real me.  It’s a sitcom version of my life where I am cast as the buffoonish overweight husband and Natalee as the intelligent level-headed hottie who in real life I should never be able to get.

And who am I to argue.

Christmas Shopping for Dummies

Last Friday’s blog was my one hundredth post.  Someone last week said my blog sucked and that stings a little because I work very hard at this and that I have put content out weekly (even if it sucks) for almost two years without compensation is something I am very proud of.  This is my first repeat.  I consider it a public service announcement.

I am an expert at post-Thanksgiving Day shopping.  I plan my shopping day like Rommel in the European Theatre.  I seldom leave the house before 6:00a and I am done well before 10:00a.  This is how I do it.

  1. Doorbusters.  These are the items they sell at crackhead prices.  People spend Thanksgiving Day sleeping on cold concrete to get a 60″ LCD television for $700.  Most of the really high end bargains are very limited.  Maybe ten or fifteen to a store.  Places like Best Buy open at 6:00a but the line starts forming well before midnight.  Honestly, if you aren’t one of the first hundred people in line, don’t waste your time.  If it is that important to you, bring some snacks and something to keep warm.  Generally the way it works (or at least does when I worked at Best Buy) is at 5:00a or so employees will start at the front of the line and ask what you’re there for.  You say $50 digital camera and they’ll give you a flyer for that item.   The flyer guarantees you that item for a fixed time (maybe until 11:00a or noon, ask to be sure).  If you want, go home and get some sleep but just make sure you come back in time to claim your prize.  If you don’t come back by the allotted time, they’ll sell it to someone else.  Personally, if I stood in line that long, I would just get it then and know I had it.
  2. Know what’s on sale.  I registered on and I get weekly emails of leaked deals.  The sales used to be a closely guarded secret.  Not so much anymore.  Visit the websites of the stores you frequent Tuesday or Wednesday, they’ll often have their ads up then.  If you don’t get the newspaper delivered, don’t expect to find one after 8:00a Thursday morning.  They’ll be gone.  You can print items from the website.  Circle the stuff you want so you know what you’re looking for.  If you have a flyer, take only the pages with stuff you want.  If you don’t need a dishwasher, throw those pages out, they’re dead weight you’ll be flipping through in a pinch trying to remember if Kyan or Keron was the Bratz doll you were supposed to get.
  3. Only buy what’s on sale.  Black Friday is no picnic.  Don’t waste your time trying to complete your Christmas list.  If it isn’t on sale, ignore it.  Come back next Wednesday and get it then.  You’ll spend money on an iPod and then see something on sale and question whether you should get it since you already spent the money on an iPod.  Always buy the sale item and if you change your mind that leads us to…
  4. It’s better to have it and not want it then want it and not have it.  This is no time for wavy decision making.  Snap judgements have to be made now.  If you see something for a great price, buy it.  If you don’t know if ‘lil Alex has Modern Warfare 2, don’t bother calling his parents and asking, just buy it.  You can literally decide against it and ten minutes later they could all be gone.  I find things like $10 DVD box sets and I just throw them into the cart and when I get home, I decide who they’d make good gifts for.  I keep a few as “backup gifts” and whatever I don’t want I return and get my money back.
  5. Some things don’t go on sale.  Things like iPods, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or Disney movies always sell.  If you see a deal here it’s going to be because they bundled several items together and deal is taken from the accessories, not the main item.  Don’t expect to see $300 Playstation 3 for $200 but do expect to see them given away with an LCD television.  The markup was always on the TV, not the game system.
  6. Do your homework.  Know what you’re looking for.  Most of the employees are holiday help.  Don’t ask them what the 3:2 pulldown is or what’s the resolution on a Blu-Ray player.  Three weeks ago that guy was working at Orange Julius in the mall.  This goes double if you’re in a Walmart or Target where the employees couldn’t find their own ass with an electric ass-finding machine.  Get the ads early and go online and do your research and your comparison shopping then.  Your only interaction the retail monkeys should be pointing and saying, “I want that one.”
  7. Have a teammate.  Split the list in two and split up.  Even better, when one of you gets done, head for the registers even if you have nothing.  This way your partner can find you and give you the stuff and not have to wait in line.  When I shop waiting in line to check out takes three times longer than the shopping does.
  8. Don’t expect things to be where they normally are.  The electronic stores will have a pallets of stuff in the centers of the aisles.  Walmart will have movies in a stack in Produce.  It’s a madhouse.  Go to where you think the item may be and if it isn’t there, ask the first employee you see and if they don’t know, which they may not, ask the next one.
  9. Cell phones are useless.  Don’t try and call anyone for advice or clarification of an item.  Don’t try and call your teammate on the other side of the store.  There are often so many people in the store you won’t be able to hear on your phone, anyway.  Text message and if possible, hold your phone so you can feel it vibrate because you won’t hear it ring.
  10. Leave all unnecessary items at home.  Bring your flyers, your cell phone and your money cards.  Everything else, leave in the car or at home.  It will slow you down.  Trust me.
  11. Don’t wait for the good parking spot.  Just pick one.  There will be so many people coming and going there are bound to be better spots that’ll piss you off as you walk in from the back forty.  You’ll wait forever just getting through the parking lot aisles so you’re better off just picking one.  And while I am here, when you get in your car to leave make like a seventeen year-old boy at prom and pull the fuck out.  Don’t check your cell phone for messages or balance your checkbook.  Make sure your packages are inside, your seatbelt is on, and pull out.  Sitting there sorting your receipts and check marking your list at 6:00a while people who haven’t had coffee or sleep are waiting for that spot is how people get shot.
  12. Read the fine print.  Is there a rebate?  Are there “per customer” limits.  Don’t be surprised when you get there and the Bluetooth headset you thought was $14.99 is really $49.99 before two mail-in rebates.  Best Buy almost never does rebates anymore so whatever is marked is what you’re paying.  Staples does online rebates which are very quick and I highly recommend.
  13. Know your accessories.  If you’re buying certain items they are going to do the suggestive sell and recommend other items.  Know what they’re talking about and it’ll save them the time of explaining it to you which they will because accessories is where they make their money.  If your neighbors cousin knows a little about home theatre or computers and will give you some free advice, take it.  So when when they ask do you need a backup battery or a flash drive, you’ll know the answer.  In Home Theatre equipment, they will always try and sell you expensive cables so know whether you’re going to need an HDMI or component cable.  Again, if it’s on sale it better to have it and not want it and make those decisions later.  A personal note: There is are two Big Lots in my town.  They sell all kinds of cables.  I bought an RCA HDMI cable for my tv for $14.99… it was $70 at Best Buy.  USB cable is $4.99 and it’s $29.99 at Best Buy.  Also visit
  14. Leave your kids at home.  With your mom.  Hire a babysitter.  Few things piss me off more than a packed store at 7:00a and someone toting a six-month old.  Child Services should just drive through the parking lot and if they see anyone with a kid under ten in a 40 degree line at 3:00a they should just be arrested and sent to the pokey.
  15. If you need a computer or television, now is the time.  There are a few times of year stuff really goes on sale.  For televisions and home theatre equipment it’s Christmas, Father’s Day and January (the Super Bowl).  For computers it’s Christmas and Back To School.
  16. Have your money ready.  Have your check cards and credit cards.  If fact, have backup money.  I pay everything on my check card but sometimes banks have issues.  I also carry my American Express and Citibank card just in case one of them gives me crap I whip them out to the cashier and play, “Pick a card, any card.”  NEVER pay cash because they don’t track cash at the register.  If you pay with a card and lose the receipt, they can look it up.  You pay with cash and you’re screwed.  People who whip out a check and present their two forms of ID and make the other ninety-seven of us wait for a manager approval should be beaten within an inch of their lives.  Complete asses, I tell you.  The only thing worse than these idiots are the jackasses who have no credit and decide the time to apply for a Best Buy card is at 6:30a after they’ve spent four hours in a line only to get rejected because their longest employment was the job they had pushing in carts at the Walmart for eight months which doesn’t look good with their four priors, three illegitimate kids and two years of spotty child support payments… and this guy thinks he needs a Playstation 3 so he can watch Crank 2: High Voltage in high-def.

Happy hunting.

Girl Nerds and the Vampire Boys Who Love Them

Hey look!  There is another Twilight movie out!

I am not going to kick Twilight since I already did that last year.  I also don’t like bashing things without having seen them and I haven’t seen Twilight because 1) I am thirty-seven and 2) I don’t have a vagina.  I also like my vampires nasty, my zombies fast and my homosexuals fa-laming!

Girls don’t get a lot to nerd out about.  Boys get to nerd out about every three weeks over something.  In the last month alone there has been a World Series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Star Trek and a four hour director cut of Watchmen on DVD and that’s leaving out college and pro football.

Girls get Twilight.  Enjoy your twinkly vampires.

The first time I saw girls nerds en masse was last year at the Sex and the City movie.  If you’re wondering what I was doing there it was my mom’s birthday and that was the movie she picked (and she doesn’t read my blog and that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).  As I walked through the parking lot I felt severely underdressed.  Small tribes of women, the kind you generally find bottlenecking a ladies room, stood in clusters wearing heels and dresses like somewhere a New York & Company exploded and they were the victims.

I knew something was wrong when I saw nine women climb out of a limo like clowns at a circus.

These are girl nerds.  The ever-elusive girl nerd.

Not to say that these women lack social skills.  I’m not talking about that kind of nerd.  You know the kind… the ones that show up at a Barnes & Nobles at midnight dressed like small British boy wizards.  Even then, I would say those scenarios have the fifty/fifty male/female split.  You could argue there are fashionista nerds but they seldom have a reason to gather in packs.  A movie, however, provides that event for women to dress up where had this been your basic movie with the word “Saw” and a random roman numeral in the title, they would have worn what they wore to Target that afternoon.

No, what I was witnessing was the female equivalent of this:

For women, this is their Star Wars.  Their Star Trek.  Their X-Men, Lord of the Rings or whatever else would have gotten you laughed at by Claire Standish for asking her to prom.

Someone told me the lines were already forming to buy tickets weeks beforehand.  I asked were there any dudes there and was told, “Only gay dudes.”

That’s to be expected when you have movie with these images:

… which does make it look a little like gay porn.


You got off lucky.  I could have showed you the cover to Brotherhood of the Travelling Pants.

The closest I can tell it looks like this is a movie about a boy vampire who loves some skinny pale girl and a boy werewolf who tries to put the moves on said skinny pale girl.  Whatever… if you’re into that kind of thing so be it.  I just wonder what kind of girl is this that these are the dudes that are attracted to her?  I knew a white girl who, how can I say this gently, had a big round ass.  She told me one time she was getting sick of getting hit on by black guys.  She had nothing against black guys and had dated several but this was before she realized she was part of a fetish.  Not her fault.  It was just the kind of guys she attracted.  If two movies in and we’re already at vampires and werewolves I’m waiting for the next movie where she lies to a mummy varsity football player that she’s having his baby when really it belongs to a zombie she cheated on him with.

And like everything in our culture you have to identify yourself and your group.  Star Trek has Trekkies (or the in-denial Trekkers).  Lord of the Rings has Ringers.  My personal favorite are X-Philes.

Twlight has Twi-Hards.  This barely makes sense to me and if anything, makes my head hurt that someone used the pun of a legitimately great movie (which spawned a sub-genre of dudes getting stuck in things with terrorists) and applied it to this tween bullshit.

My friend Jessica (no, the other one) on her Facebook page, was handing out Team Edward pins.  This woman is completely grown, married and has a small son.  A few months earlier we and a co-worker of hers were having lunch and they told me how they were going to buy their copies of the first film on DVD the next day.  It was at this point Yvonne let loose this guttural, throaty purr generally reserved for large jungle cats, or in this case more specifically, cougars.

This was followed by the phrase, “Mama like, mama like.”  Again, two women with families and husbands clearly pushing the back half of thirty.

I always felt a little bad for boy bands knowing that even as the Jonas Brothers, the youngest of which is seventeen and the oldest is twenty-two, have, literally, millions of fans screaming for them, their average fan is probably fourteen.  This kills the whole glory of being a rock star which is to get women.  They can’t very well point into a crowd and have random girls taken backstage to have their way with since it’d be illegal in most states and they’d probably have their moms with them.

Somehow, this Robert Patterson has stumbled into a way out of this managing to appeal to tween girls who he makes tingly and they don’t know why and their mom’s who tingle and they know exactly why.

Good for you, Bobby Patterson.  Ride that gravy train until the biscuit wheels fall off.  We give you shit but all us dudes wish we thought of starring in our own girly vampire movie when we were twenty-two.

Reason the Terrorists Hate Us #36 – Dogs in Strollers

I was at the Best Buy customer service counter when out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman pushing a poodle in a stroller.

JIM: Did I just see a dog?


It’s no secret I have no real love for animals.  They make noise, chew things, require attention and there is absolutely no chance they’ll take care of me when I get old.  It doesn’t help that I am allergic which is why I stopped eating puppies years ago.  I can stomach dogs more than cats knowing when I am eighty-five and die in my home, the odds that a dog will be waiting at my side for me to wake up is greater than a cat which will probably wait two days and then start eating me.

I’m not even going to get on the principals of dogs in strollers when animals should be walked.  I barely like kids in strollers.

If you’re not old enough to walk through Disney World you’re not old enough to go to Disney World.  I’ll be hot damned if I’m paying sixty bucks to carry you through this plastic park.

I have yet to see anyone who actually has a toddler put a dog in a stroller.  I have never seen one of those twin strollers with a toddler in one side and a Shar Pei in the other and if I did I’d probably have an aneurism.  This is behavior reserved for people who don’t have children and want to play parent with another living thing thinking it feels the same way back.

They’re like our babies.

I hear this a lot and it’s complete horseshit. Only someone without babies would ever say this like “Mo Money, Mo Problems” is only said by rich rappers.  My friend Jennifer works for a vet and I think at most they had something insane like five dogs and seven cats in their home which is unusual if your last name isn’t Clampett.  They now have three kids.  If I went all Sophie’s Choice on her and put a gun to the head of two of her kids and told her she has ten seconds to choose we’re going to have a problem.  If I did the same thing with one of her kids and her favorite dog the smart money is she answers with nine seconds to spare and sleeps like a baby that night.

It’s the same logic that makes this happen.


My mall used to have a gourmet pet treat store.  I am eating at the swill at Panda Express and on the other side of the mall they are selling gourmet pet treats.  Just out of curiosity, who the hell comes up with the recipe for this?  Are pets really that discriminating? You know, the dogs that overturn your trash, eat your coffee grounds and spend most of their time licking their own junk.

I’d like to think the gourmet pet store closed because people aren’t stupid enough to buy that but someone must because I saw a commercial for this the other night.  What kind of country do I live in where we have to have food drives for the needy at Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same store that sells appetizers… for pets.

Enjoy the canned beets I found in my pantry, sucker, because those are gonna have to last you the other three hundred and sixty three days of the year…

Earlier in the year a woman got mauled by her best friend’s pet chimpanzee.  She was on the Today show this morning and she’s “recovered” and by that I mean she is missing both hands, an eye and her face looks like a lump of dough someone stuck on her neck.  She wears a veil to keep from scaring people.

They had a press release from her friend, the chimpanzee owner, which basically said we’re very sorry and we did our best by calling 911 and we wish for a speedy recovery.

Well, there really isn’t much of a recovery when your hands and face have been ripped off.  Those are pretty permanent.

I feel horrible for this woman and maybe she didn’t have enough sense to stay away from a house where there was ninety pound wild animal someone dressed in cutesy clothes and let it sleep in a bed like it was a person not realizing it could kill everyone in that house if it felt like it.  I saw Cinder, a chimpanzee in the St Louis Zoo with a skin condition that didn’t allow him to grow hair and let me tell you if you could see a chimp without hair it will scare the hell out of you.

chimpanzee alopecia

It’s like the most ripped old man you ever saw which is what happens if you only eat fruit and dangle from trees all day.  A monkey arm is essentially a steel bar wrapped in fur.  This goes back to when people say stupid shit like, “My dog doesn’t bite,” which really should be, “My dog doesn’t bite me.”

Of course not.  You feed it every day.  I’m just the schmuck in your house.  He has no allegiance to me.

This isn’t to say that all animals should be feared because they shouldn’t.  I’ve watched my brother tug in his Pit Bull’s tail and ears and stick his fingers in his mouth but again… that’s his dog.  The majority of dog bites in this country are by Jack Russells and every generation demonizes a breed of dog.  After the sixties (and the Civil Rights Movement) it was German Shepherds.  In the seventies and eighties it was Dobermans (see The Omen) and for the past twenty years it’s been Pit Bulls.

The difference is Bobby never forgets that a Pit Bull is, for all intents and purposes, a dog with a shark’s head.  My policy with animals is don’t forget they’re animals… that and never have one you can’t punt if it loses its shit for no reason.

Everything that’s cute isn’t meant to be your pet.  I heard of a woman who had taken in raccoons because their adorable.  True.  They’re also feral and have thumbs so fuck if I’m letting them in my house.  She found this out the hard way when they tore ass out of her kitchen.

People who push their dogs around in strollers or dress monkeys up like little butlers clearly have lost the delineation between people and their pets and have made the mistake that other people care for their pets as much as they do.  We don’t.  When I see a woman with a dog in a purse at Applebees giving me the stink-eye because he wants my Queso Blanco, I don’t think it’s cute.  I think there is a woman who doesn’t respect other people’s boundaries and places of business.  I think that person is inconsiderate and thinks everyone likes her dog as much as she does or values her dog more than people, in which case, she’s an asshole.

Knock it off.