Thursday, December 22, 2011

On Vacation

I'm talking the rest of the year off. See you in 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Premium Brewed Game Day Ice

Game off.
Have you every wondered what your favorite sports would taste like as a beer? Me neither. But somebody somewhere did and the result is Premium Brewed Game Day Ice. Brewed with real, game-used jock straps, this golden lager is the equivalent of a holding penalty ... in your mouth. On the plus side, a 12-pack goes for an impossibly affordable $2.99, so there's enough for the whole team and the coach to drown their sorrows after a loss or two.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Is anyone getting me a car this Christmas?


I keep seeing commercials where affluent, well-manicured people give each other cars with oversized bows on them? Is this really a thing? How do they even know what features the other likes? Are they dropping hints into casual conversation? “Boy, this leather couch sure would be great at 60 mph, right?”

If I surprise one of my friends or family members with a luxury sedan, will I hear a peel of joy or see a cringe of awkward regret? “Thanks for the car. Did you keep the receipt?”

Monday, December 19, 2011

I am a loser.


This past weekend, I flew across half the country to participate in a poker tournament hosted by a former* fraternity brother. There were 22 of us seated at three tables with a bevy of food and beverages to keep us well contented and lubricated over the course of the afternoon. Some of the guys played fairly regularly and others, such as yours truly, hadn’t played in over a year.

And then I was out. THE FIRST ONE OUT. I had a pair of Jacks and I bet aggressively, pre-flop, but two guys matched me. Then, a Queen appeared on the flop, and I felt I had to bet even more aggressively to chase the two out. One obliged and one didn’t—the one with the pair of Queens, it turns out.

At first I was disappointed, however, the more I thought about it, the better I was with it. Being out first meant that I could mingle amongst the remaining tables and catch up with guys I hadn’t seen in years.

And the best part was that no time had passed. Sure, we were all a little older, some fatter and a great number had wives and kids and responsibilities, but we all cracked jokes, told stories and laughed to the point of tears. Some guys had suffered health problems, experienced losses or were having a hard time, but we listened, consoled and, after a certain point, busted their balls. Because that’s what we do.

Will I remember who won this year? Yes, because we get it engraved on a trophy. Will anyone remember that I was the first one out this year? Yes, because those guys are merciless.
Was it worth it? You bet your @$$ it was. 

*Technically we’re still fraternity brothers—brothers for life and all that—but I mean that we’re not longer in college.
 

Friday, December 16, 2011

In ___________ We Trust.


2011 seemed to be the year when we lost our trust*.

The government lost the trust of the American people.
America lost the World’s trust.
The dollar is no longer the most trusted currency worldwide.
The 1% lost the trust of the 99%.
We lost trust in banks and stocks and bonds and anything other than gold.
No one trusts China. Or the media.
Fewer and fewer people trust God, any god.
We can’t even seem to trust the food we eat or the air we breathe.
And, as Penn State proved, sometimes we can’t even trust each other.

So what can we trust? Who can we turn to in 2012? Can we trust ourselves?

Trust your gut.
Trust in life.
Trust in the inevitable march of time.
Trust in 4 billion years of evolution**.
Trust that Hollywood movies will always be over budget and underwhelming.
Trust that a man being hit in the nuts will always be funny. Always.
Trust that a monkey will always pee in its mouth when it’s on camera.
Trust that everything will work out okay.
Trust me, I’m a professional.

*And trust funds, if you were so lucky to have one.
**Or 4,000, if that’s your thing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Creativity is a lot like Pooping*

If you work in a creative field, like advertising or graphic design, you’ll eventually hear someone say something like, “great, I guess I’ll just go poop out another idea**.” But, honestly, they’re not far off.

Top 5 ways Creativity is like Pooping
1.     You can’t force it***. Trying to squeeze out a creative idea before its time is like trying poop when you’re not ready—you’ll end up getting hemorrhoids … of the brain.
2.     When you’re stuck, read something. This goes back to number 1****, but sometimes you have to distract yourself in order for ideas to come to you.
3.     Garbage in, garbage out. Feed your brain substantive ideas and inspiration***** to get nutrient-rich thinking; granted, it’s all crap, but some is better than others.
4.     Sometimes you just have to be the biggest @$$hole. To convince others of your ideas, sometimes you have to challenge and even risk offending them.
5.     You never know what you’re going to get. Sure, when you sit down to poop, you have a general idea of what you’re going to get—brownish, smelly, clingy—but until you look in that bowl, you don’t know if it will be smooth and silky or clumpy and runny. Which, let’s face it, is why you got into the business in the first place, right?

*My parents are so proud right now; “Four years of college for this?”
**Which precedes the notion of “polishing a turd.”
***Yes, yes, very funny.
****Zing!
*****Like That Tad Guy’s blog, maybe?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

All I want for Christmas is … more variety.


I was recently given a mixed holiday CD. “Nice gesture,” you might say. Or, “How thoughtful.” And you would be initially right and then horribly, painfully wrong. It was a CD assembled by a committee of people with disparate tastes and sensibilities. I know that Christmas is a time of togetherness, but sometimes Run DMC just needs to sit at the other end of the table from Jessica Simpson and Justin “Shortie” Bieber.

The CD was a disaster. But it got me to thinking, as I’m oft apt to do, and it made me realize that while it FEELS like there is an overabundance of Christmas/Holiday music, there actually ISN’T a lot of NEW music*. With some exceptions, most original artists churning out holiday albums these days are merely acting as glorified cover bands. Few are actually writing or performing wholly original music. And, unfortunately, when an original song does come along and get popular, like Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is Tad**”, someone*** comes along and covers it until it’s unbearable to hear ever again.

So if I have one wish this holiday season, it’s this: $1 billion in cash. But if I have two wishes, then it’s that everyone in the whole world write more holiday music.

*OKAY??
**The original title
***Specifically: the Cast of Glee

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brunch Pants (tm)

Artist's rendering of Brunch Pants (tm)
By now you know that this site is like the Mississippi River of websites--awesomely majestic, constantly flowing and a great source of random flotsam and jetsam. But could you possibly comprehend that today you would see an idea so incredible, so amazing, that it would turn your whole conception of reality on its head and/or ear???*

I give you (with the help of my brunch crew; respect): Brunch Pants (tm). This project is in the experimental stages, but--if successful--will absolutely change brunch as you know it**.

F.A.Q.s

Is that elastic in the waistband and at the ankles? Yes. Our highly made-up brunchologists have determined that both swell throughout the course of each of the courses, of course.

Are those printed patterns of breakfast foods? No. They are of brunch foods.

There's no way that someone was genius enough to put plastic linings IN THE PANTS to take home and/or smuggle buffet food, right? Wrong. We are that genius.

Aren't those just a take-off on weight-lifting pants from the late 80s/early 90s? Maybe. But we can 100% guarantee that no one who wears these pants will ever workout.


What will be the estimated cost of these amazing pants? Right now, our estimates are between $25-$753 retail.


*No, no you didn't.
**That's a heads up, Nobel Prize committee.










Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All I don't want for Christmas.


When I lived in Seattle, a group of friends and I participated in an annual white elephant gift exchange.

For the uninitiated, the term “white elephant” was originally and literally a white elephant. White elephants were seen as rare, enviable and precious gifts, but they were also a financial burden to feed, house, and clean. Only the wealthiest kings and sultans could afford to keep them, so if a person were given one as a gift, it was essentially meant to drive the owner to financial ruin. In modern usage, it means a gift that isn’t really a gift. Or at our party, it was a gag gift.

Basically, everyone wrapped their gifts and people drew numbers out of a hat. One had the first pick. Two could then steal one’s gift or pick from below the tree. If a gift was stolen three times, it was no longer available to steal.

Some of the most memorable were: The Clapper*, Bootleg DVDs from Taiwan and a beer in a sock. Good times.

But as we got older, we wanted to be classy. So we decided to change the game to be a CD and DVD exchange**, but still keep the same structure. One person, however, didn’t get the memo. And it so happened that I picked old number 1 for the first time ever.

So there I was in my Christmas sweater, all eager and full of Holiday Cheer***, surrounded by friends when I unwrapped the first gift. It was neither CD nor DVD. It was a Strokin’ Santa wind-up doll. Without going into too much detail, Santa had one arm raised over his head**** and the other on his “north pole”. And when you wound up the doll, Santa “jingled his bells”. Again, I’m thankful that this was not a DVD. Needless to say, no one wanted to steal this gift.

But, fortunately, my roommate’s girlfriend was going to another white elephant gift exchange and traded me a Snoopy Snowcone Machine for Jolly Old St. Nick. Classy indeed.

*My roommates and I first used it with the TV, but it would shut off if there were any loud noises ON the TV
**Throw this one in the time capsule, right?
***How is this not a brand of cheap moonshine?
****A detail that has always befuddled me. Was he looking for a high five? Was he waving to someone?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The One-Handed Rule


This past weekend, some friends of mine were talking about the high turnover of restaurants downtown. Some places seemed to only last a few scant months while others disappeared shockingly after a few days, like a kidnapping victim in a new country. And then we cracked the code. Correction: I cracked the code. To be a successful lunch establishment, you only have to pass one test and that test has only one rule: can you eat it one handed? Soups, salads, bottomless pasta bowls are all well and good, but they fail the test. And the beauty of the one-handed rule? It frees up your other hand to receive congratulatory high-fives. Yes!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Origin Schmorigin


I’m a sucker for superhero movies. Not all of them**, but if they’re even remotely entertaining, I’ll give them a chance. Let me clarify: mainstream superhero movies, like Spider-man 2 or The Dark Knight*—I’m not a fan of the hyper-realistic, hyper-violent sub-genre, like Super or Kick-ass. I don’t need trumped up morality tales or movies trying to subvert the genre. I just want a halfway decent popcorn movie, like this year’s Thor or Captain America.

The reason I write all of this is because I just watched The Green Hornet. It was terrible; this is not new information. Every review I read said as much, but I figured that maybe Michel Gondry and Seth Rogen had created something starkly new, which oftentimes means that it is initially rejected by the masses.

Masses 1
Gondry & Rogen 0

The main problem was that the creators never defined what type of movie they wanted it to be. One minute it wanted to be a super cool action movie with video game effects and the next it was a slapstick farce with action scenes that would make the 3 Stooges blush.

And the shame of it is that the movie could have been a compelling statement on violence and vigilantism***.

There’s a scene early on when the Green Hornet and Kato instinctively run from the police, but end up running the police car into another car, resulting in a fiery crash. At that moment, they cheer. But what if they had stopped and thought, “Oh crap. We just hurt a police officer who was just trying to do his job?” Seth Rogen’s character is supposedly a billionaire and yet we hear nothing about his efforts to rectify the consequences of his actions.

Which got me to thinking: I’m done with origin stories. Origin stories are passive. Things happen to the hero instead of the hero making things happen. I don’t care so much about the “why” as much as the “what”.

Which in turn caused me to remember a stunningly original comic book mini-series I collected in my youth: Marvels. The first thing that struck me was Alex Ross’s photorealistic artwork. But after that, it was the story. Instead of following the story from the hero’s perspective, we follow a newspaper photographer, who bears witness to these goliaths as they crash into and intrude on the lives of everyday citizens. Each of their conflicts results in both positive and negative consequences and most of the victims know little to none about “why” Spider-man decided to choose a red and blue color scheme over black****. It was a bold take on a host of classic good vs. evil stories.

I just wish there was a filmmaker in Hollywood brave enough to tell a conventional superhero story in an unconventional manner. Because if there was, they’d be my hero.

*Yes, both are sequels.
**I’m looking at you, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and Fantastic Four. 
***Yes, I get that I just said I didn’t want that from a Superhero movie.
****That was a nerd test. You failed if you got the reference.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Yogurt, yo.


Just like you can bake bread without a bread machine*, you can make yogurt without a yogurt maker, but if you want a dedicated machine, then the Euro Cuisine Automatic Yogurt Maker does the trick nicely. 

When I made my first batch, I followed the instructions to bring the milk to a boil, let cool, add yogurt, pour in jars, set timer, plug in and wait. I'll be honest: it was a hassle. So after reading up on the process and making a few more batches, here's what I now do:

-buy skim milk, measure out 48 oz.
-add a cup of non-fat powdered milk
-add a jar of yogurt from a previous batch
-set timer for 12 hours and turn on (overnight)
-put lids on jars, cool in fridge and go to work

The higher the fat content, the fewer the hours needed to cook. But all of the yogurt comes out nice and thick (not Greek yogurt thick, but regular thick). I add frozen fruit right before eating, although there are instructions for adding them in at a different stage of the process.

I'd rate the machine higher, but the on/off switch doubles as the light and I forgot to turn on the machine once because of it**. 

*yes, you can actually bake your own bread
**surprisingly, the yogurt still turned out okay

Thursday, December 1, 2011

That Tad Guy's Gift-giving Guide™


It seems like everyone does a gift-giving guide this time of year. The best gifts for octogenarians. What to get your co-workers. How to say, “thanks for checking me into rehab” for under $10. All of those guides are misguided*. This is the only guide—the definitive guide—you’ll need this holiday season. Why? Because I’m not going to give you a list of crap to purchase. I’m going to show you how to select a gift. And isn’t that the best gift of all?**

DO:
·      Get them something they want. Sounds pretty simple, right? Yet studies*** show that 89% of gift recipients don’t get what they want, 43% of the time.
·      Get them something expensive looking, but which was actually on sale. Oops, secret’s out, folks****.
·      Give them something meaningful … to them. The better you know a person, the less you should have to spend on them. Uh, I mean that you won’t have to overcompensate trying to impress them. Jeez.

DON’T:
·      Give them something that doubles as a passive aggressive attempt to change something about themselves. Examples include: Gym memberships, non-alcoholic beer, one-way tickets out of the country, gift cards to psychologists, etc.
·      Give them an illness. Blankets for winter are great; small pox blankets for winter … hard to return.

*See what I did there? It’s called “wordplay”
**Hahahaha. No.
***I’m sure there’s some study somewhere that backs this up
****Hope everyone likes their “Rolexes"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does corporate culture matter?


I know that you typically turn to this site for my witty witticisms, crude/hilarious cartoons and leaked pictures of my abs*. I thank you for that. 

But today I want to talk about culture. Corporate culture. Actually, talk is a misnomer. Rant is what I want to do. I want to rant.

There’s a lot of lip service given to corporate culture. Heck, there’s a lot of time and money and energy given to it as well. In all likelihood, you’ve probably heard something along these lines:

“We’re creating a culture of success.”
“We want to foster a camaraderie culture.”
“Here at Corporation X**, our goal is to implement a culture of caring.”

If a corporation truly embraces and commits to these virtues—even at the sacrifice of potential profit—then I have nothing to rant about.

But that’s the rare exception, isn’t it?

How many companies are brave enough or honest enough to face the hard truth that the culture they think they have isn’t the one they actually have?

I’ve worked at and worked with a wide range of corporate clients and I’m continually disappointed to see how many have a culture of fear***, whether they intend to or not. Buildings packed with people too afraid to make a decision one way or another. Boardrooms filled with people unable to share their honest opinion. Cubicles staffed by people who are forced to suffer inhumane indignities under the guise of efficiency.  

These corporations would probably even describe their corporate culture in positive terms: “extremely collaborative”, “very creative”, “pretty fun”.

But can a place be “extremely collaborative” if its employees are siloed off in different departments?
Is it fair to say a place is “very creative” if you can’t even paint the walls the colors you’d like?
Are places that block employee access to websites, like ESPN or YouTube, “pretty fun”?

To me, culture is the cumulative alignment of words and action.

Every time a corporation implements a policy that is counter to its predominant culture, it isn’t being honest with what it is. Now, that can be a good thing if your culture is one of fear and you’re actively working to change that. But it’s a bad thing if you think you’re at an innovative company, and yet nothing ever seems to change.

Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to work in an industry that values casual attire, occasional swearing and male-patterned baldness. Which, knowing my jinx track record, will mean that I’ll have to start wearing toupees to every corporate client meeting.

*What? Those haven’t leaked yet?
**If there’s actually a “Corporation X” out there, my apologies in advance.
***I do find it interesting that “culture” is a wholly white-collar luxury. Maybe I’m over simplifying things, but when I worked as a dishwasher at a family restaurant, I didn’t care what the “culture” was. I knew that I was making four bucks and hour and if I didn’t get the dishes out fast enough then customers wouldn’t have a plate on which to eat. If “sloppy and humid” is a culture, then that was it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I fixed an iPod (sort of)


One of my coworkers left an iPod on the free table—discarded and disregarded like so much ephemera—and it inevitably made its way into my possession. As I've mentioned before, I like to fix things*.

Earlier this year, my lawn mower would start and then quit immediately. So I did a quick search online and was able to find plenty of helpful advice, including step-by-step videos. Granted, some of the advice and videos were better than others, but I was able to disassemble the carburetor on my lawn mower, clean it, reassemble it and get it started again. Thanks Internet!

I mention this willingness to dive into things because it reminded me of something I read about Steve Jobs. Now, I’m no Steve Jobs, but in the outstanding book, The Pixar Touch, there’s a story about how Steve started learning about electronics at an early age. He would get disassembled radios and learn how to build them from the ground up. In the book, he says that the experience took away the mystery of electronics as this mystical, magical, unknowable thing.

So when I came across this non-working iPod, I saw it as a challenge to overcome. I tried a hard reboot and that failed. I did a reinstall of the operating system and that seemed to work. Huzzah! But then battery wouldn’t hold a charge. Ah-ha! One problem: How to get to the battery? Answer: the Internet. I found a helpful site that showed me how to open the case (basically jam a knife inside and pry) and disconnect the battery. From there it was just a matter of matching part number to part number, getting a new battery for about $15 online and reassembling the whole contraption. Unfortunately, part of the screen was damaged in my zeal, but overall, I have a working iPod again for $15. And I gained the confidence in knowing that if the screen stops working entirely, I’ll be able to fix that, too.

*As opposed to “people” or “relationships”

Monday, November 28, 2011

I made sushi*

*Not for Thanksgiving.

Someone call a mohel, these guys need to get cut. 


Missouri Rolls. Take that, California.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nope.

I'm on holiday today and tomorrow. For my international readers, my apologies. For my American readers, Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Things I’m Thankful For


·      Kung-fu movies
·      Hot chocolate with marshmallows
·      America Freedom
·      Hot oil thumb wrestling contests
·      Forgiveness
·      People related to me
·      People not related to me, but who act like they are
·      Stock dividends
·      Practical jokes on people who look like me, but who aren’t me
·      Calling out hypocrites publicly
·      Milk, when shot out of a nose (not mine)
·      Hugs that lasts a few seconds too long
·      Hybrid Monster Trucks

Monday, November 21, 2011

Top 5 Pilgrim pick-up lines


5. Thou surest know how to buckle a hat.
4. Is thy name “giving”? Because mine name is “thanks”.
3. Would thou likest to book passage on mine ship? ‘Tis the May de-Flower.
2. I haveth rocks, but they be not from Plymouth.
1. Care to feast thine eyes upon my horn o’ plenty?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yep, I'm a logo.

We had a chili cook-off at work and some co-workers and I decided to make the hottest chili on Earth. We called it "waiver chili" and had actual waivers to sign. We also had a warning sign and the art director who designed it decided to have fun with my trademarked visage. A sort of Jolly That Tad Guy. I like it because it says, "stay away", while also saying, "avast ye mateys", which, as you know, I say quite frequently*.

*almost never

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Top 5 things I look for in an independent coffee shop.


If you’re thinking about opening a coffee shop, or even frequenting one with any, um, frequency, I encourage you to learn from my experiences.

1.     Make it big. I go to coffee shops to be around other people. Small, hole-in-the-wall shops just mean that it will be the barista and me. Awkward.
2.     Use your front window to put the loners. I love the bar-style seating that runs along many front windows. I can sit comfortably and not feel guilty about taking up a whole table.
3.     Offer free Wi-fi. If people are abusing the bandwidth, kick them off. Otherwise, charging for Internet access is antiquated and cheap.
4.     Figure out your refill policy. If you’re going to offer a “bottomless mug”, make it convenient to get a refill. If you’re going to charge per refill, state it clearly on your menu and don’t charge an initial price that’s out of line with other shops.
5.     Keep it clean. When a place is crowded or messy, there’s a short window of time before I decide to just move onto the next place. Having a person on staff to quickly clean vacated tables is like rolling out a welcome mat just for me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: The Little Engine That Could by various authors


The Premise:
A little coal-powered engine believes in itself so much that it makes it up to the top of a steep hill.

The Good:
This heartwarming and inspirational tale is most likely based on a true story. It glosses over the unseemly aspects of railroad building to let the reader focus on the tale of triumph and the power of positive thinking. The Little Engine’s mantra “I think I can” is catchy and should be memorable for most readers.

The Bad:
The physics in the book are dubious, at best. The reader is asked to suspend belief as a smaller engine with less torque is able to out-perform larger, more powerful engines based on “willpower”. How many pounds per square inch does “willpower” produce? And, really, who decided to lay down tracks at that steep of a grade, anyway? It seems as though the author(s) did little-to-no research and instead decided to bend the science to fit their needs.

The Verdict:
Read it before bedtime. While preachy and highly inaccurate, the book’s repetition of “I think I can” is rhythmic and repetitive enough to lull the reader to sleep.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Boiled Peanuts

When I was a youngster, I invented the peanut butter & butter sandwich*. In high school I lived off of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. I can de-shell a bag of peanuts at a baseball game faster than piranhas can skin a whole cow. Reese's peanut butter cups and Reese's pieces are a favorite, plus I like roasted peanuts and love Thai peanut sauce.

But "boiled peanuts" was a first. Apparently it's a Southern thing because they have vendors selling them at football games and everything.

And I have to say ... not my preferred method of peanut-y goodness. Peanuts without the crunch are like Peanuts without Snoopy--sure they're fun, but they lacking that extra something. And they're soggy. Really soggy.

So the next time someone offers you a cup full of boiled peanuts**, tell 'em, "thank you for your well-meaning, but misplaced, Southern hospitality".

*Not even Elvis was that gluttonous
**All the time, right?

Friday, November 11, 2011

What it’s like to do stand-up comedy.


Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Oh no.
Oh no, who?
Oh no, I crapped my pants on stage in front of everyone I know.

You really don’t need to read any further. But you’re a literary lot, so I’ll give you a brief glimpse behind the laughter.

The first time I performed stand-up comedy was in the fifth grade*. It’s true: this isn’t some revisionist history. My elementary school held a talent show and I performed a routine that was essentially a parody commercial. I don’t remember the details—I never wrote it down—but it involved kitchen tongs and one of the product benefits was stealing candy from a baby. It was a crystalline moment. For the first time I had had the spark of an idea, grabbed onto it, worked it around in my head and brought it fully formed to life on stage. Needless to say (but I’ll say it anyway) the routine killed**.

What didn’t kill was my first foray on stage during college. I wrote a routine. Practiced it in private. Performed it in public. And died an agonizing, lingering, sweaty death. It was like getting dumped by a girl, but you’re naked and everyone you know is there laughing at you while they punch you in the stomach until you cry. And then they laugh at you for crying. This was before YouTube, so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Luckily, a year or so later, a good friend pushed me to take a comedy class with him. It was a weeklong session with 15 or so participants. Everyone developed a routine and tried out their material in front of the class. People gave positive feedback and we had about two chances to tweak our material before the final test—a 5-minute routine performed at a local comedy club in front of a friendly audience made up of family and friends. It was both awesome and horrible.

Here’s how it broke down:
3 people were hilarious (myself, my friend and one other guy)
7 people gave a good effort and had a decent joke or two
5 people were painfully, embarrassingly unfunny

But all of the people tried and it was a great learning experience. As such:
·      You are going to be nervous. Probably the most nervous you’ve ever been or will be outside of a wedding or a second wedding to a person none of your family or friends approve of***. The only way to combat that nervousness is to KNOW YOUR MATERIAL.
·      You will want to PRACTICE and then practice again. And again.
·      If you think you’ve heard a joke before, you have. DO NOT STEAL JOKES.
·      Try to be funny without swearing or being “outrageous”. Yes, some of the funniest comedians work “blue”, but the best can be funny without relying on sexual, religious or offensive material.
·      Prepare for the unexpected. There could be technical difficulties. The place could burn down. But if you keep your wits about you, you could joke about how you started the fire … by lighting your own farts. 

Thank you. Tip your waitress. Try the veal. I’ll be here all week.


*It might have been sixth grade, in case anyone is writing a biography of my life
**I wasn’t new to the spotlight. I was essentially the lead or a major speaking part in every one of my elementary school’s productions. I doubt a VHS tape exists, but trust me, my rendition of “Tilly” in “Tilly the Tooth”, a play about dental hygiene, in second grade had gravitas. The pathos I displayed for brushing and flossing put many an area dentist out of business. Or so I assume.
***You know of whom I speak

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What it’s like to be bald.

 
Being bald is no longer the embarrassing affliction it once was*. Thanks to the tireless efforts of virile bald men, baldness is now on par with having a tattoo—you’re outside the mainstream, but pretty much everybody is doing it.

If you think you’re going bald and wonder if you should shave your head, do it. You won’t regret it.  It’s like pulling off a Band-Aid: the faster you do it, the more hair you rip out.

Now, full disclosure: I don’t straight razor; I use clippers with no guard. There are advantages to both. Using a razor will give you a closer shave, but it’s more time consuming and you run the risk of getting in-grown hairs (or so I’ve heard). Using clippers is easier, but the results aren’t for everyone. Whichever method you choose, you’ll have to shave at least twice a week, if not more.

And as the fine folks over at ShootPaul.com have established, “Tad is bald and susceptible to dents on his head”. This is the first thing you discover: every little scratch, bump, bruise, dent or zit is magnified tenfold. Bang your cranium plugging in a cord under your desk and it’s a week of “Greetings Gorbachev! How’s Russia?”**.

And that brings us to the second thing you learn: you’re going to need a lot of hats. In the summer, it’s baseball caps for sports, straw fedoras for lounging in the sun and even lightweight running hats for, well, running. In the fall and winter months, it’s a cavalcade of knit caps, toques, stocking caps and the like. The only time you don’t need a hat or cap is when you're swimming or showering.

Which is the best part of being bald: efficiency. Shampoo? Nope. Hair-dryer? Not in my house. Sleeping in until the last minute? Yes, please.

So the next time you find yourself calling someone “Cue ball”, remember that they are a real person with real feelings***. They just don’t have follicles on the top of their head.

*It’s called evolution. Get used to it.
**Proper response: Dos vedanya, Comrade!
***Wait, what? There’s a lesson here? My apologies, I did NOT see that coming.