Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Wow! That's heavy!"

I worked at a grocery store one summer while I was still too young to drive, so I had to rely on my parents (well, my mom) to pick me up & drop me off most of the time. Mom had her hands full around that time between us kids and my grandparents and her job, so I spent a lot of time waiting in the lobby after I clocked out.

And that's when I started finding these.

I don't know who was dropping them around town back then, but once I'd found one where I worked, it seemed like they were everywhere. They were usually clustered around benches in the lobbies of grocery stores, or tucked into slots on pop machines, or slid into the free flyers or newspapers stacked in doorways. Whoever was scattering them wasn't just dumping them in a pile; they were going out of their way to put them in spots where they'd sneak up on people.

After I went away to college in Duluth a few years later, I didn't find them nearly as often and sort of forgot about them...until my younger brother started working at the IGA in Ashland when he was in high school. I came home one weekend and he had a whole pile of them in his room - "These are hilarious! Who writes this crap?"

A few weeks ago, I bumped into them again online...and found a whole afternoon's worth of entertainment on the publisher's website.

There's their famous treatise on the evils of Dungeons & Dragons:

Debbie has an unfortunate face.
"It was great!"

There's one (actually, several) about the dangers of engaging in premarital sex (especially with guys dressed like Burt Reynolds):

Party animal.
"That's heavy!"

And there's a lot of completely level-headed information about people who aren't fundamentalist Christians, too.

What's with the eyepatch?

(Why is Grandpa dressed up like Harvey Birdman's boss?)

However, thankfully, to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; and for every zealot, there's a jester. And oh, there's a lot of funny parodies of this stuff online. There's even a Mystery Science Theater 3000-themed one. Something for everyone! Well, almost everyone. Somebody must be getting converted by those pamphlets or they wouldn't keep printing them, right...?

The giant inflatable beavers really sealed the deal.

During the games in Vancouver, I found myself watching more Olympics coverage than I usually do. I think I just like most winter sports more than "summer" let's be honest, this time of year it's not too hard to talk myself into parking my butt in front of the TV for hours on end. Another factor: I got to watch a lot of it with my friends Elizabeth & Peter, who are
really into speed skating. Peter grew up doing lots of speed skating downstate and even tried out for the Olympic team a few times - so watching it with someone who knows so much about it definitely made it more interesting, and more exciting, too. Now I feel like if called upon, I could converse at least semi-intelligently about speed skating, whereas before I watched it with Peter, I would've been limited to variations on, "Wow, they go fast." Although actually, yeah, I'd probably still have to resort to that quite a bit.

Anyway, my four favorite moments:

4. Johnny Weir in his crown of roses.


God, I wish I got the Sundance Channel so I could see his show.

3. While we're on the subject of figure skating: oh, the ice dancers. Their costumes were epic, weren't they?

2. The Norwegian curling team's pants.

Now those were some pants.

1. The portion of the Closing Ceremony that featured William Shatner doing a tamer version of his famous "I Am Canadian" bit, Catherine O'Hara apologizing for how often Canadians say "sorry" ("We just like to say sorry; it's our real national pastime. Canadians say 'sorry' ten, twenty times a day, and we're sorry it's not more"), and Michael J. Fox ...followed by Michael Buble leading a show-stopping number entitled "Made in Canada," featuring dancers dressed like Mounties, sexy ladies dressed as maple leaves, dancing canoes, a giant representation of table hockey and...wait for it...GIANT INFLATABLE BEAVERS (and moose).

Foxy maple leaf. Ta-dah!
Mounties & table hockey figures. Giant inflatable beaver.

(Now, if only they'd stopped there and not brought out Nickelback and Avril Lavigne after that's something that might merit a "sorry.")

Friday, February 26, 2010

Krazee-Eyez Killa.

Almost every morning at work, I head over to the post office to pick up the mail. I tend to bump into the same cast of characters daily; everybody knows what time they stop putting mail in the P.O. boxes, so everyone shows up around the same time.

There's the girl with the blue bag who jaywalks out into traffic because she's obliviously texting away on her cell phone all the time (in four years, I have literally never seen her walking there without a cell phone in hand); there's the old guy who reminds me of my dad's dearly-departed buddy Ray because he has the demeanor of a jolly junk-collector and until recently, he drove a car whose trunk hung about as low to the ground as Ray's did; there's the perfectly able-bodied guy who always pushes the handicap accessibility button to open the doors which drives me nuts because oh my god, it actually takes longer to open the doors that way than if you just pull them AND it lets all the heat out in the winter & all the A.C. in the summer, IT MAKES NO SENSE; and there's a gentleman I refer to as The Dapper Man, because, well...he's dapper. He looks a little something like this:

The Dapper Man.

Dapper, no?

Most of us post office regulars share informal greetings when we pass one another. A nod, a smile, a quick "hello"--such is small town life.

There is one postal patron, however, who gives me the willies. I call her Krazee-Eyez Killa

(caution: link contains highly salty language). Not because she reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm character in any way whatsoever, but solely because she has CRAZY EYES.

The first time I bumped into her was in the alley behind my office. I looked up and said hello; she just stared at me. And the moment my eyes met hers, I wanted to run for the hills. I don't know how to describe them well enough to adequately detail what makes them crazy: they just are. They're light blue, and icy, but that alone doesn't make for crazy eyes. It's what's behind the icy blue eyes that counts. (Thank you, The Who/Fred Durst.) And I'm pretty sure whatever's firing behind her eyes isn't firing on all cylinders, if you catch my drift.

When my family got its first computer back in 1992 or so, my older brother amassed a small collection of computer games which he eventually abandoned at the house when he left for college. One of them was called SpaceQuest 4: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers. Me & my younger brother tried playing it a few times, but we could never get past the first level; Roger would walk around the streets of a decimated, post-apocalyptic city, but before we could get anywhere we'd always bump into this silent zombie-like character who would scream when it saw us (and then we'd get blown up by a "Droid-O-Death").

Reminds me of someone.

It was annoying, and a little scary, and it hit me today--take away the metallic headgear and the screaming, and that's pretty much the same expression that's on Krazee-Eyez Killa's face.

Whether it's fair of me or not, she freaks me out. Maybe it would help if she smiled once in a while, or if she verbally responded in some small way when I said hello. It does make me wonder what the people I bump into around town think of me, though; maybe, just maybe, I'm somebody's "crazy lady," too?

Friday, February 19, 2010

The nose knows.

I crossed paths with my middle school principal & her husband the other day, and when my name came up in conversation, it caught his attention right away. Turns out her husband used to work with my dad a number of years ago, and the first thing that came out of his mouth was, "Huh, you don't look anything like your father."

A picture Emily's mom mailed me from 7.4.2008.

Now, I've been told this a few other times, and frankly, when someone says that to me, I must conclude that their powers of observation are on par with those of Mr. Magoo. It's not that I think I bear no resemblance to my mom, because I think there's a little something in there, and it's not that I don't want to look like my mom (my mom's cute!)...but I mean, c'mon:


Me at the beach.

It's like someone cut & pasted his nose on my face. And the shape of my face in general just looks more like his.

Dewey's First Communion, 1984.

I mentioned this to my mom, and she seemed a little...well, I wouldn't call it offended, but a little put-out by it. That is, until I mentioned the times people have told her she looks like her mom:

Jane & Rosie.

"No, I don't! I don't look anything like her! I look like her sister, but I don't look like her!"

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

“You are now officially hypnotized in the State of Rhode Island.”

One of my all-time favorite episodes of The Simpsons was the time Lisa gave Ralph Wiggum a pity Valentine ("I choo-choo-CHOOSE you!")...and one of my favorite details in that episode was the recurring joke where the local radio DJ kept accidentally playing the "Monster Mash" on Valentine's Day. Now, my Valentine's Day doesn't feel complete without a little "Monster Mash." Or a "Happy Love Day!" reference.

Years later, I was introduced to Mr. Show...and this. This is something I can watch over and over and it never, ever stops being funny.

And ever since I first saw that Mr. Show bit, I laugh every single time I hear this line in the "Monster Mash": "The guests included Wolf Man/Dracula, and his son." I can't really explain why, but for some reason, the act of listing guests at a monster party literally makes me laugh out loud. Every time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

He should just be glad this costume didn't come with a jumpsuit.

Long live The King.

Sure, the headpiece is way too small for his gargantuan noggin, but at least his torment is restricted to just one area of his body for once.

(I considered giving him a peanut butter & banana sandwich to dull the pain, but decided freeing him from the Elvis hat was the best reward.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lost in translation.

Mom: Hey, what's that Boost commercial about?

Me: The what commercial?

Mom: The one with Mike Ditka and the football guys dancing around.

Me: Oh, the Superbowl Shuffle one? That's for cell phones.

Mom: Really? Dad thought it was for tanning spray. I thought it was for the Rascal scooters.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

"This is the worst Superbowl party ever."

I didn't watch the Superbowl tonight. I did watch a solid chunk of the Puppy Bowl, though, which is fast becoming a kitschy American classic in its own right, so I didn't feel completely
un-American skipping out on the football. I found this year's addition of the Twizzler Blimp and "its rogue hamster crew" particularly amusing, though the droll bunny cheerleaders that sat around staring at the cameras between quarters were a nice touch, too. (The kitten halftime show's usually my favorite part--there is nothing more manic than an overstimulated kitten surrounded by a roomful of other overstimulated kittens--but it seemed like by the end of this year's show, the kittens were running on fumes and needed more hits off of the catnip pipe.)

Anyway, I digress. So I didn't watch the Superbowl, but I did walk through the room where my dad was watching it once or twice, and stood around to watch commercials if they were on.

And that's when I saw this:

Speechless! Awesome on so many levels!

(Update: here's a story on how the commercial came to be.)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Um, you're welcome...?

So I got a "thanks for the referral" card from my dentist's office, and while I appreciate the gesture (and the $25 credit they've applied to my account)...

It's the thought that counts, I guess...

...uh, Nick's not my son. He's my younger brother.

Either I'm looking really old, Nick's looking really young, or my dentist is looking slightly senile.

Police Blotter: Pants on the Ground Edition.

Sunday, 8:00 P.M.: Report of male running out of door with a case of booze.

Tuesday, 10:57 P.M.: Report of "tapping" heard by resident.

Wednesday, 6:08 P.M.: Fire alarm sounding. Update: Event was a burned grilled cheese sandwich.

Wednesday, 11:55 P.M.: Report of intoxicated male trying to climb backyard fence and having trouble keeping his pants up.

Friday, 2:15 A.M.: Request to remove obnoxious male from premises. Update: Subject given courtesy ride home.

Saturday, 12:03 A.M.: Report of subject wearing underwear, socks and T-shirt.

Saturday, 9:25 A.M.: Report of pants found in driveway.