Mildly Annoying

I have some pet peeves.  Nothing major, just things that drive me nuts.  For example, when I go to write with one of those clickable ball-point pens and the tip is already extended but I click it anyway because one would assume that it was retracted by the last person to use the pen and GGGGAAAAAAHHHHH!!  That horrible feeling of the plastic end of the pen scraping the paper.  That’s worse than fingers on a chalkboard.

LET'S PLAY A GAME...

LET’S PLAY A GAME…

Another peeve?  People that replace the toilet paper roll incorrectly.  The paper MUST drape over the outside, people.  There should never be a roll of paper between me and the next sheet, which seems to be hanging out surreptitiously in the shadows, leaning against the wall like some drug pusher.  “Pssst…hey, bub!  Wanna wipe?”

It's like he's mocking you.  Wipe that smug look off his face.  With your ass!

It’s like he’s mocking you. Wipe that smug look off his face. With your ass!

Such occurrences are rare, however.  Easily forgotten about until they rear their ugly, annoying heads.  The three things I’m going to mention below are things that genuinely anger me, and there’s not a damn thing to be done about them.  I think that’s why they vex me so:  it’s like the universe itself wants to hurt my feelings.  Starting with…

People In the Movies Never Say “Goodbye” on the Phone

This is something my Sweet Baby once pointed out to me, and ever since she did it has driven me up the FREAKIN’ WALL.  Here’s a snippet of made-up dialogue from oh, I don’t know, let’s say Dexter.

DEB, INTO HER CELL PHONE: Hey, Dex!  We got a lead on that Trinity Killer thing with the bathtub and whatnot.

DEXTER, ONE HIS PHONE IN THE KILL ROOM: Oh, hey!  So, what do you know?

DEB: Not much.  Turns out the killer kills people in threes.  And sometimes in bathtubs or something.

DEXTER: Wow, that sounds great!  I’ll be right there!

CLICK!  HE JUST HANGS UP!  AND SHE’S TOTALLY OKAY WITH THAT!!  WHY?!?!

I mean, as an aspiring writer, I can appreciate the need to keep the story moving.  Momentum.  Transitioning from one scene to another. Whatever.  But when something breaks me out of the artificial reality of the scene, it’s ruined.  Like when an actor is miscast.  If the audience keeps thinking “Wow.  George Clooney is actually playing Batman” instead of “Go get ’em, Bats!” then you’ve failed as a filmmaker.

"What do you MEAN our series finale sucked? Whelp, gotta go!  Bye!"

“What do you MEAN our series finale sucked? Whelp, gotta go! Bye!”

In real life, people say “bye” at the very least.  We’ve all been in the situation with our significant other that goes something like this:

ME: Okay, I’ll just stop by the store on the way home.

SWEET BABY: Okay!  Talk to you later!

ME: Okay!  I love you!

SWEET BABY: I love you too!  Have a great day!

ME: Okay, you too! Talk to you later!

SWEET BABY: Okay!  Bye!

ME: Bye!  I love you!

SWEET BABY: I love you, too!

ME: Bye!

SWEET BABY: Bye!

CLICK!  AND SCENE!!  That sort of exchange can go on and on and on, especially if you’re newly in-love with someone and neither of you wants to hang up.  Such conversations admittedly don’t move the story forward. Unless the story is a romantic comedy, the screenwriter can’t afford to spare the ten minutes of dialog to a banal kissy-faced bit of the mundane. But to assume that two people that love each other AREN’T GOING TO AT LEAST SAY ‘GOODBYE?”  That’s ludicrous.

Spider-Man.

“WHAAAAAT?!?!” you’re saying.  You’re saying this because you know I love ol’ webs.  He’s my favorite single superhero.  That’s saying a lot. I loves me some X-Men, Batman, Avengers, Luke Cage, so on and so forth.  But Spidey is the king.

So, what exactly is the problem?  The name.  Spider-Man.  Or, more specifically, the way people screw it up.  See that little dash in between the first word and the second?  That’s called a “hyphen.”  And when we write Spider-Man’s name, class, we must always remember that it’s hyphenated.

Not Spiderman.  Not Spider Man.  Spider-Man.

At least Bats can always use Bruce Wayne's steely jawline as a hyphen in a pinch.

At least Bats can always use Bruce Wayne’s steely jawline as a hyphen in a pinch.

I know it’s nit-picky.  I know.  It’s like remembering which letters to capitalize in GLaDOS.  Tricky.  But also simple.  Batman?  Hell, I think the sky’s the limit with his name.  It’s appeared on comic covers as Bat Man or Batman.  On rare occasions, we get to include the article “the.”  The Batman.  Sure, they prefer you compound-word that bitch all proper-like.  BATMAN. But whatevs.  The Dark Knight is flush with cash and ain’t care.

Please just give ol’ Spidey some respect.  Spell it right, please.  Thank you.

Bad Drivers/The Tea Party

I’m lumping these together because they are both terribly stupid, selfish, and ignorant.  They also share a love of stupid bumper stickers.  Both groups are awful people who either refuse to learn the rules of politeness and decency or just refuse to employ them.  Driving too slow in the left-hand lane (or too slow in general, as I have zero patience for people who don’t exceed the speed limit.  Seriously, people; speed.  Speed, all the time.  We’ve got places to be) or shouting about “The Benghazi” without even knowing what the hell the fuss is all about.  Mouth breathing, FOX “News” watching turds.  That’s what all of these people are, and I want to fill a landfill with their useless corpses.  Fuck ’em.  Fuck ’em all.

I'm sure he meant that in...uh...in a nice way.

I’m sure he meant that in…uh…in a nice way.

Okay, it got a little dark there at the end, but now you know what bugs me.  Of course, many of you will now use this information to completely ruin my day.  Fair enough.  When you call to gloat, just remember to say “bye.”

Rhyme Time!

Okay, so this is kinda stupid, but I thought I’d share it anyway. My Sweet Baby and I use text-messaging a lot.  A whole lot.  People that have never grasped the benefits of texting have never been at a car lot doing a radio station remote for three hours.  See, in addition to killing time in a non-distracting way, it also makes communication easier and more discreet.  Nobody wants to see a jock (that’s what radio people call themselves) chatting away with a phone to his/her ear for long periods at a time.  And make no mistake:  over-texting and fiddling with your phone still pisses some people right off, so when in a public setting, please…use discretion.

Okay, there’s that.  Now on with the meat of this story.  Heidi (my Sweet Baby) had texted me to see if I would pick up Taco Bell on the way home.  She ended with “Okay?”  I responded with “Okay.”  Then, as they tend to do with silly people, things…escalated.  Here, then, is a screenshot of our first salvo.  Heidi is in yellow, I’m blue.

So it begins...

So it begins…

See what’s happening?  She starts by rhyming with “okay.”  Then I return fire. And keep going…

There it is.  She dropped the "gay" bomb.  It was so on...

There it is. She dropped the “gay” bomb. It was so on…

There really aren’t any rules.  It’s all free-association, and borderline rhymes still count.  (Much like when Shaquille O’Neal tries to rap.)  Heidi started getting momentum.

Too far?  TOO FAR?!?!  THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "TOO FAR!"

Too far? TOO FAR?!?! THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “TOO FAR!”

Pleased with herself, she continued to press…but I had an ace up my sleeve.

"HA!" INDEED!

“HA!” INDEED!

See that?  Todich, Ray?  That’s a reference to our friend Ray.  His last name is “Todich.”  See what I did there?  Yeah. It was a masterstroke, and my Sweet Baby doffed her hat and knelt in my direction.  BUT WAIT…like the Terminator, Jason Vorhees, and Michael Myers, Heidi stood back up for one last scare.

So you know, her kids are my kids, too.  Just wanted to clarify that.

So you know, her kids are my kids, too. Just wanted to clarify that.

Every. Day. In. May.  Boo-ya.  Game, set, match. Natch. I’d offer a light, but I don’t have a match.  Too much thatch.  GOD HELP ME I CAN’T STOP!! Pumpkin patch. Down the hatch.  SOMEONE HELP!! Flip the latch.  Nice catch!  GAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

Your Kidding.

I love this.  This title.  I love it because Grammar Nazis begin foaming at the mouth at the sight of it, not realizing that I’ve deliberately poked them on their collective schonzolas.  And also because that title is grammatically correct…within a certain context.

Example:  Someone overhears me talking about the cruel joking and kidding I was subjected to at work. (No, really!  Happens all the time!)  They ask me whose kidding was the meanest and harshest.  With a cold, steely glint in my eye, I turn and through gritted teeth spit “YOUR kidding.  It was DARN NASTY! Everyone else’s was good-natured.  Your kidding, however…  Just too much.”

And scene. So.  We’ve established what sort of blog this is to be, haven’t we?  The kind where I actually defend the semi-illiterati that spam your Facebook wall with an insane amount of poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation.  This will also be the sort of blog where I take someone to task (going to try and do more of that sort of thing in the coming months) and folks, this week it’s the notorious Grammar Nazi.  See, I know the beast well.  I happen to be married to one, my family is rife with them, and I almost slipped off the ledge of self-righteousness myself and joined their ranks.

Can we call them something else, please? My grandad killed real Nazis. The guy that corrects your apostrophe placement seems a bit less scary than Hitler. That’s all I’m sayin’.

To be fair, the Grammar Nazi in most cases actually thinks they are providing a service to society.  They see themselves holding back the flood linguistic contamination and perversion.  They like their language the way it is and hate to see it evolve.  I once felt that way.  About words like “duck tape.”  People, it’s “duct tape.”  Adhesive tape designed for metal duct work, like your central air conditioning system.  However, at some point people either got lazy or (I like this explanation better) the tape got reaaaalllly popular outside of the duct and metalworking communities.  Most of the laymen and housewives using this miracle tape did not know how to spell or pronounce “duct”  and likely didn’t even know where in their house to find one.  They heard the repairmen yelling “Say, Frank…toss me a roll of that d*** tape!”  It sort of sounded like he said “duck.”  So, “duck tape” it became.  And now there’s a company that actually calls itself “DUCK TAPE” and has, ironically, moved beyond simple “duct tape” to sell a complete line of weatherproofing and adhesive-natured products.

I get it, though.  Everything in the world changes, and some people don’t fancy that at all.  Fair enough.  After all, I’m the idiot in slicked-up hair and a fedora.  I understand.  But there are also people who become Grammar Nazis just to feel better about themselves by thinking less of other people.  Or just to give themselves the feeling of literacy, class, and social standing.  But the problem is that language is constantly changing.  If you get a chance to go to the library or a used bookstore,  find a textbook from, say, 1948.  Swear to God, some of it will be hard to follow.  Perhaps they use the old English (but not Old English) spelling of “plow.”  That is to say, “plough.”  The textbook might use two words to say “toward.”  Seriously, some people back in the day would say “to-wards” or even “to-morrow.”  Guess what?  It got shortened to one word.  And that’s a big factor in the evolution of language: convenience.  Contractions, for example.  When’s the last time you used the word “cannot” in regular conversation? Be honest.  Seriously, the only time most of us use “cannot” instead of “can’t”  is when quoting that made-up George Washington line about telling lies.  “Can’t” is where it’s at.  Quicker to spell, easier to say.  Like “Won’t.”  If Tim Burton had used the original phrasing of that contraction, one of my favorite lines in Beetlejuice would have sounded like this:  “That is why I will not do two shows a night any more.  I will not.  I will not do it.”  Huh!  Dr. Suess wrote Beetlejuice?!?  Mind=blown.

No, no! The OTHER Beetlejuice!

It’s evolution, baby.  Outside of the Bible and Shakespeare, no one uses “thee” and “thou” anymore.  Words like “faggot” have changed meaning so much over the years that they are now considered very offensive.  Think about it: our children’s children will probably start using a then-outdated word like “laptop” to replace some of the other horrible hate-filled connotations of today.  “Bro, stop being a laptop and do the shot!”  And that brings me to my next point.  The Pandora’s Box of our modern times.  The Internet.

Well, make that “The Internet and Texting.”  Shorthand rules everything these days, from Twitter limiting the number of characters you can use to people texting one-handed whilst driving down Coldwater Road.  Acronyms have been around for ages.  “POSH” meant “Port Out, Starboard Home” for people taking pleasure cruises that wanted the best possible view from their staterooms.  “AWOL” means “Away WithOut Leave.”  See how in the old days “With-Out” was two words?  Evolution.  And that whole sentence got shortened to “AWOL.”  LOL, amirite?  ROTFLMAO!!

Seriously, nobody cares.

But the message is still being delivered!  Can you understand parts of the Bible, even though it uses archaic words and phrases?  Of course you can.  Can you figure out when the birthday party is even if “Your invited!  Be their at noon!”  Yes.  Yes, you can. You get the message because of the context.  But the Grammar Nazis go CaTCUB when they see this sort of thing on Facebook.  Yes, we get it.  There’s a difference between “their, there, and they’re.”   Also, “your and you’re.”  We get it.  We know there’s a difference.  And you know what else?  We. Just. Don’t. CARE.  Get over yourselves.  It’s entirely possible that in the next century, all three spellings of “there” will blend into one.  Likewise, “to and too” will be interchanged.  Think about it: we use the word “you” to address one person or a crowd of people.  Nobody seems confused by this.  It just happens.  Hell, English is one of the few languages on this wonderful Earth (or as Will Smith would say, “Erf”) that doesn’t have separate male and female articles!  We use “The.”  The Man.  The Woman.  The chainsaw.  It’s simpler that way, right?  Right.  Simplicity.  It’s the nature of language, and it happens all the time. Constantly.  Maybe it’s happening faster nowadays, due to the speed of information and the pace of life.  Maybe advertising has changed “cheese” into “cheez” and “light” into “lite.”  Okay.  So what?  So things sound less fancy.  Big deal.  Maybe it’s because I’m a believer in the little guy, but that shit doesn’t bother me.  Can you infer my meaning from my status update?  Good.  That’s all I care about.  Put some flowers around it, make it sparkle.  Good for you.  And thanks, Grammar Nazi for keeping the scary outside world at bay.  Your the best!

Please, Grammar…don’t hurt ’em.

Like/dislike

Hey, gang.  I promise to write another lengthy piece for you soon, because who doesn’t like a lengthy piece, amirite?  But whilst sitting with my three-year-old in the plastic, filthy, smelly, greasy HELL that is the McDonald’s playland, it occurred to me that, dog-gone-it, there are some things that I just don;t like.  But like they taught you in physics class, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  Herein lies the lesson for today.

 

STUFF I LIKE!!

Calling the evening meal “supper” instead of “dinner.”

People who say “cock-a-roach” and “robut” and “sangwich” for the words cockroach, robot, and sandwich, respectively.  Usually these tend to be old people, and I quite enjoy old people.

Star Trek, and by only the slightest fraction of a degree less, Star Wars.  Add to this Firefly and the first Matrix.

Spider-Man and the X-Men.  Call me crazy, but Marvel knew what they were doing when they started making troubled teen superheroes.

Converse All-Stars.

Wearing a hockey jersey…and shorts.

Rational arguing with smart people who don’t share my views.  Good God, there’s nothing better than a good debate, as long as it doesn’t devolve into Facebook name-calling and TEA PARTY!!  FUCK OBAMA!  DERP-titude.

Winter becoming spring and summer becoming autumn.

The smell of surf wax and surf shops in general.  Also, the smell of hockey tape and the general smelliness of hockey.

To crush my enemies. To see them driven before me. And to hear the lamentations of their women.  And jambalaya.  Oh, boy, do I love some good jambalaya.

ANYTHING by Chris VanGompel.  Hockey Zombie, The Mario Brothers, TNT the Comic, etc.  Dude’s brilliant, and I am glad to call him my friend.

Does it make a lick of sense? No. Do I love it more than life itself? Yes.

 

STUFF I DISLIKE!!

Dudes (usually dads) that wear denim jeans shorts.  Please stop.  It is 100% worse if you also have a polo shirt tucked into it.  You make us dads look really horrible.

Ranch dressing. Seriously, Midwestern people…you’ve got to put down the ranch.  Try some Italian or balsamic vinaigrette.  Please.

College football.  I don’t hate it, mind you, I just don’t give a shit.  Also?  Golf.  I’ve played it.  Meh.

People that wear running or athletic shoes in their daily routine.  You can’t do that and be part of my society.  Wear some Chucks, some Vans, some Sambas, or some flip-flops unless you’re going to work, then have some nice wingtips or something.  Dude.

The Christian Taliban.  You know these types.  They’re beyond conservative and too crazy for the Tea Party.  They want Sharia Christian Law to govern our daily lives.  Too bad, because I drink, smoke, and masturbate, and will continue to do so.  Hell, I might perform an abortion just on principle.  Fuck, this group makes me angry.

Superman.  Really, I get it.  He’s fighting for truth, justice, and the American way (yeah, FUCK YOU, NORTH KOREA!!  EAT MOAR DOGS!!  HHAHAHAHALOLOLOL!!) But, c’mon.  Dude’s been around too long and, oh yeah: he’s invincible.  I hate that about him.

When I go to write with my ball-point pen and it’s not clicked into the “ready” position and I scrape bare pen-plastic against the paper…GAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! I fucking HATE THAT!!

Stuff that “tastes” like peanut butter.  Peanut butter “flavouring.”  Bullshit.  It tastes like a goddam dollop of almond butter with all the sugar in it.  All. The. Sugar.  Or it’s like you took a hairdryer to the peanut butter and made it into some sort of peanut lint.  Gawd-awful, is what it is.

Don't care whatchamacallit, as long as you don't call it "peanut butter" or "edible." Thanks.

 

STUFF I HONORABLY MENTION!!

Okay, I didn’t mention hipsters.  Of course I don’t like them.  Nobody does.  I figured it was a given.  Also, I failed to bring up ice cream for the exact opposite reason.  I mean, really…ice cream.  Ever been to a birthday party where they just had cake and no ice cream?  Remember how disappointed you were?  Exactly.

Also, it looks like I have more “likes” than “dislikes.”  I am a pretty positive person after all!  Yay, me!

 

Randomsauce With a Side of WTF and The Lord

Okay, another place holder here.  I’m working on a humdinger.  Not to brag or nuthin’, but it’ll make those Nickelback and Big Bang Theory posts look like that Seahawks-Rams game last Monday night.  But you’ll have to wait on that one, chief.  Patience…

In the meantime, I need to “purge my cache” so to speak.  My wife wants me to do an entire blog on how much I love to say “goddammit.”  I don’t know if there’s enough source material there, but we’ll give it a little test drive.  See, lots of people will tell you that “God Damn It”  is what we call “using the Lord’s name in vain.”  I have empirical  proof that this is not the case: the Episcopal priest that married my wife and me is my star witness.  He told me that every time he smashes his thumb with a hammer or his shin finds the coffee table in the dark of night, “GODDAMMIT!” is the first thing out of his mouth.  This fact in and of itself is not the support for my claim.  It’s just an awesome story, and it’s fun to imagine Father Shane in his priestly wardrobe hopping on one leg and cursing like a sailor.  Oh, in my vision he’s also staggeringly drunk.  He’s Episcopalian, after all.

Pictured: The Rectory at St. Paul's

But his argument backed up my own notions (as all good arguments do.) His rationale was that to truly “use the name of the Lord in vain” is to use His name for your own purposes.  Think “TV Evangelist.”  Or Tim Tebow compelling the Lord to get the ball across the goal line.  Or even praying to win the lottery or cure your disease.  To take it even further (and make a little more sense to me) it is also to say you speak for God, especially when you want others to do your bidding. “God told me to outlaw the gays!  And the single moms!  And the single gays!  And married ones, too!  OUTLAW ALL THE THINGS!!”  It gets worse when you get an ayatollah or other religious leader basically claiming to have a hotline to The Big Guy and The Big Guy wants you to vote for said ayatollah because basically they’re so tight that they’re totally the same person.  BFF!  Yes, claiming to be God would be a fair description of “using the name of the Lord in vain.”  I like to think  that God has more important things (COUGH! DARFUR! COUGH!) to worry about than whether you mentioned his name when you totally slice on the thirteenth.  But that’s just me.  And my priest.

Changing subject.  Why the hell is the light under the escalator green?  It’s ALWAYS green.  The color of glowing evil.  It’s like Minas Morgul is under your feet. Or the Loc-Nar. Think about that for a second.  It’s bad enough that you worry about your shoelace getting caught and ripping your goddam (!) foot off at the ankle in a spinning, whirring, jagged set of evil mechanical teeth.  Maybe there’s also a Nazgul down there.  Or worse.  If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the old trailer for “Alien.”  It was simply a space egg cracking open and evil, glowing, green light-stuff pouring out.  Fuck. That. Aliens, an eternal evil consciousness, and the Witch King are all waiting for you to fall down the goddam steps of the escalator so that they can feast on your soul.  And you’ll totally spill all of your purchases from JC Penney all over the goddam place.  Horrifying.

Third floor: bathware, linens, and the overthrow of humanity...

You guys know that I love old stuff.  I only mention it, oh, EVERY GODDAM TIME I BLOG.  But there are some old things that I don’t get.  Like when we used to think it was acceptable to go out in public in Zubaz pants and aqua socks.  And we did that shit.  Sorry, man…it was the early-nineties.

This shit actually happened.

But old expressions sometimes confuse the hell out of me.  One such turn-of-phrase is “Catch as catch can.” What the FUCK does that mean? I mean, are there other ways to say that without being confusing as hell?  Maybe someone could, oh, I don’t know…come up with some synonyms? Oh, wait! Merriam-Webster has done that for us!  How about some of these: aimless, arbitrarydesultory, erratic, haphazard, helter-skelter, hit-or-miss, scattered, slapdash, stray?

Actually, now that I think about it, I might just start using “catch-as-catch-can” instead of words like “haphazard” (which is equally ridiculous, when you think about it.)  An example: “This sure is one hell of a catch-as-catch-can clusterfuck!”  Or “The Titanic surely would still be afloat if not for that catch-as-catch-can construction!  Goddam Irish!”

"Lifeboats? You want fekkin LIFEBOATS?!"

Anyway, there’s this week’s blog, goddammit.  Sorry if it was sort of catch-as-catch-can.

Words My Wife Hates

Milk

Seriously. It’s the way those last three consonants blend, or in her mind fail to blend. I think the fact that some people pronounce it like “melk” makes her dislike it even more.

ointment

Same rules in play here, plus you’ve got that strong “oi” diphthong in place at the beginning.

salve

There’s a definite pattern here. Strangely, some salves are easily confused with ointments. Strangely, my wife has no problem with the word “balm” even though it’s almost a salve. Perhaps it’s the softer “lm” at the end that saves it.

spent

She dislikes this one for it’s primary usage in pornographic literature. “She lay there, spent, panting, and covered in axle grease.” Even in other situations, Heidi is anti-spent. In her world, there’s no such thing as “spent cartridges” only “used” or “empty” shells. Fair enough. I can’t write any more on this iPod.

The battery is almost totally spe- um, empty.