Category Archives: Humor

Cursed Crossed Crosswalk

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Due to a medical condition known as laziness, I didn’t take a bona fide pre-dawn walk this morning, as is my custom when I’m out of town.

I did take one later. It was coolly fresh and the riverwalk was mostly devoid of the pests otherwise identified as “other people.” It was divine. I listened to music and noted a few clever hiding places that homeless people had managed to find and use in the chilly weather.

Having miscalculated how far down I walked, I traversed an expanse of wet grass and exited onto a busy arterial street. Due to construction on the right, the entire swath of the sidewalk was gone.

Given that the road was marked with substantial 4-foot white letters, a series of bright white perpendicular lines, as well as signs on all sides indicating “Crosswalk” for both sides of traffic, I thought it would work like I’m accustomed to. The Indy 500 roar of engines proved me wrong. I waited. I waited some more. Because I’m brilliant, it dawned on me that I might have to dash to the middle and then proceed the remainder of the way if traffic abated. It was obvious no one was going to stop, despite the multitude of indicators they were supposed to.

I waited for a couple of minutes. As a considerable gap appeared ahead, I waited and stepped from the curb. Just as my foot hit the pavement, a car miraculously zoomed out of a parking lot on the left and took the right turn onto the arterial street, going at least 30 mph. It was very close when it popped out. The driver of the compact and ornately decorated Honda hit the horn and brakes. He came to a complete stop, a little inside both lanes.

As expected, his morning cup was filled with angst and cow manure. He opened the driver’s door and stepped out. He looked like his car if you can imagine what I mean. His hat was on backward. He, of course, wore a bright blue sports jersey advertising an unknown athlete.

“What the f you doing, man? This ain’t a crosswalk!” He seemed excited to see me – except for all the wrong reasons.

I pointed at the markings literally at my feet and then the diamond-shaped “Crosswalk” sign.

“Whatever. I got places to be. Get the f out of the road!” He started to get back in the car.

As he did, my mouth did what it does best: it overpowered me. I’m proud of it, though, if only because it didn’t get me killed this time.

“Jesus loves you!” I shouted.

“Yeah. And?” He asked. It was perfection.

“And everyone else thinks you’re an asshole!” I shouted as he stood there, shocked I had one-upped him.

Behind him, a driver honked his horn, which ratcheted up the man’s obvious anger issues. I hot-footed it across to the median as the Honda driver slammed his door and hit the gas, screeching away.

I’m going to miss him. Jesus misses him, too.

But really.

Everyone else assuredly thinks he’s an asshole.
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P.S. I’m glad this happened because it resulted in a great story. Plus, the Honda jerk will live forever on the internet. I sure hope he figures out what those strange lines on the pavement mean, though, if not those weird signs dotted along all the roads. It’ll save him some trouble.

Robin Hood of the Retailers, Version Aldi

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I’m not going to share the ‘why’ of my previous oath to avoid Aldi grocery stores. Suffice it to say that they earned my dislike. Unfortunately, I carried the prejudice forward for years. Once bitten, twice shy, at least for this guy. It’s for the same reason I don’t buy meat products at a Dollar General. Russian Roulette is a game I like to watch in action movies – not participate in when my gastronomical choices are at play.

Aldi has many fans. People like blood sausage, too, as well as watching baseball on television, so popularity doesn’t equate to sensible. The store chain does have a few things going for it. It’s like the “Frugal Hoosiers” made famous in the tv show “The Middle.” The chain does have the “Twice As Nice Guarantee.” I’ll take the expectation of a safe, quality product or my money back. You don’t have to sing and dance for me – just meet expectations. Anything else strikes me as a means to acknowledge that you’re cutting corners on a square house.

“There’s a sense of discovery at Aldi that you don’t find in a traditional grocery store,” say many fans.

Yeah, like discovering the off-brand version of the mustard I had to buy tastes like a chicken fart.

I don’t mind that an Aldi store doesn’t have staff answer the phone. I don’t need to talk to a head of lettuce before I shop. It’s stupid, though. Just my opinion. Any corporation which reduces a customer’s ability to interact isn’t customer-focused, no matter how prettily they paint such an arrangement.

Location quality varies, as is the case for many retailers. Even I often forget that it’s unwise to compare one location of a business with another. There’s too much volatility between managers, cleanliness, and adherence to quality standards. Sometimes, a great manager can rescue an otherwise failed store. The Kroger Superstore in Hot Springs, for example, is spectacular, while the Kroger in my original hometown is… not. One of the Springdale Neighborhood markets is operated as if it’s a psychological experiment geared to determine how much people hate themselves. Harps Foods is so inconsistent in quality that I’m still incredulous that the individual stores are operated by the same system. I dare anyone who visits the Gutensohn and Lowell locations to challenge me to a pie-eating contest to decide the truth of my opinion.

On a whim, I stopped at a local Aldi earlier in the year. I went home a different way, and Aldi was locationally convenient. It didn’t hurt that I had recently suffered blunt-force head trauma. I don’t know what came over me, but the urge to eat a bowl of fish aquarium pebbles and stop at Aldi penetrated my reptilian brainstem.

The smaller footprint of the stores and parking lots of an Aldi store make a trip less invasive than a similar trip to the airfields found at Walmart. The smaller footprint of the stores means you might not find everything you need, either. Like your sanity.

I didn’t have a quarter, so I did the hands-full shuffle. I found some interesting items. One of the items I bought was inedible. (No, I didn’t attempt to return it.) On the next visit, I had a quarter. I stuck it in the slot for the cart, and it literally stuck. None of the carts would come out. I went inside and waited a couple of minutes for an employee to make eye contact. I told them the cart corral was needing attention, and I couldn’t get a cart. Eye roll. “There’s no one to deal with it.” Back to checking. Aldi’s employees often must do multiple jobs simultaneously. It’s not their fault: it’s corporate’s fault. Like Walmart, they ‘save’ money by eliminating jobs. Many of those jobs lost would have allowed for attentive customer service and real-time listening when things go awry. I didn’t get irritated at the cashier.

I can only hope that this attitude of cost-cutting doesn’t one day find me in the O.R. needing a suture to sew up my own abdomen.

For my next trip to Aldi, I withdrew $20 from an ATM and then stopped by the car wash and made change for quarters. I drove back to Aldi and parked on the outer perimeter of the parking lot.

I then went to the cart corral nine times. Each time, I inserted a quarter and ‘rented’ a cart. I took each cart to the edge of the parking lot and used the nine carts to make a large arrow facing the store. I’m no Banksy, but I did feel a twinge of stupid pride when I finished my artwork with the shopping carts.

I then went back to the cart corral and took out ten more carts, one at a time, by paying a quarter. I left them loose to the left side of the return corral. Because I always carry white index cards, I left a card on the first few indicating, “Free Cart. Please leave loose.” People observed me doing all this but didn’t comment.

Was it petty? Yes. Worth it? Yes. I was also paying it forward, though, even as I entertained myself.

One of the women shopping exited the store and told me she had watched me assemble the arrow on the other end of the parking lot. “It’s stupid, isn’t it? Just hire a person and keep the store tidy.” Due to her appearance, I was sure she was going to scold me. Her face was pulled back so tight I could hear her ears yelling in pain. She was nice, in any case.

People saw the loose carts with the cards on them, and each smiled and grabbed their free cart.

I felt like Robin Hood of the Retailers.

Imagine. Free carts, with each of us leaving them for the next person. Like a typical store not corraling us into doing their jobs for them.

If I can enter a store and not worry about expired food or being unable to shop easily, I’ll pay for the entirely reasonable expectation of a normal shopping experience.

When people ask me, “What do you like best about Aldi,” the only thing I can tell them is, “I don’t have to go there.” The second-best thing is, of course, the feeling of walking out of one of them.

If I have to choose between Aldi and Walmart, I’ll choose a lobotomy.

If I make the mistake of going to Aldi again, I plan to take 500 quarters with me. I’ll let you imagine what I might do with such a quantity of quarters.
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P.S. If you’re a fan of Aldi, I’m not worried about you reading all of this. It’s a lot of words.
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Secret Snark

 

 

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I have a standing request with my wife that if I do something idiotic, I’d rather everyone know, immediately. Whether I’ve downed six beers and driven my car through the window of a convenience store while not wearing pants, accidentally shot my big toe with a revolver, or erroneously voted for a Republican, I’d rather the information be shouted from the rooftops than whispered in secrecy. If any of my idiocy results in my untimely demise, put it on social media, with pictures. People need visuals to admire while their eyes go wide in surprise, especially if I’m wearing clown shoes and holding a can of Schlitz as I lie in a pile of broken glass and covered in frozen, individually packaged frozen burritos. (Yes, that is an awfully specific scenario, isn’t it?)

Likewise, when I keel over from a massive coronary event, I don’t ask that people say only good things about me in public and whisper, “What a jerk that guy was” in private. Go ahead and load up the insult cannon and fire away. If you know me well, you have permission to share the stupid things I’ve said and done. The truth doesn’t get cremated simply because the sand ran out in my hourglass. If someone asks what killed me, it’s okay to answer, “Definitely pizza and Mexican food.” We all know it won’t be a jealous husband or from jogging too far on a sunny Saturday morning.

If I permit you or don’t, the truth is that you’re going to say those things anyway. You might carefully curate who you say them to, but they’ll come out in small bursts of sharing. It’s what we all do. I ask that you at least be creative. Don’t say, “Man, he could be a real a%%.” Instead say, “Did you know that Preparation H once considered using him as their spokesperson due to his familiarity with the subject matter?” That’s the kind of joyous snark that’s worthy of a person’s life.

No matter how good of a person you are, people have commentary about you, your life, and choices. All of us are misunderstood, and each person in our circle has a different idea in their heads about who we are. We often forget that much of our lives isn’t a result of conscious choice; rather, we’ve careened along in life and allowed circumstance, luck, and chance to shape the sum of our lives. That might be comforting, but it is a conclusion with merit.

Along the same lines, many of us have a closet full of guarded secrets. We think that we’ve managed to conceal them from the world. We may have succeeded to a degree, but people likely know. They might snicker, judge, or even revel at those things. It’s better to stop guarding them and move past them as quickly as possible. We’ve all done some bone-headed things. (Except maybe Josh, but we’ll leave him out of this.)

I would write more, but I have to go pick up my clown shoes from the Novelty Shop.

If I see you drive through any windows, I’ll stop and take some fantastic pictures of you lying there. They don’t call it ‘social’ for no reason.

List

 

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I made this just to amuse myself…

 

 

These new Gatorade flavors are crazy. I wondered why Agua de Calzon tasted so weird.

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Because I was in an unusual area, I used a different phone to call someone at work. I usually try to prank the person I call and this time I used a bizarre Chinese accent. Unfortunately, someone else answered the phone so I had to persist with the crazy accent until I burst out laughing. Lucky for me, he decided it was hilarious.

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My idea of creating a museum for the most famous arsonists was rejected by the Library of Congress. I was going to call it the “Hall of Flame.”

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The last time I entered a Tractor Supply store, one of the employees yelled, “Just NO!” and ran me out. I guess it didn’t help that I was wearing a rainbow-colored Carhartt jacket.

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*In deference to the new bicycle rules allowing non-stops, the legislature recently decided that as long as you yell “Speed Bump!” when you hit a pedestrian, you will not be charged with a crime.

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Because of the professional shots I mentioned last week, my agent called and told me I got a small part in the upcoming sequel “The Fat And Furious.”

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My inquisitive cat Güino recently ate about 50% of my craft supplies. Now he goes to the bathroom in a glitterbox.

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I’m just letting everyone know that I’m going to start sneaking up on people and throwing pies at them. I’ll probably scream, “Pie Felicia!” too.

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I’m going to see if I can infiltrate another high school reunion page from the 80s using the name Steff Leopard.

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I got arrested on Suspicion of Felonious Activity. I put 64 psi in all the tires of the police vehicles parked on Spring Street. The charges are inflated.

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It’s not my joke, but the guy who said, “Mashed potatoes should be called Irish Guacamole” is a genius.

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My wife berated me for spending $750 for the photographer and headshots. A talent agency just hired me for my first job. I don’t know what they mean by playing the role of “Before,” but I’m excited.

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Since it was deleted off a post:
“I’m interested in Phil’s opinion on this.” – from the book, “Said No One Ever.”

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In a conciliatory effort of dubious friendship, I offered him the opportunity to travel to anywhere in the world, one way.

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I wish Vegas would give odds on more realistic possibilities.

For example, what are the odds on me saying, “That’s some bullsh%t right there,” before 7 a.m.?

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*True story….

I brought Dawn for a colonoscopy. At our age, it’s the equivalent of a night out.

We arrived early, of course.

“I wonder if they’re running behind? Dawn asked.

“No, I think they’re running behinds.”

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“Sir, you can’t bomb Ohio,” the General said.

“Okay, we’ll bomb Arkansas,” the President replied.

The General replied, “Haven’t the residents of Arkansas suffered enough?”

“Evidently not, General, or they wouldn’t still be there,” the President insisted.

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*In deference to the new bicycle rules allowing non-stops, the legislature recently decided that as long as you yell “Speed Bump!” when you hit a pedestrian, you will not be charged with a crime.

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Because of the professional shots I mentioned last week, my agent called and told me I got a small part in the upcoming sequel “The Fat And Furious.”

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My inquisitive cat Güino recently ate about 50% of my craft supplies. Now he goes to the bathroom in a glitterbox.

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Dawn and I both had eye appointments today at Arkansas Eye Care.

We walked in and the optometrist Dr. Bell looked at Dawn and said, “You’re definitely.going to fail your eye exam.”

Surprised, Dawn said, “Wow, how can you tell? Are my glasses that thick?”

The optometrist shook his head ‘no,’ and simply turned and pointed at me.

I don’t know where he got the mic but he dropped it and walked away laughing.

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Falling down is the one skill which requires no refresher course. – Old Age Wisdom

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I took a day off at my job designing calendars.

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My supervisor walked up unannounced.

“What are you doing?” he asked, in a demanding sort of way.

“Finishing my voodoo doll.”

“That doll bears a resemblance to me,” he said.

“Yeah, thanks. I’ve been working hard on getting it just right.”

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The doctor told me I have a strange addiction to brake fluid, despite the health risks of ingestion. He’s a nut. I can stop anytime.

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“The ditch is never deep enough for the man not holding the shovel.”

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“A lot more Narnia and a little less statehouse.”

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My managers weren’t amused when I sent in a recommendation letter to “World Traveler” magazine, requesting that the cafeteria where I work be added to its “Near-Death Experience” list.

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“Only a drunk person would offer to proofread your writing, X.”

“In that case, I’ll hire a 90-proofreader,” I replied.

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The more time I spent online, the more often I had to use the restroom. I have fiber internet.

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I kept wondering why all the websites were so negative. It turns out that I accidentally connected to an infernal network.

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Pizzaheimer’s Pants

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There’s nothing quite like the realization that you might not have any pants to wear. No one wanted to see me prancing around sans pants twenty years ago; the situation hasn’t improved any, especially as pizza became my closest friend. The only time being pantsless is a benefit is when door-to-door salesmen make the mistake of ignoring my “No Soliciting” sign. The neighbors haven’t complained about screaming people fleeing my house. Since I don’t answer the door, I wouldn’t know if they did. It’s a win-win.

As a minimalist, I have the least amount of clothing of any other adult that I know. I tend to keep only a bit more than I need. After my last long-term successful weight loss, I dropped my guard and discarded the pants that looked like MC Hammer had designed my wardrobe. I’m generally relentless about getting rid of clothes I can’t or won’t wear.

Like all idiots, once I lose weight, I assume that I will somehow defy years of forgetting my promise not to get too large again.

I name this tendency/disease Pizzaheimer’s.

Over the last few months, I’ve adopted a more care-free diet, one characterized by total surrender to the joys of excessive stuffing. I tend to wear work pants instead of blue jeans. No matter how bad you think I might look in blue jeans, it’s worse. Imagine Danny DeVito wearing jeans and roller skating.

Because I have to wear slacks at work and my job being very physical, I wear both the relaxed fit and stretchy version of my preferred pants. (Note: I’m not too fond of using the word ‘slacks’ in reference to pants.) These give me the ability to kneel or bend without accidentally hitting a high note – and from splitting my the seat of my pants in an impromptu show of agility and exposed anatomy. The undesirable consequence of this is that I can put on 20 lbs without needing to get a size bigger pants. George brand pants do indeed stretch without complaint. So do I.

Because I may have to dress above my normal sloth-like appearance in a few days, it occurred to me that I might need to try on my normal dress wear pants. As you might expect, none of them fit. Either a magical seamstress has reduced them in my closet, or my battle with fat has been an unnoticed defeat. I’m going with the latter.

As a result, after work today, I had to buy more clothes, ones that don’t expose me to the risk of public nudity if I bend over. The numbers are getting a little large, too. As a general rule, if walking the distance displayed on your pants would wear you out, it’s probably not a good waist size, either.

It’s not my fault, though. I suffer from Pizzaheimer’s.

I Deserve An Award

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Social media has its moments.

I laughed until I almost cried when I noticed an acquaintance had posted one of those mind-numbing memes mocking parents who forget their children are in the back seat of their vehicles.

One afternoon long ago, my acquaintance got in her van and drove away. Her child was in a carrier on the hood of the van. (Yes, in front of her.)

I’d like a moment of silence to commemorate my ability to control my urge to post a seriously snarky comment on her meme.

A Misplaced Adverb

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My Dashboard Dinosaur has brought me great luck. I can’t say as much for whoever was previously inside that police outline in my driveway.

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Best opening line for a play or book: “He ran through the door as if it weren’t closed.”

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I think “Scream Door” is a better name than Screen Door, because if a child lets it slam, there will certainly be screaming.  #newword

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I hit a deer this morning. He had no defense against either a left hook or right jab.

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Because I’m dedicated to the aggressive abolition of all popular card games, the FBI has nicknamed me the Unobomber.

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My favorite radio station’s programming manager is being charged with arson. Luke Bryan’s “singing” burned my ears so badly that I can’t hear a word my wife is saying.

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A woman was being brutally mean. It was the relentless and unredeeming kind of anger manifested as a non-stop verbal attack. I’m not proud of repaying her cruelty in kind. But I am pleased with my quick reply. I’d ignored at least twenty bouts of vileness.

When she continued to belittle and berate, I held up a hand. “We have more in common than not. We have a common enemy.”

Momentarily confused, she said, “Oh yeah? Who’s that?”

“Based on preliminary study, I’d say it’s a three-way tie between french fries, the delusion that people care what we say, and the inability to shut up.”

Epilogue: she’s REALLY mad now, with the benefit that she’ll be silent in my direction for quite a while.

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It was only after a surprise trip to Germany did Ralph Wiedersehen realize why his friends of German origin laughed each time they said goodbye to him.

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“Ask your doctor if dying due to lack of health insurance is right for you.” – Advertisement

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I nicknamed my management team “AC,” because evidently they are powered by 120 dolts.

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I found a snake in the garage.

“Can you identify it?” my wife asked.

“I don’t need to – it has a driver’s license,” I replied.

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“Stop paying full price,” the sign said. So I ran like hell.

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People are interested in how I learned Spanish until I tell them, “Large doses of LSD.” It won’t work for everyone, sure, but no one will notice what language you’re speaking when your pants are made out of banana peels.

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I wrote the best joke ever written a few minutes ago.
This isn’t the joke.
This is the tribute.

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