Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Touch Of Color And Beauty

Because I’ve been experimenting with prisms, solar lights, and other things, I found these infinity firework bulbs. Simply put, they are beautiful. If you like vivid colors that catch the eye, these LED lights might be worth a look. This one fits a standard bulb socket.

If you search for ‘firework bulbs’ on Amazon, you’ll get a good idea of the variety available. You can also find a huge variety of unobtrusive lamp bases, or make one yourself using a kit.

Language Belongs To All Of Us

“If we have to guess or spell words phonetically in order to be able to say them properly, why don’t we just change the spelling to be phonetic in the first place?”

I’m a better-than-average speller, but I despise the way our language makes people uncomfortable when using it. Most peoole use only 800 or so distinct words in a day. And most communication is verbal. One of my biggest pleasures is trashing the expectations of those who disagree. We all abuse the language in our own way. It belongs to all of us, to use and misuse as we wish.

Earlier, I witnessed a needless haranguing over language. I intervened jokingly. The self-appointed expert asked me something to exert dominance. I replied in Spanish. “I wasn’t talking in Spanish and I don’t understand it.” I laughed. “No, but he does, so who is the asshole now?”

I intended to write more, but I slipped and fell off my soapbox.

A Day’s Bite

It’s almost time for Springdale’s Demolition Derby. I know I comment or joke about it each year. This year, I emailed all the government officials and asked why we couldn’t simply use ALL of Springdale and its roads to have the derby, instead of confining it to Parsons Stadium. I’m not sure many of us would even notice the difference.

.

.

Here, the entire room is awash in rainbows from a single prism, hundreds of them. On the floor, in long swaths across the walls, and everywhere. I can’t tell if the universe is taunting me or reminding me. The above picture is a small section of the floor by my desk.

At the store, I encountered someone who was taken aback by how much of me was missing. It probably seemed more intense, given that I shaved too much the other day. He told me that his wife was still unwell, which saddened me a bit. His son kept us entertained by his constant demands for attention and insistence on scoring an animal from the bin with the impossible claw machine. I didn’t have any cash; otherwise, I would have supplied him with one hundred chances to beat the machine.

Doing the self-assessments online yielded some surprises. I’m not sure why I would be surprised. To be so actualized in some respects, and afloat in others!

The picture below was on the front page of Reddit today.

A Moment At The Window

After a night of turbulence both inside my head and outside in the soaring sky, I listened to the thunder roll away out in the early morning hours. I peeked through the blinds in astonishment. I noticed that one of the many solar lanterns from last season’s yard project was somehow still illuminated, its white light shining particularly brightly even against the rain. What force charged it yesterday is an open question. How it maintained its brilliance after so many hours, another. However it may have done so, for this day, it was a much-needed reminder. Energy is energy and must find its outlet. I hope that for today, our energies produce surprises and radiance. We all need it. Spring is easy in its approach; hope is its byproduct. Not everyone we meet today will have Spring in their hearts, even if a smile is their camouflage. For me, at that moment in the window, a smile briefly touched my heart. .

A Masked Anecdote

I don’t always succeed at looking the other way or being the person I should be. Being thinner and having more confidence brings unexpected problems. I also tend to sometimes follow a thread or story just because I’m curious. Not because I have an agenda.

Today, I was at a business drinking a double shot of espresso. Obviously, I had to pull my mask down for a second. Espresso via a straw is lunacy.

No other person was within 20 feet of me. It’s important to note that several people in the facility had no masks, wore their masks improperly, and some were employees of the facility. I’ve had both covid shots. I also tend to tune out paying attention to those who don’t wear their masks or wear them properly. A couple of weeks ago, at Walmart, a man got furious at me, because he was obviously spoiling for a fight about not wearing a mask. I had not even noticed he didn’t have one on when I acknowledged him and said hello. He was looking for a fight.

Part of the social contract during the pandemic is to avoid being a maskhole in either direction. Truthfully, the safest course of action is to avoid going out. Engaging with those who don’t wear masks is a fool’s errand that will fill your day with argument and stress.

I don’t do it. And though it’s been that way for me for a while, I usually fail to notice whether someone has a mask on or not.

As I pulled my mask down to finish my espresso, an employee approached me. I made eye contact with her. And said hello. To my surprise, she shouted, “Sir pull your mask up!” Which I was already doing as she shouted. Keep in mind that she walked past several people making no attempt whatsoever to wear their masks or wear them properly.

Suspecting she was having a bad day, and also suspecting that me making eye contact is what pissed her off, I locked eyes with her as she passed and shook my head laughing at her. Which really pissed her off more. She wisely kept walking. Also, I was seated. Had she followed her own trajectory, she would not have violated social distancing.

Walking around, I observed people and realized more people than I thought weren’t wearing masks properly. Especially employees. Then I noticed the pissy employee who shouted at me was standing there with her mask down talking a foot away from another employee. I walked up within 10 feet and said excuse me. And then reminded both employees that social distancing and proper mask etiquette were required at all times without exception for employees at the facility. And that hypocrisy was not a good color for an employee to be displaying openly. I smiled, wished them both a good day and walked away. Laughing, of course.

One of the employees cursed at me and called me a son of a b****. I won’t argue the veracity of that. My mom was guilty of the charge. I turned and gave them the thumbs up and walked away.

I know walking up and being smarmy and snarky like that wasn’t the right thing to do. But I also know it wasn’t the wrong thing. And if it results in both employees not being assholes to the people they’re supposed to be helping, my transgression is certainly lesser than theirs.

After observing several other employees engage in similar behaviour, I went and asked to speak to the customer service manager. The employee did not want to help me. I told her I would wait as long as necessary and to not stress. She tried to do everything she could to encourage me to bug off or to explain to her what the issue was.

She looked even more confused when I explained to her that in the interest of time and efficiency for both the business and myself, it would be easier to proceed without needless repetition. I thanked her.

The purported manager approached. I showed her my covid vaccine card and ID and explained what happened.

I tried to avoid identifying the employee. And I certainly did not tell her that they had cursed at me. I wanted her to know that employees were sending mixed messages and causing anger issues needlessly.

She was perplexed when I told her honestly that I was talking to her only to see what her genuine reaction was. While standing there, I got more and more amused my how she was staring at my awesome women’s floral jacket. Her body language and demeanor told me she didn’t care about what I was saying.

And that’s okay. Customer service is a thankless job.

I told her that the objective of me talking to her, other than to observe a reaction, was to remind her that the rules are there to be enforced or not. But to watch out for hypocrisy.

I don’t know what my demeanor was saying to her, but she finally asked me, “Who are you?”

I told her I could be anybody from anywhere. But most importantly that I’m a human being with human reactions. And that employees are no different than customers in a world where we’re all equals. And to be kind, attentive, and happy.

I left her scratching her head. She thought I was somebody, so to speak.

I’m writing this post on my phone. I know I’m probably not capturing the nuance or communicating my points clearly.

All this started simply because I made eye contact with an employee. That’s weird. Weirder than my awesome floral jacket.

Wednesday

Rarely do we get to see history and know it’s happening. I feel the irony of the pandemic as it creeps toward me. Even though I volunteered repeatedly to go first, I wasn’t offered the covid vaccine. Someone missed a PR opportunity.

.

.

“When you’re young, they assume you know nothing. When you’re old, they assume you know better. Wisdom and knowledge are demonstrably independent of youth or age.” – x

.

.

I walked a mile in her (high heel) shoes.

.

.

I’m not supposed to admit to a low moment. Despite the pandemic and personal trouble, my optimism generally is higher than in a long time. For a time today, I got hit with a few waves of lonely anxiety. I walk in a strange, strange reality, in the region between who I am and who I used to be.

.

.

An Anecdote About Hair

When I passed, I noted her crazy hair color. Because I’m not a barbarian, I didn’t turn and take a long, lingering look. Not because I didn’t want to, though. On my return, I approached and made eye contact, something that’s become essential to me in the last few months. Her hair was raucously orange, approximating what would be called “safety orange.”

“Ma’am, societal norms require me to not mention your hair color or to stare. But, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a look. Your hair is fabulous!” She laughed.

“Yeah, it’s okay. I know people look. I change the color frequently,” she said. “I expect people to look, yes.”

“Haven’t you noticed people trying to look without being obvious? It’s hard not to look.” I forgot all pretense about commenting on someone’s appearance.

She laughed again. “Do you think it’s too much?” she asked me. I could tell immediately she was asking for an honest opinion.

“Yes, it is. And it’s perfect.” I smiled at her. Even though she couldn’t see my smile through my mask, I know it reached my eyes. I could see the hidden smile on her face, too.

.

.

.

.

The Closed Fitting Room

I would have done such a thing before, but weighing less has given me wings, much like when I was younger, and would damn near do anything if it didn’t really hurt anyone. I’ve written before about my cousin Jimmy fearing that I would streak naked around the Thorncrown Chapel during his wedding.

Many places closed their dressing rooms. At one retailer, you’d think it was because of coronavirus fears. They have a sign to let us know that the dressing rooms are closed so that staff can clean in other areas. (Not because the rooms will be dirty.)

Although I own size 34 pants already, I wanted to try another brand. Lee, if you’re curious. I found some in size 34/30. The fitting rooms were still closed. Because I was in a mood, I pulled a cart over by the fitting room area. I blocked the alcove with the cart and then took my work pants off and then tried on the new pair. They fit perfectly. As I pulled them up, an employee walked by, looked at me, and then rolled her eyes at me. I laughed.

I bought the pants.

More importantly, I amused myself doing so. It’s probable that the security cameras caught me trying on pants in the closed fitting room area. As I walked up to check myself out at the kiosk registers, I half-hoped someone would approach me and question me about not using a fitting room to try on my pants. While I didn’t know what I might say, I knew that I wouldn’t be embarrassed, even if footage of me got aired on the nightly news.

There’s a pandemic going on. I don’t think seeing Danny DeVito, albeit thinner, in underwear is any more shocking than seeing someone in a bikini. Now that I’m thinking about it, your local retailer is full of life-size posters of people half-dressed. Take a look next time if you’ve grown accustomed to seeing it, especially in the women’s section. Just don’t take pictures or they will definitely escort you out of the place.

.

.

.

.

Dubious quotes by X: “If you can’t be kind, be kind of.”

.

.
.

Odd is just another way of saying “Still a suspect in an ongoing investigation.”

.

Nov. 24th

The universe blinked for me this morning. For the first time since the time change, I was running a little later than usual. I took a slightly different route to work as I often do. I found myself at a red light at Robinson and 71. As the cross traffic light turned yellow, I watched two cars speed up coming from the right. The first one was close. The second car fully ran the red light. At 4:13 a.m., I found myself waiting. As I lightly tapped the gas, another car approached going at least 70. Had I been going through instead of turning left, or had I not hesitated momentarily, the car would have t-boned me at 70mph. A bit further along 71, I amusedly noted that the car’s license plate had a vertical blue stripe across an Arkansas logo. Whoever was driving must have realized they almost killed all of us – because they drove 40 mph all the way to the Mall. And so, my Tuesday commenced.

.

“We often find ourselves in a locked room, only to later realize we always had the key.*

.

.

.

.

This morning everything was blanketed in a hard white frost. The fog set on top of it. As I crossed Old Missouri, a shooting star came overhead and streaked across. And the Mall looked like a massive hovering mothership, lights dimly blazing through the canopy of fog. I’m sorry y’all missed it. (Nov. 23rd)

.

.

While I ain’t driven to the certainty of this quote, it makes me think. That’s all I ask of wisdom, even if the sideroads to it and away from it leave me wondering if we know anything at all sometimes. X*

.

.

Though you may not like it, one of the best remix/mashups I’ve heard is “Buffalo MC – Stop And Bust a Move.” It’s funky and invasive. It also led me to hear the lyrics to Buffalo Springfield’s song “For What It’s Worth” with new ears. Anyone who reads the lyrics will surprise themselves. Adding the groove of “Bust A Move” is pure genius. I rarely post videos to my wall, in part because I didn’t create it. I challenge anyone to hear this remix/mashup and not feel a little more alive. Or old. You choose. Love and Lemons, X

.

Warning: Joke Alert

I guess I shouldn’t teach children valuable life lessons. In my defense, the logic was 100% legit. I bear no responsibility for the joke being told on Joke Day at school.

“John, what can you share and always have the same amount?”

“I don’t know, X, what?”

“Herpes.”

I used that picture to get people’s attention. People like looking at attractive people so false advertising seemed fair. Also, this guy lives in the #hunkcloset. And I need humor to get through life. And yes, I laugh at some awfully suspect jokes.

.

.

.

.

.

.

“Every zoo is a petting zoo if you have the audacity.” – a funny cliché. If you read that and think to yourself that you see the logic and the possibility of having a good story afterward, mauling or not, you are one of my people.

.

.

.

“Sir, what did the robbers take?””Two TVs, a computer, my will to live, and a jewelry box.””Wait. What was that third thing?””Evidently something I can live without.”

.

If it is suddenly cold, it’s my fault. I made hell freeze over. I actually said these words today: “I’d really like to hear that one song by Luke Bryan.”

.

The Bill Qualls Rule: all dogs eventually bite – and especially corn dogs.

.

Maniac’s Musing #5: I hope that the Venn Diagram depicting the relationship comparing serial killers to a love of ice skating is mostly overlap.

.

Optimism is buying your first pair of 34″ pants in 12 years – without a fitting room.

.

A comedian once said that the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of Charades. I disagree. I think the worst time is during your job as a defibrillator quality check technician.*

.

You know that the train is pulling into the station for you when you can stand in the laxative section of any pharmacy for 30 minutes without anyone thinking that you are acting suspiciously.

.

Nov. 13th

At 3:30 a.m., I drove across Don Tyson Parkway. Despite being 40 degrees, my windows were down. “Rise Above This” was playing on the stereo. As I crossed Old Missouri, I saw something dart across. Hoping it was my infrequent friend the coyote, I slowed down. The coyote sat about 20 feet from the road, near the vertical church sign on the roadside. He watched me as I stopped. Despite the absurdity of doing so, I waved and said, “Hello, Mr. Coyote,” He watched as I drove away toward my day.

.

Hilarious Method To End a Management Conversation (true story):Manager: “I don’t want a lot of people around. I don’t like crowds.Me: “Especially in the bedroom!”Hysterical laughing, followed by ensuing realization of the implications of my joke.

.

All seesaws are catapults if you have the element of surprise.

.

I thought they were selling the Gastroenterology Clinic. The sign said “Everything must go.”

.

A few years ago, I wrote this for someone facing an insurmountable loss. I’ve found that it echoes around the internet sometimes. May you too hear your high bell as needed. *

This picture takes on a life of its own each time I post it. It was the same this time – and with added meaning.

.

Yesterday, I took a Rorschach Test. If you can picture it.

.

Re: Accident Report. In my defense, I thought the plaque indicated, “…you must be trained and certifiable to operate this machinery.”

.

I might have worked in healthcare too long because I just accidentally said, “…he maketh me lie down beside distilled water.”

.

This one always gets a lot of laughs at work.

.

The old man card trick never fails to bring laughter.

.

.

.

Erudite Insults, Part 13 ☆ It occurs to me that one principal advantage of a zombie apocalypse is that everyone with a discernible brain will be eaten, leaving only middle managers to roam the Earth.

.

.

I consider it the highest praise that everyone except the perpetrator of the prank blamed me for the boss’ cell phone charger being in a Jell-O mold this morning.

.

.

.

.

.

“X, do you believe in Bigfoot?”

“No.”.

“Then why did you take him out for dinner and a movie?”

.

.

.

.

The woman in the last picture isn’t naked beneath the mosaic pattern.

Or is she? You get to choose the reality.

.

.

I walked up to someone demonstrating how to NOT treat a fellow human being. Because my social filter remains askew, I coldly interrupted her needless and inhumane tirade. “Did I mention to you that I LOVED you in the titular role of “The Hobbit.” “

.

.

Combination joke: I opted for an Orthographic Orthopedist for my knee, because I need him to spell out the course of treatment.

.

.

“Life is what happens to us while we are busy cleaning other people’s pans.” – X

The original, by Allen Saunders: “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

.

.

He’s a good friend: he agrees with me 100% and I agree with him 100 proof.

.

.

Overheard at the covid screening station: “Have you lost your sense of taint or smell?”

.

.

Aldi won again yesterday. With everything else going on, I found a new candy there, a sugar-free one that looked both hideous and compelling. They were delicious. I kept eating them, thinking how delicious they were, as I watched Die Hard for the 347th time. Sourly delicious, like lemons. About an hour later, I realized that I had eaten a dangerous amount of sorbitol. If you’re not familiar, sorbitol can cause Japanese-earthquake level disruptions to one’s digestive system. I already knew this but flavor rendered my ability to read clear warnings to be inactive. The good news is I think I lost 32 lbs. yesterday.

.

.

If you didn’t want me to change the placard in the breakfast area from “Sausage” to “Reindeer Sausage,” you shouldn’t give me a job where I have access to magic markers. Also, I owe an apology to little Jimmy’s mom, who had to explain what happened to Rudolph.

.

.

La Norma #1 De La VidaCuando te mandan a la mierda, casi nunca te consiguen un boleto de ida y vuelta. Lo unico que se puede hacer es sonreir y empezar a caminar. Espero que lo hagas con entusiasmo. Con amor, X

.

.

I drove to work today with the windows down, in an unseasonably warm dark morning. Nothing says, “Happy” like someone joyriding at 4 a.m., and especially singing in Spanish in an absurdly high pitch. I got the vaccine yesterday and I experienced none of pain, headaches, hallucinations, or paranoia that others did. Although, I was bit irritated the CIA kept following me everywhere and using laser-armed cats to distract me. I parked my car in the pond and walked in to work. P.S. The mood at most medical facilities has perceptibly shifted since last week – and it has nothing to do with the fact that I am tripping balls. Love, X

.

.

Unintentionally Inappropriate Quip: I never wear a jacket while at work, no matter who bitterly cold it is. I encountered her by the elevator. “Wow, X, how much weight are you going to lose? Isn’t it cold without the…,” she said, realizing she was going to need to say something acknowledging that I was fat before. “Blubber?” I said, finishing her sentence.”Ha! No. I would give you to coat off my back,” she said.”Well, I would rather have the shirt off your back,” I said, losing the race between my brain and mouth. …

P.S. While what I said certainly sounds dirty, I was commenting about her wild blouse. Given my change in fashion, I would totally rock her blouse.

.

.

When Life Hands You a Lemon, Embrace It

This is a non-traditional post. I started with a different idea. Instead of discarding it, I’m posting it.

“Y el amor nunca es amor si no es idiota…” Ricardo Arjona.
(From “El Amor Que Me Tenía)
Loosely translated: “…and love is never love if it is not idiocy…”

“Love is the thing that compels you to do something stupid before you do something even stupider.” – X

“Love is the thing that compels you to do something stupid before being able to do something reasonable.” – X (alternate)

As Steven Wright said: “I bought one of those tapes to teach you Spanish in your sleep. During the night, the tape skipped. Now I can only stutter in Spanish.”

Likewise, I find myself stuttering in other regards, wondering where people find the confidence and ease to live the life they know they should be living. I’m increasingly sure most of them are winging it.

“My wife said to me last night, “You treat our relationship like some kind of game!” Which unfortunately cost her 12 points and a bonus chance.” – Unknown

“X, stupidity isn’t a crime, so you are free to go.” – Several people.

“Without a doubt, my favorite Robin Williams movie is Mrs. Fire.” – Internet

I was voted Most Humorous in Mortuary School. I need to use that more.

.

.

“Thank you for all your support,” I shouted to my work pants, acknowledging they had been tasked with the impossible.

.

.

The Family Dinner Rule: If it ain’t been said at least four times, then it ain’t been said.

.

.

My sister-in-law Darla’s bathroom had water all over the floor!

.

.

My director told me I could no longer dramatically do a puff of magic smoke every time I left the work area, so I switched to glitter capsules. He’s pissed. But kind of cute with his face covered in glitter.

.

.

.

My neighbors installed security cameras yesterday. I’m obsessed with doing puppet or character shows above the fenceline now. I’m letting you know in case they don’t find my idea as funny and brilliant as it seems to be to me.

.

.

“You’re running for President – not Sheriff of Cracker Barrel.” – X

.

.

IF YOU SEE A LINK THAT SAYS “DONALD TRUMP NUDE,” DON’T CLICK ON IT. IT’S A VIRUS AND MAKES EVERYTHING YOU TYPE APPEAR IN ALL CAPS. – X

.

.

Springdale is having its Demolition Derby at the end of the month. Good news: AAF and Car-Mart, as always, are selling cars perfect for just such an event. #satire

.

.

I wonder if anyone doing genealogy found out they had a great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather who was a Sheriff – and then found out they lost their job for failing to fire a warning arrow at a suspect.

.

.

If I were in a gang, I wouldn’t carry a traditional weapon. I’d carry a violin. No one would see that coming until it splintered all over their head. Also, the police would have to start frisking people for violins.

.

.

This Joke Works For Any Profession

Verne and Fern were sitting in the living room talking.

Fern said, “I’d like to win the lottery!”

Verne replied, “Why do you want to win the lottery? “Well,” Fern said, “I’d like to do nothing all day.”

Verne frowned. “You don’t need to win the lottery to do nothing all day! All you need to do is become a Maintenance Person.”

.

.

Springdale experienced a massively thick fog last night, one that made the trees sound like a slowly running creek as they became drenched and heavy, highlighted the work of the surrounding spiders, and gave me an opportunity to make an unedited gif from the moisture blanketing the air.

.

.

Untested truth: you COULD be bulletproof.

.

.

In the way that so often happens to all of us, I had leftover Pitchfork Creeper pictures from my last birthday wrapping gift surprise. Because it’s been too long since I’ve done so, I took my extras with me to the grocery store and strategically placed them around the store.As always, I find myself laughing and wondering what people think as they encounter them in their mundane shopping experiences.*

.

.

If you find yourself in a situation in which you are driving around behind random trucks to evaluate the scent and desirability of each vehicle’s exhaust, the truth is that there is someone out there who is thinking the same thing. That thought either liberates or confines.

.

.

No one can convince me that flipping the overhead lights off as you exit a bathroom, knowing that someone is seated in a stall, isn’t funny. Not even the shrieks of my last victim dissuade me from this laughter.

.

.

“I left nothing unsaid” can be either a reflection of personal authenticity or a sign you’re talking so much that the O2 masks may drop at any moment.

.

.

The psychic I want to see is one who can tell me what lies are ahead. – x

.

.

Though I am reluctant to admit it, I watched the new Borat movie. The movie? Terrible. Some of the jokes? Both surreal and hilarious. I’m informing you so that you can remind me of this when I try to use words such as “style” or “wit” without looking like a hypocrite. This movie is unintentionally a cross-section of so much that we imagine ourselves to be in the world, using satire and cringe so viciously that I wanted to file a police report.

.

.

Any horror movie with the soundtrack sped up becomes a comedy. Any life remembered with nostalgia becomes too bittersweet to narrate.

.

.

Masks are the minimum cost all of us should pay in public to acknowledge that we’re connected and reciprocally responsible for one another. – X

.

.

My sister-in-law recently got diagnosed as a kleptomaniac. We were relieved to hear it. It explained why she took things literally.

.

.

“Today is a full tomorrow, if you know what I mean!”

.

.

Several hundred full-size candy bars doesn’t look like much now. Will there be little ghouls to rescue us from this hoard? *

The answer was “Yes!”

So many kids danced. laughed, and were incredulous to see me shoving handfuls of full-size candy into their hands and bags. I did my best to get the chaperones and adults to choose something, too.

At the end, I walked down the block with a full bin of bars. I gave the bin to the children at the door. Screaming and fits of joy ensued. I have to say it was one of those moments that I’ll probably remember forever.

.

.

“Perfume as marinade” is a terrible way to get ready in the morning.

.

.

I tried contactless delivery but the driver ended up in the backyard.

.

.

For reasons I’ll explain in more detail if you need it, you should never mumble when ordering at a Taqueria.

.

.

He didn’t just look a gift horse in the mouth but always took a long piercing look at the other end too.

.

.

“X, I see that you’ve noted ‘Z’ in the blank for blood. That’s supposed to be your blood type.” The nurse looked at me expectantly. “It’s my blood typo, yes.” I smiled.”What does that mean?” She said.”Well, I wasn’t planned,” I said and looked away to give her a minute to figure out my humor.

.

.

This is some of the weirdest, nastiest, and most delicious plant-based meat alternative I’ve ever tried. The texture is akin to alien epidermis. But I LOVE it!

.

.

My voting anecdote squashes all others. For several elections, the Rodeo Grounds was my nirvana. I thought it couldn’t get any better. For this election, I of course voted in person. Having a stupid name amplifies the possibility of shenanigans, both giving and receiving. I waited zero seconds to get in. Zero to be identified. Zero to get to the kiosk to vote. And zero seconds to put the ballot in the final collection slot. My apologies to everyone who didn’t wait zero seconds, like me.

.

.

Totally It

pxfuel.com(1)

.

.

“If love is a burning thing,” I recommend a visit to the doctor.

.

.

I got excited when I was invited to a photoshoot. Surprise ending: despite the name of the event, guns were NOT welcome.

.

.

I thought he was crazy when he told me that all his bees had individual names. Then I realized that there was absolutely no way to confirm this to be true or not.

.

.

My wife’s lipstick and mascara package stated that the makeup hadn’t been tested on animals. Can you imagine how ridiculous squirrels, monkeys, and rabbits would look with makeup?

.

.

For people with snake phobias, don’t google “python climbing coconut tree” unless you want a fresh level of hell in your life. For people who know people with snake phobias, google it on the big screen in the living room.

.

.

“Do you carry both salted and unsalted crayons?” is just weird enough of a question to confound anyone working retail.

.

.

In a ritual only a cousin would understand, I bought a packet of beet seeds at Lowe’s and threw them in the trash.

.

.

Concrete Wall and Cement Floor for Copy Space

The Procrastination Redux
(Also a good rule of thumb…)

.

.

When someone says, “I’m all ears,” I immediately calculate the fact that they have 5.6 lbs of earwax if that were true.

.

.

I’m stealing one of Linda’s ideas from “Better Off Ted.” I’m going to put a piece of tape on my rear end that reads: “If you’re reading this, you’re NOT being PROFESSIONAL.”

.

.

“Let’s begin the charade!” – Evidently not something management encourages us to say at the beginning of each workday like a chanted mantra.

.

.

It’s time to be insulted when you realize that people yelling at you to put a mask on are motivated by issues of beauty rather than public safety.

.

.

The anger management counselor told me to walk a mile in her shoes. Size 7 didn’t teach me anything except I get blistered easily.

.

.

I wrote a book of a compilation of typos. Now, I can’t read the title.

.

.

I kidnapped Jim Gaffigan. I let him call the police. “Nice try, comedian,” they said, laughed, and hung up.

.

.

.

.

When someone says, “I’m all ears,” I immediately calculate the fact that they have 5.6 lbs of earwax if that were true.

.

.

“Sarge, what do we have here? You said it was a hostage situation.” The Lieutenant looked over at him as he spoke, while trying to find her binoculars.

“Yeah, he’s standing next to the window in there with a gun at his head,” Sarge said, as he pointed toward the house as the Lieutenant raised her binoculars.

“I only see one guy. Where are the hostages?”

“It’s just the one guy – but he has multiple personalities – and they didn’t do anything wrong.”

.

.

I’ve always wanted to write a book titled “The Truth About Chickens” and have the marketing team make the book sound really ominous.

.

.

In a peaceful world without violence and war, “Dueling Banjos” would be a song about consensual bro love in the woods.

.

.

“Sling Blade: The Musical” would be awesome – especially if each audience member were given a lawn mower blade upon arrival.

.

.

Worst Disney Movie Ever:

.

.

If you need to subtly reduce the dining visits of your in-laws, one of the best ways is to leave the popular book, “7 Ways To Easily And Inconspicuously Incorporate Insects Into Your Meals” on your coffee table.

.

.

“X, look at this!” My friend Carl was pointing to a turd near the fence. “This is the biggest turd I’ve ever seen! Do you know what this means?”I answered. “Yes, it means that I was wrong. Trump is the SECOND biggest turd in the United States.”

.

.

I took an introductory course for becoming a police sketch artist. We worked with real-life people. I got kicked out because no matter what the victims told me, I drew the Chief of Police.

.

.

Listen folks: if you’re going to kill someone, use a wooden stake. At least your defense attorney can use the “Vampire Defense.”

.

.

I grilled a chicken really hard last night. But it gave me no information.

.

.

I served pork chops and karate chops for supper. It’s a tough crowd at Casa X.

.

.

Denial is the first sign of illness. That, and the fact that the doctor keeps staring at your wallet.

.

.

“Tell me something that is reassuring, X,” he said.”Oh, that’s easy. About 6.5 million people in the United States currently walk around with an unruptured brain aneurysm.””What? That isn’t reassuring at all!” He seemed irritated. “Well, it reassures ME. Also, don’t think of it as 6.5 million people. Think of it as a 1 in 50 chance for you.”

.

.

Fact: Jeffrey Dahmer’s favorite dessert was jerry cobbler.

.

.

Sign Language captioning isn’t what it used to be. I turned it on to watch the news and it consisted only of a small, older lady.giving me the finger.

.

.

Trial By Food Court

5eb95a4742278d6e5a740b48

 

“It’s called a Food “Court,” because if you eat at one, it feels like you’ve been to trial and sentenced to eat prison food.”  – X

It was once a thriving place, one that thousands of people a day visited. It’s heyday arrived before the virus. I rarely go there anymore. Looking at the bricks on the outside evokes a “Walking Dead” vibe that is difficult to shake.

Before entering, I noticed the mask signs everywhere. “We proudly require our employees to appropriately wear their masks at all times for your safety” indicated one such sign. I knew well that this couldn’t possibly be true. Even medical professionals start doing stupid things with their masks and protective gear if given enough time to get sloppy.

Like many places, this place added security to ensure that people coming in would wear their masks. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, such public places provide great and literal ‘security theater’ that you can watch from a casual distance. It always provides something to enjoy.

Before the anecdote to follow, I’d like to mention that I did my double-order maneuver. I chose the eatery at the food court and ordered. I stood to the side. Known for its very rapid service, I waited patiently for about five minutes. People picked up their orders. I began to notice that people who ordered after me were getting served. Still, I waited. After ten minutes, I walked up to the counter again. I ordered the same meal I already purchased and paid for. I paid for the second order, too.

As I finished, the cashier who helped me with my first order said, “Hey, did you get your order?” I leaned in and said, “No, so I gave up and just ordered again.” He looked confused. “And you paid again?” I nodded in affirmation. The other two people in front looked at me and then each other, knowing they’d messed fairly spectacularly. A whirlwind of activity then commenced, with each looking at the order-up screen, previous orders, etc. They decided that they’d given my order to another guest. The other guest had said nothing when given the extra order. All the possible guests guilty of such a thing were seated in the food court. I interceded: “While they should have said something, they are blameless. One of you combined the orders and handed it to them. It’s not their fault. I paid twice because I wasn’t upset. Mistakes happen. I don’t want a refund. Just give me my food. By the way, that’s why I call it the Double-Order-Maneuver.” Because this particular thing had obviously never happened to any of them, they were clueless about how to proceed. A minute later, the cashier handed me my bag. “Thanks, Fred,” he said. “My name isn’t Fred. I used a fake name when I order in these places to cut down on communication problems. Obviously, I need to reconsider that tactic. Y’all have a good day and don’t worry about all this.”

I imagine someone had to figure out a way to explain to the manager that a customer gladly paid for the same meal twice.

I sat at a table for two in the food court, watching. There were more people than one would imagine. Several of the eateries in the food court were closed, with a couple barricades permanently. Covid keeps pounding coffin nails into the ones that attempt to survive there.

The kiosk of gumball machines sat forlornly to one side, it’s inventory inaccessible due to the ropes and tape. The piano, once attended by a cheesy but talented pianist, sat covered and forgotten.

A security guard and cleaning tech walked past me on my right. The cleaning tech was furiously gossiping to the security guard, who walked a foot away from her, leaning toward her to catch each word. The cleaning tech’s mask was already below her nose. As they stopped to wipe a table, the cleaning tech pulled her mask down to her chin. Though it seems like an exaggeration, I could see the spittle from her mouth arcing toward the female security guard.

People walked past. The two moved around, still standing close to one another. Whatever vexed the cleaning tech must have been very important. As I was about to circumspectly snap a picture, they moved to another table. The tech angrily pointed at a dropped straw wrapper as she snatched it. I took a picture anyway.

I took out my marker and wrote on a napkin, “Having a mask below your nose, much less below your mouth, is like having no mask at all.” I laid the napkin in the center of the table as I collected my trash. Doubling back, I walked the long way around the food court. By then, two more security people walked up and joined the two gossipers. Another food service worker joined them. Three of them had their masks on incorrectly. I took a picture of the group as they moved along. I noticed a few people were looking at the group with differing amounts of “What are you doing?” written on their faces.

I stood on the other side of a kiosk in the middle of the indoor hallway, watching. In less than a minute, the original security guard and the cleaning tech made their way back to my table. The security guard leaned over and read what I inscribed on the napkin. Her head snapped immediately back up, scanning around her. She then looked incredulously at the cleaning tech next to her, who still had her mask down. I didn’t need to know what was said. The body language might as well have been expressed using nautical flags.

I burst out laughing at the over-reaction. Instinctively, I moved all the way around the kiosk.

I waited fifteen seconds and when I emerged on the opposite side, the female security guard clutched my napkin. Her frenzied gait communicated that she was about to catch the other loitering security people and show them the napkin.

Her time would have been better served to tell the cleaning tech and her fellow security guards to stop walking around without their masks on their faces. This is especially true since it is the essential function of their presence. Barney Fife could keep the potential mayhem at bay without assistance; no one needs multiple security guards milling around asking for trouble.

The security guard pulled her mask completely down as she aggressively explained that someone had left an unwelcome napkin on the table. Naturally, the other guard pulled his mask down, too, possibly in an effort to hear better. It’s a common and stupid tactic that many of us are guilty of when wearing a mask for long periods. (Like we do when we turn down the radio when we’re driving and looking for something.)

In a move that should be noted for posterity, a man standing with the other two guards leaned over and read the napkin. Although I couldn’t hear what he said, he pointed at each of the guard’s faces, then up, then around. I’m sure he was mentioning cameras and people watching. As if on cue, both guards grabbed their masks and yanked them up above their noses.

The original security guard said something angry and crumpled the napkin in disgust.

I laughed again. She crumpled the napkin so theatrically that I couldn’t help myself.

While no one looked toward me, at that point I didn’t care. What were they going to accuse me of? Writing truths on a napkin?