Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Open Mouth, Empty Head

A and I have a private joke between us. We call it Open Mouth, Empty Head. You see these morons in public a lot, in a restaurant, talking loudly about nothing in particular like it was the most important thing in the world.

"...and then I opened the door to my closet, and there it was! I couldn't believe I had hung it up after I wore it! I must not have been paying attention to what I was doing. It should have been in the hamper, but I hung it back up like it was clean..."

"...then this colored guy walk up to me and starts askin' me all kinds of questions an' shit that I don't know nuthin' about, so's I tol' him to go ask Billy, 'cuz Billy knows about that sort of thing, he went to the community college for a coupla years..."

"...and then she says to me, 'gramma I have to go potty!' Isn't that the most adorable thing you have ever heard? I mean she's only three and a half! She has to be the smartest little girl I have ever seen!..."

You just want to walk up to these people and tell them to shut the fuck up! Nobody wants to hear about your personal crap! People get too damn comfortable with having no privacy. There's even a whole website about overheard conversations. Most of these people have nothing interesting to say, yet insist on making sure they talk loudly enough that everyone within the vicinity knows every disgusting detail of their recent hernia surgery or other such personal information.

There is a new employee in my office who just moved into the desk next to mine, and she blathers on incessantly to nobody in particular about nothing in general.

These Empty Heads with Open Mouths need to be told to shut up. I am proposing a new national movement to do so. Don't be shy. Walk right up to them and do it! If they are on a cellular phone and you don't want to interrupt their conversation, just lower the volume, give them one of these cards. There are even some that are applicable to people who aren't even on the phone.

Help me rid the world of obnoxious, self-absorbed clouts today. If they really want people to know too much about them, tell them to get a blog, and leave your ears out of it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Hypothetical Situation

Imagine for a few moments that you are the owner of a nightclub.

When the club first opened, you had a few patrons. You treated these patrons very well, because they were used to the club across town that wasn't very friendly. You had free drink specials, live music, anything that would make people feel good and proud to come to your club. Everybody got along, so there was no need for any kind of security. They all policed themselves.

Eventually, word spread about your club, and people started coming in droves so you got a couple of bouncers to keep the peace. Not only from your neighborhood and other side of town, but other towns far away, where the people looked differently and had weird customs. Some of these people liked to sing karaoke; not your thing, but its what the people liked so you had a karaoke night. Sometimes underage kids would come in and try to drink, but the bartenders were pretty keen and caught most of them right away.

One day you noticed that the club was so full that you needed to set up someone at the door to check IDs and make sure you didn't let in too many people at one time. There were only enough bartenders and bathrooms, too many people in the club at once could really turn the place into a mess. Then nobody would want to come.

Having the velvet rope out front was great for your nightclub's reputation for exclusivity, and your bouncer had the discretion to keep out anyone who looked like they might be a troublemaker. But to your dismay, you discover that your bartenders had given up checking IDs on anyone who appeared to be under 21. "It's not my job," they would say, "Bill checks them at the front door." Still, you catch the occasional 19-year-old with a beer in his hand and escort him outside.

But now it seems to happen more and more often. One night, one of your regulars tells you, "I know of at least 12 underage kids drinking in here right now." You don't know which ones he is talking about, because you have a large clientele from the ages 21 to 25 and they all look pretty young. As you walked back to the stockroom, you happened to catch a group of youngsters walking in the fire exit in the back hallway.

As they see you, they stop in their tracks, then turn around and run right back out the door. You follow them, but not to chase them. You look closely at the door and discover that the lock is broken. It appears to you that the lock has been broken for some time, but you have no way of knowing how long it has been broken or how many people have been coming in this way, bypassing the ID and occupancy checkpoint at the front door.

Now you have a decision to make. There are several choices, but none of them will satisfy everyone.

Choice #1:
Ignore the lock. As a matter of fact, forget about the guy at the front door, too. Just let anyone in who wants to come in. That's the way you did it when the club first opened. It worked back then, why won't it work for you now? Everyone should be able to drink and dance in your club, regardless of when they were born. It's their right!

Choice #2:
Ignore the lock. You have no evidence that many people know that it is broken. Plus, those kids pay for their drinks, and if you are ever busted for serving minors, you can point to your bouncers at the front door and show that you have been addressing the problem to the best of your knowledge.

Choice #3:
Fix the lock. No new kids will be getting into the club, and the ones that are already in aren't much of a problem. Kids will be kids, a little underage drinking never hurt anyone. Wait, there's a fight up by the bar, you had better go check that out.

Choice #4:
Place at the door one of your bouncers who has been standing around chatting up hotties all night. Make everyone who looks young enough to pass for under 21 go back outside and check everyone's ID again. Except for the 40-year old losers at the bar who are obviously old enough to be there.

What is your choice? Leave a comment and let me know.

By the way, this wasn't about a real nightclub. Purely a hypothetical situation.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

What celebrity do you look like?

I have had this blog for the better part of a year now, and I have tried to keep it relatively anonymous. Some people who I know and trust are aware of the site, but for the rest of you—commenters and lurkers alike—I choose to stay anonymous. This has its advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, I would like to post some "Before and After" pictures chronicling my weight loss. Unfortunately, modesty prevented the "Before" shots from showing much more than my face.

Anyone who has been online since the mid-90s and spent any time in chat rooms before digital cameras became ubiquitous knows that, from time to time, people will ask what celebrity you look like. That's great if you look like an A-lister like Russell Crowe or Jennifer Aniston. When the closest "celebrity" to your face is a one- or two-hit wonder indie rock star like Matthew Sweet, people inevitable ask, "Who the hell is that?"

Either that, or you tell them someone famous AND good-looking and when you eventually meet them IRL, they are sorely disappointed.

Now there is a way for you to—SCIENTIFICALLY—determine which celebrities you most resemble: Find the Celebrity in You™ by MyHeritage. All you need is a digital photo of yourself, and once you register, you're read to go!

The software relies quite a bit on the angle of the photo, lighting, and the expression on your face, so you may want to try multiple photos. Here were my results:

Photo #1: Most recent photo since losing weight.
Match #1: Carson Daly-66%
Ok, thats cool. He's a pretty good looking guy. Hey, my mom's maiden name is Dailey, maybe we're related. Oh, wait, he spells it differently. Damn.

Match #2: Anthony Kiedis-61%
I'm a little disturbed by this one. I know he's a skinny little rock star, but he's about a decade older than me and a former heroin addict. I don't know if I want to look like him.

Match #3: Matt Dillon-60%
Back on track. Another attractive A-list actor.

Match #4: James Horner-52%
Who the fuck is James Horner? Oh, a composer. He did the music for Titanic. Next!

Match #5: Sopie Marceau-47%
WTF???? She's a chick! I know she's hot, but c-mon!

Match #6: Josh Hartnett-46%
I guess he's supposed to be good looking, but I think he looks like a high-functioning mental patient.

No More Matches.

Photo #2: Fat picture with smile, front view.
Match #1: Elle MacPherson-61%
Wait a minute, she's a supermodel! She looks nothing like me. THis thing must be broken.

Match #2: Katie Holmes-48%
Uh oh. The Scientologists should be here any minute to take me away and read my thetan levels.

No More Matches.

Photo #3: Fat picture with big smile, left profile.
Match #1: Jessica Alba-71%
WTF???? Another hot chick? I'm beginning to think I would make a good drag queen. Ummmm...NO!

Match #2: Joni Mitchell-71%
This bitch look like the Crypt Keeper. I just don't see it.

Match #3: Peter Fonda-68%
This guy is old enough to be my grandfather. Next!

Match #4: Prince William-63%
Maybe I can speak with a phony British accent and pick up some birds. I'll have to ask the crazy cat lady who works with me for some pointers on how she fakes her accent.

Match #5: Jason Biggs-62%
The pie-fucker???

Match #6: Justin Timberlake-61%

Match #7: Russell Crowe-61%
I have a sudden urge to throw a phone at a hotel clerk. Chicks dig that.

Match #8: Joe Dimaggio-61%
I saw him at Dinky Donuts once. He's a dunker.

Match #9: Mischa Barton-59%
Isn't she on Smallville or some show like that? I've heard of her, but couldn't tell you how.

Match #10: Jennifer Aniston-59%
Finally! An A-list hottie! Oh, wait, I'm still a guy. Crap! I don't know if this says more about my looks or Jennifer's.

No More Matches.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Market Update: Hasbro to merge with NAMBLA

Lest you think this is a SNL commercial spoof that somehow made it past the censors, I am here to inform you that this is a REAL PRODUCT that you can buy right now at your local Wal-Mart!


Is Michael Jackson working in Hasbro's marketing department? Did they hire a bunch of "recently terminated" Catholic priests to do product development? Was some 20-something former frat boy trying to see what he could sneak through the layers of corporate red tape?

From Hasbro's product description page (emphasis mine):
Sneak up on your opponents with a surprise bio-ooze attack! Just when they think you’re coming at ‘em with water, blast ‘em with a shot of icky bio-ooze! Shoot out globs of gooey bio-ooze and then drench ‘em with water!

I repeat: WTF??????

I don't know what part of the commercial is worse, the kid at the beginning pumping away furiously, or the black kid who rubs the "bio-ooze" all over his chest.

I know you just went to play that back again to see the black kid. Fucking pervert.

User reviews on Amazon.

Thanks, Beth, for the heads-up on this one.