Archive for the ‘evil-doers unite’ Category


I bet it doesn’t make you feel good.  I bet you don’t even care enough to notice.  I bet you’ve simply become accustomed to the comfort of cruelty.

It’s easy, right?  It’s just a dog.  It’s just a dog.  Plus, you don’t have to go out of your way.  All you have to do is forget to feed it, to forget to ever bring it inside and forget to schedule that vet appointment.  Easy.

We’ve noticed, though.  We’ve noticed that, everyday we walk home, we walk past your door and your dog is always there; outside.  We’ve noticed that this is always true regardless of weather conditions.  We’ve noticed the neglected appearance — the complete lack of energy, the mangy coat, the weak frame and the sunken, red eyes.  We’ve noticed.

And so we’re going to tell on you.

We’re going to tell on you because you’ve apparently forgotten — or have never known — what it’s like to be defenseless and so you need to be reminded, even if all we can really do is get someone to come to your house and force your unwilling hand.  We’re telling on you because your dog can’t.  We’re telling on you because I know what it’s like to have to put a dog to sleep because we’d exhausted all other options and I can’t imagine why you’d simply let yours fade away for no reason.  We’re telling on you because as I’m writing this, there’s a dog resting against my leg that I’d fight for.  And we’re telling on you because apparently none of your neighbors care either.

No, this is not just some PETA-inspired, lefty rant.  And no, we’re not going to get busy with work and forget.  We are going to discreetly and legally attempt to take pictures from the sidewalk of your dog outside your home.  We’re going to do our legally-trained best to document what we’ve seen.  And we’re going to contact each relevant local entity that will listen.


Frankly, much better people than you.


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credit: Megan L. Nell

“No, I insist.”

I say this three different ways:

1. No, I insist.
2. No, really, I insist.
3. Doitforchristssake.

I’ll explain how this works.  Each is situational.

No, I insist.

My momma didn’t raise no fool.  Well, obviously she did.  This blog’s archives are all the proof of that you need.  But at least she taught me how to be a gentleman and I remember those lessons pretty regularly.

If you are near an open door, or the sidewalk is narrowing, or there’s an empty seat at the bar and you are not — or at least don’t appear to be, if we’ve never met — a hemorrhoidal asshat, “No, I insist” is how I let you know that it would be my pleasure to be nice to you.

No, really, I insist.

The tension is growing, here.  I’ve already told you that it was okay to walk first or sit down.  But maybe the gesture caught you off guard.  Maybe you are dumbfounded that I, unlike most strangers, opened my mouth and didn’t hit on you, insult you or just scream unexpected-crazy about how THE PURPLE LADY ALWAYS TUESDAYS WHEN I CHEESE, or something.  Or, better yet, maybe I’m saying this because you said “No, I insist” back to me.  In that case, brilliant.  We’re all getting along and living Rodney King’s dream.  However, no, really, I insist.


I think you know what this means.  This is reserved for a special class of people: those unable to take hints.  There are subsets of this class: really, really old people; parents with strollers that carry 37+ babies at a time like some sort of Fetal Utitilty Vehicle, but who just can’t seem to decide if they want to go right, left, forward or turn around and then make me miss the light; morons.

Luckily for them, if I am saying this, it is almost always internally; you know, using my thinking voice.  My eyes are like Shakira’s hips, though: they don’t lie, so you can be sure that I am trying to send eye-lasers at them like Cyclops.

If we are at this stage, you are dwindling my hope for humanity.  I am thisclose to spearing you or giving you a stiff-arm to the forehead and feeling great about it.  As a rapper might say, I’m a patient man, but I’m not a patient, man.  I do not have time to sit in the waiting room that is your indecision and read the outdated magazines, that are your facial expressions, while you struggle with the epic choice of “should I stay, or should I go.”

Just doitforchristssake.  I have places to be.

[Note: this post may appear in short form on telephone poles, street lights and storefronts near you.]

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(This is a true story and so I tried my best not to be unnecessarily graphic, but if real blood loss isn’t your thing…)

I was looking right at him but almost didn’t notice when he fell.  It just happened so fast.

We were walking home, headed east on New York Avenue, just about a third of a block from where the major DC thoroughfare hits 1st Street NW.  The lights were green east and west on NY, while the cars on 1st were lined up waiting their turns.

And he just fell.  He was standing on the sidewalk.  And then he just fell; into the street.

From our distance, honestly, it looked like another drunk guy had stumbled and fallen off of the curb.  But as we got closer, we processed more; we remembered more.  We remembered he hadn’t used his arms to break his fall.  He had just fallen headfirst.

As we neared the intersection, the driver of the closest vehicle stopped at the light on 1st Street was still in its car.  A bystander had rushed to the man’s aid and was supporting his head.  The man was bleeding — a lot and quickly.  It was enough blood that someone in a car from five feet away would’ve been hard-pressed to have missed it.  And no one could’ve missed the fall the man took.  Yet, the person in that car remained a person in a car, unmoved.

Miss Bianca took my plastic Safeway bag and I gave the helpful bystander the cloth in my briefcase to press against the man’s head.  I grabbed my phone and called 911.  Meanwhile, the person in that car sat there.

As soon as someone picked up, I gave our location first and described the scene.  About 20 seconds passed.  When I had just about finished, the operator spoke again.

operator: police, fire or ambulance?

me: uh?  ambulance.

A lot was wrong with this.  First, what I told her was the equivalent of “emerg-e-fucking-cy.”  It is her job to get first responders out there.  Second, if it really is my job to evaluate the scene and make the determination about which branch of emergency responders I want to speak with, then, damnit, tell me that before I waste 20 seconds while a man in his 60s is bleeding profusely from his skull in the street so that an ambulance can be on its way while I relay other information.  Third, I’m pretty damn sure that if I didn’t say “we need an ambulance” that anyone listening to what I’d just said would’ve figured out that it wasn’t a fire, for instance, and sent an ambulance.

While on the phone, I was watching the attempt to help and others are jumping in.  One man stopped at the light got out and pulled some sort of fabric from his trunk and brought it over so we could change the “bandage.”  He didn’t ask any questions first; he just did.

The cops got there pretty quickly.  They had been less than two blocks away.  We could see them pull out of the alley and come down the street.  And, soon, an ambulance was there, too.  We gave some witness info and it seemed like everything was under control.  We walked the rest of the way home.

But, to the waste of chromosomes in the car that watched the whole thing and did nothing, and to the operator who didn’t listen enough to what I was saying to realize that “man bleeding from head” didn’t mean “fire truck,” I hope you never need emergency care.  Not that we wouldn’t help you; because we would.  But karma has a really odd way of not being nearly that nice.

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I usually can’t stand when people start a sentence with “I don’t do” and end it with an inanimate object or concept, like “showers,” or “mornings.”  Nonetheless…

I don’t do open water.

So it should it go without saying that I’ve never seen the movie by that name:

Yet for reasons unknown, I’m fascinated by the causes for the fear: the bigdamnfish that live beneath the surface.  For example, I’m always glued to my TV during shark week on the Discovery Channel and can’t wait until late this July when the Discovery building in nearby Silver Spring will be adorned with its annual shark head, tail and fins:

credit: adrants.com

credit: adrants.com

This same fascination led to me watching something like seven episodes of River Monsters on Animal Planet yesterday.  The entire, outward point of this show is to freak people like me out.  Actually, I think it said “Here’s f***ing with you, f.B” in the credits.  The host, Jeremy Wade, gets paid to assure people like me that despite what we may have considered our worst fears about open water in seas and oceans, there are actually man-eating, flesh-craving beasts of unimaginable sizes in the fresh water we assumed was safer.  These fresh water fish don’t play by the rules and, due to the oft murky water in which they live, can’t tell their anal fins from their pectoral fins, let alone my leg from a meal.

So what did I learn after seven hours?
1. Jeremy Wade is a heartless bastard.
2. I now also don’t do closed water, fresh water or any other collection of water not in a bathtub or loaded with safe-levels of chlorine.
3. Grey’s Anatomy actually bases some of its shows on fact.

Remember?  There was that Grey’s episode featuring a guy with a fish in his penis two years ago.  And guess who thought it was just some sort of Amazonian myth.  Yep: me.  But it’s not.

On episode number seven, yesterday — notice, it was the last episode I decided to watch — a guy was trying to urinate in the river.  And guess what?  A candirú swam up his urine stream and into his happy branch.  Frightened beyond belief, he looked down and the damn thing was hanging out.  By the time he got to the hospital, this 5-6 inches long fish was trying to gnaw its way out through the sphincter; through, the, sphincter.


Don’t judge me if, this summer and for the rest of my life, I avoid the kinds of adventures and experiences that include “risk of fish in penis.”  I fully plan to take some time here and there and have fun.  And hopefully that’ll include a resort or some beach-side vacationing.  But I will not — I stress, will not — allow my urethra to become a link in the food chain.  I’m just not that kind of guy.

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For hefty compensation, I have leased this space to PepsiCo. today.  The following is a statement from its Senior VP of Marketing.


Dear customer,

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen Pepsi’s latest endeavor in the beverage-for-pleasure market.  But, to be sure, let me refresh you:

That’s right, friend: Pepsi Throwback — a softer, more real, natural kind of Pepsi.  We will sweeten it only with real sugar, like we used to, before we singlehandedly created the diabetes crisis your country now faces.

For the last 40 years, we here at PepsiCo have put everything in your Pepsi other than real, natural sugar.  We tried donkey sweat, human ear wax for coloring, dirt for the grime left on your teeth and the tears of baby chimpanzees because research shows they have a superbly addictive quality.  The high fructose corn syrup was just icing on the cake.  No, really: it’s literally Duncan Hines vanilla icing to which we added brown food coloring and real bits of panther (for that swampy aroma).

For decades, we thought we could get away with anything.  We reminded ourselves, “Hey, at least it’s not cocaine.”  And we stick by that; we do.

But it’s a new world; one where simple truths in consumption reign supreme; one where hidden ingredients, like the feces we put in all of our diet sodas, are discouraged as “unhealthy,” “dangerous” and “biologically irresponsible.”

So, for a limited time only, we offer you Pepsi Throwback.  Until June, you can enjoy the flavors we’ve been artificially creating for almost half a century.  But only until June.  We will return to our regularly scheduled shortening-your-life-span Pepsi flavoring by the fourth of July weekend.  And, actually, that reminds me: do not look directly at fireworks while drinking a Pepsi.  Something about the way light reacts with the blinding chemicals we put in each can of soda causes blindness.

Thank you for drinking,

Stan “the Man” McTexas
Senior VP of Marketing

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I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.

This is worth a party in and of itself.  Usually my timing is like finding out about a sale a day too late.¹  But last night, my timing was impeccable.

I had a craving.  Me wanted french fries.  But I don’t believe in commercialism so I went to a little hole-in-the-wall, family-run place that grows all of its food locally.


credit: The Consumerist

What?  Oh, like you never do?  It was a guilty plea, or want, whatever.  Sometimes there’s nothing like “potato” fried in toxic sludge.

Anyway, so I stroll over the threshold and through the door, beneath the golden arches.  And chaos ensues.

At the counter, two men are arguing violently.  Actually, only one man is arguing.  He looks like a local Mr. Puniverse runner-up.

504129_thumbnail_280_mr_puniverse_2007_mr_puniverse_2007Ok, ok.  So maybe he wasn’t that small.  But whether it’s living in my neighborhood, or watching awesomely bad TV, I know the difference between homemade muscle and prison swole.  And this dude — with a headband, knee-high double-striped socks and a too-tight shirt tucked into stone-washed spandex trunks — was homemade muscle.  Let’s call him “Puny.”

The guy he’s yelling at is the manager, the captain of the place.  Let’s call him “The Captain.”


He’s standing behind the counter, near the thing that makes the shakes.  But he seems to want no part of the screaming.  Apparently, The Captain’s Log (read: franchise manager handbook) said that in moments like these, the first and only thing a manager should do is stand there talking to someone on his red Razr like nothing was happening.  He’s taking the passive-aggressive, don’t-solve-the-problem approach to problem-solving.

I have no idea how long this scene was playing out before I got there.  But after a few seconds, Puny is mad as hell and isn’t gonna take it anymore.  He is wild with his rage.  So you know what he does?

foodfightHe launches his bag of food into The Captain’s face at point blank range.

Unbefreakinglievably, The Captain sprints around the counter, around me, charging.  Changing his mind just before he speared/kicked/punched Puny, he pulls up and tries to just motion to Puny to leave.  I’m about a foot away from the madness.

Puny isn’t interested in leaving, though.  He backs up, gets into his stance and tells The Captain to, and I quote, “Do it.”  And, well, when someone asks you that politely to dance, you dance.  So The Captain drops into his stance and they start dancing.  Grannies are clutching their grandchildren.  All of the employees are just watching.

Now, this may be true for the ladies as well, but guys tend to know when another guy actually wants to swing.  If he’s gonna hit you, you’ve got maybe a few seconds.  But as soon as the guy crosses the 5 or so seconds mark of screaming, “Do it.  Hit me,” in your face — like he’s going ’round the mulberry bush rather than fighting — you can bet he’s not gonna throw first.

Why is this important?  Because it explains why I just stood there and didn’t do a damn thing.  They weren’t actually gonna fight mid-store.  And they didn’t.  A grandmother eventually steps forward and urged Puny to let it go.  I thought he did.  He goes out the door on the left and it seems we were getting back to normal.  The lady at the counter asks me what I wanted like nothing had happened.  She doesn’t even ask me, “Would you like a fight with that?”

As soon as I get my change, though, The Captain sprints out the door to the right followed by an eager employee.  So what do I do?  I sprint out the door to see wtf is gonna happen.  But either I got there late, or they went off somewhere else…  I go back inside.  I missed the action.

How did I know there was action?  The Captain comes back in the door with red marks on the left side of his face.  And you know what he does?  He pulls a Piper Palin and starts licking his bare hand and wiping his wounds.  Which is cool, which is cool.  Except he works in food service.  So when he heads straight for the fries and starts shoveling them into containers with his spit and blood and dirt and whatever was on Puny’s hands, I thank the baby jebus my fries were already in a bag and decide this just might actually be the best dining experience of my life.

¹See Chris Rock’s 2003 VMAs monologue at 4:00.

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