Removing Political Stain

Dichotomy- “Being of two parts.  Having dual thinking…”

This definition may be the perfect way to describe American’s feelings toward their politicians.  Opinion polls consistently find good approval for the representatives of your district or state but a poor regard for the Congress as a whole…and EVERYONE feels this way.  So when you’re sitting at home complaining about Congress and the homers every other state is sending to Washington, your neighbor across the state line is wondering the same thing about you!  This development isn’t a complete surprise after all; each member of Congress is, in theory, beholden to the people of his own district.  He/she isn’t necessarily trying to impress those who will never cast a vote on their behalf.

To remedy this I have cobbled together a powerful set of suggestions that I firmly believe will set you on a course to nationwide acceptance.  In fact, using my techniques I can almost guarantee that even though some people will disagree with your take on the issues…they will at least avoid shading you as just another politician.  Take my word on this then HIRE me as a consultant (pay and perks to be discussed later).

Handy Steps to Wiping Off the Political Stink

Step One – Rediscover the art of saying nothing.

Why in the name of Calvin Coolidge are you forced to give an answer to every question you’re asked.  Make your words count!  It’s easy to tell when a political leader doesn’t have an answer.  He will start yapping about something else entirely for at least thirty seconds (the time it takes for most people to forget the question) then stop and act like his answer was clear.  Let ME be clear…Your answer was wasted air and all the words you just wasted will go a long way to drowning out the clear responses you want people to hear.

Of course if he has an answer but doesn’t want to use it, then we are subjected to a repeat of something he’s said earlier.  He may begin with, “As I’ve previously stated…” or “Let me regurgitate – I mean reiterate – what I’ve said before.”

How about this…”I’m not addressing that issue right now.” or the classic, “No comment, next question please.”  I know the second quote makes you seem a bit dodgy but not HALF as much as blabbing your way around a question.

Step Two – Refuse to use (or overuse) statistics.

Thanks to the wonders of photo shop programs the camera can now lie and we have number wonks that can make statistics do the same thing.  Take ANY issue and ask each side to find “hard data” to back up their positions.  What are the chances that one side will return and confess, “You know what…we got nothing.”

No one trusts statistics any more.  The first thing that goes through my head when I hear politicians use them is, “What hidden variable are they neglecting to tell us?”

Here’s the idea.  Because people are skeptical of statistics, refrain from using them.  Say things that the average listener will remember. No one remembers all the numbers politicians throw out.  Make concrete statements about your placement on the issues.  And if your opponent is throwing out numbers that are cooked, say so.  Post debunks on your website or offer them in your next interview…it’s a good way to discredit him.

(My head splits completely in two when I hear that a new program is completely paid for only to find out later that it is coming from “future savings” or “projected budget surpluses.”  Does anyone else hear Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons saying, “I’ll gladly pay you a dollar tomorrow for a hamburger today.”  It’s worth noting that I’ve never seen Wimpy offer Popeye a dime.)

Step Three – Give the vote back to the People

I know this will sound revolutionary but I’m confident it will work.  Pull the latest entitlement program or tax cut out of your platform and offer the American People their vote back!

Abortion, gay marriage, marijuana, school bussing, even allowing folks to text while driving should all be left for the states to decide.  Wouldn’t it be crazy if the citizens of each state voted on their own laws?  You know, give the people their votes back.  Currently some of our congressmen are working a law to make texting while driving illegal by a federal government mandate…and states can’t handle this?  What part of the constitution mentions abortion?  It doesn’t…which means a high school government class means more than the law degrees and experience of nearly half our Supreme Court justices!

Instead of doing what many of our politicians perform so well (creating mandates) offer the people the option of ruling themselves.

Hair (check), suit (check), evasive answers (check), long worn policies (check), sloppy stats (check)…
Hair (check), suit (check), evasive answers (check), long worn policies (check), sloppy stats (check)…

The Truth & Media Bias

Professor Forsythe scratches he beard even though it doesn’t itch.  It’s a compulsive habit akin to others rubbing their hands, adjusting their glasses, or stress sweating.  The late summer heat has forced him into a nice floral polo instead of his usual suit coat and slacks.  He knows he looks less intellectual and authoritative which only makes him scratch his beard all the more. 

His class is a collection of impassive youths looking only for some easy credit and nothing more.  For some reason they resent him for his eight o’clock class even though they are the ones who signed up for it.  Forsythe takes another quick look at his notes and right there decides to teach them anyway.

“Ok, let’s begin with trust because you can’t be an effective source of information unless those who are listening trust you.  I am correct in this.  Now you trust someone when you understand their motivation – where they’re coming from. 

For example, when you go out to eat with your mother and she offers to pay, you don’t think a thing of it.  You trust her because you know she loves you and wants to see you feed.  You understand her motivation.  Now if you go out to eat with your roommate and he offers to pay for the meal; you’re curious.  You think, ‘What in the #$%!!!$% is this joker doing trying to pay for my deep fried apple pie?”

Forsythe waits for chuckles…nothing.

“Anyway, you don’t trust your roommate because you don’t understand his motivation.  You want to know what’s going on behind the curtain.  You see, trust is when you understand what motivates a person.  When you have a good idea what’s going on inside the other person’s brain, only then are you at ease.”

The professor flips to the second page of his notes.  “Let’s jump to the media.  People claim that there is bias in the media and they’re right.  It’s professional for journalists to just state the facts but it’s impossible for journalists to completely unplug their own opinions about the situation.  Do you honestly believe that those that own media outlets and those that craft the message do nothing to shade their own point of view?  I don’t believe it and neither should you.

“I was listening to public radio on the way to class today.  Now I believe that public radio leans left.  Can I prove it?  No, but listen to this…I could make a case that it has a liberal bias based on a lot of coincidental evidence but there is no way on God’s green earth I could make a case for it drifting right.  Do you see what I mean?  I take everything they say with a grain of salt because I don’t trust them.  I can’t be sure where they’re coming from especially since Bush spent his term in office trying to nix their funding and Obama solidified it.  Which way would you shade?”

It’s difficult to tell if any of the young people are listening.  Forsythe is sure some of them are hiding their tiny earphones under their ridiculously long hair. 

“Here’s the solution.  I also listen to conservative talk radio.  I find it much easier to listen to because they make no bones about where they’re coming from!  There’s no subversion there.  They freely admit – no proclaim – that they ride the right wing.  It’s informative AND interesting!  Some of you may tap into liberal blogs.  Hey, you may not be able to trust the all the facts but at least you know where they writer is coming from.”

The professor stops to accentuate his point.  “The idea of an unbiased media is a noble one but it’s much like a utopia – it doesn’t exist and never will.  If you want balance, shouldn’t you take your news from multiple sources?  You know, hear both arguments?”

A cell phone goes off and the kids begin shuffling out.  The classroom quickly grows quiet. 
“Maybe I’ll do something useful today.”  Forsythe says to himself.  “I think I’ll dye my beard to match my favorite suit coat.”

Drama Mama

Nichole wanders into the guard break room at the pool in a bit of a huff.  “Uh, hello Mr. T.  How are you?”

I look up from a pool supply catalog (sixty pound bucket of chlorine briquettes for a hundred bucks…HOLY COW!…whew, that sump pump has some nice curves.).  “Well, hello Nichole.  You don’t sound very good what’s the problem?  As if I care.”

She sets her purse down and immediately pulls out her cell phone.  “It’s comical really.  My friends showed up at my apartment last night to stage some sort of friend intervention.”

“A friend intervention?  Why, because you’re huffing furniture polish or what?”

She’s already texting someone.  “No, they were just concerned about the health of our friendship.  I laughed through it really.  It was hard to take seriously.  But the real issue was them coming to the outdoor pool while I was on the stand, going into the break room, and taking my car keys.  They went through my car looking for something.”

“Uh…ok.”  There was really only one way to respond.  “You need to move away.  That’s what I would do.”

Nichole’s phone beeps indicating a new text message.  “Very funny, Mr. T.”

As the Internet and especially the cell phone work to connect society at the hip, a dangerous development has occured.  Drama queens and kings can now ramp up their dalliances like electrons in a particle accelerator.   There’s never an opportunity for the worked up parties to go to their corners and take a quick break.

Here are a few simple steps to breaking the hold “drama” may have on you…

Step One – Graduate From High School

Responsibilities are the natural cure for drama and we all know how responsible high schoolers are.  If you’re busy with the things that matter in life (NOT zits, prom, algebra), then there’s precious little room for drama.  In short, “Get a post high school life.”  NOTE: Sororities and/or fraternities retard this development.

Step Two – Take A Powerful Disinterest In Other People

Hey kids!  The phrase, “I don’t care” that you use so deftly with your parents and teachers also works on Sally’s opinion of Bobby Joe’s new hairdo.  If you must comment, just keep it dull or positive…people will tire of asking you.

Step Three – Get Rid Of The Cell Phone

You can live without it.  You can live without it.  You can live without it.  You can live without it. 

Also, take the four hundred dollars your spending on whatever plan you have and dump the money into ice cream.  Trust me…you won’t regret it.

Step Four – Move Away

Really, I wasn’t kidding.  It’s like hitting the reset button.  Try it sometime.

People People

You’ve heard it before, “I’m a people person…I just like people.”  Some folks admit this during a job interview as if it were some sort of skill.

Interviewee:  “Yea, I went to Oxford and majored in People Studies.  You know, I saw a lot of them growing up and I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.  Figure out what it’s like to be a person.’   I used to catch young ones and stick them into a refrigerator box.  You know, we’ve all done it.  I tried to take care of them but my father eventually made me let them go free.  I’m a people person…you know…I just like people.”

Potential Employer:  “Well, in Women’s Studies you’re major would be more rounded.”

There are benefits to being a “People Person” (henceforth referred to as a PeePer).  Each personal contact for a PeePer is a potential resource.  If you need a deal on a used car, a PeePer knows someone who can get you a deal.  Peepers are never without a date book thick with parties and coming events.  Peepers are never unemployed long because one of their friends knows someone who is hiring. 

I would not be considered a PeePer.  In fact, I usually couldn’t care less about you.  I’ve been attending my current church for five years and I’ve just learned half the names.  When people begin conversations with, “I…” a dull usually settles over my face.

Test for Being a People Person or “PeePer.”

1-  Do you bump into folks you know in restaurants or stores?
10 pts.  Often    
7 pts.  Sometimes  
4 pts.  Rarely  
1 pt.  I know the waiter’s name

2-   When you need to move there are ___________ people you can ask.
 10 pts.  Five or More   
7 pts.  Three or Four  
4 pts.  Two or Less 
1 pt.  Homeless

3- How many neighbors are you on “wave hi” basis with?
10 pts.  Five or More   
7 pts.  Three or Four  
4 pts. One or Two
1 pt.   My Neighbors Carry Disease

4- How many people attended your wedding (if single, guesstimate)?
10 pts.  Over 200
7 pts.  Between 100 – 200  
4 pts. Less than 100
1 pt. We Got Everyone in the Wedding Album!

5- When was the last time you made a new friend?
10 pts.  Last Week   
7 pts.  Within the Last Month  
4 pts. Within the Last Year
1 pt.   Do Online Friends Count?

6- How often do you eat with your coworkers?
10 pts. Four or  Five Days a Week 
7 pts.  Two or Three Days a Week
4 pts. Once a Week
1 pt.   I read blogs during lunch

7-  How many Degrees are you from Kevin Bacon?
 10 pts.  I can get to Him Several Different Ways
 7 pts. Within Seven
 4 pts.  “How the Heck should I know?!”
 1 pt. “I know someone with red hair.”

8- How many folks from High School do you keep up with?
 10 pts. Five or More
 7 pts. Three or Four
 4 pts.  One or Two
 1 pt. “I’ve still got my yearbook…someplace.”

9- How many Super Bowl Parties do you have the option of attending?
 10 pts.  Four or More
 7 pts. Two or Three
 4 pts.  “One, but that’s ok.”
 1 pt. “By Myself I don’t have to Share the Chips.”

10-  Be Honest, what is Your Attitude about the People Around You?
 10 pts.  Everyone has a Story!
 7 pts.    Meeting New People is Generally Pleasant.
 4 pts.  I’m Suspicious of Strangers
 1 pt. Don’t They Have Family They Can Bother?

Peeper Scale  

70 to 100 – “Yo, I’m definitely a PeePer!”

40 to 69   –  “I’m generally nice to just the good looking folks.”

 10 to 39   –  “If everyone was just like me that would be cool.”

0 to 10      –  “I invented the Pet Rock.”

Don’t Regret What You Deserve

The scene: A psychiatrist’s office.  Matt Teply is reclining on a plush leather sofa.  His eyes wander the textured ceiling.  Amidst the specks of ceiling paint he looks for shapes and faces.  So far, he’s found three Virgin Marys and a Tyrannosaurs Rex. 

A tall bald man with wire-rimmed glasses sits in a swivel chair taking notes on a legal pad.  There’s a bowl of mixed nuts on a small end table.  He appears to like nuts.

Shrink: Ok, let’s get started. (bumps up glasses with index finger)  You’re here because you’ve lost patience with mankind.  You explode into episodes of quiet mental torment whenever you hear certain phrases used.  Hmmmm, quiet explosions, eh?  This is fascinating.  Tell me, what makes you think anyone cares what you think?  Was it your mother?  (rubs chin)   

Matt:  I kinda thought saying they were quiet explosions gave it a sleeping intensity…you know what I mean?

Shrink:  No.  (snaps his suspenders with his thumb)  Ok, this may sound a bit radical but why don’t you go ahead and tell me about it.

Matt: (nods vigorously) Sure.  People keep using phrases that absolutely drive me insane! 

Shrink:  Can you give me an example?

Matt:  When someone begins a sentence with, “I deserve…” it really doesn’t matter what comes next I’m probably not going to like it.  (lifts his hands toward the ceiling)  I mean, what do we really deserve anyway?  Is there a chart out there that shows which experiences or accomplishments result in you deserving this or that?

Shrink:  (taps his gold plated pen against his memo pad and honestly believes he deserved platinum.)  Matt, I suppose it’s a matter of personal estimation.  It’s like rewarding yourself for a job well done.

Matt:  Really?  Should we allow folks to make judgments on their own work?  Don’t you see a conflict of interest here?  I mean Lil’Bling decides he deserves a two-week vacation because his rap album sold thirty-four million copies.  How did he get that number?  Did he not work hard enough for three weeks?  

Shrink:  What are you some sort of hater?

Matt:  (flashing gang signs) Dude, I’m on the down low.  But when you say, deserve something, your surgically removing any link to an important trait, gratitude.  In other words, I deserve this so why should I be grateful to have it?  (begins showing signs of anger)  After all, I DESERVE THIS!

Shrink:  All right, let’s just calm down.  (looks at the clock and winces – there’s still a lot of time left)  So, what do people deserve?

Matt:  How should I know?!  Considering the way many people in the world are forced to live you’d think everything we enjoy would be flavored with a pinch of gratitude, anything else just comes across as arrogant.

Shrink:  Ok, this is something that is out of your control.  What is in your control, especially after help from my prescription pad, is your anti-social, compulsively idealistic, psycho-sclerosis.  (takes a walnut and cracks it open)  Is there anything else that bothers you so?

Matt: (heavy sigh) Yes, I despise it when someone says, “I have no regrets” at the conclusion of something that obviously didn’t work out right.  C’mon!  Nobody passes a test and walks away saying, “I did my best.  No regrets.”  If everything had worked out perfectly, someone would never add, “No regrets.”  I mean, am I wrong here? 

If you messed up, then you should have regrets!!  (fists are clenched)  Small ones or big ones take your pick but I know they’re there!! 

Shrink:  Hmmm, this is a problem.  (admires the grapevine he’s doodling across the top of his paper)   You know there’s a forum for pointless harangues that my suit you perfectly.   Have you ever considered blogging?

The Name of Nonsense

Reader Advisement – All of the following names are actual names.  No stunt names were used for this post.

I’m sitting in the aquatics office at the recreation center filling out my time sheet for the week.  College age kids surround me yapping about the important activities on their social slate.  I’m eavesdropping as I fill out my timesheet.  I guess I’m a little jealous of the flexibility they still enjoy.

Megan is speaking to Forrest.  “So Trebor said she’d come Saturday but only if one of her boyfriends isn’t too hungover.  Anyway, it’s a fifty/fifty shot then.”

Forrest’s expression doesn’t change.  “The Saturday after student loan checks come in?  Don’t bet on it.  The chances are a little closer to, uh, seventy/forty.”

I raised my head.  Slang may have far outpaced me but I thought we still used female pronouns with females.  “Are you guys talking about a girl or guy here?  Trebor is a man right?”

“No Mr.T it’s a girl.  Her name is Trebor Atkins.  She is a member of our sorority.”

I spoke slower.  “Trebor is a girl.”

“Yes, Mr.T.”  Megan rolls her eyes.  “Now if you’ll excuse me, I haven’t texted anyone in the last ten minutes and I think my thumbs are going through withdrawal.”

This got me thinking…

Why do many people insist on creating their own names?   Don’t we have plenty of good ones to chose from?  Giving your child a far out name to make them unique is a little like giving them a third eye to accomplish the same purpose.  Their name makes them unique in the same way freak show exhibits are unique. 

Listen to this…Kids will make themselves unique on their own! 

This doesn’t stop new parents from acting a little like Dr. Frankenstein with a table full of dead syllables and prefixes.  The worst example I’ve ever come across was a girl named Ja-a.  Confused?  It’s pronounced Ja-dash-a.  You know, Jadasha only spelled Ja-a.  GOOD LUCK KID! 

Let’s hope her middle name isn’t Dumb*.
Hey, what do you think of the following?  “La-David” for when David is just too normal.  “Tyquasia” which is Swahili for “typhoon-hitting-Asia.”  The only thing I know for sure about the next name is that you won’t find it on any gift store coffee mug.  Ladies and gentleman let me introduce you to…”Walshaude”  (I think I just broke spell check.)

Here’s a situation that I may never get over.  There is a group of six children that come to the pool often.  All have the same mother but Father’s Day requires them to go over their monthly minutes.  This means they almost all have different last names.  To help bind her genetically diverse family together, this mother gave all of her children’s names the same prefix!  Holy cow that’s genius!

Here we go…Quad-Shawn, Quad-Shay, Quad-Lawrence, Quad-Rick, Quad-Tavious, and Quad-Esha.  To be honest, I have no idea whether the dashes are in there or not.  Maybe we should ask Ja-a?

Fine, here’s one more story.  Sometime ago Brother Teply worked at a Wendy’s.  One of his coworkers was a girl named Tyrani.  Don’t work too hard.  It’s pronounced tyranny.

My brother addresses his coworker.  “So, why did your parents name you after a repressive form of government?  Do you have a brother named Despotism?”

She gives Brother Teply a confused look.  “What are you talking about?  My mother came up with my name.”

Need I say more?

Honorary Pomp

It’s one of my worst nightmares.  I’m sitting in the middle of a large auditorium surrounded on every side by chattering, joking, and obnoxious middle school students.  There are limited exits and if they wanted to, these uncouth hooligans could swallow me before reaching one.  The throng is loud, rude, and out of dress code!  And the worst of it…I am chained to my seat not by braided loops of iron but by a device far more sinister…I was at work.


The students and staff at Clownsworth Middle School are assembled to hear a special guest speaker.  Information the faculty received boasted about Dr. Nancy Hooping-Blather.  She was the mother of a famous athlete and she busied herself by touring as a motivational speaker.  She wore the ever-professional female suit and was introduced by a stunning audio-visual presentation.  (As soon as the tech folks at school could get it started for her…oops.)


So,” I mumbled to the teacher beside me.  So, she keeps referring to herself as Doctor Hooping-Blather.  But what is her degree in?  Do you know?”


“Well, it’s an honorary degree.”


“And it’s supposed to carry as much weight as someone who’s actually earned their doctorate?”


“Yes, she’s Dr. Nancy Hooping-Blather.  Didn’t you see her business cards and name tag?”


One of my eyes narrowed a bit perfecting the disgusted/discounting expression.  “Then how about we call her Honorary Doctor and make it an abbreviation before her name like, say…Ho. Nancy?”


“That just won’t catch on.”


Dr. Hooping-Blather’s discourse on making proper choices and directing one’s life was good, but I was still stuck on the honorary degree.  Afterward, I went to the good Doctor’s homepage to find out that other than her honorary degree, she’d never received anything other than her high school diploma!  This needed to be addressed.  Behold…




Rule #1- Any honorary degree you receive only promotes you ONE level.  In other words, if you have a bachelor’s the only honorary degree you can receive would be a master’s.  If you have never set foot in a college classroom, then the generous institution may give you an honorary bachelor’s. 


Rule #2- You may only receive ONE honorary degree during your lifetime.


Rule #3 (Just because) – You must write a five page paper (due before Spring Break) on why it is important for everyone to call those who’ve earned the highest degree to be called Doctor So-And-So.  



Failing Parents

The pile of report cards sat on the table and I began to leaf through them.  “Marisa York…looks like she’ll pass with mostly Bs.  Stacy Dreyfuss (I cringe)…one F and the rest are low Cs.  I guess she’ll pass.”

Then I come upon Lamar Williamson’s report card.  “Eeeeow.”  I knew it was going to be bad but I was unprepared for the true damage.  “Let’s see, four Fs and one D.  But it looks like he passed art during the second six weeks.  The final exam must be finger painting.”

Lamar isn’t really that dumb.  The hamster does turn the exercise wheel just not very fast.  I gave his math grades a much closer examination.  “Sixty for the first six weeks.  Sixty-two was earned for the second six weeks.  Another sixty shows up before Christmas. And so it goes.”

I look up and speak directly to the teacher across the table from me.  She’s examining report cards for failing students as well.  “Mrs. Motter, do you have any idea how Lamar has done this year?”

She rolls her eyes.  “Well, that kind of question really wouldn’t tax my psychic powers.  Why don’t you try something a bit harder?”

“He hasn’t come even close to passing at any point this year.”  I waved the paper in front of her.  “I’m not shocked either but every now and then I did catch him dulling his pencil on paper.  Why haven’t we heard from his parents?”

“Don’t you know?  Now-a-days it’s our responsibility.”

“Quit toying with me for a minute.  The parents see the report card and notice that by winter break their son has earned three solid Fs.  Don’t you do something about it?  Why not schedule a conference to talk to the teachers about it?”

Mr. Young, who was sitting down the table from me, spoke up.  “A lot of the time they don’t see them.  I’ve had parents come up on the last day of school and claim that they had no idea their kid was failing!  When we ask them if they’d seen their kid’s report cards, they say they had no idea when they came out!  I’m not kidding here!”

My eyes narrowed.  “What?  That’s the absolute dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.  It’s April folks!  We’ve been in school for ten months!  We’ve issued a report card!  Hey, sometime during supper ask!  Aren’t these folks even the least bit curious?!  If you love your child at all, wouldn’t you at least try to do something?”

Mrs. Motter spoke up again.  “Lamar has two older brothers who are in jail.  I think the parents are only here to breed inmates for us.”

That surprised me.  “Well, if these parents aren’t interested in raising the kids, why have them?”

“Tax break.”

“It’s too easy to have one.”

I shuffled Lamar’s report card to the failure pile.  “Then there are only two things left to say.  One, no one has the authority to tell adults they cannot have a child.  Two, many people should definitely refrain anyway.”

The Complaint Department

What is in the human blueprint that allows us to complain without end?  Like the unfixable reaches of space or time’s infinite weave, the only thing that limits someone’s ability to complain is the length of our lifespan.  Sometimes it’s justified; most often it’s pointless and repetitive.  To the objective listener, it almost always casts the complainer in a bad light. 

With that in mind, I’d like to present to you may list of complaints in no particular order. 

#1-  KFC’s Chicken “Sandwich” –  I’m not a big fan of fried chicken so it’s a rare occasion to find me sitting in a Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Now, you’d have a better chance of finding me in a Bohemian Fried Dodo. 

After a morning of garage sales with my wife (note:  Not only was this my last time in a KFC it was also the last time I wasted time looking at other’s junk.)  Melissa convinced me to stop at a KFC because it was “on the way.”  I relented.  Since I didn’t care for fried chicken, I choose what should be a safe choice at a restaurant specializing in chicken…a common chicken sandwich.

I received a sagging, squished, white bun and a piece of dry chicken product.  If KFC can’t do a chicken sandwich right, it’s a good thing I didn’t order the Colonel’s beef burrito.

#2 – Showers Left on in the Locker Room – It’s not terribly unusual to walk into the men’s locker room and find one or two showers running full blast with NO ONE IN SIGHT!  Who knows how long they’ve been running?!  Listen to this…someone waltzed in, turned the faucet, soaked up some hot water, then WALKED AWAY LEAVING THE HOT WATER RUNNING! 

If you throw trash out your car window, you’re thoughtless but at least you have a cleaner car.  If you’re done with the shower, why wouldn’t you twist the handle and shut it off?  It takes .3245 of a second!  (I think these are the same people who leave poop in the bowl with no toilet paper.  So, not only did they forget to flush but they also forgot to…   Happens all the time.)

#3 – Nine and Ten Year Olds that Carry Middle-Aged Bellies- I see this at the pool all the time.  A young boy who’s carrying too much weight…waaaay too much weight.  My problem isn’t with the kid; it’s with the parents.  In a very real way, I become angry with parents that let their children put on so many pounds.  Let’s see…it compromises their confidence and how they will come to perceive themselves as adults WITH THE ADDED BONUS of getting a much advanced start on destroying their health. 

Would these parents bother to pull their kids out of the way of a semi-truck?  Of course!  Would they save them from a lifetime of embarrassment and health problems?  Nope.
#4 – Seventh Graders – I teach them so, well, that’s it.  The book would write itself.

#5 – Marriage nixing The Thrill of New Love – A good marriage is one of the sweetest pleasures in life and is defiantly the weightier of these two.  That being said…what a shame to miss the thrill of finding a new love or the potential that comes with flirting with someone new.  The extra long stare from someone you just meant and the almost unlimited potential that person represents.  One implied part of saying, “I do” is saying, “I won’t.”

#6 – No Milk in the Refrigerator – Is there one food staple that you ABSOULUTLY must have in the house or you’re unhappy?  If you don’t have it, it throws your entire day or routine into a tailspin?  Maybe it’s coffee, bread or (but hopefully not) beer. 

Wow.  It looks like I was right.  Writing a complaint post WAS easy!

Law of Diminishing Return

“Ok, today we’re talking about something extreeeemleeee important.  Please stop texting your love interests and drunken roommates.”

Almost half of the student’s heads turned up to make sure the prof wasn’t speaking directly to them.

“And those of you in the back…yea, I’m speaking to you…you’re not fooling anyone!  Stop surfing the Internet for a while and take some actual notes!”

A quieted voice from somewhere in the back responded, “We don’t say ‘surf’ anymore.”

Dr. Balzag was a short, bearded man with slightly overgrown eyebrows and hard-core bend toward the old fashioned.  He took pride in his tweed suits and bow ties.  Wearing open toed sandals was a bone he threw to the other wacko professors in his department and he still hadn’t been invited to any Friday afternoon faculty meetings!

He began again with a voice that could cleave stone.  “The Law of Diminishing Return states, ‘Some is needed, more is better, and much is for suckers.

Here’s what I mean.  If I were to offer each of you a banana, most of you would eat it since the greasy hair, ball caps, and frumpled sweatshirts indicate most of you rolled out of bed and didn’t stop until you bumped into your desk.   It’s good to eat a banana because it’s good for you and helps fill your stomach.  Eating a second one wouldn’t hurt either.  No doubt, your bodies could use the potassium.  But what if you ate a third then a fourth?  How many could you down before your body began flushing out the potassium without making use of it?  Or just up chuck?”

Another weak voice from the back said, “The same goes for tweed grandpa.”

Dr. Balzag pulled a small, toy car out of his pocket.  “Take a car for example.  For $12,000 dollars you can buy a reliable, new car to get you where you need to go.  Throw in another $10,000 dollars and maybe you’ll get there with a little more comfort but that last $10,000 isn’t accomplishing nearly as much as the first $12,000 did.  And for those who buy a $60,000 automobile, they are essentially taping the last $30,000 to the outside of their car just for others to take note.”

“Don’t be hating on my pimp sled, doc.”

A quick rub of the temples and the good professor finished his point.  “Alright, you split one pitcher of beer and you feel good, two and your just additionally drunk, and three…” Dr. Balzag scowls and gives the thumbs down.  “…three and you’re passed out completely.  You’ll miss your good time completely.”

There was silence for a moment before, “But I’ve got enough money for three.”