Sunday, May 26, 2013

Dear Men

There are three well known rules of men's bathroom etiquette:
1) Never talk to anyone who is touching their penis, or while you are touching yours.
2) If there are open urinals, do not use one directly next to a urinal that is already in use.
3) Never, under any circumstances, cross the streams.

I believe it is time that an unspoken rule, one that should be common sense, be made into rule number 4: never drop your pants at the urinal.

Do I really need to write this?  Was there some confusion?  Obviously, there has been, because I have walked into three bathrooms recently only to find some dude in tightey whiteys with his pants around his ankles, just peeing away like he was in the pool at the Y.  There is no reason to go into a drawn out monologue on this.  It is plain and simple: they put zippered or buttoned flies on men's pants so that you don't have to drop trou in public.  Are you that bad at peeing that you have too make sure that your pants are at least two feet from your penis while you go?

I have some bad news: the second they hit that floor, your hope of keeping them clean went by the wayside.  Public restrooms are urine soaked hellholes, and now so are your cargo shorts. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dear Cupcakes

I don't really drink anymore, and I never liked drugs, so I don't understand how I was so oblivious to your rise to power.  There hasn't been such an upsettingly absurd misplacement of praise since Jethro Tull took home the Grammy for Best Heavy Metal Album.  Things have gotten so bad that I am waiting for the FDA to classify you as a restricted addictive narcotic, because people have gone out of their damn  minds when it comes to cupcakes.

I am not saying that cupcakes are not delicious.  I am saying that the nationwide acclaim that has suddenly been bestowed upon them has normally been reserved for pop artists or Youtube sensations.  There are no less than three television shows dedicated to cupcake bakers, while there are no longer any television programs dedicated to pirate captain Black Jack Savage, or any of his 100 Lives.  My small county has three different cupcakes barons, and the cupcake warfare has taken to the streets.  Blood and frosting have mingled into a deadly and coppery tasting topping.

I was out running some errands, and happened across one of these dens of icing laden iniquity.  Thinking I would do something nice for my mother, who is fond of these dough grenades, I went in to buy a dozen.  I should have become alarmed when I saw that the menu was written out all on chalkboards, with different colored chalk and cutesy little pictures.  I cannot name a worthwhile foodstuff that I have ever consumed that had been written in chalk on slate.  Chalkboard menus are the restaurant's way of trying to convey "Look, we are quaint and cute!"  What they are saying is that their business model is flawed, and they are making it easier when the hipster coffee shop moves in to their recently vacated building next week and needs someplace to write their menu. Anyway, looking at the menu, I find such strange cupcakes as "Strawberry Lemonade", "Orange Soda", and "Shirley Temple".  My diabetes actually exploded just reading those.  They sounded about as appetizing as trying to shotgun a pint glass of dry Tang powder.  It was at this time, when I thought I couldn't have been less happy to be there, that I turned my head slightly to the right, and saw the true face of evil.

That was where I saw the prices.  When I walked into the store, I thought I might be able to get a dozen cupcakes for maybe $5 or $6.  That's roughly what it costs to buy bagel or doughnuts, so I didn't think that as unreasonable.  Each of these pastel covered confections cost $3. There was a break to buy four of them for $10.

The only reasons anyone should ever pay $3 apiece for a damn cupcake is if it:
1) Contains the antidote to what has poisoned you.
2) Has a golden ticket baked inside of it that lets you into Willy Wonka's Factory. 
3) It was once owned by Henry Rollins.  He would stare at it and laugh as he used his mind to burn fat and create even more muscle on his body.

You know the only baked good that is worth that kind of money?  Gooey Butter Cake.  Know what that is?  You take butter, cream cheese, the smiles of the angels, eggs, dragon's tears, and vanilla cake mix, and you make a gooey, orgasm inducing treat that is better than any cupcake that was ever made.

You can order one right here:  That place was down the street from my grandmother's house, and I would fight hobos to the death from here to Bensalem to get one. And guess what you depraved cupcake snobs?  A large, which is as big as any sheet cake that a grocery store would charge $20 for, only costs $9.95.

$9.95 for the second best thing you will have ever put in your mouth sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn't it?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

1992 Movie Quiz!

Hit the following link to take Open Letters to My Enemies 1992 Movies Quiz!

The winner to answer first with the most right answers will be announced tomorrow and gets to lord their knowledge over others!

1992- A Year in Cinema

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Lobster Boxers

First off, this letter isn't about small pairs of boxers made for lobsters to wear.  Clothing for lobsters is inappropriate and unnecessary.  Much like Al Roker, they have no shame, therefore, they need no clothes.

This is a letter about love, loss, and about not taking opportunities when they are presented to you.  

Late last summer, as the days began to grow shorter, Labor Day came and went in a blur of barbeque sauce and leftover fireworks, and the stifling humidity of Maryland continued unabated, I found myself at the local department store.  Their air conditioning is better than mine, and their taco-to-Greg ratio tends to be much higher than at my house, so it's not a bad place to be.  That day, my shopping list included new boxers.  Normally, I would grab a multipack and get out of there, but for some reason, that day, I stopped by the single pair "designer" boxers.  These are the ones that are supposedly better brands and materials than Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, with snazzier designs.  There were fireworks designs, and American flag designs left over from 4th of July, as well as a strangely terrifying pair that was covered in brightly colored pairs of boat shoes.   Nestled in between these garish undergarments was where I saw you.

You stood out from the others, with your understated design.  You were simple, which might be why I didn't completely appreciate you at the time.  All you were was a pair of blue boxers patterned with little red lobsters.  My frugality led me away from you, since you cost as much as two of the pairs I would normally buy.  Had I understood how special you were then, I would have bought three pairs of you, damning the cost.  I thought of you frequently the next couple of weeks.  You were an aching, a missing part of me.  You became the "Call Me Al" of boxer shorts.  On the surface, you were shiny, happy, and made me smile.  Also like that song, upon closer inspection you were kind of depressing.  Unlike the song, which is depressing because it is Paul Simon coming to grips with middle age, you depressed me because I was pining over a cheap pair of boxers.

I went to the store on my next day off, deadset on making you mine.  I went straight to the men's department, directly to the rack where I found you, and of course, all I found was an empty slot.  Since then, I've kept a silent and unwavering vigil for you.  I figured when summer came back, so would you, and I bode my time until we could finally be together.  Today, I decided would be the day.  I felt for sure that you would be there, waiting for me.  Instead, this is what I find:

It is mid May, and not only are you nowhere to be found, the store is still selling three, THREE different pairs of St. Patrick's Day themed boxers.  For some reason, only the pair to the left is considered so out of date to be on clearance.  The other two pairs are still at full rate.  I was so disappointed I almost didn't take this picture, and only put up the defense of "This is your fault.  I want lobsters, not clovers" to the store clerk that gave me an odd look for photographing men's underwear.

That clerk doesn't understand that she is looking at a broken man.  She is looking at a man from a timeline where he was too cheap to buy the pair of underwear that would make him happy.  He put a pricetag on boxer shorts that would have inevitably been his "lucky" pair, his "go to" pair.  They would be the pair he would be wearing when he struck it rich at a casino, or met the woman he would finally be happy with. What she is looking at is a man that roams the menswear aisle, hoping that one day he will go to that store, and you, you blessedly glorious construct of cotton and hope, will be in stock.

When that day comes, I will buy every pair of you that they have in my size, and we will be together every day of the week.  Until then, I will have an unhealthy insistence that if I only had a pair of lobster boxer shorts, my life would be tangibly better in so many ways. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dear DirecTV

I have been a loyal subscriber for over fifteen years.  I have slandered all other forms of satellite and cable providers, for one reason, and one reason only: you bring me Phillies games when they cannot.  My family got your service because you were the only way we could watch Phillies games on a regular basis in Maryland after we moved.  We continued our service in measured faithfulness for years of service, but you may have finally screwed the pooch on this one.  This is almost literal.  I would be only perceivably more appalled with you if I caught you in flagrante delecto with a canine.  That's how bad you have screwed up.  In the parlance of the kids these days, this is super serial.  It's so bad you made me repeat iditoic youthitudes.

How serious is my family about watching the Phillies?  Here is what happens on any given game night, with a 7:05PM game time with everyone home.  We finish dinner, and everyone sits in the living room.  The game has already been preselected to change to the correct channel at 7PM, right when the feed begins.  The widely held belief among Phillies fans is that since the death of Harry Kalas, the television announcers have been nothing but pedantic, asinine bores.  The radio feed, however, features ex relief pitcher Larry Anderson, who is the closest thing to Bob Uecker's Major League character I have ever seen.  He constantly threatens umpires on the air, openly mocks the other broadcasters, and once fell asleep through half of an inning.  Therefore, the television is muted, and the radio feed is played over the XM radio or computer to achieve the best overall Phillies viewing experience.  This is coming from a man who refuses to buy brand name things at the store because there is "no real difference".  I drank a sodas called "Dr. Bob" and "Triple Cola" for years.  I am fairly certain Triple Cola was repackaged Deet and the powdered, withered hopes and dreams of the downtrodden.  

Now, here is what you have done wrong.  When we first subscribed, there was a distinct honeymoon period.  Back then, you didn't air every game.  There were blackouts, but we got to see three or four games a week, which was better than only seeing them on nationally televised games three or four times a month.  In the past couple of years, your company really stepped up it's game to combat the internet packages that were becoming available.  I could easily watch both home and away games in HD or standard definition, and there was never a game blacked out.  That is four channels, every night, for every game.  This year, through 25 games, you've already blacked out an entire series, and only one game has been available on four channels.  Worse, it doesn't seem to matter if we are the home, or away team, because you no longer broadcast ANY of the Phillies home broadcasts.  In one fell swoop, you've erased all of the progress you made over ten years. 

I have only called you one time before, and that was an argument that went south quickly.  I saw a commercial where you offered all new subscribers the NFL package for free for an entire season.  I called and inquired, and of course, as an existing user, I was not eligible.  I was also not eligible for any sort of discount whatsoever, and your customer service told me not in so many words that you are only worried about attracting new customers, not making current ones happy.  I bid you a thousand plagues on your bloodline, and we parted ways with the NFL package.

This time, things went worse.  I turned the game on the one and only station it was listed on, only to find a black bar telling me that the game was unavailable.  Fed up, I called your customer service.  I work customer service, and I know how bad of a job it is, but it gets worse when you answer the phone ready to attack the customer.  I tod the lady my problem, and she responded, "That's not our fault."  I asked for clarification, and all I was told was, it "probably has something to do with the station."  I was then thanked rather sarcastically for my patronage, and hung up on.  At that point, I didn't have to worry about calling back and yelling at her.  I had slipped into what doctors call a fury coma, where the white hot intensity of my anger shuts down all bodily function in order to stop my from going Chernobyl.  Soothing whale noises and ukulele music are piped into my brain until things cool down, and I find myself twenty minutes later with no memory of what happened during that time.  I took to the internet and posted the complaint to you Facebook wall.  Instead of an enlightened, calm dialogue that I hoped to start, you simply found it easier to delete my comment. 

 Your problem now is that you have forced yourself to regress while your competitors have gotten better and better.  Your baseball package was convenient when I couldn't stream any other service over the television.  I have a Roku box which will play content.  Your package costs $199.99 for the season.  I am now getting only one feed, and it is not available for every game. costs $129.99.  It gives me the power to choose home or away feeds, and I can chose to use either the tv audio or radio audio, broadcast directly over the tv.  It also gives me DVR capabilities for the game, so I can immediately prove to my father that the pitch WAS out of the strike zone and that I AM RIGHT AND HE IS WRONG.

So, congratulations.  You have given me no choice but to give money to your competitors, because you refused to even discuss my problem.  This could have been avoided, but like any Chuck Lorre sitcom, you'd rather believe I am an idiot that will watch what you give me regardless of the quality.