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People Watching

March 31, 2009 9 comments

**This is yet another wonderful video post!  I just wanted to remind everyone that if you enjoy these videos, please pass this post (or at least the videos on YouTube) on to everyone you know.  Thank you for your help!**

I admit it; I am a “People Watcher”.  I enjoy observing others in their natural habitat as they go about their daily business.  It would absolutely blow your mind to see what I see when I see it after what is seen has been seen by me when it was available to be seen.

Seen.

Anyway, people watching is best when you do not get caught doing it.  Unsuspecting people will go about their embarrassing business, all the while being viewed as complete deviants in society’s eyes.  It really brings joy to my heart.  I believe it will do the same for you.  As always, I’m here to let you live vicariously through my experiences.  It allows you all the rewards of my life without the risk of being viewed as a sociopath by the elderly, mental health professionals, and my mom.

In my line of work, you see a great many things.  Mostly, when I get home, I wish I could wash my eyes out with soap.  Industrial grade soap that can take the barnacles off an ocean liner.  I’ve made it my duty to document the things I’ve seen and present them in snack-size tidbits for your enjoyment.  Without further delay, here are the most interesting situations in which people watching is a must.

A Moment in Time

As all husbands know, there is a particular time when we all must go to the grocery store without our wives in order to help her in times of trouble.  As men, we are utterly helpless when it comes to shopping for our significant others.  This is very well spelled out in my previous post, Up to My Elbows in Tampons.  I supremely enjoy watching as men fumble through “that section” looking for the right product, all the while on the phone with an increasingly irritable spouse.  Join me as I spy on such a man wander about in befuddlement.

As you can see from the clip above, no man wants to be caught dead purchasing that kind of item.  However, I have caught him very much alive and ashamed.  God bless him for performing such a selfless act of bravery and disgrace.

Flipping Through the Pages of Time

It takes a big man to admit he enjoys a publication like Redbook, or to a less respectable extent, O Magazine.  It takes an even bigger man to watch the big man pick out his favorite magazine without laughing.  With a little luck, and non-squeaky shoes, you can view this specimen undetected.  Fully engrossed in feminine pursuits like recipe-hunting to looking for that perfect quilting pattern, you can pretty well approach this man with all the subtlety of a bulldozer and still maintain the element of surprise.  Let’s take a look!

No, Daniel.  No.

Underage and Overzealous

Let’s get straight to the point here.  Watching high schoolers try to beat the system of age restriction on beer is one of the bright spots in my otherwise mundane existence.  For some reason, underage kids think that acting natural when attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages will stop anyone from carding them.  I’ve noticed that if you can throw such offenders off their game, then they will subconsciously come clean before reaching the checkout.  It tickles me pink (more of a fuchsia really, but I won’t split hairs) every time I can make one of these kids twist in the wind like, well, some sort of kid-shaped windsock.  I’m out of similes, so sue me.  I’m like a simile machine that has run out of gasoline (“petrol” to my European audience).  Without any comparison, here’s another excerpt from my life.

I’ll bet I look that creepy in real life.  No wonder high schoolers are scared of me.

The Lesser of Two Evils

Some high schoolers cannot be shamed away from booze.  I do my best to sit back and observe, but I can’t always subtly deflect illicit behavior merely with my presence.  I hate to get involved.  When I put my foot down in a situation, just know I had no other choice.  Let’s check back on the same liquor section after hours . . .

I tried not to get involved.  I really did.  He left me no options, as you could very well see.

Not Making This Up

In retrospect, I need to maintain a better distance from my viewing subjects.  I’ve become so comfortable that I’ve lost all sense of boundaries.  I must remember to stand behind something that hides me better than in the past couple of videos.  I wasn’t using much imagination, I admit.  I promise to make better use of my surroundings in the near future.

If you are really lucky as a people watcher, you will stumble upon the rarest of opportunities: a man purchasing something for himself that he would rather you not know about.  I’d say more, but it would take away from the video directly below this sentence.

Consider your mind officially blown.

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Trouble Brewing, Part 2

March 28, 2009 13 comments

This, of course, is a follow-up to my first post about gaseous emissions, Trouble Brewing.  Click that link to get up to speed, because I’m going to hit the ground running here.  You won’t want to be left behind in a thick, hazy green fog, so to speak.

My production team and I went to a local grocery store this week to document the phenomenon we already know as “Every Time I Fart In a Quiet Place, Someone Comes to Where I Am Immediately and Curses My Name”.

Duck and Cover

I have worked on my exit strategy since the first installment of “Trouble Brewing”, and I can mostly make my escape before being detected.  Sometimes, though, someone will come out of literally NOWHERE and need something from me.  The trick is to get the customer out of there with all the urgency of a Secret Service agent getting the President out of a room after shots have been fired.  It doesn’t matter how empty an aisle is, someone can materialize out of thin air and put themselves right in the line of fire.

I have in my possession an instructional video from the 1920’s of how to escape a bad gas situation with little embarrassment.  It’s a silent film, but I think you’ll still get the gist of it.  The picture quality has deteriorated slightly, but if you look closely, you can still make out the major players in the story.  The guy portraying the grocer was a big star in his day, because he was so stinking good-looking.  Here goes nothing:

This video covers all the basics.  It was quite informative, wasn’t it?  If you get caught in a cloud of your own sewage with an innocent bystander, get him or her out of there (as the video would say) posthaste!

Collateral Damage

No matter how devoid of customers a store is, there is never really a safe place to let one rip.  As I mentioned in the previous “Trouble Brewing” post, a customer will always need something where I am right after I finish sandblasting.  The more safe I believe it is when I blow my horn, the more customers will swoop in to unknowingly seal their fate.  Sometimes there are so many that I’d think a bus dropped off a load of people just for me.

Below is a video that is based on actual events.  Enjoy!

Sometimes, casualties are unavoidable.  It’s a sad fact of life, but it must be brought to light in order to avoid such situations.

Cast and Crew

Many thanks to these brave souls who took time out of their busy schedules to be a part of something so heart-warming and relevant to our day.  I’ll leave you with this:

One last thought: If you enjoyed this post, then please share this blog with as many people as possible.  I’d love for one of these to be the next big viral video!

It’s Okay to Hug

March 24, 2009 7 comments

I can’t begin to tell you how many times other men walk right up and ask me: “Can I please hug you?”  I don’t know if it’s my magnetic approachability or the way I’ve been able to connect with you, my audience, that causes people to step into my bubble.  I always decline, of course.  I follow very strict guidelines (or man laws) when it comes to “man hugs“.  There are very, very few instances in which it is acceptable for two men to “Front Hug”.  Fortunately, there are many other great alternatives to such feminine displays of camaraderie.  Which type of gesture you use depends on how well you know the person and the situation in which the interaction is taking place.  It falls within the jurisdiction of “man laws”.

The Handshake

The most impersonal of all the hug substitutes, the Handshake is most versatile.  However, it can be a little tricky.  You don’t want to overpower the other person with a Kung-Fu grip, but you also don’t want to hold your hand out like a dead rooster’s comb willed with Sugar-Free Cranberry Jell-O.  When executed properly, a firm handshake establishes you as an equal with:

–Business associates

–Personal acquaintances

–Co-workers

–Anyone else with whom you’d rather not come into full contact, like in-laws

Side Hug

This is more personal than a handshake, because it involves putting your arm around another guy.  It’s one of the best ways to convey sorrow and empathy for men who have had a medium-sized catastrophe in their lives.  It says, “Hey buddy, I’m here for you, but I respect your personal space as a man.”  You can feel that you have properly shown adequate sympathy when your:

–Friend has lost his foot to gangrene

–Friend has lost his pet to vehicular corpsification

–Friend has lost house to gambling addiction

Handshake-to-Hug

This is a very respectable way in which to dole out a hug.  It starts in a non-threatening way, but goes in for a one-arm front hug while the hands that are engaged in the handshake are creating a healthy boundary between the two men.  While good for establishing limits in closeness, it is still a meaningful display of manly appreciation.  The handshake-to-hug makes perfect sense when you will be hugging:

–Your son, on his birthday

–Your boss, when you really want that raise (also, throw in a wink)

–Anyone else you might know well, like your father

Front Hugs

Most men know better than to hand out Front Hugs for just any reason.  Sadly, some men breach this social contract with severity and innumerability.  I may draw criticism for establishing guidelines for front hugs, but I am willing to shoulder that burden for the sake of humanity as a whole.  Do your worst!  (I am saying that rhetorically.  God only knows what your worst is.)  In the known universe, there are only three instances in which giving another man a front hug should even be considered.  Under no other circumstances are male front hugs acceptable by the general public.  This particular display of masculine devotion is limited to occurrence between best friends.  And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . the McRibwich is back at McDonald’s!  But only for a limited time!  Let the people rejoice in the streets!  Oh, and these are the three times you may EVER front hug another man:

–Your best friend’s wedding

–Your best friend’s mom’s funeral

–Your best friend scores the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl

It goes without saying that any other instance in totally off-limits for man-to-man frontal embraces.  Don’t question me on this.  I am an expert, and I’ll thank you kindly to take my word for it.  I’ve have none of your nay-saying.  That’s what you do, isn’t it?  Always saying, “Nay!”  Do you really think you are beyond the reach of the “man law”?

The Hierarchy

March 22, 2009 2 comments

In life, there is a hierarchy.  One that overrules any other rules or laws set in place by man.  That is to say, who you can and cannot make fun of.  It all depends on who you are.  Some people are allowed to make fun of more people than others.  It’s a just system, and it rewards those who have been dealt a bad hand by circumstances, and punishes the self-destructive.  Hear me out . . . oh great . . . here it comes.

Disclaimer: The following are the ramblings of a madman.  Do not attempt these stunts, as they have been performed by trained professional.  Do not attempt to copy, redistribute, or rebroadcast this without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball or its subsidiaries.  Quid pro quo, e pluribus unum lol brb  Keep your legs and arms inside the ride at all times.

I’m glad we got that over with.  Now, onto the actual hierarchy!  As you will see, I have not rewarded myself with any special privileges above anything else that has been bestowed upon any of my equals.  There are four levels within the hierarchy, to simplify things greatly.  You may make fun of anyone in your level or below.  You have my permission.  It holds up in Britain’s highest Magistrate Court.

Your Fault

At the lowest level is “People Who Have Problems That Are Their Fault”.  In my opinion, you should be mocked for your carelessness and (alleged) idiocy if you brought it on your own head.  However, you are not without recourse!  You are allowed to make fun of others like yourself, if that makes you feel any better.  Of course, you cannot make fun of anyone outside of that.  The level of “People Who Have Problems That Are Their Fault” includes:

–Nailed own hand to a board
–Alcoholics
–Morbid obesity
–Sunburned
–Leathery, sun-damaged skin
–Bad haircut
Phil Donahue

If you fall into this category, you deserve at least a little bit of ridicule.  Maybe it will snap you out of an otherwise life-draining experience and make you a more productive member of society.  Especially you, Donahue.  I can’t believe you would let it all go to waste like that.  Wait, that was a picture of Leslie Nielsen.

Unremarkable

I like to think I fall into this category, despite the objections from my many detractors.  I may have my eccentricities, sure, but for the most part, I am a productive member of society.  I feel confident I am allowed to mock those who are also not remarkable, in addition to those who have sent themselves into a spiral of shame with their deplorable behavior (I’m looking at you, Donahue).  I’m taking it upon myself to better this culture by encouraging others to raise their standards (by ridiculing them mercilessly).  Darn, that was Leslie Nielsen again.  I don’t think we need a list to more thoroughly explain who falls into the “Unremarkable” group.  We, as unremarkable people, are not allowed to make fun of:

Not Your Fault

Almost at the top is the level of “People Who Have Problems That Are Not Their Fault”.  They get to make fun of others with life obstacles, as well as “Unremarkable” people and those who have brought trouble to themselves.  This group (and I am in no way mocking these legitimate issues) includes:

–Blind
Ugly
–Deaf
Alzheimer’s
–Eczema
Bald

Congratulations (sort of) if you fall into this category, because you have the opportunity to make fun of almost anyone you want!  No one can tell you you’re being insensitive, because hey, you’ve earned it!  If anyone ever says to you, “I think that was going too far!” you can look them right in the eye and say with confidence, “What?  I’m deaf!  I can say whatever I want!”  Or, if someone chides you for mocking a blind person, just laugh and say, “I’m bald!  You don’t own me!”  There is still one “no-no” that you must be extra careful to avoid (even if you are Alan Greenspan).  That is, to make fun of:

Dead

If you go out and make fun of dead people, then you truly have no shame (and that means a lot coming from me).  The only upside to being dead is that you have complete freedom to make fun of whoever you’d like.  Far be it from me to stop you.  If you’re dead, you can even make fun of other dead people!  I know George Washington, to this day, has been overheard to poke fun at Abe Vigoda.  What?  Abe Vigoda’s not dead?  He sure looks like it.

The Lesson

We all have the opportunity to encourage the betterment of one another through playful character assassination, but we must always remember the hierarchy so that we do not accidentally become shamed by kidding others who we have no business making fun of.  (Did that sentence even make sense?)  Now go out into the world armed with your new-found freedom to boldly mock those lower than you within the hierarchy.  Not again . . .

Disclaimer: The author (hereforinto referred to as “Moron”) makes no actual claims of the validity of aforementioned “hierarchy”.  This post is not intended to depict actual events.  Moron has invented this entire scheme himself, but does not assume any liability for its use indoors.  Or outdoors.  Anywhere, really.  Any similarities between individuals portrayed in this post and any actual person, living or dead, is coincidental.  Even Phil Donahue.

Women (In General)

March 17, 2009 11 comments

Let’s talk about women in general.  I have to speak in generalities, because if I talk about my wife in specifics, she will poison my food.  Not enough to kill me, mind you, but enough to season my mind with a little brain damage like a pinch of Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper.  So, in this post, when I talk about things women like to do, I am really talking about my wife.  But for tax purposes and legal obligations, I’m just talking about women in general.

Things Women Like That I Cannot Stand

This is a pretty long list.  I may have to separate this into a 15-part post.

Theater

What is it about the fusion of music, dancing, and lousy sound systems that causes women to travel in droves to see the latest offering of West Side Story?  I am admittedly a people watcher.  Anytime I’m at work, the mall, or at a theater production, I love viewing the general public in an unfiltered light.  I love watching guys at the theater slink down in their chairs, close their eyes, and try to die for 3 hours.  Theater does not end in death.  It is a slow, painful torture that keeps its victim hanging on until the last breath, when it releases him and reminds him over the PA system to throw away his trash at the bins conveniently located at every exit.

I understand there are some men out there who actually enjoy theater.  I don’t know why, I just understand that they exist.  It’s like Furbie; they exist, but why, oh why?  Men of the world, let’s unite against this evil called Theater!  Let’s refuse to participate or go to see these godawful events.  If we deny their existence, maybe they will go away.  Like ghosts or Billy Ray Cyrus.

Walks

Wait, so I’m expected to leave the comfort of my home and go walk around?  It doesn’t make any sense.  That’s like running for exercise.  Unless I’m running FROM something, I have no interest in running anywhere.  That’s probably the main reason I started trying to lose some weight; I’m entirely against exercise, and it finally caught up to me.

Regardless, I wholeheartedly dislike going into the outdoors, walking around, and coming home smelling like a tree trunk covered in moss.  Come to think of it, I’m against the outdoors altogether.  As soon as they bring the outdoors indoors, I’ll be glad to commune with nature.  As long as it’s outside, though, it can keep its musty smells and *shudder* wildlife.

The real question is: why do women like “going for a walk”?  I found myself out on a walk last night with a non-specific wife of mine.  It was soothing and relaxing, but the “guy” in me tried to ruin it constantly with my competitive nature.  We’d be walking through the grass holding hands, and I would lean close to whisper in her ear romantically.  “Let’s race to that tree.  I’ll give you a two second head start,” I would say with a hushed romanticism.  It pretty well killed the whole quiet peace of the walk, to be honest.

Disney Princess movies

I would more easily scrape my eyes out with a saxophone reed than sit through “Beauty and the Beast” one more time.  What is so intrinsic to Disney Princess movies that has women everywhere falling over themselves to get the latest release of a particular Disney Princess gag-fest before it goes “back in the Vault”.  I may be blowing a few people’s minds by saying this, but . . . THERE IS NO VAULT!  Not even a bank deposit box!  It’s a marketing ploy to get you to buy it now!  And when your little sister grows up and starts to make money, they will hike up the price, re-release it from “the Vault” (their greedy clutches) for a limited time only so they can dupe your unsuspecting sibling into purchasing the same DVD (or by then, we might have a new technology, like holograms or Beta) for double the money!  Don’t be fooled!

I mean, I love Disney.  Their Vault is secure, and is subject to limitations.  They do all they can do to make sure you have the movies you desire.  They provide many useful services to you and society as a whole.  They do not currently have me at gunpoint to change my tune and encourage you to play into some sadistic scheme.  (HELP!)

Picnics

There’s something about sitting on a quilt in the middle of a grassy field with all the bugs, snakes, and raccoons that drives me away from this idea.  “Oh, but there’s food,” you might say.  That only serves as a lure for said raccoons and snakes.  Not so much the bugs; they’re pretty much everywhere anyways.  I’d be just as happy to lay a quilt in the living room and watch a little TV as we enjoy our “picnic”.  Food does not taste better outdoors, I’m convinced.  If you enjoy the taste of dirt that has blown onto your food from a park playground (which of course tastes like childrens’ feet and lost childhood), then be my guest.  It’s not for me.

Girly Stuff (In General)

Let me set one thing straight in this post.  It’s not that I don’t respect the things women enjoy.  I just don’t care.  I understand that women enjoy such trivial things; I simply don’t know why.  That’s all.

Formal apology: I would like to extend the olive branch to all women who may or may not have been offended by this post.  I meant it in no way to harm or point out any flaws in the female logic.  If there is such a thing.  Thanks!  You’re a great audience!

Ode to the DMV

March 16, 2009 13 comments

Let me start off by saying how much I despise renewing my driver’s license and vehicle tags.  I’m sure I’m not the only one out there, so raise your hand if you hate it as much as I do.  (Okay, you can put your hands down now.  You look like a fool.)  I submit to you, then, a poem to document my experience and lamentations.

Ode to the DMV

How long are your lines!, oh DMV,

How many minutes? 20, 30, 40?

So many people walk up without the right papers,

No brain between the ears; only taters.

On your website, you listed the required documents,

“Bring them in,” you said, and I brought them with competence.

Punished for others’ lack of common sense,

They shall reap vengeance for this grave offense.

They’re given a paper to cut back in line,

I’m sure they’ll wait until the busiest time.

No one before me, front of the pack,

I feel the icy air as the cutter creeps back.

“I have my papers,” he says to the clerks,

Then elbows his way in like the biggest of jerks.

Five more minutes spent waiting on this buffoon,

If I only had a dart, I’d pop him like a balloon.

He’s finishing now, ready to take his feet from these floors,

My blood runs cold as another cutter clears the doors.

Green paper in hand, crossed eyes stare me down (halfway),

Should this lady even be driving? as she clears a pathway.

Scared to ever get back upon the road, anxiety within is all I feel.

With these knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing quadrupeds behind the wheel.

Finally, another line has opened for me,

Prepared, I finish business and quickly break free,

Ode to the DMV.

That was my experience today in a nutshell.  I still have a few observations for you, though.  Anyone who has ever stood in line at the DMV will know what I’m talking about.  Those who have yet to enjoy this experience should print this out, put it in a time capsule, bury it in your yard, take it back out in 5 years, and read it again . . . but this time, with feeling.

As you read in “Ode”, no one ever brings everything they need for their vehicle renewal.  It’s very simple!  On the city’s website (which I had the sense of mind to check), I needed:

–Renewal notice

–Inspection slip

–Past 2 years’ personal property tax records

–Current insurance card

–Money (more than is reasonable)

–2+ hours of my life

I’ll skip all the drama at the car inspection place (involving semi-trained technicians who like to tell people their “inspection guy” had gone to lunch, even though he was right there) and go straight to the good stuff.

When I arrived at the DMV with my paperwork in tow, I did so with the realization that I would be spending a good chunk of my life between those ugly seatbelt-like line separators.  I realized I should have packed a snack, beverage, sleeping bag, and two hearty sherpas.  There were about twelve people between me and a desk full of DMV clerks who were moving slower than . . . well, there’s nothing slower than a DMV employee.  There’s no joke here, so don’t bother looking.  I knew I was in trouble when I noticed the twelve in front of me had a collective tooth count of 16.  That includes the elderly and rednecks.

I’m only 24 years old, but I’ve been to the DMV enough to realize that I need to have the right paperwork.  Apparently, there are people 40 or 50 years of age who still get a surprise every time they go to get new tags for their car.  It’s not like these standards change.  It blows my mind to think there are people who don’t think to look at what they had to bring last time.  I understand that it’s been 2 years since you’ve been to renew your tags, but for goodness’ sake, at least CALL to find out what you need.

In my city, if you are too dense to bring all the proper paperwork, the clerk will give you a green piece of paper that lists your deficient documents.  Unfortunately, this piece of paper also allows you to walk up to the front of the line when you return with the papers you’re lacking.  To me, this encourages idiocy in its highest form.  In order to encourage having the proper paperwork the first time, I submit to the City that it changes its line policies.  For example, if you forget your insurance card, you should be allowed to run home and get it.  Upon your return, you should be required to stand in the Driver’s License line, the Boat License line, and then you may stand in the vehicle license line.  I promise you that you will never forget your insurance card again.  You’ll probably even shower with it.

I’m not kidding, about half the people going up to the counter would shortly turn around and walk away carrying a green piece of paper.  How hard is this, honestly?  I’ve had a time where I’ve had to get the dreaded green paper and return later, but I was 18 and not 48, like these people who wander off only to emerge later and ruin everyone else’s line experience.  It’s like those jerks at Six Flags with the “Flash Pass”, who get to ride “The Pukinator” before you, just because they paid an extra $50 a ticket to do so.  In retrospect, I had no business being in line for ANYTHING called “The Pukinator” (whether it’s an amusement park ride or 1-Star restaurant), but I still feel slighted.

After seeing some of the people in line (who I could not believe are aloud to drive around other human beings), I am hesitant to ever get in my car again.  Probably 1/3 of the people renewing their tags appeared to have some kind of learning disability.  Now, I do not take learning disabilities lightly, because disabilities are not funny.  (The only possible exception being wheelchair basketball; they never dribble . . . that is SO “traveling”!  Call it, ref!  Are you blind?  Oh wait, yes you are.  You win again, Special Olympics.)  These people yammered like you would not believe.  I’m a nice guy; I try to make small talk.  But it’s like trying to have a light conversation with a Vietnam vet.  (That is to say, a man from Vietnam who cares for animals.  Not to go too far off-topic, but did you know veterinarians can prescribe anti-depressants for animals?)  He never really could stick to one topic, like a guy with severe Tourette’s and ADD.  Here’s a brief sample of my conversation:

Me: Almost to the front of the line, eh?

Vet: Yeah . . . I just need to get new tags.  The guy who sold me this car two years ago didn’t tell me that the brakes were going to have to be repaired.

Me: Boy, that’s super.  Sure are a lot of people with green papers.

Vet: My car is green.  I used to work at a car wash, back when it only cost a nickel to wash AND wax it.  Course, the wax we used back then was pure beeswax.  “Gimme a wash and some honey,” you’d say.  We all knew you wanted that beeswax . . .

And so on.  I’ve never faked getting an incoming call before, but when put into those tough spots, I’ll do anything.

During my time at the DMV, about 6 people came out of nowhere to the front of the line, and were treated to preferential treatment.  Just when I was going to be next, a lady walked in off the street with green paper in hand to swoop in and steal my clerk!  How can there not be any reward for people who actually acted responsibly enough to get it right the first time?  At least corporal punishment.  Let’s say, I get to punch that person in the stomach on his or her way out the door.  That way, they still get in before me, but I’ll still feel vindicated.  It’s for my country.  If you ask me, it’s downright patriotic.

Hobbies

March 14, 2009 6 comments

As you can probably tell, my main hobby is writing way too much and posting ridiculous videos starring myself.  Fortunately, I am not alone in my pointless pursuits.  I have since pulled others into my web of inane endeavors like some sort of otherworldly vortex.  Here are a couple of user submissions I have received.  I call it “Fan Art”.  I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

This first bit of Fan Art comes straight from the President of the “Fans of the Kyle Baxter Project” group on Facebook.  Look us up!  Below is President James Koppang (http://www.jameskoppang.com) doing what he does best at work (goofing around on the computer when he should be taking care of claims).  If his bosses are reading this, then I’m sure he was on his lunch break when this was taken.  I have no proof, but neither do they.  Seriously, James is my insurance guy, and has been for 2 years.  He was my insurance guy even before he started sucking up to me with pictures like this:

koppanglovesbaxter

You have to appreciate his attention to detail.  He’s on the Fans of the Kyle Baxter Project group page, and is very happy to be dong so.  Thanks, James!  You’re an inspiration to us all!

This next bit of Fan Art comes from Josh Webb, who slaved over a hot Microsoft Word to bring you this next submission.  He made this image using a copyright-free image, WordArt, a little elbow grease, toothpicks, a yo-yo, and 9 square feet of corduroy.  My eyes misted up a little when I saw the effort that Josh put into this.  Thus, I have labeled him my “#1 Fan”.  The rest of you can fight it out for #2-#100,000.  The top spot belongs to Josh.

unclesam1

Anyone who is anyone will notice that this picture is a reference to my last video post, A Source of Inspiration.  Apparently, Josh was inspired enough to create this masterpiece.  Top that (send money).

In my short time blogging, I have noticed there is no middle ground as it pertains to love for my blog.  Some people really go for them (i.e., James and Josh), and shout encouraging things at me when I pass them on the street like, “Great video!”, “Good job beating that bed-wetting problem!”, or “My cat licks orange mold off the shower curtain, too!”  (Many of you probably haven’t read that one, and it’s one of the best.)  Conversely, some people absolutely hate to get on here and read my work (which I have conveniently created in snack-size portions).  I can only assume they are either:

A) Illiterate, or

B) Lazy

Saddest of all is that the people I work with (whom I hound daily to find this blog, read every word, and write a 10-page report due the following day) are starting to lose respect for me.  My employees mock my dancing, my video quality, and of course, my face.

I need to incorporate some kind of other hobbies that people actually respect.  If I do take up another hobby, it should be one that everyone can relate to, like model train collecting, quilting, or smoking.  That ought to drive up the hits on this site.

The biggest problem I have getting traffic to my blog is that kids these days don’t like to read.  So much reading is forced down their throats their whole lives in school that they carry an eternal disdain for reading, because it feels like work.  The most frustrating part is the inane things they have to read, namely Huckleberry Finn, anything by Robert Frost, and textbooks.  That’s entirely too much.  Once they have the hang of phonics, let them roam free in their new-found literacy!  Comic books, cereal boxes, and of course, the Kyle Baxter Project are all sources of useful information that will not bore children into hating to read.  I blame the schools for why more people don’t read this.

On the other hand, maybe they are not reading me right.  If someone is hard of hearing, it might make them feel like they need to withdraw from auditory interactions, to avoid embarrassment.  I know I would not want to tell someone to speak up until they are practically yelling just to tell me what the “Soup of the Day” is (it’s Vegetable Beef).  Is it possible to be “hard of reading”?  If it were possible, I imagine that would make for some intriguing Instant Messaging.  It might go something like this:

BritneyPhan2204: Did you see Conan O’Brien last night?

JoeTehPlummer: Did my knee colon siren last rights?  I was a little gassy, yes.

BritneyPhan2204: What? no!

JoeTehPlummer: What did you call me?

BritneyPhan2204: I didn’t call you anything!

JoeTehPlummer: You had a fall with medicine?  Are you addicted to Flinstones Chewables again?

BritneyPhan2204: That’s not what I said!  And no, I’ve been clean for 3 months.

JoeTehPlummer: I’m sorry I still can’t understand you.  You’re going to have to type louder.

BritneyPhan2204: IS THIS BETTER?

JoeTehPlummer: You got an Irish Setter?  That’s great!  What’s his name?

BritneyPhan2204: NO!

JoeTehPlummer: Noah?  That’s a cute name for an Irish Setter!

BritneyPhan2204: NO.  I WAS WAS ASKING YOU IF YOU SAW CONAN O’BRIEN LAST NIGHT.

JoeTehPlummer: Well, if you’re just going to yell, I’m leaving.

***JoeTehPlummer is offline***

That HAS to be it.  I’ll try to type louder next time so all of you can enjoy it.