Wednesday, May 26, 2010

King of the Road

You know, I seriously think that the people here on the streets of the DMV (for those not in the know--and I pity ye for it--DMV stands for D.C., Maryland and Virginia, basically the Washington D.C. metro area. Here’s a fun fact for you*: in Maryland we have the MVA: Maryland Vehicle Administration, whereas every other state has a Department of Motor Vehicles, or DMV. Isn’t that ironic?**)

Great, now where was I? Damn, my mind tends to wander off in my advanced age. Oh yeah! I sincerely believe that drivers in the D.C. metro area truly have a death wish. Either that, or somewhere along the line we all unconsciously decided to train to be demolition derby drivers. It’s unreal!

In 2009 (remember 2009? It was so long ago wasn’t it? That’s okay, in keeping with the grand tradition of such wonderful shows as I Love the 70s, I Love the 80s and I Love the 90s, VH1 has actually already created I Love the New Millennium. So you can watch a show that fondly recalls the great moments of that bygone era, like when Twilight came out, or how we had a black president. Good times indeed) Washington D.C. became the fourth worst congested traffic area in the country, (the top three? I could tell you, but since I don’t live in those places, I don’t really care). In fact, according to Forbes the amount of time it took drivers to reach their destination last year rose 22%. Which basically means that if you wanted to make it to church Sunday morning, you have to leave your house Saturday night.

I blame this increase in road congestion for everybody’s driving insanity. When you end up stuck in traffic so long that you contemplate wearing adult diapers just so you don’t get your upholstery wet, then you’re living in desperation. Rush hour around here is something like Thunderdome. “Two men enter the fast lane, one man leaves.” Or whatever. It’s a madhouse! Bedlam! Nobody even bothers trying to follow traffic laws. It’s every man (and small woman in an over-sized SUV who can’t even see over the dashboard, not that it would make a difference if she could because she’d rather focus on putting on make-up and talking on the goddamn phone!) for himself!

So what caused DC to move from the 6th most congested area to the 4th? There are a few factors at play. First is the fact that this wonderful recession we’re in has done almost nothing to affect government jobs. There are actually so many government jobs that people are moving to the area to snatch up all the work they can get. The second factor is that thanks to President Obama (Official motto: Whatever it is you guys elected me for, I’ll get around to doing eventually) trying to “jumpstart the economy,” road work is being done all over the place. That means that there are lane closures and detours and other nonsense going on throughout the area. The third factor is the large amount of immigrants moving into the area.

Look, I’m no more of a xenophobe than the next “Joe the Plumber” at a local clan meeting. I know that this country is a big old sloppy melting pot of different cultures, educating us as to how others live and enriching America to make us the best country on the planet, yada, yada, yada. But I have to say, it’s really annoying when people come from other countries and decide to bring their traffic laws (or lack thereof) with them. It’s like “hey guy, I know you’re used to driving a three-wheeled cart pulled by a donkey through the dusty streets of your home village, but you’re in America, driving a car now. You need to step your game up!”

And you wanna know my theory? I think that some people from other countries purposely drive anyway they want because when they get pulled over they can act all ignorant of driving laws. They’ll go from having PhDs to pretending like they don’t speak English.

Of course, it’s not just our friends from other lands who drive like maniacs. There’s plenty of homegrown stupidness as well. I used to believe that it wasn’t a problem to talk on the phone while driving, until I realized that being good at multi-tasking is a myth. Frankly, I’m surprised that we managed to master walking and chewing gum at the same. And don’t even get me started on the driving habits of old people!

In traffic, in the course of a week: I’ll be cut off at least two dozen times, have to break suddenly because the person in front of me decided to stop and smell the roses, or wants to make a turn without using a turn signal, at least 40 times, and have to speed up to get around people going 40 MPH in the fast lane, at least 8 times a day. And those are just the big ones. There are the people who try to speed through yellow lights and almost crash into me. The people who decide to pull into traffic at the wrong time and almost crash into me. And the people who just don’t give a damn about anything who try to crash into me. I’m lucky to be alive, I tell ya!

My solution? (and thanks for asking) Make cars more expensive so less people can own them and make the driving test harder. Because frankly, they just hand those driver licenses willy-nilly at the MVA. Do they even bother to test people anymore?

Until then, I think I’ll just stay home.


*And by fun I mean not fun at all. Sorry for tricking you!

** No. It isn’t.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sexting...the Silent Menace

“Sexting” one of the goofiest made up words since “iPad”. “But Josh,” you’re saying to your computer (which you really shouldn’t because computers don’t work that way…yet) “I’m over the age of 16. I’ve never heard of Justin Bieber, let alone ‘sexting,’ what does it mean?”

I’m glad you asked, nonexistent voice in my head! “Sexting” is the act of sending nude photos, or provocative “texts” by “cell phone.” Although it could just as easily mean something else, or nothing at all. I’m not entirely sure. Lemme put up the definition from Urbandictionary.com:

“the act of text messaging someone in the hopes of having a sexual encounter with them later; initially casual, transitioning into highly suggestive and even sexually explicit.”

Seems pretty cut and dry right? Doesn’t actually match up with what I said, but that’s okay, because here’s the next definition (by the by, why are there so many definitions for a word that was made up within the last year or so?)

“a term created by the media referring to sending sexually explicit text messages. The term is used by adults who are out of the loop, and not by the individuals actually sending the messages.”

Or:

“when a guy and a girl send dirty text messages back and forth to each other. Pictures may also be included, but only if you're lucky.”

So if you mix those definitions up in a blender and pour out the creamy results, you basically get the definition I said in the first place, rendering that little jaunt over to urbandictionary pointless. Good times.

It has been well documented (by me) that I enjoy watching television. But I’m getting tired of how every time I turn my tv on, I’m subjected to some kind of PSA about the dangers of sexting. These PSAs usually feature a bunch of unattractive teens, sitting around cross-legged or backwards in chairs around some random stage, rapping*to each other about the dangers of sexting.

Of course, if one wants to take away any message from this commercial the people who made it probably should have hired teens who are actually attractive and look like they probably deal with sexting on a regular basis. Instead it looks like the producers just went to the some kind of Twilight/Yu-Gi-Oh joint convention (TwiGiOhCon? YuLightCon?) and snagged the first group of lameos they found. Honestly, the kids in the PSA look like they wouldn’t know what to do with their own dangly bits, let alone getting a picture of somebody’s dirty pillows on their phones.

Secondly, all of the kids make it sound like the concept of sexting is just one vast conspiracy designed to trick them into taking naked pictures of themselves to put up on the internet. Sorry little Sally, but your inverted nipples and completely flat ass aren’t something the world is clamoring to see. Especially not when there’s actual, free porn everywhere you go online. Professional porn with two attractive women eating chocolate soft serve ice cream out of one cup together. With all of the nudity available on line, what makes you think your pathetic body is desired?

Bob: Hi Sally! Wat up lol?
Sally: Just got out of shower, wanna c a pic?
Bob: …Ummm, not really. Thnx tho.
Sally: 2 late. Just sent. Enjoy me nekkid!
Bob: ROTFLMAO!

At one point in the PSA they actually say that over half of all “sexts” are passed on and showed to others. And to this I say “huh?” Fifty percent? Where’d they pull that number out of? Is there some government agency that goes around to schools polling kids as to their sexting habits? Was there a question added to the Census that I missed? How could anybody possibly know what percentage of sexts are shared? (I once attended a class about sexual harassment and rape in the army and at one point the person running the class said that 82% of rapes in the military are never reported. To which I asked her, how she knew it was 82% if they weren’t being reported. She had no answer)

I don’t engage in sexting personally, I find it to be a nasty, disgusting habit, too base and uncouth to even be considered. But…if I were going to “sext” it wouldn’t be with the end goal of getting pics and racy texts to show my friends.(Or would it?) Who does that and why? Probably those same guys in high school who would lie about who they’ve had sex with, or the ones who pretend that they do have a girlfriend, but she lives in Canada and you’ve never met her.

Another problem with the PSA is that they’ve obviously confused phones with the internet. Sure, with these new-fangled phones people can very easily jump on the interwebs and post pics, but it seems ridiculously unlikely that it’ll happen. The pic will just stay in the person’s phone until they get tired of it (or of the person who sent it) and erase it, or when they get a new phone or something. Stuff online is pretty much on there forever (or until 4Chan finally breaks the internet), but they aren’t the same thing.

I say nuts to that! Don’t let badly produced PSAs (probably starring…Canadians. Yuck!) mess up a good thing we’ve got going here people.

Sext On You Crazy Diamond!

*The old definition of rapping that adults use when they want to talk to kids about the birds and the bees or whatever, not hip-hop.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Can you keep a secret?

Shhhhh….don’t tell anybody I’m back. Let’s keep this between you and me, shall we?

Look…everybody’s gone! No more phonies, no more fanboys, just you and me. The way I always wanted it. Thanks for sticking around, I guess you really like the way I weave words into a tapestry of wonderment and wackiness. I’m the 400-count thread Egyptian cotton of funny!

***

So listen, I’m a pretty active guy. I like to go to the gym, do karate, run from the police…you know, regular stuff. But the one thing that annoys me about working out and staying in shape is that it can totally injure you! There’s a fine line between getting in a good workout at the gym and totally wrenching your spinal column out of place. And you’d be surprised how often people topple over that line (in a pain induced back-spasm, no less). Seriously, why is it that the one thing that can get you in shape is also the one thing that can totally get you “bent out of shape.”* I guess that’s why all the machines you see in the gym come with little drawings of people using the contraptions wrong and end up getting folded in half like some human origami.

My advice? Go for a walk. Shit, nobody ever killed themselves by walking, (unless they walked off a cliff or into an alligator’s mouth or something, I guess. Don’t take me so literally!) You get some low-impact exercise in and nobody gets hurt.

Walking not good enough for you? Fine, go for a run. Run your crazy little heart out. Pump those legs. Work that cardio. Run up hills…oh, wait. Don’t do that. I heard about a drill sergeant in the Army who actually had a heart attack and died running up a hill. So do the opposite: run down hills. In fact, for ease, just run down a luge run or something for speed and ease…wait, didn’t a guy die on the luge track during the last Olympics? Yikes. I guess there no way to stay in shape without killing yourself. So let’s switch tracks here.

What should you do if you injure yourself during a workout? Especially if you hurt your back? Excellent questions to throw out into the crazy abyss that is the Interwebs! Allow me to refer to my friend (and lunatic doctor who gives me inappropriate prescription pills) Doctor Gooch!!

ME: Dr. Gooch, as somebody with a medical degree, can you give any advice for people who have injured themselves during workouts?
Dr. Gooch: Actually, no. As previously stated, my degree is from the Hollywood Upstairs Medical College. I was a classmate of another famous fictional doctor: Doctor Nick. Also, I’m hella out of shape. My idea of a workout is getting up off the toilet after I lose ten pounds taking a dump.
Me: Wow Dr. Gooch, that was a really gross look into your personal life. Now I know why I never delved further into your world. It’s a good thing you’re fictional, because you’re weird!
Dr. Gooch: Welcome to hell bitch!

Okay, well…sorry about that. Let me give some advice instead. Here’s what to do if you injure yourself during a workout:
1. Stop working out
2. Sit down
3. Lay down
4. Drink a beer
5. The end

So take that advice with you as you venture out into the world of exercise and physical self-improvement.

You’re welcome.

*See what I did there?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

1, 2, 3 Testing...

Is anybody out there? Hello? Probs not. But that's alright.

So, what's new? Yeah, it's been awhile, but, like any quality narcotic (or episode of Adventure Time) one keeps coming back to what they love.

So anyway, give me some topics to write about. I want to write something funny for you! Help me out. Shoes? The color purple? Relevant and vital socio-economic issues? Anything for you baby!

Hey, what's up with that oil spill? Does God hate Louisiana, or what? What a jerk! The worst part is that with all of our technology and ridiculously huge imaginations, we have no idea how to fix it. That's tantamount to the old question of "Can God create a rock so big that he can't lift it?" Except this time its "Can humanity create a technology we can't control?" Didn't that cautionary tale about our problems with SKYNET teach us nothing? Or that time we created those robots who forced us to live in The Matrix? My favorite part is how the people who run Virginia are like, "what gigantic oil leak in the gulf? I want off-shore drilling in my backyard RIGHT NOW!!" Then again, they did also declare last month to be Confederacy Appreciation Month, so we already know they're geniuses.

Of course, because of the oil spill, seafood prices around the country are going through the roof (except for in land-locked states where their seafood suppliers were shifty in the first place). I feel sorry for all the seafood lovers out there. The next time you go to Red Lobster, or Captain D's, Or Joe's Crab Shack, or Bubba's House of Stuff I Caught in the Creek Over Behind the Outhouse, you're gonna have to pay out the ass for just one shrimp! My recommendation? Sell one of your kids on the White Slave Market. I hear kids under 12 fetch good prices these days (Lawrence Taylor clued me in on that).

As for me, never has my seafood allergies been more useful! Other than the severe environmental damage done to our planet, this stupid catastrophe doesn't affect me at all! I get to walk into Long John Silver's and laugh and laugh to my heart's content as the rest of you form one of those early 1990s breadlines that were all the rage in Russia. So, good luck with that.

***

Well, that was a nice little exercise in Eighty-Four Glyding. I'm a little rusty, true, but I'll be back in top form in no time. Full of laffs, wackiness, allusions to potential alcohol dependency and addiction to cartoons! Won't that be grand? Good times...good times.