Striving every day to do least idiotic thing possible, generally failing.

Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Klutzy or Unlucky: the Numbers Don’t Lie.

Which number is higher: the amount of times you have inadvertently set off someone’s smoke alarm, or the amount of times you have been crapped on by a bird?

I know those things seem random, but there is a point.

As a small child I decided that it would be the height of scientific experimentation, to melt Play-Doh in frying pan. My mother disagreed in the strongest terms possible.

My ticket to scientific discovery.
image source:

I found out a few things that day:

  • Play-Doh doesn’t melt as much as it burns.
  • Burning Play-Doh gives off a nasty smelling smoke.
  • Smoke from burning Play-Doh, will set off a smoke alarm.
  • Smoke alarms are loud.
  • A screaming mother, upon finding you melting Play-Doh on the stove, is really loud.
  • What you see as great scientific discovery, your mother sees as destroying her good pan.
  • Stoves are dangerous to a small child.
  • Ruining your mother’s favorite pan, is really dangerous to a small child.
  • The question “what were you thinking?” is rhetorical, and should by no means be answered.
  • The Nobel Prize committee is horribly short-sighted.

What I thought would happen.
image source:

What my mother thought would happen.

That was the first time I set off someone’s smoke alarm.

The second time, I detailed in my post An Act of God?

The third time, I was starting a fire in a friend’s fireplace. (This time was not my fault, but that’s an entire story unto itself.)

How many times I set off someone’s smoke alarm: three.

When I was about ten years old, I was playing tag with some of my cousins in my grandfather’s hay loft. I felt a slap on my back, but when I turned around, there was nobody behind me. I thought this was weird until someone pointed out to me-in between fits of hysterical laughter-that there was a giant load of bird crap on my back of my jacket.

That was the first time a bird crapped on me.

The second time a bird crapped on me, I was playing baseball and the bird crap actually landed in my baseball glove.

The third a bird crapped on me, I was walking down the street, and it landed on my shoulder.

The fourth a bird crapped on me, it landed on my baseball cap. I don’t remember where I was; what I do remember, is it hanging from the bill of my cap.

How many times a bird had crapped on me: four.

By a ratio of 4:3 I’m more unlucky than I am klutzy. (Don’t laugh, it’s science.)

This formula was created by a group of highly regarded scientists who had nothing better to do. They’re the same scientists that McDonalds employed to keep the hot side hot and the cold side cold; they’re that good.

Their work is this impressive.
image source:

Do the math for yourself; you’ll see that I’m right.

A Hiccup cure and a Punch in the Face.

This is what will happen.
Image source:

What’s an idiot-pruf?

If you don’t want to be punched in the face, don’t try to cure a person of hiccups by scaring them.

Don’t get me wrong, watching one of your friends attempt to scare the hiccups out of another one of your friends, and get punched in the face, is completely entertaining.

Also, being the only person in the room who doesn’t have the hiccups or a black-eye, is weirdly satisfying.

So you won’t waste your time with a bunch of supposed hiccup cures, or get punched in the face by a startled person with hiccups; here is a list of  hiccup cures, that don’t work:

  • Scaring someone: this will only get you punched in the face.
  • Tickling: this will also get you punched in the face.
  • Punching someone in the face: While there are several perfectly sound reasons for punching someone in the face, curing hiccups is not one of them.
  • A spoonful of sugar: this may work for Mary Poppins–or any Disney character who breaks into song at irritatingly inappropriate moments–but it doesn’t cure hiccups.
  • A spoonful of peanut butter: this will actually give you hiccups if you don’t have them. If you already have hiccups, and you eat a spoonful of peanut butter, your esophagus will explode.

Note: I spelled esophagus correctly on the first try. I just thought you should know.

  • Drinking a glass of water while standing on your head: this is something made up by your friends, so they can take your picture and post it on the internet.
  • Inhaling paprika: your friends are cruel liars.
  • Holding your breath: this will make you turn blue and pass out. You will wake up with a bump on your head, still with the hiccups, and a blurry view of your friends posting another picture on the internet.
  • Putting your friend’s hand in warm water while he’s sleeping: sorry, this comes from an entirely different list. Your friends will definitely post the results of this one on the internet. A punch in the face may also be forthcoming.
  • Fifty small drinks of water without taking a breath: at sip 42–yes, at exactly sip 42–you will involuntarily take a breath and inhale the water, coughing and shooting the water through your nose.
  • Fifty small drinks of vodka without taking a breath: the same as above, but with the added aspect of vomiting.
  • Putting your fingers in your ears: you still have the hiccups, but at least you can’t hear your friends laughing.
  • Holding your tongue with your fingers: seriously.

This is the point: hiccups cannot be cured, as I established in a previous post, they are caused by gremlins. You simply have to wait for the gremlins to tire, and the hiccups will just go away by themselves. Believe it, it’s science.

This is the culprit.
image source:

UPDATE: Muppet vs. Moppet Intensifies.

Adding to the string of bizarre and suspicious accidents to have recently plagued Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, it seems he has now fallen down a flight of stairs. According to the Daily News , Bieber was unconscious for up to five minutes after the fall.

A bystander claims to have seen a wild-eyed man fleeing the scene. “He had this crazy tuft of shockingly orange hair, and if I’m not mistaken, was screaming, meep meep meep.”

“He brushed against me,” another witness said. “He seemed to be made of felt and some type of latex foam.” (Jim Henson was a pioneer in the use of latex foam puppets on a large-scale.)

A spokesperson for the Muppets released the following statement: We wish Mr. Bieber a speedy recovery, and want to make it perfectly clear that any rumors of a feud between Mr. Bieber and Beaker, are completely unfounded. At the time of Mr. Bieber’s incident, Beaker was in the lab with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Something exploded and Beaker was set on fire; it was just a typical day for him.

But I know the facts, and by facts, I do mean wild speculation.

In case you may have missed it, here is my original post regarding the feud between Bieber and Beaker, and how it started:

Muppet vs. Moppet

You have probably seen the recent photos of a disheveled Justin Bieber standing on the side of the street. The story is that Justin assaulted a photographer who was attempting to take a picture of him and Selena Gomez. But that’s not what happened.

Maybe you’ve also heard that he received a concussion while walking into a glass door while leaving the stage at a concert in Paris, France. Do you expect us to believe that anyone is stupid enough to walk into a glass door?–actually, I walked into a glass door once, it really did kind of hurt–Do you expect us to believe that anyone other than myself, is stupid enough to walk into a glass door? That’s not what happened either.

The truth is uglier. Much uglier.

I have an anonymous source who tells me that there is a raging feud going on between Justin Bieber and Beaker the muppet. A feud that at times has become physical.

anonymous source.

“Well, Bieber did this thing with Elmo and he was just hanging around back stage, kinda acting like a big shot. So here comes Beaker on his lunch break. Evidently one of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s experiments had gone horribly awry that day, which they have a tendency to do. This poor guy had been electrocuted, blown-up, set on fire, covered with spiders, punched in the face, cloned, shrunken and deflated, just to name a few. Seriously, the guy was actually deflated once, can you imagine that.  So here comes Beaker and he’s all stressed out and what does he see: Justin Bieber sitting there with his feet propped up, chowing down on Beaker’s lunch like he’s king of the world. So Beaker flips out, he’s waving his arms around and he’s yelling, “meep meep meep.” Bieber just starts laughing at him. Beaker tore into him like a frenzied honey badger. They had to be pulled apart, it was ugly. Now every time they see each other bad things happen. unfortunately Bieber and Beaker tend to run in the same circles, so they’re always bumping into each other. That thing that happen on the street in California, that was no photographer. Go ask Bieber why they found felt under his fingernails. And that thing in France: Bieber just “walked” into that glass door. You know, considering he’s made mostly from felt, Beaker is deceptively strong.”

My anonymous source then had to leave; the chicken waiting for him was getting impatient.

Justin Bieber claims that none of this is true and that he has never had anything but respect for Beaker.

Beaker says, “meep meep meep.”

Perhaps we’ll never know the whole truth.

The Experiment

image source:

This is short screenplay written by Ian Wallace, based on Frankenstein’s Omelet.

Ian Wallace’s Photography

Ian Wallace’s involvement in the film “There are no Goodbyes.”

Opening Credits: Dream Sequence.

Characters: Main Character. Male. Mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Dressed in old fashioned, but not period clothing.

Editing: The opening sequence will consist of a dream sequence that foreshadows the goings on in the body of the film. It would be made up of several different shots  (as described below) spliced together in an abstracted narrative format. The order in which they are presented do not necessarily dictate their sequence.

  1. The main character running through the woods as if being chased. He stumbles but doesn’t fall, and periodically looks back over his shoulder.
  2. Shot of the man’s feet running through the forest debris.
  3. Mob: Rather than bringing more cast members into the film, we could abstract farm implements and torches progressing through the woods. This would maintain the universal monster feel of this opening.
  4. Lightning Streaking across the sky.
  5. Design a makeshift lab. This doesn’t have to be anything overly elaborate, but should at least have the quintessential bubbling beakers. Easy as food coloring and dry ice. There would need to be a workbench, and dissection tools.
  6. Man presses his back against a wooden door, with the classic mob push going on behind it. He looks panicked and winded.
  7. On the workbench is a tray about the size of a dinner plate, or just a dinner plate with a cloth over it. Upon closer inspection, it appears to rising and falling as if breathing. Or more like a pulse depending on the aesthetic.
  8. Slow dolly up to the kitchen refrigerator. Three shots from medium angle light for night. Use green tape around the edge of the door so the glow can be composited in and motion tracked.
  9. As he watches the covered item on the workbench, a shot of blood soaking through the cloth. Lightning flash.
  10. These scenes will be inter-cut with the man sleeping fitfully, as if having a nightmare.  Not over the top, but enough to get the point across. Camera angle and shot variety will create the tension leading up to the point where the man wakes up and it’s morning.

Scene two: Morning


A bedroom with a big enough bed for two. He is alone, but the blankets on both sides are disheveled, implying that someone has been there. It’s morning and the room is relatively bright.


The man jerks awake from the nightmare he was having. He’s disoriented at first, but recovers and rubs his face.

Cut to the man walking into a brightly lit kitchen. He’s awake, but still a bit tired. A woman is busy at the stove. She’s wearing morning clothes and by her mannerisms, you can tell she’s been awake for awhile. At the middle of the space is a breakfast table setting. Burnt toast, coffee, and a large plate with a cloth over it.

He strolls over to the woman:

Man: “Good Morning” he says, still groggy: kisses her on the cheek.

Woman: “It’s about time you got up, sleepy head,” she says lightly.

Man: “Yeah. I was having the weirdest…” stops abruptly as he catches sight of the refrigerator from the dream. Just a normal fridge now. “…dream.” He finishes.

Woman: “You Okay?”

Man: Shakes his head as if to clear the image. “Yeah. I guess I’m just tired.”

Woman: “Awww… I’m sorry. But I have just what you need to feel better: some good old fashioned home cooking.”

Man: Sits down in front of the plate while rubbing his eyes, so that he hasn’t caught sight of the plate covered by the cloth. “Thanks babe,” he mumbles, “what are we having?”

Woman: “Well, it’s sitting right in front of you, silly. Take a look.”

Man: He opens his eyes, looks down and freezes. It looks just like the plate with the soaking blood from the dream. (cut to shot of cloth soaking through) He looks over his shoulder, obviously slightly rattled, then back at his plate.

Woman: “Well go on before it gets cold,” she says in a motherly way, standing by the table.

Man: Gingerly he pinches the cloth and pulls it away. A plume of steam rises up and he winces as if the smell was unpleasant. Before him sits the omelet in all its glory. A pool of liquid surrounds it on the plate. Strange marks, textures and folds in pale yellow and off white. What may be a mushroom slides down it. The man stares down at it. “It looks delicious (he feigns honesty) what is it?”

Woman: “What do you mean what is it?” (sounding slightly annoyed) “It’s a home style omelet.”

Man: (Hiding his bewilderment) “Well, of course it’s an omelet. It just doesn’t seem to be a conventional omelet, that’s all.”

Woman: “Well that’s the stoves fault isn’t it? It’s not level.” (sounding more frustrated)

Man: “Not level?” he replies. “Well yeah, that’ll do it.” (trying to sound confiden.t) Cut to the man investigating the omelet. He lifts a fold of the body and more cloudy fluid trickles out. Under the fold is an 0ff-blue, bruise like patch. Maybe the look of coagulated blood underneath a membrane.

Woman: (Now looming behind the seated man) “Well? Are you going to try it, or just look at it all day?” (covering up aggravation with forced sweetness.)

Man: Looks up at her, makes a smile and laughs nervously. He turns back towards the plate. He cuts a portion from the side with his fork and holds it up, speared. More strange fluid leaks away from the limp morsel. The man grimaces, closes his eyes and shoves it in. At first it’s fine. A look of momentary relief crosses his face. He chews it like a rubber band. Then it hits him.

Scene three: Gastrological disaster.

This scene is a hallucinatory nightmare as the man struggles with the morsel.

  1. Footage of hydrogen peroxide being poured on red meat.
  2. Beads of sweat on his forehead.
  3. Eggs and omelet makings being smashed and mutilated.
  4. Close-up of man chewing. He looks up, red in the face, toward the woman with a facial expression of “why would you do this to me?” Some of the milky liquid runs out of the corner of his mouth.
  5. The omelet on the plate is starting to pump a foul black liquid that begins to fill the bottom of the plate.
  6. Unused shots of the mob scene. (pitch forks and torches.)
  7. Close-up of the man sweating and looking panicked.
  8. Woman dressed like lady Frankenstein or in some other nightmarish costume (think of the Ms. Shields/mother scene from A Christmas Story, where the two are dressed as a jester and a witch mocking aaRalphie with, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” ) laughing maniacally

Man: He finally manages to swallow it. (close-up on his throat swallowing.)

  1. Egg falling on glass, seen from underneath, and bleeding black and green. (inject egg with food coloring and drop it from high enough that it splatters.)
  2. Fluid mixing and congealing. (jello and vegetable oil.)
  3. Stock footage of church burning or volcano erupting.
  4. Woman dressed as a devil with dramatic lighting. Perhaps several people dancing around the table dressed similarly.

The man finally gets it down. Tries to keep from vomiting. Horrible stomach noises can be heard. He looks sick. Back to reality.

Woman: “Well, what do you think?”

Man: (Still looking a little ill) “Well, I can’t say I’ve ever had anything like it before. Ever.”

Woman: “Great!” she says happily, totally oblivious. She turns to go about her day. “Eat up while I get dressed.”

Man: Looks around desperately for a way to dispose of the contents of the plate.  Looks down. The woman’s dog is staring up with hopeful, hungry eyes. The man pauses, looks over his shoulder, and puts the plate on the floor. The dog gobbles the omelet down, licking up the fluid drippings from the omelet, and walks off into the other room. With trembling hands, the man grips his coffee cup and drinks.

Woman: The bathroom door opens and the woman walks out dressed. She pauses. From the other room the man hears the woman scream.

Man: Looks up with wide open, panicked eyes.  “What’s wrong?”

Woman: “The (dog’s name) has vomited everywhere. It’s on my carpet. My freaking couch. It’s everywhere, I just stepped in it.”

Man: Still frozen until he hears the dog growling from underneath the table. The dog bites his leg. The shot is from above the table as you see the man gasping from the bite.

Don’t Swing a Dead Weasle if You’re Not Going to Use It.

weasel / weapon
image source:

It is not a coincidence that no language in human history has ever coined the following phrase: ” as useful as a dead weasel.”

In fact, if you’re on your way to do something and you think to yourself, I could really use a dead weasel for this, you’re probably about to do something that falls somewhere between misdemeanor and felony. How many times on “Cops” has the arresting officer commented, “it would have only been a misdemeanor, but you were swinging a dead weasel.”

There are certainly a few times when a dead weasel can be useful, but most of those occasions involve hillbilly wedding rituals. (Your best-man toast should never involve a dead weasel in any capacity; it’s a mistake that will haunt you forever.)

A man in Hoquiam, Washington confronted the current boyfriend of an ex-girlfriend. Generally a bad idea.

He confronted him swinging a dead weasel. Always a bad idea.

“Why do you have a dead weasel?” the boyfriend asked him.

“It’s not a weasel, it’s a marten,” he replied. A small distinction but an important one.

He then punched the boyfriend in the nose and ran off. Begging the question: why in the world would you bother carrying a dead weasel to a confrontation if you’re not going to use it?

He was later tracked down and charged with assault and public idiocy.

When asked why he was carrying a dead weasel, he matter-of-factly replied, “what are you stupid, live weasels bite.”

In a weird twist, the authorities reported that it wasn’t a weasel or a marten, but a mink.

I don’t know if fur is murder, but it’s definitely felony assault.

The man was eventually acquitted. Evidently the prosecutors “failed to prove a link to the mink.” The prosecutors reportedly failed to do several other things that rhyme.

When asked if he had learned any valuable lessons, the man replied, “yeah, if you see something dead on the side of the road, leave it be.”

Bieber Doll Beat Down

image source:

An off duty police officer in Denver Colorado was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. He claims that he was acting in self-defense, because he was fending off a vicious attack. He claims that his girlfriend was wielding a weapon.

What type of weapon would pose a threat so great to an off duty police officer, that it would necessitate assault against a woman?

  • A gun?
  • A knife?
  • A big stick?
  • A smaller stick with a sharp point?
  • A rolling-pin? (This applies mainly to Andy Capp’s wife.)
  • Mace, the medieval weapon?
  • Mace, the chemical irritant?
  • MACE, the Middleware Architecture Committee for Education, they seem like geeks, but they will rip you up.
  • A big rock?
  • A little rock, if you whip it really hard?
  • An arrow?
  • An arrow shot from a bow?
  • A bow tie? (Wasn’t there a Bond villain named Bowtie, who used bow ties as a weapon? Well, there should have been.)
  • A Ukulele? (You wouldn’t be smirking if you’d ever been hit with a ukulele.)
  • A Justin Bieber doll?

That’s right, she was wielding a Justin Bieber doll.

I imagine the interview between the arresting officer and his off duty colleague, went something like this:

Cop: she attacked you with a what now?

Suspect: you heard me.

Cop: I don’t think that I did.

Suspect: she attacked me with a Justin Bieber doll.

Cop: is “Justin Bieber doll” her pet name for a machete?

Suspect: no. She attacked with an actual Justin Bieber doll.

Cop: she was also wearing brass knuckles?

Suspect: she only attacked me with the doll. Look, I have little Bieber face imprints all over my body, it’s horrifying.

Cop: was the Justin Bieber doll constructed of lead?

Suspect:  no. It was just a regular Justin Bieber doll.

Cop: I don’t want to write that down.

I don’t know whether he was lying or not, but in the entire universe of possible explanations, is that the one that anyone would make up? Here’s a short list of things you could be attacked with, that bear less of a threat to your manhood:

  • He-man doll.
  • G.I. Joe doll.
  • Any Star Wars action figure. (Including Ewoks.)
  • Raggedy Andy doll.
  • Raggedy Ann doll.
  • Ken doll.
  • Barbie doll.
  • Career Day Barbie.
  • Beach-wear Barbie.
  • My Little Pony.
  • Mr. Potato Head.
  • Mrs. Potato Head.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids.
  • Cabbage.
  • Kids throwing cabbage.

Justin Bieber himself. (But don’t mess with Selena Gomez; she will put you away.)

deadly weapon
image source:

My Rejection Letter From Happy Fun Time Children’s Stories.

Dear Mr. Idiotprufs,

Here at Happy Fun Time Children’s Stories, we gain no greater satisfaction than when we create new and fresh children’s literature. So believe me when I express to you, we empathise with and appreciate your desire to write children’s stories. That being said, please stop it.

We believe that your talents lie in a genre away from children’s literature, very far away from children’s literature.

Take for example the first story you sent us, Little Timmy’s First Kite and the High Voltage Power Lines. A little boy’s first kite: good idea; a little boy’s first visit to the emergency room: not as good.

Similarly, your story, The Poorly Constructed and Precariously High Treehouse, starts out with a treehouse, a good subject for a children’s story, but ends with a full body cast, a bad subject for a children’s story.

And for the love of all that is good and merciful, please stop sending us stories that involve diseased chimpanzees. For your reference, here is list of topics unsuitable for children’s stories:

  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from the zoo.
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from the circus.
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from a research lab.
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from a secret underground facility run by evil albino Nazis.
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from a secret underground facility under Bill Gates home.
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from a secret underground facility run by evil albino Nazis, under Bill Gates home.
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from Martha Stewart’s house. (If Miss Stewart were to ever have a chimp, we are certain it would not be diseased.)
  • A diseased chimp that has escaped from a one eyed organ grinder.
  • A one eyed organ grinder.
  • Intestinal parasites.
  • Parasites.
  • Virtually any idea that has ever popped into your head.

In regards to your proposal for a series of books based on the ghost of mischievious monkey, that haunts children who won’t eat their vegetables: it’s not a good idea. That doesn’t even take into consideration the certain legal difficulties that would arise from your main character, Mysterious George.

We hope that you will heed our advice and take to heart the following suggestions:

  1. Seek professional help.
  2. Whatever medications that are certain to be prescibed, take them.
  3. Stay as far away from children’s literature as you possibly can.


Happy Fun Time Children’s Stories

P.S. In retrospect, stay as far away from actual children as you can.


!#@$%# Raccoons Part 2

The following is another story from the time I spent as a quality control inspector at a steel coating plant outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This story starts approximately ten minutes after !#@$%# Raccoons Part 1 ended.

Ken and I headed onto to the floor to check on some beams that had been coated the day before and were ready for final inspection. As we were looking over the beams and taking paint thickness readings, we heard a scream from one of the cranes above.

Jerry was in one of the cranes waving wildly and yelling something incoherently.

“What’s wrong with him?” Ken asked.

“I have no idea, specific to this situation,” I replied.

“What’s he yelling?” Ken asked.

“Look at me I’m in a crane?” I proffered.

I pulled out my radio and called Eric the paint supervisor, “I think there’s a problem on the floor.”

“Why do think there’s a problem?” Eric responded.

“It’s Jerry,” I answered.

“I’ll be right there,” he said with disgusted resignation.

Eric joined us on the floor to a display of Jerry shouting indistinctly and gesticulating wildly.

“Why doesn’t he use his radio?” Eric asked.

“It’s hard to say,” I responded.

“He’s seems like an idiot,” Ken added.

Eric held up his radio and pointed to it, to indicate to Jerry to use his. Jerry nodded in agreement. He then lunged out of sight, lunged back again clutching his radio, and shouted into the radio, “There’s a !#@$%# raccoon up here.”

“That’s where that raccoon went,”  I said to Ken and we both laughed more than we should have.

“Don’t worry Jerry,” I tried to reassure him,”raccoons are very clean animals, they wash their food.”

“They ain’t clean!,” Rick shouted as he came running, “People think they’re clean, but they ain’t clean. People think…”

“Shut up Rick,” Eric yelled, mercifully putting an end to the rant.

“What’s going on,” one the painters asked as he was passing by.

“Jerry’s trapped in the crane with a raccoon,” Ken replied casually.

“That is awesome!” Within minutes the entire shop had ground to a halt as everybody had gathered under Jerry’s crane to offer words of encouragement, to the raccoon. Jerry was mostly mocked.

“Can’t you get to the ladder?” Eric asked.

“No, it’s right in the way,” Jerry replied.

“Can’t you move it aside with your foot?” Eric offered.

“What if it bites me?” Jerry demanded.

“You’re wearing steel toed boots aren’t you?”

“What if it scratches them, these are brand new boots.” Jerry blurted.

Eric sighed in exasperation and buried his face in his hands.

“Jerry is real anal about his boots,” one of the painters commented.

“How does he feel about rabies shots?” Ken asked. He was answered with semi-indifferent shrugs.

“I’ve got a rifle in my truck that’ll put a bullet in that vermin’s head,” Rick said with disdain.

“You can’t shoot Jerry in the head Rick,” I told him.

“I meant the raccoon you idiot.” Rick called me an idiot often.

“Just try it,” Eric told him, obviously losing patience.

“Okay I’m gonna try it…I’m trying it…It grabbed my boot what do I do?” Jerry exclaimed frantically.

“Jerry, does it have little people hands?” I asked him with alarm in my voice.

“It does,” he responded.

“Your screwed, that means it’s smart,” I yelled into the radio.

I could see the wrath in Rick’s face, but before he could say anything Eric tossed his radio down and screamed, “everybody shut up.” He screamed up at the crane, sans radio, “Just get the hell out of that crane or you’re fired.”

There were some clattering noises, a few girlish screams, suddenly Jerry was out of the crane and on the ladder.  There was much rejoicing, followed by copious amounts of mocking.

Ken knew a guy in animal control, the raccoon was soon gone.

I thought I saw Rick wipe a tear away; some memories are hard to put behind you.

!#@$%# Raccoons Part 1

The following is another story from the time I spent as a quality control inspector at a steel coating plant outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It was about 6:15 AM as I crossed the plant floor toward the offices. The lights weren’t turned on yet, and though the sun was rising outside, the interior of the building was still a dark tangle of shadows. In the distance I could see a short stumpy figure climbing the ladder to where the cranes and catwalks were.

I wondered why Jerry would be climbing into the crane so early, and thought it peculiar that he was doing it in the dark. As I looked more closely, I realized that it wasn’t Jerry at all; it was the biggest raccoon I had ever seen. (Yes, I mistook a huge raccoon for Jerry, if you had ever met Jerry, you would understand.) The raccoon then disappeared into the darkness of the rafters and catwalks.

“I’ve seen that raccoon,” Ken, one of the private inspectors, told me, “it comes up from the Ohio River at daybreak and just disappears into the building somewhere.”

Suddenly Rick the foreman, who was sitting at his desk, jumped up and yelled at us, “they ain’t clean.”

“What?” Ken said, slightly startled.

“People think that raccoons are clean, but they ain’t clean. People think that raccoons are clean because they wash their food. They wash their food because they ain’t got no saliva; they don’t wash their food because they’re clean. They ain’t clean.” He stood glaring at us as we took in his tirade.

“Well..” was all that Ken got out.

“And they ain’t smart. People think they’re smart because they’ve got little people hands, but they ain’t smart. They ain’t clean and they ain’t smart.” He them stormed from the office as if he had been horribly offended.

Ken and I stood there and gaped at each other in stunned silence. Although neither of us said anything, we knew what other was thinking: what the hell?

After a few moments, Ken broke the silence,”Wow, Rick really !#@$%# hates raccoons.”

We speculated about what frightful trauma must have occurred to instill such a level of hatred for a furry animal. Maybe as a small child he was attacked by a racoon. Maybe as young teen a pack of racoon bullies taunted him and knocked the books out of his hands as he walked down the school hallway. (Rick had the physical presence of Ichabod Crane, without the grace.)

This is what I think happened: it was prom night, the night Rick had dreamed of since he was a little boy. He had his tuxedo. He had the corsage that he would tenderly pin to her gown. It was his night to shine.

She was a little late, but that’s fashionable right? He paced impatiently as the minutes stretched into hours. Periodically he’d stop to check his watch as he would mumble under his breath, “she’ll be here any minute now.”

She never showed up that night. Rick’s never gotten past the devastation that being stood up caused. Now he has an irrational hatred of all raccoons.

The source of Rick’s heartbreak.

Hiccup Gremlins: They Exist.

Experts tell us that hiccups are a myoclonus of the diaphragm, that results in an abrupt rush of air into the lungs. You get them when the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the abdomen, is irritated. They are most commonly the result of digestive disturbances.

Experts are full of it.

Hiccups are caused by tiny little gremlins that live in our bodies called corporal gremlins. They are mischievous little imps whose entire existence is dedicated to making our lives uncomfortable. They never make their presence overtly known. They never do anything that results in severe or permanent damage. What they specialise in are irritations that cause us embarrassment or discomfort.

One of their favorite things to cause are hiccups. You have to give a presentation at work: hiccups. You approach that cute girl to ask her out: hiccups. You’ve just gone to bed because you have a busy day ahead you: hiccups.

There are several minor ailments caused by corporal gremlins, here are some of them:

  • That enormous zit on your forehead, that you got right before your big date.
  • That enormous zit on your forehead, that you got just before prom night.
  • Zits in general.
  • That irritating rash on the inside of your leg that itches like crazy, but is in that delicate place where you can’t publicly itch it without offending those around you.
  • That inappropriate burp that causes you embarrassment. (During a eulogy, sitting in church, that brief moment of silence after that pastor asks,”if there is anyone here who objects to this union, let them speak now.”)
  • Male pattern baldness.
  • That hair-lip that your Aunt Martha is sporting.
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • That time you went to the beach and suddenly developed explosive diarrhea.
  • That long flight to the coast, when you suddenly developed explosive diarrhea.
  • That time you were in that traffic jam and developed explosive diarrhea.
  • Explosive diarrhea.
  • That time you were holding Grandma’s birthday cake and suddenly had to sneeze; and it was mucousy.
  • Erectile dysfunction. (There has been a great deal of debate about whether or not erectile dysfunction is caused by corporal gremlins. Many feel that it is. I personally don’t share that belief. If you have erectile dysfunction, you’re just not a real man, own up to it.)

There are a lot people out there who will tell you that corporal gremlins don’t exist. People who think they’re special, because they’re doctors, or they’ve read books, or they’ve never been institutionalized. Don’t listen to them. The next time you get hiccups you’ll know: corporal gremlins.

Not this type of Gremlin.

This type of gremlin.

Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,914 other followers

%d bloggers like this: