idiotprufs

what the hell else are you gonna do with your time?

Archive for the category “lists”

Burning Down the House

House on fire

So I recently stumbled across a news story that detailed how a man in Holland Township, Michigan, accidentally set fire to his apartment.  The fire spread and destroyed eight other apartments in his building and damaged two dozen other units.

When he set fire to his apartment, he was doing something that some might describe as ill-advised. Others would say it was foolish. But to most of us, it was an act of downright stupidity.

What was it that he was doing when he set fire to his apartment?

The following is a list of possible things the man in Michigan was doing when he started the fire.

Which one do you think is the real story?

  1. After hearing for years that you shouldn’t microwave metal–he wanted to find out why.
  2. After having trouble getting a fire started in the fireplace, he thought that a generous amount of gasoline would aide the proceedings.
  3. His friends refused to believe that he could spit Bacardi 151 and light it on fire. He simultaneously proved his friends wrong, and relieved them of their eyebrows.

    alcohol fire

    “Stand closer–what could possibly go wrong?”

  4. In an experiment to find out exactly how fire-retardant his new camping gear was, he doused it with kerosene lit it on fire. It wasn’t nearly as fire-retardant as he had hoped.
  5. Feeling a little peckish and having developed a sudden craving for squirrel, he attempted to burn the fur off a squirrel with a propane torch, in preparation to cook it. He inadvertently sets fire to the deck of his apartment.
  6. He attempted to make a homemade explosive device. If Michael Westen’s character on the television show Burn Notice can do it, how hard can it be? He was successful…in some regards.burning down the house
  7. Baked Alaska is fun in the restaurant when done by a professional chef. Not as much fun when done at home by an oaf.
  8. While trying to contain the Baked Alaska debacle, he discovered to his dismay, the words inflammable and flammable stupidly mean exactly the same thing.idiotprufs
  9. A “scientific” experiment, designed to find out if he could melt glass on his stove fails. He does however melt a great many things that day.
  10. Despite the explicit warning from the guys on Mythbusters, he tried it at home anyway.idiotprufs
  11. Hoping to enhance the effectiveness of bug spray on a wasp’s nest, he decided to light the spray on fire. It worked: the nest was destroyed, along with half his apartment building.

    “I can’t believe that didn’t work.”

  12. He’s just a huge Talking Heads fan.burning down the house

So what do you think?

If you don’t feel like guessing, here’s the story: nbcnews.com.

 

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Denouement–it’s Fun to Say

poe

Edgar Allan Poe: novelist, short story writer, and poet…something is missing.

In a previous post I stressed the importance of reading.

But it’s not just that you read; what you read is of equal importance.

The novel: Novels are essentially piles and piles of words endlessly strung together. Novelists are concerned with things like setting, theme, plot resolution, and character growth. Do friends become enemies? Do enemies become friends? Are obstacles overcome?

Important questions need to be answered in novels.

  • Does Captain Ahab’s obsession with the white whale drag him under?
  • Does Edmund Dantes’ quest for revenge ruin his chance for happiness?
  • Does Jay Gatsby reunite with his long-lost love?
  • Does Sydney Carton seek redemption by going to the gallows for another?
  • Does Lucy ever let Charlie Brown kick the football?

Seriously, novels are just exhausting–I would avoid them.

Note: The word denouement is fun to say–it’s all Frenchy.

hallucination

Reading novels makes young children have disturbing hallucinations…it’s a fact.

The short story: Short stories are just novels for people with short attention spans. They are primarily written by lazy novelists who probably had a little too much to drink the night before, and couldn’t be bothered to write a proper novel.

Don’t waste your time with short stories.

Poetry: The key element of poetry you need to recognize is that if can even remotely understand it, it’s not proper poetry. When a poet writes a poem about a leaf being blown from a tree, falling to the ground, and being trampled underfoot. He’s not actually writing about a leaf being blown from a tree, falling to the ground, and being trampled underfoot.

The leaf represents hopelessness, and the futility of a life marred by series of tragic events. The leaf being blown from the tree represents a life spiraling into an alcohol fueled abyss of despair. The leaf being trampled underfoot represents the crushing weight of an uncaring world and inevitable grip of death.

It’s all so confusing and depressing. I once spent the better part of an afternoon curled up in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably after reading a collection Sylvia Plath poems. (Sylvia Plath was one depressing chick.)

For the sake of your mental health stay away from poetry.

Note: This does not apply to limericks. Limericks are short humorous poems with a strict meter and rhyme scheme. They tend to revolve around an odd man from a small island off the coast of Massachusetts.

Nantucket

Nantucket: evidently there was once a man from there.

The humor blog: Humor blogs are unsurpassed in pure entertainment value. They are practically happiness in written form.

Many humor bloggers are attractive people; the rest are stunningly attractive people. Humor bloggers are the best sort of people; the sort of people you want to praise continuously and occasionally bask in their reflected glow.

They have breath that is perpetually minty fresh, and they seldom sweat.

Humor blogs are read by highly intelligent people. They are read by people who are witty and charming. They are wholly unlike those dullards who read books of poetry.

Humor blogs enrich your life, and they give meaning to your otherwise drab existence.

Whenever a humor blog is read, somewhere a small child laughs.

Humor blogs are to be read, read again, memorized, and repeated aloud in public.

You have your mission–so get to it.

laughing kid

Congratulations, you just made a small child laugh.

 

Home is Where the Heart is…and a Bit of Predator

Westfield ny

Home is where the heart is…in fact, that’s where I keep most of my shit.  –Pliny the Elder (slightly paraphrased)

This post is about my hometown, and five reasons why it is awesome. (This post is not about modesty.)

Reason #1: the best chicken wings on the planet

Western New York is really good at two things: lake effect snow and chicken wings. Lake effect snow sucks, but chicken wings are great. And the best chicken wings on the planet can be found in Westfield, NY at Larry’s Cantina.

How do I know the chicken wings at Larry’s Cantina are the best on the planet? Because I am a chicken wing expert. (Did I mention this post is not about modesty?)

Note: I can’t vouch for the chicken wings on other planets; I’m sure the chicken wings on that planet Predator is from are badass.

Predator

“Our chicken wings are badass.”

Reason #2: Mad Dog 20/20

mad dog

That’s right, Mad Dog 20/20 is produced in my hometown by Mogen David. Mad Dog 20/20 is classified as a flavored fortified wine. Flavored fortified wines are sometimes referred to as “bum wines” by cynics. Cynics can bite me. (This post is not about tact.)

The Urban Dictionary claims it’s the drink high school kids sneak off to the rock quarry to drink. That’s ridiculous…it was a gorge.

Mad Dog 20/20 has numerous virtues:

  • It’s practically a cure for not having liver disease.
  • It relieves you of that pesky problem of having too many brain cells.
  • It would survive a nuclear holocaust.
  • It comes in several delicious artificial flavors and colors that glow in the dark.
  • If you’ve ever wondered what the sweetest thing in the world is: there’s your answer.
  • Predator loves it.
Predator

“Mad Dog 20/20 is badass.”

Reason #3: Grace Bedell

Bedell

Grace Bedell statue in Westfield, NY.

On October 15, 1860, a few weeks before Lincoln was elected President of the United States, Grace Bedell sent him a letter from Westfield, New York, urging him to grow a beard to improve his appearance. Lincoln responded in a letter on October 19, 1860, making no promises. However, within a month, he grew a full beard.

His inaugural trip from Illinios to Washington D.C. took him through Westfield, NY where he stopped to meet Grace.

Grace later recounted the events:

“He climbed down and sat down with me on the edge of the station platform,” she recalled. “‘Gracie,’ he said, ‘look at my whiskers. I have been growing them for you.’ Then he kissed me. I never saw him again.”

I know what you’re thinking: that’s a sweet story, but it would have been more impressive if she had written something like:

Dear Mr. Lincoln, if you should become president, this slavery thing really has to go.

P.S.  Avoid the theater.

Hey, it’s our thing–leave it alone!

Predator

“Grace Bedell is badass.”

Reason #4: my aunts and uncles

If modern cinema and television have taught us anything through mega-hits such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Walking Dead, it’s that witches, vampires, werewolves, and various incarnations of the undead, are quite popular in current culture.

The town of Westfield, NY is polluted with my aunts and uncles.

Note: you get what I’m implying.

Reason #5: simply put: it’s my hometown and that makes it awesome (this post is not about modesty or tact)

This blog is read by thousands of intelligent and influential people (a few of which aren’t imaginary).

And since this is my blog: I make the rules. And according to those rules, that makes my hometown awesome.

Note: I’ve heard this blog is wildly successful on Predator’s planet.

Predator

“idiotprufs is badass.”

Addendum

Westfield, NY is also awesome because there are absolutely no mimes there.

There was one once, but we took care of that.

Westfield, NY

Westfield, NY: notice the dearth of mimes.

Flashback: Top Ten Other Things the Mayans Got Wrong

My apologies to David Letterman.

My apologies to David Letterman.

I stumbled upon this post, one of the very first of this blog, from many years ago. Do you remember when the world was supposed to end?

In my previous post, I detailed my displeasure with the fact that the world didn’t come a cataclysmic end on December 21st. Not only did nothing cool happen, but even worse, I was forced to finish my Christmas shopping.

I’ve discovered after doing some exhaustive research (Google) there were a myriad of things the Mayans got wrong.

Top Ten Other Things The Mayans Got Wrong

10)  Caddyshack 2 will be just as funny as Caddyshack.

 9) A man named Isaac Newton will be resting under an apple tree when an apple will fall on his head. He will become so irate that he invents a machine that will be used to systematically destroy all apple trees, ridding the land of the scourge of falling apples.

 8) Queen Anne is so taken with Newton’s apple tree destroying prowess, she has him knighted. Although a great honor, he is hampered by the fact that he can now only move two spaces forward and one space over on a chess board.

 7) The common folk of 18th century England become so enraged that they can no longer obtain apples, they form a mob and throw Sir Isaac Newton over a cliff. On the way down he has a fleeting thought about something called gravity. Alas, it perishes with him.

 6) Without the foundation of Newtonian physics to expand upon, Albert Einstein never leaves his job as a patent clerk. He does however patent the Sham-wow and he becomes filthy rich.

 5) In the early 20th century a majestic ship called the Titanic is built, it traverses the seas for centuries. However, the movie Titanic, about a ship where nothing ever goes wrong, completely flops.

    Note: The Mayans also go on and on about Siskel but say nothing at all about Ebert. Two thumbs down Mayans.

 4) A man named J.R.R. Tolkien will write a few simple stories about some hobbits; nothing much will come of them.

 3) A mighty force called the Cleveland Browns will arise. They will win many championships called Super Bowls. At about the same time, there will be a record cold snap in Hell.

 2) The shoreline in a place called New Jersey, will become the epicenter for culture and wisdom in the western world. This will happen in the early 21st century and be a clear sign that the end is near.

 1) Those Spaniards seem like nice fellows; nothing bad could ever come of our relationship with them.

colt mccoy

Mighty warriors of the 21st century.

Don’t Pee on the Electric Fence

Even the cows think you're an idiot.

Even the cows think you’re an idiot.

Never had greater words of wisdom passed over human lips: Don’t pee on the electric fence.

Well, maybe not great words of wisdom, but to a bunch of young boys about to go ramming through a cow pasture on their way to the woods, they seemed like great words of wisdom. After all, he was an old guy, and old guys know stuff.

Of course, to a group of young rapscallions, this was practically a dare to pee on the electric fence.

Note: As it turned out, far more useful words of wisdom would have been: don’t pee close enough to the electric fence that your friends can shove you into it. Don’t trust your friends: another solid piece of advice.

They may not be words that hold the eloquence of the Gettysburg Address or the weight of Churchill’s address to a joint session of Congress upon the United States entrance into the war, but if you had ever been shoved penis first into an electric fence, you would appreciate their significance.

He also told us not to eat any mushrooms growing on cow crap. He was evidently unconcerned with the  myriad of poisonous mushrooms growing everywhere else.

The point is: a few short words of wisdom can save a young man from a lot of misery. Words of wisdom such as:

  • Regardless of how far your super-soaker sprays, you’re still too close to the hornet’s nest.
  • You don’t want to discover the quantitative value for the phrase “mad as a hornet.”
  • It may seem sturdy, but an umbrella is not an adequate substitute for a parachute.
  • When jumping from the barn roof with an umbrella, the hay bales below are much less of a cushioning factor than one might think.
  • Despite the blood, “look what you did to my umbrella?” is the first thing an adult will think to say.
  • Even though most varieties of snakes are not venomous, you still don’t want them to bite you.
  • Convincing your cousin to let a snake bite him so that you find out whether or not it’s venomous, seems like a good idea, but it will really piss-off your aunt.
  • Never utter the phrase “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me,” to someone who is in possession of sticks or stones. In the jungle that is playground justice, you will be whacked over the head with a stick.
  • Do not ever, under any circumstance, tell a girl that her socks make her look like a rodeo clown.
  • That old children’s rhyme about girls being made of sugar and spice and everything nice–total crap.
  • Don’t melt play-doh on the stove. (What seems like a scientific experiment to you, is just wanton destruction to your mother.)
  • Ditto with crayons.
  • Don’t purposely try to set off the smoke alarm just to see how loud it is–it’s loud.
  • Thinking your mother won’t hear the smoke alarm because she’s in the shower, is a big wet screaming mistake.
  • And finally: don’t pee on the electric fence.

    Don't eat these mushrooms. Leave the cow crap alone too.

    Don’t eat these mushrooms. Leave the cow crap alone too.

Wouldn’t it be Easier?

names

Wouldn’t the world be a better, more navigable place, if people’s names reflected their personality traits and true characters?

Imagine if the highway patrolman could read the name on the driver’s license of that attractive young woman who’s trying to flirt her way out the ticket, and say, “I’d like to let you go without a citation Miss…Manipulative Little Tramp, but I don’t think I can do that today.”

If Phil, that wonderful guy you just met, who you are convinced will be the perfect husband, had the full name of Philandering Piece Of Crap, wouldn’t heartache be avoided?

If that cute girl who moved into your apartment building had been named Crazy Potential Stalker, none of those restraining orders would have been necessary, and that deadbolt wouldn’t have had to be replaced. (She was 110 pounds of muscle and crazy.)

If Jeffrey Dahmer had been named more appropriately, perhaps fewer young men would’ve fallen prey to his wiles. People tend to not let their guard down around you when your name is Homicidal Flesh Eating Weirdo.

If some of my aunts bore names like Insidious Hag, Conniving Bridge Troll, or anything with the words wicked or odiferous in them, perhaps I would have made fewer snarky comments about their chunky thighs or their dull-witted offspring…probably not, but perhaps.

Note: it has been brought to my attention that my uncle, Two-Faced Lying Rat-Bastard, is furious with some of the things I have written in this blog. In particular he is unhappy with my implications that some of my aunts are witches or monsters. As an olive branch, from this point forward, I will no longer imply that some of my aunts are witches or monsters; I will use only declarative statements. I’m happy we could work this out.

If Adolph Hitler had been called Genocidal Maniac, the world may have been slightly more wary during his ascent to power.

Ditto Mao Tse-tung.

Ditto Joseph Stalin.

Ditto Milton Obote.

Ditto Idi Amin.

It’s reported Idi Amin liked to be called:

His Excellency, President For Life Field Marshall Al HADJ Doctor Idi Amin DADA, VC, DSO, MC. Lord Of All The Beasts Of The Earth And Fishes Of The Sea And Conqueror Of The British Empire In Africa In General, And Uganda In Particular.

He should have been called Gigantic Arrogant Penis, or under my naming system: Piers Morgan.

A few examples of people renamed under my system:

  • Justin Bieber: Annoying Little Prick.
  • Taylor Swift: Annoying Chick.
  • Miley Cyrus: Annoying Chick Who’s Frequently Naked.
  • Kim Kardashian: Undeservedly Famous Chick Who’s Frequently Naked.
  • Kayne West: Mr. Undeservedly Famous Chick Who’s Frequently Naked.
  • North West: Little Girl Routinely Picked On In School Because Her Parents Are Idiots. (Mine is only slightly less ridiculous.)
  • Charles Manson: Homicidal Nutbar.
  • Ted Bundy: Charming Homicidal Nutbar.
  • Piers Morgan: Piers Morgan.
  • My aunt: Wart-Faced Witch. (See, declarative.)
miley cyrus

Annoying Chick Who’s Frequently Naked in concert.

The list could go on and on, and it may in a future post.

Until next time,

Guy Who Gets Pepper-Sprayed Far Too Frequently For It To Be Reasonable.

 

Unhappy Penguins With Happy Feet

We’ll show you happy feet.

The zoo is place of learning, a place of discovery, a place to take in the breadth and width of God’s creation. It’s a place where every ten steps you stop and check the bottom of your child’s shoe to ensure that revolting smell isn’t something he’s stepped in.

At these zoos, zoologists separate animals into several basic categories:

Animals that can kill you by stomping on you:

  • Big elephants.
  • Not so big elephants.
  • Smallish elephants.
  • Most any elephant.
  • Mimes pretending to be elephants.
  • Hippopotami.
  • Moose.
  • Bison.
  • Really huge geese.
  • Small geese, but a butt-load of them.
  • Giraffes.
  • An incensed mob of penguins that over-heard you casually comment that Happy Feet sucked.
  • Bigfoot.
  • That crazy mom from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
  • Chris Christie.
  • Rhinos
  • The Hulk.

Animals that can kill you by biting or stinging you:

  • Rattlesnakes.
  • Scorpion.
  • Box jellyfish.
  • Black mambo.
  • The Brazilian wandering spider. If the venom of the Brazilian wandering spider doesn’t kill you, it may result in permanent impotence (Insert off-color joke here–I know have some).
  • Gerald the creepy neighbor kid.
  • Diseased rats.
  • Honey Boo Boo.

Animals that will eat you:

  • Lions.
  • Tigers.
  • Cougars–the feline type.
  • Cougars–the lady type.
  • Polar bears.
  • Yogi Bear (But only if he can’t find any pic-a-nic type baskets).
  • Crocodiles.
  • German cannibals that advertise on Craigslist.
  • Sharks.
  • Piranha.
  • Crazed bunny rabbits.
  • C.H.U.D.
  • Territorial crows.
  • Flocks of wild chickens bent on revenge.

Animals that you can eat:

  • Cows.
  • Wild boar.
  • Ducks
  • Bunny rabbits (You have to get them before they get you).
  • Geese.
  • German guys that answer your Craigslist ad.
  • Deer that your uncle shot.
  • Deer that your uncle hit with his truck.
  • What you suspect is opossum that your uncle hit with his truck, but he is suspiciously evasive about what it is.
  • Tofu turkey (Just kidding, tofu was never alive, it just tastes like something that’s dead).
  • Chicken McNuggets.

Animals that look as though they’ve been genetically altered by a mad scientist:

  • The star-nosed mole.
  • The duck-billed platypus.
  • The axolotl.
  • The aye aye.
  • The entire cast of Jersey Shore.

Animals that appear cute and cuddly but are actually quite dangerous:

  • Mink.
  • The short-tailed shrew.
  • The leopard seal.
  • Gerald the neighbor kid (Not really–he is not cute).
  • Penguins after you made that wise-crack about Happy Feet.
  • Honey Boo Boo.

So the next you go to the zoo, print-out this list and take it with you. Quote from it generously. I guarantee that everyone around you will stare in wide-eyed wonder at the depth of your knowledge.

Note: It’s not until you get home that you discover that revolting smell is your child.

The axolotl, because I know you think I made that name up.

The axolotl, because I know you think I made that name up.

My Top Ten Previous Lives and Other Nonsense

Napolean

I may have been Napoleon in a previous life.

I’ve noticed when people talk about reincarnation or previous lives, they’ve always been someone famous or influential or important. They’ve always been Napoleon or George Washington or the guy who invented the ShamWow.

Why is it that no one has ever been a banana slug or Igor the twelfth century serf who mucked out stables, and was crushed by a runaway manure cart?

After much deliberation I’ve come up with my top ten previous lives:

TEN

Big stupid dinosaur–Jurassic Period.

NINE

Small clever dinosaur, eaten by a big stupid dinosaur–Jurassic Period.

EIGHT

Big stupid dodo bird that jumped from a cliff in a fruitless attempt to fly–whenever the hell we lived.

dodo bird

Look at those tiny ineffectual wings, no wonder we’re extinct.

SEVEN

Mayan who first met Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, and thought to himself: these Spaniards seem nice, I’ll introduce them to my people, nothing bad could come from that–sixteenth century, near the time of the fall of the Mayan Empire.

SIX

Wendall Newton, Sir Isaac Newton’s stupid cousin who laughed when the apple fell on Isaac’s head. Later he ate the apple and choked, it had a worm in it–seventeenth century.

FIVE

Pierre, Marie Antoinette’s advisor and later headless corpse. He advised her: just tell them to eat cake–eighteenth century.

FOUR

Adolph Hitler, but not the infamous one; just a poor lad born at the wrong time in Germany with a very unfortunate name–early twentieth century.

THREE

Raccoon who was shot, but later gained fame as Fess Parker’s hat–mid twentieth century.

TWO

Big stupid tuna fish caught in a net. Later became part of a casserole that Edwina Fornwaller took to a pot-luck dinner. It was dry and not well received–late twentieth century.

ONE

Bigfoot. Spent time lurking just out of sight, and being captured in grainy indistinguishable photographs–whenever.

fess parker

Here I am on Fess Parker’s head. Don’t I look awesome?

Mad Dog 20/20: The Greatest Invention Ever

invention symbol

When you’re having a reflective moment and you’re pondering the greatest invention in human history, what springs to mind?

Is it fire, the wheel, the combustion engine, that little plastic thing that keeps the top your pizza from being smeared all over the box–all very important.

Perhaps it’s the written word. (Although that’s certainly not reflected here.)

You probably think it’s an advancement in medicine or technology.

Wrong! The answer is Mad Dog 20/20.

I know what you’re thinking: why am I wasting precious moments of a finite lifetime reading a bunch of drivel written by a person who is clearly unstable and who probably spent far too much of his youth eating paste and crayons.

Wrong Again! I still eat paste and crayons.

I’m going to provide five specific reasons for my assertion that Mad Dog 20/20 is the greatest invention of all time.

Reason #1

It’s not just wine–it’s a flavored fortified wine.

It’s fortified!

Fortified wines have a higher alcohol content than regular sissy wines.

Anything with the word fort in it is inherently superior to anything without the word fort in it.

Example:

Fort Worth, Texas: thriving metropolis populated with the highest caliber of people.

Worth, Illinois: total shithole filled with mimes.

Enough said.

Reason #2

If you’re anything like me (my sympathies if you are) you are dazzled by things that are bright and shiny. Mad Dog 20/20 is available in a myriad of brightly colored flavors. There’s so many brilliant colors it’s dizzying. (And if you’re into to dizziness: consuming Mad Dog 20/20 can help you with that too.)

md 20/20

It’s dizzying.

Reason #3

The medical applications of Mad Dog 20/20 are many.

  • It’s practically a cure for not having liver disease.
  • Too many pesky brain cells: Mad Dog 20/20 is the solution.
  • It makes your vomit glow in the dark–how cool is that?
  • It makes you vomit: vomiting cleanses the body and entertains your friends.
  • It makes your urine glow in the dark. You’d be surprised how often that comes in handy.
  • It’s a memory suppressor: even if you drink a bunch of Mad Dog 20/20, and you do something crazy and stupid, you won’t remember it. (However, the authorities may remind you of what you’ve done.)

Reason #4

Applications apart from drinking it.

  • Self defense: it can be used to blind an attacker.
  • As an adhesive: as one of the stickiest substances known to man, it can be used as a glue.
  • Entomology: it can be used to attract bees, ants, or hobos.
  • As a repellent: it repels wombats, musk oxen, and The French.
  • Monetarily: it’s used as currency in the best federal prisons.
  • Status: if you keep Mad Dog 20/20 on display in your home, people will know your classy.

Reason #5

Mad Dog 20/20 is produced in my hometown of Westfield, NY. It’s a wonderful small village in western New York that has produced many brilliant people…and me.

It’s surprising the word fort isn’t in the name of the village. Strictly speaking, somebody dropped the ball on that.

I think at this point you probably agree with me that Mad Dog 20/20 is the greatest invention of all time.

So drink up.

Westfield ny

Many brilliant people.

Addendum: my apologies to the citizens of Worth, Illinois, I’m sure you’re fine people.

Putting One Thing on Top of Another Thing

blocks,

An example of my capabilities.

“Do you understand?” He was gaping at me the way someone would who had just tried to explain calculus to an ape. And not one of those clever apes that knows sign language but one those apes on the nature channel that’s eating its own poop.

“Seriously?” I responded.

“Yeah,” he spat the word at me in the most condescending arrogant voice he could conjure. “Did you understand what I just explained to you?”

Note: in fairness to him, the most condescending arrogant voice he could conjure was just his voice–the fact that he resembled a rat didn’t help.

Allow me to go back to the beginning and explain: I am referring to an experience I had as a temporary worker. When you’re a temporary worker, there are certain things about you that are presumed:

  • You possess the education of a 12th century manure mucker, your biggest aspiration is to one day be allowed to use a shovel.
  • You need everything explained to you at least a dozen times.
  • You need everything explained in a tone that one would use when explaining to a small child why he shouldn’t eat all the fingerpaint and vomit into the fish tank.
  • You need everything explained to you in monosyllabic language. (Ironically, the word monosyllabic is exactly the type of word that should never be used when explaining something to a temporary worker.)
  • You need everything explained to you with accompanying diagrams. These diagrams should be drawn in crayon if possible.
  • All diagrams should be drawn in non-threatening colors such as forest green or navy blue. Bright colors confuse and disorient temporary workers (fuchsia makes us crazy).

I was interrupted from my duties by Rat-Faced Guy, (not his actual name) who informed me that he needed my assistance.

He dragged me over to a line where juice was being packaged in small cans. As cases of these cans progressed down the line, a machine would lift every other case and then fling the cans into the air, spilling them across the floor. Evidently, that’s not how the machine was designed to operate.

Rat-Faced Guy (probably not his name) explained to me that the malfunctioning machine would be shut down, and I would step in to take its place. As the cases came down the line in pairs, it would be my job to pick up the first case of juice, and place it on top of the second case of juice. Then I would have to do that again and again, until the machine was operating properly again.

It was at point that Rat-Faced Guy (potentially his actual name, when I said Rat-Faced Guy, people seem to know to whom I was referring) asked me if I understood.

“So, you’re asking me if I understand putting one thing on top of another thing?” I asked him.

“Yeah.” He looked at me with his beady eyes, his wispy mustache twitching nervously.

“What if, instead of putting the first case on top of the second, I put the second case under the first case?” I proposed.

Rat-Faced Guy (probably his actual name) looked at me incredulously. “Why would you do that?”

“I’m a visionary,” I told him. “I’m like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, or Thomas Crapper.”

“Just do it the way I told you,” squeaked Rat-Faced Guy (almost certainly his actual name).

For the next two hours, I stood in one spot, and successfully put one thing on top of another thing.

Perhaps now they will trust me with something challenging such as putting one thing next to another thing.

The sky’s the limit–except for stacking things: two is the limit for stacking things.

 

idiotprufs, rat cartoon

Rat-faced guy having lunch.

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