Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nominees for Dumb Ass Of the Year Award

With the year coming to a close, many different countdowns are emerging: Top 100 songs of 2011; Top 10 Best Dressed; Top 20 Dumbest Criminals; the list goes on and on. So, in the interest of being a team player, I have compiled my own top 10 list of 2011. I give you the:
                      Top 10 Nominations for the Dumb Ass of the Year Award

Nominee #1: People with the Stupidest Profile Pictures

The Bird Flippers – This photographic pioneer has come up with what he believes to be a groundbreaking idea. The picture may vary a little, but for the most part, it includes the following: a guy wearing a t-shirt with the cut-off sleeves, a hat on backward, with an I think I am cooler than I am face flipping off the camera. I have no idea why someone would do this. Did you have your finger chopped off in a terrible paper cut accident, have it reattached and are holding it up as a tribute to the doctor that performed the surgery? Maybe you just discovered it and are fascinated like when a baby girl discovers her feet and sucks on them or a baby boy discovers his wee-wee, grabs hold and doesn’t let go until his mid-thirties. To me flipping of a camera is equivalent to the droves of people that went out and got tribal tattoos in the effort to be original. It shows you are a free thinker and have a way of expressing yourself that is usually only found in punk teenage boys.

The Flasher – A new trend amongst teenage boys is photographing themselves in front of a mirror, pulling up their shirt and showing their abs. My niece’s Facebook page is littered with photos of guys doing this. While I must admit, the muscles are impressive (For some reason, it seems as though the teenage boys today are built like the 25-year-old guys of yesterday), I can’t help noticing that while the abs are well developed, it looks as though the brain is not. I expect the next word out of their mouths will be, “Der!”  Maybe they should show off their six-packs because, in 15 years, my guess is they will all be sporting kegs and will be much less likely to share that with the world.

My nieces demonstrating "duck lips."
Duck lips – Apparently, teenage girls have decided posing with their lips stuck out like a duck is the hot, sexy thing. Did I miss the memo? Are ducks the new “in” thing? Are people clamoring to plastic surgeons, bypassing the Julia Roberts and Angelina pout in favor of the Gilbert Godfrey voiced AFLAC duck-billed look? Is Howard the Duck now a stud?

Nominee #2: Prison Inmate Wannabes

I am of course referring to those fashion-forward morons that wear their pants around their knees. This look originated in prison where belts are not allowed. So unless you are looking to be ass raped, pull up your pants and buy a freakin’ belt.

Nominee #3: The Language Inventors

This group includes anyone that utters the phrase, “Know what I’m sayin’?”  “Ya feel me?” or anything ending in “izzle.” If you have to ask, “Know what I’m sayin?” then we probably don’t know because you are too high to actually make any sense. 

It's the same with “Ya feel me?No, I don’t “feel ya” nor do I want to. "Know what I’m sayin’” and "Ya feel me" have replaced “Ummmm…” as this century’s vocalized pause. Anyone that says this should be put in solitary confinement until they figure out what they are saying so that we don’t have to try.

Moving on to what I refer to as the “Izzlers.” In an attempt to bolster their vocabulary, Izzlers have added a new suffix to the English language… although I am not certain it is English. I believe Snoop Dog started this trend. The suffix “izzle” is placed on the end of every word. For example, a normal, educated person may say something like “For real, my friend.” Where an Izzler would respond with, “For rizzle, my Shizzle.” In this instance, they have not only changed real to rizzle but they have also taken the extra time to develop a new term of endearment “Shizzle.” To me, this new language is the lazy man’s Pig Latin.

Nominee #4: Kayne West 

Nominated for one of the largest cases of foot in mouth disease after interrupting Taylor Swift while she was receiving her award, and for knocking Beck's talent. Newsflash, Kayne. Your opinion isn't the only opinion.

Nominees #5: The Grammatically Challenged

I realize this one makes me sound snobby and that I may not always use perfect grammar, but this is my list of pet peeves and these are my nominees, so I am including them. The phrases “a whole nother” and “all of a sudden” are not really phrases. What, exactly, is a “nother”? And what about “all of a sudden…”? Can you have half of a sudden or some of a sudden”?

Nominees #6: People too Lazy to Change the Toilet Paper Roll

Some individuals, and let’s be honest, it's usually me, are mentally challenged or physically incapable of changing a toilet paper roll. I would ask, “How hard is it?" but it is apparently a lot harder than I realize. I have created easy to follow instructions for these intellectually handicapped dumb asses:

1.     Notice that toilet paper roll is empty. * Please Note: One square left also indicates an empty roll;
2.     This next part is tricky for some. Resist the urge to grab a new roll of toilet paper and rest it on the empty cardboard roll. Remove toilet paper roll from "holder" - that thingy holding it. You'd think that'd be self-explanatory). Don't be scared. I promise, they are simple to operate.;
3.     Throw empty roll into garbage;
4.     Put a NEW roll on holder  and feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back after you wash your hands, of course.

Nomination #7: Car Companies

I don’t know when it happened, but it appears the newer models of cars are being made without turn signals. I must qualify this by saying I drive an older car that has turn signals, so I can only comment on this from observation. Finding it hard to believe that so many drivers will see you waiting to turn without actually putting their signal on to let you know there is enough time to pull out seems implausible. Therefore, I can only conclude that car makers decided turn signal were an unnecessary feature and replaced them with something more practical like Bluetooth or satellite radio.

Nomination # Eight: People that Refer to Themselves in the Third Person

You were given a name so that other people could address you. While many are guilty of this, one celebrity in particular springs to mind. Michael Vick. I am paraphrasing to some degree, but I have heard him say things along the lines of No one can hate Michael Vick. Everyone loves Michael Vick. News flash Mike, Shay thinks Michael Vick sucks monkey balls. Go on the computer or open an English book and research pronouns. They're easy enough to use.

Nomination #9: The Flip-flopping Republican Party

Screwing themselves
It seems as though every week there is a new front-runner. The other candidates spend all of their time bashing whoever is this week’s political darling until they knock that person completely off of the pedestal. 

Now, putting any political affiliations you might have aside, doesn’t it seem like they are doing the Democrats’ work for them? The nominees are already giving all of the reasons why they won’t vote for each other. When the voting is done and the dust settles, what will be the Republican Candidate’s slogan? Vote for me because I am less of a flip-flopping lying, cheating, embezzling, train-wreck of a politician than the other guy? And while I realize that by saying the word “politician” flip-flopping lying, cheating, embezzling as well as greedy, self-serving backstabber are already implied, shouldn’t they be saving that kind of pillow talk for the opposing parties? Get it together people! We need more than one political party to choose from in this nation. I'd like at least five because let's be honest, none of the ones we have are looking too stellar right now.

Nomination Number Ten: A Tie

The final nomination is for the individuals on The Jersey Shore. I don’t believe anything else needs to be said.

Honorable Mentions:

Justin Bieber’s Non-baby Mama

I'm not condoning this, but was this chick really surprised when she received death threats from Bieber fans after she claimed to have given birth to Justin’s baby? She had already claimed that approximately three other guys were the baby daddy. Did she think it wouldn’t come out? What was she hoping to gain? Did she think it would gain her Bieber’s attention and he would look at her and say, “I know you just falsely accused me of being your baby, baby, baby’s father, but you are just crazy enough to make me want to date you. You got spunk and I want to make you one less lonely girl!”

Charlie Sheen - Now there are a number of things that could have landed him on this list: His claim to have "tiger blood," his harem of "goddesses" that, let's be honest, are anything but, or maybe for coming up with the non-catchiest (it's a word) most annoying phrase/word of the year: "Winning."  However, I think what makes him most eligible for Dumb Ass of the Year is getting fired from his cake walk, Two and a Half Men job that paid him a million dollars an episode. Dumb Ass!

Now, I am sure there are many more nominees that I have forgot to include like the idiot driving 35MPH in the fast lane because she is talking on the phone -Yes, I do have to glare at you to see if you look as stupid as you drive, or the friend that would rather spend TWO HOURS texting back and forth instead of having a 2-minute phone call. I hate talking on the phone as much as the next person, but come on! Two hours to figure out where we are eating? Ya know what I’m sayin’? Ya, feel me? For rizzle my schizzle. Word!

Who would you nominate for dumb ass of the year award and why?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm Sorry But Some Art is Just Crap!

So last weekend I went to Atlanta's High Museum with a few friends to see an exhibit called "Picasso to Warhol." I was so excited because I am an amateur artist, which in translation means I am too poor to afford art school and wanted to study the brush strokes and methods of these famous, widely respected artists. The High Museum's website described the exhibit as follows:

"Picasso to Warhol will present approximately 100 works of art created by 14 of the most iconic artists from the 20th century: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, Piet Mondrian, Fernand Léger, Marcel Duchamp, Giorgio De Chirico, Joan Miró, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. The exhibition will be one of the largest concentrations of modern art masterpieces to ever be exhibited in the southeastern United States. "

Now, as a general rule, I have always preferred the artistic styles of the Impressionists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas and Manet but I was more than a little curious about the fascination people seemed to have with “Pop Art.” I tried to keep an open mind as we made our way to the elevator. My friend, Diana, a hot little Spanish thing, encountered a security guard drunk with power.

"Eh! Throw out that water bottle. You can't have that in here. Eh, did you hear me?"

Yes, she heard the water Nazi, but there was no garbage can in sight as we got onto the elevator on our way to the 3rd floor where the art was being showcased. We quickly closed the elevator door and fought off the strong urge to give the guard the one finger salute, aka, the finger.

Pablo Picasso. Girl Before a Mirror. 1932. Oil on canvas.
The Museum of Modern Arts, New York, NY, USA.
As the elevator doors parted we were immediately greeted with Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror. Diana, afraid a guard would slap handcuffs on her and take her off to museum jail, found a trash can and threw her bottle away. We approached the painting. I studied it for a moment, noticing the red tear that seemed to be cascading down her cheek. I couldn't help thinking that if I looked that way I'd cry too. How many breasts does she have? What's with the small green one on top of the other two?

Still, with all of the madness, strange placing of body parts and taking into account the acid trip I am certain good ol' Pablo was on when he painted it, I couldn't help but appreciate his technique and peculiar, yet thought provoking perception of the human form. It was something that would make you stare at it wanting to know more about the artist, his thought process and if something was wrong with his eyesight.

We said good-bye to the Picassos and headed to the Warhol exhibit. Now, unless you live under a rock, you have probably at some point in your life seen Warhol’s soup cans, though you may have mistaken them for a Campbell’s add. This piece, along with the famous brightly colored Marilyn portraits were pretty much all I knew about Warhol’s art. I was curious to see if there was more to his art than just commercialism. Diana and I made our way around the exhibit and both stopped as we came to the Brillo pad boxes.

Andy Warhol - Brillo box
Synthetic paint silk screen on wooden box
No, you didn’t read that wrong. It was, in fact several Brillo pad boxes scattered and stacked on a platform. Why this is art is beyond me. The only thing I can come up with is that instead of using actual Brillo pad boxes, because that would be stupid, Warhol used synthetic paint and silk screened wooden boxes to look exactly like Brill pad boxes.

As I contemplated sitting on the boxes, thinking if anyone gave me crap I could explain how I was making it interactive, functional art and win critical acclaim, I overheard some art enthusiasts discussing the piece.

“He was truly a visionary. His simplistic approach to art…”

I stopped listening. It is boxes on a floor! You can see the same thing in any grocery store. Just be sure to go when they are re-stocking shelves. I viewed a few more of Warhol’s “visionary” paintings and came to the conclusion that I just don’t get his work.

Jasper Johns
I moved on to view the paintings of Southern artist, Jasper Johns. I can sum up his work in four words: numbers, letters, flags and maps. The first piece I viewed was aptly titled “0-9.” It was literally the numbers 0-9. That was it. Sesame Street was more engaging in its presentation. It looked as though Johns woke up one morning, thought, Ahhh, shit! My art project is due today! He grabbed some number stamps, dipped them in ink and pressed them on paper.

His teacher, impressed with his dipping and pressing skills, along with his ability to count to 9 decided he needed to head to New York where he could be appreciated by all.

Not overly impressed with these paintings, with the exception of Picasso, I found myself wishing for Diana’s water bottle so I could squirt water on the numbers to make them more interesting. I thought, Iconic my ass! I decided to switch it up and view some sculpture thinking I had nowhere to go but up.


Louise Bourgeois
The first sculpture I encountered was long oblong, wooden shape forms painted white and sky blue and stuck into a base. I asked Diana and Sara if they were supposed to be dildos to which Diana replied, “Maybe.” We searched the platform and came upon the sculptor’s name, Louise Bourgeois and the description Quarantania that was described as a family portrait. Well the blocks of painted wood do resemble each other.

Okay…Moving on…

The next “sculptor” who is technically a surrealist, was Marcel Duchamp. As we walked into the room I noticed a very odd piece.

“Diana, is that a snow shovel?”

High above us, suspended from a wire was indeed a snow shovel.

Marcel Duchamp
In Advance of the Broken Arm
“Why would the janitors do that?”  I asked.

Well, turns out, they wouldn’t. This was the “sculpture.” Apparently, Duchamp, who I also later found out viewed urinals as art, strolled into a hardware store one day, saw a snow shovel, bought it, signed it, hung it from a wire, gave it a fancy name to throw off the critics and called it art.

You are probably wondering, WTH? Unless you were just hit with 2ft of snow, who would pay money for this?

Andy Warhol, that’s whom. It seems Andy was greatly inspired by Duchamp’s work and had this piece hanging in his studio for inspiration. I have no explanation for this.

Baffled, I decided to try paintings again. I headed towards the Pollock section where I came face to face with Lavender Mist.

* Side note: When I was a kid, the parents of my best friend, Irene, handed us a couple of paint brushes, some silver, lavender and black paint and turned us loose on the white walls of her bedroom. We flicked paint haphazardly at the walls. Then, deciding it needed something extra, we covered our hands in the paint and stuck them all over the walls. 20 years later, the room still looks the same; partially as a tribute to our youth and partially because Irene, whom bought her parents’ house, has no idea how to cover it up. However, I am pretty sure she took down the picture of Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran.

Jackson Pollock
Lavender Mist
So, why did I bother to share that with you? Because it seems at some point in his life, Jackson Pollock’s parents did the exact same thing. I sat for a few minutes staring at the piece, trying to relax my eyes in the hopes of seeing a dinosaur, a teddy bear or something. No such luck. The painting was Irene’s room without the personalization of hand prints.

The museum was closing so Sara, Diana and I left and headed to the car in silence, each hoping the other would come up with some profound explanation for what we had viewed that would allow some light bulb to go off and we would suddenly "get it". None of us did.

“They were Brillo boxes,” I said partially as a statement and partially as a question.

“Right?!?” Diana and Sara both replied, clearly as puzzled as I was.

Then it hit me. They were screwing with us. Realizing the need for the gallery owners to find the next great artist coupled with the insecurity critics feel about finding the next movement fearing someone will discover they have no idea what the hell they are talking about, the artists decided to poke fun at both.

I suddenly got this image in my head of these famous artists all sitting around a table, having coffee and chain smoking.

Pollock: “…so I was painting when my girl called and broke up with me. I got so pissed I grabbed my brush and just started throwing paint and dripping it all over the canvas. My agent walked in and went nuts over it! What an idiot! Time magazine put me on the cover and started calling me “Jack the Dripper.”

Warhol: “Oh yeah, well I painted a damn soup can! Then I grabbed some wooden boxes, slapped some paint on them and called it art. The critics started talking about how wonderfully simplistic it was and how I was rebelling against the conventional style of carefully executed, thought provoking work with commercialization! Ha!”

Picasso: “Well I took some LCD while I was painting, started daydreaming about this chick with 3 boobs. The critics loved it. I mean, my God! Did you see where I put her nose?!?”

Duchamp: “I got you all beat. I hung a snow shovel from the ceiling called it art and they bought it! So did you, Andy. Asshole!”

That was it! I figured it out. They were a bunch of hip, sarcastic practical jokers that were ripping on the art world. I loved the ingenious sarcasm of it all. Crap art no, but sarcasm I can respect! I now find myself wanting in on the joke. I am going to put in a call to Irene and see if she is up for having people come pay $20 bucks a pop to see the room we painted. In the meantime, I am going to head to the store and buy some boxes of Tide and some toilet paper. I’ll stack the boxes, drape toilet paper all over it and listen as the critics rave about my commentary on how I feel art has gone to shit. Man, am I going to be rich!

So it is only fair that since I trashed these works, I post some of my own for ridicule. The only thing I would like to remind you of is that I am an untrained amateur while the artists above are famous, iconic and critically acclaimed.

OK, bash away!

Dad's horses.
Acrylic on cigar box (Father's Day gift)

Passion Unleashed
Acrylic on canvas

McNamara Terminal - Detroit-Metro Airport
Acrylic on canvas

Amy's Angels
Acrylic on canvas

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's All Go to This! The Annual Tallapoosa Possum Drop

Every year most people tend to do the same thing for New Year's Eve: Get together with a bunch of friends, drink a little too much, or in some cases, a lot too much and end up making out with someone you would have never gone near sober, but being three sheets to the wind and wearing a really nice pair of beer goggles suddenly makes that Steve Buscemi troll look like Colin Farrell.

*Side Note: What is "three sheets to the wind"? Where does that expression even come from? Are we talking three sheets of paper or are we talking about bed sheets? Why three? Can you be two sheets to the wind? And what does the wind have to do with it?

Amount of sheets aside, this year I am considering doing something different. Very different. I give you the Annual Tallapoosa Possum Drop. Yes, Possum Drop.

Before I get into the possum drop, first I must tell you a little bit about Tallapoosa. The official city website boasts: "Travel to Tallapoosa for True Tales, Tasty Treats and Toe Tapping Tunes." Tallapoosa, GA is a small Southern town in an unspoiled rural setting nestled in the foothills of the N.W. GA Mountains.

Which of course is translation for Hillbilly Paradise. Don't miss main attractions include The RV Park and Bud Jones Taxidermy and Wildlife Museum. So you can imagine the excitement that the Annual Possum Drop generates around the town.

To fully understand the possum drop you must first be familiar with New Year's Rockin' Eve where an array of drunk New Yorkers and other people that have completely lost their minds, gather in the freezing cold huddling shoulder to shoulder in Times Square with no chance of escape to drink, watch the hottest music acts, eat traditional delicacies, be groped by fellow onlookers and countdown as a huge, beautiful, electronically illuminated Waterford Crystal ball moves down a poll for everyone to see.

The Tallapoosa Possum Drop is very similar to this except it usually isn't cold, the music includes Elvis impersonators and local bands with the main headliner being Rhubarb Jones, a former radio personality. Mouth watering treats include Subway and Chick-Fil-A and although it doesn't say so on the website, I am certain there is some type of bar-b-que roadkill available.

There is a Possum King and Queen. A title currently being held by Midge Baxley and Ken Barkley. And, while I have no idea how one is considered worthy enough to become possum King and Queen, I can only assume it has something to do with one person finding the possum and the other one stuffing it.

You are probably thinking that with such draws as Rhubarb (not the pie) and the crowning of the annual King and Queen, how could anything possibly top that? I would now like to introduce you to Spencer.

Spencer is a stuffed, taxidermy possum that died of natural causes (the towns' people want to make sure that is known). On New Year's Eve, Spencer is encased in a large, twig like ball covered with Christmas lights. A pole is then shoved up his ass and he is hoisted high atop Tallapoosa's oldest building. OK, maybe the pole isn't exactly shoved up his ass, but the rest is true. One minute before midnight Spencer is slowly lowered down the pole as the residents begin the countdown which I believe goes something like this: Ten, eight, nine, semin, six, fi, four...

Breakout the moonshine!

In case you are worried that you won't be able to purchase any souvenir special enough to mark this grand event, you can have your picture taken with Spencer, himself.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to drive along the side of the road and look for a new Spencer if I want to stand a chance of being crowned next year's Possum Queen.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

RIP Common Sense

Common sense is making me crazy.

Why? Because I have it. Every day that goes by I become more aware of the shortage of common sense in the world. Everyone has heard the age old adage: The problem with common sense is it isn't common enough -Unknown (Maybe it was even me that said it.)

I know we all have lapses in common sense every now and then. Take for example, my niece. She is a beautiful, intelligent girl that has not yet developed any common sense. Not too long ago, a friend was giving her directions to his house. He told her to "turn left at the fork in the road" to which she very innocently and with all seriousness replied, "The fork? But what if someone moves it?"

To be fair, she was fifteen at the time, so her lapse is understandable and even forgivable. What kills me is the adults that have none, leaving you to wonder how they have gotten this far in life without ever being hit by a car because they didn't know to look both ways.

Several years ago, I owned a pizzeria in a little town that hadn't been discovered yet. It's main claim to fame was that the "famous" Ma Barker shootout took place there and was re-enacted yearly. This place would still need a horse before you could consider it a one horse town. Needless to say, when it came to hiring it was slim pickings, so when a sweet, bubbly girl named Suzy* came in, I thought she would be perfect to answer the phones. *(Note, names have been changed to protect the stupid).

One day, Suzy strolled in late looking quite perplexed. When asked what was wrong, she replied, "My car broke down again." Shortly after, her father came in to visit and noticed her somber mood. The conversation that followed went like this:

Dad: "Hi sweetie. What's wrong?"
Suzy: "Oh, my car broke down again."
Dad: "It did?"
Suzy: "Yeah."
Dad: "Did it break down just like last time?"
Suzy: "Yeah."
Dad (with a soft sweetness and a great deal of patience): "Why don't you try putting some gas in it?"

And yes, that is what was wrong with the car. I would like to point out the most important words in the above conversation: " last time." Suzy's lack of common sense provided much entertainment for us. There was the time that she mopped herself into a corner and sat there until the floor dried. Then there was the time that she was grossed out by cleaning the windows because of the spiders that were on there. When we told her the spiders were all dead, her reply was, "I know. I wish they were alive so that they could run away from me."

Then there was Madison, who was given the simple job of  filling up the newly purchased salt and pepper shakers, but decided when she couldn't unscrew them and get them open, the best thing to do was to just throw them away.

Good times. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.

However, as intellectually challenged the staff at the pizzeria may have been, no place demonstrates the absence of common sense more than good ol' Wal-Mart.

Let's start with the parking lot. If someone is kind enough to let you walk in front of their car without running you over and making you roadkill, the decent thing to do would be to give them a thank you wave and hurry across the road. The wonderful Wal-Mart clientele seems to disagree with me. In fact, not only will they walk in front of you while your car is moving, but, if you stop to let them cross, they will mosey as slow as possible, even stopping to light up a cigarette or take a phone call.

Next, we have the people that have completed their shopping, are leaving and know you are waiting for a parking space. These idiots are particularly frustrating during the holiday season when drivers speed around corners like Indy racers and would run over their own mother in an effort to beat someone else to a coveted spot.They see you, sitting in your car with your turn signal on patiently waiting as they load their bags. Then they have to buckle their children into the car seat and of course, get them a juice box and a toy to entertain them. Finally, they get into the car, pull out their checkbook, write a few things down, put it away, then decide to fool with the radio. Once a station is agreed upon, the driver will check hair, make-up and whatever else, completely oblivious to you and the 12 cars that are waiting in line behind your vehicle and getting pissed off because you haven't just given up on the parking spot and continued on your way.

Once you have parked and managed to actually get through the parking lot without being run over by some driver that is talking or texting on the cell phone, you walk into the store where you are met by a greeter. OK, it stands to reason that if you are hired at a place to be a greeter, you should, and maybe I'm going out on a limb here, greet people as they come in the door. Just a thought. However, I don't believe I have ever entered a Wal-Mart where the greeter actually does this. As a matter of fact, it is almost as if they train them not to greet you. They look at you as though you have just interrupted a vitally important conversation or thought process that had them on the brink of figuring out cold fusion, but, thanks to you and your inconvenient timing, have now caused them to forget their epiphany.

Unfortunately, the greeter is just the beast that guards the gate. Your next obstacles are the wonderful Wal-Mart shoppers. We have all seen the emails of the fashionably challenged individuals with their clothes five sizes too small. *Note to these people - If you are over 25, you are no longer considered a junior! No one thinks it is cute when you wear booty shorts stretched to capacity that claim you are "Hot Stuff." You're not and you may be sued for false advertising. Still, I digress.

There are no words...
Yes, the fashionably challenged ranging from the mullet having, Confederate Flag t-shirt wearing rednecks, fur coat, hat adorned pimps with more gold in their teeth than Mr. T wore on his whole body, men dressed as women (and ugly women at that!) and kids dressed in all black with holes in every visible orfice sporting the trademark skull or tribal tattoo that they got to show their originality...just like everyone else, are an obvious example of people that have no common sense, or mirrors apparently. You must try to avert your eyes from these spectacles and continue towards your goal of grabbing the things you need and making it out of there alive.

But your tests are not over yet. You then encounter the ones that really burn my butt -the people with the carts that stop in the middle of the isle so that no one else can pass.You say, "Excuse me," once in a normal tone, then if they do not move, you say it again, louder and with a bit more irritation in case they are hearing impaired or just plain stupid. People with some common sense will generally be startled back into reality, apologize and move their cart. This is acceptable and can be and shrugged off. After all, sometimes we have so much going on we get a little self involved and don't realize we are being idiots.

Then there are the assholes. You know the people I am talking about. The ones that usually have a kid or two running up and down the isle screaming or climbing on shelves while they ignore them and talk on the phone, tossing you a dirty look like you have just asked them if you could have sex with their boyfriend. No common courtesy or sense whatsoever.

Now, as a person that does have common sense, I feel it is important to tell you that it is your it is your obligation to show them how rude they are being. I recommend doing this by effectively ramming your cart as hard as possible into their's causing it to go catapulting down the isle and maybe even knock one of the unruley little brats off of a shelf in the process. To me, this is a perfectly acceptable and dare I say, rational, thing to do.

As you go merrily on my way, you realize that at some point, when you were in the isle, someone had stolen the "Little Wendy Wets A lot" doll out of your basket and put it in their's because to them, that was a perfectly rational thing to do. You of course, steal it back, then put some of the essential items like milk or diapers that were in their basket on the shelves and haul ass out of there. Later, they will see you in the store, notice the doll in your cart and give you a dirty look because you stole it back from them.

Finally, you make it to the checkout where you stand behind twenty people because although everyone and their uncle are shopping this time of year, their are only two lanes open. You wait patiently as the woman currently being checked out sends her child to run and get the marshmallows she forgot to get bringing the checkout process to an abrupt hault. Junior comes back and the cashier realizes there is no price on the marshmallows and calls for a price check... three times. Then after someone with the lightening speed of a turtle brings up another bag of marshmallows with a price on it, you watch the shopper, completely oblivious to the line of frustrated people behind her, ask that the items be rang up in two separate transactions, then bitches because one of the items that should have been rung up on this bill was actually rang up on the other one. You would get out of line and choose a different lane, but you are sandwiched between ten other people and have already placed your items on the conveyor belt.

The cashier calls a manager and they begin to go through each line on the bill trying to figure out how to remove the item from the transaction. After fifteen minutes of trying and failing, they decide to open a new lane and ask everyone to move to that one, instead of just voiding the transaction and taking the pain in the ass shopper up to customer service. ( I have actually been in line when this happened).

At last, you get through the checkout, pay your bill and get the hell out of there. You race to your car and in an effort to make sure that you are more conscientous than the person that left you sitting, waiting for the space, load up your bags as quickly as possible, get in your car and peel out of the parking lot. As you drive home trying to shake off the ordeal you just went through, you realize that in your haste you forgot to pick-up the one item you went to the store for: Toilet paper!

I'm no expert, but something isn't right here...
Common sense says next time, make a list!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PLEASE, I need your help...

I am on the verge of doing something borderline illegal. Well, actually there is no borderline about it. I am seriously considering becoming a secret vigilante. Okay, I guess it's not so much of a secret if I just told you my plans. There is a growing epidemic that is sweeping across our country and someone has to do something about it. I believe I am up to this challenge.

The epidemic I am referring to is Pantsaroundyourkneesitis  [Pronunciation: pants-around-your-knees-itis]. Also known as PAYK, this illness usually targets boys in their teens as well as the occasional  I-refuse-to grow-up-because-I-still-believe-I-will-become-a-rap-star-someday men in their late 30s. Plumbers have also been known to be affected however, scientists are currently working to figure out if this is a milder case of PAYK or if it a separate disease altogether.

Often found loitering around malls, convenience stores and schools, although they tend to avoid actually going inside learning institutions, you may have encountered these individuals but were unaware of the tell tale signs of this illness. I have come up with a list of the most common symptoms:

  • Moseying which is a very slow walk that the teen must do to avoid having the pants slip from the knees to the ankles;
  • No belt or one that is extremely ill-fitting. This is part of what is believed to cause the pants to fall;
  • Oversized pants that for some unknown reason seem to be at least 5 sizes too large for the individual;
  • Large portions of underwear sticking out from where the pants should be worn;
  • Constant tugging/pulling up of the pants due to lack of belt;
  • Lack of any common sense.

Some people oppose the theory that this is a medical condition but I strongly disagree with them. After all, I cannot believe anyone in their right mind would actually choose to wear their pants this way without having some sort of brain altering disease or being forced to do so at gun point (and even that is a stretch).

So, here is where I need advice. I do not know whom to focus my vigilantism towards. Should I smack the hell out of the parents for allowing  their children to go out in public like this and subjecting us all to what I can only describe as questionably clean underwear? Maybe I should center my quest for justice towards the schools for not enforcing a strict "no showing your ass in public" code? Or am I being too hard on these boys? With the economy currently in the toilet, am I simply unaware of the great belt shortage that is facing our nation?

Please give me your thoughts on this because to be honest, right now all I want to do is sneak up behind these kids and give them an atomic wedgie that they will never forget!

Link below is for a new invention-WAIST SUSPENDERS! I am against them because they propetuate this God awful "trend."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Unknown Peer Pressure of Birds

In the steel trap that is my mind (Yeah right!), I often find fleeting thoughts rattling around in there. Okay, honestly, most of them aren't fleeting. In fact sometimes, my mind goes off on a tangeant and I have to be jarred back to reality by something like an angry horn and some profanities from the driver behind me as I sit still at a green light.

The bad news is, in an effort to reassure myself that I am not completely off my rocker, I often share these thoughts with my Facebook friends. For example, do people that shop at Walmart have mirrors? What the hell does martinizing mean? Does anyone really care where Waldo is? If my dogs are willing to eat cat poop and lick their genitals, why won't they eat my meatloaf?

Today's random thought came to me this morning while driving. A flock of birds were congregated on a telephone wire as they often do when one decided to fly at my car at warp speed narrowly missing my front tire. This made me come up with a theory. Do birds sit up on the wire & in their little birdie language chirp, "Okay, I am going to fly as fast as I can at a downward angle, just missing the grill of that car and land on that branch."

The the other bird, not wanting to be out done and hoping to look tough in front of his little bird friends is like, "Oh Yeah? Well, I am not only going to fly close to the car, I am going to fly under the car between the front and back tires while it is moving, then circle back and poop on the newly washed SUV behind it."

If he succeeds, he is revered as a hero and a legend among birds. If he fails, he is accused of giving into peer pressure and becomes a cautionary tale of roadkill that some lucky cat or vulture will stumble upon (Cannibals!)

I have a similar view for squirrels. Anyone else agree w/this theory?

Monday, November 21, 2011

All I DON'T Want for Christmas Is...

As Black Friday (also my birthday) approaches I would like to take a moment to implore my friends and family: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not buy me a Forever Lazy onesie by Snuggie.

A few years ago, the Snuggie launched an infomercial assault on the unsuspecting public. Soon everyone ditched their comfy but unwearable blankets and were clamouring for these super soft, cuddly, backwards robes. After all, what sane person would want to wear an old-fashioned forward robe when you could easily slip into a backward one?

Snuggies started showing up under Christmas trees everywhere. Don't know what to buy someone for Christmas or their birthday? Give them a Snuggie. Who wouldn't love a Snuggie? Even the name makes you feel all warn and cozy. Plus, to ensnare us even further into the Snuggie web, they enticed us with cool new colors, animal prints and of course, the creme de le creme of Snuggies, college sports team Snuggies.

Yes, the creators rode the Snuggie wave all the way to the bank.

But now what? If everyone already has a Snuggie, how will they sell more? Will the Snuggie suffer the same fate as Cabbage Patch Kids, the Hula Hoop, Teddy Ruxpin and other one hit retail wonders?

Fear not my fellow consumers. The Snuggie creators are way to innovative to let this trend that took us by storm just fade away. I give to you: The Forever Lazy.

Remember feety Pajamas? The ones that your mom use to dress you up in as a kid, then send you to bed to roast and sweat buckets for the entire night. They had rubber non-slip pads on the bottom that if you rubbed your feet really fast on the carpet, you could walk up to an unsuspecting friend or sibling and shock the hell out of them. Well, the Forever Lazy allows you to relive those days without the fun of the unsuspecting shock. They are feetless, fleece pajamas...I'm sorry, outfits...that keep you toasty. And unlike the Snuggie, they're totally wearable and there is one for every occasion. Work Blue for those days at the office. Black for cocktails with friends. Hanky Pinky Fuscia when you are feeling romantic. And because they come complete with a hoodie, you and your friends can even wear them to the big game. Sounds to good to be true, right? Wait there is more! As a bonus, if you buy one now, the good old Snuggie Corporation will even throw in an extra Snuggie and matching footie socks so that you won't even have to worry about shoes!

I know what you're thinking. Sure they're stylish, but what if I have to go to the bathroom? No worries my friend. The Forever Lazy comes with a restroom friendly hatch. You can simply undo the hatch, drop off some kids at the pool, then zip up without ever leaving your comfy fleece jumper.

So, why wouldn't I want the latest craze sweeping the nation? Two reasons. First, I was never fond of Teletubbies, which, as far as I am concerned, is the look you are going for when sporting this ensemble. Pick your color, zip it up and pull up the hood and pretend you are Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa or Po. I would like to say in an effort to not lose all credibility that I did not know those names, I had to look them up.

Second, I haven't completely given up on myself as a human being. The Forever Lazy, or as I like to refer to it, The Hopeless Slackass is for those people that have just said, "F*%k it! I give up on clothes, dating, romance, work and dammit, I'm going to be comfortable."

So please, with my birthday and Christmas coming up, if you really love me, give me a gift certificate, a card or even a hug, but save the Forever Lazy for all of the slothful George Costanzas, the insanely thin Lindsey Lohans and Olsen twins and the fashionably challenged Courtney Loves and Bjorks of the world. Although I must admit a swan dress is better than a Teletubbies outfit.

I'm going to go cuddle under my Snuggie now.

Interested in a Forever Lazy or just want to see this fashion marvel for yourself? Well, of course I wouldn't leave you hanging: . Get your's today! Just don't buy one for me. Honest, I'm good;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Merry Christmas … the new F%#k You.

Can someone please tell me when Merry Christmas became swear words?

I am a Christmas freak, something I inherited from my father. When I was little we had so many twinkle lights on our house that the neighbors feared passing planes would mistake it for a runway. We even lived on Griswald Street, which for all of you non-Christmas freaks out there is the last name of the family in the Holy Grail of all Christmas movies, Christmas Vacation.

Growing up I always loved that special smell in the brisk air that happened only at Christmas time. People seemed to be more pleasant than they were at any other time of the year. Classic Christmas music played on the radio and in shops to help put everyone in the spirit. Beautiful trees with dancing lights and multi-colored bulbs, tinsel and garland decorated malls as far as the eye could see. Eager shoppers carrying armfuls of packages, hurried from store to store in search of the perfect gift or at least one that wouldn’t be returned. Family members that rarely see each other throughout the year came together for dinner, good times and a little too much eggnog. Everyone seemed a little happier, a little more courteous and friendlier in honor of the season.

So to those certain individuals that take it as a personal assault on their religion or beliefs when I wish them a Merry Christmas I have this to say: Stop being a bunch of oversensitive, big babies!

I am not teasing and pointing saying, “Nah-nah, my religion is better than your’s" or “Ha! You got a dradle! Check out my new X-box.” No, I am simply wishing you some of the feelings, good cheer and love that go along with this season and that I feel at this time of year.

Don’t get me wrong, I get it. It must be hard when everywhere you turn you are bombarded with blinking lights, specials on television and lawn displays that include Santa riding a Harley. It is shoved down your throat.

To that I say, what’s stopping you from doing the same? When I was younger, I had never even heard of Hanukkah until I was in the 10th grade and found out my teacher was Jewish and didn’t celebrate Christmas. To me, that was a travesty. Not the fact that she didn’t celebrate Christmas, but that I hadn’t ever been exposed to different religions and customs.

Hanukkah, Buddhists and every other religious group can do the same thing as those that celebrate Christmas. Make holiday specials about your beliefs. Put giant minoras on your lawn and hang up banners. Don’t just rely on Adam Sandler to write all of the Hanukkah songs.

I would also like to state that I am not picking on the Jewish community. I simply don’t know what types of landmark days other religions celebrate. Why? Because, with maybe the exception of Cinco de Mayo (bring on the margaritas), I, like many, haven’t been exposed to those traditions.

So when I see you and say, “Merry Christmas, “I am not saying, “F@%k you and your religion!” So please, don’t respond like I am. Simply say, “Thanks and Happy Hanukkah” or “Yes and Happy [insert holiday here].” And if your special holiday happens during another time of year, feel free to celebrate, decorate or whatever else floats your boat.

Until then, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Ramada, Flag Day and every other holiday.

                        Oh, and Merry Freakin’ Christmas!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hate Group Targets Military Funerals

 I have to tell you, it takes a lot to surprise me. With television shows like CSI, Dexter, Family Guy, The Jersey Shore and 1000 Ways to Die, coupled with video games where you can rob and beat up hookers or blow off some guy’s head, not to mention any of the wacky, borderline offensive ensembles you can see at Wal-Mart on a daily basis, I thought I’d pretty much seen it all. Now, mix in the daily news stories and the large amount of verbal vomit that spews from the mouths of politicians and viola! You have a desensitized, shock proof society and I must admit I was no exception. Or at least that is what I thought.

A man and woman stand with a larger flag  
 Sunday, I attended my first military funeral. Lance Corporal Scott Daniel Harper was killed in action in Afghanistan in the beginning of October. I do not know this man. Nor have I ever met any member of his family. Still this Marine made the ultimate sacrifice and died fighting for my [our] freedom. As I drove toward the church uncertain where it was located and a little afraid I would feel awkward being at the funeral of someone I didn’t know, I saw a lone man standing on the side of the overpass waving a small flag. I smiled to myself, touched by his simple, yet respectful gesture unaware of what I would come across a little further down the road.

A community comes together to grieve and show support.
The scene looked like something from a movie. The street was lined with at least 500 people of all ages holding flags of various sizes and thank you signs. Bikers, at least 75 of them, along with military men in full uniform and people dressed like angels with huge wings formed lines around the perimeter of the church grounds that stretched right up to the church door. Most of them had never met the soldier or his family either. Yet, this Georgia community came together to mourn the loss of a 21 year old hero and pay their respects to his family.

A young girl hold a flag and a sign of thanks, not protest.
Unfortunately, that was not the only motivation for why they were there as I discovered when I spoke with some of the locals as we waited for the family and Lance Corporal’s body to arrive from the funeral home. Nor was it my only reason. Many of us came because we had heard that a notorious hate church was going to protest the funeral. I will not name this group because they live for publicity. I will tell you that they are known for protesting the funerals of public figures, the most recent being Steve Jobs, as well as military funerals and the funerals of openly gay individuals. Earlier in the week, they could be seen outside Woodruff Park protesting Occupy Atlanta which has been holding a peaceful assembly against the unfair division of wealth in this country. Yes, the protesters were protesting the protesters.

Why does this church protest such things as funerals, peaceful protests, military events and too many other things to name? Well to answer that we must look deeper into this church, its leader, its congregation and its beliefs. The church was founded by a man that describes himself as a “Primitive Baptist,” although mainstream Baptists openly reject his teachings. Personally, I have another word for this preacher but I digress. He has a following of approximately 70 people, that surprise, surprise, are mostly made up of his children and grandchildren. They are anti-gay, anti-Semite, anti-military, anti-Catholic, anti-Lutheran, anti-Protestant and anti–Amish. I could go on, but I don’t think there is enough room on the internet for me to list everything they are against. However, just in case you are feeling left out, here are a few more groups he opposes, one of which I am sure will apply to you: Canadians, Swedes, the British, Chinese, the Irish and Americans that “tolerate” homosexuality. He also condemns college students, claiming they engage in petting and pursuing lusts of the flesh(I would like to point out that this preacher has 13 children, so apparently he was lusting after some flesh himself). He also says that menstruation is a curse for not being pure and if a female remained pure she would never menstruate. Okay, I haven’t been "pure" for many years now, but even when I was, I menstruated.

This group claims it protests at least 6 times a day at different locations. The members and their children can be seen holding signs with such grotesque slogans as “God Hates Fags,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Thank God for 9/11,” “Rabbis Rape Kids” and “Thank God for Breast Cancer.” They refer to the head of the Catholic Church as the “Pervert Pope,” Barack Obama as the “Antichrist” and view almost any other religion as Satanic or claim their leaders are “sending their members to Hell.”

Still not offended? How about this? After the Arizona shooting of Gabrielle Gifford and several others, the group planned to picket the funerals of the six that were killed. They also posted “THANK GOD FOR THE SHOOTER—6 DEAD!” on their website whose address itself contains a hate slogan.

So how does a man that was a Civil Rights activist, once receiving an award from the NAACP for his work with black clients become a hate mongering preacher? Well, I have a couple theories on that, not all of which are mine. The first comes from his estranged son that says the preacher regularly used racial slurs outside the earshot of his clients and was simply representing them for one reason alone: Money. This same son also claims his father abused him, his siblings and his mother with his fists or the handle of a mattock. I mean clearly that must have been God’s will, right? Guess I missed the line in the Ten Commandments that read: Thou shall beat thy family.

My next theory is that, well, he is a big old homosexual and is so afraid of his feelings, urges and the possible acts he has engaged in that he condemns others for theirs, afraid someone will discover his true nature. After all, aren’t the ones that make the biggest stink usually the ones with something to hide? Most of the venom he spews is against anyone that is gay, supports homosexuality or doesn’t openly oppose it. His reason for protesting the military is because they allow homosexuals to be in the service. His argument against many churches is due to their “tolerance” of gays.

Then there is the fact that he is a fame whore. It cannot be overlooked that he purposely takes the most ridiculous, controversial view on everything, hiding behind his interpretation of the Bible. Isn’t it funny how all of his protests seem to be at the places that can gain him the most publicity? Steve Job’s funeral, Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, the funeral of a boy that was beaten to death by his peers because he was a homosexual and the Arizona shootings all gained national media attention. Boy, this man spends so much time protesting and spreading hate that I can’t help but wonder when he has time to preach at his church.

Whether this soap box bigot is gay, mental, drug addicted or just wasn’t hugged enough as a child, or maybe he was hugged too much, I don’t care. Hate is hate. But unfortunately, this preacher has the right to free speech however moronic that speech may be.

This brings me back to the soldier’s funeral. As we waited for Lance Corporal Harper to arrive, we all seemed to hold our breath every time a bus or large van went by fearing they would be carrying the protestors. Laws have been enacted in most states saying protestors must stay at least so many feet from a funeral (The distance varies from state to state). Still, the preacher had said that his people would be there. A part of me almost wanted them there so that I could go up to them and say something like “I am happy that your life is so perfect that you feel you have the right to judge others” or “God spreads love not hate. You are not doing God’s work. You are doing the Devil’s.” I would also have liked the opportunity to point out to them that the only reason they had free speech and were able to protest was because this man and many more like him fought for and protected that freedom. And although I don’t encourage violence, I kind of relished the idea of this group showing up to a place that was surrounded by Marines and bikers. Still, I didn’t want that kind of display for the sake of the fallen soldier’s family. After all, hadn’t they been through enough?

Nervously, I tried to search for protest signs through the windows of a blue bus that had slowed down and then went on its way. As I returned my gaze to the church, I couldn’t help but notice the white robed angels with their wings stretching approximately 8 feet across.

“I called them,” said the man next to me as he watched me admiring the ethereal figures.

“You called them?” I asked thinking they had just been a group of individuals showing their respect.

“Yeah, I heard on the Bert Show that there was a possibility of protesters coming so I called them and they sent out an email this morning to rally people.”

“Who are they?” I asked. He went on to explain that they are called Angel Action, a volunteer group that shows up to these events, surrounds the opposing group and raise their angel wings to shield the family from the protestors. The angels do not say a word to them, but simply keep them out of view. Apparently, there are different chapters of these angels across the country.

Angels in Action

As I said before, it takes a lot to surprise me. Still, I sat there in shock thinking what a wonderful concept this was and what an amazing thing it is that these angels do. These people take time out of their lives and volunteer to attend funerals of people they have never met in an effort to ease the pain of the grieving and to keep the hate from spreading. I couldn’t help but wishing everyone had a set of angels that would show up and block us from callous remarks, biting words and any cruelty we might encounter daily.

One of many homeade signs that lined the street.

Thankfully, the protestors elected not to show up, although there was buzz amongst the crowd that a few had come earlier and were arrested, but I couldn’t find anyone to confirm that for certain. I later saw in an article that the hate preacher was belly-aching about how his inability to protest at the funeral was a violation of his free speech.

Boo-freakin’ –hoo! Being an Irish Catholic, menstruating, former student that is dating a marine and that has many gay friends, as well as several female friends that I am pretty sure menstrate, I consider his rants and ravings offensive and in direct violation of my pursuit of happiness. Not to mention his protests cause noise pollution and there are ordinances for that.

Anyway, all I have to say is, “Not today, Fred.” You may think that you are righteous, but you certainly aren’t moral or humane. Nor do you have an ounce of compassion in your body. If you did, you would never protest a funeral hiding behind God's name and make a family’s suffering even worse.

Preach your hate if it makes you feel all warm and cozy. Twist the words of the Bible to fit your warped views. Make your protest signs. We heathens don’t care. After all, God has sent us our own set of angels to protect us from evil like you. Oh, and if you are ever in Detroit, give me a call. I have a Marine boyfriend with several military friends, a nephew that is a Private and a bunch of bikers that would love to have a few minutes alone with you.
Bikers gather to honor the fallen and pay their respects.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Wussification of the American Male

Today I was listening to a local radio show and the topic was the wussification of today’s men. It started out innocently enough with a few statistics. Both claims are made by CNN’s William Bennett who states:

“Man's response has been pathetic. Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to- 17-year-old boys. While women are graduating college and finding good jobs, too many men are not going to work, not getting married and not raising families. Women are beginning to take the place of men in many ways. This has led some to ask: do we even need men?

Now admittedly, Bennett is a controversial figure once uttering “ could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down" []. But stupid comment aside, I think he may be on to something here. Growing up, my dad worked 3 jobs to support our family. True, video games were not around at that time, but I can’t see him sitting in front of the television playing Call of Duty while his wife and family of five worried about paying the bills.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying there is anything wrong with playing video games. Everyone needs some time to themselves to do something that they enjoy. But we are not talking 1 hour a few times a week or even a day. No I am talking about the ones that play for 5-6 hours a night. At some point it becomes an escape from reality. It takes time away from your kids, your significant other{unless he/she is a gamer too} and from being productive.

Psychologists believe people, men in particular, game because it provides them with the emotional rewards they need and may not be getting elsewhere. For example, doing well at a game provides a sense of achievement. It also can earn you the respect of others. Not to mention, kicking the crap out of someone in a video game may help you work out anger and frustration. And of course, it can provide a sense of satisfaction. Plus, they can be pretty cool. The graphics are incredible and seriously, where else can you shoot a machine gun or a bazooka while sitting in the comfort of your own home?

But what happened to the satisfaction that comes from doing well at your job? In today’s society, where jobs are hard to come by, two things amaze me. One is the number of people that complain about how much they make at their job. The second is how many people whine about being unemployed but really aren’t doing anything about it.

Listen, I get it. The economy is in the toilet, the price of everything is going up and you should be paid a fair wage. But every job has a ceiling. You cannot expect to make $30 an hour for a job when you were originally hired in at $9. I don't care how long you've been there. No, if you want to make more money, you have to further your education through training or schooling. If that isn’t possible, you have to find a new career.

The same goes for the unemployed. God bless those of you that pound the pavement every day in search of a job. But it amazes me when I ask some people where they have applied and they respond that they haven’t or casually reply, “Maybe 1 or 2 places.” What baffles me even more is when they say, “Why can’t someone just give me a job?” As if the job fairy is going to come down and reward you with some kick-butt job just because you rock at Assassin's Creed, your friends think you are pretty funny and you are an all around wonderful person.

There seems to be a lack of work ethic and an incredible sense of entitlement. The same rings true for relationships. At one point in time, men would call or approach a girl, dress up for a date, have some type of plan in mind to do something, wash their car and put some effort into things. Today, many men talk about how they can’t meet a nice girl, which is very hard to do when you don’t talk to any or sit on your couch all day. And for many of the ones that do get a date, they put minimal effort into it. They usually send a text or email in lieu of the courtesy of a phone call. They dress sloppily, which on the first few dates many girls read as a lack of interest and respect. When a girl asks him what their plans are, many do not have put so little thought into it that they have no suggestions or ideas prepared. They simply respond with, “I don’t know. What do you want to do?”

Some suggest this is the fault of women. A bouncer at a local bar called in to the radio show and said that in his experience, women come into the bar looking to go home with someone and the men are more than happy to oblige. As a result, they have to put little effort into wooing a woman. Before, men had to be well kept, have a decent job, show some type of drive and have manners. Now, the standard has been set so low that some women don’t care if the man is 35 and still living with his parents or working as a cashier at a fast food place. They are just happy he is breathing, has a job and isn’t a felon.

Others blame the mothers for coddling their sons. How many girls have heard the phrase, ”You have to work twice as hard as a man and have more drive to make less money”? While this seems to be changing, boys are also being conditioned that they don’t have to work for what they want. It will just be given to them.

A teacher also called in to the show. She said she could not count how many times mothers came in yelling when their sons didn’t do well on an assignment or test claiming he didn’t understand the material or that a teacher should have given him individual attention. They don’t hold their sons accountable for not studying or not approaching the teacher for extra help. Let’s face it. With cell phones being allowed in class, a shorter attention span coupled with a teacher’s inability to discipline children without the threat of being reprimanded or accosted by irate parents, kids are more out of control than they were years ago because there are little to no consequences for their bad behavior. So if the child is not paying attention because he is texting during class, why should the teacher have to ask the child to stay after for tutoring?

Additionally, if a teacher says that no cell phones are allowed in class and then deducts points off an assignment when a kid is using one, what right does a parent have to be upset with the teacher? Many will even make excuses claiming it was only a cell phone and it wasn’t being used or that their child didn’t want to leave it in his pocket because it was uncomfortable. Hello! When I was in school we didn’t have cell phones. We had to actually go through the day waiting to speak to our friend between classes, at lunch time or after school. Our parents had to trust us when we left the house without them. But that is a whole other subject.

I would also like to acknowledge that the same teacher said that while the mothers come in both guns blazing for their little boys, she almost never sees them come in for their little girls. Maybe they believe the girls need to learn to do things themselves and how to handle problems on their own. They don’t transfer them out of class because a teacher is too tough. They want them to learn that they will encounter people in their life that they may butt heads with or obstacles that they must overcome. That is when they must try harder and learn to work out differences. But don’t little boys need to acquire that knowledge too?

Speaking of things little boys need to learn to do, let’s talk about sports. I mean what the heck happened to sports? I don’t agree with this everyone gets a trophy garbage because I-don’t-want-my-kid-to-feel-left-out mentality. I hate to break this to some parents, but your kid is going to suck at some things. In order to do anything about it, they have to know they suck. Unless it is a league for first timers, I don’t think every kid should get to play. Children need to learn that if they want to get off the bench, they need to have the drive to go home and practice and get better. If they don’t want to do that, they need to quit and find something they are good at doing whether it is sports, music, art or something else.

When a kid makes a mistake, although I don’t believe a parent should necessarily scold the kid, they shouldn’t lie about how great he was and make excuses. They need to discuss what happened and how he can do better the next time. If a ground ball goes through his legs, he needs to get out there and practice with his mom or dad until he learns how to field it correctly.

This brings me to the next excuse for coddling: absentee fathers. First let me say that the men need to man up. If you have a child, you need to be a part of that child’s life, which again goes back to lack of responsibility and consequences. That said, many mothers will overcompensate letting the child get away with murder. They don’t demand that little boys do chores, yet they expect their daughters to do them. When a little boy gaffs off on homework to play video games or hangout with his friends, a lot of moms simply take a boys will be boys attitude.

While it is extremely important for a father to be a part of his child’s life, the absence of one shouldn’t mean a license to misbehave and remain immature. Married or single, mothers are doing a disservice to their sons if they don’t teach them how to handle difficult situations and how to take care of themselves. After all, what happens once he is a grown man? Is he going to tell his boss that he should get the promotion over another more qualified individual because his mommy said so? Is Mama going to walk up to Terry Francona or Joe Girardi and tell them that her child should be allowed to play professional baseball because his feelings will get hurt if he doesn’t?

And what happens if the man lives alone or becomes a husband? Is he still going to take his laundry to Mommy’s house every weekend for her to do it? There is an old email that circulated about the difference between when a husband says he is going to bed and when a wife says she is going to bed. The woman gets up, throws a load of clothes in the dryer, runs the dishwasher, checks over the child’s homework and makes certain lunch is made, lets the dog out one last time, washes her face and then gets into bed. The man simply states he is going to bed, gets up and goes to bed. Women often laugh (and are frustrated) with how much this email rings true. They wonder why some husbands need to be asked to cut the grass, load the dishwasher or throw in a load of laundry. It becomes a bone of contention in the marriage. After all, it isn't the 1950s anymore. In most cases, she works too. Does he not see that there aren’t any clean dishes? Many mens response to this is, “Well why doesn’t she just ask me to do it?” While many women see it as a lack of respect and wonder why should I have to ask him? It is his house too. Where is the pride, the respect and the sense of responsibility? Eventually, many women just give up, accept it and do things themselves which again leads to the lack of accountability and responsibility. If there are little to no consequences, why do it?

So far, we have managed to blame sexually active women, mothers and wives for today’s man-child. But at a certain point, don’t men have to take responsibility for their own actions? They want to be treated as adults in some ways and coddled in others. In theory, parents have you until you are 18 years old. If you want to point the finger at them for how they raised you until then, I guess you can. But after you turn 18, you need to turn that finger around at yourself. Instead of whining about low pay, unemployment and how unfair life is while you sit playing video games for hours, go out, take a class and invest in your future. Don’t wait for a job to fall into your lap. Go out and find one. And while you are looking, don’t show up to an interview wearing jeans down to your knees, a t-shirt and tennis shoes and reason, “They have to like me for me.” That is a juvenile mentality. Although it may not be right, upon meeting someone for an interview or a date, you are judged by your appearance. After all,until someone gets to know you they have nothing else to go off of other than your appearance. Show some respect for yourself and the person you are meeting. They can learn how wonderfully fascinating you are after you land the job.

Now, for all you men out there that may be thinking I am a man hater, don’t get your panties in a wad. I am not. Most of my friends are men. It is the “grown” (and I use that term loosely) man-child that annoys the crap out of me. I also fully acknowledge that some women are just as bad when it comes to responsibility. This particular topic about men was discussed on CNN and my local radio show that is why I chose to write about it. I am well aware that there are some terrific, capable single men and husbands out there. There are also some amazing fathers that do everything in their power to stay active in their children’s lives. If you are that man, this blog doesn’t apply to you. It is aimed at the men that think the world is just too tough and believe they should be handed everything on a silver platter. The ones that don’t help around the house because they are watching Sports Center for the 15th time in a day or don’t spend time with their wife and kids because they are too busy gaming for hours. And I don’t care why they are gaming, whether it is because they hate their wives, are frustrated with their career or just feel sad because they aren’t as successful as they thought they’d be. A temporary escape is one thing. Avoidance of the real world and real relationships is a whole other issue.

So turn the X-Box off. Get off that couch. Take your thumb out of your mouth and man up! And for God’s sake, PULL UP YOUR PANTS!