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!