Thing’s I’ve Heard, Pt. 1

21 10 2008

After picking up on far too many ridiculous conversations, I’ve started to compile them into a rather length list to give you.  Here’s my first installment of Things I’ve Heard.  (Sorry, there’s only three for now.)  Enjoy the explotation of others!

1.  “So, What Are You Doing Tonight?”

The Scene: A Math major comes bursting out of ENS, in a hurry to catch a girl that had left a bit earlier.  He grabbed his bike from the rack and started pushing it forward, down the hill, while simultaneously trying to get on it quickly, tripping over himself many times in the process.  He caught up with her at the bottom of the hill and gave up on trying to get on his bike; it just wasn’t working out.  Mustering up all his available courage, he started an awkward conversation with her … About derivatives.  Clearly a sure-fire way to woo any girl.  After much coughing, long, awkward pauses, and stumbling through various conversations (that mostly failed), the following conversation finally transpired.

Guy:  So, what are you doing tonight?
Girl:  Oh, I don’t know.  Probably homework.  I have a lot of that.
Guy:  Yah?  Me too.
*long pause*
Guy:  Well, um … Would you want to do something?  I mean, with me?
Girl:  I don’t know.  What would we do?
Guy:  OH!  Um … I don’t know.  I … um … I guess we could do anything.  I mean, there’s always … Ping Pong.  Or Pool.  I have some movies we could watch.

The Lesson: I can only assume that at the point of *long pause* the guy was hoping the girl would take the initiative and ask, “Do you want to do homework with me?”  She didn’t.  And this was his first sign of failure, as he wasn’t even bold enough to ask her himself.  The next point of misery was the problem all too many guys run into:  They forget to think of what they could do if the girl actually agrees to hang out with them!  Plan ahead, be confident, act natural.

2.  Cross-Dressing Guy

The Scene: A guy and a girl are walking together, the guy clearly trying to impress the girl (he had “that tone”), the girl clearly unimpressed (she had it too).

Guy:  So, this is a great story.  Back in High School, me and a bunch of buddies were going to go to this dance, right?  So, just as a joke, the girls gave us their … Their …
*snaps fingers*
Girl:  Nail polish?
Guy:  Yah, that’s it!  Pink nail polish.  And we all put it on.  It was hilarious.
Girl:  Yup … That’s hilarious.
Guy:  But it gets better.  After we put the pink nail polish on, we thought, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if we dressed up in dresses and stuff to go to the dance?”  So, me and all the guys wore the girls dresses to the dance.
Girl:  You crossdressed?
Guy:  No, no!  It gets better still.  So, the guys wore all the girls dresses to the dance, so the girls decided they would wear our suits and stuff.  It was hilarious!
Girl:  So, you crossdressed … ?
Guy:  No, no!  We didn’t crossdress.  We just wore each others clothes.
Girl:  You crossdressed …

The Lesson: Let’s see what Webster has to say to us.  Crossdressing:  The wearing of clothes designed for the opposite sex. Hey, buddy, you crossdressed.  And, last time I checked, unless you’re dating a drag queen, that’s probably not the best way to impress a girl.

3.  Winnie the Pooh

The Scene: Two guys, upon emerging from a building, look up the sky to notice the grey clouds.

Guy 1:  Tut-tut, it looks like rain.
Guy 2:  Ha, yah.  You know, it’s funny, everybody says that, but nobody actually knows what it’s from.
*long, awkward pause*
Guy 1:  Uh, dude … That’s from Winnie the Pooh.
Guy 2:  Huh?  Oh, right, I knew that.

The Lesson: You didn’t know that.  And you’re not a very good liar.  You should work on your comebacks for situations like that so you could at least try to play it off like you were joking.  But you must be a clearly deprived child to not have had Winnie the Pooh read to you when you were in your youth.  I pitty you.  Also, “everybody” doesn’t say that.  That’s one of the few times I’ve ever heard it quoted.

More to come as soon as I have time to write them up/overhear them!

-alex





Things I’ve Seen, Pt. 2

17 10 2008

Here’s my second installation.  Enjoy.

1.  Enclosed Space

Enclosed Space

Unnecessary precaution

Question: When walking through a door, unless it’s leading outside, when are you NOT entering an enclosed space?!

2.  Love Making?

19 and Love Making?

Awkward Facebook ad

Well, yes, I am 19. But … OH! Wait, there’s another line. I didn’t see that.  This was an ad that I saw on the side of Facebook, and the question mark at the end of the sentence makes a world of difference.

3.  “Ramp”

"Ramp"

Not a real ramp

First of all, are those quotation marks really necessary? Secondly, after looking at the picture of that creepy ramp, trust me, I will use caution when taking it! I’d rather not take it at all, actually …

4.  “Caution”

"Caution"

Not real caution

This sign was at my Grandma’s retirement facility. In Iowa. I should hope that, if you live in Iowa, you know that ice is slippery. But secondly, what kind of caution is “caution”? I don’t understand.

5.  PMS = Wolves

PMS = Wolves

PMS = Scary Junior High girls

The Rock originally said “Postermodernism = Wolves”, fashioned after that days chapel message. (I don’t expect you to understand that unless you go to a Christian college.) It was later edited to this. I like this one better. I grew up with two sisters. Ashley was OK, but that Jenna … Man.

6.  Hackett

Creepy Hacket

Creepy Hackett

As Dave, Brad, Andrew and I waited in line at the Cedarville Pancake Breakfast (Labor Day is a big deal there … The guy who founded it lived in Cedarville), we saw this sign. Obviously, it’s coming up on election season, but we can’t help but wonder why he’s hiding behind the sign. So, I inquired …

Me: Why is he hiding behind the sign?
Dave: He’s probably a convicted child rapist.
Brad: Right, see, Cedarville is a really small town, so the chances of him standing behind you right now are pretty high.

Luckily, he wasn’t. Or, at least, he didn’t pop out and attack us after Dave’s comment. (You can’t take that guy anywhere.)

7.  Windy Day

Cedarville got the tail winds of hurricane Ike and … Some other guy that I can’t remember.  It was a fun time, and, of course, we all ran outside to play in the wind.

-alex





Things I’ve Seen, Pt. 1

15 10 2008

I’ve been around the block a few times.  Here’s the first of many parts involving things I’ve caught on digital while I was out and about.

1.  Popcorn Isn’t Food

At a museum in Duluth, MN
Museum in Duluth, MN

Apparently popcorn isn’t covered under “food”. Also, why is this for the safety of all visitors? I’d expect to see something like, “Don’t carry weapons of mass destruction, assault anyone, or sneeze.” That’s for the safety of all visitors. I’ll give them the smoking one, though.

2.  Warning:  Canadians

At a museum in Duluth, MN
Museum in Duluth, MN

I like to think this sign is warning the Minnesotan residents against the potential dangers of Canadian immigration.

3.  Poor Editing

Poor Editing
How do you spell “murders”?

I can’t help but wonder how many editors this book (which I found on the shelf in a bookstore) made it through before falling onto this shelf. Apparently not enough that actually got paid. This was on the back cover …

4.  Dead Frog

Dead Frog
Petrified, very dead frog

Apparently he didn’t make it to the toilet in time. Poor guy.

5.  It Feels Good

It Feels Good
Doctor’s office in Marion, IA

For real? This poster was in the doctors office while I sat there waiting for him to come in and “inspect” me. Considering it’s supposed to be a children’s poster (I’m assuming), it creeped me out WAY too much.  I do not like ladybugs, and you can very easily think of something creepy about the remaining items on the poster.

6.  Just Helping Out …

Just Helping Out
Obviously staged picture

Yah, right. This is about the most staged picture I’ve ever seen, even for a newspaper article. On top of that, what the heck are they even condoning? He’s carrying a BABY, for goodness sakes! Set the baby down before you put your gloves on, grab a huge log and a small stick … While wearing your jersey. Well, thanks Chad.

7.  Monster Advertising

Monster Advertising
Poor advertising

Make up your mind. Can I have ANY variety, or is Java really left out? Last I check, Java is totally a variety of Monster.

More to come soon …

-alex





Things I Don’t Understand, Pt. 5

9 09 2008

I haven’t done one of these since last spring, so I guess I could do another one…

1. Erasable Pens
Back in fifth grade, these were on the list of required school supplies for the year. So I got some. The problem was, whenever we were doing something that might need to be erased, like math problems, the teacher made us use pencils. So we wound up using the pen part, but not the eraser, which is the part we paid extra for. On top of that, even when you did try to use the eraser, it left a big gray streak on the page so everyone would know where you screwed up. Which seems counterproductive. So what’s the point?

2. Safety Scissors
This goes back even further than fifth grade. We all used these in kindergarten. Little scissors for little fingers with rounded tips and colorful handles. The rounded tips made them “safe”, since you couldn’t stab someone with the blunt point. What the manufacturers failed to realize was that the point of the scissors isn’t the business end. The blades are still as sharp as ever, which they need to be so you can cut your construction paper or remove the braided pigtails of the girl who sits in front of you. But they’re still knives, albeit smaller ones with no point. So these “safety” scissors sound like an excuse to put deadly weapons into the hands of America’s children.

3. Scented Sharpies
If you give a kid a cookie, you can’t expect him not to eat it. If you give a kid a toy, you can’t expect him not to play with it. So if you give a kid a marker that says it smells like cherry pie, you can’t expect him not to end up higher than a kite. So why make flavored markers and then turn around and tell kids to “just say no”? Seems like mixed messages…

4. Glue Bottles
Apparently I have craft supplies on the brain…anyways, how do glue bottles work? Glue is meant to stick to things, to hold them together. But why doesn’t it stick to the inside of the glue bottle? Does it not work until it leaves the bottle? Are the bottles magic? If we have the technology to make magic bottles, why are we only using them for glue? Why not toothpaste that only becomes minty once it hits the toothbrush, or taco sauce that only delivers that extra kick once it’s on your chalupa?

5. Toothpaste Tubes
Speaking of toothpaste, why does it come in those weird tubes? Any other bottle can be squeezed from the middle to the user’s heart’s content. Mustard bottles, ketchup bottles, glue bottles (see above), water bottles (see below), all of these can be middle-squeezed. But stupid toothpaste tubes don’t work right if you squeeze them from the middle. Instead, you have to squeeze from the end, which is entirely awkward, and requires you to set your toothbrush down on the beard stuble trimmings lining your sink. Yumm…

6. Bottled Water
Actually, not all bottled water. Just some kinds. And it’s not the water itself I don’t get. It’s the names. Such as:
Poland Spring — Apparently, it’s actually from Maine
Earth Water — As opposed to Mars water?
Ice Mountain — There’s no way that’s an actual place. Don’t all mountains have ice on them?
Pure Life — A favorite of monks, nuns, and popes. Sinners should look elsewhere for hydration
Roaring Spring — The Wikipedia page shows a tranquil creek. So where does the roaring come in?
Zephyrhills — The name looks like an STD. Or the drug they give you to cure it.
Deja Blue — “Hey, this tastes just like that tap water I just had…”
Bling H2O — For when water just isn’t pimp enough
Deer Park — Although it was a crappy movie, the opening scene of The Tuxedo places a weird image in my head when I see this brand…

7. Snapple Fact #131
”Penguins have an organ above their eyes that converts seawater to fresh water”. Okay, fine. So penguins have a Brita filter in their head. I can live with that. But why? They don’t breathe water like a fish, so that’s not an issue. Is it just so they don’t have to stop for drinks when they go krill hunting? And if so, where does the salt go? Do they hock up a salt tablet every few days or so, like an owl does with fur and bones? Can they spit salt crystals at each other for the fun of it? (Snowballs would get old pretty fast, but no one would see the flying salt chunk coming) Or do they just eat it? And if they do, why separate it in the first place? Wouldn’t it just redissolve in the stomach? And if so, why don’t we hear more about penguin heart attacks on account of their enormously high sodium intake levels?

8. Surfboards
Don’t get me wrong. I love surfing. But I don’t understand it. Its a big floating chunk of fiberglass that you stand on. Waves are constantly determined to throw you off the side, and if that’s not enough, we’ll coat the board with a nice layer or three of wax, since something like wax could never be slippery when wet. As much fun as surfing is, I’d still like to meet the guy who decided that riding a floating death stick would be a good way to spend a weekend. It just doesn’t make sense on paper.

9. Jai Alai
Most sports can be reasonably explained as the evolution of a natural human activity. Soccer is the easiest example of this, since it boils down to kicking a small object. Bowling is simply rolling a ball at a specific target. Football involves transporting an object from point A to point B. But jai alai? It involves wearing a wicker basket-like device on ones hand and slinging a goatskin ball back and forth in an enclosed space at speeds of up to 188 mph. How does that even remotely sound like a good idea? At least Spanish bull running thing could have once been a rite of passage or something. Jai alai sounds more like a rite of idiocy.

10. Kangaroo Nomenclature
Male kangaroos are called “boomers”. Female kangaroos are called “flyers”. Oddly enough, kangaroos never go boom or fly. Nevertheless, their names suggest otherwise, although a six-pack of Foster’s may be suspected as the cause of this confusion. Also, why are kangaroos always depicted as female? They always draw a pouch on the belly for some reason. Which probably means boomers can get away with a lot more, since no foreigner would ever believe in a pouchless kangaroo.

11. Sudanese Justice
Be warned, this part gets pretty weird. Apparently, a dude walked in on his neighbor doing unspeakable things to the dude’s goat. He did what any Sudanese dude who was sufficiently creeped out would do and went to the local authorities. The authorities, in their infinite wisdom, decided that, since this creep was doing things to the goat which are usually reserved for one’s wife, then this man should marry the goat. As such, the creep paid a dowry to the dude and is now married to the goat. Mr. Alfini, one of the authorities, noted, “We have given him the goat, and as far as we know, they are still together.” Well, duh. How could a goat sign the divorce papers? If you think I’m making this up, the story is here

Okay, after that goat thing, I’m just not feeling motivated to do any more. Feel free to comment and let me know if you have ideas for the next one.

-dave





Things I Don’t Understand, Pt. 4

14 03 2008
I’m not sure if people still read these, but I guess there’s only one way to find out. So here’s part four of my ever-increasing list of things I find perplexing.

1. Cheese
Don’t get me wrong. I love cheese. I eat cheese at every meal. But that doesn’t mean I understand it. I know you start with milk. Sometimes goat, sheep, yak, or llama, but mostly it’s cow’s milk. Then, through some magic Wisconsiny voodoo, it magically becomes cheese. And not just cheese. One of over a hundred types of cheese. And they’re all made from milk. And almost all of them use mostly the same kind of processes. It’s simply mind boggling.

2. The Elmer’s Glue Mascot
I’ve been informed that it’s a bull, and Wikipedia confirmed it, so it must be true. But I’m still not convinced. The horns are certainly its most bull-like features, followed by the ring in the nostrils which, oddly enough, looks like a clown nose if viewed from a distance. But something about the eyes and smirk seems strangely human. So if it’s not a bull, and it’s not a person, what is it? So far I’ve nailed it down to a Minotaur or a demon. Or a clown. Those things are pure evil.

3. Tongue Depressors
The doctor uses these wooden sticks to look down your throat while you make weird noises for him. But why tongue depressors? Why can’t we use popsicle sticks? They’re the same thing, but thinner. And they usually taste like whatever kind of popsicle was on it originally. I think it would be a smash hit. Who wouldn’t choose cherry Creamsicle over wood flavored tongue depressors?

4. Dog Sweaters
Humans don’t have fur. With the exception of a few guys on the second floor of Brock, this holds to be universally true. So when it gets cold, we need some form of extra insulation to trap our body heat. This comes in the form of sweaters. Lovely, fuzzy, warm sweaters. Dogs, on the other hand, do have fur. They’re built to survive in the wild, hunting elk among the snowy hills of Canada. The fur keeps them warm even when the wind chill grows harsh. So why do they need sweaters? Isn’t that just overkill? If dogs need sweaters, shouldn’t they get cologne first? Somehow the smell seems like a more pressing issue than their external body temperature…

5. People Who Eat Bologna
Look at the last word of the above line. It doesn’t look appetizing. And neither is the food. It’s a puree of all the stuff that wasn’t fit for legit sausages, poured into a thick skin and left to set in a refrigerator. And people voluntarily choose this over good, clean turkey or ham on their sandwiches. If and when I become Congress (yes, I do mean the whole thing), I will unanimously vote that Bologna is outlawed under the Eighth Amendment’s “cruel and unusual punishment” clause, thus saving the taste buds of school children across the nation.

6. Eggplant
It’s not an egg. It in no way resembles an egg. The taste, smell, feel, sound, texture, versatility, nutritional content, and what happens when you throw one at a windshield are all different from that of an egg. And it’s not a plant either. Yes, it does come from a plant, but technically, it’s the fruit of the eggplant plant. So why do we call it eggplant?

7. Ohio Weathermen
Weatherman and baseball player are the only two occupations where you can completely miss half the time and still be legendary. In Ohio, all the more so. With a climate that swings back and forth more times than a PMSing junior high girl’s mood, it’s kinda hard to get an accurate forecast. Not that they don’t try. But I guess they do deserve some respect. It takes a lot to do nothing but be wrong all day, then go home and look yourself in the mirror and keep going. So here’s to you, Channel 2 Weatherman Carl Nichols.

8. Crayola Crayons
Once again, something I love, but don’t understand. Why do they name them the things that they name them? “Bitersweet” is the one that gets me the most. How do you give a flavor a color? That doesn’t even make sense. Or “Electric Lime”. How many people have actually hooked up a lime to a couple of diodes, flipped a switch, and ran a current through it, just so they would know what color to make it? “Screamin’ Green” is the same way. It’s a gross overpersonification. “Laser Lemon” sounds 100% dangerous, which is why we give it to our kids. And how can you name a crayon “Macaroni and Cheese” or “Granny Smith Apple” and then tell a kid not to eat it? Mixed messages aren’t good for developing minds. “Mountain Meadow” is a complete oxymoron. And, of course, there’s my personal favorite, “Beaver”. If you think I’m making these up, check it out for yourself:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Crayola_crayon_colors

That’s all for now. Oh, and if you read this, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. It’s the only way I know if people still read these. And if no one’s reading them, I’ll probably stop doing them.

-dave





Things I Don’t Understand, Pt. 3

14 02 2008
Ok, so I’ve been asked to do another one of these, since it’s been about a month since the last one and that was how long it took me to put out the second one. So without further ado, more things Dave Cox doesn’t quite understand…

1. Pimentos
They’re the little red things they put in the center of Spanish olives. While they do add a nice classy touch and a splash of color to the otherwise drab martini dwellers, they really don’t do much else. I was wandering through the aisles of Kroger the other day when I discovered, much to my disbelief, that you can actually buy a whole jar of these things! A whole jar! Sans olives! What on Earth would you do with a jar of pimentos? Well, I guess if you owned a olive farm and wanted to throw a fancy cocktail party…

2. Diet soda
It’s soda, except “healthier”. Stop and think about this one for a second. Diet. Soda. As in, we’ll take something which is notoriously unhealthy for you, and then replace ingredients like sugar with cancer-causing chemicals, then sell it to the general populace and label it “Diet”. Don’t buy the lie. No matter how they dress it up, it’s still not good for you. And new studies are showing that the artificial sweeteners may even be linked to weight gain, not loss. My advice: stick to tea or water. Or, if you need more flavor, go with Vitamin Water. It’s fruity, delicious, and has 250% of the needed daily dosage of vitamin C per bottle (at least the kind I’m drinking right now does)

3. Lifetime
It’s a channel on TV. Which shows nothing but incredibly unrealistic chick flick type specials. The thing I don’t get it is why you don’t have to pay by the minute to watch it. If guy porn is pay per view, why isn’t girl porn? Not that I’m advocating the pornography industry, but it seems a bit one-sided. I dunno. I’m not sure why either is around, really.

4. Neckties
It’s a way to add a little bit of class to an outfit. It’s also something you can have screen printed on a t-shirt if you’re going for the redneck-who-doesn’t-want-a-date look. But what’s the point, really? They just kind of dangle there. And blow all over the place in the presence of a strong wind. And get caught in the zipper when you put on a coat. And give you something else to iron. On the flip side, who doesn’t love Dilbert’s perpetually curled tie? That thing’s a classic.

5. Instant Tea
It’s tea for out modern, on-the-go, consumer society. And it’s blasphemy. Tea is to relaxation as air is to oxygen. Tea that can be “made” in 30 seconds and then chugged down as you jump in your Hummer is ridiculous. Proper tea requires time. Time to brew. Time to enjoy. And time to relax, read a book, rest your legs, or, dare I say it, engage in meaningful human conversation. Instant tea is crap in a cup. Without the two girls.

6. The Skirts/Pants Dichotomy
Anatomically speaking, wouldn’t it make more sense for guys to wear skirts and girls to wear pants? Maybe Scotland was right after all…

7. Pluto
Why all the hatred? Some scientists with nothing better to do than to sit around all day and argue about who gets to be a planet decided to kick Pluto out of the club a little while ago. When the Plutonians get mad and come for their heads, I’m just gonna sit back and say “I told you so”. Stupid solar system elitists. As if having water on your planet made you the boss or something…

8. Grills
As in the Nelly song. The gold teeth plates. They make you look like a rich person. A rich person who doesn’t brush. They look ridiculous. And there’s no way those can be comfortable. On the other hand, I do love that song.

That’s all for this time. More to come…maybe.

-dave





Things I Don’t Understand, Pt. 2

14 01 2008
Since the first one went over pretty well, I’m doing another one of these. So sit back, grab a bag of popcorn, and enjoy another exploration of the mind of Dave Cox.

1. Tootsie Roll Pops
It’s a glob of chocolate on a stick encased in flavored sugar. The problem with these is there’s no way to make a good flavor of these. Blue Raspberry and Orange are not flavors that one would typically associate with chocolate, and for a good reason. Cherry’s the only exception to this, which is, not surprisingly, the reason Cherry is the only semi-decent flavor. And the genius who invented Chocolate-flavored Tootsie Roll Pops is the worst of them all. Why would you want chocolate encased in chocolate, much less hardened sugar that is advertised as tasting like chocolate, but is in reality a flavor entirely of its own? Which brings me to…

2. Grape Flavored Candy
Grape’s a filler flavor. Admit it. No one pees their pants with excitement upon hearing that there will be a new grape-flavored Sour Patch Kid or that Skittles is now selling bags of exclusively purple Skittles. Purple’s the one you save for last because you’ve eaten all the good ones or, if you’re like me, the one you eat first so you’ll finish on a good note. Either way, they’re no one’s favorite. This goes for Popsicles too. And everyone knows grape-flavored cough syrup is a gift from the Devil himself. I’m not sure what the world would be like without them, but I certainly don’t understand why they were invented in the first place.

3. Pink Duct Tape
Duct tape is the quintessential man tool. It’s durable, cheap, versatile, shiny, and smells like old gym clothes. Plus, you can make a wallet or necktie out of it if you need one. But why on God’s green Earth would you make it pink? I understand red or green or black duct tape. I even own a number of these. But pink? The color associated with femininity from the moment they clothe you in the maternity ward? I’m not trying to be sexist and say that women aren’t allowed to use duct tape. But if you ever saw steak-flavored lipstick, you’d be just as upset.

4. John Locke
This one has a two-fold meaning. First, John Locke’s a weird philosopher who decided that what we think is real isn’t necessarily real. I think he’s insane. Secondly, John Locke is the bald dude on Lost. I still don’t understand why he can walk now…But don’t spoil it for me. I’m still in the middle of Season 2.

5. H3s
It’s a sissy Hummer. If you’re gonna destroy the ozone and poison the air, you might as well do it in style. And by style, I mean one of those big ones. The H3’s pretty much a pansymobile. You’d look more manly in a Geo Metro.

6. Crocs
Everyone’s thinking it, I’m just saying it. Your feet, Mr. Crocs Wearer, are a blight upon society. The highly-ventilated foam monsters on your soles are the bane of everyone around you. Find me a single piece of clothing that looks good with Crocs, and I will kiss you. Because, until then, tacky will continue to take on a whole new meaning. And why would you call them Crocs anyways? Thats just an insult to reptiles everywhere. They don’t even look like a croc. If I was a crocodile, I would bite off your feet. And people would thank me.

7. Non-Alcoholic Beer
It smells bad. It tastes bad. It’s made from many of the same ingredients as moldy bread. And it doesn’t even get you drunk enough to forget about the aforementioned aspects. So what’s the point?

There’s part 2. More to follow…maybe…