Can you believe it’s already been four days since Christmas? That can only mean one thing: It’s time to get busy with the next holiday.
New Year? You’re up! My first resolution is to go Valentine’s Day shopping on January 2nd.
That means I’ve been thinking about resolutions. Let’s break it down.
The word is comprised of the Latin Greek words “re” (do over) and “solut” (ancient greeting) and “ions” (small particles).
I decided why wait so I already made one and having been acting upon it. And it has been a lot of fun.
Because You Ask
Because you ask, the answer is no. This is a friendly cousin of an old favorite, “Because, you wish it!” which I picked up from a happy-go-lucky Klingon Commander in the movie Star Trek III: The Search For Spock.
It’s a simple policy I find to be remarkably effective.
For a limited time, I’ll explain how it works.
Step 1: Find someone to ask you for something. This usually isn’t too hard.
Step 2: Say “no.” The phrase “Because, you wish it!” is optional but provides a certain undeniable flair.
If you can’t find someone to ask for something, try going grocery shopping. 99% of the time (or so I theorize) the amount of your purchase will contain a fractional amount of dollars. (I’m in cents about that.) That’s when the happy-go-lucky clerk will loudly ask, for all to hear:
You’re not such a selfish sack of shit that you’re unwilling to “round up” for charity, are you? Huh, huh, huh? Greedo! I must be Han Solo because I’m firing first. I dare you to say no. It’s for “charity” and that’s always good, right? Am I right or am I right?
Listen, fuck face. I’m doing you a courtesy by shopping in your establishment. And you respond to that by trying to guilt me into some action that will ultimately make you look good?
I decided the best course of action is to carry an actual bottle of Roundup® Weed Killer on my belt. (Who says Monsanto can’t be handy?) When some snot nose practitioner of psychological warfare asks me if I want to “round up” I’ll happily reply, “Don’t mind if I do!” and spray that shit right in their face.
Human acute toxicity is dose related. Acute fatal toxicity has been reported in deliberate overdose. Epidemiological studies have not found associations between long term low level exposure to glyphosate and any disease.
Based on an assessment completed in 1993 and published as a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) document, the EPA considers glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic and relatively low in dermal and oral acute toxicity. The EPA considered a “worst case” dietary risk model of an individual eating a lifetime of food derived entirely from glyphosate-sprayed fields with residues at their maximum levels. This model indicated that no adverse health effects would be expected under such conditions.
In June 2013, the Medical Laboratory in Bremen published a report that glyphosate was present in human urine samples from 18 European countries. Malta showed the highest test results with the chemical showing up in 90% of samples and the average for all countries was 43.9%. Diet was stated as the main source.
Thanks for the assist, Wikipedia! 🙂
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. “Won’t you round up that wee bit for charity?” That sounds a lot nicer than the reality: “Gimme some arbitrary amount of your cash for our cause that you know nothing about. Our admin costs are only 98%. Ha ha ha!”
Or, worse: “We’ll use this money to fight against you, your core beliefs, and every cultural warfare front on which you stand opposed.” On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t be shopping at Chick-Fil-A and/or the Boy Scouts after all.
What’s wrong with asking for a little charity? Mainly that it makes it your decision and not mine. What could possibly be wrong with that? Only that I have absolutely no idea what my money will be used to support. Duh.
Recently a dude came to my door and asked for marriage equality support. That’s one of my pet causes. I gladly told him we already signed the petition when we enjoyed a “free” concert in the park. (Ha!) He said, “That’s great. I also need $60.”
“I don’t know who the hell you are.” Worse, the dude was a paid canvasser. Bothering me in my own home was his job. Somehow that rubs me the wrong way. It’s feels like spraying Monsanto on those alleged grass roots.
Long story short, me and the dude had a 45-minute conversation on my front porch and we connected. I ended up violating my own rule and giving him the oddly specific amount of $60. It didn’t hurt that this was a cause I believe in. What can guru say? Guru is often too nice.
A few weeks later, though, come to find out there are two different groups operating in the state, ostensibly for the same overall goal, but employing differing and contradictory strategies. Holy crap. Which group did I agree with? Which strategy did I end up “voting” for with my money? Did I agree with it? Or was I on the wrong side?
This is why giving to charity should be an outgoing decision, never incoming. Ever. To choose to do so is akin to voluntarily flushing your money down a toilet. Or worse.
So sell me my groceries and shut the hell up. I got hit by enough beggars just by walking into your store. That should have been my first clue, I guess.
This is a continuation of our ongoing series, “Tales of the Moved.” In this series we explore the strange new worlds of our life in the Big City. -Ed.
Leaving home in the big city is a slightly different experience than what we knew before. For one thing, people have no compunctions against asking you for money. They are absolutely shameless about it. The techniques and stratagems may differ in flair and style but most are variations on a theme. They generally start with eye contact.
With many excurions beyond the four walls under our belts we are truly coming to appreciate the little interactions with people we meet that do not involve a call to action (CTA) involving our wallets. These are precious and few and far between.
“How are you?” Oh shit. With a question like that you know there will be more to follow. This is already much more involved than the two-ships-passing-in-the-night head nod, which, to me, is as close as I wanna get.
Continue reading →
Tales of the Moved
And now a few exciting storyoids from the Mover’s Notebook…
The greater the change, the greater the likelihood it will stab directly into your heart like a stiletto and abscond with your life.
–Tom B. Taker
As some of you may already know, my wife and I recently made a big move. Excepting a trip to Mars (where I’m currently on file as a one-way volunteer) it ranks as pretty substantial as far as moves go. We went from the quiet rural lifestyle of a tiny goat farm in the Himalayas and a village of 42 souls to one of the most urbane existences possible in the heart of a big city: Portland, Oregon.
What follows are a few of our observations and experiences.
I hate people who think they are above the law. How rude! Such bad form! Like people who park in the fire lane to use the ATM rather than walking the 20 feet from a legitimate parking space. Or people who say they made charitable donations on their tax returns when they really didn’t. I loathe and despise that sort of thing.
People who park on the wrong side of the street also make that list.
Yet here, in Portland, there’s so much of it that it’s hard to imagine that it’s actually illegal. In fact, it almost seems like parking on the wrong side of the street is the norm and parking legally is the aberration. It’s that prevalent.
Continue reading →
School’s In For Bummer
Greetings and solicitations!
It used to be that the school year was a happy time. A time when the junior-sized asshole humans were (mostly) out from underfoot. Ahhhh. Those were the days.
You can blame it all on politics and unions and Tea Parties and partisanship and vouchers and hog wallerin’ and mud slingin’ and clean campaigns and dirty campaigns and COLA and inflation and school boards and lots, lots more.
Is an army of darkness one of the seven seals of Armageddon? Or maybe it was a vial? I can never keep those things straight.
Make no mistake. Let me be clear. War has been declared. And war is Hell. Tranquility has been attacked and tranquility will be defended. Even if I have to asplode.
If you want to enlist, make the jump.
Continue reading →
Going for the Gold!
Ever want to make a negativity guru feel positive and ruin his day? This is your big chance. If you like the above tweet then I hope you’ll consider retweeting it to your followers.
Just like everyone else, I hope someday to be a proud sponsor of the American dream.
This tweet is my dream. Won’t you help it live on?
Down on the corner
Why is it that the drive to/from work is quite often the worst thing that happens to me on some days?
That was rhetorical but I’ll answer anyway. Some people do not deserve to live. I’ve elected myself judge and jury. Unfortunately, I just don’t (usually) have what it takes to be the executioner.
Does that make me passive-aggressive if I leave it to some unknown stranger to clean up that mess?
Here’s today’s story.
I’m driving to work and about to turn right on the cul-de-sac. These two scruffy looking nerf herders, one male and one female, both young, were standing on the corner looking like they might be about to cross the intersection where I need to turn.
My spidey sense was tingling.
As a super-human (one that uses his brain) I did what came natural. I slowed to a crawl and watched them carefully trying to judge what could possibly be their intent.
Finally at a complete stop I still watched. Suddenly they departed from the corner and entered the intersection, just like I thought! They didn’t look for cars at all. Idiots. They seemed more preoccupied with something in the sky. Maybe their auras were intersecting with rainbows being used as slip-n-slides by unicorns. Who knows?
They stumbled drunkenly about half way through the intersection. Slow – as – hell. Finally the gap was big enough for me to go. I proceeded with caution.
Aha! One of them changed course and walked back in front of my car. Again no looking around for cars on a street. They couldn’t possible be found there, right?
By this point I was beyond flabbergastion. I glared and mouthed words at ’em. They looked bewildered. “What is this street thing we’ve found?” they seemed to be asking themselves.
Finally I got past and found my parking spot. Geez. What an ordeal. But wait, there’s more. They were walking down the middle of the street in my general direction.
This brings us to the unusual part…
Quite out of character, I got out of my car and headed at them.
“Sup?” I yelled while gesturing towards the heavens.
“You got a light?” they asked.
Whiskey tango foxtrot. Could they be any more fucking oblivious?
“What the hell are you doing standing around in the middle of the street,” I yelled some more.
At last they seemed to get that something was up. A few more exchanges like this and finally the male said something like, “Dude. You need to chill.”
“How the fuck are you still alive?” I demanded to know.
Sadly, I never got an answer. They just blithely moved on down the street. I leaned against my building and watched. After all, they knew my car and where I parked. I watched them approach several more people, probably in their personal Quest For Fire. They certainly fit the part.
Apparently the only thing that mattered in their miserable lives was the need to smoke. And yet, they seemingly were too dumb to plan ahead enough to maintain the necessary accoutrement in their possession to engage in that activity, like matches or a lighter or two sticks to rub together or something. So they were reduced to begging to satisfy their addiction. It seemed to be the single thing they were able to focus on.
They entered a parking lot at the end of the cul-de-sac and approached someone in a truck. I couldn’t hear but words were exchanged. After a while they wandered back into the street again. At this point I was extremely curious about where the hell they could possibly be going.
I went to work and vented about the experience to my boss. As we looked out the window, there the young idiots went, back up the street and out the same cul-de-sac they just went down. And they were walking in the middle of the street!
They finally arrived back at the same corner where I first encountered them and stood there for a while, looking around and up at the sky.
A few minutes later I went back to see what they were up to but they were gone.
Hopefully some nice stranger beheaded them for me. Fucking assholes.
Please enjoy the musical selection for this post: