Archive for August, 2017

“Houston, We’ve Got a Problem.” And it’s Hurricane Harvey

From the “Too Soon” Dept.

Nothing but Big Prayers, Big Sponges and a little humor for our inundated Texas brethren

 

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10 Abominations for which Texas is incurring the torrential wrath of God in the form of Hurricane Harvey

1. 9 lb. belt buckles

2. Having a city named Texarkana. Not to mention: Texlahoma, New Texico and Louisiexcess.

3. Ignoring little Harvey’s symptoms when he was just a manageable Tropical Depression and allowing him to develop into a full-blown Category 5 Psychotic Event. “The only place he’s calm is in his one good eye,” says Harvey’s mother Katrina.

4. Rampant heterosexuality: Whether it’s in the Garden of Eden or performed bareback on a mechanical bull, sin is sin and will not be tolerated.

5. Not letting us forget the Alamo. Alright we get it! We remember the Alamo although we don’t know why anymore.

6. Having a panhandle. What self-respecting state allows its citizens to live in a panhandle? Where are we – in the housewares department of a Wal*Mart, or in the bad ass state of Texas?

7. Making diners try to eat a 72 oz. steak in an hour (technically not Texas’s fault, but they never should have offered in the first place).

8. Selling 10-gallon hats that only holds 8 gallons of my 10-gallon piranha tank (learned that the hard way).

9. Letting Austin have all the fun

10. A bad job of keeping undesirables from crossing the border. Should’ve started by not allowing Lee “Harvey” Oswald back into Texas when the Soviet Union kicked him out in 1962.

 

HST (Having Said That), Hurricane Harvey’s landfall could’ve been a mistake. Maybe this rain of Biblical proportion was meant for Flint, Michigan. Their water system could use a good flushing.

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The Burning Man Franchise: A Hot Property or a Study in Clichés

An open letter to the Burning People that run Burning Man,

Some see a magical place of infinite possibilities. I see a vast untapped demographic.

As I formulate this letter on further merchandising Burning Man, my concerns are twofold: 1. Can I properly convey my business plan to expand the Burning Man franchise? And 2. Can I do so without it being a study in clichés? The answer is a resounding Yes (on the business plan) and a definite No (on the cliché avoidance plan).

Burning Man is a very popular anarchical event of infinite self-expression. Its counterculture ethos speaks to the spiritual vagabond in all of us and despite its subversively-tinged sensibility, it has become an ever present fixture in the Mystical-Astrological Complex. And I believe we should tap into that vast reservoir of new-age good-will to decant a new demographic. Not only do we want to grow our natural constituency, i.e., those who dance like no one’s watching. But we also want to target market those who dance like there’s a stick up their ass? Read the rest of this entry »

What Distinguishes Man from Beast? – It’s Laughter.

~ Sharing laughter with someone can be a very intimate experience, but with benefits. The benefit being you don’t have to call them the next day. It’s only laughter. You shared a joke, not a membrane. ~

~Robin Williams~

 

Who needs words? I’ve got laughter.

I had gone to the pool simply to enjoy the gravity-defying magic of our buoyant friend water. I anticipated my usual routine: swim for a bit then imagine the pool drained of water while I floated in space, insensible to the gravity of my situation. I hoped to make this body of water not so much a sensory deprivation tank as a sensory augmentation tank. In other words I was crafting an out-of-body experience on the cheap. You see, it’s still fun to play make-believe – even at 56.

 

An Unbidden Epiphany

While I pursued this ersatz meditative experience, little did I expect the epiphany that would soon visit me. No one expects an epiphany. You can’t. That’s why they’re epiphanies. They’re designed to materialize without warning – kind of like my Uncle Leo. Epiphanies are unscheduled wormholes to understanding that don’t telegraph their presence – they shower it on you like a coach’s Gatorade bath. And it is this aforementioned unexpected insight which prompts this essay.

 

The Epiphany

I began my watery meditation ritual by laying out my towel on the chaise and trying to put my iPhone down so I could read my book which, in 3 weeks of lugging it to the pool, I managed to get past the Table of Contents and deep into the Introduction. As I finished my 4th game of online solitaire, a young couple with a baby entered the pool area and took up residence at the far end amidst a menagerie of water wings, beach towels and mini-coolers. They settled in, set up shop and the daddy lovingly introduced his baby girl to the wonders of liquid water. As the attentive father began dipping the legs of daddy’s little chicken pot pie (his words not mine) into the water, the tiny girl squealed in sheer delight. Each dip was a little deeper and more revelatory than the previous. And each squeal was now followed-up by cloud bursts of thunderous little baby giggles. She was experiencing indescribable joy.

 

I would’ve gladly traded places with her if only society didn’t frown on a 56-year old man squealing in delight while being dipped in the water by a guy half his age sporting an Eminem tattoo. As I bore witness to the little chicken pot pie’s celebratory peals of laughter, I experienced an epiphany: that this humorous faculty the baby girl so uninhibitedly demonstrated is what separates us from the animals. We’re the only specie that laughs. Read the rest of this entry »

“Memory Foam” Mattress Memorizes More than Contours

Memory Foam always makes a great first impression, but sometimes it absorbs a little more than you bargained for.  

I always knew my memory foam mattress would have a memory; what I didn’t realize is that it would have a consciousness too.

It was time for a new mattress. The old one had taken on the characteristics of its owner and had also begun to sag in the middle. It was spent from being flipped and rotated 9 ways from Sunday – the mattress and not the owner. The battered cushion had accumulated a decade’s worth of stains making it look like a bad tattoo that was slowly dissolving. So, the wife unit and I (wife unit being an old British colonial measurement of a female helpmate) visited The Illusion of a Bargain mattress store conveniently located at www.HappyMattress.com. Happy Mattress was a Chinese conglomerate affiliated with Sparkle Cleaners and Tasty Restaurant. BTW, be prepared for images unrelated to mattresses if you Google “happy” and “mattress.”

 

Because we didn’t care much for soft mattresses, we opted for a firm California King instead of a forgiving Martin Luther King. And because our bed was delivered during National Mattress Awareness Month (another Hallmark holiday I guess), they threw in some contour sheets and shams. I was beginning to believe the entire transaction was a sham until I laid down on the mattress. Holy Back-to-the-Womb Batman: it was like mother nature was caressing me in her arms.  Read the rest of this entry »