Archive for January, 2020

Least Useful Car Options

How to complicate life: Make it seem beneficial to fill your tires with 100% nitrogen instead of regular air which is already 78% nitrogen. Not a difference maker.

This list is inspired by real life events: My new Honda’s tires were filled with nitrogen. True. There are many advantages to this option they say, but the only one I can think of is as an inspiration for this list. I wish tires were filled with helium so cars would weigh less. Hmmm…must tweet Elon Musk about this. In any event, here are some other options of equal or lesser value:

  1. Ear-Piercing Back up Beeper – Back up with all the self-importance of a cement truck. With this “Can You Hear Me Now” feature they’ll make way for you even if you are driving a dinky little Corolla. 
  2. Urn Holders – More than just an ash-tray. Take your loved ones with you wherever you go. Perched just above the window, your cindered loved ones will appreciate peering out to see what they’ve been missing. Rhino horn holders also available.
  3. Intermittent Braking: This feature randomly disables the regular brakes thereby allowing drivers the heart-stopping thrill of trying to locate the emergency brake in a hurry.
  4. Rear Stabilizer Bar – Serves Beer and Wine to passengers in rear. If under 21 Rear Stabilizer Bar also serves Capri Sun juice pouches.
  5. Blackout Windshield – Available only to instrument-rated drivers driving in IFR conditions
  6. Self-Driving Miss Daisy Car – Driverless car answers commands in Morgan Freeman’s voice. At the end of each ride, we all understand each other more deeply.
  7. Glove Box Lobster Tank – Make every excursion feel like you’re going to the Red Lobster. Must have waterproof registration and waterproof of insurance.
  8. Frontview mirrors – The perfect companion piece to rearview mirrors. Allows driver to turn around, look behind into a mirror, to see what’s in front of them. Helpful when you tire of just sitting and looking straight ahead. Note: This option is more of a conversation piece than anything else. Must be a complete idiot to actually use it.
  9. X-rated Transmission Hump – Talk about racy. This adults’ only hump comes in two styles: Missionary and Doggy.
  10. Ice Bucket Challenge Seats – A different kind of bucket seat. When you least expect it a shower of ice cubes pours down from the headliner. Comes in handy when feeling drowsy. Also supports ALS sufferers, although no one knows exactly how.
  11. Phone Tree Announcement Changer – Ties in with iPhone and allows caller to erase the stupid part of the announcement that says, “If this is a medical emergency hang up and dial 9-1-1.” Also removes the “Please listen carefully as some of our options have changed.” Very satisfying.
  12. 130-gallon Windshield Washer Reservoir – Fill it once and forget it. Adds a road-hugging 1000 lbs. of liquid ballast while lowering the vehicle’s center of gravity. Even in the windiest of conditions, never again worry about tipping over.
  13. Heated Spare Tire – Some say it’s frivolous, but who doesn’t like a nice toasty donut.
  14. Glass-Bottom Car – AKA The Reverse Sunroof. Instead of a window on the world above, you can now get a window on the world below. A clear acrylic sheet across the floorboards allows you to watch the world rush by under your feet. This way you can drive and keep your eyes on the road.
  15. Pumpkin Spice Gas Cap – Who says petrol and squash aroma don’t mix?
  16. Oval Tires – Great for evening out the most obtrusive of speed bumps. Guarantees your kids will be born dizzy.
  17. Tom Carvel’s gravelly voice narrates the onboard GPS – Google him or substitute Harvey Fierstein if you’d like.
  18. Old School Anti-ABS – This Anti Anti-Lock brake System removes the ABS requirement and allows you to “Make Breaking Great Again.” No more “so-called” controlled stops with this feature. Once you slam on the brakes you’re skidding till you stop, just like God intended.
  19. Light Indicating Low Self-Esteem – The ultimate idiot light. If you’re insecure enough to purchase this option, then it deserves to stay on.
  20. Digestive Gas Gauge – This digestive aid tells you exactly how much gas is in your system, or if you’re just full of sh*t. Must purchase companion “Slim-Fit” anal probe.
  21. Fluid Level Cluster – Tells you exactly how much fluid is in your Bladder and whether you can make it to the next stop.
  22. Engine-mounted Panini Maker – Leave hungry and arrive at your destination with a grilled Ham & Brie sandwich courtesy this feature that smartly presses a sandwich between the bottom of hood and top of engine manifold. Grill marks are etched to perfection. Think of it as a huge carbon footprint Panini maker.
  23. Get the Option that never stops tinkling: Roof Mounted Wind Chimes. Make your vehicle a New Age Dreamboat. Who doesn’t like to tinkle?
  24. Specialized 20-speaker Audio system that just listens. Then it empathizes and eventually counsels you on ways to overcome life’s obstacles. Must combine with self-esteem gauge.
  25. Run Flat Goulash-filled Tires – Can substitute Tuna Noodle Casserole. Nitrogen not available.
  26. Seats Treated with FartGard – Drive comfortably with greater peace of cheeks with this TMI feature. If you fart into it, it farts back. It detects, calculates and displays total number of farts in all seats and their relative humidity upon initial discharge. Again, more than you want to know, and it might make you queasy, but please, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, stop reading and call 9-1-1.

Fight the Power: Americans Against Unwelcomed Name Changes of Major Cities

Good Bye Chicken Kiev, Hello Fowl Kyiv?

Sign of the Times

If you’re like me (which I doubt very highly) you’ve noticed a slow-building and insidious trend in the renaming of major global cities. Cartographers are calling this syndrome Global Conforming. This sop to the signage industry began with the ancient city of Peking, which overnight in the 70’s became Beijing, thereby eliminating Peking Duck as my go-to Chinese restaurant order (Under no circumstances will I ever order Beijing Duck). Then Bombay, India decided it couldn’t deal with its pleasingly exotic name and renames itself Mumbai. Mumbai – which sounds like you’re trying to say “Monday” with a mouthful of Novocain. Not a good look India. Or a good sound either. So now Bombay Sapphire becomes Mumbai Sapphire? Nope. I’m not drinking that jungle juice.

 

As an American against the unwelcomed name changing of major cities or (AAUNCMC), I propose we turn back the fonts of time to the way things should be. And that brings me to Kiev, Ukraine. Kiev was a national capital when dinosaurs walked the Earth (not really, but you get the point). Why in tarnation, or in any nation, has Kiev suddenly (and without permission) become Kyiv? Really? So long Chicken Kiev. Hello Fowl Kyiv. Johnny Cougar back to John Mellencamp – that I get. But this politically correct urban renaming is done with all the clinical sterility of a Stepford wife doing laundry. To me these unilateral name changes should be called what they are: The Signage Industry Full Employment Act. Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s Resolution: To Transcend These Things that Bother Me

  1. Cut it out.

    I’m living in fear that Jeopardy! does not have a succession plan for Alex Trebek. I’ll take Worry for $2000 Alex.

  2. Same for “Wheel” and Pat. And don’t get me started on Vanna. That chick is 62 years old now. She’s been turning heads and letters for over 30 years now*. * I know, I know. She only touches the letters now.
  3. I’m bothered that in Spain they speak Spanish not Spainish
  4. I hear vegan Spaniards speak Spinach – at least those are the sounds they “produce.”
  5. In France they speak French when they should speak Franch
  6. In the Flemish region of Belgium they speak Mucous and the sidewalks are covered in it.
  7. Speaking of speaking; at Gallaudet University they speak sign language without saying a word. When they want to scream they wear all CAPS. I mean they all wear caps.
  8. I’m bothered that the Philippines is populated by Filipinos not Philippinos. How does Ph change to F?
  9. The original bother: The whole 2 Darrin’s thing on Bewitched is still fresh in my mind. They think they can just replace a husband and not say anything. Just twitch your nose Samantha and order up a new husband. I’m still scarred.
  10. I wonder if I lose my mind, what I’ll have left. This list probably. Hey wait a minute.
  11. We act like we know everything when we should be saying, “I know that I know nothing.” Pinched this gem from Plato and for this I’m not really bothered.
  12. Why is Peking now Beijing? Peking worked fine for 700 years. And yet restaurants still call it Peking Duck.
  13. Bombay has become Mumbai. And yet top shelf bottles are still called Bombay Sapphire.
  14. I only need 1 out of 10 letters sent to me. Maybe Vanna can turn back the other 9 letters.
  15. Realizing that we’re all living on just the “crust” of the Earth makes me feel insignificant. What will my epitaph be? “I trod around on the outside of a big piece of toast till I died. Now I’m buried in one of its nooks and crannies.”
  16. That Walter White is now just Bryan Cranston. That’s a really Bad Break.
  17. If there’s one prevailing force pervading everything, why are there so many religions trying to describe it? I wish people would stop practicing their religions and just perform them. With all the practice they should know what to do by now.
  18. Denali was Mt. McKinley now it’s back to Mt. Denali. What about the Nile? Will it now become Denial?
  19. John Mellencamp was a Cougar now he’s a fruit (a mellen?). Oh bring back my Johnny to me.
  20. These lists bother me. I think it’s preventing me from self-actualizing or something. Well at least I’m drawn to the unruffled sangfroid of Matthew McConaughey, so obviously there’s been some growth on my part.
  21. Jennifer Aniston was jilted by Brad Pitt and is now the world’s oldest 26 year old. Yeah I’m bothered why I age and she doesn’t. Note to self: Must start putting Aveeno on my Corn Flakes.
  22. Since we’re talking about Brad Pitt’s ex-girlfriends, I suppose I should now say something about Gwyneth Paltrow. But I won’t. I’m already knee deep in this Goop.
  23. And don’t get me started on Angelina Jolie – a restraining order already prevents that.
  24. The word “empty” should be spelled “mt”. There’s no clarity anywhere. I feel so, so, so mt.
  25. Pluto is no longer a planet. Who has the right to demote a planet? I understand Pluto has adopted a symbol and is referring to itself as “the planet formerly known as Pluto.” And yes, I’m bothered by this. Oh, like you’re not.
  26. I’m bothered that we don’t discuss the absence of Mother Theresa enough
  27. I’m bothered that we don’t discuss the presence of the Dalai Lama enough
  28. Bill Cosby seemed like such a nice man. But I should’ve known something was up when he shamelessly promoted New Coke.
  29. There are a lot of people who were never caught doing really bad stuff; and they may even be doing it now. Then again I hear God does sort them out later, so in some sense I’m not really too bothered by supposedly unpunished Earthly indiscretions.
  30. I’m bothered that everyone isn’t more like Mr. Rogers. If everyone was like Mr. Rogers, I could finally be a bad ass. Well, maybe not a bad ass, but at least feared more than PBS travel writer Rick Steves.
  31. I’m bothered that we’re not supposed to be distracted drivers and yet municipalities allow glitzy outdoor billboards to timeshare between (for example) SPCA warnings and Wheel of Fortune ads. Causing me to at first wince at the cruelty to animals and then (once the timeshare switches) turn my head back to see what Vanna is wearing. Oh, I can’t text (fair enough), but you can keep my eyes off the road in the name of commercialism.
  32. I’m bothered that I’m up to number 34 now and the Prozac is having absolutely no effect on me. I wonder why it was labeled “Lipitor.”
  33. <Putting myself in timeout. I need a break. You need a break.>
  34. I’m back and I’m running a temperature so now I’m hot and bothered.
  35. I’m bothered that I misunderstood what celibacy meant and so for 45 years I never played sax.
  36. And through this cathartic process of enumerating perturbations, discomfitures and whiny little misgivings, I’m cured. Thank you for listening. My New Year’s Resolutions are resolved. I’ll see you next year with a new, more elevated list: Why it’s All Good, Even When It Doesn’t Appear to Be All Good.