Saturday, April 9, 2011

Be a Sport.

Sports is strange. Things that happen in sports don't happen in real life, and vice-versa. It's an odd thing, and strange the way some people separate sports from everything else.

Last week I went to Baltimore for the Orioles home opener. On my way out, I bought a polo shirt with the bird and "Orioles" written underneath. When I wore it to work the next day you'd have thought I was wearing a Swastika necktie.

"Hey, I thought you were a Phillies fan!"

"What's this - Orioles?"

"What's with the Orioles shirt?"

I explained that I have been going to Orioles games since the 80s, and I like the Orioles, the ballpark and I enjoy visiting Baltimore.

What I really wanted to say was, "Fuck you, I'll wear what I want. How about losing 50 pounds, tubby." Apparently, we're only allowed to wear one team's items, and we're especially only allowed to support the local teams. To me, I'm limiting myself if I only watch one team's games, but others find that practice offensive somehow.

To equate that with a life experience, suppose you normally shop at Target, but one day on your way home from work, you decided to stop at Kohl's and buy a shirt that you saw that looked nice. When you wore it to work the next day, you are asked where you purchased it. Finding out that you bought it at Kohl's, your irate co-workers question your loyalty to Target with several pointed statements.

But it's sports, and we all know how important sports is.

Which is, not all that important, really. Take it easy, folks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Do not disturb the intervention.

I watch that "Intervention" TV show once in a while. It's always the same three things:

  • Crack or heroin addiction
  • A guy who drinks too much
  • Some eating disorder – generally not eating enough

That's the Intervention Trifecta. Of course, there are the rare occurances of combinations of the three – in pairs or all three. For instance, a crack-addicted alcoholic anorexic. That's a series.

It is kind of boring seeing the same problems over and over. They end the same way: They follow the guy around for a while, watching him stumble, shoot-up or throw up for a few weeks (that's called enabling) and then assemble the family so that they can get that bald-headed psychiatrist to tell him how screwed up his life is and send him off to a 3-week rehab in Florida. Some of us would view that as a paid vacation.

Then, one of his family members (usually a displaced uncle or some grandparent who he pissed on a few times) gets up and reads a heart-felt letter of regret and how ashamed they are of his screwed-up life. So much so, that they have decided to put him on display.

What the show should be doing is helping someone who can help others by changing his life. Alcoholics who sit at home and swill gin aren't hurting anyone but themselves. Crack addicts die in an alley. The show needs to do more good for society in general and stop focusing on the addict.

They could do a show about a guy with really smelly feet. Or a Dallas Cowboys fan who lives in Philadelphia. Gather the family around and scold somebody because they don't know what a Yield sign means. Or a guy who refuses to shovel his sidewalk when it snows or leaves piles of snow on top of his car and drives around. Get them straightened out.

Imagine a tear-stained aunt holding up a pair of brown loafers exclaiming, "See what you're doing to us!" Their family dinners have been ruined by his foul and unpleasant odor. "You're tearing us apart!" They could even bring in a few shoe salesmen that have had to lean over his feet.

Help us, television.

Support your local government … or not.

News story:
As Democrats in the Senate argue that "ideology" is the only thing standing in the way of a deal to avert a government shutdown, House Republicans are countering that's simply not true.

Hmm … point well made. They can't even agree on what is causing the disagreement.

I say, let them shut it down. Maybe we'll see how well we do without them. Or … are they afraid we'll realize they aren't necessary? If it is shut down long enough, private industry will take over many services, and probably for less cost. And then, the displaced government workers can try working a real job for a change.

Talk about culture shock.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm not looking out for you.

I may have found a future career for myself once my working days are over. I could open a driving school. But not your ordinary driving school - oh no. This would be a driving school that would spend all of its time teaching one particular aspect of driving.

The Yield Sign.

The yield sign is the most misunderstood appliance on the highway. My driving school would spend a day or two on it, and students would not graduate (or be allowed to drive at all) until they possessed a total understanding of the sign and what it means to drivers who approach it on the road.
Certainly, drivers understand "Stop" signs and what the colored lights mean. They know that railroad crossings are for trains. They know that speed limit signs signify the "limit of speed" -- OK, so maybe they don't understand everything they see on the road, but let's take it one sign at a time.

Let's say that the yield sign is applied to your everyday life. You're standing in line at the supermarket (my favorite place) and while you're standing there, another shopper walks into your line and just places himself in front of you. That's not right. If life had a yield sign, it would keep people from moving into your line while you're waiting or taking your movie theater seat while you're walking down the aisle in front of them. It means "yield the right of way."

Sadly, drivers who attempt to merge into traffic from a highway on-ramp do not fully understand the meaning of "yield the right of way." It means that you do not have the right of way, and that drivers on the highway do not have to move over to accommodate you or otherwise inconvenience themselves for your benefit. You do not have the right of way.
Understanding what that simple concept means on the road goes a long way toward promoting highway comfort and keeps drivers on the highway from awkwardly moving over into another lane while interlopers plow themselves into traffic from an on-ramp.

Drivers on the highway do not need, nor should they move over into an adjacent lane to make room for other drivers merging - who do not have the right of way - and further inconvenience themselves and the drivers around them. Being on the highway is a particular God given right, and those who are entering need to realize that they are not entitled.
It seems so simple.