Archive for April, 2008

36. Look at your watch when asked for the date.

You’ve been pestering your buddy about this check all month. You paid full price for that Sweatin’ to the Oldies collection, and you’ve both been sharing custody of it for weeks now, so it’s about time you got back your share of the investment.

So your buddy pulls out the ole checkbook, writes out the amount, and off-handedly asks you what the date is. Now, it should be noted that directly behind you there is a wall calendar (Discovery Channel’s Grisliest Predatory Kills of the Savanna). Directly in front of you, on a desk, is a page-a-day calendar (Anne Geddes’ Babies Are Precious). And you both just so happen to be standing in the post office, where the date is plastered onto every bit of free space that isn’t already covered with commemorative stamps of Britney Spears’ Most Memorable Car Wrecks.

But you don’t look at any of these items. You look at your watch.

And your watch is not one of those massive doohickeys with dates, alarms, calculators, barometers, can openers, and a fully-functioning toaster oven. It’s a plain old watch. A Spongebob Squarepants watch, in fact, that you received/stole from a child at McDonald’s. And it’s not even set to the right time, blinking 12:00 over and over in a digital cry for help.

But it doesn’t matter. You’re sure, positive, for those few brief moments, that a confident glance at your helpful wrist will give you the information you’re looking for. Mayhaps a calendar has evolved into the circuitry since the last time you looked? Who knows? Alas, all you get from that useless hunk of plastic is an overwhelming sense of failure, and a stern look of reproach from Squidward.

So if you want to suck at life, look at your watch when asked for the date. You won’t find the answer there, but you will find a reason to get back on your meds as quickly as possible.

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35. Purchase a cheap umbrella.

Oh, you saw the black clouds when you woke up this morning. You felt the moisture in the air. You noted the neighbors barricading themselves into their storm cellars. But you paid none of this any mind. You bought some brand new hair gel and you’ll be damned if your beloved coif gets crushed under a hooded jacket.

But your beloved ‘do isn’t destined to survive the day anyway, as the heavens soon burst forth in a deluge rivaling that which turned Noah into an accomplished seaman. As entire city blocks float by and get washed down the sewer, you scramble around like a drowned rat, searching for some semblance of shelter. When you find nothing but an awning heavily defended by a rabid, elderly man, you realize that you have no choice. You must buy an umbrella.

You’d love to get one of those massive, Superdome-like monstrosities that golfers carry about, but unfortunately, such an item is not available to a desperate, soggy person like you. The only thing that you can procure is a flimsy, half-broken, waif of a device, sold to you for fifteen dollars by a man with a very large smile.

You begrudgingly open up your foolish new purchase. It creaks and moans and screams at you to stop prodding it into serving the purpose for which it was created. Fabric is tearing. Plastic is breaking. Large metal rods begin poking out in all directions, causing you to resemble an angry beetle in the throes of an excruciating Raid death. But at least it’s keeping you relatively dry.

For approximately thirty seconds. The minute that one gust of wind swoops in, all is lost. Your worthless piece of crap flings itself inside out, as if trying to escape the very idiot who adopted it. You’re shocked, for some reason, as if completely unaware that such a tragedy could befall the item that cost 5ยข to make somewhere in Cambodia. You attempt to reign it in, but such efforts are futile, and only serve to make you appear more and more ridiculous with every desperate swipe. Drier people are now laughing at you, the poor fool who looks like a bathtub-tortured LOLcat. Eventually the accursed object blows away, down the street, leaving you to stand there, pathetic and drenched, yelling after it “Just go! GO, you accursed HELLFIEND!”

So if you want to suck at life, purchase a cheap umbrella. Sure, yelling at an inanimate object as it happily floats away might be seen as crazy, but it’s not nearly as crazy as emptying out your wallet for a shard of tattered nylon. You’re engendering multiple forms of crazy today. Keep it up, sport.

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34. Buy something from an infomercial.

You don’t know why you can’t fall asleep. You’re not sure why you ate an entire Family Size bag of Cheetos. And you sure as hell can’t explain why you’re slouched in front of the television at approximately 4:05 am and still watching Comedy Central hours after the actual programming went off the air. The last thing you can remember is a funny Jon Stewart quip. Now all you can think about is Ronco Rotisserie Ovens. “Set it and forget it!” you mutter as you drift in and out of consciousness, blindly groping for the telephone that, mysteriously, has already been used several times tonight.

Fast forward six days. The doorbell rings. You shuffle to the door, fling it upon, and proceed to gape as your jaw literally detaches itself from your face and falls to the floor. Dozens of oddly shaped boxes, cartons, bags, and cages are littering your front porch. The poor hapless UPS guy, whose face you never see, sticks his little electronic signy-pad thing through a tiny crack in the packages. You scribble something illegible, which, due to the incredibly poor quality of these devices, could very well resemble the signature of an old, blind wolverine. As the delivery guy flees the neighborhood, never to be seen again, you begin to take stock of your new items.

You’ve done three, maybe four sit-ups in your entire life. So why did you feel the need to purchase a home gym, Thighmaster, AND a Bowflex? And – oh dear Lord – that couldn’t possibly be Tony Little’s Gazelle, is it? How on earth did that creepy pony-tailed android assmonkey convince you to purchase a glorified sidewalk?

But the horror doesn’t end with fitness supplies. In addition to your commitment to becoming an American Gladiator, your insomniac self also decided that that crazy drunken wench Julia Child has nothing on you. You want nothing more than to make the next season of Top Chef, even if the real reason is a fervent desire to tickle Tom Collichio’s shiny head. Rotisserie ovens, Salad Shooters, vacuum sealing bags, pasta makers, Magic Bullets…the kitchen gadgetry is endless. But given that the most complicated meal you’ve constructed for yourself as of late was Mac N’Cheese with Cheez-It crumbles on top, washed down with a spicy lime Ramen, you’re not exactly sure where this Chilean Sea Bass Steamer is quite going to fit in.

You also now own a hypoallergenic cat. WHY do you own a hypoallergenic cat?? It’s sitting upon your new Temperpedic mattress, coughing up the Hoodia pills it just ate and rolling around in a massive tub of Mighty Putty. And you’re out more money than you can ever, ever admit to any of your straight friends.

So if you want to suck at life, buy something from an infomercial. You may have done your Christmas shopping for the next five years, but no one’s getting your Solid Flavor Injector until they pry it from your cold, dead, garlic-infused hands.

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33. Forget to remove a price tag.

Jeez LouISE what a hot new polo shirt! Hip, charming pastels, sturdy collar for maximum poppage, and a bitchin’ crocodile logo. You hear that, restless hordes of untrendy swine? A friggin’ crocodile! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

You swagger down the street with a frightening confidence, high fiving strangers and unabashedly inviting them to feast their eyes upon your stylish threads. “Note the crocodile,” you blare. They stare at you sideways, with the slightest hint of a smirk upon their unwashed faces, but you pay it no mind. They’re probably just jealous. Not everyone can pull this off with such massive amounts of panache.

Following a lengthy string of vigorous thumbs-up, you decide it’s time for a rest from the celebrations. You draw your hands back to your sides, where you suddenly feel an odd fluttering. What could possibly be dangling from the sleeve? Surely in your outrageous excitement to don such a flattering garment you didn’t forget to take off the tag? Such a mistake can only be made by people who aren’t worthy of displaying deadly animals upon their breast!

But, no. There it is, waving in the breeze, mocking both you and your vampire-like collar. You quickly begin to paw at it, tearing and clawing, much to the amusement of the pedestrians around you. Once it becomes clear that the miniscule string of plastic is too strong for your puny little hands, you finally resort to biting, which isn’t easy since the human body isn’t designed to bend that way. You continue to gnaw through the cord like a feral hamster, contorted and bent over in several different yoga positions until finally, at long last, you break it free. By this point, a large crowd has gathered to gape and chuckle at your retarded antics. You burst past them, scowling, still secure in the knowledge that they just don’t understand real fashion.

You keep walking for a few blocks more, once again building up the confidence to show off and accost random passsers-by. But they’re still laughing at you! What in the gosh darn HECK? You wisely pause at a large display window to glance at your reflection, and it is there that your heart sinks. There it is. A large sticker, smack dab in the middle of your torso, screaming “MEDIUM! MEDIUM!” in a gigantic, grotesque, horrendously goofy font. Horrified, you tear it off, flinging it desperately at a nearby trash can, which it misses. You sink to the ground. Your day is ruined. Your shirt is ruined. Your life, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is completely ruined.

So if you want to suck at life, forget to remove a price tag. The documentation of the cost will be out there for all to see, but just remember: you can’t put a price on humiliation.

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32. Spill hot coffee onto your groin.

You realize that you probably shouldn’t have stayed up late last night to watch the harrowing ending of The Bare Wench Project, but a drinking game in which the only rule is to take a shot whenever an errant boob pops onscreen is an alcohol-related activitiy that you sure as hell aren’t going to miss.

But now, at seven o’clock in the morning, you very closely resemble a constipated zombie as you stagger out the front door, half-dressed and smelling faintly of gouda cheese. A half hour later, you find yourself in the middle of Starbucks, though you have no recollection of how you got there or why you’re clutching a bouquet of begonias. No matter. There’s a hot, steaming mug of pure caffeine perched on your table and you plan on sucking it down faster than a Dyson vacuum cleaner. It never loses suction! Truly a modern miracle!

Gripping the cup with shaky hands, you carefully bring the brim to your arid lips. The anticipation is almost palpable, zipping through the air with — wait, that’s not a metaphor flying around, it’s a fly! There is a fly in the Starbucks. And it’s going to land in your voluminous vessel of salvation if you’re not careful. You delicately place your coffee back onto the table and proceed to wave the insidious insect off with clumsy, spastic arm flailings. The casual observer might be led to believe that you have escaped from the nearest mental facility. But you have a mission, and that is to save your morning from the clutches of a winged, disgusting, disease-ridden menace.

There, you’ve got it right where you want it – in front of you. Nice strategy. Slowly, silently, like a ninja, you reach over and steal the newspaper that the guy next to you is reading. Shushing his cries of outrage, you furtively roll it up, take aim, and swing. The fly deftly evades your poorly-executed death blow, buzzing out the door to go annoy the people at the Starbucks across the street. You, on the other hand, have suffered a much worse fate: the coffee that you had so lovingly composed is now currently searing the skin off in and around your groin.

There’s very little one can do in this type of situation other than hop around like an injured orangutan, scream incomprehensibly, and gesture wildly at the fate that has befallen your new khakis. Others may stare at you with heaping amounts of pity, but pity doesn’t put the scalding coffee back in the cup, now does it? Your panicked screams of anguish and futile fanning motions do little to rectify the situation. And the fabulous absorption powers of your chinos ensure that your crotchal region stays nice and fiery for up to ten minutes, baking away both your self-respect and your ability to conceive children.

So if you want to suck at life, spill hot coffee onto your groin. Not only are you still uncaffeinated and covered in third degree burns, but you now possess a stain that can’t possibly be breached without a plethora of jokes at your expense. Congatulations, Captain Shittypants. It’s going to be a long day.

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31. Trip over the only obstacle within a 100-foot radius.

You’re in a hurry, goddamit. The Land Before Time XXXIV: Please Just Let Us Die goes on sale at precisely 9:00am this morning, and you sure as hell aren’t going to miss a single second of precious dinosaur antics. You throw on a shirt, a shoe, maybe some pants (maybe not), and fly out the door.

You could take the car, but why bother? It’s a beautiful day, the sun is out, and your allergy medication has finally kicked in. No eye-watering, nose-dripping, wheezing fits for you! A little exercise couldn’t hurt, either. You became dangerously exhausted after eating a twenty-piece Chicken McNugget Value Meal with ranch dressing while watching the Boston Marathon, and you’re fairly sure this will not be winning you a Presidential Fitness Award any time soon.

You powerwalk down the street, so blazingly ignorant of anything around you not affiliated with heartwarming animated pterodactyls that you completely miss the potential hazard quickly approaching. Sure, the sidewalk is at least fifteen feet wide, completely clear of pedestrians, and paved to a degree of smoothness rivaled only by bowling lanes and freshly zambonied skating rinks. All except for a daring, rogue brick that has brazenly thrust itself up onto the surface, not unlike The Little Mermaid and her quest to become Part Of Our World.

Alas, also like The Little Mermaid, this brick has a thing or two to learn about not royally fucking up the lives of everyone it encounters. You continue your jaunt, blissfully unaware, and deviating nary a hair’s width from the path you’re on. You take in the sights and sounds around you – hey, there’s Bill the Barber, nicking the ear of Old Hobo EarNick! There’s a woman breastfeeding in public! There’s a man throwing lettuce at her! There’s an oily, naked —

You’re on the ground. You don’t know how you got there, but a brief investigation into the matter reveals the mischievous brick to your now swollen eye. Mocking you with its obviousness, there it stands – proud, noble, and outrageously visible. A mere glance in the direction of the ground would have saved you this crushing indignity, but so confident you were in the nimbleness of your feet, you didn’t feel the need. A mistake you won’t be making again anytime soon.

So if you want to suck at life, trip over the only obstacle within a 100-foot radius. Were you to wander the Sahara with seemingly nothing around for miles except sand dunes, devastating isolation, and comically-positioned skeletons, you would be the one to inevitably stumble and fall over a single solitary camel turd. It’s a gift, really. Cherish it.

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30. Drop your toothbrush in the toilet.

You just got home from the dentist, and you couldn’t possibly be any happier. No cavities, no tooth decay, no plague, not a single solitary cell of bacteria. Your mouth is cleaner than the Pine Sol Lady’s house on the first day of spring, more spotless than an albino dalmation, more immaculate than that guy on the street corner who calls himself the Angel Of Death And Spare Change.

Feeling fresh and minty, you gaze adoringly at your brand new toothbrush. You opened up real wide, you kept real still during the x-rays, you even brought your own bib – all to win the holiest of prizes. A rubber-gripped, fully-contoured, 40 bristle count Tool of Dental Perfection. You behold its curves in awe, proud, amazed, and a little turned on. You delicately place it into the holder, which has already been cleared in anticipation of its arrival, and gaze at it longingly, counting down the hours until you may massage your eager gums with its tender stalks of hygiene.

Oooh…you just can’t wait until bedtime! In a reckless abandonment of any and all self-control, you tear the brush from its new home, slather it up with some Crest Whitening Sensations, and jam it into your mouth. It’s everything you dreamed it would be and more. A veritable symphony of dental health melodizes throughout your oral cavity as you ruthlessly destroy any microorganisms that could possibly have found their way into your mouth on the brief drive home from the dentist. Take THAT, gum disease! And THAT, halitosis! Don’t even THINK about it, acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis!

As you fervently shout vague threats at various inanimate oral disorders, your body slowly drifts away from the sink. Dancing around the bathroom in nothing but the dental bib that you have once again donned for this auspicious occasion, you are no longer aligned with the bathroom counter, and by the time you are able to wrench the brush out of your foamy, sputtering mouth, it’s too late. You place it gingerly upon the countertop, only to watch in horror as it totters ever so slightly, freezes for a nanosecond, then falls to the latrinical depths below.

As it splashes into the gaping maw of the porcelain sea, you scream shrilly and without restraint. One, because your precious dental tool has now become the property of the infamous Toilet Monster your mother always warned you about, and two, you’re going to have to fish that thing out of there using only a plunger and whatever small amount of ingenuity you happen to possess. The plunger only gets you so far; that is, you use it to poke the brush around, ultimately turning the magnificent Oral B Cross-Action Pro-Health into a mini toilet brush. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! you lament. Your once-gorgeous instrument of hygiene is now a foul, lowly poop-scrubber. You should have seen this coming, really. It was too beautiful for this world.

So if you want to suck, drop your toothbrush in the toilet. The moment you finally break down and plunge your hand into the bowl to retrieve it may not be the most glamorous minute of your life, but it will most definitely be followed by a vigorous hand-scouring and disinfection so thorough it’ll put Mr. Clean himself to shame, stalking away as he does to re-buff his mirror-like head.

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