Trump Happened

​Alright… I know it’s been a bit since I posted. I hate to drop something heavy here right now, but I have to say this. I promise that, if you read through, I’ll make it all better at the end.
It’s 2:42 am on November 9th. Just an hour ago, the unthinkable happened.

The United States elected Donald J. Trump as president.

Now I’m unable to sleep. I’m assuming this feeling is felt by many across the globe. Just the thought of this man being in charge has sent shockwaves throughout the economic world. The Dow futures are down 300 points. The Peso’s value has plummeted 12% to an all-time low. Asian markets have had similar results.

An hour as president-elect and apparently that’s enough to threaten a global recession.

As I lie here trying to wrap my head around what has happened, there isn’t a feeling of disappointment. I don’t feel sad and I’m not angry. The only word that comes to mind is ashamed.

I am ashamed that we (And, yes, I say we because, for better or worse, every American is now in this potential dumpster fire together) have elected a man president who represents everything that we as humans beings should be against. Our human nature should lead us to hope and pray for the best for everyone else. Whether ensuring that these opportunities are afforded to everyone is a government’s job is up for debate, but the idea that we have placed a man into office that has never shown an ounce of empathy or sympathy in one second of this campaign is staggering.

I do understand how this happened. In the years I have been alive, I have seen the government become viewed by many, me included, as a broken system that does not have the best interest of any of it’s constiuents at heart. Trump found this fear.

That was just the baseline fear. On top of that, Trump piled on fears of Islamic terrorists, unfounded fears of job loss, fears of immigration and the evils this would bring and, most of all, a fear of change. He dumped this all into a terrible fear parfait and then shoved it into our mouths every chance he could get. He catered towards our fears so well, the terrorist groups around the globe should take note. 

What this created was a voter base made up two groups: the anti-establishment crowd who just wanted to get in there and destroy everything like they were the Sid Vicious of voting, and the crowd who was afraid. Tack onto this an unpopular candidate on the other ticket and this has allowed for a Republican house, Senate, and president, an ironic end when you realize the anti-establishment crowd just essentially handed one group of mostly established people unchecked power.

We are about to see any progress we have experienced in the last decade-plus reset back to zero. Millions will likely be without health care. Others will fear for everything they’ve put together in life including the very basic freedoms that have been laid out in the Constitution and upheld through 240 years, a Civil War, two World Wars, a great depression, and, for some reason, multiple iterations of the Gong Show.

For some, it will look like a good thing. For others, this spells out a terrifying and uncertain time. I could be raising my child in one of the most dangerous times in post-reconstruction America as, based on previous comments and promises on the campaign trail have indicated, millions of people could find themselves on an unimaginably uncertain teeter totter thanks to a man who has bullied himself into the highest office in the land.

With this said, the answer is not to dwell. Today, thousands of people are declaring that Donald Trump is “not my president.” He is, though. For better or worse, the leader of our country is a man who has said many of the most deplorable things any politician has ever publicly said. No one should focus their energy on rejecting the past. We need to turn our focus on the future and do what we can to change this world for the better.

I hope in four years, I’ll look back on this and laugh at how wrong I was. I hope we’ll all be better off and that Trump will be a president for all people like he’s promised and not just SOME people (white males).

I think there might be many more sleepless nights before I get to that point.

Look! It’s a kitty. I told you it would be worth it! 

Super Bowl 50 Live Blog: Every Detail You Could Imagine Needing To Know About the Game

sb50_regional_3d

Ladies and gentleman, the time has arrived yet again. You may have recognized it by the seemingly endless streams of people who seem to have no idea what they’re saying suddenly discussing whether Peyton Manning still has anything left in the tank or what Cam Newton will bring to the game. The biggest sporting event in the world (if you ignore 195 out of the 196 countries) has arrived.

It’s time for yet another Super Bowl! (Insert cheers and/or screams here.)

This 50th championship game will pit the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning, a quarterback who is roughly 178 years old and may be playing his last game, against the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton, a much younger quarterback who seems to be hated by a large number of people. I personally attribute this hatred to the lack of pizza commercials he stars in, but I’m no sports marketing expert.

It should be a very exciting game. Or maybe it will be a boring one. I refuse to make any guarantees. Regardless, I will do everything I can to make sure you miss nothing throughout this most important of sporting events. Stay tuned.

2:47- I turn on the pregame show.

2:48- My wife declares that we have time to watch Saturday Night Live before the game starts. We then spend the next few minutes debating which should be watched. My point is that I literally just turned on the TV. Her point is “So what?”

2:52- I tell her that if she is going to watch SNL, she needs to do it now. She acts as if I am being unreasonable by letting her watch this. I spend the first half of the episode feeling confused and disoriented.

4:33- After a couple pauses, we get back to the pregame show. Larry King is discussing Peyton Manning’s tendency to call “Omaha!” while snapping the ball. I furiously begin Googling Larry KIng’s age.

4:34- It’s 82. The good news is he doesn’t look a day over dead.

4:40- Peyton Manning says he didn’t use any performance enhancing drugs. Judging by his recent performance, I believe him. (Insert rimshot here)

4:52- An expert predicts that Peyton Manning will have a “sufficient game.” He really should calm down on that hyperbole.

5:00- A bunch of celebrities share Super Bowl memories. At least that’s what it sounds like. I was in the kitchen getting wings to shove in my facehole, so I wasn’t paying much attention.

5:05- All of the Super Bowl MVPs are introduced and allowed to walk onto the field. I believe this is the NFL’s effort to remind us that youth is fleeting and that someday you will be an old creeper like Joe Namath.

5:16- Jim Gaffigan is introduced as the new Colonel Sanders. That forces me to type the most confusing sentence I have ever typed.

5:22- Important note from Ron Rivera, Carolina head coach. He thinks that they need to keep an eye on their guys. Good strategy.

5:26- An armed forces chorus sings “America The Beautiful.” Just incase you were worried that no celebrity would be involved, Marlee Matlin does sign language to the song.

5:29- Lady Gaga sings the national anthem. She wears a sensible pantsuit. A sensible red sequined pantsuit.

5:34- An advertisement for the “Hawaii 5-0” Valentine’s event is aired. I’m sure that will be a very romantic episode to share with the one you love.

5:35- Coin Flip. Tails is the call. It turns out to be tails, so Carolina makes Denver take the ball.

5:39- Kickoff!

5:40- First in-game reminder that Peyton Manning is the oldest quarterback in Super Bowl history.

5:45- After starting off strong, the Broncos settle for a field goal. 3-0 Broncos.

5:50- Jeff Goldblum and Lil’ Wayne star in a commercial together. I look it up, but number of Lil’ Wayne Super Bowl commercials seems to be the only Super Bowl thing you couldn’t gamble on.

5:54- The Panthers punt the ball.

5:58- The announcers tell us it is “almost time for the Pepsi Superbowl 50 halftime show.” There are still 8 minutes left in the first quarter. Clearly the definition of “almost” is a bit fuzzy for them.

6:03- Mountain Dew introduces a puppy-monkey-baby hybrid. I’m really looking forward to my new recurring nightmare.

6:07- Cam Newton fumbles the ball. The ball goes into the endzone. The Broncos grab it for a touchdown. After an extra point, it’s 10-0.

6:09- The two teams almost fight, but the refs don’t let it happen. Sometimes referees can be so unreasonable.

6:13- The Broncos get called for taunting. Instead of getting the ball, the Panthers keep the ball. Plus, their parents are going to be sooooo mad! Instead of using this as an opportunity, they punt the ball back.

6:20- Now Denver punts the ball.

6:21- Second in-game reminder that Peyton Manning is old. They show a nice graphic showing that Cam Newton is, indeed, younger than Peyton Manning.

6:23- The first quarter ends. Denver leads 10-0.

6:24- I sit pensively wishing I had more chicken wings.

6:31- The Panthers score touchdown and make the extra point. I miss the whole thing because I was trying to get a podcast edited. I realize I’m a bad sports fan. Anyway, the score is 10-7.

6:42- The Broncos punt the ball after Carolina hits a bunch of players and shows why there’s a whole movie about football concussions.

6:44- The sideline reporter lets us know that players have changed their shoes during this game because they need better footing. What a bunch of divas.

6:48- The Broncos have the longest punt return in Super Bowl history. It is X yards. (Note to self: remember to update the number once you stop being too lazy to look it up.) (Second note to self: forget that first note because you know that will never happen.)

6:52- The Broncos kick a field goal. 13-7.

6:57- The Panthers fumble. Then the refs say they didn’t fumble. Not ones to give up, they fumble the next play. That’s called giving it your all.

7:03- Peyton Manning throws an interception. This disappoints my wife because “I like Manning. He’s a good man.”

7:08- After getting the ball back, the Broncos end up punting again.

7:18- It’s halftime. Other things happened in between my last post and this. Namely me not paying attention.

7:26- Peyton Manning is called Father Time by one of the halftime show announcers. That’s a bit rude.

7:29- The halftime show begins with Coldplay’s Chris Martin almost being run over by a frantic mob. No one has ever been that excited about Coldplay in real life. No one.

7:35- Bruno Mars takes over. I’m assuming that’s because CBS decided Coldplay was too boring halfway through the show.

7:36- Change of plans. Now it’s Beyonce.

7:37- Oh! I get it! Beyonce and Bruno Mars are singing back and forth. And Coldplay was left for dead somewhere. With that said, I neglect the halftime show to go to the bathroom.

7:52- Kickoff part deux!

8:00- Because Carolina seems intent on losing, they miss a field goal.

8:01- A commercial shows dogs standing on each other’s shoulders and wearing a trench coat to buy Doritos. No information is given as to where these dogs got money.

8:07- Denver field goal. They now lead 16-7.

8:16- Denver intercepts a tipped pass. Then they fumble the ball. Then Denver gets the ball after a defender rolls around on the ground with a handful of Panthers players. It was exciting, but not as exciting as the commercial that followed featuring dozens of dachshunds in hot dog costumes running to people dressed like bottles of ketchup.

8:22- Denver punts the ball.

8:23- According to Honda, sheep love Queen and sing along with it when humans aren’t around. Honda is a of bunch liars and, because of that, I will boycott their products. Unless they want to give me one. Then I’ll willingly sell out all of my principles.

8:30- Carolina punts the ball. The third quarter ends with Denver ahead 16-7.

8:36- Peyton Manning fumbles the ball. Now the Panthers have it.

8:43- Panthers field goal. 16-10 Denver lead.

8:44- Christopher Walken compares the Kia Optima to an exciting pair of socks. While this did not change my opinion of the Kia Optima, it did make me wish my sock game was better.

8:54- The Panthers punt the ball. Again.

8:58- Guess what happens now? Hint: It involved Denver’s punter.

9:01- Fumble by Cam Newton and recovered by Denver inside the five yard line.

9:05- Touchdown by Denver. Then the refs decide to review the call.

9:07- Official touchdown by Denver. They get the two-point conversion and Denver leads 24-10.

9:16- According to the announcers, Peyton Manning is still old.

9:22- The game ends. Denver wins the championship. They show someone crying, but he isn’t wearing a jersey, so you don’t know if it’s tears of joy or sorrow.

9:24- Peyton Manning almost retires, then instead says he wants to kiss his wife and drink a lot of beer.

So there you have it. It was a game full of a lot of turnovers and punting. I think, reflecting on the journey, we can all agree on the moral of this story.

Sheep all love to sing Queen. Who would’ve guessed it?

 

Christmas Music: How Soon Is Too Soon?

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This is my first post with the website Talk Nerdy With Us. Really it’s my second, but the first one hardly counts because I had to acknowledge the existence of Miley Cyrus in it.

If you’re a good person, you will click here and look at this. If you’re not, that’s fine. We can’t all be terrific people.

I Have No Time For Patience

When I was a child, I learned of a concept called “The Fruits of the Spirit” in Sunday School. After the inevitable Fruit of the Loom jokes crafted by our well-developed eight-year-old comedic sensibilities had faded away, we would learn that these fruits were the following: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

I always liked to equate these to actual fruits. Love, for instance, would be something sweet and juicy like a strawberry. Joy might be a pineapple. Peace would be a peach, faithfulness something confusing like a star fruit, gentleness a ripe pear. I’m not sure what kindness, goodness, or self-control would be, but there was one fruit I knew without a doubt.

Patience was the overripe honeydew melon leftover at the bottom of a fruit salad after the strawberries and pineapples were picked out. Patience is the fruit that no one ever wants under any circumstances ever because it is always a huge bummer.

I myself hate patience.

I want every single thing immediately. When I have to wait for Netflix to buffer, it is torture. The other day, my phone restarted after an update and I was fairly certain that the Earth had stopped spinning and time would never again move forward. I need everything to happen without delay and I need it pronto. I’m aware this isn’t a great character trait, but most of the time all it does is lead to irritation to those around me.

Sometimes, though, it can come back on me hard.

Last week, my wife and I went camping. This had been a trip planned for months. We had purchased all of the things you need for camping: sleeping bags, marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate… also some other things I’m sure. The biggest purchase had been a brand new shiny tent never taken out of its package.

When we arrived at the campground, though, the threat of rain was imminent. It began sprinkling as we headed towards our campsite.

“Why don’t we wait for the rain to pass?” my wife asked. She can be very sensible. She also has a strong dislike for sitting around in wet clothes. I’m not sure which of these were guiding her in this thought, but either way I was having none of it.

“No. I just want to get the tent set up. It’s not raining that hard.” And with that, we hopped out and hurriedly began setting up the tent. I hammered stakes, she did whatever it is that my wife does while I hammer stakes. It was probably mumbling about the rain, but I can’t be sure.

Then it happened. The rain began to pick up. Together, the two of us began assembling poles while cursing the fickleness of Mother Nature. She must have heard us because the rain picked up even harder. Then the hail came. Tiny pea size hail falling on us and our poor tent. We shouted and rushed about assembling poles and trying to survive the barrage of hard pellets trying their best to destroy us. Finally we finished and ran to the car.

It was less than five minutes later when the hail stopped. And the rain. Then the clouds disappeared and the sun was shining. If I had waited just a few more minutes, I would not have been there feeling tiny pieces of ice stuck in my hair slowly melting.

There are a handful of lessons contained in this story. First of all, hail makes it difficult to set up a tent. Secondly, setting up a tent can never be done as quickly as you think it will be.

Most important, though, is sometimes a bit of patience is necessary. Even though it seems terrible, sometimes you have to gobble up that terrible, stupid overripe melon of patience.

Especially when your wife suggests it. She’s usually right about these things.

The Confusion of Healthy Eating

I want to put these inside of my facehole.

Sometimes, eating healthy can be confusing. I mean, on the surface it isn’t overwhelmingly confusing. In fact, on paper it is very straight-forward and simple. Essentially, all you do is look at every single thing you think is delicious, make a list of it, then realize that every single thing on that list is terrible for you and will eventually destroy you from the inside out. Then you swear off eating all of those things forever, thus guaranteeing that the rest of your life will be bland and flavorless until the day that you shuffle off of this mortal coil.

The confusing part comes in when you attempt to stop that last “flavor-related” bit.

I am a big fan of hamburgers. There has never been a day in my life where the idea of eating a hamburger upset me. I like hamburgers so much that there’s a fair chance that if I were to locate and find a genie, I would use one of those three wishes for a burger right there on the spot. Yes, I would regret the wasted wish, but not until I was done shoveling that burger directly into my face.

While I love hamburgers, though, I know that they’re bad for me. That is why I have spent much of my life ordering something called a “turkey burger.” It’s all the fun of a burger minus much of what makes it delicious. By that, I mean cow. Cow is a very flavorful meat. Turkey, meanwhile, is also a meat. That is where the similarities end. No, turkey burgers are not as good as hamburgers. I, however, followed the rationale that eating this would be better than eating no burger at all.

Then today I went one step further.

While turkey is lean, a burger can be healthier in one way. See, there is no fat in a veggie burger. Vegetables are always healthier than any sort of meat. I think I read that on the internet one time. Or maybe it was some sort of PETA propaganda literature. Whatever the source, it seemed to make sense to me. That’s why I ate a veggie burger today.

So far, nothing seems all that confusing. That is until you find out what sort of veggie burger I was eating. It was a “California Turk’y Burger” by MorningStar. MorningStar only makes vegetarian products. That means I was eating a veggie burger flavored like a turkey burger.

I was eating a replacement for a replacement of a hamburger.

I would love to have been in the pitch meeting for this product.

“Look, team, people are just getting tired of the same old veggie burgers. If we don’t do something right this second, there is a good chance MorningStar will go the way of the Buffalo. Does anyone have any new ideas?”

“Well, boss, I have one. You know how people sometimes eat turkey burgers because they’re healthier? What if we made a veggie burger that was flavored like a turkey burger?”

“But, Jenkins, why would anyone buy a burger that’s flavored like a less delicious burger?”

“I don’t know, sir, but I bet at least one idiot in Nashville will do it.”

If the trend continues, I’m not sure what I will be doing. Maybe I’ll just inhale the scent of a turkey flavored veggie burger. That way I’ll just be consuming air that smells like a burger that tastes like a turkey hamburger. Of course, that might be too many calories. I’m not sure how many calories are transmitted through scent, but it has to be fewer than a veggie burger.

Or, better yet, I’ll just give up on the whole thing and eat hamburger after hamburger until my body cries uncle and I die a hamburgery and very clear unconfusing death.

Sure, I’ll be dead, but what a way to go.

Hiccups Will Be The Death Of Me

Via medicalnewstoday.comIt isn’t easy being a neurotic mess. Sure, Woody Allen made it look effortless in every single one of his movies. Larry David has made a career out of making neurosis appear easy. As a self-proclaimed high-strung nutjob, though, I can tell you that some days your mind has to go miles out of its way to accomplish the required hysterical behavior you have become accustomed to.

Fortunately, the internet is always there to simplify that process.

There I was, minding my own business today when a news story comes across my computer screen.

The Scary Thing Your Hiccups Could Mean

Now, as a person who has downloaded the WebMD app on my phone just so I can get to the symptom checker quickly, I know for a fact I should not click on this. In fact, my brain actually said that exact thing.

“Hey, dummy. Don’t click on that article,” it said.

“But the Huffington Post… They know something,” I replied.

After several more minutes of internal bickering, my brain gave up. “Enjoy the next two hours of worrying!” it said, and then silently allowed me to seal my fate. I clicked the headline and up came a photo of a person holding their breath. I assume this was to dissuade their hiccups. Or maybe it was demonstrating that hiccups could cause you to NEVER BE ABLE TO BREATH AGAIN! I would just have to read to find out.

So you gulped down your beer a little too fast. Those hiccups are pretty annoying, maybe a little embarrassing, but hey, we’re not judging. They’re also usually harmless.

So far, so good. I was not even remotely worried. All that had been said is gulping drinks will give you the hiccups. I learned that when I watched “Pinocchio” as a child. Great hard hitting news, Huffington Post.

Usually. Hiccups may also be a sign you’re having a stroke.

I reread this paragraph a couple of times.* I found myself thinking back through all of the times I have had hiccups recently. There was a time just a couple of weeks ago where I seemingly had hiccups out of nowhere. I attributed it to the glass of water I had just finished and my logical half was telling me that this was, without a doubt, the cause.

On the other hand… they did come out of nowhere. Maybe it was a stroke. Maybe every single time I have ever had hiccups in my entire life, I was just experiencing stroke after stroke after stroke. I’m just a ticking time bomb and with each hiccup I am one second closer to death.

If I had continued reading, I would have seen that the next paragraph said not to freak out and explained in greater detail what sort of hiccup they were referring to. By that time, though, it was a lost cause. I know that I have never had a stroke hiccup (stroccup?), but from now on, every single time I have hiccups, I will just be thinking that this might be the issue. At least until the next scare comes around and I find myself examining my earwax for signs of congestive heart failure or wondering if my sniffles are a sign that I have a bad case of ultra-cancer.

I should have listened to my stupid brain.

 

 

 

*I’m using the word “paragraph” very loosely. Maybe paragraphlet would be more appropriate? Not that my paragraphs are any more paragrapharicious than those of the Huffington Post. From now on, maybe I should just call them tidbits.

My Server Ruined My Life

“Chips on plates” by Yannick Bammert

It was late this afternoon. I had been standing outside waiting for a table. I’m not a big fan of hyperbole, so you know I am telling the truth when I say it had to have been at least five or six hours of waiting for a table. After all of the pacing and standing and gazing longingly at the food the people on the patio were eating, I was famished.

Finally, we were seated. After a look at the menu, I ordered something called a “Redneck Burrito,” a lovely dish containing pulled pork, baked beans, and cole slaw all in a tortilla. Apparently, this particular establishment does not believe that rednecks know what a traditional burrito is. I think that’s pretty judgy on their part, but of course by saying that I am being judgy about their judginess. I’m fairly certain that’s the worst kind of judginess.

Nevertheless, I ordered this non-burrito burrito. Knowing full well that this was not the healthiest meal I had ever eaten, I decided that I would pay the extra $0.80 for steamed vegetables instead of French fries. For some reason, I seemed to believe that this would make this meal much healthier. It’s as if I assumed for a brief second that having one healthy item on your plate cancels out the rest of the garbage that will soon be destroying you from the inside out.

I waited for a bit longer. I would have a lot more free time in my life if I stopped going to restaurants. Or stopped eating in general. That would open up hours every day where I could take up a hobby like whittling or spelunking.

Finally the food arrived and was set in front of me. The first thing I did was look at the burrito. It was not a burrito which, as previously mentioned, is exactly how a burrito meant for a redneck would be presented. Maybe the logic is that many rednecks tend to be rife with racial prejudices, so the last thing they would want is for their food to be taken over by our neighbors down south. The less burritoy their burrito is, the better. The bigger issue was not this confusing entrée. Next to this non-burrito, though, set a large pile of French fried potatoes. Not a single steamed vegetable was to be found.

I kept my cool, though. I was very hungry at this point and did not want to deal with the whole “you gave me the wrong food” hullaballoo. Not that it’s a big deal. I just began to put some sauce on my non-burrito and go to town.

Out of the corner of my eye, I kept seeing my wife’s salad. It was a very nutritious salad with strawberries and grilled chicken. Then I would look back at my fries and non-burrito. I could imagine the things people were saying at tables nearby.

“Look at that salad,” they would say. “It looks so healthy and nutritious. It looks so much better than the food that guy is shoving in his fat, stupid mouth. I mean, it looks like he’s eating something a redneck would try to pass off as a burrito.”

Of course, it wouldn’t look nearly as bad if I had steamed vegetables instead of fries. My waitress, though, decided that listening to my order was not an important part of her job. Not that I’m bitter about it or anything. I just wish I had gotten the thing I ordered. Not that it’s a big deal.

I started to try to slide fries into my wife’s bowl hoping that maybe they would counteract the nutrition she had. That did no good. The judgy looks continued on. The only option would be to devour the food as quickly as possible. That way, when I was done the people would have no idea whether I had just finished eating garbage or whether my plate had once been filled with something good.

There I was, shoveling fistfuls of greasy fries in my mouth over and over all because my server did NOT want to allow me the delicious and/or nutritious vegetables that were originally ordered. If ONLY she had done her ONE SINGLE SOLITARY JOB CORRECTLY, THEN MAYBE THAT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED! THEN I WOULDN’T BE HERE REGRETTING EVERY FOOD DECISION I MADE TODAY AND WONDERING EXACTLY HOW MUCH SOONER I WILL BE HAVING A HEART ATTACK BECAUSE OF THE MASSIVE QUANTITIES OF FRIED POTATOES THAT ARE AT THIS MOMENT PASSING THROUGH MY DIGESTIVE TRACK! So thank you so very much, server! You have just monumentally added to my neuroticism! I appreciate it SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

Not that it’s a big deal.

Cake: The Driving Force Behind Corporate America

"ACJziegfeld cake". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ACJziegfeld_cake.jpg#/media/File:ACJziegfeld_cake.jpg

“ACJziegfeld cake”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

In the office world, there are only a handful of things to look forward to. You might get an entertaining email or two. There is the day when the cleaning people come and remove that two-week old salad and its stench from your break room refrigerator.  There is the chance of finding a fresh(ish) pot of coffee.

Mostly, though, office workers want one thing: cake.

When people find a new job, there are cupcakes. For birthdays, there will be some sort of cake. The knowledge of this has caused my current company to provide small bundt cakes every Christmas. I assume the message they are trying to get across is “You have done exactly one bundt cake worth of work this year. Congratulations.”

Today, in honor of the anniversary of the office opening, we were notified that there would be a full buffet featuring filet mignon and poached asparagus with a light hollandaise sauce. Of course I’m kidding. They emailed us yesterday and said that there would be cake. The entire office was abuzz with the promise of frosted baked goods. Another email went out today announcing that not only would there be cake, but there would be THREE KINDS OF CAKE! Suddenly, people were in a near panic. I’m pretty certain I heard a coworker start hyperventilating at this promise.

I have a rule that I like to use in situations like this. I call it the vulture rule. Whenever food is placed into an office environment, you will see a dozen or so people circling the food’s location, waiting for a chance to swoop down and gobble it up. I like to wait for the scavenger dozen to make their way back to their seats before I partake. This will allow me clear access to the food without having to wait in any sort of line. This was the exact tactic I employed today.

It was not a great decision.

When I made my way to the cake, there was a single person there. She is new to the office and, I assume, has not been made aware of the important role cake plays in today’s corporate America. She was standing there, staring at the cake, her brain moving at double speed as she tried to determine what she should get.

“That one looks like chocolate,” she said to me. She was right. It was very brown, so either it was chocolate cake or someone was very bad at making some other kind of cake. “But I wonder what the frosting is. If it’s buttercream, I want that. If it isn’t, though…” She trailed off. I stood there patiently.

“Hey!” she called to a coworker. “What kind of frosting is on that cake?” The answer was something along the lines of “it’s good.” That, of course, was not the answer she was looking for. We needed a specific frosting type. I mean, who knows what sort of heinous evil could be opened up by selecting the wrong cake. I’m no history buff, but I’m pretty sure incorrect cake frosting is what caused World War I.

“I know this one is buttercream for sure,” she said, gesturing to the white cake. I’m not sure how she knew that for sure. Maybe she had sent it for lab analysis before I got there and had already received the results. “It’s white cake, though, and I don’t really like white cake.”

What a cake racist.

At one point, I thought we had made a decision. She picked up a plate with red velvet and I prepared myself to swoop in and at long last immerse myself in a pile of sugar and carbs. I would then crash half an hour later and complain about how tired I was, but for that 30 minutes it would be pure bliss. Of course, as these things go, she sat the cake back down in its resting place and began the whole process all over again.

In my mind, cake is a gamble. If you are offered a piece, you take it and hope you like the frosting. The worst case scenario is it goes from being a great piece of cake to being a good piece of cake. There are no losers at the game of cake.

I don’t know what she decided on. I waited until she had turned to ask someone else what type of icing it was, then I grabbed the chocolate and left. As far as I know, she may still be there right this second debating the pros and cons of mystery frosting.

Oh, and it was buttercream. It was pretty good.

Trump’s Right. Let’s Make America Great Again!

Dateline: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776. After a great deal of tea-related bickering and the subsequent beginning of a war, a group of men have had enough.

“I do say that these British brutes must be dealt with!” declared a chubby bespectacled man named Benjamin Franklin. In 1745, Franklin had authored a letter entitled “Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress.” This is not directly relevant to this story. It is just a reminder that Benjamin very much loved the ladies, so something had to be very important for him to stop thinking about the fairer sex for one minute. The war against the British was that important thing.

“I agree. That is why I have authored this document,” said Thomas Jefferson. He then rifled through his knapsack, for a second being worried that he had forgotten the paper in question at home. His wife Martha had a bad habit of throwing out papers she did not view to be important. Fortunately, he found it under his Clif Bar and bottle of Smart Water.

He then read aloud what would be the foundation of the greatest country in the entire history of the world. It was a letter declaring independence from the British. You might call it a declaration of independence. In fact, that’s exactly what Jefferson called it. It may have been boring, but it was better than his working title of “Dear King… Leave us alone now, please!”

With a few strokes of a pen, America was born. And it was good, nay, great.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, America stopped being so great. If I were to guess, it would probably be around the time Rocky V came out. I mean, an American boxing hero had life-threatening brain trauma. There was decidedly nothing great about that. Just ask the NFL.

Since then, we have been trying to be great again. We’ve hovered around pretty good, dipped down to okay. At one point we were decent and even respectable. Not great, though. That’s for sure.

Finally, though, a great American hero has stepped out to save us from our future as a sub-par lackluster dull dreary uninspiring dismal boring bland insipid waste of 3.806 million square miles.  It seems that everyone has an idea of how to improve America, but only one man has the gall to plan on making it great again.

That man is the one, the only, Donald John Trump.

IMAGE: GREG ALLEN/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Yes, Trump has teased us with a presidential run before. This time, though, Trump is the real deal. He has found an America begging to be great again, so he has thrown his diamond encrusted luxurious and extra-classy hat into the ring with a slogan responding to these wishes: “Make America Great Again” or “MAGA” for short. This is a big promise for a person to make. How can Trump possibly step up where so many have fallen short?

He does has some big ideas. That’s how.

For starters, Trump knows exactly how to fix the struggling Healthcare.gov website:

“We have a $5 billion website. I have so many websites… I hire people. They do a website. It costs me $3.”

That is brilliant and, quite frankly, very simple. Why the government never thought of hiring a person to do the website for $3 is a mystery. It just shows how incompetent and nonsensical the United States Government is. I bet they have never had a website for that price, but under Trump the US would have so many cheap websites. Just so many of them.

Then there is the issue with the illegal immigration south of the border. Trump is really worried about this because “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” No one wants drug pushing criminal rapists running throughout our once great land. The answer for this is simple:

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

It sounds like a pretty big order, but he said that we could mark his words. He wouldn’t say that we could mark his words if he didn’t know for a fact that Mexico would be willing to build a great wall at their expense, right? Right?

“But what about jobs?” you may be asking. Don’t worry about that at all:

“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

See? Trump has that under control.

So yes, Trump has some great ideas. In fact, his ideas are so great that these are all just from his speech declaring his run for president. Imagine how many more ideas he has cooking in that head of his! It must be an idea typhoon, blowing ideas here and there inside his skull. If elected, I would expect nothing less than 10 amazing ideas a day. People must be thinking the same thing as me which explains how Donald Trump has a 7% lead in the latest GOP polls.

That is an actual statistic. This is not made up.

Sure, there are going to be some detractors. Some people will say things like Donald Trump has no experience governing and is a bigoted nut job and has some pretty bad hair. They may say he doesn’t have the best interest of all Americans in mind, but rather will be more focused on the wealthy. They might say “The Apprentice” was bad.

Yeah, well you know who else didn’t have any experience governing and were bigoted with pretty bad hair? Our forefathers, that’s who. Maybe Donald Trump is crazy, but maybe crazy is what it will take to make America great again. If it is, the Donald is exactly what America needs.

If not, at least he will make our imminent destruction fun to watch.

Congratulations! You’re The Best At Lasering Eyeballs!

The other day I was listening to the radio.

This is a fairly novel idea these days. Most people tend to have forsaken their terrestrial radios for Pandora and podcasts. Long gone are the days of people crowding around the radio to hear “The Lone Ranger” and “Little Orphan Annie” and the likes.  I could complain about the imminent death of radio for a bit longer, but my old man rants hardly ever seem productive.

As I was listening, a commercial came on for a local Lasik eye service. For those unaware, Lasik is a surgery where your vision is corrected by a doctor with a laser. The reason there are commercials for these doctors, I assume, is it can be difficult to convince people to let doctors point lasers into their eyeballs. The commercial tried its best to sell me on it. They threw their usual selling points at me hoping one would stick, only to have me deflect them away with unbelievable efficiency.

“Are you tired of wearing glasses?”

No. I quite like my glasses. According to every TV show ever, people with glasses look smart. I imagine that if I took them off, people would spend all day talking about how much of an idiot I must be.

“Is the daily grind of contact usage becoming too much to bare?”

Well, as I said previously, commercial, I wear glasses. I refuse to put tiny pieces of plastic on my eyeball. If my eye was meant to be touched daily, it wouldn’t hurt so much when you do it.

“Well, come to the Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center for a free evaluation.”

Only the company was not called the Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center. I do not remember what it was called. Clearly the commercial’s effectiveness is in question. Perhaps they knew this, because at this point, they made a pretty lofty claim.

“Voted Nashville’s best Lasik eye center….”

Wait. Let’s pause for a second. They were VOTED Nashville’s best Lasik eye center? By whom? Is there some sort of Lasik committee that gets together once a year? They vote and then hold some sort of Lasik Oscar’s where a room full of laser wielding optometrist get together to acknowledge the most accomplished laser wielding optometrist of the year?

It does not seem like there is a way to vote subjectively on this sort of thing. It’s not like you can have a Lasik sampler from all of the local Lasik providers to figure out which one was the best. Once you have done Lasik, you’re pretty much committed to that doctor for the foreseeable future.

This would be like me claiming that I was voted Best Husband in the world. My wife would most likely vote for me as she has no other husband to compare me too. Or she might vote for Jim Halpert from “The Office.” She is very big fan of him.

This was a very terrible example.

I guess kudos are in order to the Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center for all they have accomplished. Maybe someday I will be tired of my glasses. Then I will certainly seek out the best and, apparently, that is them. We will have a glorious time, them lasering my eyes, me hoping they don’t slip and somehow destroy my brain with said laser.

If only I could remember their name. They really ought to switch it to Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center. It’s pretty catchy.