Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Illusion Of Wit

The great thing about writing in a blog is that I can pretend to have quick wit. Those who know me, know that this is an illusion. I'll give you an example.

Wear orange. It's the law.Not too long ago, SWoaN walked by and said, "Wearing orange? You must be excited about the OSU girls basketball game tonight!"

She actually wasn't quite that verbose, but I wanted to save on exposition.

In any case, she completely surprised me. At that particular moment I couldn't have told you what color I was wearing without looking down. Big Dawg bailed me out. "If it's basketball, he doesn't know or care."

SWoaN nodded and looked at me. "So, you're just wearing orange because ...?"

I cannot brain right now... I has the dumb...I locked up. "... because... I ... uh ... like it?"


Now, here's how that conversation *could* have gone:

"So, you're just wearing orange because ...?"

Said with dramatic flair... "I wear orange frequently because it is a reflection of my very soul."
Wash with like colors
"Your soul?"

"Yes. My soul is orange. And also, cotton."

I tumble-dry my soul on low heat to avoid shrinkage.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Panicking The Neighbors

We got a good crop this yearWe put down some weed killer / fertilizer a few weeks ago. Turns out, our timing was bad. The weather over the next few days wasn't hot enough to activate the "weed killing" bits, but the "fertilizer" bits were all good. Our yard looked like we were *trying* to grow weeds.

So, I went out Saturday morning with two goals. First was to burn off the dregs of last season's gas from our mower. Second was to bag up a couple of the worst areas of wildflower weed from our yard.

There was a lot more gas left in the mower than I thought. I wound up mowing the entire yard. The mower *still* isn't empty. Nobody's yard is even green yet, and the trash collectors won't start picking up yard waste for a couple of weeks. Holy buckets, what have I done?!?

YOU MAKE MOWER ANGRYMy wife and I discussed the futility of my efforts for a few minutes. Then, Neighbor 1 stepped outside and nearly feinted.

"Whoa!", he gasped. "I had no idea!... Hadn't thought about... Er..." He started to run toward his garage. "I guess I need do my yard..."

We talked him down from his panic as best we could. "Jeff didn't intend to mow our whole yard, it just kinda happened." He looked at me like I was crazy. Insert your own joke here. :)

Don't hate me! I wanna be just like you!While we were talking, Neighbor 2 stepped outside and saw our yard. He yelped and ran inside before we could say anything to him. A few minutes later his garage door went up, and he raced out into his yard. He was pushing his mower with one hand and spraying from a bottle of weed killer with his other.

"I want to have a nice yard!", he shouted as he ran by. He was moving so fast, if he'd been on the street his mower would have left skid marks.

I'm all for encouraging / influencing good behavior in others, but this was a bit wacky. Even for me.
I need as many of these as you can bring me. Now!
Speaking of influencing good behavior in others... I'm gonna buy a Tall Latte for myself today. I'm just sayin'. :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Shredder - The Halftime Show

From my email archive:

The Shredder

A young engineer was leaving the office at 3.45 p.m. when he found the acting CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

"Listen," said the Acting CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary is not here. Can you make this thing work?"

"Certainly," said the young engineer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the Acting CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine, "I just need one copy."

Lesson: Never, ever assume that your boss knows what he's doing.

The Halftime Show

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Goons, Chickens, and Easter

My Personal Goon Squad

This story is better if you know the folks involved, but even so it should be at least moderately amusing. :)

I *am* the Goon SquadI commented (OK, whined) to my buddy P-Ziddy about the line of people waiting for me at my desk one day last week. I said, "I need my own Goon Squad." P-Ziddy suggested a private police force, but I insisted on Goons.

"I want bulky Neanderthals with more weapons than teeth. Verbal skills discouraged."

Without hesitation, P-Ziddy replied, "Sorry, Metacow isn't available."

Redneck Moment

I just need a good home, preferably with someone who really likes hamburgersOn our way to church one Sunday my wife and I drove past a house with a "Chickens for Sale" sign out front.

We could literally see cages of chickens in the front yard of the house. We don't go to church in Mayberry... this was just a standard city house.

"We could be real rednecks!", I shouted. "Whoo-whee! We got a chicken on the way to church today!"

I have no idea why she puts up with me. I wouldn't.

Easter Basket

In case you didn't notice, Easter's coming. Do your part to turn this into a crass consumer-driven gift giving holiday by picking up one of these for me:

I need at least three of theseYes, that's a Batman (ish) Easter Basket. More or less. And yes, it's a real product.

You have your assignment, people. Don't worry about me winding up with more than one of them, either. It would not be a burden. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Banana Card

Gift Cards: It's the lack of thought that countsMy wife and I usually get our gas from Walmart. If you buy one of their gift cards, then the gas is 3 cents off per gallon.

Sometimes my wife will get a gift card for me so that I can quickly stop by on the way to or from work. Usually the gift cards are the generic Walmart blue. Sometimes I end up with "gas" cards that say "Happy Birthday" or "Merry Christmas."

Most recently, she handed me a card that appeared to have fruit on it. "Oh, a banana card," I said. A second later, I realized how stupid that sounded.

This is the card my wife handed me. It looked like bananas at first glance...

It looks like fruit to me

Why *wouldn't* Walmart have a banana card?

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Wrong House?

My grandparents recently traveled from Oklahoma up to Missouri to attend a great-granddaughter's wedding.

Aw :)HOW COOL IS THAT? Seriously... a great-granddaughter's wedding. That's amazing!

Anyway, they drove up to Missouri to meet up with my Aunt (their oldest daughter). The fun started when my Aunt called my mom and dad.

"Mom and Pop aren't here yet," she said. "Do you know where they are?"

My parents reassured her, "They should be arriving any time now. No, they haven't called us. Yes, I'm sure everything's fine."

15 minutes later, my grandparents called. "We're in Missouri, we've made it to your sister's house, but no one's home." "Well, why didn't you call her?" "Oh, I don't have her number."

I can't see how I'm doing anything wrong hereWell, you've traveling across state lines to visit somebody... why would you need their phone number? "Did you knock on her door?" "Yeah, coupla' times." "OK, we'll call her."

Dad called my Aunt. "They say you're not home." "What?" There was a little back n' forth, which eventually concluded with, "Go out and see whose driveway they're parked in."

C'mon, validate my existence!My Aunt walked outside. My grandparents were sitting there in her driveway. They'd been sitting there for the past 20 minutes, just waiting to be noticed.

Can you just imagine the excuse they nearly had to give? "Sorry, but we missed your wedding because we accidentally drove to the right house."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

True Love

Ah, young loveMy oldest nephew is 10 and he's in love. For purposes of this story I'll call them Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo had been telling his mom and gramma about Juliet for weeks. "She's my girlfriend!", he'd happily shout. Daily.

My sister was out shopping before Valentine's Day and saw a cute little "Be Mine" teddy bear. She bought it so that Romeo could give it to his sweet Juliet.

Valentine's Day came and went. Romeo hopped into the car after school that day and was asked, "Did you give Juliet her bear?" "Yeah!", he shouted, thrilled. "I think she might actually like me now!"

Have we met?This was unexpected. "I thought she was your girlfriend?" "Well, I like her, but she didn't really know who I was."

Ah, Valentine's Day. A day for a young man to finally introduce himself to his long-time girlfriend.

About a week later, my sister was talking to him and asked, "So how are things with you and Juliet?" "Great!", he said, grinning wildly. "She wrote me a note!"

He took a folded-up piece of paper out of his pocket and handed it to her. It said, in cute flowery girl-writing, "I hate Romeo."

Try to hold my hand again at your own riskMy sister blinked. "Uh, ... do you ... know what this says?"

"Yup!", he replied. "She hates you?" "Yeah, but she wrote me a note!"

Truly, his glass is half-full.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The TV

This television will self-destruct in 5 secondsDo you know what a tv smells like when it explodes? I do!

Our old CRT (tube) TV popped a gasket or something. There was a high-pitched "Bang!" and the screen went black. This was instantly followed by a loud, fast and steady "Thrum-Thrum-Thrum-Thrum" noise and a thin tendril of smoke.

I was in the recliner with my laptop. Between the power cable (low battery) and the mouse cord I had effectively tied myself to the chair. Being tied down and watching the start of an electrical fire in my living room easily earns a spot in the top 5 of "memories Jeff wishes he could forget".

The smell was kind of a toxic smoky bleach thing that instantly made me light-headed every time I caught a whiff. It took a full day to air out the living room.

My faithful steedSince the old TV died, we didn't want to order a new one online and wait for shipping. Since we wanted to buy local, our choices were pretty much limited to Walmart and Best Buy. And since Best Buy has a policy of taking your old TV and recycling it for you, we loaded up the stink-master (*and* his dead TV! [rim shot]) in the back of my Vibe.

We wound up at Walmart first. And we bought a new TV from there. Honestly, if you couldn't see that little twist coming, then you'll be stunned by what comes next.

It was pouring rain.

We had to load up the new TV in a small hatchback while juggling around a still-smoking tube TV that weighs nearly as much as I do. In the rain. At one point we had three doors *and* the hatchback open while a stockboy and two random onlookers watched me stagger under the weight of the old TV and trip over its dangling power cord.

When we finally got inside the car, the rear-view was blocked and the inside windows were completely fogged over. So were my glasses. "How are we going to get out of here?", my wife asked. "Quickly," I replied, and floored it. I think there was some honking and shouting directed at us, but I couldn't hear them over my own honking and shouting.

Anyone want an old damp smoking stinky TV?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hammer Time?

Driving down the road, we saw a guy with a large trailer pulled over in the grass off to the side. It had big metal wheel wells, like in the picture below.


The metal wheel well cover wasn't the most noticeable thing about the spectacle, however. Far more obvious was the fact that both wheels were gone. Not flat... *gone*. The bare axles were in contact with the ground.

This is embarrassing... could you avert your eyes, please?

Even that wasn't the first thing I noticed, though. The guy swinging a hammer with both hands over his head was really hard to miss.

Move along... nothing to see here...

The guy was swinging a large hammer over his head, and bringing it down on the *top* of the wheel well. Because of traffic, we wound up parked next to him for almost a full minute. He just kept slowly hefting the mallet, then he'd slowly swing and "bonk!". As far as I could tell, he never even dented the top of the wheel well.

I rolled my window down waved to him. "You know, you can't make tires appear with a hammer."

He just waved and went back to work. "Bonk!"

Hey, I'm no mechanic. Maybe he knows something I don't.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Caffeine Emergency

TreasureYou might remember, one of my Christmas presents this year was a big honkin' pile of holiday-themed coffee. My prediction at the time was that I'd be drinking holiday-themed coffee well into April. It was nearly true.

A couple of nights ago my wife offered to set up my coffee for me. She opened up one of the remaining packages and set everything up, including the timer on the coffee maker. She doesn't like coffee, but she does like the smell... especially from the holiday flavors.

"Oh, that smells good!," she said. "What flavor is this one?..." There was a pause, followed by a scream.

Not in *MY* house!I was in the living room, so I shouted "What? What's going on?" The answer chilled me to my bones.


At this point I was more than a little afraid to go into the kitchen, so I didn't. There was a crashing noise. "Uh..." I ventured. "So your parents gave me a decaf coffee flavor?"

"Two of them!," she shrieked. "The next one I grabbed was decaf too!"

There were more crashing noises, and a tearing sound. Then everything went quiet. My wife walked out of the kitchen, smiling.

"I threw away the decaf," she said happily. "I found one that was normal and used it to fix your coffee." "What did you do with the decaf?," I asked. I was a little afraid of the answer, but my wife just grinned and said "I threw it away."

I did a good thing!I went into the kitchen. The coffee maker was all set up like normal. A pair of scissors was in the sink, covered in black specks. I looked in the trash, and saw the two little bags of decaf. They had been violently defaced.

My wife grinned sweetly. "I know you don't like decaf," she said.

God, I love that woman!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Oil Baron

I get weird stuff in the mail at work sometimes.

This "HelpSTAR" company provides technical training services. I think. Honestly, I skimmed their mailer twice and it was hard to tell. Pro tip: if your customers can't really tell what you're selling, then you're not likely to have many customers.

They sent me a CD along with the mailer.

"You don't have to be an oil baron." Good to know!

Of course, my mind instantly went to the old joke, "You don't have to be crazy to work here..."

'Cause really, if not for the complete lack of experience or knowledge or interest, I'd *totally* be an oil baron. I'd move my corporate headquarters to Dubai, sell all my stock to Dick Cheney and buy Hawaii. You could come visit anytime, as long as you're willing to serve me drinks and not make eye contact.

The next thing that struck me was how much the guy on that CD looks like Boss Hog from the old Dukes of Hazard TV show.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to change the color a suit to white? I hope you appreciate all the hard work that goes into this blog.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Coupon, Bumper Stickers

My wife found herself in line at Target behind a crazy old lady. She was chatting up the girl at the register, and asking if she could use a coupon.

"I have a 15% off coupon," the lady insisted. Checkout Girl was dubious. "15% off what?" "Everything," said the old lady.

Do people still *pay* for purchases? How cute!Checkout Girl wasn't convinced. "Can I see the coupon?" "Oh, I don't have it with me," the old lady said. "I live in Claremore and I left it there at home. Can I use it anyway?"

Checkout Girl's eyes said, "You didn't even bother to bring your fictional coupon with you? This is the lamest fraud ever!". Her mouth said, "I think we need to have the coupon here at the time of purchase."

They bickered for a few more minutes before the old lady finally gave up. My wife finally made it to the front of the line with her purchases.

"So," my wife said, "I've got a 12-and-a-half percent coupon at home, can you hook me up?"

It worked. My wife is the best shopper EVER.

I think this idea sounded better in my head that it turned out. We'll see.

I was driving behind a car with a bumper sticker that read, "And on the eighth day, God created the Sooners!" It occurred to me that this was the most marketable kind of joke in the world. Simply put another team's name there and sell to a whole different fan base.

"Heck," I thought. "You could put pretty much any noun there."

I decided to see if I was right. Would you buy any of these bumper stickers?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Chim-Chim, Cha-Roo

I have vertigo. I also have a ladder and a chimney that's got a leak up near the top, so I *knew* I was going to have a bad day.

I never should have bought a ladderClimbing the ladder wasn't too bad, although all the squeaky noises from the gutter got me good and terrified well in advance of my roof-walk. Once I was up high enough, I placed one foot on the roof and put a little weight on it.

My foot slid. An excellent way to begin the adventure.

I finally wound myself around into a more-or-less seated position on the roof, staring down at my wife. "You did it!", she shouted. "...mommy...", I whimpered.

I reverse-crab-scooted over to the chimney, which was fun since I kept sliding downward. I couldn't get traction up there for anything.

Pass the loofahWhen I finally got over to the chimney, things got easier. I was able to brace myself and put a tarp up. Now it no longer rains inside the house. Plus, our chimney looks like its wearing a shower cap, which is fun.

The final quandary was how to get down off the roof. I kept sticking a foot out toward the ladder and sliding. My wife asked what she could do to help and I jokingly said, "Stand under me with your arms out."

God bless her, she did it. I had to tell her to back up. "But what if you fall?" "Then let me fall! Help me *after* impact!"

The Dove of Cold VengeanceI took a few deep breaths to gather up my courage. Then, our Roof Dove got annoyed and pushed me off.

It was probably his write streaks on the shingles that made things so slippery on me anyway. Dang bird.

Editorial Note: We've got a roof / chimney guy who will come out in the next week or so to fix the leak, so the shower cap isn't permanent. :) We're gonna give him a nice tip if he's able to relocate the dove for us.

Monday, March 01, 2010


And many more!Last Saturday my wife and I went to a birthday party for a one-year-old. Everybody all together now, "AWWWWwwwwww....."

We showed up over at P-Ziddy's house and told him our sad tale. We were going to visit my side of the family, but those plans got disrupted. We were going to visit a college friend of my wife (with new baby!), but they went out of town. "You're the only one who really wants us," I told him.

P-Ziddy laughed. "You know Jeff, honestly, it's just sympathy."

"I've always known," I admitted.

Trust me. This is a joke that's worth clicking into.Metacow was there, too. He criticized my change to posting on Mon/Wed/Fri, because now my blog has the same schedule as xkcd. "It's stick figure overload."

I guess I can't complain too loudly at being compared to xkcd, even if it *is* just because of body type.

At one point during the party, I overheard one of P-Ziddy's guests loudly announce, "I have teenage girls... my house is full of attitude and paper products!" The statement horrified me so much that I just *had* to include it here.

Of course, there at the center of all the attention was P-Ziddy's little angel. They put her in a high chair and gave her an itty bitty birthday cake to destroy. She mauled it, flung it, slapped it, and then spread icing all over one eye. She started to cry.

Sugar me timbers!It shouldn't have been funny, but then wise-guy Jeff had to speak up. "It looks like she's a pirate with an icing eye-patch."

Metacow jumped in. "Yar! She be a pastry pirate!"

I'm so glad there were people there with actual compassion, otherwise little angel would still have one sugar'ed eye.

P-Ziddy, thanks for inviting us to your little one's birthday party. She's precious. :)

And let this be a lesson to the rest of you... if you get injured near me in a humorous way, you're on your own. Sorry.