Ruminations 1

Do you ever drop your business card in those restaurant fishbowls to try to win a free lunch? If so, watch out. Because I like to reach in and swipe a handful. Then I take them with me to nightclubs. I’ll walk up to some woman and say, “Hey Candypants, how ’bout you and me get together for some hot monkey love? Don’t answer me yet. Here’s my card. Think about it. Give me a call me at the office on Monday. See, I’m married. Later, toots.” Monday rolls around, and the Citibank Branch Manager gets a message from his secretary. “Uh, Jasmine called. You propositioned her at the House of Blues Saturday night. She said you should do squat thrusts on a fire hydrant.”

Newsflash: vodka, mango juice, Midori, and Seven Up is not a martini.  Vodka and chocolate syrup is not a martini.  James Bond would not be caught dead drinking that.  A martini is gin and vermouth.  A vodka martini is vodka and vermouth.  The rest of it is just sweet syrupy crap.

Irish Coffee… there’s a drink I don’t understand. Caffeine and alcohol, a stimulant and a depressant. Two drugs that go so well together. All you get is drunk people in a hurry to do stupid things. “Get out of my way! I’ve insulted my best friend, lost my wallet, and spilled my drink on a total stranger. I’ve still got lots to do. I have to fall off a curb, sprain my ankle, puke in an alley, and make a rambling nonsensical phone call to my ex-girlfriend before the night’s over.”

Why do women have so many pillows?  My girlfriend has six pillows on her bed, and we always toss four of them on the floor.  How many pillows do you need?  I only have one head.  What’s she doing when I’m not there?  Sleeping with a basketball team?

Do you get confused by graphics on bathroom doors?  I was in a steakhouse that had cow drawings on the men’s room and the women’s room.  I know the cow is the female and the bull is the male.  But these were two cows; both had udders.  No help there. I’m trying to figure out the subtle difference between the two cows.  Then, right before my bladder ruptured, I realized one cow was wearing a faint pink lipstick.  I’m cool with cows wearing make-up.  I just don’t like to solve a puzzle when nature’s calling.  What’s next?  Diagrams of X and Y chromosomes on the doors?  “Hey, somebody call Watson and Crick fast!  I’ve gotta go and I can’t decipher the bathroom sign.”

Is anyone else bothered by Canadian postal codes?  You know, the ones with the numbers and letters all jumbled up — L4G7R5.  They’re impossible to read.  Memo to Canada Post: stick with all numbers.  That works fine.  Those sneaky Canadians.  Doing things their way.  Next thing you know, they’ll be trying to steal Manitoba from us.

Have you noticed nowadays when cashiers hand you bills in change, it’s all upside down and backwards, completely askew.  When I was a kid everyone handed you your change in a nice neat orderly stack.  Now they just throw a crumpled wad at you.

Know any Richards?  I’ve never understood guys with that name that go by Dick.  There’s a perfectly good alternative called Rich.  Let’s see, do I want a name that means wealthy or penis, wealthy or penis?

Have you ever thought that maybe we don’t have a set number of years to live?  Instead our lives tick away by odd markers.  Like the number of times you change the battery in your smoke detector, or how many times you burn the roof of your mouth with pizza.  Maybe you’re destined to only hear the song “Tin Man” by America sixty times in your whole life.  The 60th time, you die!  Maybe you just heard it an hour ago for the 37th time.  You just moved closer to death without even realizing it.

Remember when you were a kid and you could jump off roofs and fall out of wheel-barrows and not get hurt?  Now that I’m 40 I get hurt when I sleep in a bed that isn’t mine.  “Ouch, that pillow really put a crink in my neck!”

Have you ever started a sentence one way then shifted course mid-stream?  Once a guy at work asked me what I thought of the new boss.  I was going to say, “he’s a real piece of work,” but at the last instant I decided to say, “he’s a real ass.”  It came out, “he’s a real piece of ass.”   I had to quit that job.  There was just no way to explain that one away.

I like words that sound dirty, but aren’t.  Words like masticate, rectify, and titillate. I like using them in sentences, like, “The blast of cold air from the freezer titillated the young waitress” or “The prisoner was only too happy to rectify his new cellmate.”

How did the expression “meteoric rise” get started?  I’ve never known meteors to rise.  They seem to prefer plummeting to earth.

Do you think it’s okay to steal office supplies from work? How about if you work at Staples?

Are you as pissed off at terrorism as I am?  I won’t even use Arabic numbers any more.  I’ve switched to Roman numerals.  My phone number is III, VI, IX, II, IV, V, IX.

What country should we invade next?  Any nation where their army marches in a goose step.  That’s all I need to know about them.  They march like that, we’ve got issues with them.

Do you find those abbreviated news tickers a little disturbing?  Indecipherable snippets of mayhem and disaster scrolling by: “village massacre airplane scare elephant rampage virus recession.”  What?


This piece originally appeared in Funny Times.

About Steve Altes

Steve Altes is the author of several humor books, dozens of humorous adventure essays, and the comedic graphic novel Geeks & Greeks, set at MIT and inspired by MIT's culture of hacking and Steve's own experiences with hazing.
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