Greatest Beard Ever…

Last night at a party, I had a friend point out that one of her friends in attendance had the greatest beard she had ever seen.

Without even thinking, I pointed out that the below picture was in fact the greatest beard I had ever seen.

Greatest Beard Ever (on left)

 

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Bus Boat

So as you know by reading my reading my blog, I live in Baltimore or as often fondly referred, Charm City. Sometimes known as the Big Crab Cake, The City That Bleeds and (Ugh.. Hold on, let me look up some other nicknames) B’More, the Greatest City in America and the Comeback City. Hmmmmm.. I’ve never heard of those last two either, but according to good ole’ Wikipedia, those are indeed nicknames for my hometown.  If you are a first time reader and were unaware of these facts, or didn’t really care to begin with, Hi! Welcome to my blog, for purposes of background to this story, I live in Baltimore, Maryland. Listen to me, all self-important, acting as if you the reader actually care about such facts. Come to think of it, according to wordpress stats, you the reader have been frequenting my blog less and less. Thanks! Give me a complex, will you?

Back to my story. Did I mention I get distracted easily? I’ll try to stay on topic here, I promise this time.

Ok, being nestled next to the Chesapeake, Baltimore has a sizable waterfront and obviously a great deal of tourism, business and nightlife sit on the waterfront in the various neighborhoods. Therefore it is no surprise that the use of public transportation in my city has extended into the water. That’s fine and dandy, I get that and I am all for it. What I don’t get though is the name they have chosen for the service..

Water Taxi..

Does this look like any taxi you've ever seen?

Yeah, that’s right, Water Taxi. On the surface, sounds pretty benign right? Well let me explain the premise of  “Water Taxi” and then think about it. Water Taxi essentially serves as a scheduled shuttle with time tables, specific stops and specific fares for length of travel. Now I don’t know about where you live, but if this service was on the land, we would call it a bus!!  Are the proprietors of Water Taxi” completely unfamiliar with modes of public land transportation? What kinda of land taxi has scheduled stops and specific routes? NONE OF THEM!! Heck, even the designers of the early 80’s Commodore 64 video game “Space Taxi” understood the difference between a taxi and a bus, and they were probably computer developers who never left their house. That was a cool game by the way. You should try it. Ugh..

Space Taxi

Well, a few years ago on a drunken stumble home from one of the many aforementioned watering holes along the Baltimore waterfront, I came up with a brilliant idea to challenge Water Taxi’s domination of the high (low?) seas. I called it Bus Boat.  Since I figured Water Taxi wasn’t really a taxi, I figured Bus Boat wouldn’t be a bus in the true sense of the word. Bus Boat would operate as a taxi, but on the water. Since “Water Taxi” was already taken, I would do them one better and take the obvious name they should have taken. Bus Boat! So how would Bus Boat work, you ask? Thank you, glad someone is still reading. Well simply put, you would hail bus boat from the shore and bus boat would take you anywhere along the waterfront you needed to go. Seems like a great idea to me. That night, on my walk home, I imagined the endless flow of wealth coming in from my successful venture. All Hail the mighty Bus Boat!!

Naturally when I woke up the next morning, I came to the realization I lacked a few of the essentials I would need to get Bus Boat up and running, namely capital, a boating license, any real business experience and of course an actual boat. Maybe Bus Boat wasn’t one of my more brilliant moments of inspiration, but it certainly wasn’t a horrible idea! The name is kinda cool and hey, who wouldn’t want a boat to take them anywhere they needed to go.

Watching the Wheels…

With apologies of course to John Lennon..

The wheels of which I speak aren’t the metaphorical wheels of life, but rather something equally as important.. Something that spins on and on, throughout our lives, day after day.. I am talking of course about the toilet paper roll..

Yep.. The toilet paper roll.

More specifically, how the toilet paper is placed on the roll. To put it simply people, over is right, under is wrong!

I think I may be one of the few people in the known universe who seems to understand this concept.

It’s gotten to the point when I visit houses of friends and family, and I notice the roll on backwards, I will turn it around.  Hmmmm… That’s normal right? Nothing wrong with a little rearranging in the bathroom, right? Ok fine!! Judge me!! It’s you people with the problem, not me!

You do realize when the roll is placed on the spool backwards, there is the potential for disaster. You tug  a little too hard, and you’ve created an express elevator of free-flowing toilet paper… Going down!!! If you are bored, and you aren’t at home, try it. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to do this in your own bathroom. Do it at an unsuspecting friend’s house. I must warn you though,  after you’ve created the heaping pile of unused TP, don’t expect to re-roll the paper back on to the roll. Talk about trying to put toothpaste back into the tube. However, what you could do, is shift the blame, explain to your host the error in his/her ways. After all, they were the one who put the roll on backwards, they were asking for it! They are all asking for it!

This has been a public service announcement brought you by the HitmanTerp Foundation.*

So how does John Lennon fit into all this? Well, he doesn’t.. I was just listening to that song earlier and was inspired to write about the wheels in my life.  Although John is no longer with us, I am sure he would be on my side with this one. I’m fairly certain the Imagine album contained backwards lyrics explaining precisely how to place a new roll of toilet paper on the spool. Anyway, I suppose I should also include the song that inspired today’s entry.

 

 

 

*There really is no HitmanTerp Foundation, but for those of you interested, we do take donations. I’d check with the IRS first though before deducting any donations on your 2012 tax returns. By the way, I hate footnotes. At least this one wasn’t at the beginning of the story.

I Never Get to See the Good Stuff!!!

It’s true… Never, ever in my life have I gotten a glimpse of some of the greatest spectacles our magnificent planet (and sometimes beyond) has to offer. Trust me, its not because I haven’t tried. I’ve searched, looked and hoped my entire life that I would be as lucky to be witness such splendor.

I must say it’s unfortunate, because I’ve watched numerous documentaries and read many accounts of close encounters and eyewitnesses of some of the following natural and unnatural phenomena. Am I just unlucky? Am I not trying hard enough? I dont get it, what is wrong with me?!?!

So, in most dissapointing fashion I will present to you a list of some of the greatest things Ive never seen.

1) Bigfoot.. Nope.. Never once seen him (or her.) I hear about so many people who’ve seen Bigfoot or Sasquatch, you’d figure at least once in my life I would have gotten lucky. This guy even has his own show dedicated to him on Animal Planet, and the people on that show seem to run in to him on a regular basis. It’s not fair.

2) Loch Ness Monster.. Ok, I’ve never been to Scotland, so I guess I have a plausible reason for not running into him.

3) UFOs.. At least with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, I would have to be somewhere specific and not easily accessible to see them, but UFOs? I could be anywhere to see one of these. Once again, never once have I seen one. Maybe I just need to pay more attention the sky at night? If you believe YouTube, the sky is literally cluttered with UFOs of all shapes and sizes, and for some damn reason that seems to elude me. I just can’t seem to find one.

4) Chupacabra.. I’ve never been to Puerto Rico, but if I have, I assure, I would never run into this guy either. Figures…

5) Ghosts.. Nope.. Another zero for me, unless you count the times as kids when we would rig things in my friends house to fall over in the middle of the night to simulate a ghost attack. Ok, you know what? I am moving this to the maybe column. If I created the ghost, it kinda counts, right?

6) The Mothman.. This guy supposedly lives in West Virginia, and although I don’t reside there myself, I have been through the state plenty of times. Enough times youd think I would have gotten a shot of him. Of course not.

7) The Jersey Devil. Generally I try to avoid the Garden State at all costs.. Talk about a flaming pile of false advertising, how can anyone call New Jersey the Garden State? Anyway, where was I? Oh, the Jersey Devil. Yeah, I haven’t seen him either. But once again, everyone else seems to have.

So there you have it.. 6 No’s and 1 Maybe.. That is not a very impressive record at all. An entire lifetime of searching and the best I’ve managed was one stinkin’ maybe. Clearly with odds so astronomically against me and my personal non-eyewitness accounts of things many others have managed to see and document, all signs seem to point to one thing..

I am clearly crazy.

My Arch Nemesis: The Scallion

Odyesseus had Poseidon… 

Sherlock Holmes had Professor (or was it Doctor?) Moriarity…

James Bond had Ersnt Blofeld…

The Road Runner had the Coyote…

Superman had Lex Luthor…

…and me? Well I have the scallion. Yes, that wretched little green poor excuse for a vegetable. No matter how hard I try to avoid it, no matter how much I go out of my way to ignore it, it always manages to find a way to show up on my plate and ruin a perfectly good meal.

Scallions: Ruining Meals Since 1994

Seriously, how do these things even qualify as food anyway? As far as I am concerned, scallions are nothing more than glorified grass, except grass would probably taste better. Look, onions I get.. Shallots, I get.. The stupid grass the grows off the end of an onion, not food and I don’t care what anyone says. 

Besides, you can’t tell me that so many recipes call for these little bastards. Yet there they are, without fail, staring up at me with that damn shit-eating * sarcastic grin, knowing they just ruined another dinner. Well, ok, chopped up little grass can’t really smile at you or show emotion, but that’s what I see, every damn time!

I hate these guys!

I first became aware of the scallions attempt to ruin my dietary life back in college. You know, like every beer-guzzling coed, I practically lived off Taco Bell. I think I tried everything on the menu at least once, but not at the same time, please don’t tell me you were actually thinking that. Anyway, I began to notice that these strange green rings were starting to show up more and more in my order. They would ruin everything.. There is nothing worse than biting into a bean burrito and hearing a little crunch sound. Sure enough, I take a look at my half-eaten burrito, and there they are somewhere between the beans and the sour cream. They had no right being there! I finally started ordering my Taco Bell without the “onions” but as I later learned, most Taco Bell employees took “onions” to be actual “onions” and not scallions. See, even people in the food industry have no idea what these stupid things are!!

Then there was that other time, much later in life, I am enjoying a plate of wonderful appetizers at a fine Italian restaurant in Baltimore’s famous Little Italy. For the sake of my story, my appetizer was calamari. Yes, that’s right, I would rather eat something dead with tentacles than put a stinking scallion into my mouth. Well, I think I ordered fettucine seafood alfredo as my entrée. When the plate is delivered to me, guess who’s sitting right there on top the pasta and the little pieces of shrimp. Yup.. Mr Scallion. Now I don’t want to tell you how long it takes to remove every single scallion from a plate of fettucine, but it takes a quite a while. I really hope I wasnt on a date in this story, because if it was I can only imagined what I looked like carefully removing scallion by scallion from my food. So yeah, if it was a date, it was probably a last one.

Certainly you get my point by now. The scallion has been attempting to ruin my life ever since I first became aware of his existence and it’s not just Mexican or Italian either. This little green jerk often shows up on steak, Greek, chicken, burgers and even ice cream. Ok, not really ice cream, I just wanted to see who was still paying attention.

Surely I can’t be alone here? Do people actually like these things? It’s not like I’ve ever heard someone say “You know what I could really go for now? Scallions!”

Until the day the scallion is declared a non-food and permantly removed from every and all menus fit for human consumption, this bastard of the onion will continue to remain as my greatest Arch Nemesis of the culinary world.

UPDATE: My prayers may have been answered.. Finally, someone has recognized the scallion for the evil it has brought into this world. http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/2006/12/06/attack-of-the-killer-scallions/

*can I say shit? Is that allowed? The only alternative I could come up with was poop-eating grin but that just sounds ridiculous. Besides, I don’t think poop-eating grin would have worked, It would have instantly distracted the reader from my story the same way a footnote would have. I hate footnotes.

Weekend Morning Rituals..

For those of you who have subscribed to my updates for humorous rants or my stories about everyday nothingness, I promise I have some good funny blogs coming in the near future. I’ve had other things on my mind lately, and I want to get them out here since writing  seems to have become my own way of self medicating through some very difficult times.

Anyway, on with the story…

Have you ever noticed after experiencing a life altering change, you suddenly find yourself missing those things in life that just appeared as ingrained rituals, things you did without even thinking about and probably never noticed until they were gone? Suddenly these subtle little events that you had hardly noticed in the past, you suddenly find yourself missing dearly? I recently discovered this with something as simple as a little weekend morning ritual I had grown so used to.

Every Saturday I would get breakfast at the same little bagel shop, and get the exact same order. I still have that ordered memorized. An orange smoothie, a chocolate chip bagel toasted with cream cheese and a Taylor’s pork bagel with a coffee.

On Sunday, during the winter, it was either a tall peppermint mocha and tall caramel macchiato or a quick trip to 7-11 for a small coffee with extra cream and sugar and a small black coffee.

I know it doesn’t sound like much, but how I miss those mornings.

Understanding..

It is so difficult to be understanding when one does not know what one is supposed to be understanding in the first place.

Kneel Before Zod!

So I could never figure out if General Zod was a pervert with an oral fetish or just a simple Kryptonian meglomaniac with a lust for power. From the sample of size of Kryptonians to ever have visited Earth, according to my math (and admittedly I was a history major) you are three times likely to be a super villain than a superhero, so maybe on Krypton, Zod was a normal guy.

Zod (center) with cellmates Non and Ursa.

Obviously the guy had authority issues sure, but I think the whole “Kneel Before Zod” schtick was a secret fetish. Think about it. The guy was locked up in a mirror for what? 30 years? The only company he had was a giant mute with the same tastes in fashion, and a boyish man-hating lady with a short fuse. I mean, I couldn’t exactly figure out the physics of what the hell the phantom zone was supposed to be, but I am fairly certain there wasnt much kneeling going on in there.  By the time that hydrogen bomb dressed as an Eiffel Tower elevator freed Zod and company, you know he must have had a lot of built up sexual tension.

See.. No room for kneeling.

Besides the obvious lack of personal space in the phantom zone, even if Zod was in the mood, do you really think he was going to put the moves on Ursa? I think he’d be more likely to get a kick in the groin from her than having her drop to her knees.  Then again, maybe he would have prefered Non to be doing the kneeling. Oh who knows…

I guess the only person who really knew for sure was Zod himself, and since he’s probably laying as a frozen corpse at the bottom of an icy crevice at the North Pole, we will never know.

BTW… Remember Zod’s introductory press conference to the world? The one where he pushes aside the President of the United States and goes on a screaming rant about defying Superman and demanding he… yep, you guessed it… “Kneel Before Zod.” That was fantastic television.

The Hardest Words

Are there any harder words in the English language to say and truly mean than “I’m sorry?”

In the same vein, I would imagine these  words cause more remorse or regret for not having been said than any others. I know for me they have.

If I may, I would like to impart a little bit of wisdom on my readers now. If there is someone close to you or someone you love that you need to say you are sorry to.

Do it…

You never know… You may never get that chance again.

 

 

I’m sorry.

Some People Call Me Maurice*

 

*These people call everyone Maurice.