Saturday, February 27, 2010

Readers! Have Your Say!

Occasionally I get questions from my readers (Hi Mom!) asking about this or that thing I post here. I thought rather than sending off several exculpatory emails, I would address some common themes in a single post and put all these wild rumors to rest.

Q: What's with the name?

A: What's with your face? (Heh. Burn.)Well, in thinking up a title for the blog, I though to myself: Self, what's the best way to convey our post modern condition in a sentence fragment? And then it hit me: I'm a dude, and stuff happens. The truth probably lies in a Simpsons reference, to be honest. I just rattled off the first prattle that came to mind, and kinda liked it. Plus, it's got that extra, marketable kick of being easy to spell and really has that zing of sticking in the mind. Like a really catchy commercial for a local furniture store.

HisHolinessTheDL writes:
Q: How true are these stories? I mean, really.... Running over a Little Person on your bicycle?

A: 100% true. All of these posts are things which happened to me, perhaps tarted up a bit for the funnier parts. Names have been changed (or not) to protect the innocent, but the rest is hands-on-a-bible true. (No offense, Your Holiness.)

Q: What's the best way to get oil stains out of a shirt?

A: Cover the stain with baby powder and let rest for several hours, as much as 24, then wash as usual. You'll thank me!

Q: What does your Significant Other feel about the Condom Story?

A: The fact of that matter is, my girlfriend is more awesome than your girlfriend. She is unbelievably supportive and encouraging, not just of my writing, but pretty much everything I do, and I love her to pieces. She understands that this happened in the past, years before we ever met, and has no bearing on how awesome we are as a couple.

I guess I should take this opportunity to let the world know that she and I are expecting a special joyful delivery very soon. Yes, it's true! We just ordered a pizza!

Q: Dear recipient,
Avangar Technologies announces the beginning of a new unprecendented global employment campaign.
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Due to company's exploding growth Avangar is expanding business to the European region.
During last employment campaign over 1500 people worldwide took part in Avangar's business
and more than half of them are currently employed by the company. And now we are offering you
one more opportunity to earn extra money working with Avangar Technologies.
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We are looking for honest, responsible, hard-working people that can dedicate 2-4 hours of their
time per day and earn extra £300-500 weekly. All offered positions are currently part-timejavascript:void(0)
and give you a chance to work mainly from home.
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Please visit Avangar's corporate web site ( for more details regarding these vacancies.

A: Hell YES. I am very interested regarding these vacancies and have gone ahead and emailed you my mailing address along with my Social Security Number, my bank card pin number, my blood type, three copies of my house keys, and fresh DNA sample.

Q:What does the future hold for ThatDude?

A: Jet packs and unicorns, mostly. I'd like to be even more open with the things I'm writing. My friend Sada writes an incredibly funny blog wherein she publishes things she wrote as a teenager, presented and deconstructed with the snark and wit of her older self. First, I wish I saved more of the things I had written as an angsty teenager. Second, I do have a bunch of poetry I wrote in high school. (Isn't that cute? I wanted to be a poet when I was growing up). I have a huge notebook full of them. Huge. And, as the premise would suggest, they're Terrible. I've been trying for over a year to get myself to publish at least one of them here, simply for the Lulz but I just can't bring myself to do it. I can feel my face burning with embarrassment any time I endeavor to read some of it. Sad, really, that the world is being denied my gift.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

(Names have been changed to protect the Sexy)

Some guys are ashamed to buy condoms. The puritanical stigma, the hesitation they feel is so overwhelming, that they must go to extraordinary lengths to hide the fact that they are purchasing items related to sexy activities.

In an attempt to downplay the fact that they are buying condoms, they'll also pick up vitamins, a newspaper, beef jerky, sunscreen, reading glasses, candy bars, decongestant, paper towels, cat food, more vitamins, a soda, batteries, shaving cream, vitamins (with added riboflavin), fishing line, shoelaces, potato chips, and condoms, thinking that the clerk, utterly overwhelmed by the onslaught of incongruous items, will be oblivious to the fact that condoms are a part of the purchase and therefore not think about the sexual activity of the already embarrassed customer.

Not me.

I have never been ashamed to buy condoms. Not once.* I make it my singular purchase. I walk around holding the box over my head, saying it loud, and saying it proud:
"Hey. Check me out. Look at these. Guess where I'm going to put them. Totally! And then guess where I'm going to put them? Right! In a vagina! Yeah, I know, the 12-pack. I got a good feeling about this one... Yup. Hey you, look at my purchase..."
Nowhere was this nonchalant attitude more pronounced than with my time with Stacy. (All names have been changed to protect the Sexy. My name in this story is Jacques. Just because.)

Stacy and I had been dating for a while. We had definitely passed the physical barrier that new relationships always need to hurdle. We had seen each other naked, maybe even a bunch of times. But it was still young, this relationship, still a little flirty. The end-of-date conversation was still probably going as such:
Jacques: So, what do you wanna do?[coy look]

Stacy: I dunno, what do you wanna do?[coy look]

Jacques: I dunno... we could... [super coy look]

This type of conversation can often go on for a good two hours or so, the coyness of the looks increasing exponentially to nearly nauseating proportions. This is usually at the point before which the relationship gets to this stage of routine blandness:
Jacques: So... you wanna?

Stacy: Yeah alright.

Jacques: Let's get this thing over with.

Don't act like you've never been there.

So Stacy and I have just spent the last two hours out-coying one another, and we've made a decision: Her place, naked antics. There's just one problem: we're out of condoms. No sweat, I say, there is a pharmacy two blocks from here, and we walk to the pharmacy hand in hand, full of pre-coital giddiness. We peruse the aisles of the family planning section. I joke about buying the Magnums. She is sweet but realistic, and we settle on the blue box. We walk to the check-out, and miracle of miracles, there is no line. I toss the box on the counter, the clerk rings up the purchase.

I pay. After all, I'm a gentleman.
Clerk: "Do you want a bag for that?"
Jacques: "No, that's okay, I'll just wear them out."

Clerk laughs. Jacques laughs. Stacy doesn't laugh.

Stacy turns crimson, and without a word, does an about-face and walks straight out of the pharmacy.

I find her on the sidewalk, holding her stomach, still flushed. "I can't believe you!"

Foolishly, I had thought that Stacy and I were on the same page about such transactions. As a fool, I was wrong.

It is not long after this that Jacques is single again, and only buys condoms every two weeks so people think he is getting laid on occasion. He's been asked not to return to two different pharmacies, but that is another story.

Next: Buying Pornography For The Single Man.

But seriously, folks: Think twice or maybe thirty times before having kids, OK?

(originally published 1/21/2008)

*since the original publication of this post, it has been impossible to buy condoms without overly self-referential embarrassment, for some reason.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Knock it off, Facebook.

Stupid Facebook, with your endless distraction. Why do I hate to love you so much? Prolly the same reason I love to hate you. What drives me crazy is these stupid ads in the margins. Who the hell are they aiming these things at? I mean, seriously. For real. Knock it off.

"36 Years Old? Become A Cop!"

Whoa. I'm 36 years old. Maybe I should become a cop! Makes perfect sense. Maybe I can become a cop while growing corn to feed to my mafia. These ads are insidious. Like the mythical Hydra, you click away and another springs up in its place. Insanity inducing.

But the ad that sent me off the rails was this one:

New Recession Relief

Americans with over $10k in credit card debt are now eligible to legally remove up to 60% of it thanks to a new relief program.

What the hell is that, Facebook?


Look at it, Facebook! Look at it!

It's incongruous. That picture and those words make no sense together. Is that the Debt Relief Troll? If I answer his Questions Three, will my debt magically disappear as he gambols off into the forest with my student loan under his arm, giggling and grunting under the weight of it? This image is now seared into my brain, Facebook, and I'm mad at you for that.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Little Off The Top

Man... I finally got a haircut today, something I've meant to do for the last six weeks or so. When I sat down in the chair, I explained what I like, with the guideline that I was about two months overdue for a haircut. I think something got lost in translation, because she cut it longer than I like. I try to get some mileage out of a cut, and when I said I was two months over due, that meant that Two months had gone by since I first said to myself "I need to get this situation under control."

The other day I took a nap and woke up with some wild-ass fro. I took this pic, because it seemed monumental and document worthy:

Maybe it seemed worse than it was. I dunno. But I was reminded of this little adventure from a few years ago:

I was again in dire need of a haircut. It was serious. I made a plan to go to the local chain cuttery after work. Let's call it Kwik Kuts, if only because that sounds amusing to me. Also, it was cheap as hell. This part is very important to me: a cheap, fast haircut that allows me to pop in, get a cut, and proceed with my plans of napping on the couch with my cat.

Kwik Kuts! The place to get a Kut. And Kwik!

I found a Kwik Kuts that wasn't far from my work-to-home commute. I diverted and found my way to a parking spot not far from the front door of Kwik Kuts. I looked at the signage, which said "Tow Zone: No Parking 5pm - 8am". A quick check of the watch revealed that present time was 4:25 pm. If I was lucky, I could easily beat the curfew. Kwik Kuts was fast, and if I didn't have to wait too long, I could easily be in and out with time to spare. I fed a few extra quarters into the meter, hoping to get a few brownie points with he parking gods. The sun was blazing that day, my friend. The mercury was surprisingly spry for an early spring day in New England. The temp topped out at an unusual 94 degrees when I opened the door.

I walked into Kwik Kuts, signed in and was quickly hustled into a chair. My plan was working flawlessly. The woman who had seated me was talking to a young woman. She pointed in my direction, and the young lady headed my way. She was plainly dressed, average height, of Asian descent, and had a VERY PRONOUNCED lazy eye.

I try to be as PC as possible. I refer to Asian people as Asians, unlike my father and some of my coworkers, who refer to "Orientals".

I'd like to think that this woman's heritage had little to do with my thought process.

But there is something that is SERIOUSLY disconcerting about being set upon by someone wielding scissors with profoundly crossed eyes. All I could look at was the pointy edge of those tiny scissors, knowing that soon they would be slicing and dicing very close to my eyes and ears.

I froze. Part of my brain was screaming at me "OMG! GTFO! No WAY! Scary Scary Scary!"

And yet another part was, somewhat more calmly, yet certainly alarmed saying "There is nothing wrong with her. She is different than you in some very minor ways, Don't be an ass. Surely she couldn't rise to such a high position without the proper credentials."

But the errant eyeball was not this young woman's only affliction. She was also slow. Well, maybe that's wrong. She was diligent. Attentive to details. Ah hell. Who am I kidding? She was slow. I've never experienced a haircut that took this long. Except the time in college when I let my girlfriend cut my hair. I had long, heavy-metal hair, and she just couldn't get it even, and by the time I was done I was the not-so proud owner of a bowl cut.

Time passes. A lot of time passes. I glanced at the clock in the mirror. It was approaching 5pm. More time passes. A lot more time passes. In my mind I began to see the scenario playing out outside: A tow truck backing up to take my car. The car being towed to god-knows-where in the wastelands of Allston. That half-eaten tuna salad sandwich I hadn't finished at lunch baking away in the heat inside. The bill for getting my car back. That tuna smell baked into every fiber forever. Tuna. Tow lot.

More time passes. Is she cutting each individual hair? Good lord! By this time, however, I'm so committed to this thing that I just have to wait it out. I should have gone with my initial instinct and not let that cross-eyed bitch near me. To hell with political correctness. She should wear sunglasses, then I never would have noticed.

Mercifully, she finally got done. I paid my tab and ran out with a completely unoffensive haircut to find my car plastered with orange parking tickets. Not only had I over-stayed my welcome, apparently I had been lax in getting my inspection sticker updated. All told, this fast, cheap haircut ended up costing me an hour and a half and ninety-five dollars.

Thanks Kwik Kuts!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Laundry Hitlist

Yesterday, while rooting through some old papers, I ran across this piece of paper that I had written for myself some time ago. How long ago is a matter of debate. This document was written in order to help "thin the herd" as I call it, and reduce the copious amounts of clothes that I own, and therefore the amount of laundry I would need to do. Throwing out old clothes rather than washing them is similar yet diametrically opposed to my other habit of buying new socks or underpants rather than haul the dirty ones to the laundromat. Cracking myself up from the past, I now present:


-Any shirt turned pink due to laundry mishap

-Socks with the following attributes:
*Owns holes
*Having not maintained true love [no match]

-Pants no longer able to be comfortably buttoned
(Get over it. They're not coming back.)

-Worn out workpants.
(Let them retire with a modicum of dignity)

-Ill-fitting suit/sport jackets

-Lame and/or ill-fitting shirts

-Anything not utilized in 8 months or more
(exemption: exclusively seasonal clothes, to be filed accordingly)

-Anything that is fashionably unconscionable
(exemption: the "Male Chauvinist Pig" and "Beaver" ties)

I should note that the "Male Chauvinist Pig" tie features a pattern of pig's asses with the letters "MCP" on it as well. The "Beaver" tie is somewhat more subtle, but at the same time, kind of not. I've saved these two items, even though I've not worn them once since this list was implemented.

On the back of this list, perhaps seizing on "less-is-more" fever, is written this:


-Lame ass books

-Studio trash

-Living room clutter

-Old porno

-Outdated (Tchotchkes)


-Empty boxes

-Used envelopes/folders

-Magazine offers (except Playboy)

I've tried to wrap my head around what, exactly, was meant by "Outdated (Tchotchkes)". Obviously, Tchotchkes refers to random trinkets I have laying around. What makes them "outdated," though is beyond me. It seems that by definition these things are outdated, regardless of how old they are.

I'm also amused by my desire to replace Old Porno with New Playboys.