Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The White Sheep

            Since I had already written about the black sheep of the group, I think that it is only fitting to write about the white sheep of the group. The lady that is completely innocent to the world. It just so happens that this particular lady is my wife. I truly think that she has never had a "dirty" or "mean" thought about anyone in her whole life! I love this woman dearly, and hope that she never changes. There are many reasons why I want her to stay the same, but one in particular is her inability to pick up on innuendos.
            We love the holidays because it is a great time to show your love for others through a very superficial way of gifts. Well, a family that we are close to has a son that is almost three, and so we thought that is would be a great idea to get him Kung Fu Panda 2 (Mostly because every time I walk into a retail store, that move was playing, and I got hooked). We of course gave it to Atticus (the little boy), and sat down to watch this movie. If you know anything about this movie, you know that a panda use to work with his father (a goose) in a noodle shop. Then the panda is pick to the dragon warrior, and all the while Atticus' dad and I are joking about noodles in a very inappropriate way.
            At some point in the movie the panda is on his back, lifting his head up as much as possible, sticking his tongue out trying to eat this one little dangling noodle. Kyle, Atticus' dad decides this to be the perfect time to crack another joke. He glances to his wife, and says, "That reminds me of you, when you want a special noodle." Of course he said it loud enough for the adults to hear, and I started to bust up laughing.  His wife is now completely red in the face, is giggling out of embarrassment.
            Curious as to why only Kyle and I were laughing, i looked to my wife, and she was puzzled by the statement. She is just staring at us and finally breaks down to say, "It isn't safe to eat noodles on your back like that. You could choke." Now Kyle is laughing even harder, and I leaned in to my wife and explained to her that the "noodle" was a metaphor for something else. My is a dark skinned lady and I kid you not, the bright red on an HD TV wasn't even close to how red her face became.
            After the movie she didn't say much, but what she did say will stick with me forever. "Boys... I tell you, you are just dirty filthy creatures. No wait, you're men! Not boys! Men are the dirty filthy creatures!" Priceless.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Holiday Spirit

                Christmas time is just one of those special occasions. To some, it is all about the food! Others get a kick out of giving a crazy amount of gifts they can't afford. My personal favorite is the swindler. Most people believe that the best time to do your Christmas shopping is on Black Friday, but the swindler knows that anytime after thanksgiving is the best time for shopping. In truth swindlers probably sleep in on Black Friday, awake from there slumber by the sound of the news on the TV talking about how Target had to use mace to control the crowd at midnight because people are crazy!
                I can say this because I have dabbled in the retail game, and people go nuts around the holidays. Now, if you have ever in your life worked in retail around the holidays, you know that you get in a ridiculous, and I mean a RIDICULOUS amount of "seasonal" merchandise. This "seasonal" merchandise ranges anywhere from the newest pillow pet, to almond bark (that is apparently pretty hard to find the other 11 months of the year) to a $600 3 piece lithium drill set, to the ugliest comforter set that matches the puke green curtains, to wooden boxes with stenciling on them that cost $49.99. The Christmas spirit in retail is as green as the furry coat of hair that covers the Grinch.
                Although, what I absolutely love about retail is how hard a manager will try just to please one customer. This is where the swindler comes in. The swindler will come in the middle of December and find all the crap that they want to buy from that store. They will just fill the cart to the brim, stop at the front desk, and ask, "Can I speak with your manager?" Most swindlers are not stupid. They won't settle for an assistant manager, they want the store manager. The swindler will do that because they only want to ask once for the deal. The deal being, a reduction in price for pretty much everything in the cart for the price that it was on Black Friday, like the $600 3 piece lithium drill set that was on sale for $299.
                Most people would read this and think that this is insane for a couple of different reasons. First, who is dumb enough to not understand how a simple ad works? Second, what kind of manager has absolutely no back bone to tell a moron no? In short, I think that almost every manager will crumble in that situation. For the simple fact that the swindler will ask to borrow their phone to call the boss of the manager, to say that the unhelpful manager refuses to give good customer service. The last thing the manager wants is to have his boss chew him a new one, and have to answer why he is turning a customer away that is willing to spend money at their store.
                I always thought that the holidays were such a great time as a child. You got to have Christmas break, hot chocolate, and snowball fights. As an adult, I now realize that the holidays can be a stressful time. Especially when you have to meet the greed of retail out of love for your child. As a consumer, I personally would like to thank all the kind people that work in retail, and piss on all the unkind people.

                The Swindler

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bible Lessons at Work

                Most people I know I have met through certain settings, which allows me to judge there character based on this. I met some really nice people when my wife and I went on our trip to Cancun. After a few questions were asked, we knew right away if we should chit chat or run like the resort was on fire. The beauty of it was that we got to choose who we talk too. When we came back to our regular lives, I noticed that for eight hours of my day I couldn't run like crazy from certain people.  The work place is that place where no matter what, everyone has an opinion and you just can't spend all day in the bathroom trying to get away.
                Seeing as how I can't just ignore twenty odd voices at any given time, I tried selective hearing. This is how I arrived at Bible Lessons from Work. When I was eighteen or so, I always joked about the creepy old man that could never just be happy. Well, little did I know that when I got my first job I would be working with two creepy old men! These two guys were almost normal on the outside, but twisted mad on the inside. The first old man Gary, wanted to teach me about God. The only problem was, he only remembered one thing from Sunday School back in the early 1900's. He proceeded to tell me how the Pastor or Priest (he couldn't remember if they were Christian of Catholic) said, "If you really want to upset God, mess with his timing." Gary now staring at me like only a creepy old man can, asks me if I know what this means. Still immobilized by the glare, I just shrug my shoulders. Gary pipes up with, "All you have to do is kill yourself. You know commit suicide." My boss, the psycho is hearing this and feels obligated to ask, "What if it is suicide by cop? Like when you start shooting a bunch of people, the cops show up and you only give them the option to kill you?"
                I wish that I could tell you that all this is a rouse. However, this is a real life conversation that took place. I can't tell you how we started on this path, but I can tell you that the feeling dogs get that makes the hair on the back of their necks stand up is the same feeling I had because all the hair on my body was at attention.  When I tried to slip away, Gary roped me back in with the comment, "No, If some else kills you, In God's eyes your good."
                In hopes that it was all over, creepy old man number 2 David is in on this conversation. David needing to be heard, decides to lead out with, "Well you know, the more people you kill the higher you will be in heaven. Haven't you ready the old testament. Nations would just war with each other, and whoever killed more were the ones who were 'chosen' by God. So think on that one." The psycho boss didn't have to think very hard before he decide to ask, "Where does that leave Hitler?" David must have argued this point before because he didn't miss a beat, "In the middle."
                Now I am not the most educated person in the world, but there are a few things I do know. One of those things, is that in the Bible, the chosen people were the Jews, and Hitler was one of those people that really didn't like Jews. Therefore, I feel like the conclusion of him being in the middle is wrong. In hindsight I can only express how I felt that day as truly going through the range of emotions. It starting with uncomfortable, leading into fearing for my life, and ending in laughter. When I replay that time in my mind, I start to giggle and just hope that I don't turn into that creepy old man.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Black Sheep

You know how you can spend time with a certain group of people, and in every group there is the one guy who is for sure the black sheep. Well, I play poker Thursday nights, and Rob is that black sheep. This guy could be seen as crazy, but truthfully he is just a little off. The first time I met this guy, we did the standard greeting followed by the question that threw me for a loop. "So Chris, what's your credit like?"

This being the first time that I have gone to play poker at this persons house, I had to ask, "Whats the buy in again?" If this guy is asking about my credit, I wanted to be clear that it was just fifteen dollars, and not something like fifteen hundred dollars. He chuckled, and by chuckled, I mean that when he laughs his whole body looks like it is jumping up and down.

After cultivating a good conversation with this guy, I finally asked him why he wanted to know what my credit was like. He told me about his business venture, and how he needs investors. By investors, he means me. I like helping out people, so I asked what my money would be working towards. With a twinkle in his eye like I was the first person to ask this question, and his grand idea was about to revolutionize the world, and now starting to smirk, he responded...robots.

Unsure of how to take this, because I am still not quite positive if he is just messing with me, I smiled. I thought that a polite smile would have been better than hitting him with mockery and ridicule. I wish I would have hit him with it. As the rest of the people returned to the poker table, Rob has now started to come unglued billowing, "He has seen the light! A man that can see a beautiful opportunity to invest in the future!"

Every person at that table was wide eyed, and jaws on the floor. I of course was the one that was almost sent into shock by these thunderous words. With Rob staring at me, like his wolf pack just grew to 2, I had to kindly inform him that I was not in a position to invest at this time. I apologized for possibly leading him to believe that I was saying yes to be his sole investor in his idea of robots. This is the delicate of me saying that. I almost chose to go with your crazy, I just met you and you want thousands of dollars from me right now for a one word idea with no plan to follow.

When later asked about it by the friend that invited me to the poker game, I had troubles explaining. He asked me what i said to Rob to give him the impression that I would like to invest with him. All I could say was, I just smiled at him. Since then, i have gone to play poker there for a few years, and now being a part of this group, I can only say... Thanks Rob for being the Black Sheep, I have come to tears in laughter because of you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Friends Make for Crazy Conversations

If you have ever found yourself outside of your comfort zone in a good way, it is usually with good friends. We have all been there. I can remember the first time I cussed at someone. I was around 10 or 11, and it was a weekend when I could actually have a friend come over. My family moved from the city to the mountains and not everyone was willing to drive up. So this was going to be an exciting weekend. We could stay up super late, drink soda pop, eat candy and popcorn, and the best of all... play Mario Cart on the Nintendo 64!!! At around 2 in the morning, we were coming down from the sugar rush, and I was getting spanked at Mario Cart in my own house on my own N64. I was livid. I remember it clear as day, Travis (the friend) shoots off a red shell, and POW! He coasts by for the win, and I turned my head in super slow motion, eyes ablaze, and proceeded to start calling him the dirtiest of dirty names. The competition only got fiercer thereafter, naturally. Finally my parents woke up at 6 and for those four hours in between I was spoke in nothing but filth.

I find myself in these situations often, not cussing out my friends. I will usually only take things to a place of uneasiness and keep running with it, as long as I have a friend there with me doing the same. For instance, I will often take jokes to an inappropriate place with just friends. If I just met you, don't expect me to start off with the joke about the two gay frogs. Once that person has made the "friend" status, then I push the boundaries. It can be a good thing or a bad thing. Its not just bad if you make the other person uncomfortable and they run away screaming, "I'm not your friend you weirdo!" It is also bad if you are spending time in groups and you are close to a few of them and not so much with the other. The worst however, is when you are with your spouse and you two are hanging out with other married couples for a fun night.

One particular evening, we happen to make plans with two other couples very last minute to have a dessert party. Not really having a plan for the night, other than making brownies and eating them of course, we decided to play some board games. We only played one, and that's all it took. Pictionary has the power to ruin even the best of friends. We also made it worse by splitting up into two teams, men vs. women. Obviously it was the men's idea because it was a stupid idea. After an hour of playing/arguing/cheating, all the women were so wound up because they couldn't believe that they had married the men across the table. All the men of course were laughing at their wives frustration and at how serious the GAME had become.

We decided to take a much needed break. My wife, love her soul, starts to ask all kinds of questions. She turns to the hostess and asks how her and her husband fell in love. I still cannot fatham this answer. The hostess starts by how she persued him and finally got a date with him. They date, they break up and he starts to date another girl. This seems normal so far, right. she proceeds to tell us how for her birthday she invited him and his girlfriend of two years now to the party. They make it to the party and soon thereafter his friend needs a ride somewhere. So in his infinate wisdom he leaves his girlfriend at the party to drop off his this drunken fool. Some where along the way he had some how forgotten that both girls only way 110 pounds, and they had been drinking. Now I am thinking that this story is going to turn for the better and he was going to chime in how his wife was fighting for him back at the party. Nope. He arrives in time to see his girlfriend making out with his now wife! The husband decided to take the story over in this moment to tell us how this make out session was pretty hot and steamy and there were hands grabbing all over. I dang near died out of shear laughter.

After all of the invasive questions of how kissing another woman was like, the converstion evolved. It was no longer just about the one girl she had felt up, but rather how anytime she drinks, girls start to come on to her. Never would I have guested that this lovely, sweet, always appears innocent wife/mother would have been so frisky. This normally wouldn't concern me, however she and my wife happen to go to the same bacheloret party and were were indulging in a few beverages. Luckly my wife isn't the type of gal to hit on drunk married women. How that particular night went will always remind me that friends make for crazy conversation.