Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Best Thing To Do While Sitting On a Public Toilet.

I have discovered something that will revolutionize your world. Be it at work or school or at an airport or any number of other locations, we all have the daily necessity of taking care of some business in a public restroom. Now a king is not a king on any other thrown than his own. Which means that what should be a relaxing, pleasant experience can often be full of anxiety and embarrassment due to the lack of privacy those damn stalls are known for. But my friends, I have devised a strategy that will revolutionize this experience and restore it as the liberating release it should be.

A quick disclaimer: there has been plenty of crass humor in this blog but I'm pretty sure I have completely avoided any reference to the bathroom. (It's entirely possible that last line is bullcrap.) This has not been an accident. I'm no prude but I almost always find poo jokes to be just plain gross. Not funny gross. Gross. But this discovery needs to be shared. And if it is done at the expense of my better judgment, so be it.

Now there is no shortage of things you should avoid while having a sit down appointment with your friend John. A few examples include: Yodeling. Sure, you may have great acoustics, but it's poor etiquette and just irritating for those around you. Eating a Baby Ruth. This leads to some pretty obvious sensorial confusion. Talking on a cell phone. This is a lose lose situation for everyone involved, both of the people on that call and anyone else in that bathroom. Have you ever heard someone complain that they dropped their cell phone in the toilet? The untold part of that story is that they had to reached their bare hand into the toilet to fish out their phone. Now depending on the timing of that drop, I would only give 50/50 odds that the water was clear. The moral of the story? Keep your phone in your pocket.

But what could this world changing discovery be? Like most great innovations the answer is quite simple; find yourself a good song on the old Ipod and crank it. I know, it's not extraordinarily original. But the advantages of this cannot be understated.

It is important that you decide on the song before you enter the bathroom. This jump starts the musical sensation and prevents any indecisiveness further into the process. By playing a really good song on high volume, you not only cancel out any noise (made by either you or the fat guy in the stall next to you) you replace that noise with an escapist experience that let's your mind float away. This releases you from any hesitation that you may have previously felt. You are liberated, oblivious to your surroundings and completely free to to properly express yourself.

You know how blind people have really good hearing? By losing one sense, the others compensate and are heightened, right? Well the opposite is also true. By focusing on the sense of hearing in such an overwhelming way, all the other senses are dialed down. This means that by rocking out to Guns N Roses while on the can, your sense of smell will be inhibited enough that any odor (again either coming from you or the fat guy next door) will lose a great deal of its offensiveness. Thus allowing you to enjoy your time spent.

It is also important to continue listening until you are out of the bathroom all together, so that the full impact of your surroundings is not realized, ruining the illusion of privacy you have created. Also, by keeping that Ipod in the pocket until after hand washing you prevent any cross contamination. No one needs is a pooey Ipod.

Seriously, give this a try. Apple needs to start including this in their marketing. However, one word of caution: fellas, don't get too into your music. While employing this strategy at the airport a few weeks ago, I was rocking out to some Neil Diamond. That's right. Neil Diamond. The single greatest creative genius of this or any other generation. And as I was bobbing my head to Cracklin' Rosie (how hell can't you?) I realized that I was aggressively tapping my foot to the unapologetic bliss of his music. What can I say? Neil makes me sing like a guitar humming. But the last thing you ever want to do is accidentally (or on purpose) solicit gay sex in an airport bathroom (or any bathroom). "Honestly Officer, I was just jamming to Neil! Well, that didn't sound very good either. But I'm innocent, I tell ya!"

Larry Craig should have bagged that whole "wide stance" bullcrap and gone with the Ipod defense. Everyone knows you can't be held responsible for any foot tapping when rocking out to the hairy chested, fist pumping, testosterone infused Beautiful Noise that is the music of Neil freakin Diamond.

So there it is folks. I just made about ten minutes of your day a little bit brighter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jack Bauer, You Magnificent Bastard

"Tell me where the device is. . . . TELL ME WHERE THE DEVICE IS!"

The truth cannot hide from the concentrated intensity of Kieffer.

So after a year or so off the air, 24 has made its triumphant return to TV. For all intents and purposes however, 24 hasn't been on TV for two years since the last season totally sucked. I only watched the first couple of episodes. When the tyrannical genius that was the architect of all the terrorism in the world (you can tell he's bad because he talks into a blue tooth headset) turned out to be Jack Bauer's brother, the show crossed the line into that ridiculous comic book level of villainy and it lost any connection to reality.

But 24 loses a little bit of its impact every year. The first season was just about the best piece of television my fat ass has ever seen. It was new, intense and Kim wasn't irritating as all hell, yet. But, it suffers from the Die Hard syndrome. In an effort to recreate the magic of the original, they just tell the same story every time. Sure the second Die Hard was a way cool movie. Any movie where John McClain kills a guy by stabbing him in the eye with an ice cycle is alright with me. But there's just no way all this crap would happen to the same guy twice. Much less three or four times. It relies too heavily on coincidence especially when they have to find ways to bring in all the secondary characters. His wife was on the same plane as the asshole reporter? Bullcrap. That's just lazy storytelling.

Likewise in 24, they felt the need bring Kim back every year for no good reason. She's kinda hot but not hot enough to compensate for her annoyingness. Is annoyingness a word? I don't care, I'm going with it. When they decided to stick her into CTU in the third season and have her date Jack's partner, I just about lost interest. But I stayed with it. I even stayed on when they made the President the ultimate villain. You remember the guy that conveniently looked like Nixon and was married to the lady from Designing Women? Not the leader or the fat one or the lesbian. The boring one. You know. But when the blue tooth sporting Dr Romano from ER turned out to be the Cain to Jack's Abel, I finally jumped ship. However, after a few years I'm back on board.

Is this the seventh season now? It's been on for a while either way and as a result the formula is pretty predictable. Of course there's a leak in the FBI. But you also new that it wasn't the one suspicious looking, greasy haired dick. It would be too obvious. He was just worried about his wife. But with that red herring out of the way, the question remains. Who is the leak? My money is on Janine Garafolo. We all know she hates America.

And was it really a shock when they revealed that elements in the White House were on the bad guy's payroll? When they cast the warden from the Shawshank Redemption as the President's Carl Rovian aide, you new he was going to be a backstabber. They haven't come out and said that he's a mole. But they will. I'm waiting for the president's pussy husband to call him "obtuse" and then get sent to the hole for a month.

Also, I'm glad they have completed the world tour in blood thirsty villains. They began it all with Dennis Hopper as the Eastern European (Yugoslavia or something) warlord. Since then, they have had the following as their villains; those wacky Arabs (actually it was a stupid white girl working in league with Islamic terrorists), South American drug cartels (always fertile ground to pick your villain from), Arabs again (but I'm going to include India on this since Kumar played one of the parts), the Chinese government (that was before the Olympics displayed China for the transparent people's paradise that it is), corrupt and powerful Americans (gotta sprinkle in a little self loathing to justify vilifying everyone else) and now we have genocidal Africans. Have they left anyone out? I'm a little surprised Germany has survived this long without hatching a plot against Jack Bauer. They are the most convenient villains of all. Well, that's season eight right there.

In honor of the glorious return of Jack Bauer I now post an episode from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia that contains one reference to him in 22 minutes. I don't care, it's a funny show. Although fair warning: the opening scene contains a smiling, masturbating bum. Yeah. Not the most high brow entertainment you'll see today. But Charlie dressed like Serpico always cracks me up.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

In N Out Is Incredibly Average

When you take it upon yourself to sporadically document your own random thoughts for the world to enjoy, it can be a little unsettling to go back reread your creation. I have gone back and reread a number of my entries from the last few months and I'm a little troubled. Now, I don't regret a single entry, nor am I embarrassed by their content. I am, however, a little unsettled by the subject matter.

After about a hundred entries or so, let me sum it all up for you; Classic Rock is good, Coen Brother movies are good, Sarah Jessica Parker is ugly, the Lakers are evil, 31 year old celibate Mormons are horny and all hipsters need go to hell and die. That's pretty much the jist of my self indulgent opus. Notice how I have yet to elaborate on literature (Twilight excluded) or Art or Science. Instead I have chosen to wallow in the cultural mediocrity that I somehow find satisfying. Or at least convenient and comfortable. And I'm not apologizing for it.

So let me continue on with my celebration of pudgy consumerism by comparing a fast food chain to a TV show. Brilliant.

So a week ago a bunch of friends and I were driving home from our Vegas New Year's celebration. Nothing says "Happy New Years" quite like standing in street vomit outside of a fake Eiffel Tower. By the way, The Belagio can kiss my ball sack. What the hell? You can't turn on your fountain at New Year? Seriously, why the hell don't they just have the fountain running all the time? Making me wait around for a half hour for the water show and then nothing! Nothing at all! I want to see dancing, shooting water choreographed to smooth rhythms of Lionel Ritchie, damn it! I don't think I'm asking for too much.

I'm sure Vegas is a lot more fun you get loaded up drunk and bang a hooker, but we abstained. We were the vegetarians at the Bar B Que. Instead we got hugs from random drunk guys by doing the frat boy yell. You know the one. "YEEEAAHHH! WOOOOOOOO!!" It's like a duck call. Shout it out and backward baseball hat wearing, soul patch having sweet bro's just flock and embrace you. I liked it. But I'm the needy type.

Like every New Year's, it was fun, but underwhelming. But it was better than going to some lame ass house party in Salt Lake and watching Ryan Seacrest recap this year's cultural landmarks. I'll take my street vomit, thank you very much.

Anyway, we pulled over in St George on the way home to gas up and thought we would stop by the new In N Out for lunch. (seven paragraphs in, I'm finally getting around to the title) Before we got there, we decided on some Japanese food instead. After eating, we drove by the In N Out to get back on the freeway.

Sweet merciful crap!

There was a line of at least thirty cars wrapped around that building. Look, I get that this is the first franchise in Utah and generally, we Utahns aspire to be as cool as Californians. And we only really know how to express our coolness by consuming the same crap Californians consume. But folks, can we get a grip? (Word's spell check doesn't recognize "Utahn" as a word but it does recognize "Californian". Am I a little thin skinned to be pissed off by that?)

It's a good burger but it isn't crack. In fact I can think of several burgers that are better than In N Out. Del Taco for example. That's right. I said it. The bottom feeder of fast food chains beats the mighty In N Out at their signature menu item. And by "signature" I mean one of the three things they bother to sell. They're too cool to sell anything else. Burgers, fries, shakes. You want something else? Then, f*ck off!

But average burgers isn't where it ends. Their shakes suck and their fries are kinda cardboard like. McDonalds has better fries. McDonalds! The living breathing incarnation of low quality food beats the hell out of In N Out in the most important of fast food staples. I know, In N Out makes them from fresh potatoes. Who gives a crap? Since when was the quality of a potato decided by it's freshness? In fact the potato's ability to last forever and still taste good is the whole idea behind the potato. Without that defining characteristic, it is entirely possible that Ireland and Idaho would cease to exist. They would both just disappear. Of course that isn't true. Take away the potato and Ireland still has freshly scented soap. And Idaho still has meth. I kid! Idaho is a lovely place.

I would compare In N Out to The Sopranos (as promised). Both are very good but both suffered from their ridiculous level of hype. I like the Sopranos. But it isn't any more compelling than The Wire or Deadwood or Dexter or Six Feet Under. In fact, I like every one of those shows more than the stupid Sopranos. Likewise, I'd take an Apollo Pastrami Burger over a Double Double any day. And Five Guys kicks the crap out of In N Out.

So there you go. Another entry in which I pay way too much attention on something that doesn't really matter. Enjoy!