Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mmmmm BBQ night

You know, I think it's time for BBQ night! But I'm so busy. I know! I'll buy some genuine smoked, pulled pork from BJ's and enjoy it!

Mmmmm, looks good. Some delicious pulled pork in sauce. In NEUTRAL sauce! My favorite kind!

I bet it looks just as delectable inside the package! Let me just open it up, and...uh...call the CDC.

Seriously, Hormel? It doesn't matter what it tastes like if the sight of it makes you feel retchy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Escalade in its natural environment

Hulking, probably driven by some small-equipmented man-loaf, parked so that it perfectly straddles two spaces in a fairly busy parking lot with not-particularly-small spaces. You can almost hear him saying "I'm an Escalade, dammit. I need to be cutting you off without signaling--even when I'm not moving."

Seriously, I have never seen an Escalade being operated in a way that doesn't include tailgating, signal-free sudden lane changes, across-five-lane highway exits, and general swerviness. What is it about these lumbering boy-tanks that make their drivers so much worse than even the arrested development operators of an H2?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's spelling outrage

On - where else? - Route 112.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boo...er...bouk...er...screw it.

Easter bokays are still available on Rt. 112 in Medford!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NutriSystem ads

For some time now, I have watched the parade of "sports fan" favorites selling me NutriSystem on my TV. Everyone from Mike Golic to, well, Dan Marino has dropped by to extol the virtues of a pot roast-based diet plan that arrives in the mail.

A while ago, they introduced a curveball (sports metaphor) into the rotation. A voluptuous "sports babe" named Jillian started to grace my NutriSystem ads. With her gravelly voice and plastic-looking face, she was sure to appeal to the "sports fan" demo.

Then I realized something tricky that NutriSystem was doing. Depending on the sports celebrity, they would change the URL on the bottom of the screen to a) relate to the diet pitcher, and b) track which ads were working. It wasn't as blatant as www.crazyfox2943.com, but it became noticeable. For instance, Jillian Sports's URl was nutrisystem.com/pretty, perhaps a dog whistle to "sports fans" or possibly an ironic statement about the actress's looks.
Keeping this in mind, I ran a little test. When you go to nutrisystem.com, do different URLs take you to different places? Easy enough to test. I went to nutrisystem.com. Got a picture of Jillian in a bikini.

I went to nutrisystem.com/pretty. Same picture of Jillian in a bikini.

Hmmm. So they want me to believe that she is pretty. Let's try a test.

nutrisystem.com/ugly. Same picture of her.

nutrisystem.com/ILoveHitler. Same picture of her. It's very clearly implied by the NutriSystem ad that Jillian Sports loves Hitler.

"But," you may say, "maybe she's the type who loves everybody." That is obviously false, but here's one more test.

nutrisystem.com/IHateAmerica. Yup. This link goes directly to Jillian, who we have just proven HATES AMERICA.

Way to go, NutriSystem. You've hired a spokesbabe who loves Hitler and hates America.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Old Russian Lady In Seat 3F

I hauled myself to JFK for an 8:30 AM flight to Denver today. As I boarded the plane, I eyed my overhead storage for my carry-on. Nice and empty. Just as I was feeling all spacious, this incredibly old woman stopped in front of me and folded her jacket, put it in the empty overhead storage, and started to close it.

I held it open because I was about to put my bag in it. She again tried to close it. I said "Don't close it, it's got plenty of space. She unreeled a bony finger and pointed at the numbers underneath it. "For Row 3" she scowled, and tried to close it again, ignoring that there were three seats in Row 3, and Row 2 was also listed underneath the bin. "Yes, and I'm in Row 3," I replied. I kept it open and put my bag in.

I had seat 3D. The lady plopped her bags in 3E and started to make herself comfortable in 3D, the aisle seat. I looked down at her, a 5 foot drop from eye level, and said "I'm sorry, but I'm in Seat 3D."

She looked at me, and started to point at her leg and saying something about Row 3 in a thick Russian accent. I repeated "I'm sorry, but that's my seat. I have the aisle seat." The flight attendant asked if we needed any help getting seated, and I said "No, I'm about to take my seat as soon as this lady moves to hers." She grumbled something in Russian and moved to the window seat.

The plane took off, everything seemed fine. Drinks service started. The flight attendant came by and asked what everyone wanted.

Attendant: "Drink?"
Putin's grandma: "Please."
Attendant: "What would you like?"
Putin's grandma: "Soda."
So, no progress there on the negotiations. She got her soda, and took out a bag of Russian chips. She was enjoying what was either a bag of Russian Beggin' Strips or a package of Бекон-flavored crisps when the snack basket came by. The attendant held out the basket for her. She took ten or twenty minutes to touch every one of the snacks, before deciding on some cookies. While taking them, she knocked a bag of almonds on the floor, looked at them, looked at me, then pointed her sharp digit at me and then down to the floor, telling me to pick them up. I grabbed them and gave them back to the attendant.

As we entered Kansas airspace, the attendant came by with tiny bottles of water. I took one, but Putin's grandma was so engrossed with watching ESPN News highlights without headphones that she didn't take any. A few moments later, she started gesturing at me. She pointed at my water, then herself, then made a drinking motion. Was she asking for mine?

I said "What are you asking for? Are you asking for my water?" She looked at me expectantly for a moment, then her face twisted into one of pure, unalloyed disgust, and she waved me away with her claws, obviously exasperated that mine had not become hers.

This courtship continued until we touched down. As the wheels hit Colorado ground, she picked her bags up, unstrapped and started to move towards the aisle as the plane was taxiing at 120 MPH. I looked over to figure out what the hell she was doing, and she slumped back in her seat and restrapped.

Finally, we came to the gate, and as I got up I actually turned my back to her so that she wouldn't a) try to tell me to do something through interpretive handwaving or b) shove past me only to slow down the entire line with her prescriptive Crocs.

Suddenly I felt the icy hand of death on my shoulder. She pushed down on my shoulder for leverage and to try to move me so that she could grab her jacket out of overhead before anyone could steal it from her. As I waited for the first two rows to exit, she stood so close to me that I could feel her scant remaining body heat within a millimeter of my shoulders. And then, as quickly as it began, our flirtation was finally over.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who do I know in North Carolina?

I got a call a couple of weeks ago from 336-xxx-8144. Then another couple of calls. No message.

I had no idea who this was. Didn't recognize the number or the area code. I searched the area code. Someone from Winston-Salem, NC. Don't think I have any customers there. I txted Chris in Raleigh. Was he in Winston-Salem? Does he know anyone there who might be calling me? No luck. Reverse lookup showed nothing.

Two days later, a txt from my 336 friend made things clearer.

From 336xxx8144:Hey. My m0ms goin t0 slp. She sed she will talk t0 yu 2m0r0.

Interesting...I haven't talked to any moms from Winston-Salem lately.

From Me:I don't know who this is.

The waiting game began. It was electrifying. Finally, a second txt pierced the darkness.

From 336xxx8144:This malaika. Fats daughter. My mutha jus calld yu.

So I guess I'd like to apologize to Fats and Malaika for not recognizing their number. Guys, if you're reading this, give me a ring - I miss you!