Friday, July 20, 2007

Irony Sandwiches

I feel nothing but embarrassment for the consumer tools who lined up a couple of weeks ago to plunk down $600 for an I Phone. Is there anything sadder than rational human beings chasing a product like nursing puppies angling for an open nipple?

I thought about this a lot while I waited in a block-long line this morning to pick up the newest Harry Potter book. Actually, I wasn't in the line to buy the new Harry Potter book. Nope. I stood in the line for an hour to pick up a bracelet that would determine where I will stand in line later tonight when I finally get my chance to buy the new Harry Potter book.

I'm aware of the irony. Actually, that's not strong enough to describe the feelings I'm having. This is more like choking down a huge Irony sandwich. Only instead of cheese, the deli guys have added big, thick slices of irony. And instead of mayo, they spread on more irony. And there's no actual bread, there's just irony.

Whew! Making analogies is hard work! I wish I could buy some kind of product to make analogies for me.

I'm trying to fight my consumer tendencies. Yesterday, for instance, I took my kids out to lunch at Wendy's. I refused to buy the kids "Happy Meals", despite their sea gull-like cries for cheap toys. While we ate, I looked around the busy restaurant and noticed signs for Wendy's new breakfast menu. One item caught my eye. Apparently, Wendy's noticed that people really suck down the company's square-bunned Frescata sandwiches. Accordingly, Wendy's new breakfast biscuits feature - get this - square biscuits! That's right. The biscuits seem to be exactly the same as everyone else's - except they're square.

Wendy's calls them Frescuits and - God help me - I wanted to try one immediately.

Apparently, I like the taste of irony sandwiches. It's the shape I don't like.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Reverse Big

In a couple of weeks, two old friends and I will head to San Diego to attend the San Diego Comic Con. Once there, we will look at comics and science fiction stuff, buy related toys, stay up late and tell dirty jokes.

My wife okayed this trip believing that this will be a fairly innocent reunion among three mature, hard-working individuals. But we have darker plans. If our experiment goes well, the three middle-aged, flabby guys will vaporize in a blast of sulfurous, black smoke and be replaced by stupid, care-free twelve year-old boys. Stupid, care-free twelve year-old boys with credit cards.

In other words, we are attempting a Reverse Big.

This should not be confused with the Reverse Big as detailed in the Kama Sutra. The three of us are happily married. Besides, that particular Reverse Big requires women and, as I mentioned earlier, we are attending a comic convention. Our wives can rest easy.

No, we intend to create a Quantum Hanksian state as detailed in the movie "Big", but instead of growing up, we'll grow down, devolve into irresponsibility and exercise poor judgment. Some gullible physics amateurs might ask why we're not working to achieve a Quantum Reinholdian state in which a grown person actually switches bodies with one of his children, effectively forcing the child to do all of the mature stuff like going to work, paying the bills and attending meetings.

Simply put, my wife won't let me.

I detailed the experiment for my wife the other day while I watched anime on television. I had just finished playing video games with my kids and she had just started folding laundry.

"So," she said, "Your plan is to stop exhibiting any adult behavior and focus entirely on behaving like a kid?"

"Precisely," I answered.

She put down the laundry and looked at the cartoons I was watching on television.

"And how exactly will you be able to tell the difference?

I ignored the question. Did they understand Copernicus when he did whatever Copernicus did? Did they understand Tom Hanks' master plan when he was on "Bosom Buddies"?

I think not.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Celebration, Uluation

It's no secret that women single-handedly hold the holiday framework together. At Christmas in our house, for instance, my wife buys and wraps most of the presents, assembles and decorates the tree and perpetuates the Santa Claus myth by making cookies on Christmas Eve. If left to my organizational skills, Christmas would likely involve taking the kids to Target to buy gift certificates followed by a Yuletide round of Halo multiplayer death matches.

It's not that guys don't like holidays. We do. We simply lack good holiday judgment. This is why so many guys celebrated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence yesterday by getting on a boat, fishing and drinking beer. From the guy perspective, this is also an excellent way to celebrate, say, Arbor Day.

This lack of judgment explains why my wife planned our Independence Day itinerary and why the holiday included no video game death matches where I blew up computer-generated characters with rocket launchers. Instead, our family walked to a nearby beach, threading in out of various drunk people, and sat down to watch fireworks set off by the very same drunk people.

Many people criticize the American propensity for celebrating by mixing alcohol, fireworks and the close proximity of children. I respond by pointing out that in many areas of the world, the celebrants also fire automatic weapons in the air and uluate. At least Americans don't ululate, for godsakes. Okay, I did personally ululate once, but it was in college and I was experimenting.

As usual, following my wife's holiday instructions paid off. We had a great time. We built sand castles and buried our feet. We applauded spectacular, brilliant explosions of fireworks and cheered on inebriated people as they lurched to the water to douse their flaming clothes.

Emotion overwhelmed me at one point. This is what family is about. No, this is what America is about.

When no one was looking, I celebrated by uluating.

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