Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greek To Me.

So this happened:

-Hey, can I get three chicken souvlaki pitas to go with roasted potatoes and a greek salad?
-3 pitas with potatoes and 1 greek salad. Anything else?
-Actually, a greek salad for all three pitas. Roasted potatoes and a greek salad for each pita.
-You want potatoes and a salad with all of them?
-Yeah, thanks.
-But the pitas only come with one side.
-That's fine.
-So which do you want?
-Both. For all three.
-But you can only have one side.
-Right, I get that. Sorry. This is kind of funny. [girl not laughing.] So it's 3 pitas with a side of potatoes and then 3 side salads.
-I'll have to charge you for the salads.
-I understand that.
-OK. 3 pitas each with potatoes as a side and 3 salads but not as the sides.
-Wait, what? Now I'm confused. I do want side salads. Did you say that?
-But not as your sides. I'm charging you extra.
-Right, OK.
-And did you want roasted potatoes for all 3 pitas because they actually come with french fries.

And then my head exploded.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

First Impressions.

Someone who met my mother for the first time over the weekend described her as "a rebel with a gentle kindness."  That has to be the best description ever, and if you know my mom, it really does sum her up perfectly.

It'd be nice to make such a good first impression.

I remember being introduced to a new person at work one time and upon meeting me, she turned to my boss and said, "I see what you're saying. Long arms."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Drop The Basket Yogi.

Congress completed a bill yesterday that will help protect credit card customers from interest rate hikes and rate increases on already existing balances.

"It's great," said a man I made up solely for the purposes of this post. "I feel safer already."

The bill also included a provision to allow people to bring loaded guns into wildlife refuges and national parks. Seriously. It's in the same bill. When reached for comment about this addition, a moose from Denali National Park said, "Well, shit."

I thought the whole idea behind credit card reform was to put an end to those huge surprises that show up when you open your bill.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

When's Lunch?

I suppose the 15-minute break doesn't exist in outer space. While watching footage of astronauts tune up the Hubble Telescope last night on the news, it occurred to me that these people show up to do work.

It makes sense on a few levels. First, where would they go on a break? It's an ironic little twist that in the vastness of space they could really only float in the corner of their shuttle.
-What are you doing?
-I'm on break.

Plus, with the help of the best communication technology money can buy, they are in constant contact with their employer. That's part of the reason I would be the worst astronaut ever.
Crewmate: Jess, Houston's on the phone for you.
Me: [waving my hands, shaking my head with wide eyes and slowly whispering] I'm not here.
Houston: Um, yeah, we can see you.

Note: I don't think they use phones in space. It'd be cool if they did though. Every time the phone rings a mission specialist shouts out, "I'll get it!" and then doggy paddles over to the rotary.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's In A Name?

My grandma has a friend named Dorkus.
The woman's name is Dorkus.
Say it a few times.
I think it's spelled Dorcas, but with a name like Dorkus, why quibble over spelling?
And people call her Dork for short. I'm not kidding about any of this.

So with that in mind, this is a conversation I had with my parents on Mother's Day:

Mom: We went out for breakfast with Grandma after church and saw Dorkus.
Dad: No we didn't.
Mom: Yes we did. Dorkus was at the restaurant.
Dad: That was Toots.
Mom: Steve, she just called her that to be cute. "Hey, Toots!" Like a nickname.
Me: I thought people called her Dork.
Dad: Dorkus and Toots are two different people.
Me: So what was that other woman's name?
Dad: Toots?
Me: Yeah.
Dad: Her name is Toots.
Me: Dad, Toots isn't a name. It's like calling a guy Brosef. His name isn't actually Brosef.
Dad: Who?
Me: Is Tutz spelled T-U-T-Z or T-O-O-T-S?
Mom: T-O-O-T-S.
Me: Toots? Like toot? That doesn't seem right.
Mom: It's right.
Dad: Toots is short for Ttt...Taa...Tuuu..Whatever. She's not Dorkus.

Glad we cleared that up.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Now Boarding All Rows.

You know how they let First Class passengers board the airplane before everyone else, even though that makes no sense whatsoever? What kind of person wants to spend any more time than necessary on a plane? Plus, putting people at the front of the plane first is what causes all those awkward aisle delays.  Half step, stare at aisle number.  Half step, hide annoyance as someone can't lift their carry-on into the overhead.  Half step, try to figure out who you're going to be sitting next to and pray it's not one of those selfish businessmen who sit with their legs wide open and never lift their arm off the armrest. (Either we split it, or no one gets it!) 

I recently heard the slow procession of Coach passengers through First Class described as The Poor Parade.  When you get over the fact that it's mildly insulting, it might help explain why First Class passengers are so eager to board a smelly plane first and sit there while row after row of half-stepping people shuffle past them.  I've never sat in First Class but I imagine there's some sort of sick satisfaction experienced while watching the parade.  Like when the electronic door at a store is broken and you stand there for a second, jog in place a bit, and finally decide to use the regular door right next to it.  When it happens to you, it's kind of annoying, but if you were to sit there and watch 100 people deal with that broken electronic door, it might be amusing.

Friday, May 08, 2009

That's A Deal Breaker, Ladies.

I love a good catchphrase.  Actually, I love any sort of catchphrase. To be honest, I probably love bad catchphrases more than the really clever, well thought out ones.  

One of the funniest comedians I've ever seen used to do open mic nights to completely silent crowds.  Joke after joke, silence.  I thought she was hilarious, so I was always the only person laughing. She'd push through her set and end by saying, "Bye. I'm Tessy." in a low monotone before dropping the mic Chris Rock style and walking out.  And then three people would look up from their coffees to clap. 

I wish "Bye. I'm Tessy." was the universal way to exit awkward conversations.  Just say it, drop whatever you're holding, and walk away.

The guys I used to work with spoke almost exclusively in their own created catchphrases.  I once went through an entire 8-hour shift hearing only, "That's a good one, dude." 
(To say this correctly, nod your head firmly on "good" and pronounce dude as "do")  

This phrase can mean anything.  It can mean that something really is a good one, like a joke or a suggestion, it can be a statement of acknowledgement, or it can mean that you have have no intention of doing whatever someone has asked you to do.  Which is why hearing it over and over during a busy workday can be so hilarious/incredibly stressful.  
The funny usually comes later.

The best part about a catchphrase is that all it requires is repetition. If you say it often enough, you can use it whenever you want.  It doesn't necessarily have to make sense or apply to every situation, but if it happens to work out that way, that's a double bonus.  This appeals to me on so many levels because I'm usually saying the wrong thing anyway.  It'd be nice to have a tidy little saying to use in the following situations:

1) When I don't know what the people around me are talking about.
2) When I'm asked, "What do you think?" after I've drifted out of the conversation for a minute thinking about how cool it would be if those singing waiters from chain restaurants showed up on public transportation with cake and a fun birthday song.
3) When I have run out of things to say.

I'll have to think about it. 

Monday, May 04, 2009

Attention Voters.

The owner of Panama's largest grocery store chain won the country's presidential election yesterday.

Ricardo Martinelli was declared the "indisputable winner" with 61% of the vote, a Club Card, and a discount for bringing his own reusable bag to the polls.

Martinelli's campaign focused on widening the Panama Canal for larger carts, a plan to help the nation dig out of the global financial crisis by honoring double coupons, and a bold promise to make legislative sessions in the National Assembly run more like old episodes of Supermarket Sweep.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Rack 'Em.

If I were a professional billiards player, I'd lay down on the table for every shot.
I think that would be pretty funny.