Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Radio Daze

Over the past month I’ve posted several comments on Facebook about my local radio stations. I’m starting to feel like a grouchy old man yelling “Hey you DJs, get off my lawn!” The thing is I don’t even listen to the radio much, only when I’m in the car going to and from work, so maybe an hour a day. And yet in that short time many things manage to irritate me.

I have 8 different stations programmed into my car stereo and yet can’t find a song to listen to:

Station 1: And now our 43rd traffic update in the last 20 minutes. Of course we’re starting two counties over, 150 miles from wherever you are. We’ll get to the accident on your route only after you’ve gotten caught in the traffic jam it created. (On a side note it seems like at least twice a week in the Harrisburg area a vehicle fire is reported. Cars are just bursting into flames in the Pennsylvania capital city)
Station 2: Do you have warts? Hey, who doesn’t? Dr. Womp’s patented wart removal system is the only proven . . .
Station 3: Billy the Bozo here with your afternoon drive time joke of the day, taken directly from this month’s Reader’s Digest . . .
Station 4: That was Train finishing up a 32 song two hour commercial free jam here on 103.2 The Middle of the Road Light Rock Station. We’ll be back in about an hour after these messages.
Station 5: Come on down to the Bigtown Used Car Emporium and Carpeting Showcase for our semi-annual President’s Day sale . . .
Station 6: I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message . . .
Station 7: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message . . .
Station 8: That was Led Zeppelin and in a few minutes we’ll have some Red Hot Chili Peppers. You know last night I tried watching Dancing with the Stars, because, you know, my girlfriend loves that show. So I’m watching it, and tell me if you think this is weird by either calling 309-4567 or hitting me up on twitter @boringdjwon’tshutupaboutpersonallife, I was really taken by the dancing ability of that chick that stars on that one show on Fox. You know, the one that takes place in a city, can’t think of which one . . .

That’s what I get to listen to on my drive home. I just want a song or two to sing along to, let off some of the stress of the day. But all I get are commercials, traffic reports about roads I don’t travel and wacky DJ patter.

All right you hippy radio guys, get off my property. Andy Griffith is coming on and then I have to go to bed before the sun goes down. And play a song once in a while! Something young and hip, like Benny Goodman or Glenn Miller. Bah!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I go for walks at night through a near-by housing development. I carry a flashlight but I’m so familiar with the streets I don’t have to use it often. Usually only if I see an animal moving ahead do I turn it on to see what I’m dealing with. I’ve come close to a few skunks this summer. The other night I walked this one road I don’t take often because there are no working streetlights and after the sun goes down it’s as dark as Dick Cheney’s soul. About halfway down the street I heard a noise behind me. It was a skittering or scratching on the pavement. Just heavy enough to let me know it was there, but light enough to make it sound creepy.

I did not scream like a small girl. If the guy in the white house at the corner with the azalea bushes says I did he’s lying. Did he talk to you? He’s a jerk, don’t listen to him. I did not scream or run away with my arms and legs flailing about like a baby giraffe learning to walk. I did freeze and peek over my shoulder.

I’d like to tell you what I saw, but I’m not sure. If only I’d had a FLASHLIGHT I could have illuminated the creature. Oh yeah, I had one. And didn’t turn it on. *sigh*

What I could make out was the size of a small dog or a fox. It was too big for a cat, and didn’t move the way they do. It didn’t move like a rabbit or possum. The legs were too long for a raccoon. Convinced it was either a dog or a fox and knowing it had stopped and was staring at me from behind I took a tentative step forward. That’s when I heard it.

“I have not dismissed you yet.”

The voice was stern, but smooth as a finished piece of oak wood. There was a hint of a British accent as well. As soon as I had thought of it the creature said:

“You’re wondering about the accent. I was educated at Eton.”

Now is when I should have yelled as if a vice were squeezing my lemons, but I was oddly calm. The voice was soothing as well as commanding respect.

“This is my road. No one walks here without paying me tribute.”

“What do you want?” I asked.

“A sweater vest sewn on the loom of a troll and 47 fast food ketchup packets. Not one more or one less.”

“That’s really what you want?” I asked incredulously.

“I have spoken!”

I heard the same clicking footfalls trail away from me and I knew he was gone. I continued on my walk although I was shaking from the experience. Sweat was creeping from my scalp even though it was a cool night. Who, or what, had I been talking to? I kind of liked that street despite it being dark, but to walk on it now I needed to find a troll. I mean the ketchup packets were easy, but a troll? We’ve got some sprites and a kelpie in the neighborhood but no trolls that I know of.

As I departed the development my mind was still roiling with the night’s events. I passed a trio of teenagers walking the other way, giggling about something. One of them even had a British accent.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bored at Work

I was bored at work one day this week so I wrote my name down and assigned each letter a number. I ended up with:

3, 7, 17, 8, 18

I added them together for 53. I multiplied them for a total of 51,408. When I subtracted each digit I got -47 and when using division ended up with .000024. I then added all the numbers together for a total of 51414.000024. Using my assigned number system and the word “zero” to stand in for the 4 zeroes I gave myself a new identity: Eadad Zerobd. Don’t ask me how to pronounce my new last name because I don’t know. I then proceeded to create a back story for the new me:

Eadad Zerobd, originally born in Lithuania, left his home country when he was thirteen as a member of the Lithuanian National Circus. Starting out as an acrobat, after a ruptured spleen and a large bruise in the shape of the Strait of Hormuz, he was transferred to toe nail clipper for the elephants. He formed a quick friendship with “Peanut”, a 12 ton Asian bull elephant. One evening in Brussels at a pub called “A Place to Get Drunk” after too many Belgian Blam Blams, Eadad and Peanut went on a rampage through the city streets, destroying cars, buildings and killing two Finnish tourists.

Afraid to go to jail, Eadad disguised himself as a Frenchman by carrying a loaf of bread everywhere he went and smelling like cheese. After a few months he stowed away on a ship carrying scrap metal to New York harbor in the United States. Unfortunately the ship’s name was Harbinger of Doom and Eadad was found hiding in a sack of potatoes in the kitchen. He was thrown overboard. It looked like the end of the line for Eadad until he was taken in by a pod of humpback whales.

The whales created a blowhole in Eadad’s back, taught him to breech and how to consume a ton of krill every day. It was an amazing life in the water. Eadad was sorry to leave his cetacean friends but he had ballooned to 456 pounds from all the krill and could barely breathe much less swim. He came ashore and started walking on the beach to lose weight while living in the burned out body of an ’87 Impala and eating discarded tacos from the dumpster at Loco Flacco’s Taco Hell.

Even after he had lost the extra weight, Eadad continued walking, finally ending up in Pennsylvania. He took a job as a state representative and lives comfortably off of kickbacks from the bagel, croissant and muffin consortium.

Yep, sure was boring that day at work.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Tao of Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had Chinese for lunch and my fortune cookie told me “this is a wonderful time in your life to look inward for answers”. Now I’ve taken advice from snack foods before. A cinnamon roll told me once it was my lucky day and I should play the lottery. 227 losing tickets later I couldn’t pay my rent but Mrs. Henrietta Lautenschlager von Urm had an oversized check written out for $151 million so she and her pug dog Wellsley could move into a mansion with carpeting on the ceiling (Mrs. Von Urm was a bit of an iconoclast).

You’d think I would have learned, but a few years later while eating a container of caramel corn one of the kernels whispered to me that I should loosen up and dance in the rain as if no one is watching. One lightning strike later I have a titanium plate in my head that picks up FM98.7 The Cornstalk out of Demoines every Thursday night during Moondog Murphy’s Six from the Sixties show. Really Moondog? You have to play “I’m Henry the 8th”every week?

My point is I have no reason to listen to this fortune cookie, but I’m a sucker for words typed on rectangles of paper. I began my inward journey with the question: Why? I’m not sure what answer I was expecting but I received a Jungian treatise on the disingenuousness of my psyche that I would even ask that question. I only understood about every fifth word and wondered why my soul was so much smarter than me.

I decided to press on and next asked: When? I girded myself for another lashing of words and concepts I couldn’t grasp, instead receiving the answer “Thursday”.

By now I was more confused than I am when I watch an old Italian-made Hercules movie. I shouldn’t ask “why” and “when” is Thursday. What did it mean? I tried again and asked: Are fortune cookies reliable forms of life philosophy?

The answer came not from my inward machinery but from a chocolate chip cookie I was eating at the time:

“Pour yourself a glass of milk and stop trying to figure it all out you schmuck.”

I didn’t think the “schmuck” comment was necessary but the milk was cold and the cookies tasty. Maybe that’s all I need right now.