Friday, September 19, 2008

We Be Talkin' Treasure, Lads!

Avast, there, me scurvy scallywags!

All ye sorry bilge rats be na' fit t' swab the decks of me bonny gran' ship, Fifteen Dead Men!

But Arrr! it does me soul good t' know ye be willin' to risk Davy Jones' Locker fer the great gran' a'venture of joinin' me 'n' mine to sail the ocean blue. Arrr! If a fortune ye do seek, climb aboard and we'll set sail for western shores! We'll make our name as feared as Blackbeard and his bloody buccaneers! Arrr!! So, make fast the mast and batten down the hatches!

Curse your soul, you pompous gasbags, haul upon the yard and tighten down the mizzen!

And may the Devil take me soul if I ever gives quarter or asks it of ye!

Avast ye scallawags! September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Shiver me timbers, you bunch of yellow-bellied sapsuckers -- show some spirit an' bring me a noggin' o' rum! Arrr!

And may the Devil take me soul if I ever gives quarter or asks it of ye!

And here is the greatest pirate song ever!

Pirates - Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, 1977

Pirates, part I Pirates, part II

Apologies to you, my gentle reader, but since l am all alone in my tiny office, this seemed the best way to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thundering Dunderheads

Back when I was a dedicated worker-bee with a naive belief that I could change a business culture without a blowtorch and serious body-armor, I managed to impress my boss enough that he decided to make me a Team leader.

Of course things are never simple, especially since my role at the time was in the support area of the company. In order not to confuse anyone who might mistake me for a senior staff member with the power to actually affect change, the powers-that-be decided that I should henceforth be referred to as the "Unit Leader." Politics, beautiful politics.

The whole thing was a bit of an embarrassment to me, and actually just added one more level of confusion to an already chaotic work environment.

As Unit Leader (and that's Unit, not UNIT, as in "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce"), I oversaw a group of about four or five technical writers. People, one would assume, who could spell.

While I may have still been clinging to some optimism about working change, I wasn't completely naive. I had already spent a few years in the Big Apple, where complaining is a form of entertainment, if not a full-blown sport. Good times, my friend, good times. Also, I was under no illusions about the pool of "talent" that my team possessed. In fact, in private conversation, I described my role as riding herd on the Thundering Dunderheads.

Not a particularly bright group, no Rhodes Scholars would be banging down their doors. And this brings me to the topic of today's post: AW.

In my frustration one day, it is possible that I was a tad too loud when I described my team, the Thundering Dunderheads, as a bunch of dumbasses. Sure, it wasn't terribly smart, and it was clearly unkind, but the truth is sometimes painful.

Roberto*, a member of said Dunderheads, apparently took offense at my poorly timed candor, and objected to being referred to as a dumbass. His head popped up over the ubiquitous cubicle wall and he defended his honor. "If I'm a dumbass, then you are an asshole!"

"Okay, Dumbass."

"Okay, Asshole."

We spent the rest of the day lightheartedly continuing in this vein in the manner of two men humorously joshing each other, while silently believing we both were right.

So, we smiled our simian smiles and went about our business. I pretty much forgot all about it before I was out of the parking lot.

The next morning Roberto and I were meeting with a programmer. I was still a little hazy, as it was before noon, so I was a little nonplussed when Roberto kept referring to me as AW.

I would say something and he would respond, "Sure thing, AW."

Or, "I'll get right on it, AW."

Every time he said AW, a mischievous grin would flicker across his face. This went on for about 15 minutes as we continued to talk to the programmer.

Finally, I had heard "AW" enough and was growing tired of the strange looks the programmer gave me.

"Roberto, why do you keep calling me AW?"

"You know."

I looked at the programmer who shrugged.

"AW?" I asked again.

"Yeah, you know -- A-W!" He dragged out the letters for emphasis.

A dim light flickered to life in my muffled brain. No, I was sure I was wrong. I mean I had to be, didn't I?

But I had to know. "AW? AW!? As in asshole AW?"

"Yeah," Roberto said, "AW."

I could barely keep from bursting into a hysterical hyena laugh. "Do you mean ass whole, as in Whole Ass?"

A confused and only slightly embarrassed look replaced Roberto's grin. "Huh?"

I nearly shouted it -- "You really are a dumbass!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is a futile attempt to see if any of my three friends actually reads this blog. I had named my most recent post "Liberal Guy Talk." But that seemed really lame, and since I'm too lazy to try to think of another, I figured I'd get one of you three to name it. The current name for the post is Name This Post.

Submit your suggestions via comments. (And no, it doesn't need to be relevant -- god knows I don't expect you to read this stuff.) If I get any responses, I'll put them up to a vote.

And, as always, if you have any suggestions, praise, comments, or criticism -- you are encouraged to submit a comment. For instance, if you wanted to tell everyone that you laughed so hard at Check the Weather in Hades, that you spewed coke out your nose, let me know. I'll try to write more, and I'll add warnings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Name This Post

I got a quick note from my buddy Chet.* It's total contents were:
You wanna bang Sarah Palin, don't you?
You hate her, but at the same time you find yourself wondering what she looks like naked.
Am I right?
I get lots of emails like this. Just because I have a dark sense of humor and call myself a liberal (Democrats are too conservative for me), people think they can send me anything, no matter how offensive.

Of course, I laughed my ass off. To be honest, even at this late date, I think I've seen maybe three pictures of the inexperienced celebrity. They did not stir my loins. In fact, she reminds me of a brunette Sally Jessy Raphael. When I first heard McCain had chosen this unknown, inexperienced woman from Alaska, I was certain the former POW had shot himself in his Vietnamese-tortured-foot.

Here was a woman no one had ever heard of, the former mayor of a town of less than 9,000, and governor of a state with less people than Wyoming -- I exaggerate -- Alaska is 48th in population -- it actually has18K more people than Vermont (49th) and 133K more than Wisconsin (50th)! Now, if you want to talk about population density, and figure in the size of the states, Alaska would have to be something like 54th. (When will they update the flag?)

Choosing her seemed like a cynical appeal to Clinton supporters. I doubted it would work, she may be female, but she is also anti-abortion, and far from being a feminist.

But I digress. There's a reason I don't often see pictures of any news-related stuff -- I am an NPR drone. That's National Public Radio (I said I was liberal - it's not a dirty word). So, while I only vaguely know what she looks like, I have heard quite a lot of her whiny, annoying voice.

Every time she stretches out her vowels in that nasally tone, "That's what's greeeat about this couuuntry, Charlie." I go just a little more crazy. At first it was really driving me nuts because I kept thinking, "I know I've I heard that voice before, but where?"

I thought she might be channeling one of the nuns from my youth. Her voice had that kind of instant visceral impact on me. It was like Sister Joseph Marie was sticking her fingers down my throat to induce vomiting.

I don't believe any of the nuns (mustachioed or not, and trust me, Sister Joseph Marie had a hell of a mustache) ever stuck their waxy fingers in my mouth, never mind down my throat, but that is the feeling I have every time Palin opens her big, fat, lying mouth. Instant retch-a-roni. We're talking the Spaghetti 500 and then some.

I thought of all the bullshit the catholic church tried to brainwash me with, but I still couldn't figure out where I'd heard such a school-marmie, condescending tone before. It turns out, the voice was the same, but I don't think the condescension was there in the original voice.

Sarah Palin sounds just like the chick on SNL that played Pat (or was it Patrick?) -- Julia Sweeney. Tell me you don't hear that.

So, if you're like me (and I doubt you are) you are hoping that you won't have to spend the next four years listening to that whiny sound and thinking of Pat in those overstuffed shirts saying things like, "Sorry if I'm a little grumpy, I have really bad cramps... I rode my bike over here, and my calf muscles are KILLING me!" But, knowing the way things seem to always turn out for me, you're probably thinking -- we're doomed.

But hell, her voice aside, you've got to admit that the idea of a gun toting beauty queen has its appeal.

Would you be able to say no to that? Get her in a muscle car, and there's no telling what might happen.

Of course, the whole idea is quite repellent, but that's the point of catholicism, right?

Hate yourself, do degrading and sinful acts, then entertain a guy in a dress with embarrassing tales of your misadventures. Once you do that, and if you hit all the right notes about being sorry and promising never to do it again, all you have to do is say a couple of Our Fathers, and you're set to start all over again.

That's what's great about this country.

And thankfully, the new TV season is just around the corner.