Rants

Associated Global Systems – We Almost Deliver

Creative Brief for advertising copywriters

Client:
Associated Global Systems – a national corporation that tries unsuccessfully to deliver things.

Objective:
To establish Associated Global Systems as the “go to” shipping company for when you want most, but not all, of your packages delivered.

Background:
Coming on the heels of our very successful “Let Us Lose That For You” campaign, we’re looking at a new effort to raise awareness that Associated Global Systems can almost deliver your important items.

Target Audience:
Male/female 18-49. They are waiting on important deliveries and we want them to know that Associated Global Systems can help them misplace or disappear those deliveries through sheer incompetence and buffoonery.

Media:
Cable television, radio, print and billboard campaigns. Also, pop-up ads from websites that immediately play video.

Key Points:
– Associated Global Systems has perfected the supply chain mismanagement method of “undelivering” your important items.
-Make sure the consumer knows that if they call AGS wanting to know where their package is the answer will be “We’ll find out and call you back.”
-Make sure the consumer knows AGS reps will never actually call them back.
-Convey that when it comes to placing a box on a truck and driving that box somewhere, AGS is wholly stumped at the very prospect.
-Our ability to misplace packages and then shrug our shoulders sets us apart from our competitors.

The underlying theme of all the advertising creative should be that Associated Global Systems “can’t be bothered” to deliver your package properly. The client has already chosen the tagline “We Almost Deliver” and it should be used in all the ad creative.

Creative Insights:

-The “Where Is It?” billboard from the last campaign was very popular and the client would love to see a modified version of it for this campaign.

-Client also really liked the earlier TV spots with the elderly couple with nothing to sleep on because it hadn’t arrived yet.

-Client wants to make sure we feature “ethnic” individuals to drive home the point that AGS can lose your packages regardless of race, color, creed, etc.

-Make sure to link to the website! agsystems.com

-Make sure to reinforce the AGS “supply chain” methodology:

AGS

-Lots of companies use AGS to deliver their important goods, so the consumer should understand that AGS does not care a whittle about their missing delivery because in the grand scheme of things, the customer can lick our mud flaps.

Consumer takeaway:

“Associated Global Systems is a company with a bland name that can lose my Restoration Hardware order for me.”

“If I’m having lots of people over the house, I want to make sure there’s no sofa to sit on, so I’ll have Associated Global Systems not deliver it on time.”

“If there are any delivery hiccups, I can count on Associated Global Systems to not return my multiple phone calls.”

“Incompetent sociopathic megacorporation run by dunces.”

Note from  Account Service: Client would like to see some ideas by early next week, which to them means in a month or never.

Poland Dispatch: The German Poo-Shelf Toilet

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Next to the infamous Squat-hole toilets of Asia and southern France, the German Poo-Shelf Toilet is undoubtedly one of the least pleasant methods of waste removal – assuming you’re like most folks and don’t feel the need to get to know your waste. It finds itself here in western Poland because this region was once part of Germany until the Germans got all riled up and tried to take over the world. They’re better now, but the legacy of their doody-tech remains.
The Poo-Shelf comes from a period in German history when Germans were less interested in world domination and apparently more interested in spending quality time with their feces. That, or they were prone to accidentally eating their wedding rings and needed a toilet that allowed them to conveniently rummage through their dung before dispatching it to the abyss. Those must have been fascinating times and I’m quite glad I wasn’t born in them.
I don’t know how many such devices are in existence. Perhaps they’re quite rare and I was simply lucky to stumble upon such a specimen. All I know is that upon encountering the German Poo-Shelf Toilet, one is forced to solemnly contemplate the reason such a horrible mechanism exists, and what demon designed such a thing.
Rather than whisking your waste away, the GPST simply lets it sit there, mere centimeters from your rump, so that you might think about the brief time you had together. When you’re done reminiscing – or when the odor of a pile of poop begins to negatively affect the ambiance of your bathroom – you simply pull up on the flushing mechanism to send your creation on to the Great Beyond. However, if the flushing mechanism doesn’t work – well, you’re on your own with a shelf full of poo and a toilet designed so as to render the plunger useless. Good luck and God bless.
It should also be noted that any gentleman who chooses to stand up and use the German Poo-Shelf Toilet for the purpose of bladder-emptying can be expected to enjoy as much splash-back as one might get from say, peeing on a coffee table. The toilet, in all aspects aside from cigarette butt and chewing gum disposal, is utterly useless.
Those who believe in intelligent life in outer space often say that any culture advanced enough to achieve space travel would probably not make themselves known to us until we too have reached a certain level of civilization. I take that to mean the elimination of war, and every German Poo Shelf toilet currently in existence. Although stopping warfare is a tall order at the moment, I encourage every able-bodied soul to grab a sledgehammer, get to Germany, and start swinging.

In Pursuit of Victimhood

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It’s been a long time since I shouted at a 60 Minutes segment as much as I did last night. Their report on Abercrombie & Fitch was worthy of it though. Fortunately, with the miracle of TiVo you can shout at your TV then go back in time and watch what you cursed over as if it never happened in the first place.
The segment touched on Abercrombie & Fitch’s complicity in the whorification of America. Just like Britney and Christina have opted to sell albums using their pubic region, Abercrombie & Fitch has decided to sell pants using unclothed, apparently unparented adolescents lounging about in streams, fingering one another. It’s about as classy as Larry Flynt in a tuxedo.
That the company has made the decision to take their good name and significant history and tarnish it pandering to horny teens and pedophiles is a shame. It would be just as unfortunate if Tiffany & Co. decided to sell sterling dildos and dress the staff like Courtney Love. But, base marketing and name-tarnishing was not what the segment was about.
What was being called into question was how they hire people to sell their clothes. In particular, how they seem to prefer using pretty people to execute their All American Boy & Girl marketing plan. Another trauma some feel worthy of a class action suit. Amidst much boo-hoo-hoo-ing and quotes in the neighborhood of ‘This is not what America is about,’ the aggrieved parties, who were allegedly judged not pretty enough or not ‘All American’ enough by the retailer, want to force their accommodation. Sadly, that is what America is about. A few minutes perusing overlawyered.com will remove any doubts.
There is no reason Abercrombie should be obliged to change their policies (dubbed ‘lookism’) to accommodate people who don’t fit in their plan any more than racially polarized networks like UPN should be forced to have more Asian-themed shows. FUBU is a black clothing line, and as such there should not be controversy over the lack of Cherokee Indians on the payroll. It’s doubtful Katz’s Deli has a wealth of Pentecostal Christians in the management hierarchy.
Individual companies pursuing their own business plans with their own idea of what is good for their business should be, and were for a long time, left alone. One could spend a lifetime pitching shows to Lifetime, but we all know full well that unless it’s about an abused woman gathering the strength to fight back, the execs won’t be interested. What’s disturbing is how easily you could find a lawyer willing to sue them for discriminating against Battlebots.
Litigation has taken the place of common sense. Once you could have suggested seven foot tall guys were among the better basketball players. Now you run the risk of being called heightist by the vertically challenged. Even worse, if you were a four foot tall blind kid with a club foot who wanted to play on the varsity team, there are lawyers who would take your call. For some legal professionals, no cross is too cumbersome to bear.
There is a wonderful story of a businessman denied membership at a posh golf club because he was Jewish. He did not launch a class action on behalf of chosen people not being chosen. Instead, he raised a ton of money and opened a club across the street. Touche. That is what America should be about. Instead, it’s about ludicrous organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance demanding free airplane seats and wholesale accommodation of gluttony.
Trial lawyers, scourge of many things decent, have fought long and hard to grant us the Freedom To Litigate Everything That Bothers Us. They’ve created such a sense of entitlement that everyone is undoubtedly a victim of something. We’ve all been wronged. It’s why I’m not what Abercrombie is looking for has turned in to I had better be what Abercrombie is looking for.
When a telemarketer who lacked several teeth was laid off because people could not understand what he was saying he didn’t look for a new job, he looked for a lawyer. People no longer play the cards they’re dealt. They instead ask that the cards be reshuffled and re-dealt. If that doesn’t work out, they ask for a new deck. If that doesn’t work, they sue the casino. Alarm bells should have sounded when illegal immigrants started suing for the right to drive. How far is too far? Can someone let the rest of us know?
It’s high time the trial lawyers suffered some setbacks to their unabashed greed and cynical shortsightedness so that we can all go back to the Freedom To Deal With It. Just because some of us lost our moms doesn’t mean we should strike Mother’s Day from the calendar.
We have the freedom to do many things, but forcing others to accommodate what some of us perceive as wrong is not one of them. With alarming frequency and diminishing irony Americans invoke what they feel to be their freedoms, rights and entitlements in an effort to deny the same to others.
From private golf clubs that only want male members to clothing stores that only want a certain look, perhaps it’s time to realize that not everything is a battle that needs to be fought, much less won. I know that as a man I will never wait tables at Hooters. I know I’m too tall to be an astronaut. I know that I can not walk in to Nobu and be seated immediately because I’m not famous. Most of us know these things are not cause for grief, much less litigation, no matter how many lawyers are cheering us on. Perhaps we should tell the others.

“Making It” Made Easy

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There was a time, and it really wasn’t that long ago, that in order to be famous you had to accomplish something. Prior to the red carpet being rolled out for you and the nuisance of restaurant reservations being waived, it was necessary for you to write a book, appear in a blockbuster, sing a hit song, get elected, do something, something, that entitled you to the trappings of celebrity.
Blood, sweat, tear and toil were involved. People drove broken down station wagons to Hollywood and slept in them for years while they lost audition after audition. Bands toured the country 350 days a year, lugged their own equipment on stage and slept 10 to a motel room. People climbed mountains or flew the Atlantic. To achieve their fame they out-acted or out-funnied or out-played. They were the prettiest of, the best of, the smartest at, the first. And by being such they earned their place.
Even becoming infamous required a remarkable achievement. You needed to inspire your country to genocide, poison your followers with Kool-Aid, lead a group of murderous hippies or shoot a president. Certainly all terrible things to do, but at least there was effort involved, as evil as it may have been. Now all you have to do is blow a president and you get a line of handbags and a shitty TV show along with your infamy.
Celebrity of late has been handed out en masse, like driver’s licenses. Seemingly no one is denied their 15 minutes or longer, achievements or no. Usually the only effort required is wanting it. Somewhere there’s a camera crew ready to indulge you, film you eating a sandwich, and make you a star.
Currently, the most nauseating case in point has to be Paris Hilton. Her crowning accomplishment was being born into extreme wealth. That’s it. She has enjoyed a life of luxury beyond comprehension for most millionaires, never mind the thousandaires and hundredaires who populate the country. Void of responsibility, beholden to none. There has not been a moment in the girl’s life where her intellect or talent has been challenged or needed. And she has publicists to promote her underachievement. She’s Marie Antoinette 2003. Fortunately for her, they’re not beheading the rich who say dumb things anymore, they’re giving them TV shows. Between Fox’s Simple Life, HBO’s Born Rich and M-TV’s Rich Girls, it’s all the rage to make the rich famous. Because they’re rich, I guess.
What is particularly offensive with Hilton is that with all the resources afforded her, with all the opportunities at her disposal, she’s chosen the path of a trailer whore who’s won the lottery. An extra eighty pounds and she’d be Anna Nicole Smith.
Other women of significant wealth take noble causes under their wing, hold lavish fundraisers for the arts or social causes. At the very least, like Stella McCartney, they take advantage of their position and wealth to do something constructive. Lady Diana was pretty well off, but she didn’t pass the time videotaping sex romps, or posing outside Spago. She toured orphanages and hospitals. She played the part of the rich lady who didn’t have to do much of anything but did because it was the right thing to do. Not to mention good politics.
But Paris? Her aspirations have been limited to getting past the doormen at Bungalow 8 with minimal hassle and making uninspired porno with a sleazy ne’er-do-well. Most disturbing, after climbing those peaks of success she has not only acquired fame, but had a television show handed to her. Insult to injury, this week’s New York magazine goes so far as to include her among a collage on the cover of ‘stars’ gone wild. First she came, now she’s arrived.
With standards that low, there’s no reason you shouldn’t become a ‘star’ merely for buying a bagel and swearing at a homeless guy.
Us Magazine, which my wife continues to read despite my desperate plea, is constantly throwing new celebrities at me. I never saw ‘The Bachelor’ but apparently they’re eager for everyone to know how Bachelor Bob is doing, who Bachelor Bob loves, and what Bachelor Bob’s hopes and dreams are. As far as I can discern, Bachelor Bob is in the pages of Us for the crowning achievement of at one point not having a girlfriend, then looking for one. Hey, I didn’t have a girlfriend once. I didn’t get a show out of it.
My friend has become a popular musician as of late. He got there the old fashioned way. He’d go home and practice while the rest of us stayed out. He knew what he wanted and what it was going to take to get it. And, just as importantly, he had the talent you need to back it up. And the brains to make good decisions. He did it properly, and employed what it takes, or used to take, to be successful and famous. That’s admirable. But it’s also rare these days, where you can seemingly demand celebrity for the achievement of being Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter.
There’s been a lowering of the threshold here. I want celebrity to be earned again. If I’m going to be forced to deal with Us Magazine in my house, I want the celebrities to have earned their status. I want their glossy, cheap paper pages to bring me people who had fire in the belly, passion, focus. People who had some kind of talent. Like Madonna. I don’t particularly like her music. I think she puts on a lousy fake English accent like a RenFest reject. And she’s probably going to die lonely and sad after her star fades. But she’s a star. She earned it the hard way, clawing upward. She should be the role model for stardom. Not some girl who slobbered on Clinton’s shaft. Not some slutty socialite. Not a guy who filled out an application to be on Joe Millionaire for God’s sake. I want real stars again. People we can look up to. People we’ll miss when they die.
I want Pecks and Gables and Monroes. I don’t want to be told Shoshanna Lonstein is famous because she dated Jerry Seinfeld. I want the standards back. Otherwise, I’m liable to set the offices of Us ablaze. And then I’ll be a somebody.

Nathaniel Jones: Real American Hero

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We live in troubled times, indeed. And I for one am worried.
I’m worried that it’s no longer safe for a drug-addled, 41-year old, 400 pound, parole-violating black man with an enlarged heart to attack cops.
I’m worried that our society has gone so terribly wrong that you can’t just ingest cocaine, PCP and methanol, go to a hamburger joint at 6am, start a commotion and not get killed.
Where is the justice? Where’s the freedom? What is happening to the America I love?
Young men and women are fighting, dying, to protect our freedoms. Every day they’re willing to make the ultimate sacrifice — putting their lives on the line so that 400-pound, drug-crazed men and women of all races can live the lives they want to live. Eat the cheeseburgers they want to eat. Attack the authority figures they want to attack.
All Nathaniel ‘Skip’ Jones wanted was several White Castle cheeseburgers. And to fight with customers and staff. And maybe to attack a few cops who came when they were summoned. But what he got was much worse than White Castle cheeseburgers. What he got was dead.
I thought we lived in a day and age when a 400-pound, drug-crazed black man could assault two thin white cops and live to tell about it.
Well, apparently I was wrong.
We all know what we saw when we saw those cops defending themselves from a 400-pound drug-crazed man attacking them. We saw racism. Because we all know full well that if Nathaniel was a drugged up, 400-pound white ex-con attacking cops at 6am, they would have simply turned the other cheek. Walked away. In fact, they’d probably have bought him a few White Castle cheeseburgers (9g fat/ea). Maybe even high-fived him.
But not Nathaniel. Poor, poor Nathaniel.
I thought we’d come a long way since the march on Selma. Indeed, when O.J. Simpson was found innocent of butchering those two folks I thought, We’ve made real progress’ we’re almost there.
Now I realize how naive I was. There’s still a lot of work to be done. But one day, God willing, it will once again be safe for drug-crazed, 400-pound, black ex-cons to attack policemen and not be at their mercy.
God bless you, Nathaniel. May your death be the catalyst that leads us to a better tomorrow.
You’ll be missed, I assume.

Real Guerilla Marketing

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This ad for fracturedatlas.org has been appearing for some time in Backstage the newspaper for actors (and by proxy, waiters and dog walkers). I’m not sure what to make of this. A communist guerilla says that artists deserve health insurance? What’s next, Mao demanding artists get car insurance? Perhaps Stalin wants artists to have discounted dry cleaning? What would Kim Jong Il propose? Maybe subsidized theatre tickets for the people.
Che is not on the same level as Stalin, Mao, and Kim, mind you. He didn’t get a chance to kill millions before he was dispatched by Bolivians, but he did have a hand in the death of plenty of folks. He was a jungle-dwelling communist rebel and comrade of Fidel Castro, for God’s sake. He ordered the lock-up and execution of “deviants” and “anti-revolutionaries.” He’s no John F. Kennedy.
Speaking of: Che was in favor of the Cuban missile crisis escalating to nuclear war. The dashing revolutionary icon thought a better world could be created in the aftermath. Presumably he’d suggest that not only artists deserve health insurance, but all folks suffering from fallout radiation and third-degree burns.
Here’s a cute quote: “Blind hate against the enemy creates a forceful impulse that cracks the boundaries of natural human limitations, transforming the soldier in an effective, selective and cold killing machine. A people without hate cannot triumph against the adversary.”
Who said that? Bin Laden? Hamas? Hitler? Nope. The cute, cuddly, face-on-a-t-shirt guy.
Perhaps the ad agency that chose spokesmodel Che is the same one currently at work trying to convince us how great the Saudis are.

SWF Seeks Oblivious WM

Monica Lewinsky is learning the hard way (pun intended) that going down on Heads of State can be hazardous to your dating life. Though she’s managed to parlay her Oral Office experience into a line of handbags and a stint as a reality TV show host, she tells Reuters that guys are still intimidated by her past.
Cue the violins.
Perhaps intimidated isn’t the right word. I’d say turned off would be a better choice for what a gentleman might experience when watching his dinner date put food where William Jefferson Clinton’s Jefferson was.
I imagine it doesn’t help that she’s overweight and by seemingly not too bright, but those are things many people can overcome – as evidenced by Oprah Winfrey and Paris Hilton, respectively. But the cigar thing? That’s a deal killer whether or not you read all the grisly details in the Starr Report.
Hugh Grant and Eddie Murphy managed to bounce back from their dilemmas. As did Clinton. The problem is they had achievements before their infamous sexual mischief. Monica’s achievement is her infamous sexual mischief.
She will always be the girl with the blue dress. Perhaps that’s why finding a Mr. Right to love her for who she is has been so hard to come by.

Green Card Blues

The prevailing myth among those who have never experienced the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service first hand is that when you marry an American you are simply issued a Green Card and all is well. You sail off into the sunset, everyone’s happy, America has gained another taxpayer. You raise bilingual kids. End of story.
By virtue of having married a Polish citizen, I now possess a wealth of knowledge that not only contradicts that myth of bliss, but actually is capable of shattering it completely to the point that it is unrecognizable. Even to the myth’s relatives and close friends.
When fate introduced me to a Polish girl in an Irish bar in France, fate was also arranging my introduction to a world of stifling bureaucratic chaos I once thought was monopolized solely by the Internal Revenue Service. How naive I was.

Continue reading…

Dear Cyclist Whom I Will Be Beating

I am not certain of the circumstances that will lead to you, the cyclist, being beaten by me, the pedestrian, because I am writing this letter in advance.
First off, I would like to offer my apologies for the beating, and say that when it occurs it will be a spontaneous event, not pre-meditated or in the First Degree of any sort. You and your lawyers will have to understand this.
You should know that this behavior will be unusual to me. I prefer diplomatic resolution over violence. In fact, even when presented with a blessed opportunity to ruin a wee Frenchman for purposely drinking my beer, I instead chose a non-combative approach. I sought the path of enlightenment. I also didn’t want to ruin my honeymoon by getting tossed in a foreign slammer.
But unfortunately for you, the frenzied beating you shall receive will be an anomaly. It will be uncontrollable, and frighteningly furious. It helps that I am 6′ 3′, but more importantly, the appearance that I have completely lost my mind will be amazingly alarming to you — regardless of your physical build and potential self-defense skills. You will be paralyzed by my personal shock and awe campaign. I will proceed, undeterred, until I have sufficiently proven my point. My point will then be followed by the Grand Finale, which involves a lot of jumping on your spokes.
You will have to understand that this has been a long time coming. Not coming at you personally, as I can not say that I know you since I am writing this in advance of beating you. Rather, this has been a long time coming towards cyclists in general, as I have felt a growing animosity towards the Cycling persuasion. This is the end result of countless near-death experiences at the hands, or wheels, of your kind. These near misses could have been avoided if you were to use the roads the city has to offer, rather than the sidewalk path that leads to my crotch. Your behavior has rendered the sidewalks and streets more lawless than a Somali flea market. You will reap a juggernaut of vengeance.
The most recent pre-cursor to your future beating set my nerves on edge for the umpteenth, and possibly last, time: I crossed a street — looking the correct way — only to have a two-wheeled bullet traveling the wrong direction graze my head and scream ‘Watch out!’
That took two years off of my life, no question.
By the time my heart stopped racing and I was able to collect myself, I knew it was only a matter of time. I know the feeling. It’s the same one I had when I knew I would kill Scott Yarman if he kept making fun of my mother’s breast cancer. He kept it up. I tried to strangle him to death. We both got suspended.
As I am writing this in advance, I can not tell you of the exact circumstances that will lead up to this horrible event. I imagine it will be fairly simple. I will be walking on the sidewalk, as pedestrians do. You will be riding on said sidewalk, which is illegal. You will strike me in some way. I will completely freak out. The bottled up rage will overwhelm my conscience and self-restraint. My adrenaline will go off the charts, like an ex-con strung out on PCP. Presuming you are not well armed, I will then beat you to within an inch of your life. Two centimeters if you prefer metric.
Take note, my cycling friend.
I’m not sure what you’d call a person who hates people on bikes. You certainly can’t call them Cyclists. Perhaps Anti-Cyclites? Bikeots? Schwinnzis?
Whatever you call them, I am now one. You have made an enemy, sir.
Tread carefully,
A Pedestrian

Nextel: Dumb.

Like many folks, I am annoyed by loud, one-sided mobile phone conversations conducted by individuals around me on sidewalks, in restaurants, department stores and the doctor’s office. At the very least, it’s discourteous to hoot and holler on the phone as if you were in your living room. Sometimes it’s absolutely obnoxious, such as when trapped in an elevator or movie theatre. When using my phone in public, I choose to mumble inaudibly for fear of annoying anyone in my proximity. The end result is that friends and business associates think I am inarticulate, depressed and incredibly shy. But at least I’ve offended no strangers on the street.
As more an more mobile users test the limits of outrageous behavior, I have often wondered if these people had any shame whatsoever. The answer of course, is no, not really. They’re rude. That’s why everyone on 5th Avenue heard about your husband’s affair, or how the men’s section of Macy’s was made aware of your fascinating business deal.
I had thought we’d reached a peak of some sort, insuring mobile behavior couldn’t get much worse. And then comes along Nextel’s walkie-talkie phone.
Nextel’s walkie-talkie phone lets me hear both sides of mundane conversations I’d rather not be part of. Now, not only do I hear some obnoxious tart’s dialogue, but also the dimwit who’s living with her.
While perusing the racks of a local greeting card shop recently, I overheard a conversation that was so distracting, so annoying, that I simply could not function as a customer. I was rendered incapable of purchasing a birthday card. Rather, all my attention was directed at a woman who had unwillingly brought me into her life. A woman who I would have tried to strangle, were there not repercussions for doing so.
Because of her rudeness, and her Nextel walkie-talkie phone, I was transported into her world. A world that I really would prefer not to visit again.
‘Honey?’
(beep)
‘Yes.’
(beep)
‘Hello?’
(beep)
‘Yes.’
(beep)
‘Honey?’
(beep)
‘Yes.’
(beep)
‘Do you want pizza tonight?’
(beep)
‘What?’
(beep)
‘Do you want pizza?’
(beep)
‘Pizza?’
(beep)
‘Yes, do you want pizza tonight?’
(beep)
‘Pizza?’
(beep)
‘Yes.’
(beep)
‘Okay.’
(beep)
‘Okay, so pizza is fine?’
(beep)
‘Yes.’
(beep)
‘Okay, hello?’
(beep)
‘Hello?’
(beep)
‘Hello?’
(beep)
‘Yes?’
(beep)
‘Hello?’
(beep)
‘Yes. Pizza is fine.’
(beep)
‘Yeah, do you want me to get it?’
(beep)
‘What?’
(beep)
‘Do you want me to get the pizza? ‘. Hello?’ Hello?’ Hello?’
(beep)
‘Yes?’
(beep)
‘Do you want me to get the pizza?’
(beep)
‘Okay.’
(beep)
‘Or can you pick it up?’
(beep)
‘What?’
(beep)
‘Can you pick up the pizza?’
(beep)
‘Hello?’
(beep)
Ad infinitum.
There should be no reason why someone should make anyone privy to their lives, unless we’ve voluntarily tuned in to some reality show. Sadly, the Nextel walkie-talkie phone has introduced us to a new level of hell. Now, when some rude, shameless schmuck in our proximity is plaguing us, we’ll no longer have to guess what the person on the other end must be saying. Instead, we’ll know. Immediately. Loudly. Unwillingly.
Thanks Nextel.

Rant: You

You bother me somehow. Perhaps it’s that you litter. Or that you walk in front of me too slow. Maybe you’ve come darting out of a doorway oblivious to the fact there are people on the sidewalk outside. Maybe you spat in my proximity. Or coughed or sneezed without covering your mouth. Maybe you walked diagonally or veered to the left instead of the right. Whatever you did, it bothered me.
It could be the way you stand in front of moving traffic with the attitude. Possibly it was the way you pushed through me to get to the bar. It could be your obsession with designer labels. Or the desperate cry for attention you call fashion sense. It could be that you didn’t say thank you when one was warranted. Or that you failed to say please. Suffice to say, it bothered me.
It may have been the pantyhose on the head with the sideways baseball cap. Maybe it’s because you do not belong in a shirt that exposes your ample midriff. Perhaps you called your son a loser in front of the whole subway. It might have been that you drew a swastika on a wall. Or that when you draw a swastika on a wall, you do it backwards. Rest assured, you bothered me.
Perhaps it was when you cut the line because you didn’t bother to notice there was one. Or it was the wearing-sunglasses-indoors thing. It’s bothersome to hear your phone ringing in the nice restaurant. The kind of restaurant where phones shouldn’t ring. If it wasn’t that, it was the way you were shouting epithets to your friends on the subway platform. Or how you picked up some effete guy’s dollar that he dropped and insisted it was yours.
It could be the hissyfit you threw at the deli because the slices weren’t thick enough. Or that you’re on Prozac yet taking comedy classes. Maybe it was because I could see your penis. There’s a chance it was the lit cigarette you tossed on the ground. Or the open-mouth chomping of the gum, complete with snapping noises. Maybe it’s the rainbow flag waving. Or that you have six kids and no spouse. Perhaps it’s the fact that you couldn’t spell, even if the spelling Gestapo were threatening to ship you off to Spellschwitz. It could be the thoughtless placement of your shopping cart. Or your misuse of the apostrophe. It bothers me.
Maybe I took offense to the way you called your significant other a whore. Or it could have been when you interrupted my conversation to ask for money. The way you decided that jumping in front of me was the proper leaflet-delivery method. Or the issue could be you choosing to ignore my having right-of-way. Perhaps it’s your habit of spray-painting your creative impulse or politics on every surface. And putting your face in your own billboard advertisement… that bothers me.
It could be that you’re rich and make sure everyone knows it. Or that you’re the laziest person I’ve ever seen. Perhaps it’s because you’re completely unemployable. Or it might be that you’re an arrogant sociopath. There’s a good chance it was because you don’t get sarcasm. Or because you swear in front of children. It might have been when you didn’t use gloves to make my sandwich. And you kept touching your forehead. Maybe it’s because you held the subway doors open so you could continue chatting with your friend. Trust me, you bothered me.
It certainly may have been the puddle of poodle urine you allowed to happen in front of my apartment. Or the way you entered the subway car before we exited. Or that you sleep all day. Letting the door close in my face bothered me too. As did the riding of the skateboard down the sidewalk full of people. The 300 Gigawatt car stereo system bothered me at 4:30 in the morning. As did your business-killing smoking ban. The way you lie about yourself in your online personal ad bothers me. As does the fact you use online personals.
It could be the way you talk about therapy like it’s normal. Maybe it’s your insistence that everyone needs therapy. Or your belief that everyone is gay. Perhaps it’s because you’re gay, lesbian, trans-gendered or straight. Maybe it’s that you drive a Hummer. You bother me.
It could be your liberalism or conservatism. Your blind patriotism and your contempt of the homeland bothers me. It could be that you’re obese and ordering a venti mocha. Or it might just bother me that you make up new words when “small, medium and large” would suffice. Or it was how you blatantly stole my cab. Perhaps your clothes being filthy bothered me.
It’s possibly your lewd behavior. Your lousy taste in music. Your failed hygiene. Or how you blanket the entrance to the building with smoke. Maybe it’s that you’re selling drugs in my neighborhood. Or the way you give money to anyone feigning homelessness. Or how you feel the need to fondle your girlfriend so all can see. All of that bothers me.
Your racism bothers me. As does your multi-culturalism. And the fact that you didn’t bother to rsvp to our wedding even though the stamp was provided. It could be that you’re not competent at what you do. Or that you complain every day to the superintendent about fingerprints in the elevator and menus under the door. Telling people you’re an actor when you’ve never made a penny acting bothers me. As does the fact that you can’t seem to run the Post Office.
Your junk email bothers me. The fact that you think I’m stupid enough to provide a Nigerian with my bank account information bothers me. And you can imagine how annoyed I get when you try to kill me because I think differently than you do. I also disapprove of you robbing banks and your adultery. Really, it bothers me.
I don’t like your yipping little dog. Or that you became famous and aloof. It very well might be your purple hair. Or the tattoos. Perhaps it’s that you’re holding Hillary’s book. Or you talk too loud when it’s not warranted. Maybe it’s because you’re an underpaid, undereducated bureaucrat and giving me grief. Or that it takes you 25 minutes to parallel park. That just bothers me.
Perhaps it’s that you’re 30 and still have posters taped to the wall. Or that you’re obsessed with sex. Perhaps it’s because you watch Showtime when HBO is so much better. Or that you honestly believe the earth is only 10,000 years old. It might be your atheism. It could be because you’re a militant vegan. Or that you don’t listen. Or held up the line. Your gum is on my shoe. You dinged my car. Your cable access show sucks. You can’t speak English. You’re wishy-washy. You wear too much perfume. You try too hard. You’re paying with a check. You waste money at deli ATMs with $2.50 service fees. You hate your parents. You only date Jewish girls. You always want to share appetizers. You like jazz. You press the elevator buttons as if that will make it come any faster. You live in a 5th floor walk-up. You declared bankruptcy. You think you’re so great. You’re pretentious. You’re weak. You show off at the gym. You pitch your sob story to a captive audience in the subway. You don’t know the difference. You don’t tip. You tip too much.
I can’t put my finger on it, but something about you bothers me.