Just get over it, already.

Working in a bookstore, I’ve noticed a trend. Humorous books about cats are always followed by a version for dog lovers, and they’re never as funny. The most recent example came from the Oatmeal with his two most recent books, How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You, and, My Dog: The Paradox. HTTIYCIPTKIL is much funnier (and more substantial) than MD:TP and even spent longer on the bestseller list.

With this revelation, I began compiling my own research. I have some photos of my cat and dogs in similar situations which definitively prove that cats are funnier than dogs.

 

Test 1: Laser Eyes

So this is my dachshund, Guinness, really giving some quality laser eyes. Equally bright, different colors, and with her puppy about to jump on her, there’s plenty of drama here. The problem is that the only humor comes from the fact that her eyes are lasering, which isn’t inherently funny.
   

Smilodon, on the other hand, is really bringing it. His single glowing eye, protruding teeth, and tuxedo make him look like a fuzzy little Bond villain. Funny. Sure, I put the bow tie on him, but you can tell he wanted one.

 

 Test 2: Party Rocking

Guinness looks kinda cute here, right? Sure, she passed out on the couch, but her hair is still done up and she looks ready for a good hangover breakfast. But wait, look at that pillow. What the hell is all over it? Knowing her party girl tendencies, it’s probably equal parts tequila, group singing at karaoke bars, and bathroom selfies. Either way, we don’t have that pillow anymore.

Smiles Davis, on the other hand, looks like hell. He’s climbing in through the window of his own house, glassy eyed and missing an ear. Was he at a party? Maybe. Was he invited? Probably not. Did he wake up in a ditch? Definitely.

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Dinosnores

You’re probably thinking, “Hey man, why haven’t you said anything funny lately?” It’s because I have a two-month old baby, and I don’t know if you have a two-month old baby, but here’s what trying to write funny things with a two-month old baby is like:

Two dogs walk into a bar and buy a beer. fin

Maybe it would be funny if you saw two dogs drinking out of the same beer glass, I don’t know. I’m not sure I’m qualified to make that call. Either way, my new father brain can no longer distinguish between funny and not, and the warring sides have agreed to make everything seem chuckle worthy.

This can happen, too:

Two dogs do something and…

I start with a good idea (who doesn’t like dogs, right?) and then quickly fall apart. Focus is at a premium and I now have five unfinished posts. Bluh.

So what have I been doing with my time, you may ask? Well, watching dinosaur documentaries mostly. I don’t feel that I need to explain why, if you don’t get it, maybe you’re the weird one. Having now watched most of the dinosaur documentaries that Netflix has to offer, I have something to report.


 The Walking with Dinosaurs series is from 2000 and it still holds up. Some of the CGI is a little goofy, but I’ve seen a lot worse in more current movies. Also, they use a lot of puppets and robots and every time I see one of those, I think about how lucky the S.O.B. operating the puppet/robot is and how fast I would murder that person if it meant I got that person’s job.

The 2012 release of Dinotasia, however, is an utterly lame offering. Instead of showing you what science has discovered (you know, like a documentary) Werner Herzog provides narration that walks the line between absurd and hilarious as he throws out lines about dinosaurs being our actors on the stage of life and death in a thick German accent. You could watch the whole movie, but save yourself some time and watch this instead.

Yeah, I got a kid.

Things I did yesterday that make my think I’m not ready to be a father:

  • It took me three tries to put my shirt on in the correct orientation.
  • Every time my baby throws up, I think, “Sorry for party-rockin’.”
  • I was watching a bunch of birds in my front yard and imagining them as tiny dinosaurs (better than Jurassic Park 3). I went to do my impression of them for my wife, and almost knocked over a glass.
  • After doing that, I wanted to watch Jurassic Park 3.
  • While my baby was sleeping, I moved her arms around like she was doing tai chi.

This Particular Morning

Last night, I went to see Sugar Ray at a BBQ festival here in Fargo, ND (yes, that is a funny sentence). When I heard they were coming to Ribsfest, I laughed and pondered on why I would want to see them since I wasn’t crazy about their music when they were popular. Cheap admission and a lust for pulled-pork seemed like strange reasons to see a band play, but I knew a lot of people going so I resigned myself to the fact that I’d be there and hoped for a good story.

I had visions of Gin Blossoms dancing through my head (who I also wasn’t crazy about but saw anyway) and thought about the show they put on. It was clear that they weren’t super-excited to be playing venues like this, and just wanted to get the whole thing over with. I expected more of the same.

I live only a few blocks from the venue, and arrived home after work just in time to hear “Every Morning” floating through my neighborhood. As I walked down the street to their Greatest Hits Album live, I was thinking about the other stuff that I needed to be doing: laundry, dishes, staring at walls. I’ve got a lot on my plate.

Sugar Ray wasn’t the Gin Blossoms. I’m not saying the show blew my mind, but it was good. All the band members seemed like they were having a fun time and nobody was taking any of it very seriously. In fact, Sugar Ray played several covers and engaged a few audience members in a weird karaoke thing. It made sense; one of my chief concerns walking over was, “How the hell is Sugar Ray going to fill an hour and a half set?”

Did you know Mark McGrath competed in a wood-block competition? I didn’t either. He demonstrated this newly learned ability by playing the instrument through and entire song (not one of theirs) and dancing like a fool (not singing). My formal music training didn’t delve into the finer points of wood-block-ery so I’m not sure how to judge his virtuosity, but it was something fun to watch as I shoveled most of a pig into my face.

Kudos to Sugar Ray. They took a venue that other bands have brushed off as unworthy and made it a fun evening for their fans, and fans is what I mean. I left that concert with a different view on these guys and if they come back, I’ll be there without hesitation.

Business Ideas

Is starting a business just to use a joke name too far? Maybe I could get some billboards, and not have the actual store. Either way, this is what I would call them:
I want to open a children’s clothing store and call it, “Conception.” Then, all the advertisements will be a mother holding up her child saying, “I got his jeans at conception.”
I want to open a clothing store for big and tall gay men and call it “the Bear Market.”
Seem like good plans?

Customer Service

There are a few times in my retail life that I’ve been able to have a little fun with customers at their expense. Both of these involved race, due to the circumstances. I didn’t do these things because I think race is funny issue, but I think making strangers uncomfortable is. 
The most recent incident involved holiday elves in black or white options. One busy pre-Christmas day, a woman approached me asking where the elves were on display so I took her to the table, covered in boxes.
“Here ya are!” I said, standing next to the table with my standard, retail smile.
“Yeah, I saw these. I was looking for…different ones.”
All the boxes on the table contained one elf doll, as well as the companion storybook. “Different ones,” could only mean one thing. Sensing blood in the water, I put on a side-smile apology look and gave a slight shoulder shrug.
“We just have them packaged together with the book, I’m afraid.”
“No.” She floundered, trying to find the right words of escape. “No, I’m looking for a different…kind.”
“I don’t understand,” I said politely. I felt myself rising from the deep, the injured seal floundering above me as light in the water shone in a glimmering aura around it.
“I need a white one.”
Saliva burst into my mouth as my teeth tore flesh-shame and I let out an animal sound of pleasure. I tried to hide it behind an understanding, “oh,” but it lasted too long and no one was fooled.
I reached for a different box and pointed out how you can open the box and see the elf inside. She made a quiet, “hm,” the death rattle of customer service, and went on her way.
It doesn’t always play out this way, though. In a previous retail environment, we sold black and white holiday Barbies (I’m not sure what you do if you’re any of the other races) and a similar situation arose.
A man called, voice sounding of many years of rural life and the onset of holiday-shopping frustration.
“Do you have any Holiday Barbies left? The other store is all out.”
“Let me check for you.”
I walked over to the section and looked at the Barbie display. A collector-lust sized hole was the new focal point of the display, but my eyes caught a certain glimmer behind the normal Barbie rotation.
“As luck would have it, there IS one left.”
“Fantastic! I’ll be right over for it.”
You surely will have noticed what was missing from that conversation. At no point, did he ask, nor did I clarify the color of the Barbie. I warned the front desk of this omission, and returned to my department to lie in wait.
Sure enough, the trap sprung, but the quarry wasn’t going without a fight.
“Well they had THOSE kind in Moorhead!” He left without purchasing the doll.

Jack the Giant Killer

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} Ever since the first time I watched MST3K: the Movie with my family, I have been in love with bad movies. I just can’t get enough. One of my favorite things to do growing up was ride my bike to the movie store with my friends, grab the worst sci-fi, horror, or fantasy movie we could find and laugh our butts off. Continuing that tradition, I submit my review of Jack the Giant Killer.

I watched Jack the Giant Killer this morning. You’re probably thinking of this movie. No, I mean this one. I was blown away. The acting, the writing, the effects, all of it was on the mark. The bad mark. It was bad. I began writing about this movie, and had to stop myself because there was just too much to be said. The plot is magical, the actors are alive, and emotions are present in some scenes. So instead of covering every detail, I’m offering my favorite things about it.

Jack- He’s the main character, right? I thought so too, but about 15 minutes into the movie, he stops saying anything or doing anything. Also, he built a fighting robot that makes an appearance at the very beginning and very end of the movie. Why did he build it? Who knows. Where did he learn how to build it? Who cares. Why did he make it so crappy? Budget issues.

The clothing- Her Majesty’s Army makes an appearance in this feature, but they look like they’re heading off to WW1. Except for their guns, those are AK’s. As an added bonus, the General of the Army says, “Don’t tell me anything I don’t already know.” Solid.

Someone’s Flying Castle – Jack’s dad lives in a magical steampunk castle. It runs on magic, and also coal. Not much coal, but some. Also, Jack doesn’t know how to use a shovel. It sounds weird, but when he shovels coal, it’s like watching a monkey investigating something new thrown into his cage.

If you need to atone for 1 hour and 27 minutes of sin, I suggest watching this.

"What Can I Help You With?" A Short, Dramatic Scene

“I’m looking for 1984”


“Right over here in fiction.”


“Fiction, huh? I would’ve thought id be in nonfiction.”


“Actually, until 1983 it was. Then, once 1984 came and went without incident, we moved it over to fiction.”


“Well, with government spy technology being planted in American homes – “


“Okay then!”