Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, March 20, 2017

These Shorts Stand Tall! (A Brief Evaluation – Part 2)

Review of Part 1 

When ads for expensive underwear began appearing on my Facebook feed, I wondered if these uber- shorts were really worth the high price. So, I purchased four pairs of the top brands to compare and I will review them here and now. 

It’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of this issue, okay, mainly just the nuts.  The boxer-briefs will be judged on the following five factors:

1.   Overall Feel –

How do the shorts feel as a unit, including on your unit?  Maybe more importantly, how do you feel when wearing them.  This evaluation is complicated by the fact that a major selling point is that you are not supposed to feel the shorts much at all.

2.   Pinch, Bunch, and Ride-up Control

One of the drawbacks of boxer-briefs is that they can pinch your very delicate places.  They can also bunch up, which can result in painful chaffing.  In addition, you don’t want them riding up on you and causing an uncomfortable wedgie.  Bottom line: You don’t want your undies literally in a bunch.

3.   Odor Control

These shorts must literally be able to pass the “smell test”.  Unfortunately, I was not able to recruit anyone to help me administer this very critical and very scientific task.  My wife even declined and she runs scientific tests every day in her job!  This evaluation was the most complicated because it was difficult to hold conditions constant from day to day.  Just like commercials for certain female products proclaim, sometimes guys can experience a “heavy-flow” day.

4.   Appearance

Of course, this is not as important for a middle-aged, married guy like me.  Heck, my wife is impressed if I keep my shorts clean, which can be difficult some days (see note above).  However, I will still rate the briefs on this factor for the younger bucks out there who care a lot about this one.

5.    Breathability, Moisture Control, Mobility

This covers various other factors involving the coolness of the fabric, the ability to control sweat and the capacity of the undergarment to move with you during physical labor.  It does not have anything to do with the difficulty of people breathing when they are near you, the control of other “liquids” and the ease of dropping your drawers quickly when the need arises.

The Evaluation

I did not assign a scoring system because the importance of each factor will vary greatly among men.  Keep in mind these shorts were tested on an aging, somewhat overweight (but not fat!), baby boomer.  Your results may vary.  I could not find anyone willing to help me conduct this evaluation, however “my boys” will assist me, since they have intimate knowledge of the subject. The brands are reviewed in order of list price, from least to most expensive.

Me Undies

Men’s Boxer Brief ($20 List)

The shorts are made from a thin, stretchy fabric which has a pleasant feel.  Which is good, because you will feel these more than the other higher-priced brands.  Although they do move around some, they don’t pinch or chaff because the material is so soft.  They have a good waist band and they don’t ride up.  They look fine on me.   Because they are less expensive, there is no odor or sweat control features, although you won’t sweat much due to the light fabric.

The outstanding feature of the Me Undies is the pouch.  It lifts up and juts out the boys, similar to the concept employed by a push-up bra. It did feel a bit weird, but I do have to admit that I did take an extended time to view myself in the mirror wearing these briefs, including a couple “modelish” turns of the hips.  The boys seem to enjoy the ride!  Now while this feature is not relevant for an aging boomer body, if you are a young stud sporting tight, skinny jeans, this might allow you to package your goods for maximum effect.

The Skivvy:  Nice underwear tailored toward the younger set.  Not a great value, in that you can find better underwear for under $20, but you still would have to search for it. Me Undies makes ordering fun and easy and you can save 33% by subscribing to their underwear of the month club.  Plus, you won’t find a better selection of wild colors and patterns – if that is your style.  Me Undies also wants a close relationship with their customers.  I get an email from “Jen” every few days checking up with me about my underwear.  No woman has cared this much about my underwear since my mother.  I envision that Jen is a smokin’ hot, young woman and I think I might just be falling in love with her.

Duluth Trading Company

Buck Naked Performance Boxer Brief ($22.50 List)

These shorts feature a mesh-like material which provides superior mobility and moisture control.  You would think that you would feel this fabric more, but you really don’t.  The Buck Naked’s don’t pinch or bunch and the odor control is greatnt.  The appearance is more rugged, emblematic of DTC items.  I would have looked much better in these shorts sporting a large, manly, beard like my friend Erin.

The unique feature of these underpants is the large, roomy, pouch.  These are literally boxers encased in a brief.  They employ the same principle as having a large, fenced-in yard for your dogs.  They can run, frolic and play, but they remained contained and cannot escape.  The shorts provide the same type of playground for your boys.  After wearing these shorts, I know how a free-range chicken feels after being freed from the coup.  I guess in this case it would be a rooster, not a chicken. And another name for a roster is a … wait …. so inside my underwear I have a free-range c ….. okay, you get the idea.

The Skivvy: Good underwear that works well for the older guy or the labor-ing younger guy. If you’ve reached the age where you need to transition from boxers to boxer-briefs to ah, get more containment, this is your best choice.  These shorts can also be worn while exercising, but I don’t think they would secure the boys enough on the tennis court.  The appearance might be a draw back for the single guys.  I would recommend flinging these off quickly at “the moment of truth”.  No need to give her the first impression that you aren’t filling out that large pouch.

Mac Weldon

Boxer Briefs – Silver ($34 List)

At first glance the Mac Wedon’s appear to be average, ordinary, shorts and not worthy of a premium price. However, the looks here are very deceiving.  This underwear has a great waistband, makes me look kind of sexy, and is cool and comfortable.  You can feel these shorts a little more than some of the others, but when you do, the fabric is very uh, pleasurable.  The underwear didn’t pinch, bunch or move much, for the most part (more on this later).

A big selling point of the Weldon’s is the odor control provided by the silver in the fabric.  And the shorts pass the smell test with an A+.  After 17 hours of wear, they smelled just as fresh as when I put them on.  It’s enough to cause me to shout “Hi-Yo Silver, Away!”  (Who was that masked man in his underpants?)

The Mac’s are excellent shorts, however there was one issue.  The first time I wore them I did experience a wedgie. It was odd because it only happened once, it wasn’t like they were riding my crack the whole day.  I thought it may have been a fluke or due to “sticky buns”, but it happened again on the next wearing.  So, this was a black mark on them, but fortunately not a brown one.

Tommy John

Second Skin Boxer Brief ($34 List)

These briefs seem excellent right out of the box, literally, because they shipped in their own special box.  The fabric is fantastic, silky smooth and it glides unobtrusively with you.  “Second Skin” is a highly appropriate name for these shorts, they fit wonderfully.  They wick up the moisture and the odor control is excellent.

Still with all these plusses, my favorite thing about the Tommy John’s is the appearance.  If felt like the briefs were pushing and lifting my buttocks up into a more attractive position.  They made this aging baby boomer look darn good, and that is no small feat.  If I were permitted to post a pic modeling one pair (but I’m not, since my wife put the kibosh on this), it would definitely be with the TJ’s and if I could keep my belly out of sight, I may not even be embarrassed! Boo-ya!

The Skivvy: Unbelievably fantastic underwear, with no real weaknesses.  My boys give them two thumbs up, well they would if they actually had thumbs, but you get the idea.

The Final Verdict

The good news is there is something to love about all these shorts and there is not a stinker in the bunch.  If you are a younger guy, with a limited budget and want a fun, colorful, relational buying experience, then get yourself some Me Undies.  If you need a tougher pair of boxer-briefs for manual work and exercise, or that provides your boys with more freedom, go “Buck Naked” with Duluth Trading Company.  If you have a problem with odor, the Mac Weldon’s with silver are your choice.

My overall winner is the Tommy John Second Skins.  I actually look forward to wearing these because they feel so good!  My friend Norton agrees with this
The Winner! - Tommy John "Second Skin"
choice, although he prefers their “360 Sport” Boxer Brief.

Yes, this is the underwear of kings.  So excellent are they, that you will wipe one extra time, out of the respect for these shorts.

Next Time: Shorts left over from my underwear evaluation

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Feminist Reviews "Just Make Me A Sammich" (It ain't pretty, folks!)

A collection of posts from a humor blog, written by an economics writer with a subversive streak.

Ake has operated the blog Ake’s Pains since 2011, and here he offers his favorite entries from it, along with tales of their creation and reception. The chapters are loosely categorized by topic, with each featuring several blog posts. The first shares Ake’s takes on male-female relationships, including a “running joke” about why women should make sandwiches for men on demand. The second tackles celebrity-related news, such as nude-photo leaks and the rapper Pitbull’s fashion choices.

 Other chapters cover such topics as sports, including an analysis of some very bad team names; Ake’s home life, as in a story about how his wife conquered a very obnoxious woodpecker; and economics, such as an explanation of the subprime mortgage crisis involving a beautiful but deceptive character named Becky Housing. He devotes one sweet chapter to his daughter’s marriage, featuring a series of wedding-oriented posts that cover love, stubbornness, and the insane financial obligations required of the father of the bride. Ake’s humor is often coarse; busty women, for instance, show up in several posts. He also demonstrates a love of wordplay, especially in an impressively scatological piece about using toilet paper sales as an economic indicator.

However, such Everyman humor risks being derivative, and Ake’s writing is no exception. One of his favorite topics, for example, is the battle of the sexes, but his tales of sex-obsessed men struggling to understand irrational women don’t put a new spin on it, and some jokes feel sexist and resentful, rather than lighthearted. Ake is better when he discards such clich├ęs and embraces absurdity, such as when he tells of his attempt to write a song for Taylor Swift that kept resulting in verbatim Bruno Mars lyrics. Also, his writing on economic issues effectively addresses serious national issues with unserious fables.

An uneven collection that may please some fans of raunchy dad-humor. (Kirkus Reviews)

Author's note: I've never been called "raunchy" before and I suspect the reviewer may be flat-chested (not that there's anything wrong with that) 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Getting Inside My Shorts (A Brief Evaluation – Part 1)

Four years ago, I “came out” as a boxer-brief wearer and revealed my unabashed preference for this style of underwear.  Since then I have purchased numerous pairs of various brands as needed, typically using gift money on post-holiday sales.  A couple years ago, I even splurged and got two pairs of high-priced Jockey’s ($20 regular price), which I wear for special occasions (long travel days, etc.).

I was totally satisfied with my underwear inventory until Facebook ads started appearing on my feed, touting superior, high-tech, superb-fitting, shorts. Suddenly, I started to feel that my current underwear was woefully inadequate.  Naturally I was curious, so I clicked one of the ads.  Of course, this was a huge mistake.  This alerts Facebook you are interested in this type of product, which means you are deluged with even more ads for these products, every day, until you die.

This marketing attack was too much for me to resist. Now I was totally dissatisfied with my current skivvies and yearned to try these awesome garments, which promised to pamper my man-parts. But there were several brands advertised, which one should I buy? So, as a public service to men dealing with this critical issue, I decided to buy four different pairs of high-end (insert snicker here) boxer-briefs and review them here in my blog.  This is an actual, serious, review. Rest assured, I will treat this subject with the somberness that I apply to all other topics.  I promise not to inject any puns, absurdities, or other frivolous attempts at humor, in dealing with this serious issue.

I informed my wife of this project because I needed her to wash all four pairs of shorts together, so as to provide a controlled, scientific environment for my evaluation.  She was not at all pleased that I was spending over $100 for blog posts (this is a two-part series) and wondered why this underwear costed so much. After I explained these briefs featured the latest odor-control technology, inexplicably her whole attitude changed and it seemed she was actually looking forward to the shorts arriving.

However, she did order me not to post any photos of me modeling the shorts on the blog.  I know this is a huge disappointment to my female fans, but you will just have to settle for your fantasies.  Posting these photos would have also risked “cease-and-desist” orders from the vendors, fearing tremendous sales loses if millions of people saw me in their undies.  

The Contestants:

Tommy John

Tommy John promotes its product as a “ballsy investment” and you know I like a company which speaks my language.  The product assortment ranged from $31-$48, including a pair containing titanium.  I choose their most popular “Second Skin Boxer Brief” which featured:

-         A contour pouch to “nestle the boys”

-         A horizontal fly for “quick access when nature calls”

-         A stay put waistband

-         No riding up, no wedgies 

The “Second Skin’s” are available in seven classy colors.  I choose the Merlot, because like a fine wine my grapes have gotten better with age.  Using my 15% online discount (on the $34 list) and after the website froze on my first attempt, my order after shipping costs totals $33.85.

Mac Weldon   

Mac Weldon claims they designed their boxer briefs from the ground up, with a no-roll waistband, stay-put legs and mesh cooling zones, for optimal comfort.  They come in three styles.  I choose the “Silver”, named not due to the color, but because it contains actual silver, which has anti-microbial and anti-odor properties.

Of course, I must always remember not to wear these shorts on airplane trips.  It would be awkward to have my underwear set off the alarm (similar to a woman’s underwire bra) at the security check.  If a cute TSA rep asked the question: “Sir, do you have a weapon in there?” There are oh, so, many replies I might give. But there is only one correct answer to this question and I’m not sure I trust myself to just say “No”.  Also, it would be darn embarrassing if the lead story on CNN is “Man’s underwear sets off airport alarms, delaying flights around the country for hours”.

These shorts are only available in five colors and three were out of stock, so I had to settle for the “True Navy”.  The price was $34 and I used a discount code to get free shipping.

Me Undies

Me Undies offer the “ultimate” feel-good undies which:

-         Are three times softer than cotton

-         Have comfy, durable, flatlock stitching

-         Feature a soft flexible waistband

-         Have a “generous pouch which gives your stuff the support it needs without feeling too tight”  

In perusing their website, I was a bit concerned that Me Undies also makes women’s undergarments. I’m sure though that the men’s and women’s stuff is made at different factories, on different machines and from totally different materials.  For some unknown reason, I spend extensive time on their website and I must say that the young, blond, woman modeling the lime green, “Lacie Thong” is rather impressive.

Me Undies is one of those fun, relationship-oriented, Internet retailers, so popular with Millennials.  They have an “Underwear of the Month” deal where they will ship you a fresh pair every month, although it seems to me that a month is a long time to go between changes.  Me Undies has by far the best color and pattern selection. Their “Bold” and “Adventurous” lines include many gay colors, and of course I am strictly using the archaic definition of that word.  I don’t really know why you would ever wear one of those fancier styles, unless you were at a party and everyone was running around in their ….. oh …. oh no, …. let’s just forget I ever mentioned that. 

It turns out that Me Undies are priced more mid-range than high-range. However, I decide to keep them in this study because they do so much Internet advertising and I already own some similarly priced underwear for comparison. I choose the very conservative, manly, Classic Dark Emerald, to package my jewels. The final price with free shipping and first time discount (off of $20 list) is only $15.

Duluth Trading Company

DTC does not directly advertise on Facebook, but I included them due to their high rankings when I did an Internet search to make sure I wasn’t overlooking any good shorts.  Their Buck Naked Performance Boxer Briefs received rave reviews from several sources.  They promote the shorts as: “No sweat. No stink. No pinch.”  The briefs are designed to wick sweat, control odor and stretch with you when working or working out. I choose the Deep Orange at $22.50 list, however after a hefty $10 delivery charge and tax, the total comes to $34.35. 

Price & Delivery

Now it is interesting that the totals for the high-end shorts came in at $33.85, $34.00, and $34.35 respectively.  There is of course no price-fixing here because the three companies all got to these prices in different ways.  And I can assure you as someone with many years of professional pricing experience, that this is a complete and total coincidence. 

Mack Weldon and Tommy John shipped my stuff first, a day or two after my order.  Duluth and Me Undies shipped one day later, the Me Undies arriving last, coming from California.  While the packages from Tommy John and Mac Weldon were very discreet, the ones from the other vendors were not. The Duluth Trading Company package had “Buck Naked Briefs” printed in large letters.  The day after the “Buck Naked’s” arrived, when I went out to get the mail, I thought I noticed the blond mail lady flash a smile and give me “the eye” before she drove away.  But it wasn’t because of the Buck Naked’s, it was because she had just delivered my Me Undies and that is some package! (see photo).  Oh My!

Next Post: The Evaluation and Rankings! 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I Stiffed The Little Sisters of Malawi

There it was in the morning mail, another request for a donation, this time for The Little Sisters of Malawi.  The enclosed letter says the harvest this year in Malawi was very sparse.  The Little Sisters are hungry, cold, and in dire need of food, personal items and clothing.  For a small monthly donation, I can help provide these desperately needed supplies to save the Little Sisters.

I want to help, but so many questions start spinning in my head. I understand the Little Sisters need help, but what about their Big Sisters?  And the Little Brothers? Don’t they need help also? Will these so-called “Little Sisters” hog all the loot?  Is Malawi a real country?  Is it actually cold there?  Maybe it’s warm and the Little Sisters really don’t need new clothes.  But what happens if I don’t help?  Will the Little Sisters be forced to run around nekkid?  If so, that can’t be good, no sir.

So, should I give or not?  Oh look, the Little Sisters sent me some spiffy address labels
as a thank you gift for the donation they know I will send.  I mean, what type of cold-hearted degenerate would refuse to aid the Little Sisters, especially after they took the trouble to send you a personal thank you gift?

Degenerate that I am, I decide not to help the Little Sisters. Someone else is going to have to ease their plight this time.  But what to do with these neat address labels?  If I keep them, then I feel as if I have stolen from and disparaged every one of those Little Sisters.  I image their woeful faces as they see me absconding with their address labels, without ponying up.  On the other hand, if I throw the labels away, I am wasting precious natural resources and not being environmentally “green”. Now I am a huge environmental zealot -- when it personally benefits me, when it doesn’t, my carbon footprint resembles Bigfoot. 

To save the planet, I throw the letter in the trash and put the labels in the drawer alongside the note pads from “Save the Wallaby’s”, the sticky notes from the “National Hemorrhoid Association”, the blank thank-you cards from the “Make A Sammich Foundation” and pens from a whole host of other charitable groups.  There have even been times when charities have sent me a nickel as a “thank you” gift.  Of course, I have eagerly pocketed these, not because I am a cheapskate, but because it is illegal to throw money away and I would never want to break a federal law.

Still, I feel a little guilty about stiffing the Little Sisters, so I decide watch some television and divert my thoughts.  The show is interesting, those Kardashians are having some confounding problems this week! But then there is a commercial break …..

Sad music plays and a woman in severe distress describes the deplorable conditions of neglected and abused animals.  And there they are, close-up on my big screen, their extremely sad eyes staring directly at me.  The woman, who is on the verge of uncontrollable sobbing, explains that these poor creatures are cold, hungry and in need of care.  She says only $29 a month is needed to save these abandoned pets.

I do wonder, if these animals are in such bad shape, why they are filming them instead of helping them. But only a cold, heartless, jerk would not help God’s creatures and bring comfort to this poor woman, who by the end of the commercial sounds as if she could die of sadness  at any moment.  So I grab my checkbook and start to write, when …

Another commercial begins – This man with a grim voice talks over frightening music about old people in a foreign country who are starving, neglected and living in awful conditions. Then they show black-and-white video of these aged folks standing in a line, with super-sad faces. (My gosh, these people are in such bad shape, you can’t even show them in color!) The man pleads that only $25 a month is needed to stop their pain.

However, their country is not poor and I’m not sure why these people are standing in line. For all I know it could be for Britany Spears concert tickets, and this would also explain their sadness.  And none of them look as if they are really starving.  However, I reason that helping humans is more worthy than helping animals. Sorry poor doggies, I start to write a check to help these old people, when … 

This woman appears on the screen to talk about a facility where they help re, re, uh, really messed up kids (RMUKs) engage in normal activities.  For only $19 a month you can help the RMUKs learn do all sorts of great stuff like playing flutes, dancing, and playing basketball.

Now they show this RMUK in a wheelchair shooting a basket. Now that’s nice, but wouldn’t it be better to teach him a marketable skill? I mean the kid is never going to make it to the NBA, heck he isn’t even going to be a star in the wheel-chair league.  It would be better to just get him some virtually reality goggles so he could experience doing a 360-degree reverse slam dunk. Yes, $59.99 Walmart special – problem solved!  I’m just about ready to dismiss this when ...

Unbelievably, this cute little RMUK appears on the screen and starts begging for the money directly.  Apparently, the skill they taught this particular kid, is the art of solicitation.  And he is extremely proficient at it.  It’s easy to dismiss some bland corporate spokesperson, but it’s darn hard to resist a RMUK pleading for your help.  This commercial gets run repeatedly, so this kid must be helping them rake in millions.  I just hope they compensate him fairly for his work. My guess is that they collect the loot and pay him in pudding.  “Here’s some yummy pudding Timmy, we shoot the next tear-jerking commercial in five!”  

You would have to be a disgusting lout not to fork over a measly $19 a month to help this poor, sweet, RMUK.  Well played RMUK, well played indeed.  Sorry, old people, but you are going to die soon and these RMUKs have the rest of their lives ahead of them. Once again grab my pen, when …

Another doleful voice blasts through the sound bar: “Thousands of children are dying from cancer”.  But there is hope!  You can help save the children, who are at this special hospital, which does special research, which requires boatloads of money.  Unless they get my money right now, these sick children are all going to die and of course if I don’t send in any money, this will all be my fault.  Then they roll the video of all these sick kids.  So it’s my responsibility to do something, or all these cute, sick, children will die a slow, horrible, death.

This presents a terrible dilemma. Do I help the RMUKs or save the cancer kids?  I reason that I should help the cancer kids since if they get well, they can lead normal lives, where the RMUKs will still be really messed up no matter what I do. 
I am about to write my check when I realize that the person said cancer research is very expensive and they are years from making significant progress.  This means all those sick kids on the commercial are either going to recover or uh – not recover, regardless of whether I donate or not.

I end up writing checks to two locally based charities which do outstanding work in my community.  I know that almost all the money collected by these groups is spent actually helping people who desperately need it, and not used for elaborate, expensive, national television commercials.  Heck, these organizations don’t even send me address labels and that’s perfectly fine by me.

Monday, February 6, 2017

My Superiority Is Carved In Scone

After a recent dentist appointment, I stopped at my favorite coffee shop/bakery to reward myself with a delicious cappuccino, as I always do.  As the barista was preparing my drink, I realized I needed something for breakfast and began to peruse the offerings.

To my left, I spotted two humongous muffins. No, I am not referring to the waitress (and how dare you think that I was), although she wasn’t a flatbread.  These actual muffins were indeed huge, but perhaps too big. Even if the muffins were tasty, there was just too much muffin.  I know some guys will claim that muffins can never be too large, but I decided to pass on the muffins.

To my right, were a cornucopia of baked goods.  There were the standard cupcakes, pastries, etc. Then I saw it, a platter with four wedge-shaped confections.  The sign below read “Scones $3.00”.

Scones? I had heard of scones. Isn’t this something that queens nibble on with their afternoon tea.  I didn’t know they still existed.  I wasn’t even sure they were  legal, in the great-again United States.  But the scones intrigued me. Why were they $3? They surely didn’t look like they were worth $3. The muffins were only $2 and they were much bigger than these flattish wedges.  I should get the muffin, I thought.

Yet, the urge to try something new was pervasive. The barista returned with my cappuccino and asked if I wanted anything else.

There were different toppings on the scones, so I assumed there were different flavors. I did not want the barista to know I was a scone-virgin, I wanted to come off as a debonair, scone connoisseur, a man of the world, and many, many, scones. Of course, even being concerned about how a bakery employee perceives me, reflects a personality flaw that I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with. But I’ll never see a therapist, because I fear that after the first session I would be locked up and heavily medicated, and who needs that?

So, I look confidently into the woman’s eyes, turn, gesturing to the scones, and with my best Raymond Reddington voice and expression:

“The scones, what types do you have?”

She promptly rattles off the four flavors.  A couple were very fancy.  I’m in new territory here, so I keep it very simple.

“Lemon, please get me the lemon”.

She wrapped up the scone and I realized I had just paid $3 for some unknown, apparently fancy food. The scone was heavier than I expected, maybe I had spent $3 for a lemon rock.  I hope it doesn’t bust my teeth, which would be ironic, coming home from the dentist and all that.  However, as I left the store with my cappuccino in one hand and the scone in the other, I suddenly felt exceptional.   This just wasn’t a typical glorified yuppie experience, no, I felt dignified.  I, Don Ake, was going to have a scone for breakfast and it was going to change my entire day.

I noticed a new hop in my step as I went to my car, not quite a strut, but much more pronounced than my usual gait. When I motioned a driver to proceed in front of me in the parking lot, instead of the standard side-wave of my hand, I gave her a stately, two-finger salute.  And inexplicably, I started to think in a British accent. By George, I started feeling rather chipper and distinguished, I did.

I was so excited about my scone, I never touched my cappuccino once on the drive
home.  When I realized this, I worried that the two flavors might be in conflict.  An English baked good with an Italian drink, ugh, I didn’t want to have a reenactment of World War II in my stomach.  

I’ll never forget that first bite. Intense lemony bread, melting in my mouth, overwhelming my taste buds in an extremely delightful manner.  This is more than just a royal delicacy, it is the breakfast food of the gods.  Oh my! Yes, it was $3 very well spent.  It was so tasty that I didn’t even drink that much of my beloved cappuccino, as to not dilute that incredibly delicious lemony flavor.

After devouring the scone and finally enjoying the cappuccino, a strange feeling enveloped me.  Suddenly I felt massively elevated, privileged and empowered.  This was status food.  It had fed my stomach and also fed my ego!  I imagined myself superior to everyone else (Okay, I realize I always feel this way, but the scone made it worse).  It was almost as if I possessed magical powers.  That book should have been titled: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Scone.  I thought I could achieve anything that day.

I began my work day (I work from home) and was soon involved in a debate with my co-worker Ron.  Silly Ron thought we should decrease our forecast 50 basis points because the Philly Fed Coincident Index had weakened.  I argued that the forecast should be increased 30 basis points on the strength of the Diffusion Index.  Everyone knows the Diffusion Index is a far superior predictor than the stupid Coincident Index, but Ron wouldn’t listen to me, as we went round and round about this.  Exasperated, finally I resorted to this:

Me: What did you have for breakfast?

Ron: I had toast

Me: That’s what I thought.  Well, I had a scone, so we are going to raise that forecast, you see.

And we did raise the forecast, because what could he say? I mean, I had a scone for breakfast and he only had toast.

Later in the day, I called my cable company over a disputed charge on my bill. The rep refused to listen to my explanation, so:

Me: Do you realize who you speaking with?

Rep: You said you are Don Ake

Me: You are speaking with someone who happened to have a scone for breakfast.

Rep: You had a scone?

Me: A large, lemon, scone.

Rep: I will remove that charge from your bill immediately, Mr. Ake and throw in a free month of Showtime. I am so sorry about our error, it won’t happen again.

Late in the day, my stockbroker called me with a hot tip.

Broker: You need to invest in Hightechia Corp. They have a new high-tech doohickey that’s going to cause a whiz bang in the market.

Me: I think I should invest in Amalgamated Scone and Strudel

Broker: What! are you stupid? A bakery instead of high-tech?

Me: What did you have for breakfast?

Broker: Cereal

Me: Of course, you did. Well, I had a scone for breakfast, so buy some Amalgamated Scone and Strudel right now.

Broker: What’s the ticker symbol on that?

Me: It’s “A” something, something.

So you see, eating a scone for breakfast changed my whole day for the better.  You can be sure I will be stopping back soon to sample some additional flavors.  In addition, I am now prepared if I ever get invited to have tea with the Queen.  The scone is truly an amazing food.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Getting Love Notes From Mary Kay

I thought I could remain faithful to her, I really did. But then I let my guard down.  I met her in a bar, we talked, we laughed and before I knew what was happening, we consummated the act.  Yes, I am ashamed to confess that I have cheated on my Mary Kay representative.

Yes, I do purchase Mary Kay products because they sell items for men, and not just for gay men.  Seriously, they will sell them to straight men, no questions asked.  Most of these products are purchased by women as gifts for men. However, some guys do buy direct and even though the stuff is expensive, it’s usually an easy sale, because many Mary Kay reps are smokin’ hot.  Their official title is “Independent Beauty Consultant” but it could be “Independent Beautiful Consultant”.

My first experience buying Mary Kay products was almost ten years ago, when I was an aspiring male model. (Incredibly, I am not making this up. However, I do realize by revealing this fact I am obligated to write an entire post on this subject in the future.) I needed to make sure my face maintained its dashing, awesome appearance, so I contacted my former coworker Jenelle. She recommended a Mary Kay for Men moisturizer and cleanser (which I might add are very, very masculine products, intended for use by only manly, macho, men). Just to clarify, this wasn’t to make me beautiful, it was done to help me get bookings.  Naturally, (insert snicker) Jenelle was smokin’ hot.  She had enormous …. really large ….  ah …. huge …. Okay, let’s just say her bras are custom made and take a lot of fabric.  However, I only made one purchase, so this relationship was very brief.

Almost seven years later, I began my Mary Kay relationship with Erica.  Erica is a former student of mine, back when I taught classes part-time at a local university.  I tell my students on the last night of class that if I can ever help make them successful in the future, to contact me.  A couple years later, Erica became a Mary Kay rep and asked me to buy some men’s cologne to help her make her sales goal, I gladly obliged.

I should point out that this is extremely manly cologne, with a super manly scent, which only really smells good when mixed with high levels of testosterone.  I should also clarify that I bought the cologne strictly to help her and not because she is smokin’ hot, which of course she is.  I also am going to deny that I have ever been a passenger in her Mary Kay car, but it would be nice to ride in it once, since I did help pay for it.

The Mary Kay cologne that I purchased is good stuff, maybe too good in my case.  The cologne makes me irresistible to women.   Now, not all women you see, but a very select, smokin’ hot, group of women known as other Mary Kay Reps.  I will be walking through a store, minding my own business, when I am accosted by a smokin’ hot woman, who moves in close to me and takes a big whiff. The reaction is always the same:

Smokin’ Hot Woman: Mmmmmm, is that Mary Kay’s “High Intensity”? It smells sooooo good on you.

Me: Yes, it is.

Smokin’ Hot Woman: (looking at me lustily) Do you need some more?

Me: Nah, nah, honey I’m good. I could buy another but I probably should not.

Smokin’ Hot Woman: (looking disappointed and biting her lower lip) That’s too bad, here’s my number, so call me maybe.

Regretfully, they don’t want my body, they just want my next order.  Mary Kay chicks are skilled, aggressive saleswomen, and did I mention, they are smokin’ hot, so they are extremely difficult to resist.

This cologne is so alluring to them, I almost expect the following to occur some day:

I am at a dinner event and walk down a hallway to make a phone call. Suddenly, a woman wraps her arms around me, shoves me against the wall and nuzzles her face in my neck.  Slowly, she moves her hand down my body into my pants.  She firmly grasps it and then squeezes.

Woman: “Oooooooh, I like how that feels, big guy.

Me: Please get let go of my wallet.

Woman: But I have what you need. Just let me prove I can deliver, that I can satisfy you.

Me: No! I already have someone and she treats me very well.

Despite all these temptations, I was able to remain faithful to Erica, until that fateful evening in November.  I had met Leslie once before and knew she sold Mary Kay.  Fortunately, on that occasion I was wearing “Old Spice” so she hadn’t tried anything salacious.  This time we were at a local networking meeting, when the seduction began.  Leslie asked me what I was getting my wife for Christmas.  I laughed because it was November and said I would probably wait to the last minute and buy something stupid like I always do.

Then Leslie’s gave me a “come hither” look, as she guided me to a corner table where we could talk in private.  She explained that Mary Kay had a Christmas gift package designed for men to give to their wives.  Buying this now meant I would have a great gift and I wouldn’t even have to shop!  I knew I shouldn’t cheat on Erica, but Leslie’s offer was too darn enticing.  Leslie and I consummated this arrangement, right there on the table.  I gave it to her good, providing all the information, including my credit card number.  Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, I had my wife’s Christmas gift in November!

Leslie delivered the gift to my house a week before Christmas.  It was a collection of large boxes tied together with a big bow.  The recipient is supposed to open one gift per day during the week of Christmas.  She also gave me a card to go along with the gift.  The boxes were difficult to carry so I put the envelope with the card on a table by the stairs, while I positioned the gift by the Christmas tree.

It was a couple days later when I realized that I had forgotten where I had put the card. I was relieved when I found it unmoved on the table. I then read the card for the first time. There was a printed message, but Leslie is such a sweetheart that she took the liberty of writing a personal message from me to my wife, so I didn’t have to.  All I had to do was sign the card and give it to my wife.  Talk about great customer service!

The handwritten message said: “Thank you for making Christmas so special. I truly love you.” (See photo) 

At first, I thought it was so nice of Leslie to do this. She really wanted the gift to be special and well-received.  However, I then thought about what might have happened if that my wife found and read the card sometime during the two days it laid out in the open on the table.

I have mentioned before that my wife is not the jealous type, but opening a card with a personal message in woman’s handwriting that says: “Thank you for making Christmas so special. I truly love you”, is going to generate an intense reaction, I don’t care who you are.  Naturally, if my wife saw the card, I would have just laughed it off and explained that Leslie is just my Mary Kay rep and nothing more.  If my wife was still upset, I could just have Leslie come over and explain everything.  However, that could make things even worse because, ah, uh, Leslie is, of course, smokin’ hot – but you knew that, didn’t you?

However, my wife loved the gift, we laughed about the card, and Leslie got a nice commission, so everything turned out swell! I just hope Erica doesn’t read this post or I will be engaging with her in some “make-up” orders.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Advice From One Donald To Another

Just in case you haven’t heard, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20.  This will be a truly historic event because this swearing-in is expected to result in a record amount of swearing-out-loud from his many detractors.   

This day will also be historic because Trump is not a politician. His election proves that any billionaire, any billionaire anywhere, can grow up to be President of the United States.  It also proves that if you are a little girl, you can never, ever, be president.  Okay, I guess you might be able to, just don’t do any weird things with your email, or the truth for that matter.

Now you might remember that I gave Donald Trump my big endorsement on October 3, 2016.  I must remind you that I did this solely on the basis of his being a fellow Donald and no other reason.  I also will remind you that if you have a problem with this, you will have judged me unfairly and you are an anti-Donaldlist. This gives me the righteous right to harshly judge you back and call you all sorts of nasty names, some you can’t even pronounce, even though I have never met you.

I’m sure that my strong endorsement was the reason Trump won. Because of my efforts, I will be Trump’s guest at the inauguration in Washington D.C., as well as staying in a suite at the Trump International Hotel, um as soon as my invitation arrives.  I’m thinking it just got lost in the mail.  I hope it gets here soon, I already booked my non-refundable flight.  I did hear they are sending out some of the tickets over Twitter, but I’m worried the Trump people may not be very skilled at tweeting stuff.

Because this is the first Donald to ever be POTUS, I hope he doesn’t say or do anything offensive or embarrassing that would besmirch the name of Donalds everywhere.  To help “The Donald” from making any big mistakes, I have put together a list of vital suggestions for him. Consider it advice from one Donald to another.

My Advice for President Donald Trump

1.   Be kind to The White House barber

Making your hair look presentable has to be one of the most difficult jobs in the entire administration.  Your hair presents much more of a challenge that the previous president because he sported an af, -- uh, ah – well let’s just say it was a basic cut and much easier to style.

But that’s okay, because you have a brand-new barber.  Reportedly, as soon as you were declared the winner on election night, the old barber grabbed all his stuff and was last seen running out of the south gate.  Because he is Guatemalan, it looks as if your immigration policy is already working.

(On a side note, I made an appointment with the future White House barber before he officially begins his new job and this is the result.  Um, I think there could be some issues here.)

2.   Respect other countries territory

The first-lady of Brazil is a very beautiful woman.  When you meet her, do not just walk right up to her and grab her pu$$y.  I know you are now the most powerful man in the world and you may have done this to beautiful women in the past, but you shouldn’t do it now.  This goes for all hot “first-ladies” anywhere around the world.

Grabbing a world leader’s wife in this area would be considered a literal attack on the motherland, an unprovoked invasion of sovereign territory, as it were.  This action could lead to serious international conflicts.   I would also refrain from squeezing their buttocks, as assaults from the rear are also frowned upon.

3.   Do not build a Trump Tower Hotel onto the east end of the White House

I know “Trump Towers – East Wing” has a nice ring to it and would be a huuuuuuuuuge money maker, but you don’t actually own the White House.  You already have enough money, so you don’t have to use your position to make anymore.  Remember, you won’t be POTUS forever, so just consider this a temp job with temp housing, that’s why the pay is so low.

4.   Do not comment on any world leader’s appearance (especially Angela Merkel) 

You shouldn’t do this because …. well, just don’t. There is no need to state the obvious, we can all see it clearly for ourselves.  No need to embarrass our key allies.  This isn’t a Miss Universe pageant and there isn’t a swimsuit competition. (Thank Goodness)

5.   Do not joke that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un plays video games in his parent’s basement.

If this turns out to be true, Kim will think he has a major security breach and many people in the palace are going to die.  Instead, as a goodwill gesture, I suggest you send him some sammiches.  Maybe you can get Jimmy John’s to deliver.

6.   Do not tweet your wiener.

I know wiener size was a key issue in the Republican primary and I know how much you love to tweet, but resist the natural temptation to tweet your wiener. Remember, you won the election in large part (insert snicker here) because someone associated with your opponent could not stop tweeting his wiener.  (I wonder how the history books will explain this one)

7.   Do not put a Trump Casino is the basement of the White House.

You will be entertaining foreign dignitaries and serving mass quantities of the finest liquors in the world.  Introducing games of chance into this environment is too risky.

Four-Star General: I just lost Guam to Italy

Trump: How?  Was there a war I didn’t know about?

Four-Star General: No, I hit 15 and busted out.

Trump: You hit 15? That is a stupid play -- very, very, bad play

8.   Take Melania with you when you negotiate with the Chinese

You want to show them that the U.S has superior assets, so have her wear her hottest outfit and make sure she keeps crossing her legs.   The Chinese love foreign chicks so much they will be totally distracted and will agree to anything. You said you wanted to get a rise in the yuan, well you will get a rise in more than yuan, using this strategy.

9.   Do not try to fire Paul Ryan if you get upset with him
Even though you are POTUS, you cannot just shout “You’re fired” at anyone in government.  You cannot fire the Speaker of the House and this goes for senators and representatives also.  Those rules are contained in The Constitution, which it might be a good thing to review before Inauguration Day.

10.  Do not set up your own email server
In fact, after all the controversy and hacking, you probably shouldn’t even use email at all.  Maybe you could just communicate using hand signals and barking out commands like an NFL quarterback.  If you take this route, I would suggest naming Peyton Manning as Director of Internal Communications. Then, when you need to make a sudden change in policy, which you tend to do, just yell out “Omaha” and everyone instantly shifts to the new position.

I know you will consider these great suggestions.  However, you are going to be very busy, so if you need me to provide even more suggestions personally, I would be willing to meet with Ivanka, even if it meant spending long hours, late into the night, at her Washington apartment.  I could even assume a position underneath her if needed, because I serve at the pleasure of the President.