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!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I Am The Top Wingman In The NBA

On Monday evening I noticed that my friend Bob had just left a voice mail message on my iPhone, the iPhone6.  I hadn’t talked to Bob in months and it was too early in the evening to just chat, so I knew it had to be important.  I stared at the phone, wondering why he called and then it hit me.  The Cleveland Cavaliers had a home playoff game on Tuesday.  Bob probably had an extra ticket and wanted to invite me to the game!


And this would not be just any ticket.  Bob knows Le Bron James personally; there is even something regarding him in Le Bron’s book (Really!).  So these are probably Le Bron’s seats, right behind the bench, next to Le Bron’s friend Jay V.  I imagined myself at the game sitting in that seat. Upon arriving I would say, “What up Jay-V, what up” and then engage him with one of those complicated handshakes.  I could then help our idiot coach by yelling out important instructions such as “Rebound” and “Get back on defense”.  I also would fist-bump Le Bron on national television after he makes the winning shot.


Later, we would be invited to the post-game party where I’m sure there would be plenty of free appetizers.  I would engage in pleasant conversation with the Cavalier cheerleaders, get some selfies with them and possibly get them to friend me on Facebook.  This was going to be so great.


The anticipation of acquiring this ticket was so intense that my hands were shaking as I hit the redial button.  Bob and I then spent what seemed like an eternity catching up on the events of the last nine months, but all I could think about was:


“Bob, the ticket!  What about the ticket? Where will we be sitting at the game?


But the small talk continued, including a story about a death in Bob’s family. I know I should have been more sympathetic, but inside my head:


The invitation, THE INVITATION, for crying out loud, give me the invitation! GIVE IT TO ME NOW!


And then after we had discussed everything else, the much awaited invitation to the game was finally delivered.  Only it wasn’t to go to the actual game, a group of chums from high school was getting together at a bar to watch the game and I was invited to join them.My hopes had been crushed.  I tried to sound excited about this offer, but I couldn’t.  Besides that, this bar was not one of those great sports bars, with the huge-screen TV’s and the busty waitresses with their buns seductively peeking out at you from their tight shorts. 

 

No, this was a dive bar, literally on the edge of town.  The type of bar with the sticky floors that you hope got that way from cheap detergent.  The kind of place where you feel the need to wash your hands – right after you have already washed your hands.  Flirt enough with the waitresses at the fancy bars and you can get an exotic smile, flirt too much at this place and you can end up with an exotic disease.


Regardless of these potential pitfalls, I decide to go anyway.  These classmates are a great bunch of guys and Bob had taken the trouble to call me, so I sort of felt obligated.  However, an hour before game time I get a text from Bob saying he can’t make it, some lame excuse about needing to finish a report for work. Like you can’t tell your boss the report is late because the Cavs had a playoff game?  No, I’m sure Bob cancelled because a friend of his called him up with an actual extra ticket to the actual game. So while I’m at the dive bar Bob is settling in to his prime seat at the arena. Bob you stupid sonavabitch, you.


The good news is the bar was much better than expected.  It was clean, there were many TV’s, and the waitress was reasonably cute.  She actually began flirting with me, which of course at my age means she’s getting triple the tip.  The screens weren’t huge and there was no imported beer, but it was acceptable.


But by far the best part of the evening was when my friend Chris ordered the appetizers for our table.  He ordered tacos, pretzel bites, cheese sticks and lots of wings.  And of course these qualify as “free” appetizers since I didn’t pay for them.  Sure I’m expected to contribute when the bill arrives, but while I have my debit card to pay for my drinks, I conveniently left my cash in my car.


The game started and the high school reminiscing and appetizer consumption began.  For some reason the three large plates of wings eventually ended up right in front of me.   Of course I ate a few, but at halftime I realized something very important: When I was eating a wing, the Cavs played great, but when I wasn’t, they were horrible.


Of course I knew what I had to do in the second half. The outcome of this game depended on my consumption of wings so I had to shove a steady stream into my pie hole in this very close game.  I don’t believe it is any coincidence that I had just finished a Hot-Medium-
LeBron extolling me to eat more wings
Barbecue trio when Le Bron hit that critical 3-pointer. 


We won, but then it was a little embarrassing.  When you scarf down too many appetizers, you consume all the evidence, however with wings the plate full of bones in front of you rats you out.  We won the game, so I hoped nobody would notice.

The key to victory!

I told Chris we brought the Cavs good luck, so we had to meet again in the next playoff round.  I suggested we sit at the same table and order the same food.  Chris agreed, but suggested next time I remember to bring some cash.  I said my goodbyes and even exchanged devious stares with the waitress.


Then Chuck, who doesn’t usually say much, pointed to last wing on the table and said “Don, you ate the rest of the wings, you may as well have that one.  While it was embarrassing to get “called out”, he was technically offering it to me, so “Hell yes I want the last wing”. I grabbed it up and quickly left.


The only thing left to say is if my fellow Akron homie Lebron reads this post, as I’m sure he will: Lebron if you have an extra ticket to a future playoff game, please let me know and send it to me directly, because everyone knows Bob is an unreliable sonavabitch.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Many Benefits of the iPhone6 (iPhone Part 2)

My new iPhone, the iPhone6 (last time for this designation, even I am tired of it), has tons of features which I will now highlight for those of you who don’t own one, which come to think of it, is probably just about all of you.  My phone has changed my life because I now have access to so many things I need. It has made me so much more efficient and productive.

Before we start I just want to check the outside temperature which I can do by just hitting this weather button on the phone.  By the way it’s 75 degrees and sunny, and as I look out the window I see that the iPhone6 is correct!

Get this, on the iPhone6 I don’t even have to type a text message, I just speak the words and they magically appear on the screen.  You do have to be careful with this feature however. For example, I meant to text my pastor the message “I am having issues with the afterlife”.  You would think there would be some safety feature that prevented you from sending out a message that makes sense, but is wrong.  Next time I will be sure to actually read the message before hitting send, because I did not mean to text “I am having an affair with your wife”. 

Unfortunately, I was the only one who found this humorous.  But it’s alright, everything turned out okay. The people at the new church seem real friendly and I am glad to be away from the old church because of all the turmoil there since the big divorce announcement.

Hold on, my neighbor hot Carla just posted some bikini photos from her beach vacation.  Wow! I just love that shade on her and the pattern is really cute.  I will definitely “Like” that pic.

Darn, now I’ve got writer’s block. Oooh, I need a selfie of that!
What should I write next?

With the iPhone6 I can tweet about anything from anywhere.  I know I don’t tweet nearly enough and that people really want to read my tweets.  My first iPhone tweet was from a college basketball game.  I was sending out an important message about how the referees were making stupid calls and not being fair to my team, to my 86 Twitter followers.  I had just about used up my 140 characters when I was rudely interrupted by the roar of the crowd.  Apparently one of our players did a 360-degree slam dunk; people are saying it is the most incredible shot in school history.  It’s a good thing I had my iPhone6 with me so I could watch the reply on ESPN at halftime!

Wait a minute, the stock market is down 100 points!  Better buy some more GoDaddy stock.  My goal is to buy enough shares that Danica Patrick agrees to go to lunch with me.

The iPhone6 has this great alarm feature where you can set the time and the phone will ring to remind you of stuff.  I use it during the day for important events and love watching the clock on the wall wind down  until the alarm finally sounds.  Of course you have to remember to set it for p.m. or the thing can go off at 3 a.m.  When this happened my wife seemed upset, so I just yelled “Booty Call!” I didn’t get any laughs with that comment – didn’t get anything else either.

Oh man, my daughter just sent me this funny cat video.  Someone had spilled some oil on a wood floor and this cat is trying to walk across it! LOL, that is one slick pussy.

With the iPhone6 I can make dinner reservations at exquisite restaurants right from my phone.  I never eat at these types of restaurants, but if I ever do, I will be prepared.

Just let me check the compass function on my iPhone6, for your information I am sitting facing the northeast.

The iPhone6 has a camera that takes terrific photos and it has a zoom.  With it I was able to take this picture of a squirrel that ate so much food at the squirrel feeder that he couldn’t move.  I posted this photo on Facebook and got 43 “Likes”. Wow 43 “Likes”, my friend Graham doesn’t get anywhere near that many “Likes” with the lame photos he posts.
This photo got 43 "Likes"!

Whoa Nelly! Hot Carla just posted another pic! There is no “homina, homina, homina” button, so I’ll just “Like” this one too.

With the iPhone I can actually send real emails right from my phone, I don’t even have to be at my computer.  So now when I’m sneaking off to play tennis and get an important email from my boss asking a question, I can tell him “I don’t know the answer” right from the court and he thinks I’m in the office. How swell is that!

Now I see that the stock market is up 30 points, it’s now 74 degrees, I am sitting a little more towards the north and my squirrel pick has two more
Inspiration!
“Likes”. I just thought of something funny to write, I need a selfie of that!

The iPhone6 has these neat things called “apps” which are short for apples, the company that makes the iPhones.  You just pick the apples you want and the phone does the rest.  A lot these apps are free and you know how much I love free apps, so I downloaded around 5,000 of them.  I can now tell you what city the band One Direction will be performing in next.  This could be valuable information to have. For example:

Hot Chick: (Wondering out loud) “I wonder where One Direction will be playing tonight.”

Me: “Let me check for you on my  iPhone6 using the One Direction app.  That would be Cardiff in the United Kingdom”.

Hot Chick: “Thanks iPhone stud!”

Rats, I’m out of time.  This post took longer to write for some reason.  But the most critical thing you need to know about the iPhone, the iPhone6 (okay I lied) is – OMG! Hot Carla is now on the nude beach! I’ll get back to you later……


You can follow me on Twitter @theakeman - I promise to tweet more if I get up to 100 followers.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Now Have the iPhone, the iPhone6

I have a major announcement to make: I now have the iPhone, the iPhone6.

I know this comes as a shock to everyone, especially to those of you owning the iPhones 1,2,3, 4, or 5, since I just moved ahead of you on the high technology ladder, because I have the iPhone, the iPhone6.

Likewise, you cavemen who are operating at 1, 2 or 3 G’s, the iPhone, the IPhone6, operates at a superior 4 G’s.  Four G’s people, four full G’s!  I was initially concerned when I first heard about the 4 G’s because I thought that was the price of the phone.  No, the phone doesn’t cost nearly 4G’s, but then again after adding on all the accessories, the price came a lot closer to 4G’s than you might think.

The iPhone, the iPhone6
I realize that back in October 2011 I wrote a post that implied that smartphones were a big sham and only used by techno-snobs who just wanted to flaunt their phone superiority in everyone’s faces.  But I am happy to report that is absolutely no longer the case, since I made the brilliant decision to get the iPhone, the iPhone6.

To make this monumental transformation I made my first visit to a “phone” store.  I told the guy at the door I was here to buy the iPhone, the iPhone6 and he paired me up with Solutions Specialist Jessica.  Because I sometimes have issues learning new technologies, I needed a really good specialist.
Jessica was sporting several interesting tattoos.  Typically this would have made me nervous, but I realized I was purchasing something very fresh and high-tech, so tattoos actually gave her more credibility.  Also, because I prefer women without tattoos, this would also enable me to focus on what Jessica was saying and not focus on Jessica. Finally, she had NDB, Non-Distracting Breasts (a new term).  It wasn’t tit-for-tat, it was just tats and in this case that was a very good thing.

There was an awkward moment when Jessica asked to see my current phone. I sheepishly pointed to my dinky, dumb, Samsung.  She smiled mockingly, the kind of smile a woman gives a new lover after he reveals his gear and she finds it wanting. (Not that this has ever, ever, happened to me) But I will never be embarrassed by the appearance of my phone again, because I am now packing the iPhone, the iPhone6 in a very stylish, expensive, case. 

Jessica knew she had a challenge, but we got through it and I was now equipped to conquer the world with my iPhone, the iPhone6.  She even copied “my photos over to the new phone, all 11 of them” giving me that same smirk again.  When I became alarmed that she may have looked at my photos without my permission, I actually made her blush! Score one for the middle-aged guy.  But it was just a bluff; it’s not as if she would have found any naked photos of me and Jennifer Lawrence together, right?

I know you are wondering why I, with my technological deficiencies, would get the iPhone, the IPhone6.  Well, there were several times during the past year when I was in predicaments that could have been solved by having a smart phone.  Unfortunately my friend Scott was always quick to point this out.  He would say, “You know that would not have been a problem if you had a smart phone?”  To which I would look down at the ground and mumble “Yeah, I know”.  Sometimes that Scott can be a real jerk, so now he can just shut his pie-hole, because I have the iPhone, the iPhone6.

Another reason is that recently I was at a concert seated behind a grandmother who was using a smart phone!  I don’t mind getting passed by on the technological super highway, I do mind when the person passing me is using a walker.  So stick it granny! I’m back in the lead! Because I have the iPhone, the iPhone6.  

And I have become more popular because of my new phone.  I had breakfast with my friend Tori and she couldn’t take her eyes off my phone.  Finally she asked if she could touch it.  When we left she asked me to text her. “About what?” I inquired. “Doesn’t matter, I just want you to text me with that thing!” she exclaimed.  The waitress that morning at Cracker Barrel was duly impressed with my iPhone, the iPhone6.  She got so stimulated I thought she was going to pop a hairpin.

Carly reacts to the news about my iPhone!
This phone has made me so fly that if I said “But here’s my number so call me” to Carly Rae Jepsen, she would call me, not maybe, but definitely. Definitely, because that number is connected to the iPhone, the iPhone 6.  And if she calls from her native Canada, that is still fine, because the iPhone6 is designed to accommodate international calls!  Try doing that with your Android.

There was one person who was not pleased with my new smart phone.  It actually caused great fear in Kevin, the IT guy where I work.  Kevin has seen how I interact with sophisticated technology.  He has seen me corrupt, incorruptible files, he has watched me crash, uncrashable servers, he has observed me fool, foolproof programs and he has witnessed me burn down firewalls into ashes.

When Kevin found out I was in possession of an iPhone, he cancelled his own iPhone 5 and bought an Android.  Even then he turned off his phone for two days just in case.  So far I have not crashed any networks.  Apple stock did go down 5% the day I activated my phone, but I’m sure that is a mere coincidence.

I can now do many wonderful  things on my smart phone, -- oh wait, hold on a minute, I have a call, a call on my iPhone, my IPhone6 , I need to take this, it might me Carly Rae, I’ll be right back ….. (To be continued)



Sunday, April 5, 2015

Don’s Excellent (Business) Adventure

It is best when business trips are uneventful.  Of course you want the “business” part to be successful, but you want the “trip” part to be boring.

Unfortunately, my recent trip to a trade show in Louisville was not boring, it was “eventful”.  The events of which I will journal here:

Day 1

- The trip gets off to a fine start when my flight to Louisville is delayed due to a major mechanic problem, which took over an hour to repair.  Normally this would not be a big deal, but the delay caused me to miss my boss’s big presentation.  This was not good.  Later in the day when potential customers asked me questions about the presentation, I responded with: “Hey, how about the weather in Louisville this year?”

-        Fortunately there were free appetizers provided after the conference and I did get a free notepad and pen, so it wasn’t a total waste.

-        Then it was off to dinner with some potential customers.  The plan here is to stuff these people so full of expensive steak that they buy something.  Someone should make a video game out of it.  You stuff steaks in the guy’s mouth until he opens his wallet. Stuff too many steaks in there however and he pukes all over you.

-        While walking downtown to the restaurant I noticed a chunky-chicky wearing a micro-mini.  Usually when you say a woman is showing off some leg, you are talking length. But in this case, it was length and width! And the wind was blowing - hey hey.  I thought my 22-ounce ribeye would be the beefiest thing I saw that evening – but I was wrong.
        Beefy - but not the beefiest!

-        Fortunately, there were free appetizers before the meal.  Actually they weren’t really free; they were very, very, expensive. But they were free for me since I wasn’t paying the bill.  So hell yeah, I do want the last shrimp, thank you.

-        The dinner experience was topped off by our flamboyant waiter Antonio, enthusiastically reading off the desert menu, and everything was “lusciously drizzled” in something!

Day 2

-        The day starts off by realizing I packed the wrong clothes for the trip.  How I could possibly do this? I have no idea.  Sometimes I can make a moron look intelligent.  Which is ironic because …..

-        I am considered an intelligent industry expert and some investment people actually pay me to have breakfast with them.  They ask me questions, I say expert type things, and they vigorously type the information into their tablets.  I fail to mention that I cannot even manage to pack the correct clothes for a trip and fortunately they do not ask why I am wearing flannel at this meeting.

-        Then it is time for the actual trade show.  My company doesn’t have a display booth.  I am there to make as many connections and trade as many business cards as I can.  I end up walking almost seven miles and destroying a pair of socks in the process.

-        That evening I attend a reception where fortunately there are a plethora of free appetizers.

-        I am at a table with a group of guys  laughing, drinking and having  a good time, when a game of “One-Up” begins.  “One-Up is an informal game men play.  It starts when one guy brags about something and then the other guys take turns “topping” the feat until someone says something that can’t be topped and he is declared the “winner”.

So some guy casually mentions that his wife only weighs 110 pounds.  The next “contestant” jumps in and says: “That’s nothing, my wife weighs 105 pounds”

At this point I decline to participate in the game.  I do not know what my wife weighs.  I could ask, but I still would not know and it would be the last question I would ever ask.  This subject is on a strictly “need to know” basis, and trust me, I do not need to know.

 I do not want people snickering at my funeral. “Why did she kill him?” someone would inquire. “I heard he asked her how much …… massive snickering……  I think it is a statistical probability that my wife weighed 105 pounds sometime in her life; however I am not even going to speculate when that was.  Let’s just forget I even mentioned this.

-        After leaving that reception, I notice another reception across the hall.  There is no one screening people, so I enter and fortunately locate the free appetizers.

-        I take a taxi back to the hotel.  I give my driver, Efanlinos (close to his real name), my hotel and the street it is on. He drops me off and I head to my room, exhausted after a very strenuous day and my belly full of free appetizers.  I go to elevator and notice something confusing.  My room is on the fourth floor, but this hotel only has three floors.  I was at the wrong hotel.

I will not explain how this happened, but I am not as stupid as you may think I am right now.  Regardless, please don’t mention this incident to the people who paid to eat breakfast with me.  I call Efanlinos (he was picking me up in the morning); he returns and attempts to blame me for the mix up. No Efanlinos, I gave you the correct hotel and THE STREET, you $%#*ed it up!  You only missed it by nine miles!

Day 3

-        There is a young, hot, female TSA agent barking out orders in the airport security line.  And then I’m sort of enjoying it as she orders me to take off my jacket, shoes and belt.  At my age having a young, hot, chick urgently demand that I remove my clothing is rather stimulating.  I so much want to ask her “what she has in mind?”   However, I know if I do, she will take me into a room and will penetrate me to the maximum with her wand.  And I think she would really enjoy that, which means a twist is even possible.  Because I will need to be seated for my two return flights, I decide to keep my mouth shut.

-        The flights home are uneventful and I get on the airport shuttle to get to my car.  Seated next to me is a very attractive South American woman talking loudly on her cell phone.  You try not to follow the conversation (which was just stupid stuff), but it is almost impossible under the circumstances.

But when the driver pulls up to her car, she ends the conversation by saying in a hushed, sexy, voice: “Bubble bath selfies, bubble bath selfies, bubble bath selfies!” and  then  jumps into her Mercedes.

Bubble bath selfies, indeed …..


What a trip. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Appetite For Appetizers Is Insatiable

Recently there were two social meetings I wanted to attend that were scheduled on the same evening.  Because the venues were only a few miles apart and the meetings overlapped, I decided to attend both.
The primary challenge was finding something to eat during the evening so I could “power” network the entire night. Fortunately, this would not be a problem as you can see from the invitation to the first meeting (names hidden to protect the guilty):


This meeting would have free appetizers.  It was an important aspect of the meeting and a big incentive to attend, as you can see by the use of not one, but three, exclamation points promoting these appetizers.

This was going to be a long evening, but thanks to the free appetizers from the Holiday Inn it would be very manageable.  I would be an energetic, networking machine, powered by free, delicious, foods.

I strategically planned to get to the meeting right at 5 p.m. so  I could get to those free appetizers before many people arrived.  Last time at this meeting I made the costly mistake of arriving after 5:30.  Some low-life, low-class, moochers had raided the tables and most of the really good appetizers were nearly gone.  I ended up eating much more cheese and crackers than I wanted.  This time would be different; I would get there promptly and then stuff my face with enough Swedish meatballs, bacon-wraps and potato skins, to satisfy me for the entire evening.

I hurried to meeting room and I was the very first person to arrive.  I said my complimentary greetings to the meeting organizers, and then headed straight for the free appetizers.  But there were no free appetizers, just a bare, cold, wood floor.  There were no tables, there were no steaming trays of food, there were no plates to pile my food upon, and there were no napkins to wipe the creamy, ranch sauce from my mustache.  There was nothing - just a vast emptiness.

I felt betrayed, I felt rejected, and I hungered deeply for free appetizers.  What type of cruel world do we live in where free appetizers are promised and then upon arriving you discover there are no free appetizers?  I refer you back to the invitation:

“Free Appetizers!!!”  Three #%¢&ing exclamation points and not one d@#& meatball!  Will somebody please explain how this happens?  Somebody tell these people the recession ended years ago.  There is no justification, none, for stiffing people on the free appetizers.

I didn’t ask why there were no appetizers. I didn’t want to look like one of those greedy parasites who only show up for the free food.  I overheard someone say that the Holiday Inn decided not to provide them anymore.  It’s probably because certain appetizer scroungers were showing up early at the meetings and eating way too much.  How disgusting, I hate those types of people; I mean come on, show some class!   And apparently someone was too lazy to call the Holiday Inn and confirm that appetizers would be available, before issuing the three exclamation point invitation.

Since there were no free appetizers, I left early and very hangry for my second meeting.  As I sat at the traffic light I noticed the sign for “The Tilted Kilt”.  They have good appetizers, but they are not free.  The restaurant is very deceptive, however.  I thought it was a place when Scottish men could wear Scottish garb, eat haggis and hoist some ale.  However, it turns out that it’s the waitresses who wear the kilts and it appears their outfits they wear run a couple sizes too small.  The tilting part comes in as the waitress do waitressy type things, such as leaning and bending over, which provide a nice view of
the Scottish lowlands.  The outfits also offer an ample display of the Scottish highlands, which in this case are much more mountainous than hilly.
I decided to eschew the tour of Scotland and continue down the road.

However, at the next light I could see the “gentlemen’s club” up ahead.  This place is always advertising free appetizers. I’m sure the appetizers are hot, spicy and mouth-watering and the strippers are ho … , okay you get the idea.  Now while the appetizers are free, I’m guessing the strippers are not.  I’m sure they are very good at satisfying certain appetites, but I decide to proceed to the meeting.

Unfortunately the people at the second meeting find my plight of being stiffed on free appetizers rather amusing.  None of these cheapskates offered to buy me any appetizers (which would then be free for me). They suggest that perhaps I should blog about it, which is a dumb idea.  Who would want to read an entire post about … oh never mind. 

By the time I leave, I am famished.  I make sure not to drive past the strip joint on the way home.   Maybe I could demand that my woman make me a sammich. Instead I decide to carry-out at Taco Bell.  Taco Bell is also very deceptive.  They tell you to “make a run for the border”. I would never get there because I always “make a run for el bano” after my meal.

Interestingly, a few weeks later I found myself in the same predicament.  I had two events on the same night and needed some food to make it through.  The first event advertised a “reception” which means you get to “receive” some interaction with people.  But much more important is “recepting” some free appetizers.  

And this time my free appetizer expectations were greatly exceeded.   It was a high-class selection of delectable foods, most of which I could not identify, even after eating it.  There were choices from the six main food groups, including bacon.  It was so complete, there was even asparagus.  I hate
Free - but not a good appetizer
asparagus, it is disgusting.  But it was a nice touch.  Incredibly, I was the first person in line for these awesome, delectable, free appetizers.   Therefore I got the first bite of the apple, and everything else, except for the asparagus of course. 

My faith in free appetizers has therefore been restored, thanks to my friends Matt, Cassie, and Willy, who were responsible for providing this feast. These guys understand the concept of free appetizers and know how to deliver the goods.  So if anyone is holding an event which includes free appetizers, please send me an invitation.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

There Is Something Fishy About Lent

Many people always eat fish on Friday for Lent.  A friend told me he does this to be pious.  Well I want to be pious too. I want more pious than average. I want to be the epitome of piousness.  So if these people are eating fish on Friday, so am I.  My friend did caution me, “Remember, this is Lent, so it all has to do with sacrifice”.

I couldn’t wait for that first Friday to begin my pilgrimage to piety.  I went to a restaurant, but was faced with an arduous choice.  Should I get the Blue Fin Tuna?  Perhaps the Red Snapper Livornese?  The Baked Dijon Salmon looks simply decadent, whoa, better scratch that one. It kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

Mmmmmmmmm - Sea Bass!
I finally choose to sacrifice with the Pan Roast Sea Bass, imported of course, with the stuffed courgettes.  Now you may not think this meal was grueling but it took considerable time and effort to truly savor the scrumptious flavor of the sea bass.  And the peppers stuffed in the courgettes caused some mild gastric discomfort.  You may not consider this the holiest of meals, however I must point out the courgettes were sprinkled with olive oil, just like they use in the Holy Land.  And finally, the imported sea bass strained my credit card balance.  So this meal had many sacrificial aspects.

Don't forget the courgettes ........
However as I left the restaurant, I did not feel very sanctified.  I felt stuffed, as stuffed as those courgettes, which were exquisite by the way.  Maybe I went about this wrong. I decided to try something different the following week.

That Friday I went to the local fish fry at the church down the street.  This is perfect I surmised.  If eating fish makes you righteous, then what better place to consume it, then in an actual church building?  Plus, I would be hanging out with the pious crowd and maybe some of their piousness would rub off on me.

It was an all-you-can- eat deal, but I ate two pieces and was full.  I was about to leave when I noticed the guy at the table next to me get a third piece of fish. This gave me pause. If eating fish produces piousness, then doesn’t it stand to reason that the more fish you eat, the more pious you become?

I was not going to let this guy be more righteous than me. I mean I am righteous. If I had a brother, then we would be the Righteous Brothers. Actually we would be the Ake Brothers, but you get the idea.  But this guy was not going to out righteous me, so I ate a third piece, and a fourth and a fifth, matching him filet by filet. But I could not finish the seventh piece and I watched in dismay as my adversary devoured his eighth.   Oh yeah, this guy was righteous all right. I’m not worthy.  He did have this aura of holiness around him, just like the Buddha.  Come to think of it, he looked a little like the Buddha, I wonder?

I waddled to my car and I was saddened that this second attempt to achieve piety had also failed.  By stuffing my face full of fish, not only had I not achieved virtue, the opposite had occurred. I had committed the sin of gluttony.  It was then I realized something was seriously wrong.

Yes, something is suspicious here. Something is strange, something is dubious.  Something doesn’t smell right.  It smells wrong, it smells…, it smells …. Sorry, I just can’t come up with a good word to describe it.

So I am declaring “Shenanigans” on all this fish eating nonsense!   There cannot be a sacrifice when this stuff tastes so good. And if it doesn’t taste good, just dip it in some tartar sauce, the universal antidote for bad tasting fish.  How can this be a penance when it tastes much better than what people eat it third-world countries? (Especially with a side of coleslaw) Shenanigans, I tell you! MAJOR SHENANIGANS!

If you really want to sacrifice, eat tofu on Fridays. Maybe a nice big kale salad?  Or how about some of that quinoa crap?  Eat that stuff all day and you will not only sacrifice your Friday, but spend most of Saturday morning getting “cleansed” and I don’t mean spiritually.  

Or if you wanted to really want to obtain nirvana, eat a vegetable burger. And not one those generic veggie burgers.  No, eat one that contains pieces of multi-colored gunk in it, so you have no idea what you are ingesting. It’s like the ultra-modern version of mystery meat, only it’s not even meat. It’s gobs of who-knows-what, fused together into patty form and scandalously referred to as a burger. Like it resembles a cheeseburger in any other aspect but its shape. If you can eat that monstrosity and not ralph it up, then you have really accomplished something.   
  
Therefore, I have made a new Lenten resolution. I will march to the beat of a different drummer. I will take the road less traveled. I will swim against the tide.  When everyone turns to the left, I will turn to the right.  That is correct: I am giving up fish for Lent!  Unless of course, I can persuade someone to make me a fish sammich, then I just might be tempted to indulge.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This Post Is A Pile Of Dog Crap

A strange set of circumstances led to an unfortunate incident at my house last week.  My wife was home sick with a nasty virus, I had an early breakfast meeting, and the temperature that morning was a brutal negative 12 degrees.

Usually my wife gets up before me and feeds, then walks, the dog.  I knew that would be my responsibility that morning and set the alarm accordingly.  Normally I would tend to the dog first thing in the morning because his breakfast time was already somewhat delayed.  But because of the breakfast meeting, I elected to shower first.  However, right after the shower, nature called. And of course I needed to answer the call right then because of the breakfast meeting.  While I was attending to my business, I received a visit from the dog.  He did not appear very happy that his breakfast was now considerably late.

I finished up, got dressed and hurried down stairs to start the day.  It was then that I was greeted, not by the dog, but by a pile of dog crap on the floor right in front of me.  It was right in the walkway, presented where I could not miss it.
I was glad the dog crap was on the tile portion of the floor, where it could be
Thinks I did a shitty job that morning!
easily cleaned. That was until I saw a second “gift” about eight feet away on the carpet.

The dog obviously was not happy with my performance that morning.  He had sent me a message, actually two messages, to communicate his utter displeasure with my level of customer service.  However, as I stared at the crap before me, I realized there were some deeper messages, some life lessons if you will, expressed here:

Life Lesson #1 – Do not put your trivial needs ahead of the more important needs of others.

If you break this rule, there are consequences.  The offended party may decide to crap on the floor.  At work, they may figuratively crap on your head.  Of course it is wrong for them to do this, and they may get the blame, however you still look bad, and smell bad, with a pile of crap all over your head.  Once the crap is let loose, it is too late. Better to make sure other people’s needs are taken care of, than having to deal with the resulting crap.

Life Lesson #2 – Do not yell at others when you contributed to the mess.

I wanted to yell at my dog, but I didn’t.  Even though he did the crapping, I created the environment to make it possible.  I was largely responsible for the crap, I owned some of it (actually technically I owned all of it).  How often do we yell at others when we are the ones that help create the mess?  What do angry outbursts accomplish except to make others feel as terrible as we do at the moment?  My dog had already had a traumatic morning because his routine had been altered, why should I make it any worse?

Life Lesson #3 – When life gives you crap, instead of complaining, just figure out the best way to deal with it.

Under normal circumstances it would have been a hassle disposing of the crap, however there was 16 inches of snow on my backyard.  So I collected all the turds in paper towels and flung them like a monkey at the zoo, far out in the yard.  I now realize why the monkeys do this, because it is kind of fun.

Life Lesson #4 – Even when life gives you crap, find something positive in the pile.

As soon as I heaved the crap into the yard, I had an epiphany.  The worst part of my morning was going to be walking the dog in frigid, negative 12 degree weather.  Because he crapped in the house, I no longer had to do that. I let him out on the deck to whiz and the entire job was completed without me even having to put on a coat!  Waking up to dog crap was disturbing, but something positive resulted from it.

Life Lesson #5 – Give others credit for wise decisions, even when then cause you some discomfort.

I realized the dog had the choice to poop in negative 12 degree weather or inside where it was 82 degrees warmer.  Maybe the dog is shrewder than I thought.  Well played, I mean, well laid doggy, well laid.

And yes, I extracted all off this, from a pile of dog crap …….