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, December 29, 2015

2015 – The Year Toe Fungus Played Tennis

I had so many blog post ideas that I couldn’t write about them all.  For the next two posts, here is some best and worst from 2015.

Worst Christmas Card Ever

A few days before Christmas, a hand-addressed envelope arrived. Ah! I thought, another beautiful Christmas card to brighten the season, good tidings sent my way.  But when I opened the envelope, I was sorely disappointed. The card brought no joy, because the card contained no message except the meaningless initials of the company that sent it.

Now the options for a corporate Christmas card are:

Merry Christmas – Of course this is potentially offensive to people who are so anti-Christian that someone bestowing the goodness and blessings of this holiday to them, freak them out so bad their heads explode. And of course you don’t want that.  However, if you are one these unstable people, I better not catch you doing anything at all that has anything to do with Christmas, or I will come over to your house next year and sing carols loudly (and poorly) on your porch until you call the authorities.

Happy Holidays – This is a very safe, inclusive, salutation.  There are many holidays this time of year. Hell, this even includes Boxing Day, for elf’s sake. Just pick your favorite, non-offensive, holiday and be happy about it.

Season’s Greetings – However there may be some people hate all holidays and get offended at everything, so wishing them “collectively” Happy Holidays, just offends them multiple times.  Instead, you can just send them some greetings in this cold, dark, season reason.

Nothing – Other people (perhaps even our competition) are sending you cards now, for reasons which we are totally unaware of and cannot be discussed with anyone.  We too, decided to send you a card also, lest you think unpleasant thoughts about us for not sending something.  But we are terrified of offending you in any way, so here’s is a card that communicates nothing. We sincerely hope, we have fulfilled our card sending responsibility for this year and you will like us, because in no way have we offended you!


So the card says nothing.  And of course any graphic on this card could imply something that might be offensive to someone, so it has 192 snowflakes in neat rows (see photo, this is the back of the card so as not to reveal the
Happy ... Merry .... Oh the heck with it!
sender).  I guess snow could be offensive to those who have to drive through it, but ironically, there is more snow on this card than has fallen in Northeast Ohio this winter. 

So it is the generic card that communicates nothing equally to everyone.  It is the most PC card I have ever received.  This is what happens when you take non-offensive to the maximum degree, you end up with vast nothingness, a culture void of any meaning whatsoever.

But wait just a minute, the card is all-white with no color or diversity and snow implies the Nordic regions which are all – Oh Nooooooooooooooooo!

The Worst Television Commercial

My least favorite television commercial of the year was for a toe fungus medication featuring former tennis great John McEnroe doing commentary on a tennis match between toe fungus and the medication.  I am not making this up.

Let me say this: If your toe fungus has progressed to such a point that it can play tennis, it’s too late. You are going to die; no amount of toe fungus medicine can help you at this point.

Likewise, if you are John McEnroe, and your career has reached a point when you are doing tennis commentary in a commercial for toe fungus medication, your career as a celebrity has died.  Time to retire and play some shuffleboard.  “That puck is out! ARE YOU SERIOUS? It’s not on the line, it’s clearly out! I can’t believe you think you deserve any points!”  Okay, maybe not.

Second Worst Television Commercial

This one features singer Blake Shelton picking up a pair of his underwear from the dry cleaners. I have no idea how someone craps themselves so badly that they have to have their shorts. Okay, so maybe I do know. But in those cases, the shorts get thrown out, or burned in the backyard if the landfill refuses to take them.

Therefore, maybe what the commercial is really saying is this underwear is so special that you if soil it severely, you will pay for dry cleaning instead of discarding it.   Me, I would be too embarrassed for the dry cleaner people to view my artwork (especially if it was a hot chick), but apparently Blake doesn’t have a problem with that.

Worst News Story

The most disturbing news item of the year involved a New Mexico man who ate his mother’s posole without her permission.  What’s our society coming to when stuff like this is reported on the Internet.  I know many guys like posole, especially hot, spicy, posole.  Some guys don’t get enough posole and good posole is hard to find.  But this type of behavior is never justified.   This guy should have showed more self-control and eaten some other type of stew, although I do admit that posole is very tangy stuff.

Best Bizarre Conversation

I was telling a writer’s group about my plans to write a blog post involving Chinese strippers and made a disparaging remark about those ladies.  A guy I had just met took exception to my statement.  It seems he has traveled extensively in the military and thereby considers himself an authority on strippers around the world.

Guy:  I have found Chinese strippers to be very enjoyable

Me: From the photos on the news story, they look to be lacking certain “qualities”.

Guy: Wait, are you talking about Chinese strippers on the mainland?

Me: Yes, communist Chinese strippers


Guy: Okay then, I don’t have any experience with those women.

Please buy my new humor book - Just Make Me A Sammich  http://donake.net/just-make-me-a-sammich-book



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tim’s Christmas Budget

Gather round, children. Your Uncle Don has another heartwarming Christmas story for you this year.  This particular story is about Tim, but not Tiny Tim. This Tim could be tinier, but he always eats too much at the Chinese buffet.

It was a cold Friday in December, when Uncle Don’s coworker Tim, arrived at work and proclaimed it was going to be an awesome day.  Uncle Don and Erin (the guy with the huge beard from a previous post), who also shared that office, listened intently as Tim explained.

You see last Christmas, Tim’s newlywed wife went out and bought way too much stuff at Christmastime. She done rung up so many expenses on their credit card, they were still paying it off in June! 

But that was not going to happen this year. Because Tim and his wife had discussed what she was going to buy, where she was going to buy it and how much she was going to spend.  His woman was now on a tight, I said tight, Christmas budget.  And Tim was excited because his wife had taken the day off from work to go Christmas shopping and carry out this carefully developed plan.  Tim beamed with manly pride, chest puffed out, as he explained how he had gotten his woman under control.

Now in the olden days’ children, we probably would have never heard anything about this again, but now we live in the digital age, children, and in the era of too much information.

So a little bit past 10 a.m., the productivity and the peacefulness of the work environment was shattered …

“Why did she buy that stuff at Macy’s? She was supposed to go to Target! The stuff is way cheaper at Target!”, exclaimed Tim.

I looked over to see Tim clutching his smartphone in both hands, grabbing it so tightly his forearms bulged.  His jaw was clenched, his wide eyes staring at the screen in disbelief. That’s right children, Tim had decided to track his wife’s purchases in real time on the Internet.  Smart guy, that Tim.

“She probably went to Macy’s because that’s where her mother likes to shop”, Tim speculated.

“She’s shopping with her mother?” asked Erin.

“Yes”, said Tim.  “She likes to go Christmas shopping with her mother.”

Erin and I then exchanged raised eyebrow, worried, looks.  We knew Tim had a problem. Them women was shopping in packs and nothing good ever comes of that, children. 

The one woman will see something and inquire “Do you think I should buy this?”  And the answer from the other woman, no matter what it is, no matter what is costs, no matter how bad a purchasing choice it may be, and damn any credit limits, will always be “Of course you should buy it! Why not?!”

Now a guy would look at the very same situation and realize that if you even have to ask the question, then the answer is “No, we can’t afford it.”  Of course men also make poor decisions when roaming in packs.  Many a call from the police station has started off with: “Honey, the guys though it would be a good idea to stop at the strip club on the way back …..

About an hour later, Erin and I were once again startled by …..

“She really overspent at that store! What did she buy that would cost that much?!  WHAT?”, screamed Tim

“Maybe she bought your gift there.  You wouldn’t want to question that, would you Tim?  You would look like such a jerk”, said Erin.

“Well, you might be right, but she is spending too much”, said Tim as he walked out of the office.

Of course as soon as he was gone, Erin and I broke out in hearty laughter over this situation.  Now I know this constitutes laughing behind your friend’s back, which isn’t very nice at Christmas time.  However, the alternative would be to laugh in his face. And of course this laughing was Erin’s fault since your Uncle Don is a rather serious sort, who rarely laughs at anything.

But then sometime around 12:30, there was some very encouraging news …
“Hey they’ve finished shopping and stopped for lunch on their way home and she’s under budget!”, proclaimed Tim enthusiastically.  “But they did spend a lot on lunch, though.”

“Lunch counts against the budget?”, asked Erin.

“It does if she puts it on the credit card”, said Tim sternly.

But Tim’s optimism was soon shattered by the next startling revelation …

“Wait a minute! They’re not at the Appleby’s near her mom’s house. They’re at the one on Monroe!”, said Tim.

“Isn’t that the one right by that new mega strip mall”, asked Erin?

Oh no!, silence and dread then filled the office, children. Them women folk were not retiring, they were reloading.

We then went out for lunch and fortunately Tim didn’t check his credit statement at the restaurant, allowing us to enjoy the meal, eating in peace and tranquility. We returned to office and started back to work vigorously, as we always did on a Friday afternoon.

But that highly productive work environment was regrettably disrupted again …..

It was exactly 1:52 p.m. (I honestly did check my watch), when poor Tim literally threw his head down on his desk and pounded his fists.

“She’s over, she went over!” Tim cried out in anguish.  “It’s over, (gasp) It’s o-o-o-over.”

Erin and I exchanged a look of despair.  We were morose, children; morose I tell you.  There is no laughter when a man is defeated so decisively by his woman. Only gloom and misery.  Of course there was no consoling either, because guys just don’t do that.  This is one of those instances that is so shameful, so devastating, it should remain a strict secret forever.  It should never be spoken of again and under no circumstances should it be blogged about and posted on the world wide web. Only the most despicable cad would ever do that.

Tim may have thought this was over, but unfortunately Tim’s wife surely didn’t consider it finished.  Heck, it was only two o’clock, plenty of time for more shopping, and the temptation of that new, big, strip mall was too much to resist.  She made at least two more significant purchases, because work was interrupted two more times that afternoon by loud, mournful, painful, sighs.

Each time I looked over to see Tim glaring into that smartphone, shaking his head. The final time, I think I may have heard Tim’s credit card let out a painful yelp from his back pocket. It was either that or the burrito he had for lunch.

So children, Tim’s attempt at restraining his wife’s Christmas spending failed miserably.  His Christmas budget lay dead under his Christmas tree.  But Christmas is not about ol’ stupid budgets, children.  It’s about spending enormous amounts of money, on stuff nobody needs, because all the
commercials and advertisements tell us we have to.  And it’s about overcoming obstacles to reach our full potential and test our limits, our credit limits, that is.  It is about love, children, our exorbitant love of shopping. 

So you see children, it was Tim’s wife who understood the true meaning of Christmas, and not that fool Tim.  Maybe someday he will learn, children, maybe someday he will learn.

Here’s wishing my readers a Very Merry Christmas (and screw that Happy Holidays crap)

Remember: my first humor book, "Just Make Me A Sammich" is available here:

  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Eating Hot Pockets Can Save Your Life

Recently a small, private, plane crashed in my hometown of Akron, killing all the passengers and destroying a small apartment complex.  While this is indeed a tragedy, it is out of these awful events that we are inspired by uplifting stories and gain insights to eternal truths.

The only good thing we can garner from this disaster, is that no one perished in the apartment building on the ground. But someone, could have, should have, been there, but was saved by a wondrous turn of fate.  There was this guy who was on his way home to that very apartment building.  But he stopped at a discount store to buy something to take home for dinner and in doing so, arrived home just minutes after the fateful crash.  

If he had not stopped to buy some Hot Pockets, he would have been burned to ashes in a diesel-fueled inferno, that was as hot as, as hot as …. What can I compare it to? Oh yeah. It’s was as hot as a Hot Pocket, fresh from the microwave.

And of course it takes much longer to buy Hot Pockets than it does, say a pre-made sammich, because you have so many delicious Hot Pocket varieties.  In addition, the guy also selected some delectable breakfast Hot Pockets for the following morning.  This extended Hot Pocket purchase decision delayed his arrival just long enough to escape his date with death.

I think the obvious lesson learned from this very inspirational story is this:  

Eating Hot Pockets Can Save Your Life!

They are a miracle food with astonishing powers.

It’s a mericle.  It a mericle, I tell you. A full blown microwavable mericle!

Sing if for me children, sing it for me! 


(you know the jingle; I know you do! Now just image some harps giving it a more celestial feel)

♫Hot Pockets♫

Hot Pockets have been ridiculed by comedians, detested by nutritionists and shunned by so called “healthy eaters”, but now there is undeniable, indisputable, evidence that eating Hot Pockets saves lives.  I hope all you Hot Pocket “haters” out there are now feeling some serious shame.

Sing it for me children, sing it for me!

♫Hot Pockets♫ ♫Hot Pockets♫ ♫Hot Poc------kets♫

I always knew the criticism of the nutritional value of Hot Pockets was bogus.  There is absolutely no reason not to enjoy this treat because they are an extremely healthy, low-calorie, gluten-free, cholesterol-free, fat-free, cage-free food.  This is because the stuff never stays in your body long enough to be a problem.  Once the Hot Pocket hits your digestive system, it is on a “fast-track” out of town.

I believe Hot Pockets were originally called Lava Pockets when a sadist developed a way to heat food to the temperature of molten lava in a microwave by using a “magical sleeve”.   Happily, he offered the new creation to his boss who took a big bite and screamed, “Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh daaaaaaaas hooooooooooot!, but tasty”.   The name was soon changed to Hot Pockets and they have been severely burning tongues ever since.

(Note: I was familiar with the term “Hot Pockets” before the food was even invented because that was the nickname we gave Barbara Manjenski in high school. We called her that because she had a nice … um, …. because her jeans fit ah, …. well you get the idea)

Now you would never put molten lava in your mouth, yet you will take a big bite of a Hot Pocket and then scream, “Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh daaaaaaaas hooooooooooot!” It doesn’t really matter what the thing tastes like after that. Your taste buds have been burned beyond recognition. It will take a full day for your tongue to heal. But the incredible thing is, you do it over and over again.  And it’s your own fault, doesn’t the very name of the food tell you that it is indeed “hot”? It’s a Hot Pocket – it’s hot, you idiot!  But it doesn’t matter, it’s like a prank you keep falling for repeatedly even though you should know better.

In that way, Hot Pockets are like that woman or man from your past who you knew was bad for you, who burned you romantically over and over again. Yet they were so hot, that you couldn’t resist taking just one more bite (I guess I need to explain that I am using “bite” here in the figurative, not literal, sense and you are disgusting for even thinking otherwise) and ended up burnt to a crisp again.

However, the most important thing to remember from all of this, is that eating Hot Pockets are good for you because they can save your life.  So if you are driving home and you are craving a molten-hot Hot Pocket, by all means stop immediately and get some. Lest you return home too soon and suffer a fiery death when a plane crashes into your house.  They are indeed a miracle food.

Now are you feeling inspired children? I know I am feeling inspired – and hungry. And not hungry for a sammich, hungry for some Hot Pockets.  Maybe the scrumptious Philly Steak & Cheese or perhaps the delectable Meatballs & Mozzarella.  I can now eat these guilt-free because I am extending and therefore enriching my life!

It’s a mericle!

Sing it for me children, sing it for me!




Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Funerals Should Not Be This Much Fun

The late, great, Yogi Berra once said: “Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.”  And like all great Yogisms, it contains some kernels of wisdom.

First, it suggests you should honor the dead and show respect at their funerals. I’m all about respecting the dead, as long as they deserve it. What I mean, is that I don’t show people any additional respect just because they are dead.  In my book, if you were a bastard while alive, now you are a just a dead bastard. The fact that you are a bastard hasn’t really changed, and I’m not going to your funeral.  I don’t believe you are required to attend the funerals of bastards.

This rule doesn’t apply to family members.  You still are required to attend their funerals, because they unfortunately are “your bastards” and you have to suffer the consequences.  More importantly, they may also be dead, rich, bastards, and you would hate to be excluded from the will by your blatant act of disrespect (so please show some extra respect and wear a tie, just in case).

But the Yogism also implies that people are concerned about how many people attend their own funeral.  I have to admit I pondered this a few years ago and it motivated me to create a new philosophy on life: “Live your life in such a way that people cry at your funeral”.  While this has actually helped me to treat people better, I do admit I sometimes fail to live up to this.  Of course now when I fizz somebody off I think, “There’s another empty chair at the chapel” and they naturally think, “That bastard!”  However, for people to cry at your funeral, they have to be at your funeral, so Yogi and I share a common philosophy.

This desire for having superb funeral attendance actually is cross cultural, because I saw a news story on the custom of having strippers perform at funerals in some rural provinces in China.  I assure you this is true. Do you really think that I am so warped and depraved that I would actually make something like this up? Wait, don’t answer that! (See link at the end of the post to confirm story)

The purpose of the strippers is to boost attendance and “liven up” these events.  And it is successful because men line up at the door hours before the ceremony to get the good seats.   I’m guessing they believe if the ‘‘grand spirit” passes over and sees a huge crowd gathered at your funeral, it can earn you some eternal brownie points.  The spirit saying: “Wow, I thought Genghis was a bastard, but look at that crowd! Maybe I should not turn him into a dung beetle in his next life after all.”

But I just can’t imagine any religion, anywhere, in any way, condoning having strippers at your funeral.  The report claims this is done as a “show of respect” but come on, the girls are going to show more, much more, than just respect! And apparently they show a lot, because there is actually a video posted of one these performances, which I had to watch several times, very closely, as part of doing my extensive research for this post.

And I don’t blame the ladies. To quote the popular commercial: “When you’re a stripper, you take off your clothes, – it’s what you do.”  The strippers are well paid and are highly motivated to do a good job. It can generate lots of repeat business.  Think about it, they are gyrating naked in front of old guys who are near death themselves.  Tuesday’s funeral can lead to Friday’s booking, which creates Monday’s gig and so on and so on …….  And in a very bizarre way, they are performing a useful function.  They are cheering up people who are grieving the loss of their friends. They are turning mourners into moaners.

This interesting, yet disturbing, practice is very effective in greatly increasing funeral attendance. I’m sure the guys in that region scan the obituaries for funerals that might have strippers. “Look, Chen’s cousin died. Suddenly I feel so sad. I must go mourn. I need some small bills.”  I would love to see a You Tube video of old Chinese guys fighting each other for front row funeral seats.  And these large crowds gather despite the fact these are in fact Chinese strippers, who lack uh, who have very small, ah, -- let’s just say these are skinny women.

I see really no practical benefit of having strippers at the funeral unless you are supremely optimistic and want to take one last shot at raising the dead.  If you are lacking a huge, nuclear-powered, defibrillator, then I guess a group of hot strippers is your next best option here.

I do not think having strippers at American funerals would go over very well.  I can’t see a minister saying “Naked you come into this world and naked you will depart. And soon, naked women will honor you with their nakedness”.  Also “Now let us solemnly pray for the dearly departed, before these young, beautiful, women depart of their clothes.”  And imagine the frustration generated by long-winded preachers, delivering rambling eulogies, if they were delaying the appearance of the strippers. Guys would be thinking, “Shut your pie-hole and get to good stuff!”

I guess I could consider having strippers at my funeral to boost attendance.  It could generate a crowd and impress people, but with my luck, I could see the following happening at those pearly gates:

St. Peter:  Don, you lived a good life my son and it says here that I was let you in, scot-free, no questions asked.  However, now, I do have to ask you one very important question.

Me: What is that Pete?

St. Peter: Why is there a G-string draped over your bald head?




Monday, November 2, 2015

I Have Just Given Birth – To A Sammich

Newsflash: I am now officially an author

The strange thing is I never intended to write a book, it sort of happened by accident.  I had often considered writing a humor blog, but I was working two jobs and writing my economic blog, so I had absolutely no time for anything else.

Then I saw Justin Bieber on television for the first time.  He was singing and the teenyboppers were screaming. “No wonder they like him”, I thought.  “He looks just like them! Wouldn’t it be funny if someone mistook him for a girl?”  The alarms went off in my brain: Ding, ding, double ding!

On May 20, 2011, I typed these words: “I just heard about the latest teen pop sensation, Justine Bieber”. And thus, Ake’s Pains blog was born.  Two weeks later I posted again, and then again and now you are reading post #141.  More and more people started reading the blog.  They really liked it and soon I had a worldwide audience.

But at no time did I ever think I was writing a book.  Then in October 2013, the thought occurred to me that I had written enough posts that I could compile
and organize them into a book.  Great idea! Except I had no idea how to publish a book and it took me a while to figure this whole thing out.

Publishing a book is very similar to creating a baby.  Well, except there is no hot, baby-making, sex involved.  But you start with a conception and then you go through a long process to carry it forth into birth.

One of the best things about being a blogger is that you can write anything you want and nobody can stop you. It’s like running through the streets naked and unencumbered.  You have total freedom.  However, when you write a book, you need some boundaries, you need some polish.  Not only do you need some underwear, you even need a pants and shirt.

So I had to hire an editor.  I hate editors. I hate editors almost as much as I hate accountants.  Editors are horrible people who somehow find flaws in your perfect writing. Being edited is an awful process.  So I end up paying this woman to inflict pain on me.  I’m sure a dominatrix is a lot more fun.  

The most challenging moment of the editing process was when she said the post on the New England Patriots using under-inflated footballs could not be in the book because it contained too many “disgusting ball jokes”.  I tilted my head to the side like a confused German Shephard. I couldn’t understand how you could possibly ever have too many disgusting ball jokes, but apparently you can. So I rewrote that one. It’s now much less ballsy. 

Finally, all the posts were edited and organized and there was a manuscript, which is the equivalent of seeing an ultrasound photo.  I started walking around with a goofy smile showing the manuscript to people and even posted a picture of it on Facebook.  But just like an ultrasound photo, people smile and politely nod, but they don’t really care.

So you edit, you edit, you revise, and then edit some more. At some point the sadist editor puts down her whip and you submit the final manuscript.

Picking the baby up at the hospital
And then finally the big day arrives and the book is actually printed.  Of course this is just like giving birth, except for the extreme pain, screaming and pushing, and what not. But it is my baby. I hold it my hands with reverence and yes, I have even cradled it.

My first realization that I am an author happened when my friend Michael recently introduced me to our waitress at lunch as “Author Don Ake”. I instinctively started to correct him and then realized he was correct. Then I turned to the waitress and noticed the look of great admiration I was getting from this beautiful young woman. “Well yes my dear, I am an author, and you should read my book.”

And now the challenge is to make the book successful, just as a father desires success for his child. I am now responsible for promoting and marketing this book. Doing this, is unfortunately not as fun as actually writing it.

I’ve changed much since being thrown out of my comfort zone in 2009. I wouldn’t have had the courage to try this before.  But now I’m not afraid about crashing and burning.  During my “comeback” I’ve crashed more times than Windows 10. Okay, nothing’s crashed more than Windows 10.  But even though I’ve lost count of the number of crashes, I do know it’s exactly equal to the number of times I’ve gotten up and moved on. And I’ve spent the past six years growing an impressive set of fire-proof skin, so light me up, Fall Out Boy, I’m ready.  I’ve just strapped myself into a high-powered vehicle that has no rear-view mirror and no “reverse” gear.  I’m not looking back and I’m sure as hell not going back. There’s only one direction to go and nobody can drag me down.

So my book is officially launched. And I am an author, but you can still call me “Don” unless there is a cute chick nearby, then “The Author” will suffice. This new status hasn’t changed me, although I do have a message into Taylor Swift to see if she wants to get back together, no answer yet.

I cannot express enough gratitude to my readers for your support. I am at this
place only because of you.
My friend Owen buys the first copy!


The next step in my journey begins today. I write humor for the purpose of making people happy and I guarantee Just Make Me A Sammich will make you laugh.  I humbly ask for your support of my baby. Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Sammich Debate Rages On

My book, Just Make Me A Sammich, is not even out yet (release date November 3) and already the title is creating controversy and renewing the debate over the woman/man sandwich making decision. I choose this title because Sammich-making is a running joke throughout my blog and my book is a collection of my favorite blog posts.

I wrote a post earlier this year on this topic which was supposed to end all conflict on the matter.  I said if men would be more polite in their request and women would be more accommodating when their man was hungry (or hangry – anger caused by hunger), then the result would be more sex. Very hot “sammich sex”. That post could even be considered good “sex therapy”. (They call me Dr. Love, they call me Dr. Love).  But now unfortunately, all that good work is gone and the controversy is back.

Recently I made a presentation at a conference for work. I briefly mentioned my book at the end.  Of course the next day no one remembered anything I said in my presentation, they were all talking about “that sammich book”. I sat with a group of customers at lunch. We were supposed to be talking about very important factors in the trucking industry, but of course as soon as I arrived, the topic turned to sammiches.

One woman at the table chimed in, “I believe a husband should treat his wife so well, that he should not even have to ask her for a sandwich. She should want to make him sandwiches.” This confirms my contention that this sammich-making stuff is very important to women.

The guys at the table quickly became mute and looked to me for a response.  I had none. I politely nodded in agreement because this woman is totally correct, men should treat their wives better. But unfortunately, guys are not going to do that because it takes time, effort and skill. And let’s face it, that’s just too much work. Men are just too lazy, and besides, an effort like that takes time away from more important things such as watching football and playing golf.  Of course we got the skills, we just choose not to use them.

But the sammich-making stuff is important to guys also.  I was at a party and Steve was bragging about his new, smokin’ hot girlfriend, who would be arriving soon.  When she got there, I was confused because she looked like a “plain-Jane” to me.  I pulled aside Steve’s friend Tony and asked for an explanation.

“Oh yeah, she’s hot. All the guys want her, she’s a real “sammich-maker”, Tony explained.

“What? I heard of baby-makers, but a sammich-maker?”, I asked.

“Oh yeah, she works at Subway and the woman is an expert sandwich maker.  

She knows how to use “all the toppings” if you get my drift”, he said.

Then I get home and turn on the television and I see Dr. Phil saying:

“On today’s show, we try to help this couple deal with a disagreement over the sammich-making responsibilities in their marriage.  Paul manages a real estate office. When he comes home at night, he’s hungry and wants his wife to make him a sammich, but his wife Sabrina, a real estate agent in that office, says she’s the one that works hard to sell the houses, and Paul can make his own d@#n sammich.”

Paul: She’s my wife. It’s her duty to make the sammiches!

From the more liberated side of the audience: Boo, boo, hiss, hiss, pig – rabble, rabble, rabble.

Sabrina: You sit on your fat a$$ all day, while I do all the work. You should be able to at least make own sandwich.

Dr. Phil: Sabrina, what are you usually doing when Paul gets home and wants his food?

Sabrina: I’m doing important stuff like watching “Real Housewives of New Jersey”

Less liberated side of the audience: Boo, boo, hiss, hiss, slacker, rabble rabble, rabble.

Dr. Phil: Oh $h!+!  Ladies! Ladies! Stop the fighting! Put the chairs down now! You are not on Jerry Springer!  Don Ake you are an idiot, you stupid sunavabitch. Look at what you have started.

I think I need to reiterate that sammich-making is a personal decision that couples need to decide on and what happens between the sheets, the sheets of bread of course, should remain private and not be discussed publicly. Of course I know men and women will discuss the intimate details with their closest friends.

Jack: Carol made me a sammich last night that was mind-blowingly good. 
Man, it was so awesome and she used only natural, organic, ingredients.  And get this, we didn’t use any condiments!

Bill: No condiments! Are you kidding me? Nothing between the meat and …...

Jack: Oh yeah, it was a totally organic experience.

And then on the other side…...

Sue: I made Rick a sandwich on Tuesday.  He was extremely hangry, so I tried to help him out. 

Becky: You actually made his sandwich for him? Do you think it was worth it? How do you feel about all this?

Sue: Yes, I ended up with mayonnaise all over my face, but it was worth it to me to please Rick in that manner.

Becky: Ewww, I hate the taste of that stuff.

Sammich - star of the front cover!
Ironically I was inadvertently drawn into the controversy because I literally had to ask my wife to make me a sammich to be used in the photo shoot for the cover of my book.  She did this for artistic reasons and did a fantastic job (see photo).  The Sammich became the star of the photo shoot instead of me, which of course made me very jealous.

So again, the book is not about sammiches.  It’s about the absurdities in relationships, life, work, celebrities, sports, and other things that I find amusing. It will be here in just two weeks!  

Buy the book now: Just Make Me A Sammich 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Get A Flu Shot This Year Or Get Screwed

It’s autumn! Time for colorful leaves, football, and of course, getting your flu shot. Every year at this time we are told we must get a flu shot. We are told this by people saying “We are competent, scientific, medical scientists, educated in science, so we know what we are talking about. You must get the flu shot or you will get sick, very sick.  If you get the flu, substances will shoot
out your bodily orifices in colors you never imagined possible. So get a flu shot, get it right now! ”

We are also told the flu shot is extremely effective in preventing the flu, because these scientists have carefully selected the targeted viruses for this year’s vaccine using the most intelligent, supreme, computer models available.  They of course cannot reveal the details of this process without having to kill you, but if you really want to know what it is, it has been posted online by Chinese hackers.

So last year, I dutifully headed this warning and drove 12 miles, filled out paperwork, stood in line, and had a needle poked in my arm by a nurse who wasn’t even “hot”.  And then in February I ended up getting a bad case of the flu.

It seems last year’s flu vaccine was not at all effective, because it had targeted the wrong viruses.  The Center for Disease Control was forced to admit its “sophisticated computer model” was really a guy named “Phil” who sits over there in the corner, and that Phil had in fact “guessed wrong”.

They then put out a statement which read:

“Our bad, we could have guessed wrong or maybe the virus just mutated.  We’re not really sure.  We did say you would get real sick if you were infected by the flu virus, and we were right about that. So we do know what we are talking about.  If you get the flu, please try to refrain from dying because that makes us look bad, oh so bad, and stupid.  And remember, we use science, lots of science.”

So after last year debacle, I was very interested in the flu viruses chosen to be included in this year’s vaccine. The first one is called “A California”.  I think a California-type virus doesn’t sound too bad at all.  It is probably a laid-back, hippie-type virus which lacks focus and commitment.  It would rather be hanging out at the beach catching some waves, than causing disruptions in your body.  When confronted by your immune system, it would say “Dude, okay I leaving now. Stop attacking me bro”

The second virus included in this year’s vaccine is the A Switzerland.  This would seem like a gentle, peaceful, virus which might cause a very mild case of the flu.  You could not imagine a Swiss flu causing a war in your intestines. And when confronted by your antibodies, this virus would quickly sign a peace treaty and leave you alone.

However, the third virus targeted by this year’s vaccine is cause for extreme concern.  It is the dreaded B Phuket virus (this is the real name of it – this is true).  I fear that if you contract the B Phuket virus, you will literally be Phuked.  Rest assured, this is a virus with an attitude, a bad-ass attitude, and it isn’t going to care how bad it makes you feel.

The B Phuket is going to rage through your body like a madman.  You are going to get ill, very ill. You are going to feel Phuking awful. You are going to want it to Phuking stop. This virus is going to travel throughout your body shouting Phuket, Phuket, Phuket all!  You will run a dangerously high fever, because the virus is going to make you Phuking hot.

And a virus with an extreme, bad-ass attitude is guaranteed to literally give you a bad ass.  It will produce a nasty case of the Phuking shitz.  Your colon will soon catch fire and explode like fireworks on the Fourth of July.    It will be a Phuking awesome display as flames and smoke pour out of your backside. The air will be thick and the odor Phuking intense.  Your neighbors will call the EPA about an unknown toxic substance in the air. Your can of Glade will be cowering in the back corner of your closet. Your intestines will be Phuked up, yes they will.

Your immune system by itself is no match for a virus with an attitude this horrid.  When your antibodies show up to confront it, it will shout “Phuk you! I’m the Phuking Phuket virus and I’m telling you to Phuk off right now. Phuket, Phuket, Phuket!” This is going to scare the fizz out of your blood cells, who will take the next yellow river ride out of town.

That’s why I am so alarmed about the Phuket virus. Let me tell you, I want that Phuking flu vaccine and I want it Phuking now!  I am not a medical professional, but I am recommending everyone get the flu shot this year so you don’t get that Phuket virus.  And be sure to remember to tell the nurse you came there so she can Phuket you.  I’m sure she will then be extra gentle with that needle.

I’ve warned you – consider this a public service announcement.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Is Mr. Clean Really A Dirty Guy?


I was alarmed by a very disturbing advertisement in my Sunday newspaper.  It said that Mr. Clean multi-purpose cleaner had now been combined with Gain laundry detergent.  This apparently was done to improve the scent of Mr. Clean because there was a “Love at first Sniff” sticker on the bottle.

This is indeed troubling because it raises an important question: Why does Mr. Clean need to smell any better? After all, he’s Mr. Clean isn’t he? If he’s so clean, he should smell fabulous already. So what is the purpose of mixing him with Gain? What is this so called “Mr. Clean” trying to cover up? You may experience “love at first sniff”, but I smell a rat. A dirty rat.

This is even more suspicious in light of the rumored scandals involving Mr. Clean over the years.  First there was the allegation of a dalliance with Mrs. Butterworth.  Mrs. Butterworth was known for being promiscuous and pinning her lovers under her by using her famous “pancake position”.  Very few of the male advertising icons could resist her sweet, sticky, goodness.  After these trysts, many of them were found stuck to the bed, covered in Butterworth’s syrupy goo.

However, even though Mr. Clean was seen entering a hotel with Butterworth, he exited a short time later spotless, even disinfected, with a big smile on his face. Somehow, someway, he was able to wash off all the grime and residue. How he was able to do this and what type of substance he used, is still a mystery.  When asked about it, Mr. Cleaned waffled on his answer.

Then there was the incident with Aunt Jemima. Jemima was also sweet and gooey and this had all the makings of a huge scandal. The rumors gained credence when Mr. Clean appeared with a noticeable black eye, reportedly the result of an altercation with Uncle Ben.  However, advertising agency executives fearing the onslaught of negative publicity, rushed in to concoct a story, explaining that Clean and Ben were fighting over prime advertising spots on Monday Night Football games, and not Aunt Jemima.  Nothing was ever proven otherwise.

Finally, there was the time when Marie Callender allegedly walked in on Mr. Clean and Betty Crocker going at it on the kitchen table.  The location made total sense since both of these icons do their best work in the kitchen.  Crocker said they were just testing the table to see if it was sturdy enough to hold all the side dishes she was going to prepare for a meal that evening.  Clean said Callender was fabricating the story because he had rejected her attention. He said he had no interest in Marie because he found her to be a “cold woman”, even frigid at times.

These alleged scandals were big news when then hit, but they faded away over time.  Mr. Clean was still considered extremely clean.

A few years ago Mr. Clean’s advertising agency attempted to improve his appearance and image by giving him a make-over. He had been a “tough guy” wearing an earring, long before it was fashionable and guys who shave their heads are a bit creepy, no? They softened his image, reportedly to make him more acceptable and pleasing to the modern woman. So they sent him to the spa for an eyebrow trim, facial, exfoliation, waxing, and mani/pedi. Well, la-di-frickin-da!  But maybe the real reason behind this action was to insulate Mr. Clean from these past scandals.

And now they feel Mr. Clean’s natural, manly, scent needs to covered-up by Gain.  What are you hiding Mr. Clean?  What stench are you trying to mask? This is a scandal of epic proportions. Yes, I am saying there is a chance that Mr. Clean is in fact, “dirty”.

I know this possibility seems outrageous. I know that if proven true, it will be painful to accept. However, based what has happened to other advertising figures and celebrities over the past year, we must at least consider that it could be true.  Hey, Hey, Hey, think about this the next time you enjoy some pudding, gelatin, or a made-fresh submarine sandwich.

In light of this obvious attempt to sanitize an already supposedly “Mr. Clean”, I think the Crocker incident should be reexamined.  Around nine months after the kitchen table incident, Betty Crocker gave birth to the Pillsbury Dough Boy. At the time it was naturally thought that Bib – the Michelin Man, was the father.  Bib and Betty were involved in a very public relationship at the time. The Dough Boy, being all white and puffy, does resemble the tire guy. And it was also well known, in one of the most incredible, stupendous, ironies of all time; that Bib preferred not to use rubbers. And of course, nothing says you loved him, like something in the oven.

I think a yeast sample and an appearance on the Maury Povich show is called for to determine who fathered Popin’ Fresh (ironically his name describes what got the sub sandwich guy in trouble).

I demand a complete, thorough, investigation.  But not by Congress, they all need to be soaked naked in Gain for about a month. No, I am calling on the authorities to bring in the most qualified advertising icon for this job, Toucan
Sam ("Follow my nose! It always knows!") to determine if a cover-up exists. I hope I am wrong about Mr. Clean, but something really smells about this situation, and it isn’t the Gain.