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 28, 2019

We Are Tweeting Away Like 12-Year-Olds

My least favorite school years by far were the ones spent in junior high (that would be 7th and 8th grade, for those of you much older or younger).  Everyone was going through adolescence together, with all sorts of changes happening in our bodies and our brains. We were on the way to adulthood, seeking our identity and starting to form and express our unique opinions on the world around us.

And of course, we began to express these opinions about the world which was nearest to us, our fellow students. Junior-highers were (and still are), judgmental, catty, shallow, nasty and malicious about the pettiest things. Some of my classmates were vicious with their comments and actions. I don’t think this rite of passage has really changed much over time.

There was this kid Andrew, who found my weak spot and embarrassed me in front of my peers at every opportunity. I hated it, but I couldn’t stop his insults. Looking back, I should have just punched him hard, right in the face. I didn’t, because I was told it would be “put on your permanent record”. Which of course, was a big lie. There was no record, and what existed was by no means permanent. Of course today, with databases and government surveillance, I do probably have one.

Those junior high experiences are so traumatic that they stay with you for a long time.  Around 20 years later, I heard that Andrew had tragically died prematurely.  And my reaction was:

I’m glad Andrew’s dead.

He was a mean, rotten, S.O.B.

He was an awful person who picked on me, but he won’t pick on me or anyone else ever again, because the bass-turd is dead.

I wonder where he’s buried, so I can go take a wizz on his grave.

Ha! Just kidding. I wouldn’t hold that much of a grudge for that long! C’mon, everything I just expressed was just a joke. Well, everything after “I’m glad Andrew’s dead.”

But the great news is we all moved beyond that vicious immaturity and became pleasant, responsible adults. Well, most of us did. Some people never matured out of this life-stage. They are the people who are the mean, jerks today. They are the people you avoid, the people your old classmates talk despairingly about, and the people who upset you the most. With that bad attitude those people tend to not go far in life. Many times, when people ask me what’s wrong with a person, my reply is “He/she never advanced beyond junior high school”.

But now there is a force, an irresistible evil force. Pulling people back, back to their immature junior high days. Causing them to relentlessly spew all matter of callous, catty, hateful judgmental comments on anyone and everyone throughout the world. Yes, I’m referring to social media, and more specifically

Somehow, someway we have reverted back to being 12-years old, with all of the immaturity that comes with it. We feel the need to be critical about anything and anyone we choose. We are extremely judgmental and petty and everyone is up in everybody’s bidness, and the results are not pretty.

We are swimming in a cesspool of judgements about how people raise their kids, what people wear, how people look, what people do and what people say,etc. Just like junior high!

Look at the hideous thing she is wearing!

Wow, that kid is really fat – and look at his hair!

Can you believe she said that about Kathy?

I think Jeff is such a turd, don’t you?

You have 350-pound guys tweeting that the lousy shortstop should have been able to make that play, when they can’t even exert enough effort to get off the couch.  To this I say: “Hey you! You are an authority on Cheetos, not playing major-league shortstop. So why don’t you tweet about Cheetos instead? Hey, I heard they just came out with a new flavor!

You have women offering scathing criticism about how awful that bombshell looks in that dress. And oh, those shoes! I’m guessing these fashion critics are wearing flip-flops with their hair all pinned up. They couldn’t look as good as the women they diss if they spent three hours a day in the gym and spent $30,000 on cosmetic surgery.  Regardless of what she’s wearing, she still looks hot, so why not keep your catty thoughts to yourself? And now, about that trip to the gym …..

And these Twitter wars eventually result in everyone calling everyone a pooppyhead…

Tweet: You’re a poopyhead

Response Tweet: Oh yeah? You’re a bigger poppyhead

Second Response Tweet: Really? You’re in the Poopyhead Hall of Fame

You see? Twitter and other outlets have made us all return to the halls of junior high school where we can hurl mean spit balls at whomever we choose. And this temptation is pervasive. No one is immune. If we continue on this path, someday even the President of the United States may exhibit this very same type of behavior! Wait, what? Oh yeah ………..

Full disclosure: I am so dog-gone important that I have two, yes two, Twitter accounts. One personal, and one professional.  It is a crushing blow to my ego that after eight years, I have just 288 followers on my personal handle. My professional account has a whopping 275 (ooh, it’s a race). But I don’t tweet much. I guess I just have trouble putting down my thoughts in shorts bursts. Perhaps I would gain more followers if I called more people poopyheads.

Seems to me most of these Twitter-critics should be spending more time on improving themselves instead of looking for deficiencies in others and then tweeting about it. If you have everything in your life running smoothly and you have enough spare time, tweet away! In other words: Get your bidness together before you worry about other people’s bidness. But then, if you have your life under control, there is really no need to make petty judgements about other people, is there?

I realize I myself have made some judgements in this post. You may disagree with them, but if you do, you are just a, just a … super poopyhead!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Stick This Right Up Your Asparagus

This week I noticed an article in the Food section of the newspaper trumpeting a new asparagus salad recipe. The first four paragraphs gushed about how great this recipe makes the asparagus taste!  


Now you might be saying, “But I like asparagus”. That’s fine, but when did we start worrying about you, instead of focusing on me? Which of course, is my only concern.

You can eat all the asparagus you want. Preferably in the darkness of your basement, with the vent on, so people nearby don’t have to breath the noxious fumes and have their meal ruined. And don’t forget to clean up the kitchen before you go, including that putrid brown asparagus goop that is always left over.

Does the writer of this article really think they can conceal the presence of asparagus in this salad? No, serve me this junk, and I will eat around it as skillfully as a dog avoids a small pill hidden in his Alpo. My relatives still talk about the Thanksgiving when someone thought it would be a great idea to try a new stuffing recipe, which included mixing pieces of squash in it.

Why, oh why, would someone risk ruining, utterly ruining, Thanksgiving by polluting one of the greatest foods on Earth with a foreign object? They probably read some foolhardy recipe in the newspaper about a brand-new stuffing dish that would be all the rave that Thanksgiving.

That day I had an important choice to make. I could either let my whole Thanksgiving dinner be ruined or I could improvise. So, I took my usually huge helping of stuffing and dug in. At the end of the meal, the stuffing was completely gone, but there was a big pile of yellow bits on my plate.

“Oh, you didn’t like the squash?”

Apparently not. Alas, the stuffing still tasted funny, because you can eat around that crap, but it still contaminates it. Worst Thanksgiving ever.

I will eat asparagus under distress. Like when I’m at a high-falutin luncheon someplace where they think they can impress you by serving a high-class vegetable. Problem is, it’s usually served with a small piece of pork and a couple small “girly-type” red-skin potatoes. I have to eat the asparagus because it’s all I got. But it actually works out just fine. After I send the stuff down the chute, I am no longer hungry ….

My Stomach: Don, I don’t know what I have done to upset you, but please, please, just stop with the asparagus. If it was my reaction to the sriracha sauce last week, I apologize.  Now I will digest this stuff for you, but please, please, no more, I’m begging you.

To you menu planners out there: Could ya just serve some green beans? Some nice, fresh, tasty, green beans, instead of the awful asparagus? Green beans. They are green, they are vegetables, AND THEY FREAKIN’ TASTE GOOD!

I have even seen asparagus offered as an appetizer on some distinguished food tables. And while it does qualify as a “free appetizer”, it will never, ever grace my plate. Let’s see, I could have the bacon-wrapped mushroom, the spicy meatball, perhaps the grilled shrimp …. or the asparagus? HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA (evil laugh).

To me asparagus is the anti-appetizer, due to the opinions previously expressed by my stomach. Maybe on my next diet, I will start every meal with some asparagus. On second thought – maybe not.

Now the weird thing is that I should like asparagus. My mother was so influential in my food preferences. She taught me:

-       Raspberries are the fruit of the gods
-       Steaks are always eaten well-done
-       Scrambled eggs are only eaten with catsup
-       Fried egg sandwiches are only eaten with mustard
-       Good fish does not smell like fish
-       City Chicken is a delicacy
-       Strawberries are always eaten with shortcake

There is only one food, only one, that my mother enjoyed whose preference was not passed down to her son. My mother loved asparagus, and as you might have deduced, I do not.  

So this guy thinks he is going to have more influence over me than the woman I suckled from? GET REAL!

Now there is this outrageous movement by some so-called fancy food connoisseurs to try to convince people to eat disgusting stuff. It reminds me of what kids did as pranks in junior high school. “Let’s see if we can get Timmy to do this!” Now it’s: “Let’s see if we can get people to actually eat this!”

So now there is this constant stream of Internet and newspaper articles promoting the tastiness of all sorts of crap. They recommend such things as bugs, assorted fungi, larvae, tarantulas, rotten cheese, and maggots. Personally, I would also include kale on the barf list, although I know some people enjoy it.

There is even a coffee called, kopi luwak, which is made from coffee beans collected from the feces of an Indonesian cat.  Incredibly, in the spirit of Dave Barry, I am not making this up. No thanks, I’ll just have some Maxwell House.

But are any of these new weird foods better that a hot corned beef sandwich on rye? With pickle, mustard and fresh chips? And it hasn’t even been pooped out by a cat! Eat the corned beef and forget about all the weirdo substances these morons are trying to get you to try. EAT THE &@%# CORNED BEEF.

So, I hope you all learned something important today. Which is, if you are considering inviting me over for steaks this summer, I like mine well-done. And if you are serving a summer salad with the meal, macaroni is good, pasta is fine, even broccoli with sunflower seeds is rather tasty, but under no circumstances should you put any asparagus in that salad.