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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sometimes Democracy Stinks

These are the people at your polling place, at your polling place, at your polling place
These are the people at your polling place, the people that you meet Tuesday

 Last November I exercised my right as a United States citizen and voted.  I admit that I was a bit cranky as I drove to a local church after work to cast my ballot.  It was dark and rainy and I was tired and hungry.  More importantly I knew the only issue I really cared about was going down in defeat.  But I still wanted to vote so my side would end up losing by one fewer vote.  And it worked!  Due to my efforts the issue only lost by 792,249 votes instead of 792,250.  So stick it other side, stick it really hard.

I wanted a quick, uneventful, voting experience, but that wasn’t going to happen. As soon as I entered the hall, I encountered a most horrific smell.  I soon realized the source of the stench was the 20-something man standing directly in front of me.  He will hereafter be referred to as “Young Stinky Guy”.  I don’t know how long you have to go without bathing to create such body odor, but I actually looked to see if there was a toxic cloud hovering over his head.  It should be illegal to smell this bad.

Young Stinky Guy was trying to decide where his precinct table was located.  I knew mine was to the left and I was so hoping his was to the right, but of course he finally turned left.  So I was stuck right behind him, but fortunately the line was not too long.  However, then Clueless Unregistered Guy entered the picture.  It took a while for those lively poll workers to determine he was not registered to vote.  When informed of this, he smiled sheepishly and said, “Well I’ve been out of the country for awhile, so maybe that’s why.”

No, you don’t lose your citizenship if you leave the country, you moron.  You are not registered, because you didn’t register.  And now you decide to show up here at one of the busiest times of the day and expect to vote.  So then Aged Poll Worker Guy has to find a provisional voting application and slowly and thoroughly explain to Clueless Unregistered Guy how to complete it.

While we waited, I was tempted to offer some manly advice to Young Stinky Guy about the benefits of soap (or since it is the suburbs, "body wash").  He really could have used some (both the advice and the soap).  I know he doesn’t have a girlfriend unless the woman has no sense of smell or better yet has no nose at all.  He probably doesn’t have a job unless he works as a diver at the sewage treatment plant.

But just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, Old Blind Guy gets in line behind me.  I had noticed him in the parking lot as his daughter was helping him make it slowly to the door.  I knew he was behind me because I was naturally trying to keep a large gap between me and Young Stinky Guy, but Old Blind Guy was violating the guy rule of assured clear distance and was bumping up next to me.  Normally I would have turned around and given him a dirty look, but that wasn’t going to work now, was it? Saying “Is that your white cane or are you that excited about the candidates?” was not an option either.

However this created an ethical dilemma. What is the protocol when standing in line in front of a blind person?  Do I let him cut in front of me? What is the rule? I didn’t have a clue, but it was making me very uncomfortable. I did feel compassion for him.  I did feel sorry for him.  However there was one person in the room that I felt even sorrier for. That would be the person directly behind him in line.  And then I had an epiphany.  If I let Old Blind Guy go ahead of me, the person directly behind him in line would in fact be me.  You may disagree with what I did, but no cutsies this time.

I finally got my access card, went to the voting machine (one next to Young Stinky Guy of course) and made my selections. In Ohio we actually got to vote on Obamacare.  I thought it was ironic that I was voting on the healthcare bill with much more knowledge of the subject than Congress had when they rushed to vote on it in 2009.  Heck even Old Blind Guy knows more about it and he is of course, blind.  Is this a great country or what?

I finished voting and sure enough Old Blind Guy had still not made it through the sign-in process and the line had now stretched to the door. As I left the church I realized that Young Stinky Guy was probably one of those hippie freaks and had no doubt cancelled out all of my votes.  There is of course a 50% chance Old Blind Guy (if not assisted) had nullified my choices also.

Driving home I was still feeling somewhat guilty about not letting Old Blind Guy cut ahead of me, when I had my second epiphany of the night.  I remember reading that if someone loses one sense their other senses are enhanced.  That means that if Old Blind Guy had an enhanced sense of smell and I caused him to stand too close to Young Stinky Guy, then he would now be dead.  Therefore I am not a cad; I am a democracy loving hero.

Monday, December 12, 2011

What Some Guys Really Want For Christmas

It’s that most wonderful time of the year again when those irritating Christmas commercials get played over and over until you are ready to toss your Christmas cookies.  One of the magical moments of the season is when the big day finally arrives and advertisers return to selling more tolerable things such as hemorrhoid cream.

Some of the most irritating commercials are by jewelry stores.  Some guy overspends for some stupid necklace and a joyous Christmas moment is shared by the whole family.  But these commercials are not about what the woman wants for Christmas, it’s really all about what the guy desperately wants.

The husband in these commercials is 30-something with two or three younger kids and a fairly attractive wife.  Of course the wife is busy looking after the children and she is always tired after doing all the holiday preparations.  This means the guy isn’t getting “any” and what he really wants for Christmas is to get “some”.

And this is really what these commercials are selling.  Watch closely.  The guy very nervously presents the gift to his wife (there is a lot riding (ha!) on this one).  She looks at the locket for only a second and then looks at her husband with an expression that he has not seen in years.  The look that says, “I want you now, you manly stud muffin!” 

And then something really special happens.  She embraces him (sometimes the feet even leave the floor) and kisses him passionately.  This happens RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN!  If she is this hot for the guy in front of the kids, can you imagine what is going to happen behind closed doors?  Oh, this guy is getting some.  And it’s not just “married sex” either.  This is going to be some “hot monkey love”.  Better turn off the smoke alarm in the bedroom because we don’t want the firemen breaking down the door and hosing us off!
And those cute children who are smiling goofily at mommy’s unusual enthusiastic show of affection are in for a surprise too.  The kids may be happy at the end of the commercial, but five seconds after it ends they will learn they are going to bed early tonight (like immediately) because mommy has to tend to the “Yule log”.

The message is clear.  The guy on the commercial bought his wife an expensive piece of jewelry and he is getting “some”.  If you make the mistake of buying your wife a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas, you are not getting “some”.  You are getting none, although your floors may be cleaner.

Yes, I think the jewelry companies are promoting “domestic prostitution”, but it must be working.  If it didn’t you would see so many of these commercials year after year before Christmas.  There is a connection between jewelry and sex.  I’m guessing that jewelry is what most guys give their mistresses for Christmas.  It’s sort of like a year-end tip.  It says “Thanks for letting me visit the Netherlands this year.  Hope to be in Amsterdam many times next year.”  Monogamous guys are just hoping they can get to the Netherlands sometime over the holidays.

My message to the jewelry companies is to be more honest about what they are really selling.  “Every kiss begins with ….”?  Are you serious? A freaking $5 sprig of mistletoe can get you a kiss! Guys are expecting a lot more than that.  Of course advertising that "Every (insert your favorite euphemism here) begins with ….” would be going a bit too far.

My message to the husbands is that you are being manipulated.  It might work, but if it doesn’t you have spent a lot of cash needlessly.  Maybe you should try another route to the Netherlands.

My message to the wives is that if your husband gives you jewelry for Christmas, he is expecting some hot sex.  So please oblige.  He has been manipulated by the commercials.  He has made an effort to please you.  And he has spent some serious coin, so in effect he deserves "some".  However, if you have indeed been too busy and too tired to do any Yule logging early in December, better to not do any now. Or you could end up with a new vacuum cleaner.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Can’t Touch That! – Sexual Harassment (Part 2)

Last time I explored female-on-male sexual harassment and why that is very rarely reported.  This post involves the dynamics of male-on-female harassment in the workplace.  I have to reiterate, legitimate sexual harassment is a serious issue that requires a strong response by businesses.

Four Stories:

#1 - Simply Just Resistible

Cindy was a new marketing assistant in her mid-20’s working for a product group in a mid-sized company.  Her boss Mike had made several complimentary comments about her facial features (lips, eyes, etc).  This made Cindy uncomfortable, so she reported him to HR for sexual harassment.

I know this because Mike came to me after being reprimanded to explain the situation and get my insight.  Mike really had no idea why he was being written up.  The reality was that he was not sexually harassing Cindy.  His comments were more observations than compliments.  He wasn’t a harasser, he was just clueless.  And if you want to write up men who are clueless in romantic matters, you are going to need a whole new department for that.  I did explain to Mike (it took several attempts) why he could not say what he did.

Cindy could have told Mike the comments were inappropriate, but she never did.  Mike has a blot on his work record and of course after torching her boss, Cindy soon leaves the company.   The other strange twist is that Cindy was not really “harassable”.  She was just a “5” (notice the comments were about her face).  She wishes she was attractive enough to be harassed. Instead of wondering if her boss was coming on to her, she should have just looked in the mirror.  A guy like Mike is not going to risk his career and marriage on a “5”.  You may disagree, but it’s written right there in the “Guy Rule Book”. 

#2 - Mind Your Own Junk

Terri was getting some coffee in the break area just across the aisle from the department receptionist desk.  Joe was getting coffee also.  Terri told Joe that she had just started a diet and in the subsequent conversation, Joe made a comment about Terri’s butt.  It was not a sexual comment.  It was the type of comment that is somewhat complimentary if your butt is nice and maybe not so complimentary if your butt is large.  Terri was bootylicious, so she was not offended at all by the innocuous comment.

However the administrative assistant, who overheard the conversation, apparently was very offended by it.  She marched down to HR to file a sexual harassment complaint against Joe the same day.  Poor Joe couldn’t even remember the offending comment (because it wasn’t offensive!).  And you can’t defend something if you don’t even remember what you said.

Maybe the assistant didn’t like Terri or Joe.  Maybe she was jealous of Terri’s butt.  Maybe she has a problem with her own butt.  If that case, don’t eat the extra piece of pie.  Go work out more at the gym.  If that doesn’t work, go see Dr. Lipo.  But don’t go to HR with a frivolous claim.  Again, Joe gets a “permanent” citation and the claim filer leaves the company within a year.

#3 Lounge Lizard at Work

Jerry was a sales guy who wore gold chains on his neck, gold chains on his wrist and would snap his fingers as he sashayed around the office. He thought he was God’s gift to women and he did drive the office women mad – mad with anger.  It was his constant leering, it was his suggestive comments and then there was his “signature” move.  He would sit with his legs crossed wide open, look at a woman, and then scratch his inner thigh with his middle finger. Jerry was a real character, once the “office babe” has just walked away from our department after discussing an accounting issue, he exclaimed, “Man, I would really love to suck her toes!”   Even guys are uncomfortable with that type of statement in the office.

Jerry was never written up once for his sexual harassment activity in the office.  He was cited (by a female) for making suggestive comments to a waitress when he and several co-workers stopped for lunch after making a group sales call.  Fortunately, Jerry didn’t last long at the company because he thought rules applied to everybody but him.

#4 - Can’t Touch That

Big Jake was standing in the middle of the aisle waiting to make a copy.  The office babe (yes the same one with the cute toes) was in the middle of her copy job, when the machine jammed.  So she had to open the copier doors, push and pull all the right levers, bend over and clear the jam and then reverse the process to resume copying.  All this motion by the babe (who I have to note was not dressed provocatively) was a bit too “stimulating” for Jake.  He began to, he began to -- this is difficult to describe and still maintain what little dignity this blog has left.  Let’s just say he was definitely not scratching himself.  This “activity” was witnessed by at least two women.  

Word spread among the females in the office, who were outraged by this incident.
I found out about this from the “work wife” (who was now totally sober).  When she told me what happened and how upset the women were, I asked:

“Of course someone reported it to HR?”

“No”, she replied.

“Why Not?” I asked.

“You can’t report something like that!” she exclaimed.

Yes You Can! Yes You Can! Yes You Can!

Thus explains the complicated nature of sexual harassment in the workplace. I need to pint out that the companies involved handled the complaints very promply and correctly.  However, the frivolous charges damage the credibility of the legitimate ones and sometimes the worst cases are never reported, leaving the corporate lounge lizards to strike again.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It’s Sexual, But It’s Not Always Harassment

Sexual harassment is back in the news, so it is an appropriate time to address this important subject.  I was going to do this awhile back when discussing bad polo shirts, but other more pertinent subjects took precedent.

The shirt connection is as follows: A few years ago I was passing a female coworker in a remote stairwell, when she looked at me and said “I just want to rip that shirt right off your body”.

I was taken aback since I really didn’t know how to respond.  If she liked my shirt, “Nice shirt” would have been sufficient.  I wasn’t sure if she was interested in me or my shirt and the thought of me standing there bare-chested while she made love to my shirt (my shirt’s too sexy for my bod, too sexy for my bod…) was not very appealing to me.

So I just said “thank you” and quickly moved down the stairs.  She was a chunky, spunky, little monkey, and I was really unsure what was going to happen next.

This was technically “sexual harassment”.  To determine this you just switch the scenario.  If I tell the buxom secretary that “I just want to rip that sweater right off your body”, I’m soon going to be meeting with the HR department.

But in reality it is very difficult to actually harass the average male.  I say average, because the “pretty boy”, studly, types can be harassed.  I would expect that being continuous propositioned by ugly hags would be unnerving and maybe having your butt repeatedly grabbed would eventually get old, but I know nothing about that.  Of course any type of supervisor-subordinate harassment, no matter the sexual dynamics, is very legitimate and serious.

But even as an average-looking guy, I have been subject to around 20 incidents that could be regarded as sexual harassment in the workplace.  These include three cases involving physical contact and four instances involving raised skirts.  Of course I did not report any of these acts because I never felt threatened and it was never persistent.  Almost always I considered the incidents (like the shirt story), very humorous.

The funniest incident was when an attractive female co-worker wearing a very short skirt, walked into my office, walked around behind me, and sat on my desk right beside me with her legs slightly spread.   That’s right, my face was just inches from her hooha and combined with the short skirt, she was definitely in violation of the “stripper laws” in Utah.

And then she actually expected me to engage in a business discussion sitting there with her skirt just barely covering her “naughty bits”. This was impossible however because a man’s brain totally shuts down in this situation.  She’s like:  “I think we should use this program to track the project blah, blah, blah …” The brain  just hears “Hooha, Hooha, Hooha” (imagine a loud donkey bray).

It was one of the most physically uncomfortable positions I have ever experienced in my career.  I couldn’t move backwards because that would give me an unobstructed view of the hooha.  I couldn’t move sideways because in was a three-sided desk.  It hurt my neck to look up at her from that angle and if I looked down there were just legs and hooha.  So I keep my head level which then resulted in me looking straight into her more than ample chest.

Another very humorous incident happened at an off-site company Christmas party.  I was standing in the buffet line behind my best (platonic) female friend in the office (my “work wife”). Suddenly she unexpectedly starts rubbing her booty against my crotch.  This would be outrageous enough on its own, but what made this really special is that our spouses were standing in the same line!

Once again, I was trapped.  I couldn’t suddenly jump out of the line.  I couldn’t yell for her to stop without attracting attention.  Eventually while still making physical contact with me, she turns her head around and gives me a glazed, slutty, smile.  Yes, there had been one too many before dinner drinks.  Fortunately, the buffet line began to move and I was sure to maintain an assured clear distance from then on.

But women do realize that then can get away with more in the office than the guys when it comes to sexual harassment behavior.  In one office where I worked, the women held a “best buns” contest.  They made up ballots and voted for the guy with the best buns in the office.  You know that if the guys had a similar contest for the ladies and got caught, there would be hell to pay.

Still the ladies kept their contest, very hush-hush.  I was actually one of the first guys to learn about it very soon after the results were tabulated.  That’s because I received an award in the contest.  I was voted “Most Personable Buns”.  As this news filtered out, I took much ridicule from my male co-workers for winning what amounted to the “Miss Congeniality” award.  However this didn’t bother me in the least.  If I received this recognition, it meant my buns were on the ballot; my buns were in the game.  For two weeks the ladies in the office were spending work time evaluating my butt.  I was therefore proud of winning “Most Personable Buns” and walked around the office for the next few weeks with my head and my buttocks held high. 

(Next Time: Part two of the series!)

Monday, October 31, 2011

It’s Hard To Sit On This Fence

My next door neighbor Jose has two very large oak trees in his front yard.  In autumn, he waits for all the oak leaves to fall from the trees and then he hires a lawn service to clean his yard.

While this works great for Jose, it works badly for me.  My yard is downwind from his which means most of the oak leaves end up blowing into my yard.  You would think that the leaves would continue to travel through my yard into the street, but life isn’t fair and the leaves seem to stick like Velcro to my grass.  Unfortunately I don’t use a lawn service for my leaves.  I don’t use a blower, I don’t use a mower.  I use a contraption that consists of a long wooden handle with long metal prongs at the end.  It is commonly referred to as a “rake”.

But this year I had a great idea. A quick trip to the local hardware store and for less than $20 I had a short, white, garden fence.  I quickly installed the fence at the edge of my property and waited for the leaves to begin falling.

I watched in glee as those leaves smacked hard against my fence and then fell stunned back into Jose’s yard.  A few “high fliers” made it over, but my yard was basically leaf-free while his yard was feeling the “full brunt of autumn”.

I thought the fence was working very well until one day when I was confronted by an angry Jose.

“What is the idea with this fence?” he asked. “There are too many leaves in my yard and there is no place for them to go.”

“But those are your leaves”, I pleaded. “They are your problem and you should deal with them, not me.”

“The leaves should have the right to go wherever they want and they like your yard.  They are very happy there.  That is why they stay and do not come back”, he stated.

“When your leaves settle in my yard, I have added work and expense to tend to them.  That should not be my responsibility, it should be yours.” I protested.

“This is not right, said Jose. “You are a bigot because you do not like oak trees and do not want their leaves in your yard.”

“Not true” I said. I do not want maple leaves.  I do not want birch leaves.  I do not want any leaves that do not belong in my yard!

Jose shouted, “You are not being a good neighbor” and stormed back into his house.

I thought the issue was settled until Halloween evening when I heard a voice booming from a loud speaker from Jose’s yard.  I ran outside and I saw a very strange scene.  There was Jose’s son standing on his porch, dressed in a suit wearing a Ronald Reagan mask and speaking into a microphone.  Furthermore, there were chairs set up in the yard and all the neighbors had apparently been invited to attend this presentation. 

I thought this just some Halloween fun.  The kid was really doing a good job imitating Reagan; he was doing the head bob and everything.   He was reciting an actual Reagan speech and was really getting into it.  I had just realized this was Reagan’s  Brandenburg Gate speech delivered near the Berlin Wall in 1987, when suddenly he turned and looked right at me, and proclaimed:

“Mr. Ake, Tear down this wall!”

“It’s not a wall, it’s a fence”, I yelled.

But it was too late, all hell broke loose.  All the neighbors started arguing with each other.  Some thought it was wrong to put up the fence and contain the leaves.  Others said the fence was a great idea.  One guy thought I didn’t need the fence and that I should just buy a blower and blow all the leaves back into Jose’s yard.  I ran back into my house and peeked out my window until the commotion calmed down.

Who would have thought that a simple solution involving a fence could cause so much controversy?  

Follow this blog by e-mail.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box under my photo and you will get a notice every time there is a new post.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Phoney Messages

The first one I noticed was in the yard of my next door neighbor.  It was a strange symbol, a code perhaps.  Definitely some sort of sign, but to whom?  I wondered if it was a message to alien beings.  This alarmed me because my neighbor’s house was up for sale.  Now I don’t have any reservations about living next door to a “person” of color, unless that color happens to be green.  And you can be darn sure that I paid close attention to potential buyers who viewed the house and if they flew a spaceship to get there.

I watched the skies for several weeks and thought all was fine, but then these weird symbols started popping up everywhere.  They were in front of more houses, they were in the stores.  And then I saw one in my newspaper.  That was too much.  But now I had captured one, so I sought to break the code.

I held it up to the mirror. I studied it under a magnifying glass.  I tried to connect the strange lines on it.  I even dug out my secret Dick Tracy decoding ring, but even it failed to break the code.  What was this strange thing and why were they multiplying so quickly?

I went on something called the Internet and using this neat website I found called google.com, I was able to determine that these strange black and white squares are called QR codes.  These codes contain secret messages that can only be read by people with “smart” phones.  Yes, they are called QR codes because if you don’t have a smart phone, q r screwed!

This just grates my innards.  It’s like we are back in junior high when all the cool kids whispered secret messages and wrote each other private notes that the uncool kids couldn’t have.  With all the talk of national unity we have now divided the country into smart phone people and dumb phone people.  Come on America, we’re better than that!

I of course, do not have a smart phone.  I don’t like having a phone that is smarter than I am.  A few years ago I did have what was considered a smart phone at the time.  It was more like a “smart-ass” phone.  The phone had a mind of its own.  It would do things like go into “sleep mode” when I was expecting an important call.  I think it was demon possessed.  I have never, ever, hated an object more in my life.  And now you are telling me I have to get smart phone to be able to read all these neeto QR messages.

However, I am now considering upgrading to a smart phone next year.  This very much concerns my daughter Cassandra since she would be responsible for teaching me how to use it.  I understand that smart phones can do wonderful things by using something called “apps”.  But for me to effectively use a smart phone I’m going to need an app that can know what I need to do before I even know what I want to do.  A super app that allows me to magically master my smart phone.  No, there’s no app for that.  And Steve Jobs is dead.

Until I am able to get a smarter phone and learn how to use it, I will not be able to read the great stuff that QR codes provide.  Although it wouldn’t surprise me at all that when you scan the “secret” code, you get a message that says, “Isn’t it so cool that you can read this special message, but those losers with dumb phones can’t?”

Well I am not going take this without a fight.  As Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld used to say: “This is an outrageous, egregious, preposterous!”  This is phone intelligence discrimination of the worst kind.  People should not be able to read the messages just because they have a smarter phone. Because this is a discrimination case, I am bringing a big gun to the fight.  That’s right, I’ve put in a call to the. Rev. Al Sharpton.  He didn’t answer so I left a message on his phone.  I just hope it wasn’t on his smart phone.  He hasn’t called back.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Gentlemen Prefer Brains?

A few years ago Zogby International did a survey of 2,900 adult males and asked them what body part was most important on “the perfect woman”.  The respondents selected “heart” as their favorite body part with “brain” coming in a very close second. That’s right; men look for kindness and intelligence in their perfect woman ahead of those other superficial characteristics!  Legs finished sixth, behind teeth.  Buttocks were tied with eyes for seventh and breasts were way back in tenth, just below hair. (I am not making this up!)

This survey may not be valid in determining what men really look for in a perfect woman, but it was very effective in demonstrating something women already know.  Men lie.  And on this survey, the men were lying big time.  Brains?  Men like big brains? ZZ Top never sang “She’s Got Brains” and Sir Mix-A-Lot never rapped “I like big brains and I can not lie”.

Saying men prefer brains is not only a lie, it is the very opposite of the truth. Brainy women are not desirable to many men.  I know this should not be the case, but that’s just how it is.  Now you may think men are intimidated by smart women or it is a male ego thing that a man doesn’t want his woman to be smarter than he is, but I think it is more practical than that.

It all goes back to the fact that men lie.  And if men lie, then don’t want a woman that is so smart that they will always catch them in the lies.  The smarter the wife, the better your lies have to be and the more likely you will get caught lying.  If men can’t effectively lie to their wives, they will always be getting yelled at and they won’t be able to have any fun.  And these things are not good for a long-term relationship.

But while men lie about what they want in a woman, I believe women really don’t know what they want in a man.  They know it when they find it, but I don’t think they can express it.  It is more of a reaction that may even be based on such factors as body odor as several scientific studies have indicated.  (And Old Spice wants you to totally mask it!)

Several surveys have shown that most women say they want a man with “a sense of humor”.  And as a guy with a “very large” sense of humor, a humor stud as it were, I can tell you that is pure bull.  This answer sounds better than “I don’t know” but it is also false. 

And just like the men’s “brain” answer, women really don’t want a man with an enhanced sense of humor. 


-          At a family gathering the guy might say something that he thinks is funny, but it is very insulting to the woman’s grandmother who then doesn’t smile again the rest of the day.  Women don’t want that.

-          After a hot sexual interlude, the guy cracks a joke about the experience that totally “ruins the mood”.  Women don’t want that.

-          The man makes what he thinks is a witty comment about his wife in public that other people think is hilariously funny.  After they get home, the man finds out that the comment was not very funny at all.  Women don’t want that.

-          The man jokes at dinner with the hot, young, waitress.  She finds him very funny so he keeps cracking jokes.  She laughs so hard that her, that her, that her “brains” start bouncing up and down.  Women really don’t want that.

(One can only wonder how a man can be so witty, yet be so insensitive.  What a cad this guy is!)

So men lie about what they want in a relationship and women don’t really know.  This may explain why lasting relationships are so difficult to find.  My advice would be this:  If you are man and find a woman who is crazy about you, you might want to disregard some of her physical “deficiencies” and perhaps shower less.

If you are a woman and you find a guy who appreciates your intelligence and is not intimidated by your brain, latch on to him and don’t let him go.  Also, let him get away with a lie once and a while.     

Monday, September 19, 2011

This Retirement Plan Really Does Blow Smoke

When I saw that no one was going to smoke dope at my high school reunion party (the subject of my last post), I realized something very profound.  My classmates are in the life stage between “smoking recreational marijuana and smoking medical marijuana”.
And there will be mass quantities of medical marijuana in our future.  Because “medical” marijuana exists, the baby boomer generation will want to smoke it.  And baby boomers are very accustomed to getting what we want because we are so big, you cannot stop us.  We are like the Godzilla of generations.  
Now everyone knows that “medical” marijuana is a joke.  It has no medicinal value at all.  But when people smoke it, they get so high that they forget that they are sick at all.  You really have to hand it to the hippies in California though.  They found a way to smoke dope legally and get the government to pay for it.  The government even rolls the joints for them.  This proves that dope-smoking hippies are smarter than our government, but you probably knew that already.
But when enough aging baby boomers retire and start getting more ailments, they are going to demand medical marijuana.  And I say we give it to them.  Medical marijuana is already legal in 15 states and the baby boomers will demand it made legal in all 50.
I don’t think that medical marijuana for old people is a new concept.  How many times have you seen photos of men in the Arab world smoking hashish from a hookah?  These guys are always old (they have gained respect and access to the hookah), have very long beards (if you take time to shave in the morning, someone might beat you to the hookah) and are sitting on the floor (you don’t want to fall out of a chair when you pass out from the hashish).
So I think a whole new medical plan should be developed for old people who want to smoke medical marijuana.  I would call it Medicare Part Do-B.  This sure beats the hell out of Obamacare. Actually it is the opposite of that plan since it was the developers of Obamacare who were the ones smoking dope.
Of course enrollment in the new Part Do-B would be entirely voluntary.  But I think it would be very popular.  If your doctor says he could prescribe the newest prescription drug which might help your condition but it has side effects of explosive diarrhea, enflamed hemorrhoids, swollen testicles, and an insatiable desire to listen to Neil Diamond songs or you could just smoke weed, many people are going to choose the weed.
I know that I am advocating legalized pot for old people, but the arguments against total legalization don’t apply here.  Senior citizens are not going to move on to harder drugs.  They are not going to become criminals to support their habit.  They are not going to ruin their lives, nor will they become dealers.  All participants in Medicare Part Do-B will have to surrender their driver’s licenses to get their dope.
And old people take plenty of expensive drugs now.  In the last years of her life, my mother took a long list of prescription drugs for a variety of conditions.  Her doctors and nurses actually expected me know every medicine she was taking and what is was for.  The list was so long that when I was asked if my mother was taking a specific drug, I would answer “probably” which always really ticked them off.
So you could replace all these drugs with weed.  Sure some people would die sooner, but they would sure as hell die happy.  And if you have spent any time visiting someone in a nursing home, you know that dying happy is probably underrated.  You would have to invent a hookah device with extensive safety features or nursing homes across the country would go up in flames. 
On the positive side, the cost savings could save Medicare.  Medical marijuana would become a big cash crop that would create thousands of jobs which would help the unemployment problem.  Finally, you could heavily tax it and plow the money into the social security fund and help resolve that problem as well.
The biggest issue left is the stigma associated with the term “medical marijuana”.  So we need a new, medically oriented, name.  I would use Weedburnzadox.  You know a prescription medicine is good if it has a “Z” or an “X “in the name and this one has both. 
Of course there will be commercials extolling the great benefits of this “new” drug that features a unique incendiary delivery system that enables it to enter your blood stream quickly through the lungs to provide fast relief.  Common side effects include anxiety attacks, cotton mouth and the munchies.
Ask your doctor (or your friend Cheech) if Weedburnzadox is right for you.

Monday, September 5, 2011

No, No, No, No, We Don’t Smoke It No More

Recently I organized a 35-year reunion party for my high school class.  We were meeting at the outdoor pavilion of a local restaurant and I was very nervous before the event.  Not because it was a class reunion and we had not gotten together in 15 years.  No, I was nervous because our class had a bunch of wild party animals that were known for their outrageous behavior.  Our unofficial class slogan was “Party Hard! – Then Party Some More”.  The teachers and principals all had big smiles as they waved goodbye to us at graduation.  They were not happy for us for attaining a diploma.  They were smiling because the school was still standing and that they all still had jobs.  They were thinking: Get the hell out of here!
I was very concerned that during the festivities a group of guys would gather at the edge of the grounds and light up some joints.  I thought about how I would handle that situation and what I might tell the officer who came to arrest us all.  I imagined what my mug shot would look like in the morning paper with the caption: “Organizer of the biggest pot party in Akron in years”.
But my fears were totally unfounded.  The class had changed much in the last 15 years.  We were mellow.  Naturally mellow.  No need for any pot smoking to mellow out now.  I think if anyone would have lit a doobie, they would have been ready for a nap.
But nobody toked, few people even smoked.  No one even came close to even drinking too much.  In a strange way it was disappointing.  Time had done what the “authorities” had tried so hard to do, but failed.  It had turned us into, gulp, responsible citizens.
I did find out that my friend Mark was currently using some heavy drugs.  Yes, he had recently had a heart attack and he was taking daily hits of Lipitor and Plavix.   How ironic. Mark used to buy his stash behind the Walgreens, now he just casually strolls through the front door and places his order at the counter.
The discussions among classmates were different also.  Instead of comparing our sexual exploits, we compared our colonoscopy experiences (it was a probing conversation).  Instead of boasting about how many beers we could drink, bragging rights went to the people with the most grandkids.  My classmate Rob was bummed out about this one.  “Did you know that Karen has eight grandkids?  I don’t have any!”  He was really upset about this so I told him that for guys this was probably overrated.  Do you really want to be changing that many diapers again? I asked him.  No, so go have a beer.
I thought the evening might liven up when the deejay starting playing tunes and some hot chicks (from a 10-year reunion that was taking place inside the restaurant) that were dressed to kill, strutted to the outside dance floor.  You see the other activity that our class was known for was mooning.   If there had been moon rankings back then, our class would have been nationally ranked in 1976.  We had some of the best mooners in the land.  Remember, this was before camera phones and You Tube so you could shoot the moon without any evidence.   The hot, young, women presented a tempting target.
So I waited awhile but there was no moon.  I went over to Alex who was the top mooner in the class and pointed out the opportunity that presented itself.  “I don’t know Don”, he said.  “I’ve been having some serious gastric-intestinal issues lately.  I don’t really think that dropping my pants and squatting out here would be a wise thing to do.”  I told him that I agreed and quickly moved on to talk to somebody else.
But the music and young chicks did get things hopping.  When those ladies started gyrating I quickly sought out Mark and asked him for a hit of his Plavix because I felt a possible heart attack coming on.  Just then my friend Tony decided to try to dance up one of the 10-year reunion babes on the dance floor.  He tried to move like Travolta (I told him he should have moved like Jagger).  This scared the chick so bad that she bolted for the door.  I have never seen a non-hooker run that fast in 5-inch heels!
The highpoint of the evening came when we slipped the deejay a twenty to start playing 70’s tunes. (Stick it class of 2001, we got more money than you!  We got 401-Ks!  And they even had money in them until a few years ago).  So the class of ‘76 started discoing down with abandon.  I realized then that we should have had a chiropractor on site.  
Things were going well until he played “Shake Your Booty” by K.C. and the Sunshine Band.  The ladies started to shake their respective booties like it was 1976 again.  News Flash:  It isn’t 1976 no more and some booties should never be shaken.   While that scene would have given the guys a “rise in the Levi’s” during high school days, I swear it caused a slight rise in the seismograph reading that night.  I was glad we were outside so that there was no structural damage to the building.  And at this point all the younger chicks left the dance floor in a hurry, which was a good thing.  One inadvertent hip shot could have caused them serious injury.
So we did survive this reunion.  Final tally:  No hits, No moons, No earthquakes.  Not a bad night. 
A lady that I know just came from Columbia,
She smiled because I did not understand.
Then she held out some marijuana, ha ha!
She said it was the best in all the land.

And I said,
"No, no, no, no, I don't smoke it no more,
I'm tired of waking up on the floor.
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze,
And then it makes it hard to find the door."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Most Interesting Blog Post in the World

He used to smoke joints, now his joints are smoked

He still listens to K.C. & The Sunshine Band – on a 8-track player

He has more hair growing on his back, than is growing on his head

He is - the most middle-aged man in the world

I don’t eat ice cream often, but when I do, I prefer dos de cucharas (two scoops)

I don’t dance often, but when I do, I prefer the dos paso (two step)

I don't drive sports cars often, but when I do, I prefer dos puertas (two doors)

He can explain the benefits of a Roth IRA

He smokes a pipe – filled will legal substances

He has man-boobs that make teen-age girls envious

He is - the most middle-aged man in the world

I don’t drink Pepsi often, but when I do, I prefer dos litros (two liters)

I don’t wear glasses often, but when I do, I prefer dos vidrios (two lenses)

I don’t have threesomes often, but when I do, I prefer dos gemelas (two twins)

He knows why his wife is upset with him – without even asking

He used to play lacrosse.  Now he just drives one.

He believes corn-holing should be done in private

He is - the most middle-aged man in the world

I don’t wear footwear often, but when I do, I prefer dos zapatos (two shoes)

I don’t fly small planes often, but when I do, I prefer dos motors (two engines)

I don’t get complete physical exams often, but when I do, I prefer dos enfermeras (two nurses)

He knows how to properly hit a lob wedge

He used to go back packing.  Now he packs his back in ice.

He knows how much fiber he can eat -- without blowing out his shorts

He is - the most middle-aged man in the world

I don’t eat hamburgers often, but when I do, I prefer dos pastelillos (two patties)

I don’t shoot shotguns often, but when I do, I prefer dos canons (two barrels)

I don’t marry trophy wives often, but when I do, I prefer veintidós años de edad (22-year olds)

He has experienced the benefits of compound interest

The kids in the neighborhood call him Buddha – but not for his wisdom

He used to spend money to be authentically hip.  He now spends it on artificial hips.

He is - the most middle-aged man in the world

I don’t tee off often, but when I do, I prefer dos maderas (two woods)

I don’t play poker often, but when I do, I prefer dos ases (two aces)

I don’t use small bills often, but when I do, I prefer dos dolares (two dollars)

He can calculate his own cholesterol level

He knows the best way to prepare for a colonoscopy

He just bought a new shaver – for his ear hair

He is - the most middle-aged man in the world

I don’t use sugar often, but when I do, I prefer dos cubos (two cubes)

I don’t throw fastballs often, but when I do, I prefer dos costuras (two seamers)

I don’t wear bras often, but when I do, I prefer dos copas (two cups)

Keep breathing my friends

Saturday, August 13, 2011

So You Want To Be A Dairy Princess

Recently while vacationing in central Pennsylvania I read a local newspaper article that made reference to the county “Dairy Princess”.  Since this is big dairy country, I surmised that being Dairy Princess is a great honor.  Because my mind never goes on vacation, I wondered what the qualifications for becoming a Dairy Princess are.

The one requirement evident from the article is the Dairy Princess must own a cow.  This makes sense, if you’re going to represent dairy farmers and promote “Mother Nature’s most perfect food, milk” (Stick it you vegans!), then it helps to have some hide in the game.  This also eliminates them city slicker girls with them fake nails who might just want to be Dairy Princess to pad their resume.

I’m sure there is some academic requirement and prospects probably have to write a lame essay espousing the wonders of milk.  A committee evaluates all of this and then selects the winner.  I bet even in farm country politics and favoritism affects the selection.

However if the purpose of the Dairy Princess is to promote milk, I think you can simplify the selection by focusing in on just one factor.  I would choose the applicant with the biggest milk jugs.

I realize that this may seem sexist in the new millennium and this factor is already an unwritten rule by many male hiring managers in business, but it is a legitimate attribute for this job.  When people meet the Dairy Princess, you want them to have a positive opinion of milk and nothing does it better than huge milk jugs.

You want your Dairy Princess to enthusiastically promote milk.  You want her to radiate milk.  You want to exude milk.  You don’t want her to actually express milk, but it helps if she looks like she could if she had to.

I want a Dairy Princess who shops in the women’s section.  If she’s still in training, she’s not ready for prime time.   This is the mountain country of Pennsylvania so you want a mountain woman and a woman who has mountain flair. It would be udderly ridiculous to choose a Dairy Princess from the flatlands.  You need milk jugs, not milk cups.

I know this would be a radical change from the current selection process, but something tells me that problems recruiting dairy farmers for the selection committee would be a thing of the past.  No more reading boring essays.  I don’t care if the Dairy Princess is as dumb as dirt.  If you want to carry the message of milky goodness, then you need to be able to show some yourself.

Of course each contestant would need a certificate of authenticity.  Milk is a natural, wholesome, food and the Dairy Princess should have similar traits.

If your Dairy Princess carries some large milk jugs, attendance is sure to increase at all her appearances -- and that is whole point, isn’t it?  Of course all Dairy Princess outfits would need to be approved by someone.  You don’t want the dairy Princess to “bust a move” (or move a bust) at the monthly Osterburg dairy farmers meeting.  And you don’t ever want this headline: “Dairy Princess Jugs Spill Out at the County Fair – Calamity Ensues. – Local firemen able to control the overflow”.

When it comes to dairy farming it’s all about the teats and filling up your jugs.  You should expect nothing less from your Dairy Princess.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I've Still Got "It"!

But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
--- Paul Simon

Years ago when I wrote Ake’s Pains for the Buchtelite, occasionally someone would read it, take it seriously and respond negatively.

In starting to write humor again after such a long time, of course I wondered if I still “had it”.  Fortunately, it didn’t take very long to find out.

After only my second post on what I thought was a harmless piece involving what problems could occur if we ever have a promiscuous First Lady, this appeared on the Linked In group page under the discussion where I had posted the blog link:

This is blog post is offensive, sexist, and very upsetting to me. The way this article is portrayed, the president (obviously male in a heterosexual relationship, leaving absolutely no room for a same-sex relationship), must have complete "control" over his wife (who apparently must not be attractive or have so much as an ounce of sexual drive) so that he doesn't have to "worry" about his marital relationship while managing the rest of the country.

As someone who practices in family law, with a focus on divorces and domestic violence, I believe that articles precisely like this perpetuate the objectification and dehumanization of women, which in turn enables the atmosphere that domestic violence continues to occur and flourish in.

Oh yes, I still got it.

So how did I respond?  I immediately deleted the link and discussion before someone defended me with the same intensity that I was criticized.  If the comment were sent on my actual blog page, I would have posted it. Because let’s face it, sometimes the reaction to the post are more entertaining than the post itself.

If you read the post “No First Cougars Need Apply” (June 2) you do not need to reread it, you didn’t miss anything the first time through.  If you are new to the blog, you probably do need to read the post so that you will know that I am not a domestic terrorist intent on destroying the nation from my computer.

And there will be no response to the comments now.  They say more than enough on their own.  I will say that if after reading the piece you were motivated to beat your spouse:  Bad reader.  Bad, bad, reader.  Stop it right now.

This incident reminded me of a column that I wrote for the Buchtelite back in 1977.  A student programming board accidentally ordered a porno film to show on “movie night” and a big controversy erupted.  Here is an Ake’s Pains “classic” and a letter to the editor that was written in response:

 Variety of students slighted ….RHPB vetoes porno flick

Last week in a landmark decision, the Residence Hall Programming Board (RHPB) cancelled the movie scheduled to run on campus last Thursday and Friday nights. The movie, entitled Every Inch a Lady, was cancelled by a unanimous 10-0 vote because, in the board’s opinion, the movie contained “extreme pornographic material.”

It’s hard to believe that out of 10 students on the board, everyone voted against showing the film.  RHPB president Lois Di Vencenzo added, “Any girl who would have gone to the film would have been very offended.”  But, do girls who are offended go to X-rated movies?  I know a couple girls on campus that would not have been offended by any movie; however the statement can be defended.

Suppose you go to see an X-rated flick entitled The Adventures of Little Bo Peep.  You would expect Bo Peep to “get it on” with Little Boy Blue in the corn field, but as soon as something started happening with the sheep most people would be offended.

The decision to cancel the movie was not influenced by administration or University personnel although one campus organization, Students for Metric Conversion (SMC) was strongly against the film.  SMC protested because the word “inch” was used in the title.  They thought that the title should be Every Centimeter a Lady.

When RHPB ordered the film they did not know it was hardcore pornography.  The title Every Inch a Lady was no clue to the content of the film.  For example, when I heard the title I thought the movie was about a tall lady basketball player.

 I was so puzzled by the decision that I decided to talk to some students about the movie’s cancellation.

  “Do you think your first amendment rights have been violated?” I asked a political science major.

 “Yes, but it doesn’t violate the first amendment as much as it does the second,” he said.    

 “What does the second amendment have to do with the film?” I asked.

“It gives a person the right to bare arms, legs and whatever.” he said.
Next I talked to biology major, “I think the film should have been shown.” She said.  It would have been a great way to learn about anatomy.”

A business major thought the film should not have been cancelled, but for a different reason.  “Can you imagine how much money that RHPB could have made?”  After the word got around the film was hard-core, it would have sold out both nights.”

One nursing student thought the movie should have been cancelled.  She also thought Star Wars should have been rated R.

RHPB has received much criticism from students for cancelling the movie, but the board is not totally to blame.  They did not want to show that type of film to start with, and were not obligated to show it.  The company that sent the film to RHPB should get most of the blame.  Contrary to campus rumors RHPB did not watch the film four straight times before stating it was obscene.

According to Di Vencenzo, the movie was cancelled not only because it was hard-core, but also because it was not entertaining. But what is entertainment?  Maybe RHPB should show the movie That’s Entertainment and see how many people show up to watch it.

No rights violated

To the Editor:

I am writing in reference to Don Ake’s story on November 4 about the cancellation of the Residence Hall Program Board movie Every Inch a Lady.  The Program Board received some advance publicity on the movie, and decided to order the film on this publicity alone.  Unfortunately, the publicity said nothing about how sexually explicit the movie was.  Upon previewing only 10 minutes of the 70-minute film, the Board decided that we had seen enough of the film to determine that it was not the kind of film that we, The Program Board, would be proud to sponsor as one of our events.

We resent Ake’s statement that he found it “hard to believe that out of ten students on the board, everyone voted against showing the film,”   We are sorry, but we are not smut peddlers.  Ake wrote an article a week earlier condemning Start Wars, saying it was hard to find the plot.  Every Inch a Lady had no plot, and was not entertaining, yet Ake seemed to want us to show it.

In conclusion, we do not feel that we violated anyone’s rights to see a pornographic movie.  Anyone can go to several places in Akron to see this type of movie.  We chose not to lower ourselves to this level.  And yes, we would be proud to show That’s Entertainment, even if no one came.  That doesn’t reflect us, only those who would rather see Every Inch a Lady.

Media Chairman, for the 197X Residence Hall Program Board

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What Not To Wear: Office Version

They come runnin' just as fast as they can
Coz' every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.
 - ZZ Top
Ever since my post on the man rules for wearing pink, I have been inundated with guys asking me the question:  “How do I dress for success in the office?”  Well I have never been Mr. GQ, but I do have some examples on what not to wear in business situations.

Not on the Golf Course, Not Anywhere

Years ago Engineer Mike and I made an early morning sales call on a truck service dealer in Pennsylvania.  We were wrapping up a very successful meeting when disaster almost struck.  That’s when Engineer Mike asked “So you guys are going golfing?”  He said this because one of the men was wearing one of the most hideous pairs of pants I have ever seen.  They were plaid and the most dominant color, was yes, pink. But the guy looked at Mike and said very seriously, “No we’re not going golfing.”   He obviously was confused and offended by the question and wanted an explanation why it was asked.  The true answer was that those pants you are wearing should not ever have been made, should never have been sold, should never have been bought and obviously should never have been worn by you today.

I blurted out, “We’ll it’s such a beautiful morning, we just thought you might be golfing.”  Mike then quickly changed the subject and the sale was saved.   We laughed about it for about five minutes after leaving.

(And by the way, the man rules still apply even on the golf course.  You can dress, wild, you can dress crazy, but you can’t dress pretty.  Hey Alice! Unless you are planning to hit off the ladies tees, no pink below the belt).

Plaid Is Bad

Pink plaid is wrong anywhere, but plaid is just plain bad in the office.  A co-worker named Ezra had two pairs of plaid pants (one red, one green) that were part of his office wardrobe.  He looked absurd and took a great deal of ridicule from his co-workers.  It is never a good thing when ladies are looking at your crotch area and laughing, especially when your pants are still on. 

These plaid pants are only appropriate when you are smoking a pipe and drinking wine in your study at home.  However they are still not acceptable if they in any way decrease your chances of having sex later that day. 

A man who wears plaid pants in the office.  I know what you are thinking, but you are wrong.  Ezra is caucasian, very caucasian.  He would return from a Florida vacation whiter than before he left.  Also, he is very heterosexual.  I know this because he would frequent strip clubs and brag about it.  I never got to ask him if he ever wore his plaid pants to the club.  I can’t imagine that the strippers would enjoy performing a plaid lap dance.  Of course if the stripper was wearing a plaid skirt, it would give a whole new meaning to “scotch doubles”.

Solids Aren’t “Safe” Either

One day intern Steve decided to wear his orange pants to the office.  You are probably thinking they were a dark, burnt, orange, but you would be wrong.  He looked like a freakin’ walking traffic cone.  It is the only time I have laughed out loud at someone’s pants.  Again, it should be illegal to sell pants that outrageous, but Intern Steve made the decision to buy these things and to wear them to work.  Understandably, Intern Steve did not make the cut allowing him to take his talents and his orange pants to another company. (The geekyhood of the traveling orange pants)

No Yakking

Intern Earl decided to wear a very unique, brown, furry, jacket to the company Christmas party.  When asked about his jacket, Earl proudly proclaimed that his jacket was made of “pubic hair from yaks” (I am not making this up).  I didn’t really believe him.  I reasoned that you might be able to shave a yak there once and get away with it.  The next time you touch him in that area, I think he bites your hand off.  Still, I made sure that I went through the buffet line before Earl, just in case his jacket shedded in the beef stroganoff.   Not much later, Earl and his amazing, yakkyhairy, screamcoat were sent packing.

But She’s Not Chinese

I can’t finish this post about men’s clothes without mentioning Trisha the H.R. representative.   She was kind of a “plain Jane”, but she caused quite a stir in the office because she wore men’s shoes.  I swear you could find her footwear on page four of the Thom McCann catalogue or maybe page one of the Butch McCann version.  The women in the office hated her shoes.  It was very disconcerting for them to be in the restroom and look down and see a pair of man shoes in the next stall.  That’s just too creepy.  In a Hitchcock movie the man shoes would have grown eyes to stare at the squatting victim.  Trisha’s office nickname was “manshoes” and her tenure at the company was known as The Manshoe Dynasty.

Pink Shirt, Plaid Pants
But I can’t get no one to even dance
Yak Suit, Odd Shoes
I am dressed to really lose

They go runnin' just as fast as they can
Coz' no girl's crazy 'bout a dork dressed man