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!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Have Cleveland Browns Fans Been Screwed Again?

Cleveland Browns fans are very worried over recent events at the Flying J Corporation which is owned by team owner Jimmy Haslam.  Everyone is concerned about just how much trouble this is going to cause the team.  So let’s review what has happened so far.

News Item:  FBI and IRS agents raid and “lock down” Flying J headquarters in Tennessee, citing issues regarding unpaid rebates.

(Now at first I thought I may have caused the problem since I had recently complained about the Flying J.  A few weeks ago the clerk at the Flying J had refused to give me my tenth cup of coffee free after I bought my first nine.  He was from Florida and he claimed that there was a hanging chad on my sixth cup and thus the card showed that I had bought eight previous cups, not nine.  However, the Feds said that the problem had to do with diesel fuel rebates, so I was off the hook.  But Jimmy wasn’t.)

In Response Jimmy Sez: This is just a little bitty misunderstanding.  Nothing to see here.  There are no rebate problems and I don’t even know about any rebates, so there are no problems. 
"I got your rebate right here" 

News Item: Everybody knew about the rebate program, including Jimmy.

In Response Jimmy Sez: Oh, you mean that rebate program.  I thought you were referring to some other rebate program that I of course knew nothin’ about.  Yeh there is a rebate program, but there are absolutely no problems with it.

News Item: Flying J employees say the rebate program was used to cheat and defraud customers.  Rebates were promised to customers but were not paid if not requested. They said workers commonly used the terms “jacking the customer” and “screwing the customer” in referring to the rebate program.

 In Response Jimmy Sez: I ain’t quitin’.

To be fair, many customers at truck stops get jacked and screwed every day.  Of course this happens in the parking lot by independent contractors practicing the world’s oldest profession.  The big difference between these ladies and Flying J, is that at least they are screwing their customers honestly.  I also doubt if they offer any rebates.
"No, we don't offer any rebates, but we are
running a 2 for 1 special"

The Browns claim that the controversy will not affect the team one bit, but you know this is not true.  For example, instead of preparing all weekend for the upcoming NFL draft, CEO Joe Banner had to go to Dillard’s to shop for new underwear.  He reported blew out most of his pairs last week.  Coach Chud and Mike Lombardi also had a few “brown outs”.

The NFL is very concerned about the situation.  The owners don’t like it if you get a speeding ticket; an FBI raid is a major faux pas.  They are now extremely suspicious of a proposal that the Browns sent the league office a few weeks ago.  Reportedly the idea was to have opposing teams credit the Browns 15 points at the beginning of every game and then Cleveland would rebate the points back at the end of the game if needed.  Of course if the other team failed to ask for the rebate, lost their rebate form, or failed to fill out the form correctly and include the receipt, the Browns would keep the points.  If this rebate program was in place during the 2012 season and opponents failed to collect their rebates, the Browns would have finished 14-2.

We do now know why Haslam wanted to buy the Cleveland Browns and not another NFL team.  The Browns fans, customers of the team, are used to getting “jacked” and getting “screwed”.  We’ve been jacked and screwed so much, we hardly even mind anymore.

How much trouble are Browns fans in this time?  We will know that things are extremely messed up if we hear these words Thursday night:

“With the sixth pick in the NFL draft, the Cleveland Browns select Defense Attorney Marvin Kammish, Harvard Law School”.

Mel Kiper:  Wow, what a great choice, Kammish finished third in the class of 1993 and is great at blitzing the prosecution ….. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Tribute To Tim Richardson

My brother-in-law Tim Richardson (age 47) passed away very unexpectedly on April 2.  The following are the series of my Facebook postings surrounding the event.  I know they don’t belong on a humor blog, but I need to record this for posterity and this is the only place I have to post it.  You may consider this Ake’s pain, so in an odd way it almost fits.

The News (April 2, 2013)
"The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday." Today (a Tuesday) at around 3 p.m. my wife called to tell me that her youngest brother, Tim Richardson, had unexpectedly passed away. It would be difficult to know a finer person or to have a better brother-in-law. Heavy grieving.
The Pain
I apologize to my family for not being able to offer any comments of support or condolences at this time. I hurt, I just hurt, so incredibly bad .....
The Tributes
Tim on a recent missions trip
#1 - Tribute to my brother-in-law Tim Richardson who passed away Tuesday: Last year Tim and I served as pallbearers at his father’s military funeral. There are strict rules on handling the casket and they asked for two volunteers from the pallbearers to assist with the closing of the casket. I immediately volunteered. I really did not want anything to do with closing anyone’s casket, but I didn’t want Tim to have to go through that with his own father. I was relieved when someone behind me immediately raised their hand also. That was until I turned around and saw the other volunteer was Tim. I pulled him aside and strongly protested. “You do not have to do this. You should not have to do this”, I said sternly. “It’s okay, I want to do this”, he said calmly. That ended the argument because I was totally speechless. He wanted to do that? Who wants to do that? I don’t want to do that for a stranger, let alone a parent. Yet Tim saw that as a responsibility and actually wanted to fulfill it.

#2 - A Tribute to my brother-in-law Tim Richardson who passed away April 2: In February 2012 the family was jammed into a crowded hospital waiting room because my father-in-law was critically ill. A person carrying food to another family spilled half a cup of ice on the floor. Most of the ice fell harmlessly on the carpet, but a couple pieces fell on the tile walkway where we were gathered, thereby creating a safety hazard. I was seated against the wall and the ice was close to where Tim was standing.
I pointed to the ice and told Tim to kick the cubes back onto the carpet. Instead of doing that, Tim picked up the ice on the tile and then proceeded to pick up every other piece of ice on the carpet and throw them in the trash. Once again I was just amazed by this act. Unbelievably, the other family was offended that he had cleaned up their mess!
Some people never seem to do what is required in life. I guess I try to get by doing just what is required. Tim was exceptional because he tried to do more than what was required, even when under stress in a hospital waiting room.

#3 – A tribute to Tim Richardson, my brother-in-law, who passed away April 2: Two years ago I adopted a new philosophy: I want to live my life in such a way that people cry at my funeral. Easy to say, hard to do. Some days I do accomplish this, most days I fail. 
 I never thought about what the scene might look like if a person was actually able to live a life that cherished. But now I know, because last Friday night I sat by myself in the corner of a funeral home and watched intently as the line of mourners moved past the casket. I have never been in the presence of so much sorrow ever before. And there is a difference between sorrow and sadness. Sadness is a surface emotion. Sadness is expressed because the person is deceased. Sorrow is a deep emotion and expressed because the person is no longer here. We are now missing something beloved, someone that we will never have again in this realm.
And sitting in the midst of this sorrow, I began to absorb it, to breathe it in. And the human body can only hold so much sorrow at one time, so at some point I had to escape the melancholy and retreat outside. And there at the edge of the parking lot, the sorrow absorbed in the previous 80 minutes poured out of me. This was a life well lived, very well lived, indeed.
#4 (and final) Tribute to my friend (and brother-in-law) Tim Richardson who passed away April 2: On February 11, my wife’s family met for dinner at a Fairlawn restaurant to commemorate some occasion that I can’t even recall. I do remember that I wasn’t really looking forward to the event since it was on a Monday night and we would have to rush to get there and then get home late.
At the table, Tim was seated to my immediate right. Looking back, this wasn’t unusual. At most family events, Tim and I usually hung out together. This wasn’t by any conscience choice. I just liked being around him because he was such a great guy. He wasn’t just my brother-in-law, he was my friend. And I know that type of relationship does not exist in every family. I am extremely fortunate to have married into a tremendous family and Tim was a big part of that.
I never really thought about the friendship part of the relationship. Tim was just a great brother-in-law. We never argued and I can’t remember having any conflicts with him in the 35 years that I knew him.
The February dinner was great. Everyone had a good time and we laughed boisterously trying to decide what each person should order from the restaurant’s extensive menu. At the end of the meal, I said goodbye to Tim as I had done hundreds of times before. Only this time it wasn’t just goodbye, it turned out it was, GOODBYE. It’s now time not to be so concerned about the inconvenience of rushing to get to places or getting home late.

The Reflection
In December I was able to do two unexpected (and unrequired) acts of generosity for my brother-in-law Tim. At the time I considered them relatively small and insignificant. Upon his untimely passing this Tuesday, I realize that I was able to provide two blessings to him in what turned out to be the last few months of his life. Now these acts to me seem magnanimous, they are almost immeasurable. How is it that my perspective on this was so far off? What “small” acts did I have the chance to do today for other people that I did not do? What opportunities will I have

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fifty Shades of Gray? - Try Fifty Shades of Red!

You would think by now I would be an expert in communicating with women, but recently I have had several strange conversations that ended with ladies becoming upset and disappointed. For example:

- I called my insurance agent Tina because she had made several errors on a recent quote.

“I’m very sorry about the mistakes I made”, she said.  “I’ve been a very bad agent.  Would you like to spank me?”

“Now, now, everyone makes mistakes, I said.  Just send me a corrected quote and we’ll be good.”

“Fine”, she said curtly. “I just send you a new quote then.”

- I was at my doctor’s office getting my blood pressure checked when the nurse said:

“I really enjoyed cuffing you.  I think it would be great if you cuffed me.  I’m sure it would raise your blood pressure.”

Of course I declined the offer.  She’s the medical professional.  I don’t see any benefit of me taking her blood pressure!  And shouldn’t she be trying to lower my blood pressure?

- I told a vendor that I couldn’t meet with her on Tuesday because I    was tied up in a meeting.

“Ooh, I just loved to be tied up”, she said. “Would you like to meet   some evening?”

I told her that my schedule wasn’t that tight and we could meet at my office Thursday morning.  She seemed much less thrilled with this idea.

- At lunch one day I ordered the whipped potatoes.  The waitress said:
“I just love to get whipped. What do you think?”
I told her that she should just get some potatoes to go when her shift was over and enjoy them at home.

The sexiest potatoes ever!

- I was having this lunch with my friend Cherise, when we finished eating she said:

“I want you to force me to do something I don’t want to do”

I thought quickly and replied, “Okay, you can pay for lunch.  My food costs almost twice as much as yours, so I am really sticking it to you!  And you’re responsible for the tip also.”

Cherise got real upset at the idea, so I guess she really didn’t want to do this!

- My co-worker Gail said that she wanted to be disciplined and asked me if I wanted to help.

“Sure”, I replied. “We all need more structure at the office.  You can start by making a “To Do” list every morning.”
- I was returning books at the library when the librarian said:
“Would you like it if I got very kinky?”

“Your hair looks very nice straight, but if you wanted to make it curly, give it a try”, I said.

- The perky clerk at Starbucks took my order and then asked:

“I want to get into S&M. Can you help me?”

I told her that sales and marketing would be a good field for her to consider and that I would let her know if I heard of any openings.  She looked very disappointed at my reply.
I told my friend Roger about all these weird conversations and he said that it all has to do with something called Fifty Shades of Grey.  Now this is just about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of.  When I worked at a paint store we had over 50 shades of off-white because people were very particular about getting just the right one to match their d├ęcor.  But grey? All you really need are three shades of grey: light, medium or dark.  One of those usually does the trick.
Which shade of grey turns you on?

So ladies if you are stimulated by the thought of fifty shades of grey, just go to your local paint store and tell the guy there what you really need.  Be sure to be very explicit in your description because some guys are so dense they don’t understand what a woman is really telling them.  I’m sure the man at the paint store will be happy to satisfy any special desire you may have.