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!