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, July 22, 2018

A Very Crabby Time At The Beach

All I wanted to do this year at the beach was relax. I wanted no distractions, none. A strict zero-tolerance policy on distractions was in effect. Well yes, I might make an exception for any “beach bunnies” hopping around in thongs. But after all the stress I’ve encountered this year, I needed total relaxation with NO DISTRACTIONS!

Unfortunately, my peaceful beach oasis was disrupted on the very first day. I looked up to see the biggest, hairiest, most vicious spider I have ever. It was scurrying towards me, staring at me with its beady eyes.

I screamed “SPIDER! SPIDER!” as I struggled to propel my rotund body out of the low-sitting beach chair, ready to run arms flailing, screaming like a little girl, back to the condo. But my wife didn’t flinch, “That’s a crab”, she calmly replied.
A crab? Are you serious? What the heck is a crab doing on the beach?  I mean they live in the ocean with the rest of the seafood don’t they? What part of “sea” food don’t they understand?

I remain on the beach, but I can’t relax because this crab keeps staring at me with those creepy, beady eyes. When I would stare back, with my beautiful, not beady, eyes, the crab would crouch back down in the sand. I would then go back to reading my Kindle, but when I would look up, there would be ol’ beady eyes staring me down.  So, I’m playing hide-and-seek with this crustacean instead of enjoying the day.

Even more disconcerting, this crab reminded me of an old boss who used to stare at me with those same awful beady eyes whenever I screwed something up, which of course I rarely did. And interestingly enough, this boss was very crabby. Coincidence? I think not, and not a pleasant flashback.

I wondered what I could have done to upset this crab and then I realized I had posted a favorable review of a local restaurant called “Crabs” on Facebook the previous evening. This must have really torqued him off! I didn’t know crabs knew how to use the Internet since they are a lower-life form.  But looking at some of things posted on social media, it appears there are many lower-life forms using Facebook.

The next day, I was totally relaxed, deep in a beach-induced coma, when I was literally shaken by a deafening roar from above. Unbelievably, the Blue Angels were practicing their routines over the beach for a show that weekend. While the other people on the beach, including my wife, were enjoying watching the maneuvers, this was totally unacceptable to me.  They should have been doing this “practicing” somewhere far away from the beach where I am chilling.  It is impossible to relax when the ground is shaking and your ears are ringing.

And the weirdest part of the whole vacation was when a woman walked over to me and asked what religious group the Blue Angels were associated with. I told her I thought they were Presbyterian since that denomination has historical connections with the color blue. My second choice would have been the holy order of the Azulians.

The next day I was rattled by the family of Hayden and Silas, camped next to us, which produced almost as many decibels as the Blue Angels. I know their names because their mother yelled at them every five seconds to get them to behave. But Hayden did not want to behave, he instead responded with the mother of all temper tantrums. I wanted to stand up and scream, “GET YOUR STUPID KID TO SHUT THE HELL UP!” Of course, in doing this I would be a 60-year guy throwing a public tantrum, which for some reason is socially unacceptable. 

The fourth day was uneventful at the beach, but I was written up by the condo management for violating the rules. I had left my water shoes outside the door when returning from the beach. I laughed when my wife presented me with the yellow violation card.  Usually my wife yells at me for being a slob, and here I was trying to be neat by not tracking sand in the condo, and I get written up for it. 

The last day was also relatively calm except for when this bodacious blonde strutted by in a string bikini. She had huge, er, nice, uh … let’s forget I said anything about this and assume I was able to overcome this disturbance.

The trip back was uneventful until we boarded the plane for the final flight. We were told the flight was going to be delayed because front lavatory was clogged. I assume that someone from the previous flight had unloaded a turd of Blue Angel-like magnitude, that was securely wedged in the commode. 

This is totally unacceptable. Aren’t there laws against doing this? The “bomber” should be hunted down and charged with bringing a dangerous substance onto the plane and then depositing it in the lavatory.  It took two maintenance workers 40 minutes using a high-pressure water line to dislodge this enormous turd. It was stuck so tightly, the flight attendants actually flinched when it busted loose.

But overall, it was a great, relaxing vacation. So relaxing that I will be taking a few weeks off from blogging. Enjoy the rest of your summer!   

Sunday, July 1, 2018

I’m So Mad I Could Dance

The summer beach season is upon us. However, there is an evil toxin lurking which threatens to ruin the experience of thousands of beach lovers from coast to coast.  No, this is not water pollution. Nor is this threat from air pollution. It is not even due to sight pollution caused by poor swimwear choices. Okay, that is bad, but the subject of this rant.

No, the tranquility of our beaches is being destroyed by people playing crappy music from their portable stereos at deafening levels. This practice perturbs me. It perturbs me so very, very much. And I do not visit the beach to get perturbed. I am there to relax, and thus be de-perturbed. If I wanted to be perturbed, I would not have left and gone on vacation. I would have stayed at work and gotten perturbed there. Because I do often get perturbed at work. So much so, that frequently I perturb my coworkers. My coworkers greatly enjoy it when I go on vacation, because then no one at work is perturbed and when I return, I am much less perturbed than when I left. Well, at least for a day or so. But the crappy music thing throws my whole universe out of order. The problem being that instead of getting perturbed at work, I am now perturbed at the beach, because I am being shaken by a boombox blaring out noise that I perceive was conceived in the depths of hades.

Lest you believe I am too persnickety, I will remind you that Rule #13 from Nichole Mischke’s Rules For My Son (one of those Facebook posting sensations) is: “If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.” And thus, many people this summer are indeed going to be missing that point. Missing it badly. Missing it entirely. In fact, they don’t even know a point exists that they are missing. They just crank up their crappy music even louder and this point is totally covered in cacophony. And they obviously have never heard of ear buds, which allow thousands of people to each listen to their own version of crappy music at the same time without perturbing me at all.

People who do this are a special type of stupid, combining an utter lack of musical taste with a caddy rudeness. These are the same type of morons who blast their car stereos at double the decibel rate of enjoyment. If it’s that loud outside the car, what do you think it sounds like from the inside? It’s not just dumb and dumber behind the wheel. It’s deaf and deafer. I image hearing-aid salespeople smile when one of these bass mongers drives by. You do not smile however, when rousted from sleep at 2 a.m. when your windows shake from the earthquake on wheels driving by your house. These jackasses may believe they are impressing people by the power of their car stereos, but instead they are displaying their lack of any other desirable trait and exposing their utter stupidity. There should be a law against being this dense and if it were legal to shoot people engaged in acts of such stupidity, a lot more people would own guns.

I don’t expect the beach to be silent. I don’t even mind when people play decent music at decent volumes, although I refer you back to Rule #13.  But the objectionable music I am referring to is magnificently crappy. It is something you might play to scare off coyotes. It certainly frightens little children. And apparently, crappy music must be played at terrific decibel levels because it always is.  Maybe they think if you play crappy music loudly enough, then at some point it will actually sound like good music. And yes, at certain high decibels, all music sounds the same – just a blaring mess. This is similar to the stupid guy at work whose ideas are ridiculous  but thinks he can win the argument by talking the loudest. (Okay, I’m going to repeat my exact point for the third time, but this time I’m going to shout it).

Now we all like some crappy songs. Of course, we don’t realize it because we really like the song and assume everyone else does. I’m a child of the 70’s, so I listened to and still enjoy a lot of crappy music. Back then, we thought that if we played it loud, danced to it wearing polyester bellbottoms, and hung a disco ball from the ceiling, that the music would be of high quality. But in reality, most of it was, and still is crappy. Personally, I love the song “Play That Funky Music White Boy”. However, it is a blatantly racist song, implying that Caucasians lack the ability to be funky. It offends me every time I hear it, but somehow, I am able to get over this and go on with life without complaining, tweeting or seeking a safe space.

But this song is crappy. If I blasted this tune out at the beach I would disturb people. But somehow, some way, through some special power, I realize that my pleasure would annoy others, thus I refrain. But again, the people booming this musical dung at the beach are utterly clueless.  They believe everyone else is enjoying their music just as much as they are because no one ever complains. Of course, I’m not going to complain.  Because they are not going to understand why I am upset. If they understood this, they wouldn’t be scaring off the seagulls with their stereo.

What I would like to do when I hear that crappy music on the beach, is to run back to the hotel gift shop, purchase a European man-thong, and start dancing right in front of their boom box. I would be confronting bad music with bad dancing. I wouldn’t be busting a move as much as I would be busting all codes of decency. And it would be legal, well within my freedom – oh boy I feel free in this thong! – of expression – whoa express this – rights. I’m sure if I started 
Freedom of expression!
dancing, the crappy music would cease in under 60 seconds and they would not dare to play it again that day.

Of course, I don’t do this because I have a wife. Also, someone would probably post a video of my dance, which would go viral. It would be known as the “Overweight, middle-age guy in a thong, dancing to crappy music video”. I don’t need that much exposure, or overexposure. I don’t want to go to the convenience store and hear “Is that all for today, thong boy?” And Mildred, the store clerk, already has the hots for me. No need to further enflame those passions.

So I will hope the beach music will not be that crappy this summer. And if it is, perhaps it will not be that loud. I just do not want to be perturbed. Maybe this year I will bring my own ear buds, because you may not know this, but you can actually play music through your I-phone. Yes! I just discovered this the other day by accident. But for some reason the app refuses to load “Play That Funky Music White Boy” and I have no idea why.