This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Short Shorts

Hm. It occurs to me that the entries in my previous "Short Shorts" column were a tad longer than usual, which may have defeated the purpose of listing them as "Short Shorts." Oh, well. This time, I'll strive for a more appropriate length for each. Wish me luck.

1) This may only be of interest to Massachusetts residents, but almost every reference to our new governor, Deval Patrick, calls him by his title and full name. Have you noticed? "Governor Deval Patrick said such-and-such," or "Governor Deval Patrick appeared at a fund-raiser for so-and-so," etc. But just, simply, "Governor Patrick?" Almost never.

Guess he's just got one of those names like Charlie Brown, or Scooter Libby. Gotta say the whole thing. It's, like, a law or something. Weird.

2) There are times, folks, when it is possible to be too damned polite.

2a) One of them is when you're in traffic, and you stop to let someone else pull out. Okay, so far, so good. But only a minute or two later, you stop again to let someone else pull out. And a mile or two down the road, you do it again. And further along, you do it yet again.

Look, jackass, if you really want to let people get where they're going that much sooner, how about considering me? Who am I, you ask? Why, I'm the poor schmuck behind you. And you're killing my time (and gas mileage) by making me stop so freakin' often just because you're instituting some blasted goodwill campaign!

You really wanna make driving easier for the rest of the world? Then stay the f**k home. Things will go a lot more smoothly with even one less idiot driver -- like you -- on the road.

2b) One other time people can be too polite is at drive-up ATMs.

Now, if I'm at a walk-up ATM, and you're behind me in line, you'd better be far behind me. I'm making a financial transaction, here, and I certainly don't want someone close enough to me to grab the money I just withdrew. So back off, turkey!

However, there's no excuse for a line of cars to keep a great distance between one another.

I was once in the waiting line for a drive-up ATM. For some stupid reason, the second and third vehicles in line had each left a distance of about a full car length between themselves and the car in front of them. This was a cramped little parking lot, I should add, so that these two fools succeeded in creating an honest-to-God traffic jam. People couldn't even enter or leave the lot until #2 was gone and #3 had finally pulled up to begin his transaction.

Whoever came up with the great observation that "certain people are alive only because it's against the law to kill them" must have faced a similar situation.

3) I had supper tonight at a local Thai restaurant. Among other things, I ordered a seaweed salad. (Hey, maybe that sounds disgusting to you, but you're not the one who had to eat it, right?) About two-thirds of the way toward the bottom of the bowl, I noticed that the seaweed was running out, as it were, and the remainder of the bowl was filled with finely-shredded lettuce. Lettuce. What's so exotic about that?

Folks, lettuce doesn't necessarily define a salad, although "greens" do. Anybody who's ever eaten a spinach salad can vouch for that. So the lettuce wasn't necessary. Then why the sneaky substitution? Maybe they were hoping I wouldn't get that far, and therefore, I'd never know? One good look at me will tell you that I don't leave a lot of meals unfinished.

I'm sure that seaweed is much more expensive than lettuce, but shouldn't that be my problem? Give me a full bowl of freakin' seaweed and charge me accordingly! Hell, if I were on a really strict budget, I wouldn't be dining out in the first place.

4) Speaking of restaurants, why do so many restaurants give people who are dining alone (as I was this evening) teeny-tiny empty plates along with the plates the appetizer and (sometimes) the main course are actually served on?

As I said, I'm dining alone; I'm obviously not sharing with anyone.

"Excuse me, waiter, why do I have two plates for only one entrée?" "Ah! An excellent question, sir! One is actually to be eaten from, sir, and the other is merely to display your remaining food proudly!"

Whassamatter, doesn't your dishwasher have enough real work to do?

5) Continuing on the subject of appetizers, I hate it when a date says "Oh, I don't want an appetizer, I'll just have some of yours." So, what, later on, I'm supposed to say "Okay, snooky-wookums, now give me your precious widdle empty plate, so I can give you some of my yummy, yummy boneless buffalo wings, too," right?

That's what you think. I'm ordering just enough for myself, thank you! So screw you, get your own. You might as well, since I'm paying for it any-freakin'-way.

Maybe someday, someone will explain why women eat so little on the first few dates. Ladies, don't bother trying to impress me. I can usually tell what your appetite's really like just by looking at you. (And yes, I know that works both ways.) And if you simply like to eat and are some degree of overweight because of it, I don't care, or I wouldn't have asked you out in the first place.

Besides, I've already learned what I really wanna know about you by watching how you've been treating the waiter or waitress... because that's how you'll be treating me in two or three months, once the newness of our relationship has worn off, and you're no longer trying to impress me.

(Oh, damn, I just gave away a big secret.)

6) And on a related note, I've been hearing a lot about this country's obesity problem. Well, it's true. This country does have a huge problem (pun intended) with big...


That's right, never mind all the overweight men, women, and children. Our real problem is that too damned many people own big fat freakin' cars, and trucks, and freakin' SUVs...

It's gotten way out of hand.

Now, if you really need a pick-up truck because you do a lot of hauling, or all your friends are constantly changing their addresses, fine. And SUVs are great for so-called soccer moms, or anybody else who hasn't yet gotten a handle on the whole concept of birth control...

But you others? What's your real reason for insisting on owning one of these gas-guzzling monstrosities? It's not just about any Freudian "compensation" thing. I mean, it can't be; too many women own these automotive beasts.

The worst thing is that most of you morons haven't even figured out yet how to drive them! For one thing, if you're driving behind me at night, puh-lease back off. The fact that your vehicle is larger means that your headlights are situated fundamentally higher than on a normal car, so you're effectively driving with "high beams" by default. High beams shining in my rear view mirror. So, great, you're a dork, and I can't see, because of it? More than a tad unfair, I should say!

Plus, having a "big fat car" also means you can't do things that "our" regular-sized cars can. Like, park every place than we can, or maneuver smoothly! But you still try, don't you? Lotta resultant fender-benders, fer sure, fer sure.

You're like that pain-in-the-ass college kid wearing his back-pack at the SRO rock concert. He may only weigh 110 pounds soaking wet, but the addition of his back-pack adds an entire other person to his diameter... which he oh-so-conveniently forgets every time he turns one way or another, invariably bumping into someone... like, oh, say, me...

And never apologizing...

7) Okay, one final thing, once again on the subject of restaurants in general, and those "teeny-tiny empty plates" I mentioned earlier: Sometimes, when I go out for breakfast, I don't see anything that I want from their menu's list of combination plates. In these instances, I'll make up my own combo, by ordering a side of corned beef hash, a side of sausage, an English muffin (with peanut butter, if you have it?), whatever.

And quite often, there's some freakin' comedian in the kitchen who sends everything out on separate plates. Taking the whole "side order" concept a bit too literally, I think. Why the hell can't they just put it all on one big plate, if it's all for one person?

I guess those dishwashers don't have enough real work to do.

Thanks for your time.


  1. David M.,
    I really enjoy your rantz...but...perhaps a switch to decafe is in order today?...JUST KIDDING!
    For me, I have a few things that drive me nuts. When I become King, I will impose the death penalty for:
    1. Anyone who goes into a public restroom and takes more than three minutes to do his thing. Dude...if it takes you longer than that, you should have waited! I'm waiting outside the door to use this restroom and you're just wasting time in there.
    2. Absolute death penalty for people who have yard sales and don't bother to take down the signs. I've followed signs, only to find out that the yard sale was three weeks ago!
    3. Death penalty for people who stand in line at McDonald's, chatting with their friends and then when they get to the counter says, "Um...what do I want?...hmmmm...I guess I'll have..." Dude. It's the same menu at every McDonald's. Make your stupid decision BEFORE you get to the counter!
    There's more death-worthy situations...but I'll save them for another day.

  2. Valid points, all... but #3 in particular had me literally laughing out loud. (Notice I did not use "lol.")

    My mom still has never gotten the hang of fast food menus. Years after McDonald's introduced the Filet-O-Fish sandwich, she'd request a "Fish Filet." Then there was the time when I specifically sent her to McDonald's, and she returned only after thoroughly confusing the counter staff at Burger King with her order.

    And, gosh, was that late-night pot of coffee really that obvious?

  3. Mmmmm! Sounds great. And for breakfast, they could have a Seaweed McMuffin -- with peanut butter, of course -- and with little packets of sea-salt & pepper!

    By the way, Ain't No Oprah, I've been reading your earlier posts, and have found many of them to be absolutely hilarious. (No, no! I said "hilarious," not "Hillary!")

  4. 1) This really, really made me laugh.
    2) In your banner photo, are you holding a monkey, a robot, or a martian with a toy piano? Or???
    3) I worship you for your inclusion of the International Jack Benny Fan Club. To balance out the universe, I now go in search of the International George Burns Fan Club to add to my blog. I love the Jack and I love the George (and of course the Gracie).

  5. My 5 or 6-year-old self is shown crouching behind a robot, specifically The Great Garloo, an early 1960s offering from Marx. There's a larger version of that photo, plus an even better shot of Garloo (and myself as a spud) at my old "David'Z RantZ" web address:

    And Jack Benny is one of my two all-time favorite comedians, Johnny Carson being the other.

    [thinking back]

    "A martian with a toy piano... "

    Pretty funny. *sigh*

  6. I laughed all the way through this one. I needed that. lol


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