Black Friday is just the Beginning…

 

Black Friday is just the beginning!

Without so much as a decent burial to Thanksgiving the nations marketing firms have once again proceeded with a full frontal assault upon your financial statement or loss thereof.

Christmas past

As a child I would count down the days towards Thanksgiving (purely due to my mass enjoyment of gorging delicious holiday food), then the day after would begin another count down towards Christmas.  Lying in bed at night thinking 29 more days, then 28, then 27 and so on until Christmas Eve was upon me! During this period I looked forward to Christmas activities at school, Church, Christmas lights hung around the town square, cold wet weather, Christmas music, all the holiday specials (Rudolph, Frosty,  the Grinch and so on) and yes even a little Christmas shopping.  You see when I became a little older my mother would drop me off in town to spend some time Christmas shopping on my own.  It was fun, made me feel as though I was becoming an adult and there was always just enough money left over for a one pound bag of M&M’s that inevitably made it home to my sock drawer where I would gleefully shove handfuls into my face when no one was around! Christmas was fun, easy and all within the context of roughly 30 days.

The marketing guru’s of the time, while still looking to vie for every penny you held, hoping to help adjust their year-end statements; held to Christmas being a sacred, specified period of time.  Values were still present and accounted for; family was still a number one priority!

Christmas Present

Today my children can’t wait for Christmas! Which in today’s  high stress, high pressure environment astounds me! They chomp at the bit in anticipation of that glorious morning when their year-end performance reports come back.

Dad: Hey little Peter wont you step into my office? 

Peter: Sure

Dad: For this year end review which qualifies your interests (Santa’s wish list) to be forwarded upstairs, I am trying to get a feel for how you spend your day … so, if you would, would you walk me through a typical day, for you? 

Peter: Yeah. 

Dad: Great. 

Peter: Well, I generally wake up at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door – that way mom can’t see me, heh heh – and, uh, after that I just sorta space out for about an hour. 

Dad: Da-uh? Space out? 

Peter: Yeah, I just stare at the ground outside; but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work

(In case you didn’t notice that was an obscure “Office Space” reference)

But those 15 minutes of actual work pay off as little Peters Santa’s list makes the grade and is pushed up the ladder to corporate! Santa will be placing little Peter on the nice list today. 

Today Christmas is filled with pressure! Pressure brought to you courtesy of the retail industry! It’s not enough to have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by family and friends. It’s not enough that you live on a fixed a budget and are doing the very best you can with what you have.  It’s not enough to be thankful for your health, a roof over your head, well adjusted children earning a great education. It is not enough; it’s not enough it’s just not enough! No! During Christmas you are supposed to stand in long lines, maxing out every credit card, singing Christmas carols, sucking a Starbucks while getting shoved to floor during a Black Friday event. Buy, Buy, and Buy! Who cares what the economy is doing! Just ask the car industry! Buy a Lexus! Who cares that you are on welfare! Purchase a 52 inch TV that you can never pay for! Who cares that your family is now down to one income! Its Christmas Damn it and for it to the very best Christmas ever you need to outspend, outlast, and overcome all financial obstacles for people to still love you!  Just ask the talking navigation system in the Jarrod commercials.

What exactly is the message most marketing agencies are passing along today? Holiday cheer? Uh no. Betterment of mankind? Uh no. Helping your fellow man? Uh no. Nope its nothing more than buy, buy, buy! My littlest reminded me yesterday that Black Friday is the only true savings day! It seems that it’s perfect for all parents to score really cool toys! Who are ad executives speaking to again?

Apparently Christmas is so all encompassing within our lives that it needs to be celebrated starting in October! Visited a Wal-Mart lately?  That’s right, over by the gardening section; nothing says chrysanthemum like a new set of Christmas lights and a blow up Santa! Scare the Halloween right out of Halloween by spending Christmas dollars now! Santa knows how to make Halloween its bitch!

(Actual picture taken at a Wal-Mart in October)

The phrase “holiday season” has been stretched to its useful limit when Target starts advertising the “holidays” during the World Series!  Snowflakes, Christmas Presents, couples hand in hand walking blissfully through the snow as a big white dog with a target on his eye (presumably an injury from the war) strolls down main street spreading Holiday cheer that can only be obtained after spending all of your hard earned money at Target! Also from watching this commercial, when you shop at Target in the snowy regions you don’t get wet or have a runny nose! Just an observation.

Back to Black Friday.  Marketing genius I tell you!  Not only have you stressed every shop-o-holic to the limit by announcing this day of spending infamy, but ad executives have created a self generating existence that will go generation after generation! No longer, on the day after Thanksgiving will the sound of father bellowing down the hallway; let’s all climb in the mini-van and go get the Christmas tree, be heard! Or the family tradition of pulling Christmas boxes from storage to decorate the house! Nope the marketing gods have ensured that over time, one mom will take her kids to Black Friday, a couple of moms friends will do the same, then their children will start participating in this yearly purchasing orgy, before long they will tell two friends, then they will tell two friends and so on and so on… Eventually they all will succumb to this newly created family tradition of unbridled consumerism on the day after Thanksgiving! Death to the old Christmas period, birth of a new! Maybe it shouldn’t be called Christmas anymore, I mean it is after all a religious undertone and we all know how well that flies these days.  Maybe we should call it 30 days of debt? National pay down the nation’s debt day? Giving day? Giftmas?

Yeah Giftmas! GIFTMAS, that’s the ticket!

Christmas Failure- ahem! I mean Future!

I can see it now, no longer does our country celebrate the birth of Christ, and no longer do we recognize three wise men bearing gifts for the newborn son. Our Nation, an enlightened nation now only recognizes Giftmas. A day that every faith, and culture and stand behind! Giftmas is 90 days of advertising, 14 days of Black Friday style shopping, 10 days of ridiculously low internet specials, 7 days of no credit report checked credit card offerings and two days of amnesty for people who are a little behind in their credit card payments but want to apply for more credit.

The new Giftmas will still be held on the same day as Christmas, Santa will remain as patron saint of gifting, he mastered this thing a couple a hundred years ago when as little old Saint Nic he left shoes outside the windows of those who had none! Talk about a long range growth plan! So let’s not mess with a good thing, all though I am pretty sure that once Giftmas has gone corporate the elves will unionize and then pension costs will drive up prices, but hey that’s in the future and if the present has taught us anything it’s that pension money left in the right hands is always the culprit of greed, dishonesty and theft. Which means it will be dealt with long after it’s too late.

No more Christmas trees in the household, there will instead be a Giftmas stand! That’s right a 6 foot, 8 foot or 12 foot stand with multiple levels and platforms to place your gifts upon or under.  The Giftmas stand will be lit from every angle with computerized lighting.  It will spin 360 degrees to show off every side, so even the smallest of presents look great!  And best of all its fire safe! No more worrying about a tree going up in the middle of the night!

Want to place lights on your house to celebrate the season! Great! Advertisers will do it for you! All vying for the chance to display through electronics their personal holiday message designed just for your neighborhood! Live in a gated neighborhood? Great! An electronic, flashing Mercedes Benz ad will now be running along your roof line   Live in the country? Tractor Supply will be dancing in holiday spirit as it advertises this week’s feed specials along your fence! Genius really, the same effect as Christmas lights but with a message!

The morning of Giftmas should remain relatively the same as Christmas used too.  Wake up; tear through presents then lay in a gift induced coma after eating breakfast and watching “A Christmas Story” to help you remember the good old days.  In a few hours the whole family arrives and more gifting carnage ensues! See it really isn’t all that different! No more silly religion to get in the way, no more thanking God for all that has been provided, no more needing to pray at dinner.  Just good old fashioned greedy consumerism to hold dear for generations!

Yes sir, Giftmas will ring true in the hearts and minds of every little boy and girl! Sleigh bells ring, are ya listening, it’s the UPS truck bringing your Amazon order! In the lane snow is glistening, that’s just low blood sugar! A beautiful sight, the shopping’s just right, walking through a Macy’s once again!

Happy Black Friday Shopping!!!

The Future is yours!

 

Advertisements

Parent date night

Forget candlelight and romance! Throw away the preconceived notion of dancing until dawn. A night at the opera in the city followed by a moonlight stroll along the shoreline, ridiculous! You see, I have found the ultimate date night for parents! An evening filled with laughter, food, shopping and a stroll along the parkway!  Oh yes its true!  Wine, it’s there, gourmet fare, got it! Supplies to cover any unexpected emergency? Yep, right inside the door! Movies? Ah yes! Dessert? Only as much as you can eat!!! Valet parking? Sadly no. So there isn’t everything you’d ever want for a date night but it’s still pretty fantastic!

If you are a parent or married couple with kids this is the place for you!

COSTCO

Yep that’s right ladies and gentlemen, my wife and I have been clamoring to go on a date quite some time.  Between Softball, swimming, horses, fair animals and 4-H it seems our calendar is full 99% of the time!  So tonight after a long day of breaking apart domestic disputes between our four lovely (sarcasm) children! My wife mumbles an exasperated “I have to go to COSTCO”.  We are never going to be alone ever again are we?  This is usally where the sobbing begins….

Hold that thought honey!

Enter the infamous COSTCO! Entertainment mega, all in one, grocery, everything household and then some superstore to the masses.  I use the word entertainment in describing COSTCO, because once you look around it’s quite obvious you arent in Kansas anymore. (Unless of course you are at a COSTCO in Kansas then it’s a moot point)

So being rather quick at deducing problems I arrived at a summation; the only way we’re going to achieve some alone time would be to abandon the little heathens (aaahhhhemmm our sweet children) at home to fend for themselves while we stroll the isle ways of the local COSTCO hand in hand. All together now…  AAAAHHHHHHH!

So I locked up the weapons, hid the duct tape and padlocked the knife drawer. Left the 15-year-old in charge with more than ample directions to insure his success.  Told said 15-year-old not to play XBox ( hard request to make with a straight face) the whole time, but focus instead on his little brother who is starving for big brothers attention.  Turned to the middle two, pointed a short stumpy finger at them with a reminder that nothing should be damaged or misplaced upon our arrival home. I received a tweedle dee and tweedle dumb nod of acknowledgment.  Then without haste I swept the misses off her feet and into the car with hopes of clearing the driveway before one of them felt the need to ruin the moment with an unfounded emergency!

My wife and I laughed as we cruised down the road with no kids in the car, stereo up loud pumping some 80′ Van Halen, sunroof open we’re pushing 75mph, whoop whoop! We continued to laugh the way I imagine D.B. Cooper chuckled after stealing $200,000.00 dollars and possibly committing the perfect crime! It was ours all ours!  Two, maybe three hours without interuption! Oh sure we would be surrounded by other families, No doubt we would hear children crying and screaming, fighting and whining! But they weren’t ours!!! T-H-E-Y-W-E-R-E-N-T-O-U-R-S! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

We arrived at COSTCO immediately finding a parking spot right up front. (good sign so far) grabbed a cart and off we strolled through checkpoint Charlie.  I flashed my “executive” members card which instantly lets the fine young security lad know that, well, I m kind of a big deal! He acknowledges my glossy black plastic ticket to paradise with a sly wink and nod! Without haste the privileged are ushered inside! Let the carnage begin!  Its only once you are inside the magnitude of this building truly takes your breath away.  It lays before us like a blank canvas of consumerism! Waiting for us to fill it with colors and vision.  Each item placed into our cart is an expression of our lives.  A snapshot of likes and dislikes.  We are a tapestry smeared with food, wine and bathroom supplies!

Our evening is proceeding well, I feel a second date may arise from this encounter.  We are chatting like we’ve known each other most of our lives! (oh wait we have) We also find ourselves blindly strolling down each and every isle.  We have no need for a 50lb bag of kitty litter, but it’s reassuring to know if we did need some it was there! The international fare is delicious! There are free food tasting stations spread throughout the store allowing you to sample a little bit of everything from around the world on sale this week.  Brilliant!!  Halfway through the store I stopped the cart, took my wifes hand, slowly leaned forward-looking her dead in the eye, I proclaimed ever so softly: do you hear that my love? She chuckeld, snuggled up real close to me, then placed her other hand over my heart. While pressing up against my chest, she whispered I do.  I hear it so loudly it hurts.  Silence.

Somewhere between 20lb tubs of peanut butter and 54 packs of 4 ply toilet paper, in a Sunday packed COSTCO, two people held each other in silence. Neither one of us could hear the hundreds of people talking.  No kids screaming at us, no little children needing something every two or three minutes.  No teenagers fighting over the remote control eventually ending up wrestling where inevitably someone gets hurt.  No back talking, sniveling, whining, complaining or crying and that’s just from us!

Nope a romance was rekindled today, a date was made and kept.  We didn’t need all those fancy date night stereotypes to make it happen.  Some may refer to me as a cheap bastard, or possibly a loser husband for not blocking out the time, creating a proper night away.  I say pishaw! I took a bad situation and improvised! By the end of the day my wife professed her undying affection and I still ended up footing the bill for $350.00 dollars!  (approximate cost of dinner and the opera for two) The only difference is instead of one night at the opera with dinner afterwards; the Ipod is charged up and we’re all going to eat for weeks!

Whose the loser now!!!

Versatile Blogger Award

I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”

You really like me………

I have been nominated for the Personal Blogger Award by Vanessa Chapman http://vanessa-chapman.com 

This is an award bloggers award to each other as a way of showing appreciation for the blogs they enjoy. I am humbled and honored.

(I plagiarized the rules from Vanessa as I feel there is no reason to re-invent the wheel.)

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post. Easy-Done

2. Share 7 things about yourself. Ok hope I don’t scare anyone, but easy-done.

3. Pass this award along to 15 other bloggers. Fail! Only could nominate 13! 😦

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. Will let them know as soon as I’ve posted this

Seven things about myself;

  1. I am 45 years old and I can’t wait for retirement. When I refer to retirement it is not in the sense of me walking away from a career, gold watch in hand to sit on some god forsaken island, smoking pot until I die.  On the contrary, I cant wait to start the second half of my life.  To re-invent myself and live life twice.  I have had a stellar first half, the second half can only get better.
  2. I can walk into a burning building, rescue people from a crushed or damaged vehicle, repel off a 5 story building with confidence and walk under a ladder without fear of superstitious reprisal.  But I cannot, and I mean no way, no how can I stand being in the proximity of a spider.  Those eight legged little freaks get me every time.  You want to hear a full-grown 200 pound man jump and scream like a 6th grade school girl then toss a black widow my direction.
  3. My ability to tell the dimensions of something from sight are frustratingly astounding.  Spatial relations are my thing and I am borderline “rainman” about it.  Have a picture to hang, I can tell you one side is off 1/2 inch any direction just by looking at it.  Just had your new bookshelves installed, I am the guy who within 20 seconds of being in the room knows exactly where the carpenter “cheated” or “shorted” you on material.  It makes me crazy and it makes my friends crazy as well.
  4. Scary movies are stupid and a waste of time.  I laugh through them which annoys everyone.  I can tell exactly what is going to happen when it is going to happen. 
  5. 1950’s pin-up girls are awesome.  You can have your skinny, anorexic, vegan, boney butt tooth picks.  I like my women with natural curves, and clothing that leaves something to the imagination. 
  6. When I was 10/11 while walking up my long driveway (we lived in the country) a car pulled up with a creepy guy in it who asked me if I wanted a ride.  Then told me to get in the damn car. He had one hand on the wheel and one in his trousers.  Thank god I had enough sense to run.  I still have nightmares about that guy even at 45. 
  7. I am terrified I will fail as a father.  I put up a good front, but deep down inside I always feel as though failure is right around the corner.  It’s why I write this blog.  It allows me to laugh, vent, and share my experiences.  I can look back on it when I am feeling low and remind myself of all the good I have done with my children.  I know they will laugh looking back on all this as adults.

15 bloggers to pass this award along too.

Soshi-Tech- http://soshitech.com

More valuable information in one blog than should legally be allowed in the states of California and Utah.  Everyone else is OK!

A Detailed House- http://adetailedhouse.com

I love houses and the fine art of decorating them in some of the finest trim.  If you are a closet design geek such as myself who also thinks you can take on any project, than this is the blog for you. The photography is very well done also.

Raising a Realist- http://raisingarealist.com

Scott is a mild-mannered high school English teacher. This blog is his attempt to capture all of his daughters moments.  As a parent of four, I can relate with his tag line. “126 kids but only one will wipe my but when I am old”

Mayahood- http://mayahoodblog.com

Adventure seeker, world traveler turned mother.  She has a mixture of her views on motherhood along with guest posts.  It is an entertaining blog.

Bucket List Publications- http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com

This one is near and dear to me as it is a blog that completely follows the premiss of getting out there and doing all those things you keep putting off.  They even pick some of your bucket list suggestions and through donations make it happen for you.  It’s quite the premise and I enjoy reading it immensely

A Confederacy of Spinsters- http://confederacyofspinsters.com

This is one of my favorites!  Three women from Texas, each one taking a turn writing about life trials and tribulations all under pseudo names.  Grace, Mae and Kate.  Its is always witty, relevant and fun!  I look forward to new postings they way one waits at the window for a long-awaited package from UPS. 

Musings of a stay at home Jewish Father- http://stayathometatte.wordpress.com

Another blog dedicated to a male role model at home raising his child.  Its funny and real with great pictures as he chronicles the day-to-day life of a stay at home dad.

In My Opinion- http://diane-ownes.com

Diane is on a quest to ask a different, relevant question everyday for a year. Interesting concept and I find the answers entertaining.

Debut Dad- http://debutdad.wordpress.com

Brenden is a first time dad who lives in Australia.  He blogs about juggling the changes in his life with the birth of their first-born child. Good luck Brenden and keep em coming. 

Vanessa Chapman- http://vanessa-chapman.com

Vanessa nominated my blog,  and although she is already nominated I enjoy her blog and look forward to every new edition she puts forth.  From superstition to the purchase of a new pair of boots.  She is funny and I find her blog to be a good way to blow a little time at work! Ha!

365 trinkets- http://365trinkets.wordpress.com

This blog is a reminder of how much crap we accumulate as adults.  His mission? To get rid of 365 trinkets he has stored as treasured keepsakes over a 25 year period.  The blog revolves around taking pictures of each one (for memories sake) then getting rid of said item. 

maggiemaeijustsaythis- http://maggiemaeijustsaythis.wordpress.com

A blog dedicated to writing poetry and personal trials and tribulations.  I enjoy the freedom with which she expresses herself.

Take a shower- http://takeashower.wordpress.com

A blog about Eloise and the raising of her five children.  She writes about the past and present, reflecting on the moments in time with the raising of her five children.

I am sorry to say I only have 13 to nominate for this award.  I fail!  But the thirteen I have chosen I follow with great intent.  I enjoy many other blogs but they are new to my collection and I havent gotten the chance to know them well enough yet for a nomination. 

Vanessa you were right, I also anguished over my choices.

I want whats on the picture!!!

Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert! Rant Alert!

I am absolutely frustrated and annoyed! I am not sure with whom I am more perturbed, the victims of my tirade or myself for having lived so blindly! Disgusted I have allowed my senses to remain muted by placing my head in the sand as that of the terrified Ostrich!

Since I was a small child I have been conditioned, groomed, some would even say brain washed into believing this is the way things should be! As a parent I have furthered the prophecy by mirroring the exact same thoughtless teachings! Allowing my very own children to gaze upon these fruitless offerings with joy and appreciation! And for what? Nothing I tell you absolutely nothing! It is time for my children’s eyes to opened! For all of our eyes to widen allowing us to gaze upon the fraud that has befallen our lives for generations! So everyone be ready as I am calling for a revolution, an uprising, a stand against the all-powerful lie that has befallen our culture!

Have I peaked your interest? Are you curious what has Betty in a tizzie?

Have you ever received a burger that looked like this from McDonald’s? Have you? I dare you to tell me that any point and time you walked into a McDonald’s and graciously welcomed a burger onto your platter of feasting that resembled anything remotely like the picture of perfection currently adorning your eyes!

Now I believe that burger looked more like this one, huh? Flat, tasteless, no melty cheese, no bounty of lettuce and tomatoes, no harvest of onion or layering of juicy pickles! Nope just a flat, nuked, dry over priced burger! In McDonald’s defense this is one of their specialty burgers so Cheers! Because all of McDonald’s other burgers are sub prime in comparison!

Now being one to not leave Mickey D’s (as the hip crew refers to it), alone on the hook! How about Burger King? The name alone should instill a “burgery” confidence shouldnt it? Say it slowly and let it resonate upon the lips. B-U-R-G-E-R K-I-N-G… See, marketing genius! It lets you know right away that they are the king of burgers! All other burgers should pale in comparison. Just the mere thought of a hamburger from the King of Burgers should automatically send you and your family scurrying through their doors! Right?

Oh man, that looks sooooooo good! Doesnt it? The Flame broiled Whopper, the epitome of a pulled straight from the fire, into your mouth, dripping with goodness hamburger. MMMMMMMMMmm. It COULD actually be the King of Burgers.

Whoops! Yet here again is what you get instead. Boy oh boy I just cant wait to wrap my quivering, hungry lips around that little ball of compressed grease! Looks a little tall for my liking do you think I could get someone to stand on it again so it will flatten out a little more? Is there a special on iceberg lettuce butts? Because it appears I have received the entire shipment of white garden cartilage on my particular sandwich!

Hmmm?? What about Jack in the box? I really can’t say too much about “Jack”. We all know what we get when we pull into a Jack in the Box. There are so many items on the menu it is very clear the restaurant chain is built around the late night crowd trying to sober up with some old-fashioned microwaved grease. The burgers are bland the tacos are a great hangover cure and the egg rolls are, well lets just say they actually do match their pictures. Any place that serves a burger called the “Ultimate Cheeseburger” which consists of meat, cheese, meat, cheese and bread. definitely knows their place in the hamburger sales chain of survival. Jack’s hamburgers look like crap on the menu and arrive looking only slightly better in person. Wow I guess that’s a plus? So Jack, you get a reprieve from my snotty tirade for being only slightly dishonest in you truthful sales approach.

Onward and upward, lets also take a little moment in time to recognize one of the industry leaders! The burger that not only is reported “largest” fast food burger but the highest in caloric intake! The behemoth, the mantabulous, the dare I say it “sexiest” hamburger advertised today. The Six Dollar Burger from Carls Jr. When I see this monstrosity I feel as though all my burger craving whoa’s have been answered. My stomach can feel a sense of hunger relief just by gazing at an illustrious picture of the “god” like creation. It screams flavor, it wreaks of creativity, it yearns to be devoured by every man, woman and child in North America! It looks like no other burger on the fast food market today! In the world of I want it fast and I want it now, this burger is darn near perfect!

;

Oh my goodness I think I just drooled a little on the monitor. I may have actually caused a blood clot to break loose stopping my heart for a few seconds. It is after all a cardiac arrest in a box and yet it calls to me. Of all the other misleading burgers I described today the Six Dollar Burger is the only one that comes close to the advertised picture.

;

Ha! Ok maybe not, but they definitely give it the old college try. The only thing redeemable about this blot of meat, cheese and iceberg lettuce shrapnel is its huge! So once you get past the appearance it’s all meat sweats and a painfully full stomach for you!

So America I ask you. When are we going to say enough is enough? When are we going to demand the burger we ordered from the brilliantly displayed billboard behind the counter! At what point are we going to quit frequenting these establishments who run on lies? These towers of carnage built to lure us in for a delicious meal only to be met by charlatans, hustlers, and con artists. All of them trying to persuade you into purchasing the Ferrari of burgers. Only to have you witness a Ford Pinto roll out on your plate! The worst part is you accept the Ford Pinto, and you accept it with a smile, then cruise it around as though it were a Ferrari! Why? Because when you have been told the Ford Pinto is a Ferrari for generations its hard to acknowledge within yourself that you may have been fed a load of garbage and are in fact stuck with a Ford Pinto after all! So shame on you America, shame on you fast food restaurants, shame on you all for allowing this travesty of culinary proportions to be perpetrated over and over again until we become conditioned to belive that crap is ok!

The cycle breaks now. Every time Betty goes into a fast food restaurant, Betty is going to open the box, unwrap the burger and ask for the burger to please look like the picture. If it doesn’t happen Betty is going to ask for the money back! I beg of you all, please do the same! Quit accepting crap, giving up your hard-earned money for crap, and teaching your children its ok to throw good money away on something that is nothing like you ordered! Something as simple as a hamburger is letting your children know sub standard is OK! And that’s just wrong.

NO MORE CRAP!!! NO MORE LIES!!!

;it

Dad, doing what he does best!

Here we go the ire is up! The steam is rising from my forehead! Teeth are clenched tightly and I am stammering for the right words!  I am ready, willing and able to ridicule another company one more time!!

I will always proceed any rants with the following; As you know from following my blog, I am a very involved father who believes all relationships should share equally the trials and tribulations of running a household and raising children! I have also made it my personal mission to “call out” any company or companies that exemplify the stereotype of dad being a moron, lazy, absent, disrespectful, or ignorant.  I also don’t believe that mom should be stereotyped as the frantic, know it all, does it all, at home personal maid to the family

With that being said; I saw a commercial today that at first I will admit peaked my interest a little.  It started out strong, and as it went on I found myself thinking “why yes nice lady tell me more”! But then they did it! Yes sir they did it! They crossed the line!  The blatantly took the low road pandering their inferior product to the masses.  They took it upon themselves to assume we as a society really function at a fifth grade level. Both with humor and intellectually.  Oh and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.  They attacked all fathers around the world. Wondering who this company could possibly be?  Pondering what they might actually sell? 

FOREVER LAZY!!!  Have you heard of these Snuggie rip offs?  Oh yeah that’s right I said it, SNUGGIE RIP OFF!!  I laughed my butt off at the Snuggie, even got into a squabble over a white elephant gift one year that involved a Snuggie! Snuggie has a certain humorous respectability in the consumer world!  Apparently Forever Lazy wants a piece of the market! Now as I admitted earlier, I was pondering one of these absurd little gems as a great gag gift for the firehouse!  But after seeing the commercial and reflecting on their wonderful marketing strategy. I think not! Tearing down the human fabric that is our society,  I say not only no, butt heck no!  There will be no Forever Lazy in my household or fire station!  I have banned them completely from existence! 

Never have I seen such blatant use of the word lazy in describing the great people of this nation!  Never have I seen men, women and children all portrayed as such horrendous lazy sloths!  I will never stand by idly as a company states and I quote; Everyone can watch the big game while dad does what he does best! (dad is on the couch asleep) Being lazy?????  Sleeping????? Drunk??? Is that really what dad does best?  Apparently the household runs itself, or has Forever Lazy provided maids, accountants, teachers, coaches and cooks with every purchase of a Forever Lazy @ $29.99 plus shipping?  Well I for one wont stand for it and neither should you!  Put on a comfy pair of sweat pants!  A nice long-sleeved shirt or sweater will do!  Heck buy a Snuggie! Watch the Forever Lazy ad, you can find it on YouTube!  They even have you wearing this thing to a football stadium!  Yuck! Its like walking around in a pair of footsie pajamas!  Oh yeah and its ok to be out in public with the darn thing on because it has dual trap doors so you can go to the bathroom! Can you imagine sitting on a toilet in a giant Sham-Wow! Can you say germ magnet!! 

Let your kids know how highly you think of them by purchasing them anything that doesn’t lead to laziness or is associated with laziness by name!  Just think your kid has straight A’s and then for Christmas you purchase the Forever Lazy as a lark.  Now little Johnny is confused.  What message is mommy and daddy sending me?  Am I working to hard?  Should I be lazy?  Should I be “Forever Lazy”? When I grow up am I going to end up doing what dad does best? Little Johnny slips into the Lazy suit and Bam! Brain cells start dying, next thing you know its X-box all the time, he never gets off the couch, grades all drop to a D and little Johnny is headed to reform school!  All because you bought into the Forever Lazy hype!

I know it’s not really that way, I am just worked up and rambling!  But really no company should ever portray people as moronic, idiotic and lazy, especially when it involves the family circle.  Humor is one thing, ignorance is another, but pandering ignorance is the very worst kind of sales tactic around.  So please remember this, you are a reflection of all the people who helped you to become who you are today.  If I see you with a Forever Lazy on well, game over my friend, game over….

Friday the 13th

friggatriskaidekaphobia;  Say it out loud.  frigga-trisk-aide-kaph-obia man even slowly it sounds cool!  Have you ever seen such a word? Its very reminiscent of supercalifragilisticespialidoscous!  Have any idea what it means?  Its the fear of Friday the thirteenth!  Seriously, the fear of Friday the thirteenth!  So strange, there is a real phobia of this dreaded day. But very cool at the same time…

So many people are unreasonably terrified over todays date. My kids are petrified because all their friends have told them bad things will happen to you on this day and there is nothing you can do about it! Not exactly a Hallmark holiday yes?  Adults are scared of the ramifications associated with participating or doing anything of value on such a cursed day. All over the world this day has been cursed for a myriad of reasons.  Yet to me it remains just another day.

I awoke this morning determined that no stupid day was going to slow me down, make me cower!  Not a single idiotic theory about world domination along with the extinction of the human race was going to damper this mans afternoon.  No way Jose!  I was sailing along just fine!  In fact just for good measure, this afternoon I purposely walked directly beneath a ladder! What What?  You read that right, I also stepped on a crack, which by the way did not result in a trip to the ER for my mommy’s broken back!  As a matter of fact while turning the corner of our garage this morning my path was crossed by that of one never before seen black cat!  Woooooo!  Soooo scared!  Bad luck forever for me!  I guess I also should never have thrown that mirror on the ground, then danced on its shards of unprotected glass.

Seriously, today was like any other day, I awoke at 5:30 to the sound of the station alarm toning us out for a medical aid.  No salt over my shoulder, no hail mary’s for this cat, heck no, I just strutted out to the rig and went about my business.  After returning from our little medical aid, I was reminded by a co-worker to “be careful” while pouring some coffee because it was Friday the 13th and who knows what could happen on such an unlucky day?  Unlucky day?  I make my own luck Jack! No stupid superstition is going to dictate my day! Heck No!  And with that said, shift change came and I marched right down to the local barber shop throwing caution to the wind! Never for a spit second did I fear for my life as he used his expert skills to provide me with a haircut Donald Trump would have been proud to adorn!  No bloody neck, no spot cut/gash into my golden locks of love, no sir, I was trimmed up and ready for a great day of Friday the thirteenth bashing!

Oh and bashing I did partake!  I rode horses today with abandon, hoping for some fatal action emerging from the belly of the four legged devil beasts! I clumsily walked around tall stacks of hay, stepping in front of a moving tractor and purposely standing next to a stud horse hoping to be kicked or bit!  Yet not one bad thing happened to me.  I even took to reminding everyone around me to “be careful”! Followed up with a high pitch, don’t you know what day it is? hee hee he!  Am I being to cocky? Have I screwed my karma into the ground?  Oh I don’t think so!

You see just as there is no real tooth fairy, Santa is a glorious traditional figment of our imagination, Justin Bieber is really the teenage anti-christ, and Dick Clark is really an Disney animatronic robot, there is no evil association with Friday the Thirteenth! None! It is just another day on the calendar. Just another day to make your own destiny, Just another day to praise the heavens or curse the dredges of society. Its all up to you.  So on the next Friday the thirteenth, make your own magic happen, don’t let  someone else’s fear from reality ruin your perfectly good Friday. Regardless of whether or not that Friday is the thirteenth.

Personal note: I did wait until the end of the day to write this little piece.  I am sure that falls under the “I knew the 49ers were going to win the Super Bowl: ten minutes after the end of the game aspect.  Or maybe I just like a sure thing.  I am safe now right? Please say yes……. Did you hear that? What was that noise? crap……..

 

 

 

Five Fingered Footie Shoes????

Today was a very special day.  You see it was my sons 7th birthday, and he was rewarded with the only gift he requested.  It wasn’t Hot Wheels, nor Transformers, nothing to do with Harry Freaking Potter, no magic tricks, no juggling balls, none of the things we believed that he was longing for, nope what our kid wanted was Footie Shoes .  Yep Footie shoes, or Five Finger Shoes as they are advertised.    Have you seen these things??  Strange looking, like the 70’s toe socks that were once all the rage! All five toes in their own little keeper, wrapped in the latest air-breathing, moisture wicking, sole protecting technology.  Held onto your foot with a single piece of space age velcro.  They come in a multitude of colors to ensure that at least one person is going to look at your feet and proclaim “coooooolllll dude” where ya get those?

And look at them you will, I mean they really are hard to take your eyes off.

See aren’t they weeeeiiirrrrdddd?  Its like someone decided to take the whole “bigfoot” thing and turn it into instant money!!!!  Cha Ching!!!! Really I am jealous that I didn’t think of these things myself.  Like the cardboard in the car window that reads “help dial 911” yep I thought that up first, really, it’s a little known fact it was my idea.  I was just late capitalizing on the invention.  My people didn’t contact their people, same old story told time and again in the business world. (heavy sigh)

Anyway where was I?  Oh yeah. So my kid now has a pair of these feet for his feet. (creepy) He is running around like Superman, he fly’s higher, jumps farther, sprints faster, all because of his “Footie” shoes.  Wait a minute, that’s the same way I feel when I get a new pair of shoes, and mine don’t have toes!  Hmmmm seems like a conspiracy if you ask me.  The shoe companies have us all duped into believing that when we get new shoes we are superhuman!  Ah the power of advertising and subliminal messaging! Oh well let him have his moment!  By Friday they will be worn in and the super powers will slowly fade. By the end of the month the super powers will be completely gone. Then what, footie shoes? Then what?  Then they will be just another pair of sweaty, stinky, smelly shoes that my dog will turn into a drool bucket.  But thats Ok I just finished ordering mine online, they should be here any day.  Then Ill see everyone at the Justice League Headquarters, Up Up and AWAAAAAAYYYYYYY!

 

Christmas Shopping with your kids

Christmas shopping is always a memorable experience, I used to go solely by myself, engrossed in the mash of humanity, panic, greed, and disdain. (that’s just dealing with the holiday sales people). But life is not lived unless you grow as a person, giving of yourself to others, sharing traditions like some would share a sandwich or a cold.
I am now Christmas shopping with my kids! It sounds like a great idea, Christmas lists in hand we all load up in the truck and head off to retail land, stopping and lavishing ourselves with a mocha or hot chocolate to get us in the mood. Our heads will soon be swimming in a sea of holiday spirit as Christmas music floods the confines of our vehicle en-route to the retail orgy! Singing, smiling, laughing, guessing who is going to get what for Christmas, it all has the harmonious ring of perfection.
And yet….
When arriving at a retail shopping hub (the mall) one must first learn the art of distraction, for it takes the cunning of a Survivor contestant to not only locate but manipulate their surroundings to acquire a parking spot before another shopping contestant does, there bye forcing you to be voted off the isle!
Soon we were kicked to redemption island parking facility, after several jarring and stealthy attempts we made it back around and found a spot on the backside of the East entrance, just West of one store, South of another that we planned to visit and of course North of the trolley that would drop us no where near where we really needed to be.
Entering the Mega structure, we planned our attack, first shop for mom, then for the grandparents, ending with being split into teams of two that would alternate upon completion of each mission. All this is happening while I am shuttling gifts under cover to the car so no one can see or guess what the other purchased.
None of this happened. Not one person could agree on anything. The budget I had set for them was in danger of being busted on just mom alone! Apparently the corporate machine that is the retail system had infiltrated my little angels and warped their already deranged minds. You see unless it cost a fortune or was recommended by Jared my kids would turn their noses at it! Are you kidding me, we live a modest lifestyle, a majority of our everyday clothes come from thrift shopping, we drive well used cars, nothing in our family wreaks of this materialistic coma my shopping zombies are in! After an hour of arguing and feeling my Christmas buzz burn off I made an executive decision. Without haste I loaded up the 4 elves into my red sleigh. I willingly gave up my hard fought position in the parking lot, and drove to the other side of town. My children were in shock! Dad had cancelled Christmas, or so it seemed. How could he do this to us, was the longing look on their faces.
I pulled into the parking lot and found a space right away. We walked in the door and Christmas music was playing, there were no lines, and people seemed happy. We split into two groups, no hiding here, the cap was set at $10 dollars a piece. They grumbled at first but within a few minutes I could hear the teams giggling and laughing as they worked their way through the massive isles of Chinese crap! You see it wasn’t just any store, it wasn’t a retail giant or box store selling items in quantities no one really needs. Oh no, our Christmas shopping may have started in snobby, I’m better than you retail Hell! But it finished at the 99 cent store. My kids were happy, their presents represented what they felt about each other and at the end of the day they were relishing in the fact that not one of them spent that ten dollar limit, but came home with a boatload of stuff. Sure it’s cheap crap! Sure I caught one of them bragging they bought 14 things for 8 bucks. But at the end of the day, when Christmas is over and family has gone home. How much of that over priced stuff gets returned? How much is re-gifted? This way everyone is a winner, everyone is happy and really it’s hard not to learn the value of a dollar at the .99 cent store…..