Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Power of the Waiter to Change

It is time for a NEW YEAR. As the calendar rolls over to 2008 we have a chance to make some changes to our lives. We start things anew. We make resolutions for change. Why do we think we can fix things we have spent so much time screwing up? You could call it pride, hubris, or the foolish need to have some sort of power over lives that are clearly spiraling out of control.
Of course, when you think about it, the 1st of January is just another random date – other cultures (Jewish, Chinese, etc.) turn over their calendar at a completely different time of the year. Now that I have convinced you beyond a doubt of the meaninglessnessability (see last month’s article) of making resolutions for the New Year, I will make some for myself that encourage all members of the service industry to try to keep. Hey, I revel in a challenge, what can I say?

1. Always make a witty response when your table says something rude. Do not fear the possible repercussions. My favorite example is the table that does not acknowledge your existence as a person. You come to the table for the first time and ask them how they are doing. The woman in the pink dress and the designer purse looks straight past you into some alternate universe where drinks and food appear for her without any human contact and says, “Sweet tea.” Now the normal response would be to punch her in the face and leave, but that is uncivilized and might stain your table cloth if she is so inconsiderate as to allow her nose to spurt all over it. Instead, say something like, “I am feeling pretty Coca-Cola myself,” and walk off for five minutes to let that sink in before you take their drink order. Hopefully, this will minimize any future douchebaggery on their part.
2. Set fire to all biblical pamphlets given to you as a tip. Do so in front of the tipper. Seriously this gets on my nerves probably more than anything. I was raised a Christian. I have read the Bible. What about me being a waiter might cause them to think differently? Do horns sprout from my head when I approach their table? I do not recall a passage in the holy book detailing how members of the service industry are heathen scum and worshipers of Satan. Did the waiter at the Last Supper screw up the order? Not that I remember. Could it be that we are going to hell because we work at a place that serves alcohol? Well for Christ’s sake they are eating there – wouldn’t a boycott be the better way to go? That would be totally cool with me. Besides if I recall correctly, Jesus turned water into wine, not Welch’s grape juice. So, in conclusion, burn baby, burn.
3. No morning shifts. Seriously, lunch really sucks. I have to get up early, work just as hard, and make less than half the money. Plus, it totally messes up my social life, which is much more important than some stupid job. If I am going to have to stay out until four in the morning or later, I can’t be getting up at the crack of nine. I am not twenty anymore and can not be expected to perform without a good ten hours of sleep. These demands are absolutely outrageous and I can not be expected to live up to them anymore.
4. Kill the members of Silverchair, starting with the lead singer, whose head must first be set on fire followed by removal of the genitals by use of red hot pincers. Above is a picture of said singer so that you may identify him and do the genital thing on sight (or run away, whatever is your proclivity). I will now voice to you verbatim a vignette and verify my vendetta and yea verily vindicate this vilification wreaking my vengeance viciously (Remember, remember the 5th of November!) In other words, read the next post entitled "My First Music Review" below to understand my irrational hate (and then realize it is not so irrational after all).

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oops, A Spears Did It Again

The following is guest author Colin McCandless's take on continuing developments in the Britney Spears saga.

In the file under “What did we learn?” department, Brittany Spears’ 16-year-old sister Jamie Lynn is pregnant. Apparently, she is “not—that—innocent” either and I’m sure just as prepared for motherhood as her elder white trash pop icon sibling.
Sweet old Jamie Lynn was apparently impregnated by the son of a Tennessee papermill worker with whom she goes to church. It seems the Christian values and teachings did not rub off on her.
This breaking news story draws me back to something I’ve said before. There should be a required aptitude test for baby making. A fair ride measuring stick of a “you must be at least this competent to procreate,” sort that helps prevent blithering idiots from furthering their seed and threatening normalcy and human decency as we know it with extinction.
You administer the Pregnancy Aptitude Test, or PAT, at age 10 and those that do not meet the eligibility requirements are spayed or neutered accordingly. This way, they are never allowed to become attached to their reproductive organs and won’t even notice they are missing!*
It’s the only logical solution to a problem that’s plaguing America: Stupid people bearing children. Now sure, there would be exceptions to the rule. It is conceivable that even a moron could produce an occasional prodigy, but is it really worth the risk?
Ninety-nine times out of a hundred the result will be a Brittany-K-Fed debacle that will spoil the chances of their kids ever living an ordinary existence.
These ruined youth will pass the tainted genes on to the next generation and the cycle of dysfunction will continue.
Can you imagine what Ashley and Mary Kate Olson’s brood will be like? Emaciated, toothless, self-obsessed runts that won’t be able to use the bathroom without a camera to document the event. It’s tragic really and the worst thing of all is that it doesn’t have to happen.
And that’s because if there were a PAT, the Olson’s and the Lohan’s and the Hilton’s and the Richie’s of the world would not be allowed to multiply. Much like a breathalyzer test, they would have no chance at passing the PAT.
Moreover, this test has implications way beyond the scope of this article and could potentially alleviate a lot of societal ills. Not only could it lead to the preservation of our culture, but also of society as a whole, since it would surely help reduce crime and poverty.
It would ease overpopulation as well and ensure that only the most qualified parents are propagating the species. Like Wilt Chamberlain.

*Reaction may vary

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My First Music Review

For all of you hanging on the edge of your seat waiting, I was going to write the continuation of the "Modernization" story today. But since I have learned to hang from the corner of the screen, that kind of shit bores me and besides events, circumstances, and such things beyond my control have interceded and I must take a different turn today and write my first music review. Note to reader: the next paragraph is a serious discussion the first two bands, feel free to skip down if you could give a crap about what I think about the Shins (summary: I like them).
On Sunday night I went, along with my brother and several friends to a concert down in Atlanta (not my favorite town, but I will save that diatribe for a later time). The show included the Silversun Pickups, the Shins, Silverchair, and Modest Mouse. Silver Sun, whom I had never heard, took the stage first. They sounded very good - the singer had a very unique vocal style which I enjoyed very much. The Shins followed with a very strong but sadly short set. They only played for a little over thirty minutes and the last song was a cover of David Bowie's "Suffragette City." It was a very good reproduction and a neat surprise, but I would have much rather heard their original material, of which they have plenty.
The worst part up to this point of the "Mistletoe Jam" ,as this night was called, were the DJs from the Atlanta radio station sponsoring the show. There are no more annoying people on Earth. Their entire existence seems to be predicated on being louder and more obnoxious than those who came before them. These are the guys (and girls on occasion) in your high school class that would cause a collective groan from the class whenever the teacher called upon them. When these folks came on stage during the pauses between bands, I wished I had a rifle with a scope and the shooting talents of Lee Harvey.
Then came the most appalling noise I have every had the pain of suffering thru in my entire time upon this planet. After five minutes, I was begging the DJs to return to the stage. I am a huge music fan and have gone to hundreds of shows and nothing in my past experiences could compare to the aural awfulness that was the third band. Silverchair. Just the name can be used to scare young children into obeyance. Fuck the Bogeyman, he is a total pussy.
I was interested in hearing Silverchair since they had basically disappeared since their hit album of 1997. Had they found a new, edgier sound? No - any shred of talent they once had is now gone. Plus their singer, Daniel Johns is a total dick. The general consensus amongst my friends was that the band could have been okay if not for the singer. The dude seems to think he shits lollipops and pisses rainbows. I am to assure you that is not true. Most of the Silverchair set was spent by that ass hole trying to get the crowd to stand up and cheer. Note to anyone considering a career in music: If you have to try to convince the people attending your concert to get into the tunes, there is a very good chance that your band is terrible. Most people, when they hear good music, will get up and dance and sing on their own. No cajoling is usually necessary.
Oh and not to be forgotten - the DJs introduced the band by talking about their one hit, "Tomorrow." Think they played it? Nope, those dicks are too good for that. Their fan probably wanted to hear their new stuff, which in fact sucked worse than suckiness has ever sucked before - a new plane of suckitude as it were -raising the bar of sucktacularity beyond where it was previously thought to suck. Plus that douche singer kept taking off clothing throughout the show to excite the crowd - since his music had no hope of doing so. This would have been hot if he was not a complete douche whose douchebaggery is of proportions heretofore unequaled except perhaps by morning DJs. After forty minutes of this I left. I kept thinking I could take it - just one more song and it would be over. But it never ended. I walked out and hung out in the lobby. I have never left a show before. Ever. This is how much they sucked. A complete ten out of ten for ineptitude. If that was their goal, then mission accomplished. The only good bit of news is that this was their last show on the tour. Hopefully for music fans, they will never leave their home country of Australia again. Actually I like Australians, so hopefully they will never perform again. Ever.
Then came Modest Mouse to close the ole Mistletoe Jam. They were good. Wish they had played an encore, but otherwise a great performance.
Summary- Silverchair = SUCK

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Yusef ran thru the city, fear pulsing through his veins like wind through a tunnel being used to test the aerodynamics of an Airbus. He must find a place to stay the night. There was too much at stake. He and those with him were being pursued to the ends of the Earth.
No time to think about tomorrow. Survival was a minute-by-minute process that did not afford such a luxury as a hope for the future. Protect and survive, these were the only thoughts that crossed his mind.
The dogs of Harold Blofeld were everywhere. Despite his death over four years ago, Harold's minions continued the hunt unabated. Harold had foreseen the child and knew what was at stake. Their leader, Dogbreath, could smell fear in the air. Fortunately, he was blind and kept running into things like flag poles, for example, or he would have found our hero by now.
He knew Yusef and the prize he held in his arms were close. Yusef and his family were from Elizaville and would have to return for the census the American government conducted every ten years. Dogbreath had searched day and night for these four long years and his face and mind carried the scars to prove it. His nose had been broken so many times that it sagged on his face like a drooping violet, pointing the way towards his mangled right ear.
There would be no sympathy for Yusef and his companion from a man whom civilization had left in the gutter to rot (and rightly so, he was a total piece of shit - if I woke up that ugly I would kill the hell out of myself). Dogbreath had only one reason for existence and it was the death of those he pursued - the last order his master Harold had given to him.
Yusef dashed under the rusty roof of the barn with his burden carried in his arms before him. This dirty bit of straw would have to do. He could no longer stay on the streets hoping to elude those who sought him. His only prayer was to hold out here as long as possible in hopes that the three old men he had seen in his dreams would come save him.
The triumvirate claimed to be secret agents sending him a message. The old fogies had seen the supernova in their sky lenses and knew that the time was now. They would arrive as soon as their Ferraris could make the drive from Dakar. Yusef, according to these nursing home secret agents, needed to sit tight and chill that bitch out and things would be alright.
So Yusef holed up and waited - and Dogbreath moved closer.

To be continued..........or not

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I have reached the age of late where my friends have begun to breed in a fashion reminiscent of certain members of the rodent family (I will let you choose from amongst the many possibilities if you have a particular rodent fetish). As each progeny drops from the womb like leaves from an oak tree, I realize that the time has come for me to get involved in the process. My part must be done in the cycle of human regeneration. There must be spawn.
Now most who know me will realize that I have two major strikes against me in this regard. For those who do not, I will go over the inherent problems. First off, I am single. It is hard to populate the universe if your fish are swimming on your stomach. Anyone who has succeeded in this effort please contact me. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly (I leave you to judge) I am gay. Once again, there just is not much of a target to hit in the realm of female fertilization if there is no female involved. So I have decided that while I attempt to clear these formidable hurdles, which would trouble even the great Edwin Moses, I will come up with a name for my theoretical heir.
My first thought is to give my child a holy title, one that would engender respect from all, be they rich or poor as long as they not be atheists. Buddha Muhammad McCandless or Jesus Christ McCandless come to mind (I used to have a soccer coach who called me that, it wasn't a compliment).
These are obviously very important religious figures in our world's history and I think it would honor their memories as well as make my child immediately loved and worshiped. My friends whose job it is to keep me in check, have told me that this idea is completely insane and would result in the murder of either me or the child or both of us at the hands of some zealot if I were lucky.
I feel my good buddies are worrying too much and that our pious human brothers would never do such a thing. However, it is unlikely I will follow thru with this plan - such a name would perhaps be too much for junior to live up to in the end.
So if not Jesus or Buddha, what should my son or daughter answer to for the entirety of their existence? Should I follow the shining example of Malcolm X? He changed his last name from Little, saying it was his slave name and that X expressed the variable or the unknown, which was the reality of his true family surname.
How about something like X Y Z, indicating a complete rejection of the naming process itself and the white power structure that created it - Prince (or whatever symbol or moniker he is known as now) would be proud. After sobering up, however, I realized that I am in fact white and McCandless is my real last name.
What am I left with - a series of lame names like Bob, James, Mike, Steve, Julie, Jennifer, Lisa, Amy, etc. How can I give a child of mine a life lived with such a horrid set of symbols. It would be beyond cruel - how these people can go on living their profoundly unoriginal existence is past me.
If I was known by one of these cruel titles, I think I would long ago have plunged my car into the Grand Canyon or stuck my head in the microwave (it doens't work - I can't get it closed - damn my neck to hell) or eaten Twinkies til my stomach exploded.
So I am at an impasse. If you, dear reader, have any suggestions to help me through this dilemma please let me know. Thanks in advance for your help, and I apologize for making fun of your name even if it sucks. At least none of us got stuck with Lemonjello, Shithead (pronounced shi-theed), or Jesus Condom. No matter what I choose, the bar has been set pretty low by some.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Course

"The Course"

We start, as drops of wet
slipping thru the grass
joining unto others
becoming one mass

We roll down our river
avoiding every boulder
drifting away from our shore
as we continue to get older

Back together we may come
towards our friends (or enemies)
but soon we reach the ocean
is this the end?

When we arrive will we meet again
or just fade away
together forever
or not one more day

Monday, December 3, 2007

Extreme-ly Desensitized

I was shopping today for a present to be used in a Secret Santa game this weekend when a moment of indecision occurred. I could not choose between "Oh Snap, the Ultimate Yo Mama Fight" or "Bumfights 3."
I came to the conclusion while pondering this dilemma that there may no longer be anything in our society that can shock us. I wasn't even in a DVD store (it was a record store) and there were over one hundred videos whose main theme seemed to involve death, dismemberment, or severe injury of another sort.
Apparently "Faces of Death" has now reached an incredible six installments thus defeating "Final Destination," which only managed to fill three movies with disparate death scenes. We have seen so much raw reality that we can no longer think of anything fictional to top it. "Bumfights?" Really? They pay poor homeless men and women to beat the everliving hell out of one another? Howard Stern claims in a blurb on the DVD box to have been shocked.
Christ - how to you top that? Chickfights? I looked, they had done five discs worth of chickfights already. Cripplefights? Oops, already been done on South Park. Battle of the mentally ill? Just watch the Republican/Democratic Primary debates. The only thing left is for the candidates to attack each other with chainsaws (keep your fingers crossed).
Science fiction/horror writers of the past seem to have been remarkably prescient. A TV show like "The Running Man" (book way better than the movie, although the movie has some great Schwartzneggerisms) is no doubt in the works as we speak. How can a simple writer like myself hope to shock anyone in such a society? I will start by purchasing "Oh Snap" and maybe later I can attend the midget tossing championships at O'Hooligans tonight. Who knows, perhaps I will get a few ideas.

Postscript - Two days after writing this essay, I was sent a video entitled "Two Girls and a Cup." After one viewing I was refreshed and revived - there still is plenty of room out there in the realm of shock entertainment (I can hear the sighs of relief everywhere, from the shores of Howard Stern to the halls of South Park, Colorado.

Something kinda sad about,
the way the world has come to be,
desensitized to everything,
what's become of subtlety?

-"Stinkfist" by Tool