How to Enjoy a Smoke Free Casino

Smoke Free Slots

I recently attended a professional conference near a large casino.  Naturally, I was drawn like a moth to the flame.  I decided to drop by and make a small donation to the cause.  After all, at least it would buy me the privilege of sitting on an uncomfortable stool and damaging my retinas for a couple of hours.  My only hesitation, however, was my sanctimonious aversion to cigarette smoke.  As you may know, an impenetrable wall of smoke sits immediately inside the entrance of every casino.  Federal law requires this.  Casinos face stiff fines if the smoke plume hovering over the main floor drops beneath a specific density.  If a federal regulator with 20/20 vision can see through the cloud past the third slot machine, he is required to shut the casino down until the casino can reach acceptable plume density.  But lucky for me, this casino advertised Smoke Free Slots. 

The gambling industry likes to refer to itself as the gaming industry.  (Another name for it is the mob, but you might be wise to steer clear of that little descriptor, unless you’re on good terms with your orthopedic surgeon.)  The term gaming apparently puts people in a better mood to drop next month’s rent in pursuit of a jackpot.

Like most middle-aged folks, I grew up around people who smoked.  We never thought about it.  Someone might ask, “Mind if I smoke?” as they lit up in your home or car.  Or they might not.  And car ashtrays were for ashes, not spare change.  Ashtrays were everywhere, every table of every restaurant.  You were never ten feet from an ashtray.  Now we refer to secondhand smoke in the same tone we reserve for the term radioactive death plume.  It’s now socially acceptable to remove the tire iron from your car and bludgeon anyone who lights up within 25 feet of you.  Especially in my state.  My state has outlawed even displaying a cigarette in public.  People react as though you’re brandishing a Colt .45.

Except in casinos.

In states that have banned smoking in public places, not only is smoking banned from restaurants, but in venues where smokers have traditionally hung out – bars, pool halls, bowling alleys.  Casinos are the smokers’ last refuge.  It was into this lion’s den I entered to enjoy their Smoke Free Slots.

I’m not an architect or an environmental engineer, but as I made my way through the doorway and down the hall to the Smoke Free Slots, I looked to my left and noticed what appeared to be a minor design flaw.  There was no wall separating the Smoke Free Slots from the main casino floor.  The designer also forgot one of his fourth grade science lessons – the one about smoke rising.  The floor of the Smoke Free Slots area was elevated from the main floor.  I had to hand it to them though.  There was noticeably less smoke hovering over the Smoke Free Slots.  The haze was akin to LA on a crisp spring day when the coastal breezes are blowing 30 to 40 percent of the smog inland.

I walked to the farthest back corner and took a seat.  My eyes were tingling only slightly from the mildly smoky, smoke-free air, so I fed the machine a bill.  No sooner had the machine swallowed my money when a burly guy in a windbreaker plopped down in front of the machine next to me.  He fed it a twenty, and yes, simultaneously lit up a butt.  In his defense, I feel compelled to admit, How was he to know?  But that was it for me.  This was the point of my swift surrender and hasty retreat.

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American Football Renamed “Handball”

Handball

I am as stubborn as the next guy.  Do I ever stop and ask for directions?  No.  Even when I’m hopelessly lost?  No.  Even running late to an important event?  No.  A wedding?  No.  A funeral?  Sorry, not going to happen.  Back when the United States was trying desperately to convert to the metric system, I was playing defense on the front line.  It was not going to happen.  Not on my watch.  We measure by feet, gallons and pounds.  Liters are for smarmy folks who prefer mineral water over tap water.  I am still duking the liter thing out.  I make a point of buying my soda in 12 and 16 ounce containers.  I scorn the half liters and the liter bottles.  In short, I am as set in my ways as any other red blooded, ethnocentric American.  I offer this proof of my loyalty to tradition, because I am about to commit sport’s fan heresy.  I may even need to enter the witness protection program, change my name, and get a nose job.

The title says it all.  It is indeed time for the US to man-up and join the rest of the civilized (and uncivilized) world in referring to the game Americans call soccer, by its more logical name, football.  Yes, I am fully aware that this would cause a domino effect.  We would need to rename our national sport (No, not baseball – wake up buddy; look at those empty stadium seats).  American football has little to do with feet.  In fact, it has as much to do with feet as soccer has to do with hands.  So, there you have it – we should rename American football “handball.”  (Now don’t start whining; the runner-up alternative name was my personal favorite, “concussion ball.”)  “But Jack,” you say, “shouldn’t we ask the Canadians?  They play American football too.”  No.  They’ll just need to get with the program.  It’s not real football anyway.  “But Jack, there is already a sport called handball.”  No, not really.  There are only three people who play handball, and I have already spoken to each one.  They were fine with it.  I gave them their choice of three new names: Palm ball, small ball, or wall ball.  They chose wall ball for obvious reasons.  When I mentioned to them that racquet ball players used walls too, almost in unison, they chuckled and whispered something in a derogatory tone under their breath.  Then they stared at me as if they had just eaten something sour.

And here is where you, my loyal readers, come in to play.  Although my audience includes readers from over 50 countries (a true and shocking fact—who would have imagined?), only a tornado-like social media revolution will rock my pig-headed brethren into even considering this modest and reasonable change.  (As a side note, it would be great for the American economy, like when Apple decided to screw everybody over by changing the plugin for the iPhone 5 and force us to buy new $20 chargers that cost Apple a negative one penny to produce, except here it would be sports apparel).  I know that both the American and the world football audience is out there.  In fact, I wrote a column titled “Stinky Football Fan Creates Chaos,” and loyal fans of Jocularious.com nearly burned up GoDaddy’s servers.  So I rest my case.  I’ve done my duty.  It’s now time for the world’s soccer fans to like, share and tweet this worthy cause to victory.  Let the handball revolution begin!

_______

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How to Avoid a Halloween Candy-mare

Candy-mare

When I bought my house, the realtor told me to stock up on candy.  She said the next street over really went all out on Halloween.  “Stock up on candy” turned out to be code for, “Cash out your 401K and hire a former Army Supply Sergeant to coordinate candy distribution logistics.”    My new neighborhood turned out to be Ground Zero for trick or treating.  I don’t know what drives a person to take the time, effort and expense to stage a full horror show complete with severed limbs and Zombies in his front yard.  Let’s face it, people who go turbocharged nuts for Halloween are a little off.  They’re whacked.  A piece of their brain is missing.  And the odds of a dozen of these people end up living on the same block is astronomical.  Think DNA identification testing error.  Of course, what probably happened is that one weirdo moved in and then infected his neighbors.  His neighbors being people who happened to lack self-esteem and might otherwise have gone off camping with a Jimmy Jones type in Guyana who promised a refreshing Kool-Aid spritzer after they got the tents set up. 

We have kids who live in the neighborhood.  But we don’t have two million kids.  Parents actually bus these rascals in.  Beginning just before dusk, a convoy of 1986 Dodge Caravans driven by chain-smoking moms in moo-moos arrive and unload their precious cargo of running noses. This year, Halloween nearly killed me.  I had been nursing a lower back strain and getting up and down every 30 to 90 seconds was really aggravating it.  To make matters worse, and yes it shames me to say this, I had recorded an episode of Nashville that I was trying to watch.  (Don’t judge me – you’re no better!)  It took me an hour to get through the first ten minutes of the program.  The interruptions were incessant.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to follow an episode of Nashville, but I was losing track. 

Earlier in the evening, a friend of mine who I’ll refer to as “Tim,” because his name is Tim, posted the following warning on his Facebook page: “Any child caught trespassing on my lawn tonight will be shackled, beaten and hung from the basketball hoop in my driveway!”  I found it more than honorable of Tim to broadcast fair warning via the worldwide web, though I paused to wonder what percentage of five to eleven year olds were likely to check their Facebook updates given their near total insane focus of collecting as much free candy as possible prior to their mother calling “time” from the Caravan.  Tim later added the comment that next year he planned to install strategically placed punji stick pits throughout his front yard.               

Now that another festive Halloween has passed, let me offer a few brief guidelines for next year’s celebration:

  1. Wear a costume.  I’m happy to hand out candy to anyone between the ages of fetus and 110, but wear a costume.  “I’m a babysitter.  I’m babysitting these other kids.” No.
  2. Open your bag.  I’m handing out free candy here folks.  I’m not your manservant or your valet.  Don’t just stick you bag out; open it up.
  3. If you’re an adult in street clothes accompanying a child, don’t stick out a bag after I’ve put candy in your kid’s bag.  There are two kinds of pathetic.  There is regular pathetic, and then there’s the overweight adult with no costume begging for candy pathetic.  (Listen to me here, folks.  These are nuggets.)
  4. If you’re trick or treating in Tim’s neighborhood, you might consider staying on the walkways.  On this note, I have something shameful to confess.  When Tim recently posted a question on Facebook asking where he could purchase dry bamboo to make punji sticks, my “buy local and sustainable” instincts kicked in, and I suggested that straight-grained Douglas fir should work just as effectively.

Well, I need to go now.  One of the Dodge Caravans broke down in my driveway last night, and I told the owner I would jumpstart her battery.

_______

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Google Buys NSA on eBay

Google Final

At a press conference yesterday, Google announced that it had purchased the National Security Agency (NSA) from the US government.  The Obama administration had posted the agency on eBay earlier that day, and Google used the “Buy It Now” feature to secure the purchase.  Google spokesperson Charlie Snort explained that the timing of the purchase was perfect.  “This appears to be the final tool, or piece of the puzzle as it were, which will enable Google to complete its stated mission to collect and catalog all available data of not only those living in the United States and among the free world, but indeed, all seven billion people on earth.”  Snort added that Google already had the ability to filter most email traffic and capture the inner most personal thoughts and desires of the public.  Now, however, with its newly acquired intelligence agency, the company will be able to assure any entity seeking to purchase information the from Mountain View, California company that it can feel confident that few if any secrets remain.  “Very little mystery will continue to exist concerning any particular target,” Snort added.  The spokesperson was quick to correct his use of the word “target” and explained he meant to say “person.”  “Our customers can now feel comfortable that whether they need to know the favorite cuisine of the First Lady of France, or the lingerie tastes of the guy down the street, Google stands ready to deliver.”

Reached during a rare appearance at a White House briefing, President Obama proudly described the sale as a major coup for his administration.  “This is yet another example of my administration’s continued willingness to reach across party lines in the spirit of compromise.  My friends in The Tea Party haven’t been able to shut up about the need to shrink government and privatize traditional governmental operations.  Well, here you go.  Heck, I’ve attended several top security briefings during my tenure as Commander and Chief, and it’s clear to me that most of the ‘intelligence’ the NSA has gathered as of late is from Google anyway.  Just wait until Google staffers unlock the doors to the NSA offices.  I wish I could be a fly on the wall and see their faces.  Believe me, all they’re going to find is a bunch of notepads with Google passwords written on them.  Okay, they might find a Yahoo account in there too, but, come on….” he added with his trademarked chuckled.  “Now, instead of calling in a representative from the NSA for a briefing, I can just type my inquiry into my Google taskbar.  And,” he added with a grin, “don’t forget to note that we got our ‘Buy It Now’ price on eBay.  How often does that happen?  Suckers! This was yet another Obama victory for the American People.”

Later in the day, Google issued a written press release assuring citizens of the United States that the new division of its company collecting and cataloging terrorist threats to the American people would be provided to law enforcement agencies at “a steep discount.”

_______

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Stinky Football Fan Creates Chaos

Stinky

Dear Abby,

I am at my whit’s end.  I requested a change in the location of my college football season tickets, and couldn’t be happier with the new view; however, my wife and I quickly realized why these seats became available.  The guy to our left smells like a dead possum.  The stink fumes rising off this guy are actually visible.  I have visited landfills on hot August days that were less offensive.  After considerable thought, we have identified the following options:

Option 1.  The stadium has a “jumbotron,” an enormous video screen visible to all 60,000 people in attendance.  For an immodest fee, fans can post announcements during breaks in the game.  Birthday wishes.  Anniversaries.  An occasional marriage proposal.  (This is the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium – but delete this comment before you publish this, I don’t need to get dragged out to the parking lot by the athletic department’s henchmen and put through a little “Spring Training” if you get my drift.  Let’s just say they don’t tolerate criticism of their program very kindly, even if it is just one smelly guy in Section 32.  I repeat, DELETE THIS COMMENT BEFORE PUBLICATION!) Anyway, my idea is to surreptitiously take a photo of my neighbor using my iPhone, and then posting the photo with an anonymous message on the jumbotron.  Something subtle.  I’m thinking, something like, “When even your dog won’t sit next to you, it’s probably time for a shower!”  This option could also include hiring one of those planes that fly over the stadium before the game pulling a banner.

Option 2.  I watch my share of law enforcement dramas on television.  So I have seen my fair share of fake autopsies.  The pathologists and cops are always smearing some sort of gel beneath their noses to dull the odor of the corpse.  (Sometimes the tv detectives smear this stuff on before they enter a home where some poor sap of a beat cop has discovered a decomposed body; so you know it’s got to be good.)  If that stuff is real, I could get some of it.  Of course, it would take away from the “crisp fall day” experience, but the air isn’t too crisp as it stands now.  Right now, it’s the “ripe fall air.”

Option 3.  I could confront him.  Tactfully.  Now keep in mind, I don’t know this fellow.  He is a complete stranger.  And this would take something of which I am in desperately short supply.  Courage.  This is the Achilles heel of Option 3.  I floated the idea by my wife that she might engineer this little social intervention.  She explained her position on my request as follows, and I quote, “No.”

So, Dear Abby, I implore you.  Help!  If you are kind enough to respond to my plea for advice, I can use Option 4:  Taping your column to his seat prior to the next game.  So, please, in your answer, refer to us as “Sitting behind him.”

Signed,

Sincerely,

“Victims of the stinker in front of us!”

_______

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NSA Saves Billions Converting to “Buddy System”

Buddy System

The NSA announced yesterday it would significantly change the way it spies on the intimate personal details of Americans.  This change is expected to save billions of dollars.  Traditionally, the agency has used high-tech eavesdropping electronics to sweep through trillions of phone calls, emails and other electronic communications and store the data in enormous “data farms” in places where no one lives, like Iowa and New Mexico.  That will change.  Borrowing from the tried and true system developed by the Boy Scouts over a hundred years ago, the agency will now convert to the Buddy System, or “BS” for short.

The new BS system works on a voluntary basis which will be mandatory.  The NSA will randomly pair United States residents with one another.  Those residents in turn keep an eye on their assigned partner, or in BS parlance, “Buddy.”  They read each of their buddy’s emails, text messages and listen in on telephone calls.  And if they happen to be passing near their buddy’s home, they are encouraged to drop by unannounced to just say “hi,” and poke around a bit.  See what’s on the bookshelf, check the medicine cabinet, or if they get a chance, the underwear drawer.  And if a buddy is unwilling to share his or her passwords, they are instructed to immediately submit Form BS-99 to NSA headquarters.  That will “red flag” the person, and automatically place the non-compliant buddy on the no-fly list.

“Patriotic Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of the new system,” announced Frank Eavesdorper, NSA Chief of Homeland Operations.  “Citizens are willing to pay any price to keep the liberty their forefathers died to obtain.  I hear it again and again: ‘I have nothing to hide!  Come into my house.  Search through my family’s photographs.  Copy my computer’s hard drive.’  It brings a tear to my eye.”

The system isn’t perfected yet.  During testing, a few glitches arose.  Ricky, a 19-year-old from Newark complained to his NSA minder about having to read too many emails of his buddy, Betty, a 53-year-old from Houston, about her on-going menopausal issues, in particular, her continual hot flashes.  Bob, a 63-year-old long haul trucker from Seattle, likewise complained about his buddy, Candi, a 13-year-old middle school student from Omaha.  Apparently, Bob was having to sift through upwards of 100 text messages a day from Candi to her BFF Kathi, about their “dreamy” classmate Jack, and in particular, how Jack’s attention had recently been turned toward Charlene.  Of great concern was the fact that Jack had already eaten lunch with Charlene three times this week.  Then there was the unfortunate pairing of two Russian immigrants, one of whom, unbeknownst to the NSA, had been a bank robber back in the Ukraine (No fault to the NSA; he had “expunged” his record prior to immigrating via a wheelbarrow of rubles to a guy named Gladov at the Central Office).  One thing led to the next, and before authorities caught up to them at a Hooters in New Orleans, the two had gone on a three-state robbery spree.

“The new system is a work in progress,” explained CHO Eavesdorper.  “There are bound to be problems when you are stepping up to the herculean task of cataloging and storing the most private details of people’s lives.  But we’ll prevail.  Americans aren’t quitters.  We’ll ‘getter done.’

_______

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The Vegan Vampires of Beverly Hills

Vegan Vampire

I have an idea for a television series.  It will be next season’s biggest hit, and probably the biggest hit of the next decade.  It’s called The Vegan Vampires of Beverly Hills.  Let’s face it, everybody wants three things.  First, deep down, everybody wants to be a vegan.  Being a vegan is cool.  It’s post-millennium.  Even I was a vegan for two months.  Actually, I referred to myself as a ‘casual vegan,’ because occasionally a trace element of an animal-based product might slip into one of my meals.  For example, I might be enjoying a vegan meal composed of, say, a baked potato and side of broccoli, and a low and behold, perhaps unconsciously from habit, a 24 ounce porterhouse might slip onto my plate.  Second, everybody wants to be a vampire.  That’s because vampires are extremely attractive and exciting to be around – you’ve seen the recent movies.  Or if you’re old like me and don’t go to the movies, you’ve certainly seen the movie trailers depicting all the attractive and super hip young vampires.  I’m not telling you anything new.  So don’t’ argue with me about wanting to be a vampire; it only means that you really do want to be a vampire.  And finally, everybody wants to live in Beverly Hills.

My show is about a brood of young upwardly mobile and trendy vampires who are too cool to eat animal-based products.  You might think that ‘vegan vampires’ is a contradiction in terms.  You would be wrong.  You see, my vampires convince a naive USC Biology student to help them grow blood cells in petri dishes.  That’s what they eat.  Of course it’s blended into soy lattes and vegan scones and other very tasty and trendy consumables.  Now, before you start with, ‘yeah, blood in petri dishes is technically derived from animals,’ just stop it.  No one cares.  This is television.  Gilligan and his friends got stranded on a non-existent island for ten years after going on a three hour tour.

I haven’t quite figured out how they’ll spend their time.  They’ll either sit around talking ad nauseam about their relationships, or fight crime in the hills of Beverly.  Not sure which.  Although I hear the crime rate in Beverly Hills is pretty low.  Or maybe they could be like Robin Hood Vegan Vampires who shoplift disturbingly overpriced clothing and accessories from those snobby boutiques on Rodeo Drive and donate them to the poor.  Yeah.  It could be the Robin Hood Vegan Vampires of Beverly Hills, bringing couture to the homeless.

Now, you’re my witnesses.  I expect you, my millions of loyal readers to attest that this was my idea.  Because that’s how Hollywood people work.  They steal ideas.  (No, I didn’t steal this idea after reading Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight.)  But I’m quite confident, with any luck, that a producer will steal my idea.  That’s where you come in.  I’m counting on you.  You see, I’m putting Greta Van Susteren on retainer.  She keeps saying she’s a lawyer, so I’m holding her to it.  But the real reason I’m retaining her is that she is a Scientologist.  (Yeah!  I know!  She looks so normal.)  A Scientologist lawyer is just what I need.  You simply don’t mess with Scientologists.  (Not unless you want Tom Cruise stopping by your bedroom at 3:00 in the morning armed with a sap.)  So I figure Greta can put these copyright violators in a headlock and twist some serious Hollywood money out of them.  That way I don’t have to actually write this inane script.

So, if Greta calls you, don’t be alarmed.  It’s probably not because she’s going to recruit you into her crazy church.  (Don’t flatter yourself.  You don’t have that kind of money.)  It’s because I put your name down on my witness list.  Now, knock those dollar signs out of your eyes.  You’re only getting the statutory witness fee and mileage.  But don’t worry, I’ll donate a portion of my profit to help bring couture to the homeless of Beverly Hills.

_______

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Five Reasons Miley Cyrus Should Adopt Justin Bieber

Miley and Bieber Child

The hoopla surrounding Miley Cyrus’ artistic performance at the Video Music Awards show is quickly dissipating.  Experienced media experts predict her foam finger will stop making headlines in only three to five more years.  Unfortunately, I missed the VMA show.  A scheduling conflict prevented me from enjoying this year’s program — I had to clean the lint from my dryer.  But like Michigan mosquitoes in July, Miley’s spectacle was impossible to ignore as it swamped the mainstream media.  I was practically forced to watch it at gun point.  Having now seen it, and as a marginally responsible adult, I call on all other marginally responsible adults to step up and assist this wayward young woman.  And by this, I mean encouraging her to adopt a child.  But not just any child.  Justin Bieber.  There are five reasons.

First, it would provide both Miley and Justin with much needed media attention.  Each has been “acting out” as of late.  This may be due to their wallowing in the shadows of less talented musical performers for too long.  Living in the shadows with pent up talent is a recipe for disaster.  Justin’s adoption could prevent another explosion… of bad taste.

Second, Justin could use positive guidance.  According to the tabloid headlines I am forced to march past when I buy my groceries, it appears that the fresh-face tike has gotten irascibly sassy as of late.  He could use the solid grounding that someone like Grandpa Billy Ray could provide.  They say that the proof of the pudding is in the making, and all you have to do is look at how Miley turned out…. ummm.  Okay.  So, let me switch to another tired phrase: Second time’s the charm!

Third, being a single mom has done wonders for so many millions of American girls, and there is no reason it wouldn’t have the same character-building effect on Miley.  It’s unlikely that she’d have the energy to offend millions of viewers after helping Justin with his homework and overseeing his household chores.  In no time at all, we’d be enjoying a performance of “Miley Unplugged.”  As a side note, I think I speak for America when I thank MTV for giving us “16 and Pregnant” to help promote the benefits of teenage single parenthood.

Fourth, it is unlikely to require the display of very much nudity.  It’s not even likely to require the faux nudity that the 13-year-old producers of this year’s VMA show hoisted upon Miley.

And last, the arrangement would finally allow television producers to make good on creating that semi-retro comedy series they’ve bantered about for years: “Leave it to Bieber.”  Oh, the jocularious hijinks those two could present given 30 minutes a week (well, 20 minutes after commercials).  We’d all be lapping it up like hogs at the trough.

I’m not saying that Miley shouldn’t first consult with her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to make sure he was “cool” with being a grandfather.  It would be a big change for him, what with all the little league practices and fishing trips.  But it would be something that Billy Ray and Miley could enjoy together.  It would strengthen their bond.

So there you have it.

Is it too early to set the TiVo for next year’s VMA show?  I fear the lint in my dryer is building up again.

________

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John Grisham was Right

Final Fresh Nectarine!

I offer Exhibit “A.”  Proof positive that most people don’t choose their jobs as much as their jobs choose them.  Exhibit “A” is a vocation smack atop the ‘Who in the world would chose that job?’ employment pyramid.  No, not portable toilet cleaner.  No, not North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un’s food taster.  It’s a job no high school student on this planet has dreamt of holding (yes, even the ones smoking dope behind the gym).  The job is prestigious; nonetheless, it’s often quite literally the butt of the joke.  Bingo.  You got it.  I speak of the lonely, and much maligned, proctologist.

On the first day of medical school, when the professor asks for a show of hands on the interest in various specialties – neurology, pediatrics, dermatology, do you see any hands rising for proctology?  Do you see one hand?  Is it even on the list?  Do you see one brave soul raising his hand for “other” and announcing, “Proctology, Sir”?  (Remember, each of these students is going to choose a lab partner to share a cadaver.  First impressions count.)

So when exactly does someone take the sharp bend in the road that leads to the glamour of proctology?  I have a theory.  It’s actually one I stole from John Grisham’s book, The Rainmaker.  I would like to say it was based on careful peer-reviewed research, but that would violate my policy against doing research.  I avoid this drudgery with my own brand of “research,” which I refer to as “Research-lite.”  (Yes, maybe I have been drinking too much Miller beer).  My policy is that if I can’t find an answer on my iPhone in under eight seconds (I was going to say ten, but who’s kidding whom?)  I make it up.  Try it.  It’s great.  Example – 38% of all professional baseball players drive American made cars.  (Sounds authoritative, doesn’t it?)  For all I know, 90% of them drive Yugos.  Back to my John Grisham inspired theory.  In Grisham’s The Rainmaker, a doctor tells the protagonist that one of the reasons he went into oncology was that there wasn’t much competition.  I mean how many people want to drop the Big News on one poor soul after another?  So I figure the same goes for proctology.  I’ve heard that the process of trying to land a residency in neurosurgery is practically a knife fight.  On the other hand, the proctology department is no doubt serving tea and cookies to coax students into their program.  The waiting room during interviews is probably a ghost town.

Think about it.  There are only a couple of ways for a proctologist to view the “subject” or “target” as it were, and they both require that the doctor either sit on one of those little stainless steel stools, or crouch down for a good look.  (And to think that I once quit a job because I didn’t like the view.)  Amazing.  After sweating the grades through primary, middle and high school, and then skipping all the parties in college to get the grades for medical school, this is your reward.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure it’s deeply fulfilling in its own way.  I’m serious about that.  I SAID I’m serious about that.

That said, while some folks are able to steer their vocational ship in the general direction of their interests, the wind blows where the wind blows.  (And most proctologists hope the wind doesn’t blow, if you catch my drift).  We’re all along for the ride.  So there you have it.  Exhibit “A.”  Game.  Set.  Match.  Edwards.

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The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

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Seven Rules for the College Playground –

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Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

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Nike Targets Pot-Bellied Husbands

Nike+ Fuelband

It’s called the Nike+ Fuelband.  It’s a plastic electronic bracelet that wives buy to slap onto their pot-bellied husbands’ wrists to humiliate them into climbing off the couch once a week or so.  It’s like one of those little research bands that Marlin Perkin’s had Jim Fowler attach to the legs of rare African birds.  I am one of those rare birds.  I have been tagged.

It tracks my every movement.  The number of steps I take.  The number of calories I burn.  The number of donuts I eat.  My life is no longer my own.  I have considered a number of plots to “game” the system.  Don’t think for a moment I haven’t thought of attaching this thing to a toddler.  The only reason I haven’t is that according to my iPhone, toddlers burn about 10,000 calories an hour.  The Nike+ Police Force would bust me by lunch.

My wife slyly presented it to me as an unassuming special birthday present.  I received it in a beautifully wrapped box.  My wife beamed as I tore through the paper toward what I assumed was an assortment of chocolates.   Imagine experiencing that whiplash.

I am increasingly convinced that this high tech catch and release system was the brain child of my wife and Phil Knight.  Go ahead and scoff, but we only live 100 miles from him, and both he and my wife are rabid Oregon Duck fans.  Do I need to paint you a picture?  I do?  Okay, let me explain:

The athletic market is tapped out.  How many $200 pairs of gym shoes can you sell?  So, with what I imagine as the helpful prodding of my wife, Nike decided to focus on a yet untapped demographic – wives with pot-bellied husbands.  This demographic has historically been a tough nut for Nike to crack.  These portly fellows have resisted the flashy $300 neon track suits.  They’ve turned up their noses at the $100 wicking undershirts.  Sure, Nike has sold them 100 million Just Do It! t-shirts (usually from bargain bins), but these guys are just not doing it.  They are lying on the couch eating chips and scratching their bulbous bellies.

My wife no doubt wrote the script Nike gives to wives to use in conjunction with these little plastic ball-and-chains:

“Honey, you look like you’ve been losing weight.  This will help you keep track of the calories you’re burning each day.”

Or perhaps:

“This looks great on you.  Very athletic!  Much better than that stogy $8,000 Rolex I got you for Christmas.”  (Did I forget to tell you that for the $150 price, in addition to reminding you how sedentary you are, it tells you the time?)

Then there’s the name Nike+ Fuelband.  The name itself bursting with energy and motivational influence.  Some skinny marketing geek got a big fat bonus for coming up with that one.  No question.  They’re probably still howling about it in the lunch room of the marketing firm.

Meanwhile, as for me, the experiments continue.  I haven’t quite yet perfected it, but it appears that if I eat an entire half gallon of ice cream, scooping vigorously with the same hand as my Nike+ Fuelband, the little computer thinks I’ve run a marathon.  Rock on, Nike+ Fuelband.  Rock on, Rocky Road!

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Also-

Check out these great books:

The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness at –

https://buff.ly/2K41Tax

Seven Rules for the College Playground –

https://buff.ly/2IqXxgn

Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer –

https://buff.ly/2roFIov

 

A three minute vacation for your brain.