DON’T BRING ME DOWN

For some reason, I’ve dealt with more than my share of miserable people lately and I don’t like it. What ticks inside a person that makes him consistently miserable? I don’t have enough coffee-stained shirts, M. Scott Peck books or degrees hanging on the wall to answer that one. But I do know this: it’s never their fault! Someone, somewhere along the line has done them wrong and we’re going to listen to all of it even if they have to strap us down. I know what you’re saying. “Bob, please help me. Miserable people make me sick. What can I do to rid my life of these vermin?” We need to unify. We need to band together and stop the madness.

First of all, misery loves company. We need to stop being co-dependent. If we don’t give into them, they will eventually leave us alone. As a wise old exterminator once told me as he was casually putting a mouse in his pocket, “Take away their food source and all you have to do is clean up the crap on the floor.” 

It’s time to take our lives back and we have the power to do that. Are you with me?  When a miserable person asks us how we’re doing with the hopes of hearing that our lives are crumbling faster than a six-month-old Keebler cookie,  take a deep breath and respond with the old, “Couldn’t be better,’ or “If I were any better, I’d have to be two people.” They hate that. They don’t want to be the only person on the boat who sinks. We’re taking away their food source.

Also, remember, as I wag my finger, there is no prescription available for the condition known as ‘miserable’, only clinical depression can get your doctor to break out her pen. Unfortunately, and how’s this for irony, by letting a miserable person get to us, we’re the suckers running to the pharmacy for Prozac!

We’ve tried comforting them and it never seems to work. Strangely enough, when we do try to offer even a modicum of advice and it fails, we become the enemy. This REALLY stinks because then not only do we have a miserable person on our hands but an angry, miserable person as well.

Was it something that happened in their childhood that makes them so miserable?  Probably, but we don’t care about that because our parents made us ride in the trunk and we’re not miserable, right? Aren’t there enough N.M.’s (non-miserables) that we can befriend? We wouldn’t go to the supermarket and buy a grapefruit that’s been bounced around like a basketball, would we? Of course not. We would put it back for the miserable person to buy. See, now we’re getting it.

So, again, we need to band together on this. Let someone else more qualified deal with these unhealthy human beings. Finally, remember, in your next encounter, be nice, be brief and in no time at all, you’ll be washing the floor for the last time.

PLEASE PASS THE PEPPER

I received an e-mail at the radio station the other day from a woman named Sandy who broke her own cardinal rule when she went on a date with a co-worker. She said she was immediately intrigued by Darrin for his unique ability to get food out of vending machines using a combination of paper clips, magnets and rubber bands. 

The date was progressing nicely although she wasn’t terribly thrilled with his choice of dining establishments. The crowning blow, however, came between bites of his Double Bacon Cheeseburger (complete with soft drink and antacid). He smiled, laid his hand on hers and blurted out those three words destined to kill a relationship of only two weeks:  ‘I love you!’ To make matters worse, now her hand was full of grease from his French fries. Yes, we’re sorry to say that Darrin had become the latest, but certainly not the last member of the dreaded “I Love You Too Soon Club (ILYTSC). She mentioned that she obviously didn’t respond in kind because she barely knows him and has never even seen him naked.

Why do men say ‘I love you’ too soon in a relationship? For the answer to that we sought out the expertise of Niles Fletcher. Niles calls himself the first cousin of psychoanalysis. We call him a bartender. He works at the infamous Rusty Tap and thinks Freud was cool but he’s still kind of freaked out by that whole Oedipus complex thing. Anyway, we asked Niles why it’s generally the man who offers up the premature ‘I love you.’ He told us that women, as a rule, do something called thinking before they speak; a concept still foreign to many men, especially inebriated ones. He continued, “The words ‘I love you’ can take on many meanings for men ranging from “Gosh, I sure would like to inspect the fruit that’s hiding so delicately beneath your sweater,” to “May I borrow seventy- five cents for the pool table. I called ‘next.’

Niles shocked us when he said that sometimes men say ‘I love you’ because they simply can’t think of anything else to say. Example:

Susan:  So, what’s new, Brad?

Brad:    I love you!

Susan:  Take me home now!

A better way to handle that, might be

Susan:  So, what’s new Brad?

Brad:    I had the flu last week but I didn’t throw up.

Susan:  My God, you’re strange.

See the improvement? 

Niles suggests that whenever guys get that ‘I love you’ moment in their head after four weeks of dating, it’s best for them to bite their lower lip, count to three and say, “Please pass the pepper.” In all his years of bartending, he can’t recall one instance where a relationship ended over pepper.

And, guys, as an extra added bonus, let me include Niles checklist. Please refer to this if YOU would like to someday be on the receiving end of an ‘I love you.’

1)  Do you drool?

2)  Do you adjust yourself and snort in crowded elevators?

3)  Do you EVER leave the house wearing sports jerseys of your favorite team?

4)  Have you burped the alphabet EVEN ONE TIME since you turned eighteen?

5)  Do you save haircuts for special occasions…like Thanksgiving?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above, you’re in serious danger of never hearing the words “I love you,’ from a woman or any other living thing, for that matter.

So, good luck guys and stay strong. Don’t end up being the next member of the ILYTSC. When you’re feeling weak and vulnerable, always try to remember, ‘please pass the pepper.’  

THE GALLAGHER MEASUREMENT

Don’t ask me how but I recently found myself at a socially distanced cocktail gathering with some very self-absorbed high-flatulents. Notice I didn’t say ‘party’ because that would infer a festive time, which this was definitely not. One glance around and you could just tell that everyone in the room had all the answers to all of the world’s problems. If only someone would ask.

I spotted a man standing by himself, hugging a folded Wall Street Journal in his armpit, sporting a fire engine red bowtie with matching red socks and holding his martini glass with pinky fully extended. I guess that would explain why nobody wanted to chat with him. I went over to him and said, “I see Red people.” It was an attempt at humor on my part that fell far short of its mark. He still managed to force a fake laugh and we had a nice elbow bump.

Then, for some inexplicable reason, he immediately dove into a huge diatribe about political polling. My brain shifted into overdrive. He was definitely a challenge but I was up to the task. He needed to be brought down a few pegs and I was just the man to do it. Please know that the subject of polling rarely enters my mind. I give that about as much thought as I do thinking about changing my sheets. But, what the heck, it was time to go to work.

After listening to him drone on for what seemed like three lifetimes, about how he hasn’t trusted the science of polling since 1948 when it was predicted that Dewey beat Truman. I nodded in agreement when, truth be told, I’ve heard of Dewey before but I thought he was the shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers. I kept that one to myself.

I informed Mr. Red that I had spent the last few months studying the various measures used in collecting data (this is what is known as bullshit!). I decided to dive right in the deep end saying, “Obviously, you’ve heard of The Gallagher Measurement, the gold standard of all polling devices.” His response: “Of course I have.” Bingo, baby!I went on to explain that The Gallagher Measurement states that all facets involved in the inquiry into public opinion must be run through a figurative colander and what leaks out the bottom might possibly reach an accuracy level of 40%. e nThe gentleman nodded in the affirmative.  I was pleased. I also threw in for good measure, ‘We can’t forget about the breakoff rate.” What came out of his mouth next was pure gold: “Yes, but you can’t talk about any of this without factoring in oversampling.’ I think the Gallagher Measurement makes that pretty clear.” Oh my God, I think I just wet my pants! He just mentioned the Gallagher Measurement!

 I really needed to get the Hell out of there. My luck was going to run out sooner or  later. It was going so well and my point had been made…in spades. He thanked me for the inspiring conversation and I was off to the bar where I high-fived the wall and ordered a well-deserved Bud Light.

As you might have guessed by now, there is no such thing as The Gallagher Measurement but some people just need to be knocked off their pedestal once in a while. I chose this particular chap because anyone who wears a bright red bowtie with matching socks and extends a pinkie while holding a Martini, was clearly ripe for the picking! Sir, you’re going down!

The lesson: The more people want to appear that they know it all, the less likely they are to actually make the final cut for Jeopardy. Wheel of Fortune, maybe. Don’t be afraid to give it a try some time when the opportunity presents itself. You’ll be smiling for a week! Just make sure you’ve got a spare pair of shorts!

ROOTING FOR CARLI

I recently ran into my friend Carli, whom I had not seen for several years. If memory serves correctly, it was probably even before President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky got, um, acquainted with one another. Yes, I know, I’m great for keeping in touch.

Carli looked and felt great. She told me that she had dropped a ton of weight during the last fifteen months. But it seems that when she lost the pounds (an amount she equates to about the size of a Cadillac Escalade) she also lost several of her thin friends and couldn’t figure out why. Carli, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you but your ‘friends’ have been using you and it stinks! You have my permission right now to go spike their Latte Frappuccino with that stuff that floats when you open a can of broth. Just make sure they’re not standing by your Josh Groban CD collection at the time. It will get messy.

Wouldn’t a true friend be thrilled that someone in their circle would be able to accomplish such a feat? Carli, these people are not your friends and they have no more use for you because now you look better than they do. You have become a serious threat to them. They were using you as an accessory to make them look better but that accessory no longer works for them. Go punch them in the nose right now. I’ll wait! These are disingenuous predators. They are shallow people and no one needs that. I told her that I know the type and exactly how they behave because I used to be shallow and insecure once myself. She nodded in agreement and said she remembered. Sometimes Carli can be a real jerk.

The shallow person will start out by paying you a few obligatory compliments but before you can say ‘transparent sleezeball’ the conversation immediately turns back to them.  “Candi, it’s amazing how the sagging skin from your matronly arms doesn’t drag on the ground anymore. OH, MY GAWD, YOU HAVEN’T SEEN MY NAILS! TAKE A LOOK AT THEM! I love the woman who did them and I didn’t pay full price because, it was like, my boyfriend changed the muffler on her father’s car and it was like, OH MY GAWD, for sure, let’s do it. By the way, how do you like MY SHOES?”

Carli’s ‘friends’ didn’t seem to mind when she scored higher on her SAT’S. They also seemed legitimately happy for her when she won that essay contest with a marvelous entry entitled, “Yes, I’m a virgin but nothing’s permanent.” Why didn’t those accomplishments bother them? Because they’re shallow, that’s why. Things like high scores don’t matter to these people. You can’t see SAT scores. Perfectly quaffed chartreuse hair is what really matters.

Today, Carli can perform the near impossible task of waltzing right by the KFC on Main Street without breaking a sweat. I’m rooting for you, girl. Keep me posted on your progress and don’t give in. And if you’re ever in the mood for a little fun, remember these important words: revenge is a dish best served with the fat from chicken broth. 

THE BED

 

Okay, so we are now the proud owner of a nifty queen-sized  bed for the spare room, obtained from my  sister-in-law.  We are also the proud owner of a 40-inch TV also from sis-in-law. If you can’t see where this is going, then you haven’t been married all that long. Michele told me that it would make a perfect bedroom for…me! I think she was joking but there is that slight area of doubt that has me a tad concerned.

Before we moved into our current townhouse, I had occasionally taken up residence in what we will call ‘Bedroom #2,’ for purposes of convenience, i.e.; my penchant for thrashing and sprawling out generally resulting in some light bruising of my wife’s torso.

Although, truth be told,  I don’t really mind being demoted to ‘bedroom #2’ yet again, however there is another greater concern of mine and that is who will the cats choose to sleep with? I’m not sure my ego could take that hit. I liken it to my teenage break up with Sara Gates. She dumped me and that was bad enough but what made it worse was wondering who she dumped me for. It had to be a classmate of mine and how could I, as a young, healthy and hormonally driven male accept the fact that a young woman would find another young man more desirable than me?  I was secretly hoping that she left me for the head cheerleader, Allison, but it was not the case.  If you’ll pardon the clumsy analogy, that way it wouldn’t have been the ride she didn’t like, but rather that particular mode of transportation. I could have lived with that, but no.  It turned out to be Jim, a senior who played 2nd string on the Junior Varsity football team! That one hurt. I got dumped for a guy who wasn’t fit to carry water for the big boys and also was continually  late for JV practice because he couldn’t figure out how to put his shoulder lads on? So, you see, my ego has been bruised enough. Bad enough to be eschewed by another human being but from felines who I rescued from the shelter where I had to provide such invasive personal information as my name and phone number? Please…no.

For that reason, I’ve been purposely delaying setting up the bed and mounting the TV. Meanwhile, I swear I’m getting looks from the boys and they’re telling me, ‘You’ll know soon enough.’

Yup! I’ve got a dilemma of epic proportions on my hands. Michele is clearly their favorite because she takes the time to toss their silly catnip mouse around and brush them incessantly.  I need do some catch up and need to do it in a hurry if I have any hope of the boys choosing my pillow as a cat hair depository.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. It was off to PetSmart where I asked the clerk what toys I could get that would leave my wife in the dust? The alert clerk, with eyes suddenly as big as silver dollars, brought me over to the ‘Premier’ section. I ended up getting 2 six-foot cat trees (complete with cashmere covered, catnip flavored branches) a pop-up peek & play tent and a catnip 24 Karat…thingy that kind of resembled a dildo. But I was assured they would love it. Total cost of my attempted bootlick: $392.58.  Take that Michele!  When I got home, the boys briefly awakened from their nap, yawned in unison and proceeded to fall back asleep.

I have no results to report as of now, only hope. If, when all is said and done and the room set up, the boys still choose to slumber with my wife, in her bed, I promise I will make every effort to behave like an adult. However, should I fall short of that, I’m actually hearing good things about snails.

MUSICAL CHAIRS AT WIDGET WONDERLAND

How are the eggshells that you’re walking on in YOUR office holding out?  Are they starting to crack? Is the structural integrity of those eggshells becoming more and more compromised with each passing hour?

Let’s take a look at Julie’s situation. She has been a faithful employee of Widget Wonderland for fifteen years. As a matter of fact, she was just honored with cake in the conference room where she was also awarded the highly coveted monogramed Sharpie! Well deserved, Julie. But now she’s seeing things a tad differently as cutbacks continue and the pliable office landscape takes on a different shape almost every day.

Just how are the cutbacks affecting workplace performance and morale? Is leaner and meaner really the better way to go? Does wearing more than one hat make you a more valuable employee or does it make you want to force feed your boss twenty-four Arby’s Sliders and then sedate him and strap him into the Tilt-A-Whirl for the ride of his life? Yes, they’re belt tightening at Widget Wonderland. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? 

So, Julie’s boss on the widget line has been furloughed, decommissioned, fricasseed or fired depending on the phraseology you use. She was two months shy of her twentieth year of service. That anniversary wouldn’t have come cheaply for Widget Wonderland as they would have had to spring for a new bowling bag with classic red and white size appropriate shoes! So, by letting her go now, they not only save the salary but also the cost of the swag. But, as a result of letting her go, an important question needs to be answered. Who is going to make sure the conveyor belt is running at the right speed and keep track of faulty widgets? Will this awesome responsibility now fall on Julie? If it does, will there be a commensurate pay increase? Imagine the pressure! You could go to sleep at night and have nightmares about widgets coming to life and escaping right before your very eyes.

The brain trust at Widget Wonderland decided to promote from within as opposed to going outside. This looks like an admirable move at first glance but who would be able to pick up the ball and run it into the end zone? While Julie remains a valuable employee and one who puts the ‘team’ first, she’s not looked upon as management material just yet. Well then, who in the world could step right in and not miss a beat in the manufacture and distribution of widgets? Hmmm. Enter Ronnie from Human Resources! The memo in the kitchen said it all: “Ronnie brings great passion for his work and will send new life through the entire conveyor belt department. Please join me in wishing Ronnie well on his new and well-deserved position.” As you can completely understand, Julie is beside herself. She knows widgets, damnit, and now her worst fear might become reality: The widgets will end up with a better health care policy than she has. 

So, the wheels continue to turn in the boardroom at a feverish pace. Now that Ronnie is headed to the front of the widget line, somebody will have to slide into his old HR slot. But whom? The honchos gathered once more to make another painstaking decision. After several minutes of discussing the previous night’s football game, they decide Brad from Research and Development is the man for the job. The memo read, “Please congratulate Brad on his new position of Director of Human Resources. Brad is a fireball who is really rising through the ranks. Brad was the logical choice due to his never-ending spirit and quest for knowledge. As many of you know, he also has one of the world’s greatest collections of #2 pencils. If you have any questions of Brad, please give him a few weeks as he will need time to transition.”

So, with the Research and Development guy fitting nicely into the HR role, will R&D come to a screeching halt? Not if Jimbo has anything to say about it, by golly. Jimbo? Do you mean Jimbo, the Restroom Manager? Absolutely, read the memo. “It is with great pleasure that we announce the promotion of Jimbo. He’s a hard-working fellow who always has a smile on his face and a dirty joke on his lips for everyone. Jimbo has made sure that your trips to the restroom have been as enjoyable and as comfortable as possible. His duties have included paper towel changing, soap container replacement as well as the always tricky urinal unclogging. With his innovative ways of thinking, Jimbo will, no doubt, be a solid asset to the personnel currently remaining in R&D.

How has all of this played put so far? It seems that as a result of all the internal maneuvering, several widget contracts have been lost. When someone has a question for Human Resources, possibly concerning their HSA, they are directed to Candice in shipping, presumably because of her past experience as an insurance telemarketer. As of this writing, Jimbo’s restroom position has not been filled and that would have to classified as a major oversight. Jimbo is now entirely too busy Zoom conferencing with big wigs and providing new definitions daily for the term ‘public intoxication.’

To the untrained eye, it would appear that Widget Wonderland has made some unwise decisions. Will the company manage to right itself? Is the company managing to spend less money? Has their overhead decreased? Has productivity increased? Has the balance sheet been adversely affected by the restructuring?

Has morale improved as a result of the internal promotions? Does Jim have even the foggiest idea what a Health Savings Account is? Has Widget Wonderland managed to cut more innocent people in half than David Copperfield on an off night? These are just  some of the questions that will need to be answered in the next few weeks and months.

In spite of all of this, Widget Wonderland has, in fact, managed to create at least one legitimate job opening. If you have experience in paper products with regard to germ removal and hand drying, can place toilet tissue on a spool without instruction while at the same time understand and fully comprehend the complex schematic of the paper towel holder, contact Widget Wonderland. All calls confidential.

FIRE UP THE WEED WHACKER

Yes, it’s a difficult topic but, unfortunately, a necessary one and I think you know I’m talking about men’s facial grooming or lack thereof.  I’ve received several listener emails recently from woman asking me to address the issue.  Amber from Wappingers Falls writes:

“Bob, what is wrong with men? Do they not have mirrors?  How can someone not see that they have nose hairs flowing from the nostrils practically long enough to hop on and scale down from a burning building? Weed whacker please!”

“Amber, you make a very valid point and that’s the  precise reason I’ve written my new book, Bob’s Complete Guide to Men’s Grooming. Without giving too much away, in it you will learn that when boys of the male persuasion first notice that they’re developing even the slightest hint of facial hair, they try and enhance that look to impress girls. Some of them go so far as to massage the face to encourage growth. Some talk nicely to it and, yes, some even try to pull on it with tweezers in a feeble attempt to elongate the hair. It’s all very sad of course but at the tender age of 14 or so, they’ll do anything to increase their chances of getting laid. As they grow older, most men realize that follicle growth from nostrils long enough to, as you pointed out, hop on and climb, or ear hair that could easily grow a nice crop of potatoes is not socially acceptable. It would be on a par with, for instance, shopping at Walmart wearing pajamas, which one never sees.”

Becky from Lake Katrine says her husband is more concerned with properly grooming his nether regions than he is with his nose, ears or the back of his neck.  “It’s gross, Bob, and very counterintuitive. He’s all trimmed and spruced up below the belt but if he doesn’t do something with the forest he has from his facial appendages, I can’t bring myself perform on his other appendages.”

Becky, truth be told, I wrote this book with women like you in mind. The mere threat of, um, withholding services, should be enough to convince hubby to break out the sheers. You may want to drop a subtle hint and take him to Home Depot and chain him to a stantion in the lawn and garden equipment isle until he sees the light.

You may be asking, ‘Bob, what qualifies you to pen a book on men’s grooming? Let me explain. When I was 8 years old, I met our new neighbor, Mr. Sticken. He had nostril hair practically down to his chin. I later learned that he would occasionally wax it and try to pass it off as a moustache. That vision was disturbing to say the least. What made it even more frightening was the fact that it was tobacco stained from his 2 packs of Camels a day habit.  It took me three years before I could even look at a nose again. I think that qualifies me, no?

I often scratch my head wondering if men are just oblivious to the yardstick long tufts exploding from the nose and ears or do, they believe that it’s a macho thing like the equivalent of carving an Anheuser-Busch logo into their chest hair? Hint: It’s not.

Men, we are not trying to pick on you, merely attempting to guide you on the right path to proper grooming. And by doing so, you’ll actually be able to breathe and hear better. Pretty neat, huh? Next up: Bob’s Complete Guide to Male Toenail Maintenance.

DAMAGED FRUIT

I have been contacted by a concerned young father named Steve, who is also a member of the male persuasion. Steve brought to my attention a problem that’s becoming so rampant that unless something is done about it right now, many men will find themselves unable to re-produce or for that matter even have normal relations ever again. I’m sure the mere thought makes men cringe but something must be done about the current design of shopping carts! 

Steve says he placed his son, Joshua, in the shopping cart, legs facing him. As he was dutifully making his way down the aisles, out of nowhere there it came…WHACK! The flailing legs of an excited two-year old found their mark. “Bob, my little Joshua turned me from a baritone to a soprano with just one well-placed kick. I buckled, dropped the pickle jar and went down on my knees before collapsing into the fetal position. It certainly gave new meaning to the term, ‘clean up in isle 3!”

Through a flawed design in shopping carts, once the children are placed on the top shelf, they are facing their parents and as Steve painfully discovered it doesn’t take much to be dropped like a stone. Just who is the degenerate masochist who thought that having little thrashing legs pelting off your groin was a good idea? We must have a complete overhaul of the shopping cart design if men are to have any kind of a fighting chance.

All Steve and the other young fathers are asking is that the leg holes face the front. Turn the future midfielder around and let him kick the rutabaga, the brisket and the beer in the cart instead. Remember, he’s not partial. He’ll kick anything. This is a serious concern of families worldwide who may be wishing to someday expand their brood and it needs to be rectified immediately, and by immediately, I mean let’s not involve Congress.

Emergency rooms are packed with dads who won’t be walking upright for months and they’re understandably embarrassed to tell anyone how it happened. This is why it took courage for Steve to come forward. By the way, the correct medical term for this trauma to the nether regions is The Shopping Cart Salvo. 

Steve, I hope you get back on your feet real soon and without any permanent damage. Thank you for your note and I hope we’ve taken the first step to insuring a more man-friendly shopping cart in the not too distant future. I would also like to leave you with an appropriate sentiment I noticed on a new line of Hallmark Cards:

Get back to work soon;

We miss you in our hallowed halls; 

And we all feel terrible;

Your son kicked you in the…supermarket!

GOBLINS, MONSTERS & … TEE SHIRTS?

I remember trick or treating on Halloween and actually getting dressed up. Yeah, I know, what’s wrong with me? Today, I see more and more kids ringing my bell at the ungodly hour of 7:00PM sporting a tattered and torn, although highly stylish, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. tee shirt, a pair of heavily soiled Levi’s and toting a crumpled bag from Price Chopper to house your ill-gotten booty. Thanks for the effort.

Bob:  Well, what do we have here?

Bill:   I’m, um, Bill.

Bob:  I don’t recognize your costume. What are you?

Bill:   Um, I’m, like, Bill.

Bob:  Hang on a second Bill. We’ve got a little issue here. “Honey, have you seen that nasty Boa Constrictor?”

(SWOOSH!)

Bob:  Hey Bill, where are you…going?

Halloween was something special back in the day. We used to work on our costumes for weeks at a time. Mom’s would spend hours at the sewing machine and dad’s would take pictures and send them to all our relatives who would in turn, toss them in the nearest garbage on top of the coffee grinds. For two years in a row, I glued some dirt and a rosin bag to my face, put a prophylactic (stolen from my father’s top dresser drawer) on my nose and went as a rubber on the pitcher’s mound.

Kids, a little ingenuity, please. Jeans, a sweatshirt and doo rag aren’t going to pass muster anymore. If you want our Snickers bars and Peppermint Patties, you’ll need to bring your ‘A’ game. If you show up like Bill did, you’ll likely be handed this year’s boogie prize: a smear of 9 Lives Liver and Bacon on a Triscuit. We’ll have two bowls ready at the front door. We’ll inspect and then decide. Hey, even a Mike Pence wig with a bug on top would show more drive than a tee shirt you got by being the 9th caller to some radio station. At least that would probably net you a roll of Sweet Tarts. Come to think of it, a bug on Mike Pence’s head that’s holding a flyswatter would get you an extra Nestles Crunch bar.

After doing some research, I discovered that the concept of trick or treating dates back to the stone age. The candidates for elected office had one night, October 31st, to go around and knock on cave entrances and hawk their agendas. “If I get elected, I give bearskins to all.” They would then continue to bore the cave dwellers for hours about how they would put wooden clubs in everyone’s dwelling and also decrease taxes. The cave owner would then either agree to vote for them and indicate their trust by offering up a mouth-watering dinosaur testicle or show that they disagree by hitting them over the head repeatedly with a rock. And with that, the concept of ‘trick or treating’  was born. Yes, even back then, politicians were viewed a monsters.

One more thing, kids: please don’t try the old, “May I have one more for my sister who is too sick to go out?” By doing this, you’ll be providing us with an excellent opportunity to take from the dreaded Bowl #2. “Hey, mister, this smells like cat food.”

Happy Halloween!

SALUTING THE ASSISTANT MANAGER

Today we acknowledge and salute the hardworking men and women whose business cards read, Assistant Manager. For far too long, the Manager has taken credit for jobs you’ve completed and strategies you’ve implemented. In many cases, the Manager is there simply to hold the coffee cup and remind people that they report to him. Occasionally, he’ll flex his muscles and issue a sternly worded memo declaring the deplorable condition of the office refrigerator. And how would Quanisha in Human Resources ever know the essence of a real man without the Manager parading in front of her office every ten minutes flashing his pinky rings and gold chains and proudly adjusting his virile…man stuff. Oh, the wonderful dreams he must provide for her every night. Make no mistake, the Manager’s main function is to remind people of who he is. Example: 

Customer: May I see these in a size 11?

Manager:  Of course, ma’am. I’ll get the Assistant Manager on that right away.

Customer: Can’t you get them for me?

Manager:  Ma’am, please. I’m The Manager.

Customer: Hey, Mr. Manager…

Manager:  Yes?

Customer: You’ve got toilet paper dragging on your shoe and your fly’s open.

The Vice President of The United States could be considered an Assistant Manager…but, no, come to think of it, that’s a bad example, so let’s move on. You are truly the unsung heroes. Every single day, you must come to work prepared to ‘take the field,’ never knowing when the Manager may call in sick or have to attend to pressing Manager type business out of the office like stopping by Dave’s Driving Range and Tackle Shop for their big one day only putter exchange (free box of nightcrawlers to the first one hundred arrivals).

Let’s look at Jim, The Assistant Manager of Sonic’s in Happy Jack, Arizona. Jim spoke candidly to us about the joys and heartache of the job. “The paycheck’s worth it, ($139.00 a week plus dental), but sometimes, I wish I could just take my mind off it all and play Mortal Kombat 11 for eight hours a day.” We asked Jim about his most grueling responsibility and he didn’t hesitate when he said, ” It’s those dang roller skates. I’ve got to make sure every single pair is properly shined and lubed every day, first thing.  And, if a girl slips and falls while toting an Ex-Long Chili Cheese Coney, that meal comes out of that day’s cash register receipts. Try explaining that to the ‘big guy’ without drowning in a pool of sweat. It’s brutal.”  Jim also explained that losing hard working employees is a bitter pill to swallow. “Oh, it’s really hard to see a person just up and leave after you’ve spent nearly two whole days training them on every aspect of the business. Just last week, the best French fry gal in the southwest left us for a sweet deal at The Dollar Store. She’s going be the Head Greeter in charge of Isle Maintenance. You can’t hold a person back from something like that. You just have to let them go, but it’s tough.”

Yes, Assistant Manager’s, without you in charge, those widgets would get shipped in the wrong boxes or, God forbid, maybe not at all. The tube socks and boxers wouldn’t be inventoried properly and those pep talks you deliver right before the doors open for the day are all masterful words of true inspiration. “Let’s sell some stuff today, guys.”

So, Assistant Manager’s everywhere, we salute you today. Thank you for all you do. Slap that name tag on proudly and get to work. You are the backbone of our infrastructure and the GPS on our highway to greater prosperity. And, please, always keep in mind when the ‘big guy’ gives you lip, that ‘Manager’ spelled sideways is ‘Mean Rag!’