Monday, November 28, 2005

Just Like Us, Only Spelled Wrong

The knob and tube palace keeps my interest level in "how to do it" shows unnaturally high in that This Old House or Discovery or TLC is usually dealing with some subject that I know will eventually break at my place.

Probably within weeks of the airing of the show and I'll kick myself for not paying closer attention on how to thread a 3/4" pipe or install soffit vents. The show will be on TV and the house will glance over my shoulder and watch, it assuming that I'm not paying attention to the old place and am happily hoping its just falling apart slowly for a change.

"Now look at that, he's flipping over to "SPIKE" for Bathing Babes with PhD's or Most Extreme Japanese Public Humiliation" the house will whisper to itself and I'll think I have just heard another shingle fly off the roof and ignore it. "No, he missed the part where they said how really important it was to shut off the live steam source before cutting into the boiler jacket. If that system fails on me I know I've got some steamed human a-coming right up."

And a week or two later, preferably just after the 30 warranty has expired, something involving a boiler and scalding water will let go, usually at three in the morning.

So I watch, take notes and even record self inflicted help shows whenever I can. This Old House: "Today on This Old House we'll see how the cast platinum basement foundation is coming along and look at options for refinancing the third world country you just bought. Thanks for watching viewer supported PBS." New Yankee Workshop: "I'll be feeding live logs into the Enigma 12000 and watching priceless Queen Anne reproductions come out the other end. This is a tool for most home workshops who have recently sold a third world country." Trading Spaces: "While Enid and Roger are glueing shards of glass to the bathroom floor, Brian and Zelda are repainting with Radium based gloss."

Oh and Ask This Old House with its audience particpation game segment in which viewers guess how many marbles Roger the landscaper has stuffed in his mouth.

That's not an accent, its a speech impediment.

They are informative and amusing so it's no surprise that, killing time in a Canadian hotel room recently, I watched one of their home centre, metre based showes.

OK, I may be a little US-centric, but this thing could have been called "Intensive ADHD Therapy" or "Let's Watch and Hope Grandpa Mutilates His Thumb the Way We Watch NASCAR For the Crashes."

Start off with a late sixties something codger who looks more at home with an oxygen tank than with a tabletop router. Add to this he's bald. Not a bad thing in itself, but he's got some kind of bizarre knot, lump, growth of something or other on the top of his head that looks like a dial you might change his personalities with or a place to put your finger if you ever wanted to spin him like a top.

What is that? It's almost an inch high and two inches in diameter? Come on. We're polite, but not fucking stare? We're not blind.

All of this detracts from whatever he is actually doing which, isn't a lot. For anyone who's ever worked with wood, you know that projects don't fall together wth way Norm would have you believe. The process is agonizingly slow and tedious most times. Norm cuts away fast and uses camera angles to make it look, well, interesting.

Not Gramps MacKenzie. No, he spends ten seconds plugging his router in and another five seconds adjusting the speed! 'Scuse me while I go order room service for eight.

I'm back, nope, didn't miss a thing. He finally gets his cut set up and starts in on the piece he's slicing and dicing. Fine. He gets a good cut, flips the board over, cuts the other side. Holds the piece up; see? Perfectly centered (except he pronounced it centred). Ok, cut the other end of the board. Yeah, I'm with you so far. Whatever nuance of a blade going into wood I missed the first time I'm sure not going to miss the details of which now.

So now he leans over his work and the skin thing on his head is staring right at me and I'm feeling dizzy and hear polka music and want to vote Bloc Quebecquois.

Then he moves on...

to the twelve more pieces he's going to have to cut and yes indeedy, he shows you, two angles, close up, the exact same cut on all twelve pieces, top and bottom, left and right. Forty eight repetitions of the same fucking thing done the same fucking way. If this were sex, she'd be pasting pages of Danielle Steele to the ceiling to have something to read while waiting.

Guys, eh? Pacing? Visually interesting? Tired of playing what's the skin thing.

We may gloss over some of the details down here like how did you chip carve the headboard and what hurricane levee were we supposed to build but at least we keep it interesting.

On the other hand, I guess I'm glad I didn't tune in when he had to do some painting.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Cued Up (The Dating Life As It Were)

I wish I had said this first but I didn't.

Dating in your thirties. It ain't easy. Not like it was in your twenties when you basically go out, get drunk, come back to your place to have sex and then go out again to figure out if you like each other. Now you spend a lot of time and money and somewhere around the eighth date when your topic of conversation has gotten on to English history if Cromwell hadn't toppled the monarchy, you get a tentative good night kiss.

Friends of mine and I are out at a bar about a week ago and, while we're dating, its not each other so there's that relaxed quality to the conversation that allows us to cast a gimlet eye on our surroundings without fear of saying the wrong thing and watching another relationship head south.

The wine is good, the beer is better and the company is described above. Goes without saying we're all having fun. Trouble is we got there late and after scouring the place for the last four seats, we re-arrange the stools in the last empty corner. Not actually a table but a large wooden shelf next to two empty pool tables.

Pool is a great game. I used to play it myself at a place called "The Bank Shot" in Hoboken, NJ. Classy joint right above a sports bar and right across the street from the Hoboken Police Station so Steve, the friend of mine that owned The Bank Shot, never worried about trouble.

Imagine how stunned I was not only to see a familiar locale but to realize the abject stupidity being played out on screen when I was watching "Cops" from Hoboken and there was a call for a fight at a bar.

Yep. Sports bar. Just downstairs from The Bank Shot. See the action as the camera slowly pans across the street to the Police Station and about a thousand uniforms come across the street to see what all the fuss is about.

America's Most Stupid Arrestees is what the fuss was all about.

But last week I'm several thousand miles from The Bank Shot when, far from the local PDHQ, a date breaks out around a pool table.

He's handsome in an English Milquetoast way. Someone fair of feature and pale enough to get you believing he was locked in a closet from birth until last week, about thirty two years total. She's olive skinned with cheekbones you want to hang your hat on and yell "Honey, I'm home!" Plus she's sprayed a sweater on for the evening and has a tight fitting skirt made of a material that will resurrect the shag carpet if she keeps wearing it like that.

To that, his pants are too short. Way too short.

So they set up the table. I can't bring myself to say "Rack" but I'm thinking it. Over and over as a matter of fact. He breaks. Which is to say Sir Pants-a-lot knocks the cue ball into the rack and sends balls skittering across the bloodshot red felt in all directions but towards any of the pockets.

Her shot.

She's a little better but makes the mistake of taking his advice and again is chasing solids and stripes across the blood red felt. Did I mention that that's just the WRONG color for a pool table? If I want to play a game that pisses bulls off, I'll get my red knickers and head for the streets of Pamplona.

Pants-a-lot shoots.

Now, I'm trying to feel sorry for the guy because he clearly sucks and he's trying to impress Ms. Shaggy Skirt and he's all over the table and adjoining bar and to compensate, he's trying trick shots.


Look, if you're failing miserably at something, you don't go for the gusto. You re-trench to the basics, try and be competent there and get yourself out of the mess without a face as red as, let's say, a badly covered pool table.

Not Pants-a-lot. He's shooting behind his back, drawing his stick so far behind him that all the men in the area are walking away quickly muttering "Thanks, I'll let my doc check the old prostate." under their breath.

Then he shoots and in a series of events that just about spells out "I'm getting a peck on the cheek and hugging my pillow tonight" on the wall, he launches the cue ball into the foursome curled up by the roaring fire.

Buzzer. Game over.

Meanwhile, my friends and I still trying to be generous, have suppressed so many guffaws that we have pressured our palates to the point of blowing out into our cranial cavities if Sir Pants-a-lot scratches one more time.

Thank God we're down to the eight ball. Call it Pants-a-lot. Thats right: Eight ball, side pocket, off the Bud Light mirror behind me.

Now repeat after me: Charles would have eventually granted the liberties petitioned for and Oliver wouldn't have hung.

Oh and the comment about dating in your thirties? Yep, makes you realize how anxious we are to bring Finn's Space back.

Bunny on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Serious Note

Every once in a while you'll get one.

You participants already know this. The blogosphere is one of the democratic vanguards in what will truly be a global village one of these days. That said, the world is still fraught with peril and danger.

So when a blogger makes another blogger welcome in their city and their home without any introduction other than a collection of silly stories and emailed anecdotes, they've paid homage to what the blogosphere can aspire to be. They've also shown a mark of character.

Spent a little time at the real Finn's Space last weekend and I owe the gracious Ms. Kathryn thanks for taking the time to show me around her city and share her company and the company of her friends with me. I had a marvelous time, met some wonderful people and came home with another thousand stories.

Kathryn, please keep your hiatus as short as you can manage. Wish we could exchange competing stories on bad pool players but I'll have to do it justice by myself. We'll miss you in bunnyworld. Come back soon.

Bunny on.

I'be A Code

I'be tharted fneezing a wbunch. Suddebwy. Now I'be a code and miferbel.

Ok, so here's a short list of people who should never be allowed on airplanes:

-The bathing challenged. Look fella, if I wanted Musk by Jovan, I'd have time travelled back to the age of shirt lapels as big as spinnakers.

-Those prone to airsickness. Also, those prone to airsickness who ralph down a double whopper with most of the garage on it before take off. Triply, those fitting the above two prerequisites who further don't understand that the little bag in the seatback; well champ, that ain't remnants of the brown bag the inbound from LAX had.

-Children of most any stripe.

-Particularly those who chirp either on command or at timed intervals like, say, every six minutes when I actually nod off with visions of Sandra Bullock in my addled brain.

-Guys from Jersey who fail to comprehend that November in Phoenix ain't the same thing as November in Newark and, fuckin' A, its so cold when they land still decked out in shorts, a sport shirt and leather loafers that inspired the original "Pimp my Ride" that their balls retract with almost rifle-like velocity. One minute, Little Tony Soprano is waxing poetic over burgers at the Fireplace in Paramus, the next minute he's got a mouthful of scroti.

Thanks to the Mad Chucker, I gave up a three across exit row seat with a skinny waif on the aisle for a full threesome that included Hai Karate Kid from North Bergen. Seems Mad Chucker let fly and the crew had to hastily reseat those not afflicted with the inflight greenies. Hai Karate kid was one of the refugees.

Must be a new federal law that prohibits anyone from enjoying any part of the flight. And please note that the lavatories are equipped with mirth detectors and anyone caught smiling in the mirror may be subject to a government fine.

Apart from that, please enjoy being sealed in an aluminum tube for six hours with microbes that make bird flu look like dancing amoebae.

I don't mind flying and I don't mind security and I don't much mind being squashed into a seat the size of which reminds me of one I once had with Piglet embroidered on the back but I DO VERY MUCH mind in flight revenue generation like free cell phone or credit card offers while I am trying to nap or digest the five dollar cheese and ham and egg and Exxon unleaded concoction that passes for fare these days.

Leave me alone. Want to make money? Take my plane fare and get me there on time comfortably and preferably without a cabin crew that just got out of Gitmo on good behavior.

So thanks to flying Air Petrie Dish, I am now fighting off some sort of thingy that has me in the sack with Captain Tissue Box this holiday weekend.

Bummyd Ond.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lunch At Cafe Awkward

With the approach of the holidays like a woodchuck on viagra and ecstacy, the company I work for has decided to cast the balanced diet approach aside and jump headfirst into a carnivorous lovefest.

Mild mannered otherdays salad bar clusterers are gathering 'round the prime rib like wolves around a felled moose pointing at the moist and juicy bits and does it all come with potatoes AND a roll?

Yes, it does and if you ate like this every day so would you.

Not only that, the hautes gourmandes are flicking bits of portabello out of the greens because "who needs to eat a fungus when there are seconds on the roast?" Shocking and horrifying but I'm taking pictures to use against them in February.

I'm just buckling down to get through the next month and a half or so where we in corporate America look around and figure out we've pissed away most of the summer and now things really have to get wrapped up by New Year's so its off to the steeplechase and oh, throw Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's in there just to raise the bars a bit or deepen the pool.

Ho ho bloody ho.

Now, where's the bar?

It's gonna be a long six weeks.

Monday, November 14, 2005

A Potpourri of Bloodshot-Eyed Observations

Not being able to create a thematically unified entry I am perusing the news for snippets that I can entertain you with.

It's better than talking about our trash pickup which is liberal enough to take various household objects more appropriately dropped off at a recycling center. Not that I mind. The knob and tube palace coughs up construction remnants on a weekly basis and they all go curbside. As a result, curbside, indeed, the entire town's curbside routinely looks like a rummage sale of 80's technology.

This week the old vacuum cleaner is being sent up the river. Industrial strength cat hair has finally made an asthmatic of the dirt devil, my little satanic filth machine. Off into the trash with some errant vines out of the recently cleared up garden and the thing looks like a scarecrow with a clean obsession.

Hey, last week they took an old clothes dryer. I was going to truck it to the junkyard but I've had a habit of dropping things prematurely lately and I couldn't see holding Saturday traffic up with a Kenmore on route 29.

Here's news: Apparently there's a petition on to allow hunters in Pennsyvania to use a prehistoric weapon to slay deer.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) An ancient weapon that struck fear in the hearts of Spanish conquistadors, and that some think was used to slay wooly mammoths in Florida, may soon be added to the arsenal of Pennsylvania's hunters.The state Game Commission is currently drafting proposed regulations to allow hunters to use the atlatl, a small wooden device used to propel a six-foot dart as fast as 80 mph. The commission could vote to legalize its use as early as January.

Now Pennsylvania is like a lot of places where the removal of predators has naturally created an explosion of feral prey. There are so many deer in this state who are so docile and unafraid, we've taken to calling them "The Pennsylvania Wild Cow." You know how it goes; take away wolves, you get an influx of deer. Corral all the Marlboro sucking, box wine swilling trailer home housewives and you've got door to door Amway sales drives going again.

I'm all for re-introducing the atlatl. It brings the element of chance back into the hunt. Call me a purist but the deer blind with its computer enhanced camouflage pattern, high powered, telescopic laser guided sight rifle with gasoline generators pumping enough compressed deer hormones into the air to attract most of the Delaware herd and a couple of boys and girls from the trailer park just down the road ain't all that sporting.

What would be more fun would be to let atlatl hunters into the woods in a purist state. Along with the stone age weapon, you can take along stone age garb and stone age accessories. So its skins and grass shoes for you Bubba and I hope you have a pack of leeches if you or Earl get sick.

The article continues that there is evidence that the atlatl was used in prehistoric Florida to hunt wooly mammoths. Really. Truly. It does.

Now lets get real. Wooly Mammoths in Florida would have keeled over in the heat faster than Earl and Bubba in the Pennslyvania woods on a snowy morning atlatl hunting in grass shoes and what's left of Pooky the cat would freeze to death.

Now none of this is to intone that I am against hunting. Its illogical to chomp down on cowburgers that were trapped by a knocker in a slaughterhouse while eshewing hunters.

I will however make the following observation on those who think hunting has to do with beer, rifles and a party in the woods that involves more tree stump target shooting than actual tracking game for food: Boys and Girls, hunting is highly Darwinesque. The fittest and smartest and most adaptable survive. So if you are into your third PBR tall by ten a.m. and the cans are riddled with holes, you ain't eating anything that don't have a golden arches on it tonight.

Or when the local paper ran the following headline in November 2002:


I observed that the system was working.

Happy bunny days.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Hopeful Responses

As a humor writer, -or a humour writer for our friends north of the border who pepper their language with extraneous vowels and "ough's" rather than following our Mr. Webster into standard, short, logical spelling conventions because we're mostly illiterate anyway- I look forward to the positive response to the latest Bunny item and often I get it.

"Hey, that was funny!"

"Hey, that happened to me once!"

"So you're the sonofabitch who dipped my hand into lukewarm water at Scout camp. I know where you live!"

More often than not, I am rewarded with an acronym: LOL, ROTFL, LSHMTDOHJ (Laughing so hard my teeth dropped out, Holy Jesus!)

For those of you that can empathize, but like me sometimes have a hard time decoding these modern constructs of the electronic era, I offer the following short guide to instant messaging, blackberry-speak or goofs who just don't want to type it out.


Bunny's Guide To On Line Acronyms for Those Born Before 1974

LOL Laughing out loud
ROTFLOL Rolling on the floor laughing out loud
ROTFL Rolling on the floor (Learn Not to Burn)
RAJLOL Rolling a joint laughing out loud (your joke may not have triggered this)
LOLIJ Laughing out loud in the joint (petition for a move if your cellmate does this)
LOLITA Laughing in a seductive way that will end badly for someone
LOLA Laughing like a woman but things are not always as they seem
LILLIAN Laughing like a catalog merchandiser
LILLETH A thin emaciated laugh
LINUS Laughing into a blanket
LINUX Laughing at Windows
LIBIDO Being able to laugh while aroused
LIBBYS Laughing at canned vegetables
LIBRARY Shh! No laughing in here!
AEROFLOT Laughing insanely and hoping your plane doesn't crash beyond the Urals
LIFD Laughing in the face of danger
DOA Danger didn’t think it was funny
LIBM Laughter is the best medicine
PROZAC But your laughter perscription expired.
LFNAR Laughing for no apparent reason
LIFER The apparent reason
WDKMMMSAF What doesn't kill me makes me stronger and funnier. (Nietsche: Originator of the rubber uberchicken)

Bunny on.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Fell into That

Spent some time with Mom this past weekend and did a little clothes shopping and here's a quick post that will logically connect the two.


Trust me.

I haven't been smoking anything. At least not tonight.

Mom is wonderful in that she lavishes attention unselfishly and I am the center of that attention. She is horrible in that she knows I despise being the center of attention and that, having come to grips with being in my forties she forcibly returns me to permanent age 12 every time I walk in the door.

Hi, Mom.

How was your trip?


Are you hungry?


Want to eat something?


I've got some leftover meatloaf.


Aren't you hungry?


That's pretty much it. I get asked a lot of questions that I duly respond to. Trouble is, I respond to them at least four times before the point sinks in.


Not yet.

You should go to bed.

Not tired yet.

It's late. You look tired.

It is late, but appearances can be deceiving.



You sighed. You sound tired.

Saturday, I hopped down to the local nationally advertised clothing store that I can still shop at with a modicum of self respect although their demographic target is something I am drifting away from like an aged Eskimo on an iceflow.

The store has a single syllable name that rhymes with "Crap".

So I pick up what I need, but I had to put her back. Apparently she only worked there and was not for sale.

Bought some pants instead. Went to pay for them and had this exchange with the cashier.

Are you signed up for a Crap card?


Would you like to?


It'll save you twenty percent.


Sure you won't sign up for a crap card?

No. Are we related or should I be happy that Mom will always be able to find a job at the mall?

Bunny on.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What's Under Your Tree?

No sooner have the Hallowe'en lights come down and the last Jack O'Lantern been mashed onto old man Hammerstein's front stoop than a trickle of greedy foam appears at the corner of the mall manager's mouth and the first garlands of Christmas go flying up onto the rafters at the Shop and Spend emporium at the edge of town.

Yes, the spending season is coming upon us like a troll with a nasty hangover and soon the stores will be filled with fathers, mouths agape wondering just what an iZ is and why iZn't it in stock. Mothers will have their hands full corralling sticky fingered bleating youth who want that and that and that and two of them and can she even get one of the others once eighty percent of the family budget has filled the car up?

If you've figured out that I regard the Christmas and associated Holiday season like a Sorority party for Virgin House that you get looped into and you've got another four hours of playing bob for apples with girls who think that scrap books are "neat" and you hold your head under water just a little too long and figure inhale once, how much can it hurt? You'd be right.

Anything that wanders so far off its original intent such that it crawls into the back aisles of Kmart like a python on acid somewhere in early September and shakes you loose in the first week of February like a pit-bull's gravy and slobber covered chew toy ought to attract the attention of the strictest governmental regulatory agency known.

We've protected fish parasites under lesser circumstances.

Nevertheless, the game is on again and we all have to play it. In the spirit of public service and the fervent hope that I can get in and out of the local temple of commerce with that one special something for that one special someone (in this case, me) within 16 hours and not have to wait in a line that looks like Bataan item returns, I present:

Bunny's Guide to the Top Ten Toys:

Black Belt's Karate Home Studio: A successful branding of Black Belt, the sheriff in Blazing Saddles I think, this playset includes a safety floor mat, pyjamas, belts of various colors and an assortment of bandages. We used to call this "Beating Up Your Little Brother" but never discount the power of boxing something at Wal-Mart.

Dora's Talking Kitchen: Non-working stove, refridgerator and microwave that talks. Push a button and she says "We haven't been out in ages." and "After the day I've had, you think I have energy to cook." Dora was a lot more fun in college, wasn't she?

Fly Wheels Assortment: Inspired by the 1986 Yugo, this delightful collection of cast off aftermarket hubcaps is good for hours of play. Especially as a striking impliment in the Karate Home Studio.

Furby: Mutant talking amalgam of cute animals, you may want to put this away if you're going to hit the Christmas party scene a little too hard this year.

I Dog: Asimov's toy. When man's best friend breaks the cardinal law and whizzes in your slippers with impunity.

Iz: Thiz Izn't. Wait until after the holidaz when idz on zale.

Leapster L Max Learning System: A chip based keyboard and display teaching tool that instructs your children in basic spelling, math and geography. Will replace public schools in 2009.

The Magnetix World: Mr. and Mrs. Magnetix in the Magnetix Play House with Billy and Susie Magnetix. Billy is gay but in the closet, Susie is interested in some far eastern cult, the Magnetix dog has just crapped in the den and Mr. and Mrs. are wondering how long they can keep up a happy magnetix front for the kids.

Pixel Chix: Just a re-issue of Barbie's cast off friends from the '70's. Chipper, Scooter, Tammy and Sandra Day O'Conner.

Shell Shocker: A toy gas pump actually.

V Cam Pocket: Its video. Its a camera. Its small enough to carry. Its an eccentric actuating lever. It saves you money while your children dance to it. Available in orange or cherry.

V Smile: Virtual happiness for kids who's Prozac scrip has run out.

V-2: The "Secret Present" that will win the season. Available from Penemunde Playthings.

V Can All Get Through This Together: Smile. Laugh. Do something nice for someone you don't even know. Walk a little slower and listen to the wind in the trees. Its all good.

Bunny on.

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