Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How To Get Into Trouble in a Foreign Capitol

Besides taking up offers that you should probably have politely declined, there are hundreds of less obvious ways to get into a pickle in Paris, a jam in Amsterdam, sin in Berlin or bemoan Rome.

Firstly, don't sell sleep short. You're going to be jet-lagged and bedraggled getting into Heathrow. It's the middle of the night for you and the last time you did something remotely coherent in the middle of the night was college. And even that was turning down the second horror feature with the frat brothers you were hanging with.

Lately the most intelligent thing you've done in the middle of the night is not pee down your leg. Just because you're on vacation doesn't mean your mental facilities are running on "Oh Boy" brand cranial stimulator. Give it a rest, go to bed for a few hours. The uncurbed dog crap on the Seine walkway just by Notre Dame will be there waiting for you. Take my word on that.

Secondly, dress the part. Become a plainclothes advocate. The American I ran into in the London Tube wearing a HUGE stars and bars t shirt with Civil War battlefield sites stitched in and "Remember the Glory of the South" was as much a beacon as was my friend Ian with a "Mr. Thirsty" shirt in New Orleans. The former was an asshole magnet, the latter was soliciting local wallet removal services.

Thirdly, speak quietly. Accents are a dead giveaway. Especially if you're from York, Charlotte, Marseilles or Essen. Loud voices get noticed worldwide no matter if you're complaining about chocolate pudding on the left bank, or twenty p for a pee in Tulierres or insisting ze red cahd hass not been put zere in three card monte on Fifth avenue.

Try not to stand out. Blend in. Say just enough to get you through the situation at hand. For example, the customs agent in Madrid, even though he sports a MONSTER cocaine pinky nail will sooner process you and your polite "gracias" than he will your pointing and asking where in town you could fill such at thing.

Likewise the car service driver jabbering at you for being five hours late will quiet if you politely ask him where you might draw Euros for his tip. "Listen up motherfucker, Newark was a goddam icecube" may curry less of his favor.

Sometimes blending in does not necessarily involve sticking to the letter of the law. Don't clutch that 50 centimes piece at the men's room at the Eifel tower, waiting for Claudine to get off le telephone with her girlfriend. Just march in and merde, mon ami. Jacques doesn't have a problem with it, why should you?

Make an effort at the local language. Speak slowly in England. Cough "Cote D'Azur" into a napkin in Paris and then excuse yourself in English. The waiter will appreciate the effort at his tongue even though you just hacked through the only tenth grade French you remember. Berlin? Listen, we won both wars. Speak English dammit! At any rate, modern German is evolving into what essentially is English with und and ja interspersed on occasion.

That's about it. Don't stand out. Don't paint a cultural target that is aimed at by the local corrupt constabulary, the colorful village ruffians or sporting gals from the red light district. But above all else, try never to take a CD narrated guided tour. With a spinning player hanging from your neck, a curious expression on your face and headphones on you'll look like a Borg escapee.

Take my word on this.

Bunny on.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Six Word Autobiography

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Cable Lineup

I-95 Truckers: Follow a team of Northeast Corridor drivers as they haul load after load along the treacherous and eternally under construction I-95 road competing for the big bucks as they keep a Wal-Mart in New Haven Connecticut stocked with garden hoses.

Mythbusters: Adam and Jamie get behind the truth of Hercules, the Minotaur, Zeus and Mount Olympus.

Modern Marvels: Modern Marvels: The marvel of a show that can spend an hour on pull tab cat food cans.

Flip This House!: Introduce a trebuchet to the sagging real estate market.

Dirty Jobs: Join Mike Rowe as he slops hogs, cleans up roadkill, flushes septic systems and testifies on tobacco marketing for Phillip Morris.

The Deadliest Catch: David Tyree demonstrates his ball handling to the Patriot's Fan Club in Foxboro, MA.

Breaking Wind: An AMC original series that follows a disgruntled high school chemistry teacher who reveals that flatulence is flammable to his 12 year old son. He then follows the boy with a video camera hoping to find his fortune on You Tube.

Old Junk Roadshow: Professional appraisers confirm that the attic crap you brought to the studio isn't worth the price of the gas you burnt getting it here.

Life After Certain People: An in depth look at what things will be like once Aunt Erma keels and if your boss ever got off your back.

Trading Spouses: TV MA. Mature content and themes.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Quality Since Chicken 1919

Maybe my commute is getting a little long, it only seems like Fairbanks to Key West on a daily basis but I swear I read this on the back of a truck this morning.

What the hell happened to Chicken 1918? Did he just not care about quality? Sure, beaks and eggshells in the mix, what the hell, throw them in there.

Chickens 1920 through 1999 were clearly company fowl as the reputation of Chicken 1919 was kept pure and pristine throughout the years. But what happened with Chicken 2000, the milennium bird, the Y2K bird? Did she let it slip? Was quality now a thing of the last century of chickens? Or could we count on her to soldier on? Let quality be her and her successors guidepost until the vaunted Chicken 2019, the centennial chicken came along to celebrate an hundred years of unrelenting attention to detail and value?

Were there dark Chickens 1932 or perhaps Chicken 1941? Was Chicken 1957 a one of a kind wing? Did the Chickens of the Sixties eschew the establishment roost that had won the war to build a standard of living for the entire barnyard to envy?

Did Chicken 1977 begin to lose it?

Did Chicken 1984 pry into everybody's business?

What happens to Chicken 2020? Do we go back to the chicken dark ages when quality didn't matter? Or do we herald a new era of Chicken goodness and fairness that even the turkeys can admire?

Yep. The commute is getting to me.

Bunny on.

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