Monday, December 26, 2011

Tebow Time!

I really wish I did not have to address this, but I feel like things have gone to far and I must intervene. It's a craze that has swept the nation and hogged media headlines as more and more people are caught up in an irrational belief that threatens to undermine this great nation. No, not the Occupy protest. I'm talking about Tebowmania.

In case you possibly were born yesterday, Tim Tebow is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos who has defied all odds by winning actual NFL games despite having all the quarterback ability of a deranged orangutan. The balls he throws look like newborn chickens learning to fly. He scrambles around like a crack addict running from the police. He reads defenses about as well as Stevie Wonder reads eye charts.

In case you did not already know this, I do not like Tim Tebow. For some reason, people find this confusing, as if the physics of the universe do not allow this. It's just like how people always say, “But how can you hate dogs?”

Well regardless of what you think I do not like Tim Tebow and I have not liked him since he was playing at Florida. So you can imagine my disappointment when of all places, he had to end up playing football in Colorado, which meant all of a sudden I was living in the eye of this hurricane of mediocrity. I assumed that he would make a few starts, people would see that Ann Coulter had a better chance of becoming and NFL quarterback, and he could move on to become a televangelist.

And for awhile it seemed that would play out. He either airmailed passes ten yards past his receiver or spiked it into the ground as if he were trying to kill gophers with the football. Then the weirdest thing started happening: With his remarkable tenacity and spirit, he willed his team to amazing comebacks powered by his faith in Jesus Christ. Hah I'm joking. What really happened is Tebow played a bunch of horrible teams and sucked, but his defense kept the score close, he got tons of lucky bounces, teams inexplicably started playing soft coverages once they had a lead, and his kicker all of a sudden became David Beckham and started nailing field goals from different counties.

The next thing you know, Tebowmania exploded. It doesn't matter if you're watching ESPN, CNN or Lifetime, if you're watching TV, you will hear about Timmy Terrific. Not even Brett Favre could dream of this kind of coverage. They've made a beer called Tebrew, “Tebowing” has became an actual word, Playboy models want to be with him and Rick Perry wants to be him.

Why is Tim Tebow so popular? Let's try and examine that. For one, he plays in Denver. I will say this about Denver sports fans, they are delusional, err, loyal. When they like a player, they worship him.

Tebow also gets a lot of backing because of his religious beliefs, which he flaunts so often they might as well be written across his forehead (oh wait, they pretty much are). He thanks God for everything, people believe Jesus helps the Broncos win football games, he circumcises Filipino children, he films anti-abortion commercials. I mean he's a virgin for Christ sakes. Elton John has probably slept with more women than him.

But the main reason Tim Tebow is popular? The NFL wants him to be popular. He sells tickets, he sells jerseys, people watch him play on TV. His squeaky clean image is a marketers dreams, and don't even get us started on his looks. Notice that almost every ESPN commentator who likes him is a woman? Well, almost all of them.

But it appears that Tim Tebow's ascension to the greatest human being ever to grace this Earth may have been temporarily delayed. Why? He ran into this handsome man and a football team that has been to four Superbowls in the last decade. Very understandable. But then they lost to this dude and a football team that has not been to the playoffs since 1999 and plays one game a year in Toronto. That's right, they lost to a Canadian football team.

This is inevitable considering Tebow’s playbook has no plays in it, unless you count this one:

This is what his coaches actually wrote on his wristband:

  • Timmy no throw ball, Timmy run around
  • Timmy yell lots, flex biceps
  • Timmy say prayer, thank Jesus

Needless to say Tim’s had a rough couple of weeks. Supposedly this would stop the Tebow love, since people can no longer say “he just wins football games,” since he no longer wins football games. But somehow I doubt it. Tebow-love is an unconditional one.

But I'm still holding out hope that people will realize how stupid this fad is and just move on, not unlike chia pets. But in the off chance he does become the greatest quarterback ever, I'll make all of you Tebow lovers a bet. If he becomes an All-Pro quarterback, I will kiss the bottom of your shoe. Then I'll hop on my flying pig and go home.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Hawaiian Christmas Tale

Do you know what time of the year it is? It's the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say. I'm not so sure who came up with that saying, but it was probably a Wal-Mart executive. Or at least somebody who did not have to deal with snow.

Sorry if I seem bitter, but I'm headed for my first white Christmas after 21 years spending it in Hawaii. I'm not that happy about it. You know that saying “It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas?” Growing up in Hawaii, I never really understood what the heck that meant, because the weather in December was just as nice as in July.

This is also because people in Hawaii are so lazy they often don't take down holiday decorations, my family included. We once had a string of lights on our roof for two years and didn't take them down until my mother slammed the truck door on a strand and drove off with them.

There were a lot of things about Christmas in Hawaii that were much different from everywhere else in the world. Actually, now that I think about it, it really is a surprise anybody believes in Santa Claus in Hawaii. I mean, nobody in Hawaii has chimneys, so most of our parents were reduced to saying he came in through cat doors. And with no fireplaces, we hung our stockings in strange places, like on the TV.

It eventually became pretty clear to me that my dad was actually Santa. I'm not sure if it was because he asked us to leave Coke instead of milk for Santa. I'm not sure if it was the time he got locked out of the house and had to leave the presents on the front doorstep. It may have been the time he dressed up as Santa for a Christmas party but forgot to take off his Scott slippers.

Not that I'm judging him. Me and my sister are not exactly Sherlock Holmes and Nancy Drew so it worked for awhile. I can only assume I will not be nearly as good at being a Santa when I have kids. For one thing, I do not want to wait until my kids fall asleep, since that is when I plan on being asleep. Also, I think asking my kids to leave beer and a steak for Santa might not be the best idea.

But Christmas is more than Santa. It's about traditions, like decorating the Christmas tree. We used to buy a real tree every year from an abandoned lot in what I now realize was a very sketchy operation, before dumping it in our yard where it remained on display until it finally rotted in July.

We eventually got tired of pulling burrs out of our feet and just got a fake tree. We then got to put ornaments on our tree, except almost all of our ornaments were made by our aunt, who loved her pet dog and thus made all of her ornaments using the dog as a model. This of course meant our tree looked like it belonged to an old crazy dog person.

But enough with the tree, because we all know what is really important is what goes under the tree: hobos. Wait! Wrong trees. Presents of course go under the tree, and what holiday would be complete without large companies trying to profit off of it?

Christmas is probably the worst holiday in that aspect. I watch as everybody around me in the store devolve into cavemen, bashing each other over the head with large candy canes trying to get the last Tickle-Me Elmo or Furby of the season, which the child will inevitably never play with after Christmas morning.

I personally do not stress much over gifts. And by that I mean I don't buy any. The only gifts I bought this year were for my immediate family, and I'm sure they will be to happy to hear I bought all of their gifts in the same errand run while I was getting beer and pizza. Yeah, let your imagination wander as to what gifts I could have possibly gotten in a place that sells pizza and beer (hint: napkin dispensers).

So enjoy the holidays everyone and Merry Christmas! And if you got a napkin dispenser, I think you know who your secret Santa was.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happily Ever After?

So the biggest celebrity news of the last few months is that Kim Kardashian's marriage has officially come to an end. (Ok, so maybe you think that Justin Bieber's allged baby is bigger news, but frankly pregnant women making crazy remarks is nothing new as far as I'm concerned). I mean, the big news is not that it ended. I'm pretty sure we all knew that was going to happen. The only celebrity marriages that don't end in divorce are the ones that end with one person dying in a ski accident.

Still, I don't think anybody imagined that it would be this short. They were married for something like 72 days. I've worn the same pair of shorts for longer stretches than that. In the divorce, Kim says they had “irreconcilable differences.” I'm really not sure 72 days indicates you tried to reconcile anything. Heck I know people who are still hungover from the open bar 72 days after the wedding.

I think we can all agree this marriage was a huge stunt in order to get a huge diamond ring, lots of gifts, a fancy wedding and a whole five hour wedding special on her show. What did Kris Humphries get in return? Well, people now know who the heck Kris Humphries is.

So now they're trying to get the marriage annulled. By the way, I looked it up and did you know that you can get a marriage annulled if you were intoxicated when you agreed to marry the person? That's the best news I've ever heard. I never make important relationship decisions sober anyway so I have a built-in exit strategy.

Unfortunately for Kris Humphries it does not look like he is as smooth at slinking out of relationships as I am. He is of course inevitably going to be portrayed as a whiny, selfish pig. Why is that? Because the Kardashians have their own TV show and he does not.

But let us step back for a moment to examine what this says about the institute of marriage in general. Now I've never been married, but I have watched “Millionaire Matchmaker” several times so I think I'm overly qualified to give out expert love advice. Divorce rates are at an all-time high, according to stats from some sort of reputable source that I'm sure exist somewhere but I was too lazy to look up.

I think this is because marriage was invented back when health care was so bad you only lived until like 34. Getting married was not a big deal because you only had to put up with your spouse for like ten years before you died. Plus you were too busy trying not to starve to death that whole time to get into fights. Now? People live for much longer, unless your spouse decides to kill you. Also I blame lawyers (I blame lawyers for a lot of things).

I've actually been thinking more about this topic recently. I used to think marriage was something far off in the distance I didn't need to worry about yet, like asteroids. But a few of my close friends have gotten engaged recently, so I guess it isn't as far off as I thought.

The only problem is that I know once I get married, I am basically signing my own death notice. And I don't mean that figuratively. As I've always said, any woman crazy enough to marry me is crazy enough to then try and kill me in my sleep.

But my fears of commitment and murder aside, I really think some people were just never meant to be married. By some people, I mean stupid, talentless, annoying people like Kim Kardashian. I think celebrities shouldn't get married as much as they should sign contracts like athletes. They could work out how many years they want on the contract, determine how they should split the money the make, the stupid name of any children they produce, the length of the sex tape, etc.

Wouldn't that be great? You could read you paper and see that Ryan Reynolds signed a one-year contract with Blake Lively, or that recent free agent Demi Moore is fielding contract offers from Billy Bob Thornton and George Clooney. Could you imagine how much more fun Miley Cyrus' 18th birthday would have been if we had this system and she was like the LeBron James prospect about to get drafted?

I know very little about celebrity gossip (the fact I'm talking about Kim's divorce two months after it happened should tell you that), and I normally have to rely on my two neighbors to update me. But as a sports fan, I would totally get this system. We could analyze relationships in terms of good or bad signings in a SportsCenter-style segment on E!

So what if my idea insults the institution of marriage more than Elizabeth Taylor. I'm a solutions guy. And by the way ladies, I'm a cheap free agent.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Smart Call

I finally gave in. After years and years of resistance, standing steadfast as all those around me caved in, I have finally joined the masses, swept up in the tide of inevitability. No, I’m not rooting for Tim Tebow. I am now the owner of a shiny new smart phone. Or at least it used to be shiny. It has a lot of finger smudges on it now.

It’s not a secret how I previously felt about smart phones. To me they overlook the main point of phones, which is to receive calls from your family that you immediately regret taking. So actually, in that case a smart phone would be great.

Mom: “Why haven’t you answered your phone the last three days?”

Me: “It won’t let me. I don’t have the telephone app on my phone. What did you want?”

Mom: “I wanted to tell you to answer your phone.”

But the real reason I had to get a smart phone ultimately was the same reason most people make huge moral compromises in their life: my job. I really needed a phone that gave me internet access everywhere I went, so I could give breaking news updates such as: “Line at area Dairy Queen WAAY too long.” Plus, the only place you can find non-smart phones is in an antique shop.

And so it was that I found myself standing in the phone store, nervously glancing around like a Dalmatian in Cruella de Vil’s mansion. I’ve never owned anything remotely close to a smart phone, so I of course had no idea what I was doing. For one thing, all of these phones had the same “chic” look, which is to say they looked and weighed about the same as a car battery. To make things worse, the salesman there started saying things that quickly made me realize these smart phones were probably smarter than me.

Salesman: “So this SII right here has 4G LTE capability on our 2 gigabyte data plan with 1.5 gigahertz of memory and a 3.0 dual core processor with 8 times optical zoom.”

Me: “… Should I be happy or concerned by that?”

Salesman: “Well, what do you want the phone to do?”

Me: “Occupy me in the DMV line. And take pictures of funny mailboxes.”

Salesman: “OK… What is the most important feature you want your phone to have?”

Me: “Do they still put that game snake on these things?”

Eventually the salesman just gave me a phone, charged me five months of my salary and shoved me out the door. Sure I was confused at first, but then I started fiddling with the phone. And after mere minutes of looking at the fancy apps and slick graphics the most amazing thing happened: my battery died. Smart phone batteries last about as long as a Kim Kardashian marriage.

But once I plugged in my phone I was finally able to start using my apps. I have one that identifies songs just by listening to it. I actually tried singing songs to it to see if the program could identify them, but apparently I sang it so much better than the originals my phone had no idea what I was singing, so it always gave me the same answer.

Another cool feature of the phone is its voice recognition program, which, merely by speaking into the phone, allows me to send horribly garbled messages to people I didn’t mean to text. Since my fingers are too fat to mangle messages on the keypad, it’s nice to have my phone do it for me.

Me: “Let’s go park at the book store.”

Phone: “Nachos party with a hooker.”

Ok, so true I would never be caught dead in a book store and a nacho party sounds fun, but you can understand how that could get me in trouble with, say, my grandmother. While I have voice recognition, I do not have an iPhone, so I don’t have Siri, an app that does everything a normal secretary would do for you except fetch your coffee and engage in extramarital activities with you.

But now that I have this wonderful phone, I have a small problem. I am about as good with phones as Charlie Sheen is with children. In the past 14 months I have gone through four phones. One ended up under a car tire and the other with me in a creek (ok, a storm gutter).

But seeing as this phone cost me more than my first car and has more technology than the entire Lebanese nuclear research department, I really don’t want to break it. So to make sure I don’t lose it, I have named the phone “Michelle” in an effort to grow attached to it so I won’t break it. Cause nacho parties can get pretty crazy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Infomercial Insanity

I was watching TV the other day when I saw this advertisement for something called the grill glove. Now I'm not sure when it happened, or how it happened, but I know it has happened: Americans are officially the stupidest, clumsiest, laziest organisms in existence.

Or at least, that is what television ad people must think. I mean really, a grill glove? Because if there is always one thing I've wanted at a barbecue, it is to have another man constantly touching and fondling my meat.

I mean, this is just blasphemy. Grilling is a sacred tradition that requires one man to hold tongs in one hand and a beer in the other hand while men stand around him with a beer in one hand and the other hand gesturing vehemently to emphasize vague observations about the meat, football, construction, Megan Fox, etc. There is no place for bright pink gloves. Besides, if you are too stupid to work tongs and flip meat, you probably already blew yourself up lighting your propane grill, so it really is pointless.

But that is the funny thing about these infomercials: they always try to make the most mundane of tasks look like brain surgery. I want to know how they find these people who have the hardest time doing the simplest of tasks, like draining spaghetti. I bet I know how they cast these infomercials:

Casting director: “OK Bob, I want you to light this candle for me.”

Bob: *Looks around panicked. Proceeds to pick his ear with match, eats candle.*

Casting director: “He's perfect! Let's get him onto the Magic Bullet set right now.”

According to infomercials, one of the most dangerous places is the kitchen. All sorts of this happen to people who have IQs lower than the artichokes they are trying to peel. You just see black and white images of people slicing off their fingers while cutting onions or spilling scalding hot water on their children while boiling eggs and burning down their houses while baking casseroles.

But then, out of nowhere, like an angel descended from heaven, a very loud and irritating person appears on the screen to tell you how your life will be changed by the Amazing Never-Dull Self-Cleansing Multi-Purpose Foldaway Eco-Friendly Auto-Rotating Potatorama! Because how many times have you stabbed a loved one while trying to peel potatoes? But wait, it also peels carrots! Dices onions! Gets out stains! Cures AIDS!

And now of course you're hooked. Forget for a moment you don't even like potatoes, much less cooking with them. This thing will make your life so much easier. Plus if you call right now, you'll get a second Potatorama! What are you supposed to do with a second identical machine that does exactly what the first one does? Who cares! It's free! Give it as a Christmas present, let your baby cousin play with it, throw it at raccoons.

But then they make the offer even sweeter. Because if you order within the next ten minutes, they'll give you a bonus item, the Onionizer! Because if you're like the people in this infomercial, you cry like a single woman watching “Love Actually” whenever you even look at onions the wrong way.

And you can have all this for just twenty easy payments of $15.68! I still have yet to figure out what a hard payment is, but oh well.

Of course, two weeks later your Potatorama and your Onionizer will be sitting next to your Spaghettifier and your Egganator on your shelf collecting dust, because you just sit on your butt all day watching infomercials and ordering Dominos.

But then another infomercial comes on: “Do you have useless infomercial appliances lying around? Well then you need...”