Man’s Inner A-hole

The other day, my not so pleasant “Inner A-hole” snuck out for a brief public appearance. Made me stop and think: Do all men have an Inner A-hole?

Some days it really doesn’t take much for me to reveal mine.

Just a quick challenge to my own sense of perfection, an observation by someone else that I flubbed a job that I thought was completed perfectly, a rude driver that assaults my perfection behind the wheel.

I have a few friends that appear to be “cool as cucumbers,” which probably means they spend a lot of time in their respective veggie crispers. I admire their seeming coolness in the face of the rigors of day-to-day living.

And, I find my self wondering: Does so-and-so ever lose his cool? Show his emotion? How does he stay so much in control? Doesn’t he see the intrinsic value in the occasional snarky comment?

God, I hope my situation isn’t merely a case of arrested development.

When these seemingly simple matters take on the characteristics of frontal attacks to me, my wife, the psychologist, reminds me that I’m just having an “Attack of the Humans.” In other words, relax … as a human you’re granted a certain amount of behavioral slack in this world. Key phrase being … “a certain amount.”

I just hope that I haven’t reached my limit for this go round.

There’s some truth to the axiom that “safety in numbers” matters. We all find comfort in discovering that we’re not alone in our behavior. And when I’m busy being a negative influence, I generally feel better when I can say, “He’s a bigger A-hole then I am.”

So I prefer to think that although all men have what I call an Inner A-hole, not all men are A-holes. It’s just a matter of how frequently we’re called upon to wipe up our mess … in public!

It’s Party Time

Any day I can party a bit, celebrate a special occasion, and be happy … well, that’s a good day.

Here’re some “Good Day” contenders for this coming week that may be worthy of raising a glass or two, smiling, and wishing folks a “Happy ____ Day!”

Sunday, April 26th: We start quaking and shaking on National Richter Scale Day. Any day that shakes calls for a celebratory drink! What else but Jello Shots. After a few shots we can watch the cubes jiggle, and during the quake establish our own scale!

Who cares about Old Man Richter and his Richter scale!

Wednesday, April 29th: One of my favorites – National Zipper Day!
What a boon for anxious teens out for a grope in the night! The zipper, after many “ups and downs,” was named and popularized by BF Goodrich in 1923. The world’s longest zippers, more than three miles of them, hold the Astroturf together in Houston’s Astrodome.

The Lemon Zipper Martini zips up this celebration drink! It was the signature drink of the Zipper Lounge (now defunct) in the hotel at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. You’ll need:

3 cucumber slices
4-5 basil leaves
2 ounces of citrus vodka or lemon infused vodka
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce velvet Falernum
¼ ounce simple syrup

Muddle cucumber, basil and lemon juice in the shaker … add the vodka, Falernum and ice … shake and strain … garnish with a sexy lemon twist.

Thursday, April 30th: National Honesty Day, a day dreaded by all thinking men! It’s celebrated the last day of April to offset April Fools’ Day – another day that only fools men! Knowing full well that “complete honesty is never the best policy,” men everywhere fight for drinks on April 30th. After consuming massive amounts of any alcohol, we run into the streets and tell the truth, no matter the consequences.

The drink for the day? Anything “neat.” Men who are about to tell “the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” need their alcohol straight.

Friday, May 1st: National Mother Goose Day! Charles Perrault is credited with establishing the genre of “fairy tales” with his 1695 publication of verses. Old King Cole, Solomon Grundy, Georgy Porgy and hundreds of others live in the imaginations of millions of children thanks to Charlie!

And yes, there is an adult beverage unsuitable for children for this grand occasion. It’s the Mother Pucker Goose Martini, a refreshing drink crafted for those of us who sip while we recite verses.

2 Ounces Grey Goose vodka
½ ounce DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker schnapps
½ ounce Cointreau orange liqueur
¾ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

Shake vigorously and serve straight up in a well chilled martini glass.

Thursday April 30th thru Saturday May 2nd: The NFL Draft takes place and we get to watch all the super he-men who deny the evidence of concussive collisions and are willing to gladiate for our entertainment, be selected by multi-billionaire owners to fight for their futures. In other words … It’s time for the pro-football meat market!

So clearly the party drink of choice is DRAFT beer. It’s all about the beer and who gets paid the most to run over other behemoths for our endless enjoyment.

So party hardy me mates and readers. We’ve earned it.

You have a WHAT in your Yard?

Come on admit it. I’ll bet you have at least one, maybe even more, Florida pink plastic flamingos in your life. Come on … admit it!

If your ego allows it, you’ve got it smack dab in your front yard.

If you’re more timid about “coming out” with your flamingo, it’s probably in your back yard.

And if you’re totally embarrassed that someone in your family dared to give you one, it’s probably in your closet, garage or has already been donated to the local re-sale store with a weak explanation:

“You know, it’s just not my style … if you know what I mean.”

Don’t feel bad. The argument over whether this Florida icon is art, kitsch, or crap has been going on ever since sculptor, Don Featherstone designed the mold for the first one back in 1957.

Even he’s not sure which it is!

Lineup a dozen Floridians and six will look down their collective noses at the royal plastic beauty, while ½ dozen will proudly tell you that they’ve named their individual flamingos. Hell, some folks have been spotted dressing their flamingos for holiday celebrations!

And native Florida families go to war over flamingo yard art as often as they do over supporting the Gators or the Seminoles.

Hey … this is important sh*t.

The flamingo, as an important part of Florida cannot be argued. Hell the image for the Florida Lottery is a silhouette of a bright pink flamingo. Flamingos were kept footloose and fancy free on the interior grounds of Hialeah Racetrack when it was operating. Even the taxi cabs in Key West are painted pink.

Oh, wait a minute … that might be to promote Pepto-Bismol to help with Hemmingway-esque hangovers!

Hangovers? Alcohol? Did someone mention alcohol? My, my just the thought of refreshing jazzed-up pinky concoctions makes my brain fuzzy.

Several adult beverages make use of the flamingo in their names and, though most of them tend to be designed for women, there are a couple of recipes for the “knuckle-dragger” in your family.

Get over the “pink” guys and go for a pink flamingo Martini. Here’s my recipe for the Seriously Absurd Pink Flamingo Martini. Vodka goes with any color!

Two parts vodka
1 part cranberry juice cocktail
1 part pink lemonade
Dash of Cointreau or Triple Sec
Shake vigorously over ice
Strain into a chilled Martini glass

So the evidence is in. Pink flamingos may not live here anymore, but there are plenty of others we can have fun with.

I challenge you to take the Kitsch Pink Flamingo Challenge and show me your “pink flamingo,” whether it’s in your yard, your glass or your….

Oh, never mind!

Toilet Paper Wars

We’re in a war and we’re looking for a few good commandos. Are you ready to “Go Commando?”

In the last two decades we’ve seen our fair share of warfare, but we haven’t experienced anything like the wars currently being waged. This isn’t a napalm, Navy Seals, guerrilla war. But it has a very good shot at getting messy.

I’m talking toilet paper … tissues … TP … flushables … Mr. Whipple … the whole nine yards of the least talked about aspect of our lives. Now Cottonelle, an also run brand that’s trying to up its market share in the race for better wiping, is asking if you’re ready to, “Go Commando.”

No S**t … they’re talking about going without underpants!

If he weren’t still alive, Mr. Whipple would be rolling over in his grave.

The skirmishes fighting for your TP dollars, extolling TP’s value added features in your life, how TP improves your hygiene and makes your lifestyle more wholesome, are costing corporations millions of dollars.

The frontlines incorporate the full use of social media – YouTube, TV, Face Book, Twitter.

The current campaign features the Cottonelle spokeswoman, a librarian-sexy blonde with an “oh so proper” British accent, who approaches real people and asks them directly about their “wiping experience.”

It’s a frontal assault on our backsides!

My fave is the golfing guy who somewhat shyly tries the TP then reenters the scene with quite a grin on his face as he attempts to explain why the ripples in Cottonelle make such a marked difference in his experience. There’s no real science or technology behind his explanation (not sure there should be or ever was in the development of the rippled tissue) but he does convince me that his experience is “better.” He feels “cleaner” and is “more confident.”

S**t, if that was all it took for me to feel more confident, I would’ve rippled my butt years ago!

The sexy coy librarianesque woman then asks him if he’s ready to “Go Commando” what with his new found confidence. Back into his changing tent he dives and out he comes ostensibly with his unclean previously worn underwear in a nifty little Cottonelle bag.

Golf Guy then reveals just enough of his less than muscular and unspectacular upper leg to prove that his undies are “in the bag” and he’s now “A Cottonelle Commando.”

Mr. Whipple, who first retired in 1985 as the spokesman for Charmin, is probably rolling his eyes, hoping for a comeback and another shot at the big bucks being spent on this campaign. I think Kimberly-Clark needs to snake him from the opposition and convince George Whipple to “come out of the tent and Go Commando.”

Surely this war to win our butts has moved TP from soft, softer and softest to a new level of sexiness. Yes, we’re actually talking about how good it feels and how confident we are after having a “successful experience with a rippled device.”

Sure sounds like sex to me. Just sayin.’

See the commercial:

Confucius Say …

I can’t sit still long enough to write the novel that allegedly is in each of us. Mine may be in me, but it ain’t gettin’ out.

So what’s a hyper-agitated-can’t-sit-still wannabe author to do?

Narrowly avoiding terminal angst, a lightning bolt of an idea hits me. Why not write fortunes for fortune cookies? They’re super short and someone’s got to write them.

So, I Google “Fortune Cookie Message Writing.” In .45 seconds I have 387,000 results from my search.

I read the first three and then page to the 387,000th just to see if I missed anything. Fortun-ately (pun intended) Google cut me off at 480 saying I had the option to see the entire pool. I said “No thank you,” noting that source 480 was of no use to me, so how relevant could the 387,000th be?

I emailed one fortune cookie company and asked if they accepted “submissions.” I’m still waiting to hear back from them.

Being ever the optimist, I decide to be prepared for this company when it emails me and says, “By all means submit your heart out.” Then I’ll be ready to fire off a few gems for them to read.

After two hours of punching out 10 word expressions, I discover that writing fortune cookie messages is damn hard work. I challenge you to see what you come up with.

Here are my 10 best efforts:

“Do not fear deep water. Stay on shore.”

“Prison’s not a bad place if you’re looking for criminals.”

“When your baby arrives, your life stops and theirs begins.”

“Avoid the cereal aisle in the supermarket. It is overwhelming.”

“True cooks know the difference between an onion and cantaloupe.”

“Never worry. Your bad thoughts spread like smelly farts.”

“You’ll either take a trip, or trip. Choose wisely.”

“Beware! The blue bird of happiness may crap on you.”

“Look for the positive, the negative, and then plug in.”

“Confucius say, ‘Fortune cookies are a multi-million dollar scam.’”

It’s my observation that all fortune cookies are guilty of the incorrect phrase, “Confucius say …” instead of “Confucius says.” In this PC age, isn’t that racist?

Just sayin’.

I patiently await your fortune cookie writing efforts. And, as “Confucius says, patience is great only if you’re fishing.”