Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saturday Nights Bring out the Strangest Customers

Saturday nights are boringreally boring. On a normal Saturday night I don't go out and party, watch a movie, drink beer, or do anything fun. Instead, I work. I trim fruits and vegetables to make them look nice; I put out stock and answer customers' questions, acting as counsellor and confidant. I don't get paid well or anyone's respect, but I do get meet some strange people.

What sets the last two Saturday nights apart from the others was the extraordinarily bizarre behaviour I witnessed. Customers were acting weird; employees peculiar. I can't list every strange thing I saw, but over the next few days I'm hoping to write about some of my ridiculous customer-related adventures.


"Excuse me! I want to talk to you!"

I hate that phrase; every time I hear it I know that I'm about to get yelled at. I wear the uniform of a multi-billion dollar corporation, so that makes me the entire corporation. I'm the President, CEO, CFO, front-line manger, and peon all rolled into one. If there's a problem with a product or a problem with the company, it's my fault. It's always my fault.

I know where this conversation is headed, so at least I can prepare myself for her angry gestures and flying spittle. I decide to answer her. "Yes? How can I help you ma'am?"

"I want to know why you moved all your organic stuff around. I was here last month and it was all one section. Where did you put it all?"

"It's no longer in one section," I told her. "All the organic produce is with it's non-organic counterparts. Apples are by apples, bananas by bananas, etc. It's been like that since I started five months ago."

"No it hasn't," she snapped. She was glaring at me, and every time I looked at her I swear she was squinting more and more. "I was here last month and it wasn't like that. Why'd you move it?"

I know she's lying, or exaggerating, or whatever--it doesn't really matter to me. "I don't know. It was like this when I started working here. I prefer it the old way. It would make my life much easier."

"It's stupid. I want it back to the way it was. Now I have to walk around and around to find what I need to buy, because there's no rhyme or reason to where stuff is. Tell them they're going to lose a customer. And you can tell them that I have MCS. I want to complain about the hand sanitizer you offer to your customers. I have MCS, and if I use it and react, I'll sue. I'll sue. You need to tell them that MCS is a recognized disability and they have to accommodate it. I was at the doctor's earlier today and I reacted to something. My heart rate was one-eighty. It cost me one hundred dollars to fix it. Tell them I'll sue."

"I'll do that. I'll let them know."

"Tell them that I will sue. I've sued three pharmaceutical companies and won. I'll sue. Tell them that the Canadian Human Rights Commission recognizes that MCS is a disability, so you have to accommodate me. Look it up. I will sue if I react. Tell your manager. I will sue, and I'll win. I've won against three pharmaceutical companies; I'll win against you."

"I'll look it up when I get home. I'll tell my manager next time I see him."

"You tell him. Tell him I'll sue. I've won before and I'll win again. I'll sue," she kept rambling as she walked away. And as she came back. And as she walked away again. Every time I thought she was finished, she came back. This happened 4 or 5 times.

I can understand being allergic to chemicals; all it takes for me to get a headache is to catch a whiff of marijuana smoke. Someone smokes dope; I smell it; I get a headacheit's that simple. And because I know that marijuana smoke gives me a headache, I do everything I can to avoid it.

So of course I find it strange that someone would willing use something harmful chemicals. But I left biggest question unasked: If you know you're allergic to hand sanitizer, why would you use it?

My theory: stupidity. And it's very hard to protect people against their own stupidity. Once upon a time everyone used warning labels. Today, those labels are a joke and are only good for cheap entertainment.

I think the only way we can protect everyone is to cover everything in foam and plastic wrap. And for some people, we just "forget" to cut air holes. No people, no problem.

See, I'm always looking out for everyone's best interests. By which I mean my interests.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A dilemma

I have a small dilemma. I want to read Sarah Palin's Going Rogue: An American Life and hear what she has to say. I don't think Going Rogue will be any good, but I want to read Sarah Palin's skewed interpretation of events so I can mock her repeatedly.

Anyway, here's my dilemma: I don't want to give her any moneyit'd be rewarding stupidity. And knowing my luck I'd give her $3.50 and that would be the $3.50 that wins her the 2012 US election. If that happens, we can look forward to
  • moose hunting becoming the US's national sport
  • the world's 204 countries becoming 3 countries: America, Alaska, and Not-Alaska-or-America
  • people dropping their g'sit's gonna happen.
  • all acorns being removed from US soil
  • privately-funded death panels becoming the norm. The government can't be trusted with something like that.
  • a law requiring people to keep barracudas as pets.
I want to avoid all that hassle. Besides, I can think of better ways to spend the $3.50 (give-or-take) in royalties that she'll earn if I buy her book. With that $3.50 I could
  1. Buy a newspaper and mail it to Sarah Palin
  2. Buy her a good speech. I'm sure a homeless guy would write one
  3. Throw my change in the garbage. It'd be more useful that way
I could continue mocking Sarah Palin, but at this point it's just not fun anymore. Tina Fey, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O'Brian, and Jon Stewart can do a much better job than I can. They've made mocking Sarah Palin similar to mocking the Ford Pinto: pointless but fun nonetheless.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Richard Dawkins, You Owe Me $21.95. Plus Tax.

Mockery is an important tool for squelching stupidity
- Scott Adams

I'm not religious, so when I read Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, I expected some entertaining and well thought-out anti-God arguments. I was disappointed. Still, Richards Dawkins succeeded in converting me. I am now a member of the Church of I-Think-Richard-Dawkins-Is-A-Jackass.

See, Richard Dawkins' arguments have a very large hole. Let's take a look:

Our current arguments for God are fallacious
God does not exist

Sounds good, but he hasn't told us anything new. Let's take a closer look:

Our current arguments for God are fallacious
I can show you how the arguments are fallacious
God does not exist. Worship me instead

Nope—we still cannot see the hole. Maybe we have to look even closer:

Our current arguments for God are fallacious
I can show you how the arguments are fallacious
Religious people stupid and will never think of another argument for God
God does not exist. Worship me instead and buy my book

Now we can start to see the hole in Dawkins' logic. But we still need to look even harder:

Our current arguments for God are fallacious
I can show you how the arguments are fallacious
Religious people stupid and will never think of another argument for God
Even if they do, I am Richard Dawkins, your Lord and master
God does not exist. Worship me instead and give me money
I am not a jackass


Our current arguments for God are fallacious
I can show you how the arguments are fallacious
Religious people stupid and will never think of another argument for God
If they can't think of an argument for God, then God obviously cannot exist
Even if they do, I am Richard Dawkins, your Lord and master
If you disagree with me, I will send a spaghetti monster to kill you
God does not exist. Worship me instead and give me money
I am not a jackass
I am God

That's the hole! Richard Dawkins does not command a spaghetti monster; the spaghetti monster commands Richard Dawkins.

Dawkins' arguments, though full of holes, did convince me that everyone needs to believe in something, be it evolution, science, God, or whatever. And his arguments also convinced me that he is jackass. That's what led me to create the Church of I-Think-Richard-Dawkins-Is-A-Jackass (also called the Church of Mockery).

If you wish to join me and become a member of the Church of I-Think-Richard-Dawkins-Is-A-Jackass, you need to do 4 things:
  1. Watch or read something that mocks Richard Dawkins (South Park doesn't count);
  2. Email me ( the link so I can post it;
  3. Make a donation to charity. The Church of I-Think-Richard-Dawkins-Is-A-Jackass doesn't need any money; and
  4. Tell your friends
The Church of I-Think-Richard-Dawkins-Is-A-Jackass is an equal opportunity mocker. If you feel someone else deserves to be mocked, mock them and post it on the internet. Then send me the link.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Prescience is scary

A short while ago, I wrote about the word faggot. I was being satirical when I said that faggot was becoming a common greeting, but there was an underlying message: a word's meaning can change.

South Park was wrong on one point: most of the time, faggot is still a derogatory term for homosexual men. That said, I don't think faggot is nearly as insulting as it was 15 years ago.

That's probably because the word faggot has been overused—just spend 10 minutes reading unmoderated comments on the internet.

I think that we need to come up with a new insult. Suggestions?

[Edit: I forgot to mention something. If you're interested in the changing nature of curse words, read chapter 7 of Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought.]

Friday, November 6, 2009

Swine Flu Tastes Like Bacon

I feel vindicated. This was the lead story on the CBC's website this afternoon:

I hope all my other posts are not this prescient. A zombie apocalypse would suck.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hurray for H1N1

I'm a news junkie, so I've read all about the get-it-or-avoid-it H1N1 vaccine debate. And I've read about how H1N1 is different from the seasonal flu (hint: you need to go to the hospital to find out), how H1N1 is a pandemic, how H1N1 has killed seemingly healthy teenagers, blah blah blah.

And I hate it. I hate every word of it.

Why? Because every news website I open contains articles about H1N1. The Globe and Mail? H1N1. The Ottawa Citizen? H1N1. Toronto Star? H1N1. The National Post? H1N1.

Yet all this coverage has failed to convince me that H1N1 is far worse than the regular flu. Let's look at the symptoms (courtesy of The Globe and Mail):

Seasonal flu Cough, sore throat, fever, headache, muscle ache, loss of appetite, runny nose, joint pain and fatigue are common symptoms of seasonal flu. Some people may also experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, although this tends to be more common in children.

H1N1 Many symptoms of this virus are similar to seasonal flu, but there are some warning signs that may indicate a case that needs immediate medical attention. Common symptoms include sore throat, cough, fever, muscle aches, headache, loss of appetite and runny nose, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Health experts say more people with H1N1 appear to experience vomiting and diarrhea than typical seasonal influenza cases. Symptoms that warrant immediate medical attention include any rapid breath, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, as well as if a person's complexion is grey or lips appear blue. Another warning sign is if someone is extremely lethargic, isn't making sense or appears generally out of it.

Almost identicalthere's virtually no way we can know the difference without getting a blood test. Should we go to the hospital if we get sick? Yes, provided we have H1N1 and have difficulty breathing. But if we have the seasonal flu, we're supposed to avoid going to the hospital (or so the article implies).

What happens when we get to the hospital to find out if we have H1N1? We'll have to wait in a waiting room filled with other sick people, then go into another room that was occupied by sick people, then deal with a doctor who's dealt with sick people, then (maybe) go to a pharmacist who's interacted with sick people, and then go back home.

If we don't have H1N1, then that's a lot of interaction where we could potentially catch H1N1. And if we have H1N1, that's a lot of interaction where we could spread H1N1. Regardless, that's a lot of interaction where we could catch a different disease.

Maybe we should prevent H1N1 by getting the vaccine. But if we do that, we're going to have to wait in a large building filled with other potentially sick people. It'll be a long wait, so we'll have even more exposure to sick people. And who foresaw the massive collection of sick people at injection sites? Not the news media. Not our doctors. Not our government. Not the people standing in lines (obviously).

We can't yet rely on the vaccine, so we'll have to resort the traditional methods of preventing disease: eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, washing our hands, sneezing into our sleeves, avoiding going out into public if we're sick...

HOLY SHIT!! That's how we prevent the regular flu! If I could find a way to package that simple advice, I'd be a billionaire.

Why didn't anyone think of this before? And why has this simple prevention step been so overlooked by the media?

If I could answer those questions, I'd be a god.

Rank and File

I've discovered one tiny problem with my job. It doesn't involves customers or crazy co-workers. It doesn't involve ridiculous adventures or bizarre announcements.

It involves asparagus.

I have NEVER smelt anything—corpses, my dad after burrito night, my dog after it ate brussel sprouts (thanks grandma), zombies—whose rank stench infiltrated my nostrils, assaulted my olfactory nerves, and destroyed my olfactory bulb as quickly as moldy asparagus.

I think I just found the world's newest WMD.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Real Women

I was riding on the bus today when I overheard two guys talking.

StonerGuy1: "Dude! I can't believe she called the cops on you and claimed you hit her!"
StonerGuy2: "Yeah man. I don't know what I ever did to her to piss her off enough to call the cops and tell them that I beat her."
StonerGuy1: "Man, a real woman would've faked a pregnancy."

And there you have it: Real women fake pregnancies, not beatings.

Colonel Sanders

Everyone loves Colonel Sanders. Well, everyone except the United Nations.

It seems a security guard let a Colonel Sanders look-a-like into some high security areas. Some photos were taken, some chicken consumed. The UN claims that the Colonel should never have been permitted to wander around the UN Headquarters.

Truthfully, we all know why the UN is mad: They failed to discover the Colonel's secret blend of 12 herbs and spices.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, Not Lettuce

A small part of my job involves ensuring that the produce looks niceno one wants to buy brown lettuce. My company has a large number of rules about what we must do to make the produce look nice. One of those rules involves trimming the bottom part of the lettuce in the shape of diamond because "it looks nicer."


I can see the thought process of senior managers now.

CEO: "We need to sell more! We're losing ground to Wal-Mart! Give me suggests! What do people like?"
VP: "Ummm.... diamonds?"
CEO: "Diamonds? Brilliant! We can sell more lettuce that way; we just need to cut the bottom as a diamond. Girls will buy it! They love diamonds. You've just made us millions of dollars. Let me buy you a small Mexican family."
VP: "I want Puerto Rican."

Despite the CEO's good intentions, I have never had anyone pick up a heart of romaine lettuce and scream in joy at the sight of a diamond cut. I've never even had anyone compliment me on my excellent diamond cutting abilities. People just don't seem to notice.

That's because people look at the overall quality of the lettuce they're buying. How crisp the leaves are, how green the lettuce is, how large the lettuce heart is, how fresh the lettuce looks—these are the things a customer notices when buying lettuce.

Let's leave diamonds to De Beers. Diamonds are for rings, not lettuce.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How Lysol is Saving the World

I was at work the other day and had the simple task of putting out some mushrooms. I thought it would be quick, so I lifted the top off the box and grabbed a handful. But as I pulled the mushrooms out of the box, something caught my eye. It took a second to understand what I seeing, but it soon dawned on me that something was wrong: The mushrooms were the wrong colour. The mushrooms were growing moldfungi was growing fungi.

I had just witnessed the birth of a super-fungus.

I feel like Alexander Fleming, but where Fleming knew his discovery would benefit mankind, I know that mine won't. Super-fungi suggest only one thing: a zombie apocalypse. And I don't want that because I don't know how to kill zombies.

I do know that the movies are wrong; you cannot kill the undead by simply destroying their brains. The undead are already dead. Since zombies don't breath, their brains lack oxygen. No oxygen means dead brain cells, and dead brain cells means the brain is dead. Therefore, shooting a zombie in the head won't cause the zombie's brain to die (again). And if we can't kill zombies, it won't take them long to take over the earth. That's a problem. I think my brain deserves a fate better than becoming a hamburger.

If destroying a zombie's brain can't save us, then there's only one thing that can stop a zombie apocalypse: Lysol brand disinfectant spray.

Lysol kills germs, not zombies; spraying people after they become zombies would be useless. Likewise, spraying people who might turn into zombies is stupid—you'd just make them dizzy and turn them into easier zombie food. The only way to truly stop a zombie apocalypse is to stop it before it starts. We must spray everything with Lysol.

Spraying everything with Lysol would be difficult. Maybe the Canadian Government can get all the unemployed and homeless to walk around with bottles of Lysol. That'd help a little, but there's still more spraying to be done. If we need more help, we could always keep the illegal immigrants who try to sneak into Canada.

But, naturally, someone will complain: "Immigrants are taking our jobs...blah, blah, blah." Would you want to walk around spraying Lysol? Probably not. Illegal immigrants would do it just for a chance at a better life. And a chance to sniff Lysol.

To avoid complaints, the easiest way to coat everything would be with a giant Lysol-Cannon. The first person to invent one of those would be a billionaire.

I think a just found an awesome investment opportunity. Interested?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Faggots and bar fights

I went out for drinks with a friend the other night. It was nothing special; we shared a pitcher of beer and solved all the world's problems. As we were getting ready to leave, we heard a commotion a few feet away: there was a fight. Aside from the usual blabbering of, "Break it up. Break it up," we kept hearing someone yell, "He called me a faggot."

Really? That's why there was a fight?

This tells me something: somebody didn't go to public school.

Having gone through public school, I can tell you that "faggot" is not an insultit's a common greeting between friends.

Jock: "What's up faggot?"
Nerd: "Nothing...."

The term "faggot" helps to establish who knows who; nobody calls someone they despise a "faggot." It's a sign of respect. The more friendly people are, the more likely they are to call each other "faggots." Eventually, "faggot" becomes something more: a nickname. It's my generation's "bud," "dude," or "bro." Nobody uses those terms anymore; if you can't think of nickname, you use "faggot."

Jock: "What'd you do this weekend faggot?"
Nerd: "Nothing...."

In the end, "faggot" becomes a stock nickname, filling a void left by the lack of creativity. It becomes the word for the uncreative or uncaring.

And that's what this fight was about: one person was upset that another didn't care enough to use a more creative nickname.


Friday, September 25, 2009


"Best Before Oct0209."

That simple phrase causes me enormous grief. If I could, I would remove it from every product unlucky enough to carry it. My life would become much simpler, and I'd be happier for it.

Unfortunately, removing the best before date would probably piss off customers. Customers love those dates. Changing one digit—increasing the best before date by just a single day—causes customers extreme joy.

Customer: "Excuse me? Do you have any salads with a later due date? If you can find me one, I'll bear your children."
Me: "I have one right here. You don't need to bear my—WHY ARE YOU GETTING NAKED?!?"
Customer: "BE MY BABY DADDY!!"

That's happened to me more times than I care to admit.

You see, customers mistakenly believe that products with a later best before date taste better. When customers buy salads with a nearby date, they break down in tears at the realization that they could have bought a newer, more scrumptious salad. Their tears fall on the crisp leaves of lettuce, leaving a salty taste and forever ruining their salad. And it all could've been avoided by buying a salad with a later date—or so customers think.

But I have a secret: That salad's not so fresh. It's been in the back cooler, out of sight, for a week. Store employees have thrown it around, kicked it, used it to mop up spills, dropped it, and wiped the floor with it. But before we threw it around, the warehouse employees did.

So go ahead, enjoy that salad. I don't mind.

Saturday, September 12, 2009





That's all I can hear. All I want to do is finish my task—that’s it. I came to the library because it's supposed to be quiet.



Alas, no. The undergrads are back; my quiet working environment is now ruined. All I can hear is the echo of some girl's snorting.


Here we go again; that's the third time in as many minutes. It's like being at a bacon farm—a noisy bacon farm.


Four times. I cannot figure out what is so hilarious that it induces snort-laughing. I can hear what those around me are saying; none of it is funny.

Undergradguy: "I have class in a half hour."

That's pronounced 'Oh Em Gee'; not "oh my god." Since when did text-speak actually become spoken words?

I'm guessing she doesn't have time to speak in full words. Full words mean less snorting.

Monday, September 7, 2009


There's nothing special about corn. It doesn't look exciting or taste like the nector of the gods, but put corn around people and they go crazy. They develop a corn frenzy, moving to a place where anything goes; normal social conventions no longer apply.

I don't know how it does it, but corn attracts the strangest members of humanity. Naturally, I get to meet these mental hospital denizens, which leads me to the following stories.

Story #1

I was cleaning up corn husks. When people buy corn, they aren't content with picking up some awesome-looking green beauty. No, they must strip the corn bare by ripping off the husk with such stylistic violence that it gives Michael Bay wet dreams. Corn husks sail through the air, eventually landing in shopping carts, on pallets of pop, in shopping bags, all over the flooreverywhere but the massive garbage bin we put out specifically for corn husks.

As I was picking up garbage, an elderly lady came up to me. "It's such a shame," she said. "People are animals. I was watching them earlier. They were throwing garbage all over the floor. It's disgusting."

"I know," I answered. "They do that. It's easier than throwing stuff in the trash bin. I've seen it ever since I started working in a grocery store."

"It never used to be that way. People never did that before the Asians and the Pakis came here," she continued before turning around and walking away.

Who doesn't love casual racism?

Story #2

Once again I was cleaning up corn husksit's the task that never ends. I was throwing all the garbage corn husks into a giant bin when an(other) elderly lady came up to me.

"You know," she started. "Corn is good for you. It's full of nutrients. I eat corn all the time and I'm healthy."

"Really?" I asked, knowing that I was about to get a long, boring, highly annoying speech.

"Yes! If you don't eat them, you won't be healthy. I eat corn all the time and I walk 5 miles a day. I'm healthy. But lately, I've started putting on weight. My grandson comes up to me now and says, 'Granny, you're getting fat.' I need to walk more. I'm getting fat."

"You're not fat," I told her, trying to be nice.

"Yes I am. You will be to if you don't stop eating like you are. You will become fat."

Interesting. This elderly woman posseses bizarre, fantastic, magical abilities that allow her to see my eating habits. I wonder what else she knows?

"You will get fat just like all the young girls nowadays. They're all fat. It's gross. They're all fat from eating too much. Not like my daughter. She is nice and tight because she goes to the gym everyday. She only eats organic food. She's very attractive. You would find her attractive."

This is even more interesting. This magic woman is attempting to sell me her daughter. I know the economy was bad, but this is crazy. But I guess if you need money: you gotta do what you gotta do.

On the other hand, if she's selling a group, maybe I can get a discount.

"She's not fat. She's tight. I was like that when I was young. Not now. I'm fat now. I ate too much garbage. I need to lose weight."

She kept repeating that exact line for what felt like an hour. It was probably closer to 5 minutes. "No you don't," I kept repeating.

"Remember: you will get fat! Watch what you eat," she finished. "You will get fat!"

She walked off, leaving me standing by myself. I was free.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to go eat. Time to get fat.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cold Underwear

I was walking to the bar the other night when I heard some drunken hilariousness. Across the street from me was a group of drunken college kids. They were stumbling down the sidewalk when one of them spotted a small beer fridge on the side of the road.

Drunkguy1: "Dude!!! It's a beer fridge! We need to take this home!"
Drunkguy2: "Why's it on the side of the road? It must be broken or something."
Drunkguy1: "We'll take it home and find out. Help me lift it."
Drunkgirl: "Ohmygod! Is that a beer fridge? Let's take it home so I can put my underwear in it!"

Seriously? Did she just say that?

Oh well, I'm sure there's nothing more refreshing than a pair of cold underwear on a warm summer's eve.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Being in the retail sector, I get to deal with customers. Some are awesome. They're easy going and easy to please.

Customer: "Do you have carrots?"
Me: "No, unfortunately not. We're sold out."
Customer: "That sucks. I'll just stop somewhere else then. Thanks for your help."

Others are less easy going, but at least they're understanding.

Customer: "Do you have celery?"
Me: "No. Unfortunately, we're sold out."
Customer: "When will they be in?"
Me: "Hopefully tomorrow."
Customer: "Fine then. I'll try later."

A final, and very small, group is not easy going; you cannot please them, no matter how hard you try. The rapture is coming, and the only way they can avoid walking the hellfires of earth and ascend into heaven is to buy that one item you don't have.

Customer: "Do you have cucumbers?"
Me: "No. I'm sorry, but the warehouse didn't send us any today."

Naturally, I had to deal with a customer from that last group. She came up to me with a couple kids in tow; I could instantly tell that she was going to eat my children. Children that I don't have.

"Excuse me," she said, a snarl across her lips. "Where are your bagged onions?"

Uh-oh. I am a dead man. I can see the light. I have been at work all of ten minutes, and I am a dead man. Oh sweet Jesus...

"I'm sorry ma'am, but we don't have any. The warehouse didn't send us any today," I replied. I didn't know if that was true, but any inkling that we had some earlier would have led to my very sudden and extraordinary violent death.

"Why the FUCK not?" she demanded. I could see the anger in her eyes. There go my children. I hope they were delicious.

"They didn't have any. If they did, they would have sent them to us." I told her. "You're not the first customer to ask. We should hopefully have some tomorrow."

That answer wasn't good enough. The look she gave me should have cut me in half. I checked to see if I was in two seperate pieces. Nope, I was still in one piece. For now.

"Jesus fucking Christ. I came here for one goddamn thing and it's not here. This is fucking ridiculous. That's the third time this week. Why the fucking Christ do I come to this goddamn store? What the fuck is the point? You're worthless. Go check in the back!"

Written words cannot convey her tone of voice. Rather than argue with her, I went to the back. I was not going to risk sudden death by telling her (again) that I knew there were no onions. I hid out of her view for a few seconds, then went back to tell her the bad news: I'd checked, and we had no onions.

"FUCKING CHRIST!! I'm never shopping her again! Fuck this," she snapped. "When will you have more fucking onions? It'd better be soon, or I will never shop here again!"

"That won't bother me in the least," I thought, being smart enough to keep that to myself. I looked at her and said, "Tomorrow, hopefully. I offer no guarantees though."

"Fucking Christ. Come on kids," she commanded as she turned around. She strutted off with her kids.

I survived!!

I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and presume that she'd had an extremely bad day. Maybe her husband had just died in a freak space shuttle accident. Maybe she found out that she was overweight. Maybe her parents had just announced their divorce through a hilarious telegram: "We were happily married for a few years; unfortunately we were married for 25!"

Whatever the reason, those kids are going to need of some serious therapy when they get older. Presuming she doesn't eat them first.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Sun

I went out drinking the other night and heard what has to be one of the funniest quotes ever. I don't remember the guy's name, so I'm going to call him mapboy. We're all gathered around a table and looking at a map.

Mapboy: "What's that?"
Someone: "It's a map of the world."
Mapboy: "Where's the sun?"

Priceless.... That's all I can say. We didn't stop laughing for quite a while.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What not to do... with your child

I witnessed something incredibly disturbing today: a 10 year-old girl (yes, 10. Maybe younger. I heard the girl talking about her older sister's eleventh birthday party) WEARING DAISY DUKES!!

Let me iterate: she was WEARING DAISY DUKES!!

I SAW ASS CHEEKS!! I feel like a pedophile. This brings me to a question: why would a mother, who was shopping with her daughter, allow her daughter to walk out of the house with her ass cheeks hanging out? That's insane.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go shower. Maybe I'll be able to scrub off the dirty feeling, but I doubt it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Future Plans

The other day, I was at work trimming lettuce. It's tedious but braindead work, so it allows me ample time for observation and conversation. I work with a 15 year-old kid who's trying to get as many hours as possible before school starts. He likes to tell me about his future plans, which has led to some hilarious moments.

As I'm standing there trimming lettuce and minding my own business, he comes up to me and says, "Dude, it's bitches' duty to give me sex.'

I looked at him for a second before I opened my mouth to say aything. I told him,"I'm pretty sure that every woman on earth would disagree with you."

"Why?" he asked, totally serious. It was priceless; I couldn't stop laughing. He is in for a major surprise if he thinks he's owed sex. I guess that happens when you get "buffed up from lifting all that heavy produce shit" (his words). I'm astounded that female customers aren't jumping him on the sales floor.

He left, returning about a half hour later. This time, it was all about his car.

"Dude, I'm gonna race you in my car. You wanna race me in my car?" he challegened one of my other co-workers. "I own a 2009 Mustang. I can beat you man."

I didn't believe him. This kid is 15 and doesn't even have his driver's licence. The only thing I could think to ask was, "How the hell do you own a 2009 Ford Mustang? They're worth like $20 000."

"I have loans, man. I gotta pay them back."

Seriously... would you loan $20 000 dollars to a 15 year-old kid to buy a 2009 Ford Mustang? I didn't think so. He went on, "It didn't cost me that much. It doesn't have an engine.......or seats."

There is no way to describe how hard I laughed. This kid is going far... after he gets his drivers licence, that is.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Sensitive Ones

My story begins a couple of months ago. The house I live in has been for sale for some time. While I was at french camp, I received a phone call from the realtor, Bruce. The conversation went something like this:

Bruce: "Keener, it's Bruce calling. Someone is looking at buying the house. My office says you know all about it. What do you know about everyone's leases?"
Me: "What? I know nothing. Your office hasn't called me in like two months."
Bruce: "Oh. They told me they've been phoning you. Well, we have someone who's looking at buying the house. When are the leases done?"
Me: "I dunno. I'm on month to month. I think the others are done at the end of August. Call Dan, he'll know for sure."
Bruce: "We can't find him. He went camping and disappeared. When is the soonest you can be out?"
Me: "I dunno. In the event of an emergency I could probably be out by August."

You can file that line under obvious foreshadowing.

Bruce: "Okay. We'll keep you posted. Enjoy french camp."

I thought nothing of our conversation until a few days later when I received an email from Dan. He said that the house was sold and that Bruce said I knew everything.

Excuse me? I know everything? What the fuck?

After some emailing back and forth, I learn that a navy officer bought the house. Everything seemed cool until a few days later, when I got another email from one of my roommates. Dan told them I was moving out by August. This was news to me.

Fast forward several weeks. Dan comes back to Ottawa to finish up some paperwork for the house. After talking to him for a while, he lets me know that I'm supposed to be out by August. I have less than 3 weeks to find a house before I leave for vacation. I nicely let Dan know that I'm not moving because 3 weeks is not enough time.

Once again everything's cool. I'm on vacation visiting my parents when I get an email from Dan telling me to phone him. Oh shit....

I get into contact with him and he tells me that the new owners don't want me in the house. According to the contract I'm supposed to be gone, moved out, not living there; I'm supposed to be in a new place... which I now somehow have to find, rent, and move into. All from Southern Alberta.

Are you serious? Jesus Christ.

Dan ends up fixing the situation and I get to stay in the house. It cost him $1000 though. I can't figure out why the lawyers, who are being paid upwards of $300 an hour to draw up the contract, can't take 5 minutes out of their highly paid and obviously important time to confirm the move-out dates for everyone. They just have to contact the realtor and have him phone us again to double-check. That's it.

Of course, I should have kept my mouth shut too. I learned my lesson: do not be a nice guy.

I arrived back home from vacation to find the new owners in my house. All their stuff was in the living room, making it look like an IKEA warehouse. An ugly IKEA warehouse. It takes a full two days before I finally meet the new owner. He's a gay navy officer. A gay navy officer. I nearly died holding back my laughter. I wasn't laughing because he's gay; I was laughing at the stereotype. It was even funnier when I learned he served on a submarine....something long, hard, and fill with seamen.

Say it out loud.... Do it.

It's been two weeks and I've talked to him three times. The other roommate has only spoken to me once. I've tried talking to him; he doesn't answer. I'm a stranger in my own house.

The funniest moment came from my roommates. I received an email with one of the greatest photos that I've ever seen:

Awesome photo. I'm sad I missed it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Open Letter

I've been meaning to write this since the day I flew home.


To the Crazy Homeless Couple I encountered outside of Metro:

I don't know what to say.

I had just crossed the street when I saw you. You were making out like a couple of high-schoolers on prom night. Seeing your toothless mouths connected made me sick to my stomach. You each slid your hands down the other's pants; I threw up in my mouth. I ran into the store to avoid you. I thought I was safe.


I came back out only to see that you had finished. Standing at the corner, you were talking to a crowd of people waiting to cross the street. I tried to sneak by quickly; you thwarted me. I heard one of you ask, "Can I have a dollar?"

"No. I don't have any change on me."

I continued to walk down the street. I only made the few feet to the corner before I heard something. It sounded like one of you was asking, "Would you like to buy some boxes of Kool-Aid?"

I stood there in shock; I couldn't believe my ears. I slowly realized that my brain hadn't deceived me. You did say that. Despite telling you that I didn't have change, you wanted me to give you money anyway.


"How about some Kool-Aid?"

"No. I have no change."

"Are you sure you don't want to buy some Kool-Aid?" you said. "It only costs a dollar! We have different flavours."

I could see the boxes of (obviously stolen) Kool-Aid. They were sitting next to you on the sidewalk. You were physically pointing at them trying to get me to buy one. But I wasn't interested. Your giant toothless grin distracted me. It was like looking into a dark cave, a dark cave with one tooth. The sunlight reflecting off your greasy hair was blinding me. I could see my reflection when I looked at your forehead. It was mesmerizing.

It was then that something dawned on me: you only had one flavour of Kool-Aid. Ice Blue Rasberry Lemonade. Yuck.

Any chance you had of making that sale vanished. I don't like things sold on sidewalks. I don't like Kool-Aid. I don't like Ice Blue Rasberry Lemonade. I don't like products in damaged packaging. And I really don't like Ice Blue Rasberry Lemonade sidewalk Kool-Aid in damaged packaging.

"No. I don't have any change. I left my wallet at home," I lied. I did have change in my pocket; you weren't gettting any of it. "I have nothing for you."

You turned away from me, dejected. Finally. You tried the other members of the crowd, but they weren't interested. We all walked away silently nodding in agreement: you were terrible salesmen. None of us were going to buy that bridge.

I'm not an asshole. I want to help you so I've put your names in for Extreme Makeover: Homeless Edition.

Good Luck!

Monday, July 13, 2009


I've decided to join the blogging world. Everyone else seems to be doing it, so why not me? That said, no, I would not jump off a bridge if everyone else did it. If you're following my blog it's probably because you know who I am. And if you know who I am, you'll probably be interested in what I have to say. Or you've decided to humour me. Either way...

I want to fill this blog with posts about things that interest me. Pop culture, school, books, movies, life, whatever. It's all open for discussion. Maybe I'll manage to land a book deal with a multi-million dollar advance. If Sarah Palin can get a book deal, why not me?

Oh right, I'm not Sarah Palin.

I'll try to update semi-regularly. That means that I'll post whenever I feel like it.

That's it for the almost-obligatory introduction. I can say nothing more about it other than I hope my posts are interesting and entertaining.