What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

FCN's Last Post Ever of All Time

Farewell according to F

It's that time of year again.

No wait! It's not that time of year. What am I saying? Fine, this isn't a good post anyway. It's a very sad one.

Fact is, our little baby blog here - FCN- it's been having some problems. It's been slowly lounging toward its own ... you know. We did everything we could to ease the burden. We reduced the frequency of posts. We even reduced the funniness of posts. Nothing seemed to work. FCN kept ... you know.

So now, we find ourselves collectively standing at FCN's bedside, listening to a gradually weakening "beep ... beep ... beep ..." I'm clenching my jaw in a manly way, secretly trying to hold back tears. C has his latest future emotional baggage weeping on his shoulder. N has his phone out. Chip couldn't make it but sends his best and promises to be at the funeral (as long as there are crab cakes). Jessica is just standing there. She's just standing there! Ana is in the hall arguing with the orderly. Mommy G is waiting in the lobby with brownies. Uncle Wally is sitting in the corner, asleep.

We've all come to a consensus.

You like that?


And this is what the consensus is: it's time to pull the plug. We can't stand to watch our baby be a vegetable. The doctor promised it'd be painless. Personally I think the doctor is full of it. It won't be painless. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do - well, hardest ever since I gave my first edition copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul to a homeless guy (in exchange for a back rub).

FCN has always been there for us. She's what - 3 years old now? 4!? She's seen us through some hard times, and we've seen her through some too. And now it's over. We're finally euthanizing her, for real this time.

Goodbye baby. In the immortal words of Wham!:

"Wake me up before you go-go, cause I'm not planning on going solo. Wake me up before you go-go. Take me dancing tonight."

Oh! Just one more thing I really ought to say ...

I am Iron Man.

Farewell according to C

I'm going to be more sentimental than F because I am so confident in my masculinity that a little reflection does not threaten my identity. When Funny Class Notes first started, I was a high school student who was tired of paying attention in class. I succeeded in distracting my friends and decided to go viral with my tomes, essays, satires, doodles and what not. In the last few years, FCN has become my repository. Teachers, classes, cars, relationships, favorite celebrities and, yes, teeth have come and gone but FCN remained constant. This page was a place of comfort, where I could dump my partially censored thoughts into cyber-space with pseudo-anonymity.

Of course, the few people who read these expressive and revealing posts were also the people who mattered. Friends would email me with the subject line "REALLY WORRIED ABOUT YOU" based on FCN content that was, I say with only a little shame, 85% true. Others would speculate about where the tale left the train tracks of veracity and entered the fanciful world of fiction. Still more people would refuse to talk to me again based on their portrayal in an FCN post. I'm sorry Carrie, really. As addictive as comfort food -- and almost as dangerous -- FCN was a bridge that made me almost as many friends as it lost. And it was worth it.

I'm going to reflect on my time as an author with a pleasant grin. I'll probably reread some of our posts and chuckle at their sophomoric creativity -- such is the perspective provided by time. None of this would have been possible without the amazing support of you, the faithful FCN few. I have regularly thanked you for your continued loyalty and supportive comments -- but no expression of gratitude suffices to fully articulate the high esteem in which we hold you. FCN was here because you were here. Thank you for the fun times.

[Note: Hyperlinks in this paragraph direct to a friend's blog, Vague Apprehension. It comes highly recommended without reservation.]

FCN has long been the Lady Gaga of blogs: We're popular, but no one really knows why. We produce content, the critics scratch their heads and we gain social currency. The similarities don't stop there: we also prance around in our underwear, have the musical taste of a baboon and have very public dating lives.

I hope Miss Germanotta (a.k.a. "Lady Gaga") takes the hint and follows our lead. Retirement is, I am told, very comfortable for former pop stars. Just stop releasing new songs and rest on the laurels of such magnificent pieces as "Alejandro" and "Telephone."

Like F, I will close this farewell with a pop culture reference. Mine is to Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, who put it best when he said: "Good night now!" Good night now, FCN!

Farewell according to N

It's been a long run.

A LONG run.

Not literally of course. In fact, not figuratively either. More like a bumbling walk. But that's how we like it. Slow and stumbling wins the race. Or finishes it at post 865.

When I started writing with C in 2005, I was in 8th grade. I really didn't worry about college. In fact, now that I think of it, I wasn't particularly concerned about high school. But here I am on May 22th, 2010. Yesterday was my last day as a senior of secondary education. It's time to move on to a new part of my life.

No more Life Tips. No more hours on Wikipedia looking for applicable hyper links. No more picking up chicks by telling the ladies I was the one who actually wrote C's posts. (Sorry, F. I promised I'd tell you what my secret was when we shut FCN down.)

I will miss it. But most of all I will miss you. Yes, YOU. Not him, not her. YOU, my most favorite reader of all. Don't tell the others, but I loved you the most. I always have. Sniff.

I bid adieu with the immortal closing words from Nancy Pelosi's statement on Healthcare Reform:

"Thank you, my colleagues. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank all of you for bringing us to this moment."

Thank you for the wonderful moments you have brought us.

Farewell according to Chip

Hooey, people. Those tears are going to melt your faces. When I joined FCN I was an obese old splutterer whose only claim to fame was tenth reader status, participation in a short highjacking attempt, and a peculiar facility for producing "tawdry laughs." FCN's extraordinary longevity (both in time and in wordiness) doesn't give me fond tears or fond memories; it just reminds me that one more thing in this world isn't as short as me.

Yes, it's been a good run. Especially after the women got involved (which is exactly when I started running). But all good things must end, and when they do, they have funerals with free refreshments. It's been great to work with you, F, C, N, Jessica, and Ana. You've given me more chuckles than anyone except Marilyn Manson, and you've filled my homework hours with joyful and unproductive laughter. I don't know what I'll do without you. Good bye, dear readers. I have never seen you, but I believe you exist anyway. Farewell, FCN! May your august archives continue to pollute unsuspecting minds for years to come.

Can I have my crab cakes now?

Farewell according to Jessica

10:30pm. Began writing farewell post.

10:31pm. Turned on Pandora to the “Boys Like Girls” station. Skipped 3 songs, changed to the “Explosions in the Sky” station. Serious/solemn times call for serious/solemn music.

10:38pm. Resumed writing farewell post, now armed with copious amounts of ice cream and a box of tissues. Who knew this would be such an emotional turning point? Now I know how Kevin Jonas probably secretly felt when he got married. Happy a new chapter of life was starting, but sad to say farewell to millions of adoring female fans who would gladly date him without commitment. But, unlike C, I’m not looking to date anyone. And I’m not a dude. That analogy is starting to crash. Backpedal. It’s time to reminisce.

10:45pm. Blankly staring at computer screen. Skipped another lame song on Pandora. Finished first pint of ice cream. Logged in to Facebook. Oh, the hours I used to spend reading FCN. I guess now I'll have to turn to Facebook to fill those empty moments.

11:37pm. Still on Facebook. It’s almost like a pain-relieving narcotic. I completely forgot about FCN’s dissolution for nearly an hour.

11:52pm. Decided to face the facts and focus on the good times rather than the saddening reality of FCN’s conclusion. Skipped more songs until Pandora started cursing at me and exploded. Time for silence I guess. But that’s fitting. FCN deserves her moment of silence. Farewell, FCN. I’ve spent more time as a FCN reader than as a FCN writer. And frankly, I’m really sad to see the magic stop. Yes, it’s time. All good things must come to an end, and we just have to let them go. But did that kind of advice lessen the sting of the phase-out of eight-track tapes for Bill Lear? Doubt it.

This is it. Goodbye hijackers. Goodbye Anonymous. Goodbye faithful readers. We're sure you have more important things to do with your time online, like maintaining your farm on Farmville, or compulsively clicking the StumbleUpon button... but if you get the chance, look us up. These posts will be here as a lasting monument to the good ole days of blogging.

Like the Wicked Witch of the West after an accidental shower… I’m meltingggg

Farewell according to Ana

I wish I could say that I'm sad to see FCN go. I wish I could cry a couple crocodile tears. I wish I could pretend to be a fragile female and fall into a faint at the thought of saying "Farewell, FCN." But I can't. Instead, all I can do is breathe a sigh of relief that this phase of my life is over. No longer do I have to dissect every aspect of my life, trying to extract something funny from every occurrence for the amusement of mere strangers somewhere in cyberspace. Instead, I can now simply go through life, laughing at the humorous moments and then promptly forgetting them. Finally, I can stop being a bum student who takes notes on strange things that go on in class, and I can instead take notes on what the professor is actually talking about (I wonder what that will do for my 2.37 GPA?). In short, I'm not really sad to see FCN depart. While it's been a big part of my life for the past 4+ years, I think the time has come to say goodbye. So goodbye, FCN. And goodbye stranger in cyberspace. It's been fun. Ish.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Facebook Status Updates

We give you: The Top Four Most Annoying Facebook Status Update Styles

The Facebookitterer
This is the person who thinks their Facebook status update is supposed to function like a Twit. Updates may include the following:

John Smith is eating lunch.

Jess Smith is glad hubby is home to watch the baby...haven't been able to go to the bathroom all morning!

Elaine Craig is doing laundry.
Elaine Craig is folding laundry.
Elaine Craig is putting away laundry.
Elaine Craig clean laundry smells so nice!!!

The Confused Persons
This is the friend on your list who is a person confused by the concept of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd persons. They consistently write their updates in the first person, causing updates that read very oddly:

Grant Johnson I just had the greatest time ever at the beach!

Lizzy Jones me and my mom are loving this season of Dancing with the Stars!

Jane Victor I'm pregnant! Me and Bill are sooooo happy! Get the shotgun dad, lol

The I-Don't-Have-a-Life-So-I'll-Post-About-My-Family-Instead

The title pretty much says it all.
Elias Jones ' sister just came back from Costco with garlic bread!
Adrianna Ayers someone just pointed a gun at my brothers! YIKES! So glad they're OK!

David Daniels' parents just won a trip to Hawaii...wahoo! Can't wait for my lousy t-shirt!

The Trying Desperately to be Mysterious

This is the melodramatic person in your life who wants everyone to think their life is much more interesting than it actually is. They do this by posting vague, and sometimes worrisome, status updates:

Sarah Grant is trying to catch the rain.

Bryce Buckler sometimes, you have to die before you can live.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Top 40 Break Up


You're such a rude boy.  How low can you go?  You did say you would break my heart, but over the telephone?  So we're over, onto the next one?  What's going on in your head?

I feel like I never even met you!  You said I was your baby, your (very attractive) chick, your american honey.   When we were dancing I never wanted to let you go. I was addicted to your natural, young, glittery smile.  I liked your dad and sister, too.

OMG, you meant everything to me.  Nothing hurts as much as you running and turning your back.  I thought I (made) all the right moves.  Time is ticking;  I need you and hope this is only temporary.   Can we try again?  I'm tired of talking about bad romance.

Imma be sleeping with a broken heart.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Have you considered the Marchioness?

It was Friday afternoon and I was getting ready to quit work and meet a friend for drinks. It had been another tough week at General Mills and was fed up with the wheat dust. I wanted out.

Just as I was pulling my punch card from my pocket and preparing to bid adieu to responsibility for the weekend, the office phone rang. The caller ID said it was Diane, an office supply agent who came by regularly to restock paper and ink and gossip with the secretaries. Since I was the only one in the office, it was up to me to answer the phone. I picked up the hand piece with a memorized "Good afternoon. General Mills. How may I help you?"

"Hey is this C?"

"Yes it is, Diane, what can I do for you?" I hoped she didn't have any emergency that would take hours to resolve, like the time she wanted me to hand-siphon ink out of a broken print cartridge. That project had ruined both my evening and my brand new shoes.

"Can I ask you a personal question?" Uh oh...

"Sure, fire away."

"Okay, I mean you don't have to answer if it's too personal or whatever. I just-"

"Diane, ask me your question. It's Friday afternoon, I'm in a good mood."

"That's what I was hoping...C, are you single? I mean, are you seeing anyone?" For context, note that Diane is a lovely woman in her mid-forties. We joke around when she comes to the office, but we are not good friends. This question came out of left field.

"Blissfully so, Diane. I'm as single as they come. Why?" I never shy away from a question.

"Well the reason I'm asking is my daughter is single. You know Fiona -- she's dropped off office shipments before for me -- she's beautiful and has a great personality. Anyway, tonight I was thinking about her and thought of you. You are such a nice guy and I know you would treat her right. Fiona's been through some rough stuff -- bad relationships -- nothing terrible mind you, just it would be good to see her with a nice guy. Anyway, do you think you'd want to give her a call?"

Diane was trying to set me up with her daughter! This was not my first experience with mothers setting me up with their daughters. If I had half as much luck with girls my own age as I had with their mothers, I would be set. Apparently being a nice guy is a great bonus with mom, but is a negative with girls who like adventure and excitement. To moms, nice = secure. To girls, nice = boring. Girls want a fixer upper. Moms want a mansion. Diane had used the term "nice" twice in the previous paragraph. I felt like she'd called me a heart of gold.

Pitching Fiona's previous rough relationships was not Diane's best play. She needed me to be thinking about how beautiful and smart her daughter was, not that she'd made stupid guy mistakes in the past or had some heavy relationship baggage to carry into any interaction with me. My mental image of a battered girl who's spirit had been broken like a wild stallion's was not going to make me push the ten numbers to have us connected. I gave Diane an "A" for gumption, but a "C" for execution.

For all of Diane's effort, I did not want to go out with her daughter. I'd met Fiona before and there was no spark between us. She was a pretty girl -- a California 7 -- but she wore her baggage on her face. Diane, too, was not the most enticing salesperson. A chain-smoking, overweight double divorcee, Diane's life served as more warning than enticement. Plus, the last few weeks had not availed very good dating experiences. I needed a break. But the fact that we worked together meant I had to turn this down tactfully -- if only to maintain detente.

"Look, Diane, I'm flattered you would call and offer your daughter like this, but there's some complications on my side. I'm getting ready to leave the state -- to move across the country for school -- in a couple months. It wouldn't be right for me to get involved with anyone -- much less your daughter -- knowing that I would soon be leaving." I dropped the clear hint.

"You're moving to New York, right? That's excellent. C, when I dated Fiona's dad, he had to move shortly after we started going out and I followed him to San Francisco. Even though we later divorced, we had a great marriage. I would marry him again today if given the chance. And Fiona was borne of that union. If you guys hit it off, there's nothing to say that Fiona wouldn't go with you to New York."

Diane had failed to make a great impression before, but her current efforts were permanently foreclosing Fiona's chances. I had never seen anyone move so quickly from "give her a call" to "move with you to New York." It was speed that would make Dez Bryant jealous. It made me want to get off the phone.

"Look, Diane, that's super sweet. Why don't you give me her number and I'll think about giving her a call?" It was the best I could do. Diane gave me Fiona's number and I punched out to enjoy my weekend. Just another Friday afternoon at General Mills.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


A few weeks ago, on a farm not too far away, Bessie started her day like any other weekday morning. She walked lazily to the milking machine before the sun rose and sat still as an underpaid dairy hand plugged her in with no regard for her personal privacy or feelings. The teatcups tickled more than normal and Bessie let out a discontented “moo.” The dairy hand slapped Bessie on the rump and moved on about his chores. If Bessie weren't so distracted by the soft suction of the machine, she might have felt put out by the worker's callousness.

Bessie wondered briefly whether producing less milk would make the dairy workers respect her more. None of them appreciated the sacrifice required by a cow of her age to pump out quality milk with such regularity. They ignored her entreaties, verbal and not, choosing instead to joke among themselves or pay attention to Coco, a Holstein with udders so productive, they could support the entire cream division of Bayview Farms.

Coco. That was a heifer. With perfect coloring and minimal muscle, she was a milk machine and the envy of trough nineteen. Worse, she knew it. Coco would prance around the field when she should have been grazing and graze when she should have been sleeping. But she produced. And because she produced the dairy hands let her get away with it.

The worker returned to disconnect Bessie. With a relieved “moo,” she trotted into the cool morning air to graze. Grazing was the best part of Bessie's day. She loved a patch of crabgrass near the south fence and worked with Dairy Queen and Mama Moo to secure it from the others. Together they would partake of the greenery and forget about all their troubles.

By noon, Bessie was chewing her cud. She neither despised nor enjoyed the practice. It was just something she did. She left the south fence area to be alone. She liked to chew her cud in private. Even Coco would go off by herself for this digestive exercise.

That afternoon it was back to grazing. Tonto and Nutless, a couple of steers from next farm over, had jumped the fence and were eating the crabgrass. Everybody regarded the steers as strange and they were ostracized whenever they ventured out. Bessie had had a bad experience with T-Bone a few weeks ago and didn't want to deal with any more steers, so she joined the others eating in a large plot of sown Bermuda. Bermuda grass was the fast food of the milk cow's world, but Bessie would still eat it occasionally.

Darkness came quickly and Bessie joined Mama Moo and the rest of the cows in the trot back to the milking machine. The worker was nicer than the man on the early shift had been and Bessie was happy with her treatment. She thought her day would end with a contented cud chewing session and sleep, when Dairy Queen approached her with an idea.

No. It wasn't right. She couldn't do that. She would get in trouble. When Dairy Queen told her that Coco had done it, Bessie mooed her assent. She was game.

Mr. Cranky Pants was a handsome stud who lived in a well-kept pasture a few miles away. He had been at Bessie's dairy once before and had caught her eye immediately. She had always thought about going to see him. Mama Moo explained that the steers had knocked the fence down when they left that afternoon. This was their chance.

Bessie was surprised at how easy it was to climb the fence. A couple of other cows had caught wind of the mischief and decided to tag along. Bessie was not sure how many cows were in their group, but it was sizable. She was excited about the adventure.

At first Bessie was concerned when the group moved into the middle of the road. It seemed to her that cows should be on grass or dirt, not pavement. But Dairy Queen started making funny trotting noises on the hard surface and Bessie was so caught up in the hilarity of the situation that she surrendered her fears.

They continued this way for a few hundred meters, occasionally making comments about the houses they passed or the other cows they saw sleeping in their pastures. Freedom felt so good until it hurt.

Bessie never saw the car that hit her. It struck her from behind, pushing her forward several feet. She suffered an involuntary and very unladylike reaction to the car's force. Bessie was embarrassed by that and happy that her friends scattered quickly and probably hadn't noticed. The car's owner looked upset and disheveled, but was okay. That made Bessie feel better. She had never wanted to hurt anyone.

Emergency vehicles arrived quickly. A police officer started asking questions and taking measurements, but never thought to ask Bessie how she was doing. Remarkably well, thank you, given the circumstances.

The car was towed away and the driver taken to the hospital for minor injuries, leaving Bessie all alone on the side of the road. With a grunt, she got up and trudged back the way she came, cautious to stay out of the road and clear of traffic. She hopped the fence again and curled up to sleep near the crabgrass. She hadn't met Mr. Cranky Pants, but she couldn't wait to tell her amazing story to the other cows, especially Coco.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Boredom is the Mother of Creativity

It was another typical, dreary day in my Organic Chem class. If Organic Chem was a type of weather, it would be one of those days in November when it's not quite winter or fall, but dark and blustery... and awful.

Fortunately for me, my best friend is in the same class. She alleviates the intense boredom caused by my professor's droning voice. Not only is she pretty and witty, she is also a closet poet.

And today she wrote a poem in class. I laughed out loud at the result of her creative energy. My professor now thinks his jokes are funny. My classmates now think I'm a lunatic. They may be right, but whatever. See for yourself.

I happened upon a man one day
(His palor markedly white)
An unabashed grin being all he wore
(It gave me quite a fright)
"Good God, dear sir, what happened to you?
Your skin's so markedly pale
You shouldn't leave such things for the world to see
Considering you're irrevocably male."
He responded "A long time ago much before your day
I was not but a wee lad of two
Minding my own in a bath when the nurse
Had an aneurysm and out with the water she threw
My humble self to the street."
"For shame!" I cried, "And let a curse hang upon her head,
But dear sir, you have failed to mention yet
Why you are still so... naked."
"My color I shan't account for
'Twas given me at birth
And I will always bless whom gave it me,
My only mother, Earth.
As for my persistent state
My theory is simple, you see:
It was naked my mother saw me last,
And I have remained so, lest she shouldn't recognize me."


Friday, April 09, 2010

The Masters...on CBS

A few months ago my faculty advisor asked if I enjoyed living with ambivalent purpose and suffering through the consequences of my wayward life decisions. When I answered with an affirmative informalism, he recommended I pursue graduate school. “The party continues,” he said with a gleam in his eye, “loans toll repayment and you don't have to get a job.” I was convinced and ran off write the graduate entrance exams. Fast-forward through an arduous process of alternately playing the vendor (“Look what I have to offer your school”) and the buyer (“But what are you offering that xyz school isn't, specifically can you offer me some money?”), I now have to make a choice between a handful of universities that, I am promised, will not disappoint the derelict.

To help make an informed decision, I have to actually visit the campuses of the schools in question. To that end, I am sitting on a scantily-cushioned waiting chair at Terminal C11/9 of Detroit Metro airport, an important regional hub in Michigan. My final destination is upstate New York. For this airport's size and puissance in the plane-flying world, it has surprisingly spartan food and entertainment offerings.

Before sitting down to pen this post, I finished a trek through the entire C Terminal looking for some caloric relief. Although planes and hungry people were flying all around, the closest I could get to credible sustenance was a twenty-person line at Fuddruckers, a restaurant name that would make a less mature writer want to giggle. I settled for an overpriced diet coke, a major disappointment given that Minneapolis, from whence I flew, had a full service California Pizza Kitchen.

Fortunately for the Faithful Few, my walk through Terminal C did produce something more noteworthy than a rude giggle and a bottle of colored fizzy water. As I exited one of over a dozen moving walkways – “please watch your step...please watch your step” – I noticed a crowd gathered at the Martini Cove. Ever notice how airport restaurants name themselves after popular food or drink items? It's not The Watering Hole, it's Jose Cuervo's Watering Hole. It's not a Food Den, it's Coney Island Food Den. I think I had lunch in Minneapolis at the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich Shop, a glorified Subway.

The folks in the crowd were not waiting in line for overpriced and ostentatiously titled airport fare or even being remotely social. They were watching The Masters, a professional golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, which, in the immortal voice of Jim Nantz, is on CBS. Every year the world's best golfers compete to win a claim to a hideous green jacket by trying to out-golf each other. An explanation of the “sport” of golf is both beyond the scope of this blog and utterly boring, but it suffices to say that the game more slowly than a salted slug on frozen molasses.

The disgraced Tiger Woods was getting ready to putt. He took a couple of practice swings, shook his head as if trying to banish the mental image of mistress number eight and hit the ball. It didn't go in. Woods gave his best “I'm disappointed” mime as he fell to his knees clutching his metal stick in angst. Then he got up and finished the hole with an easy stroke for par. Golf clap. The crowd dissipated quickly as soon as Tiger's infamous image left the screen. The parting mass was clear evidence for the view that the “sport” of golf is very much benefited by Tiger's scandals. My anecdotal experience here in Michigan suggests that Masters viewership will be through the roof. The number of people who tune in this week or watch the final this weekend if Tiger is playing might even rival the Super Bowl. Sure, Bill Simmons probably said it before me, but you heard it here first.

I wonder if golf would be more popular it were broadcast by Scott Hamilton, the ice skating legend. Instead of talking about dimpled girls twirling in toilet-paper dresses, he'd be commenting on dimpled golf balls being hit into holes in the grass. Using his signature grunting, Hamilton would describe the golfer's movements with an encouraging “It miiiiight go iiiiiin....Oh it did!” He could partner with the sarcastic commentator from that NBC reality show where contestants run through obstacle courses (please volunteer his name in the comment section, I'm too lazy to hunt it down) saying things like “that must have hurt” or “he'll feel that in the morning.” Now that's TV that I would watch.

Interested in locating airport goers -- any in the terminal -- who were not entranced by Tiger's performance, I spied a woman reading Cosmopolitan Magazine (Playboy for women). Her devoted attention to the text's glossy pages was not deterred by replays of the unfaithful golfer. An elderly gentleman with a legal pad was busy scribbling something important-looking. He did not look up either. Then Tiger reappeared to challenge another hole. The old man set aside his notes and the woman put down her girl porn. Woods had center stage and I looked around the terminal to see everyone sitting in rapt attention. I could have hijacked a plane right off the tarmac and no one would have noticed until Tiger left the frame.

No one, not even Fred Couples (Fred who?), demands the undivided attention garnered by Tiger Woods. The entertainment provided by his return to golf is enough, even, to make a visit to Detroit Metro interesting. Bravo Tiger!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Claudia – Part II

The last couple weeks, members of the faithful FCN few have been clamoring to hear the epilogue to my brief encounter. If my reference to classic British film was too tangential, let me briefly recap what happened on my first few Ashley Madison-esque dates with Claudia:

I got her number and asked her out. That part was epic. Then I found out she's married. That revelation took the shine off the “epic” and made it more “weird, scary and unfortunate,” at least that's how Bill described it. Bill, my workout buddy, was instrumental in my securing a first date with Claudia, so I'm blaming the debacle on him, at least until he is spotting me at the bench press and is responsible for the well-being of my trachea. Then I might cut him some slack.

While the comments on the Claudia post had given me wide latitude in my options, their general theme advised moving on. But I didn't want to rush into terminating things. I had to know if she was telling the whole truth about Marco. How separated were Claudia and Marco? Was he a dangerous person – a man prone to fits of violent passion against perceived competitors for his wife's affection -- or a calm, affectionate soul? I'd never met Marco and therefore couldn't be sure he even existed. Was he a myth invented by Claudia to test my interest? To test my integrity? His name – the first part of a common kid's pool game – was suspicious enough. Who names their children Marco? Mongolians? Kublai Khan's descendants?

We met for lunch at a mid-sized restaurant near downtown. I knew the owners and liked the food. If things hit the fan with Claudia, at least I would be left eating in a good establishment. As the mid-week traffic filled the restaurant to about half capacity, we took out seats. We didn't say a word to each other until the waiter, a man who's thin frame could hold precious little muscle even if it wanted to, left with our drink orders.

Claudia: So?
C: So...the French dip here is fantastic.
Claudia: Haha. [Nervous pause]. I dropped a bomb on our last date. You were weird afterward – understandably weird. What are you going to do?

The words of such distinguished commenters as DTH Rocket, Jonathan and Anonymous (1) echoed in my head. DTH's reference about the necessity of a certificate of divorce was especially puissant. I decided to explore it a little.

C: Look, you're married to the guy. Marriage is a sacred institution. It's a commitment of monogamy, fidelity and trust. A dissolved marriage is sad – a tragedy really.
Claudia: C--
C: Let me finish.

I didn't know what to say next, so I paused. An interminably earnest expression covered Claudia's attractive features. Cute lips that were so often smiling were now pursed in an expression of concern. I charged on.

C: I don't care about your past. People change; our stories change. There is nothing you could have revealed on our first date that would have kept me from asking you out again. Part of that is due the fact that you're super hot and that I have terrible luck in the dating world, but another part is that you are a really interesting person and we have chemistry. I can't ignore our chemistry.
Claudia: Aw, you're sweet. But you're right, C, don't ignore our chemistry.

I'd thrown my bone to Anonymous (2) and (3). Now it was time to say something determinative.

C: I think we need to put those feelings aside. Let's put ourselves in Marco's shoes for a minute. He's out there somewhere – probably at the batting cages, gun range or lifting weights – thinking about the ten he let get away and how he can reconcile after his mistake. The fact that there's no progress on your divorce after a year tells me something. Claudia, there's a man there who messed up royally but still loves you and wants you back. I will not be the fool that stands between a man and his beautiful wife.
Claudia: But Marco cheated...
C: I know, Claudia. And that sucks. You have to make a decision whether you are going to reconcile with Marco or divorce him. But until that decision is made, we can't date. And you shouldn't date.

It had to be said. Claudia was hurt, but I think she got it. It felt good to speak my mind.

Claudia: I'm sorry you feel that way, but I understand.
C: Hey, for what it's worth, if I were married to a woman and she were out gallivanting with a guy as hot as me, I would be upset.

I had done my job. I had cut things off in the most respectable and decent way possible. The ball was in her court.

My self-satisfied reverie was interrupted by a commotion near the door. The thin-framed waiter was trying to hold back a large muscle-bound man in his early twenties. Trying and failing. I'm not sure how tall the intruder was, but I estimate over 6'4”. He barged past the server and stormed toward where Claudia and I were seated.

“Marco,” Claudia whispered.

Remembering Papa G's advice, I sprung into action. I hopped up out of my seat, flipping it over into the aisle to block Marco's path, and fled. I knew there was a service entrance behind the kitchen, so I booked toward the restrooms and through a swinging door labeled “Associates Only.” Marco never saw where I went. I was safe.

I spotted the owner sitting at a desk doing paperwork. I paid him for our meal plus a generous tip, hoping it make amends for the commotion Marco had caused. When I explained the situation, he smiled a broad, comforting grin.

“Did you learn anything?”

I chuckled and smiled. I haven't heard from Claudia since that afternoon and it's just as well. I wish her and her man the best.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something Changed!

Wait! Don't go!

Don't freak out. Don't freak out. Something changed. Don't freak out.

This is still FCN. Your old buddies. Sick, not-very-funny satire written in the back row of Spanish class for the last few years. It's us. Remember us? We just changed our look. Slowly, gently. Ease your mouse off that big X and read on.

Here at FCN, we're about more than just brownies, girls, and bad grades (though of course those are all wonderful things too).

I don't remember where that was going.

So let's get to the point: we've branched out. FCN now has a Twitter - yes, a Twitter - and a FormSpring. This allows you to ask us questions about anything, and allows us to tweet about anything you forget to ask about.

To symbolize these - upgrades? - we're tweaking the site format a bit as well. The tired old header that has graced this site for the past year or so has been replaced by a new, soon-to-be tired old header that will grace this site for a year or so. We decided to go for green as an apology for not posting anything on St Patrick's Day.

Check us out twitter:

And ask us something on formspring:

Oh and PS: this new format is a work in progress, so everything you hate about it is theoretically temporary.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Sometimes life isn't spicy enough. The regular ebb and flow of daily interaction proves alternatively interesting and difficult, but it occasionally needs a small dose of excitement added in to make it truly provocative. I had one such dose a few weeks ago when I visited my local bank to make a routine deposit. The teller who handled my business was, you guessed it, an attractive brunette with a captivating smile. She moved swiftly between orders before calling "next," signaling my turn. Hers was a gentle grace that would be more at home in a museum of art than a pecuniary cesspool like my local bank.

I wonder how many other bloggers have had occasion to use the phrase "community pecuniary cesspool” today. I feel special.

Her nametag read "Claudia." I said hello. I don't remember what sort of small talk we engaged in, but I do recall that it was simultaneously provocative and inconsequential. In other words, it was spicy. Ours was the verbal repartee appropriate of two singles in a big world of hormones. She flipped her hair and I smiled too big. I imagine the behavioral psychologist observing the whole episode through the bank security system was on cloud nine.

I did not ask her number or give any indication of interest besides my subtle flirting. My attitude was, in the immortal paraphrased words of the late great Charles Dickens, “really cool.” Claudia felt, I'm sure, that my departure from her service window marked the end of the story.

At this point, it is appropriate to borrow a trick from the great novelists of yesteryear by jumping to a seemingly unrelated topic only to reveal its tangential connection in a paragraph or so.

Meet William, or Bill as he likes to be called. Bill is a venerable septuagenarian who works out at my gym. We became fast friends a year or so ago when he offered to spot me and I discovered his freakishly muscled build. His is the physique that amazes and frightens. He has the build of a much younger man. If I didn't know better, I would guess Bill supplemented his rigorous diet with MLB level animal steriods. But I do know better. Bill's physically dominant form is due only to his diligence in the weight room and a God-given predisposition for massive muscle.

As it so happens, Bill was behind me in line at the pecuniary cesspool (2!). He was the next customer to talk to Claudia. And, he told me later, the conversation went something like this:

Bill: So, Claudia, do you have weekend plans with your boyfriend? [This may seem like a weird question coming from a super buff 74 year old, but trust me, it's not.]
Claudia: I don't have a boyfriend. I'm just chilling with friends.
Bill: No kidding. Have you met Cody? ["Haaave you met Ted?"] He's the most responsible derelict I know. And he's single (between us, his relationships always seem to suffer from early exit syndrome). Have you thought about going out with him?
Claudia: Well, I think he's cute.

She thought I was cute! Can you believe that? No girl has ever told me that before (or yet, because Claudia only told Bill who parroted it back to me). Cute. As Bill recounted these words over the bicep press, I knew it sealed the deal. I was going to ask Claudia out on a date. The only question was how to make the request epic and legendary.

My chance came one short week later. I walked into the bank and saw Claudia on break. She waived waved to me. I waived waved back. As I took care of my banking business, Claudia sat down by the exit to fiddle with her iPhone. I had to think quickly. I signed my name on the withdrawal slip and collected my receipt. Finished. I marched toward the exit and Claudia where we had the following exchange:

Me: Hey! Claudia, right?
Claudia: Yeah? [Smiling -- what a smile!]
Me: Did you take my deposit last week?
Claudia: Yeah...
Me: I think you missed something...you didn't give me your number.

I had pulled a pen out of my pocket and extended my receipt toward her with a smile. She was surprised, but jotted down her digits. I took the paper, said I would call and walked out to my car. Epic and legendary.

The next day I set up the first date. That date turned into a second and the second a third. Things were going well. Claudia and I had chemistry and she seemed to enjoy my company almost as much as I enjoyed hers. But dark foreboding clouds loomed. Utopia is unsustainable.

After a movie on our third date, Claudia and I went for a walk in a local park. The conversation was light and she seemed cheerful, although a little apprehensive. I wondered at the cause of her reservation. Eventually she asked if we could sit down. Feeling the significance of her impending revelation, I acquiesced.

Claudia: C, I need to tell you something.
Me: Mmmhmm, what's that?
Claudia: I'm married.

Thunder and lightening! Fire and brimstone! Christopher Columbus! For the love of Brad and Angelina! She was married!? Married, as in a ring, a husband and a shockingly easy to void state license?

Me: I'm sorry. Come again?
Claudia: I'm married. When I was a teenager I married this guy. My family didn't approve. It was a mistake. He cheated on me. We are separated now.
Me: But you're still married to him.

Claudia spilled all the salacious details which, for the sake of brevity and innocence, I will mask here. It suffices to say that relations between Claudia and Marco were at an all time low. Only the delusional would predict an optimistic outcome.

It's hard to convey the gravity of that situation on a humor blog without portraying the picture with undue flippancy. I like and felt for Claudia. By her account, she'd done nothing wrong. Circumstances had victimized her terribly.

Claudia obviously wanted a disposition from me. She wanted to know if her marriage sounded the death knell for our budding relationship. I thought about giving her an answer, but knew that doing so would cheat the faithful FCN few out of a valuable opportunity to weigh in on my personal life.

So I put the question to you in all its glamor. Should I date a married woman? Is there a clear moral compass on this issue or is it an ethical vague area open to exploitation on emotional and or subjective whims? What would you do in my shoes? Let me know in the comment section and I'll make a decision based on your input.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Phone Art: Pt. 1

Some of the earliest records of man's creativity are believed to have stone art.  It was beautiful.  Man had creativity.  But what should he use his gift for?  There was little question in the ancient man's mind:  Food was awesome:  so he drew food. 

A man hunting antelope.

A man cooking antelope.

As man became tired of drawing using simple sticks and stones, it was found that paints could be made mixing various plants and organic materials (which is a nice way of saying animal innards).  Ironically, the favored color was usually black, which happens to be the same exact color as the scratches made with sticks and stones. 

History has records of almost every culture leaving behind some sort of artwork.  This is good, not only for historical research, but for also for history text books, which would be unbearably boring without pictures.

An ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic of a chicken, representing the letter "A".  c. 2500 B.C.

A Roman coin with a mug shot of Nero. c. 62  A.D.

Join us next time for part 2!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to Argue like a Liberal

Now that the Obama Administration has really proven that it can get great things done (like making you pay for everyone else's health care), there's no disputing the fact that liberals are better at debating that conservatives. Why? Because conservatives have clunky agendas that don't advertise what the listener wants to hear. Liberal messages are built on emotion, not fact; this makes them vastly superior because they can be presented in a slick and powerful way that appeals to everyone and makes conservatives look evil.

There's no reason you can't harness the power of liberal argumentation in your own life. Whether you're arguing over politics or whose toast is in the toaster, the playbook of America's leaders will get you straight to the top in no time.

1. "You're ignorant." The tried and true work horse of liberal argumentation; this strikes right to the heart of the matter by focusing on the fundamental reason you and the conservative disagree: ignorance. If your opponent weren't so poorly informed he'd obviously be a liberal. And why argue with someone who's blindly defending an ignorant position? Explain to your opponent that he is arguing from a position of ignorance and that all his ideas and worldviews should be promptly replaced with your informed ones.

2. "You're dividing the nation." If not for your opponent, there wouldn't have to be an argument. But because of his insistence on defending his dumb position, the whole ideological fabric of society is being torn asunder. You'll never be able to achieve true unity until your divisive opponent lets this issue drop, for the good of everyone.

3. "I have a plan." Made popular by John Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign (which should have won if not for John Edwards who is not really a liberal or he wouldn't be so embarrassing), this tactic presents a quick solution to all the problems in the current situation. You have a plan, therefore, if you're given power you'll be able to solve everything. That's simple logic. But apparently not simple enough for conservatives.

4. "Hope!" Made popular by Barack Obama's 2008 Presidential Campaign (which won in spite of Joe Biden, who was made stupid when he mistakenly drank from the Republican water cooler a few years back), this presents a less tangible but even more effective answer for problems. When your opponent says anything negative - anything at all - accuse him of being a harbinger of fear, conflict, and discord. Encourage him to embrace hope.
5. "This plan is not socialist." If you argue long enough, you'll eventually be called something unpleasant, like a socialist. While a conservative may want to get into pesky details like history and point of fact, you should focus on what really matters: your reputation. Immediately and vehemently protest. You don't have to explain why, in fact you can even say things like: "Just because I want to spread the wealth around doesn't mean I'm a socialist!" Never admit to a title that's anything but positive.

6. "Enough politics." Remember, you're bringing a message of hope and truth. Your opponent is engaging in politics as usual. Anything he says that can't be easily countered by the other tips can be dismissed by accusing your opponent of using the tired tactics that got everyone into this mess in the first place. You're rising above. You're not part of the system, and you're not gonna let your opponent drag you down.

And there you have it! The top 6 ways to argue like a liberal. The playbook is simple, but make no mistake: mastery will take years of practice, and maybe a few overdoses of organic cereal. Stick with it, and in time you can be a debater in the tradition of the greats.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The library cart Belle

I spent the afternoon at CVS reading Hallmark cards. I've never understood why drug stores sell Hallmark stock. I can hear a wife calling after her husband: "hey, don't forget to pick up toothpaste and a Hallmark card." Maybe it's so that guys, who normally only visit drug stores if they need to get ready for a date, will have everything they need in one place.

My journey t0o Hallmark deserves brief elucidation.

My day started like any other Saturday. I slept in until hunger and the smell of breakfast drove me from my bed. I debated the merits of showering and settled on a necessity-defined shampoo-less rinse. I skipped my shave. The grease in my hair shined. I couldn't remember the night before but was sure that it was epic, maybe legendary. I ate a breakfast that doubled as a simple carbohydrate extravaganza and sat down on the couch waiting for my sugar high to subside.

Mind racing from the extra calories, I mentally motored through pickup lines. It's a sad testament to my psyche and loneliness that my brain's screen saver is pickup lines. Some would say cheesy lines are also my desktop image, although I argue that this space is filled with dessert foods. Then I remembered I needed toothpaste so I went to CVS.

Sometime in the car on the way to the store, I went on a sugar low. In the midst of my hypoglycemic haze, I wandered into the Hallmark section and began reading cards. I never did pick up the toothpaste.

Six sales people representing two shifts and four departments approached me that afternoon, asking if I needed any help. One of them was the manager. I told them I was looking for love in the Hallmark aisle.

My studies called and, mind still buzzing with pickup and Hallmark lines (which are very similar if you think about it), I wandered into my school's library. It seems like every time I go to the library, no matter how pressing my work obligation is, I end up logging in, plugging in my headphones and watching a couple of hours of Hulu. I call this the Hulu tax. It's the tribute I pay to Jason Kilar.

I was about to start work when I noticed the Belle. There are many words to describe physically attractive females. Hottie, eye candy, cutie, pretty, beautiful, fine, gorgeous, sweet, looker, et cetera. Each term calls a specific image to mind. There are women you would call cute who don't qualify as pretty. There are beautiful women that don't fit the hottie mold.

The best word to describe this girl is "belle." She had a confident presence about her; a flair that seemed sweetly southern. Her gentle confidence was pushed forward by a fine attractiveness. "Beautiful" sold her short but "cutie" sold her cheap. She was a Belle.

The Belle pushed a lightly loaded cart through the library. How long has she worked here? I wondered. She was a gem in any environment, but the Hope Diamond in the midst of the nerdy library regulars. The guy at the terminal next to me held a slack jawed gaze in her direction. Apparently others shared my distraction.

My studies were forgotten. I wracked my brain to remember some of the lines from a Hallmark card. Then I tore out a paper and started writing.

To the Belle at the library:

Somewhere between my open books
You walked today inviting looks
Your stunning beauty so confident
Makes all the guys incompetent

Do you want to go out sometime?


The request at the end was my idea. I added my phone number and grabbed Nicholas Spark's Notebook off a shelf because I'd heard girls like that book. Then I walked past the Belle and handed her the book mumbling "I think there's a note in it." The Belle looked at me and smiled (what a grin!) and took the book. I paused. A beat. And moved back to my terminal. The Belle and I had shared a moment!

I couldn't study. I expected my phone to ring any minute. I had it out in front of me, ready to spring up and leave the library to take her call. It took over an hour before an unknown number buzzed.

"Turn around."

I did. There was the nerdy library assistant from the basement. Somehow she had read my note. She wanted to know how I knew that Notebook was her favorite book. I didn't have the heart to say that she wasn't the intended target. So the nerdy library assistant and I went on a date.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Life Tip #97

If you must live on welfare, don't sell black kittens over the internet.

If you must live on welfare and sell black kittens over the internet, do not advertise them as "gothic."

If you must live on welfare, sell black kittens over the internet and advertise them as "gothic," do not give them multiple piercings.

If you must live on welfare, sell black kittens over the internet, advertise them as "gothic," and give them multiple piercings, don't get caught by your welfare officer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

25th Do It Yourself Post

Half of life's problems can be prevented by __________.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Oink Oink!

The following is a guest post from Elsie,
one of our infrequent but faithful readers.

Today I read a great article - something I can finally feel warm and fuzzy about.

It is earth shattering good news. Science has moved closer to putting pig lungs in humans. Okay, some may argue that my sister already has pig lungs, because in every conversation she hogs the dialog; thus, in her amazing way, she is once again ahead of the curve…but I digress.

Today we can already choose from pig heart valves, tomorrow will be the breakthrough for pig lung transplants. Hey, someday Wilbur can give up his kidney for a good cause (too bad, Charlotte) and eventually many other pig parts can become spare human parts.

Got bunions? We got pigs feet.

We interrupt this post for a previously scheduled prank phone call:

Butcher: “Hello?”
Bored Brat:“Hey, do you have pig’s feet?”
Butcher: “Yes."
Bored Brat: “Well, wear shoes and no one will notice!”

I am sure there will be ethical questions arising from this muddied issue. At what point in the process of pig part accumulation does one, no matter what race and color, become the “other white meat?”

Where do one's voting rights end and animal rights begin? Should humans made up of hog parts even have voting rights?

Oh, I forgot about our political leaders – of course pigs have voting rights, just look at all the pork going around Washington lately.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Avatar II: Pandora Returns to Strike Back

That's right, folks. Using the help of Uncle Wally and our own seared consciences, we were able to hack into James Cameron's personal laptop and boost an early draft of the already much-anticipated Avatar 2 movie. A quick summary of the plot follows.

The evil imperialist human corporation has been defeated, but the Na'vi now face a new threat: another evil imperialist human corporation. This one is ten times bigger and badder, and capable of producing even larger explosions than before.

Jake Sully has been having strange nightmares: flashbacks of things in his past that he can't quite remember. Neytiri puts her hands on his face and looks at him with concern but this doesn't seem to help. When the-all new, shinier corporation appears in the sky, Jake knows it's all up to him for some reason. He leads the resistance in a raid against the newly established human base, but sadly he and the rest of the Na'vi are captured and imprisoned. During the attack, Neytiri is machine-gunned in slow motion by the new arch-nemesis, who is notable for having a southern accent, gung-ho attitude, and tattoos all over.

In a stirring scene, the fifty captured Na'vi warriors are led, whistling in unison, into a prison camp. They agree to get out as soon as possible, or at least keep trying in order to divert resources from the front. They start tunneling under the fence with the help of a sympathetic and very cute human girl who is attracted to Jake's devil-may-care attitude, rugged good looks, and haunted past. While in prison, the Na'vi form close bonds with each other and learn to hope no matter how bleak things get. After they tunnel out, Jake begins hunting down the four men who gunned down Neytiri. His path will end with the assassination of the arch-nemesis.

The first target is a muscular, manly latina woman who wears sleeveless shirts and dog tags and likes to beat up men to show how tough she is. Jack and his men slaughter her entire platoon but in the end Jake is inexplicably separated from his men and must face her alone. They have a quick fight, pausing often to exchange snappy one-liners. When she realizes she is too weak, she escapes.

Jake moves on to target number 2: a robotic droid-man with various cyborg powers. Jake attacks his penthouse suite with a mounted gun on a helicopter but the droid jumps onto the helicopter with a motorcycle. Jake and the droid jump out of the chopper as it explodes. They free-fall to the ground, grappling as they go. Jake lands in a haystack and is completely unharmed. The droid lands in a propane tank, causing an explosion that really puts Dolby Surround to the test. Jake stands and brushes himself off, recovering from the battle. Then, hark! The droid rises from the ashes. The flesh has been seared off, leaving a freaky humanoid metal frame that for some reason moves much slower and more robotically than it did when covered in human. The robot tosses Jake around for awhile until more Na'vi show up and use all kinds of attacks on it, including rocket launchers, poisoned arrows, and custom-made katanas that glow and buzz and cut through anything (except the robot, who blocks the swings somehow). They are chased into a massive factory that mass-produces globs of molten metal for export all over the galaxy. There, the Na'vi work together to destroy the robot, culimnating in a victorious one-liner from Jake that implies that the destruction of the machine somehow makes Neytiri's pointless death allright now.

The cute girl from the prison shows up and urges caution, but Jake is hellbent on destruction. They are even more attracted to each other now. She flies him to the next dropoff point. As they part ways their faces get really close because they want to kiss, but then they both talk at once and head separate directions awkwardly.

The third target is a creepy alien from another subjugated planet the humans have subjugated. It's big and black and has lots of teeth, but it can speak fluent English with a wierd Transylvanian accent. The alien fights viciously until Jake is on his back and disarmed. Then, instead of finished the job, the creature starts talking victoriously about what a genius he is and what he'll do when Jake is dead. This gives the butch latina time to smash through a huge window in a fighter jet, use the b-word, and blow the alien to kingdom come. She extends a hand to Jake. Jake takes it and says thanks. There's a moment of cameraderie, and then a tentacle from the alien appears out of nowhere and stabs the latina, killing her slowly and painfully.

The cute girl shows up again and flies him to the final battle. They kiss briefly, which proves that they are soul mates, though they have exchanged no more than thirty lines of dialogue with each other. Jake attacks the main base riding his Banshee, only to discover that the main villain has an improved mechanized Banshee. An intense aerial dogfight ensues, during which Jake is forced to face his guilt over Neytiri's death. He comes to terms with it and destroys the mech banshee. He lands and dismounts to finish the job. The bloodied and defeated arch nemesis explains Jake's flashbacks to him - that he was a special black ops agent for the corporation and lost his legs and his memory on his first mission when he got cold feet and refused to kill the target. Jake is taunted for being too weak to make a kill even now. It's true that the only people Jake has killed in the movie are the droid and nameless henchmen with no souls. He realizes that killing the villain only makes Jake become everything he has fought against. He throws away his weapon and the villain throws him into a snake pit, along with the cute girl who has been captured by more soulless henchmen. Jake and the cute girl manage to climb out somehow and sneakily follow the villain back into the base.

The evil corporation has now collected enough unobtanium to activate a weapon that will wipe out the Na'vi and turn the whole moon into a desolate industrial wasteland. Jake and the girl are captured again and are made to watch. The weapon is activated but it malfunctions and kills all the bad guys in dramatic and horrible ways for which they can only blame themselves. Jake and the cute girl are about to be killed, when out of nowhere the mountain banshees arrive and carry them to safety.

Back at the tribe, all the surviving main characters drink organic happy juice and reminisce about how much has changed. We close with a slow zoom on Jake's face as he thoughtfully says something, and then repeats it.

The end.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rainy Day Finger

It's been raining pretty hard this last week around my house. I mean hard. It rained so hard, the pond scum came up to the porch to visit. It rained so hard, Scott Brown and Martha Coakley shared an umbrella. It rained so hard, Lindsay Lohan put on some clothes. That's how hard it was raining.

Water was falling so quickly, the roads filled up with thick layers of cold water. The main traffic artery in my town became a thin, rectangular pool that housed vehicles like awkward sea craft. I, a regular victim of road-way temptations, was seduced into speeding through puddles and sluicing water up on the side walk as I roared through town at speeds I would never have achieved had the roads been in good condition in perfect weather. More then one passer by got his second daily shower as I motored around aimlessly, enjoying the inclement conditions and my own poor judgment.

I decided to meet N for lunch at a local bistro. We picked the one furthest from his house so we could sluice our way through downtown. We approached one intersection that was particularly flooded and I saw a man about my age getting ready to cross the road. The car in front of me had about as much respect for pedestrian traffic as NBC has for Conan O'Brien. It put-putted past the white lines without so much as a brake light.

The man was clearly flustered by the lack of respect. He'd evidently read his driving manual and knew pedestrians had right of way. As a trained observer, I saw the anger rise in his being and flow through his tensed shoulders and squared jaw. The untrained observer would not have noticed this, but might have seen the obscene gesture he utilized to express his feelings, in clear violation of at least one local ordinance.

This man's outrage and subsequent willingness to express it in sign language made me feel good for some reason. I flashed him a thumbs up sign (the only one-finger gesture allowed by city regulations), and drove on.

I thought the FCN-worthy content had been wrung from my day. But work that afternoon held new surprises.

I work as a glorified paper pusher at General Mills. Actually I'm just a paper pusher, there is nothing glorious about it. I move paperwork from one end of my desk to another and, sometimes, when my boss is really interested in giving me responsibility, I get to mail things. Not nail things, you inflicter of structural damage. I get to mail letters and such.

The other day I sent out over twenty letters. I dutifully put the documents in their envelopes and dropped them off at the post office where an overworked government employee accepted my payment and affixed the "appropriate postage" on each letter. Nothing was unusual about my exchange with the postal worker and I returned to work with my suspicion unaroused.

That rainy afternoon, the postal fiasco struck. One of the letters I had mailed was returned for insufficient postage. The postage amount had been determined by USPS and the letter mailed at the office at the hand of the able government employee. I hadn't touched the letter after giving it to her. But somehow the postage had been insufficient. I wondered how this could have happened and if all twenty envelopes would be forthcoming with their delinquent "returned" stamp.

I felt like one of the people I had splashed that morning while cruising in the rain: unsuspecting, innocent and now soaked. I hadn't done anything wrong. The post office had made an epic mistake just as I had been an epic jerk on the road. Now I had to face my superior in the hierarchy of office politics and explain how our office had managed to underpay for this letter.

For a brief moment, I felt like the man at the intersection. Tension rose to my shoulders, anger expressed itself in my visage. Then I smiled and nodded. I would take care of it.

To assure my superiors, I extended a thumbs up: the only one-finger gesture appropriate in office environments.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lower Education

Just because you’re a college student doesn’t mean you’re smart. I don’t care if you got a 36 on the ACT. I don’t care if you took college classes starting in junior high. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the honor roll. In fact, even having a doctorate doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be smart. Because sometimes, no matter how hard a person tries, they can sound like a high school dropout. Perhaps you already know this.

On any given day, I go to the cafeteria, or a well-trafficked area and sit. Sit and listen. Ok, I’ll be honest. I shamelessly eavesdrop. I figure if people didn’t want other people listening, they wouldn’t be talking in public. It is my social responsibility to pay attention when other people are talking.

And if I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have come across these dialogical gems.

“Are bananas a fruit?”

“If a Mexican person learned French, what would his accent sound like?”

“I hate crunching on salt when I walk on snowy sidewalks. I feel like I’m stepping on my ancestors.”

“Did you know that if you stick earbuds up your nose playing music you can hear it through your mouth?”

Guy: “Dude! We all need to get some girl jeans.”

“Do you think it would be a bad idea to drink this hand sanitizer?”

“I should not have saran-wrapped my legs together”


“I have no idea where it came from, but there’s this loaf of bread under my bed. And I’m pretty sure something’s growing on it.”

“What makes a cookie tough? Or smart? Why don’t people just say ‘You’re one tough person’ and leave the baked goods out of it.”

Guy 1: I want to be a midwife.
Guy 2: Uh… dude… you have to be a girl to be a midwife.
Guy 1: Ohhh… yeah. I’d be a midhusband.

Girl: “I’m all about cute little old men.”

Girl 1: “While watching the music video for “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha) She looks really familiar.
Girl 2: Yeah.
Girl 1: You know, she looks like Taylor Swift on drugs.
Girl 2: Hmmm… no, she kinda looks like Ashley Tisdale. If Taylor Swift and Ashley Tisdale could have a baby…

So, even though we're in an establishment of higher education, we don't necessarily belong there. Common sense is something you have to learn on your own. The school of hard knocks doesn't have a graduation date.

Live long and prosper. And for goodness sake, think before you speak. You never know who's listening.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

FCN Personality Profile

Personality Profiles are great. They let you divide yourself and your friends into a small number of basic boxes, letting you know who in your social circle is interchangeable. They're also useful for employers when deciding who to fire first.

This just out of the FCN Labs: an all new, scientifically formulated Personality Profile to precisely pinpoint your basic behavior patterns. Try it!