July 2007

To me, the most horrifying part of the Harry Potter series is imagining the smell of a Dementor’s breath.  I seem to have the same reaction to bad breath as Harry does to Dementors … I tend to pass out when confronted with it.  If I could do a patronus spell, it would take the shape of a pack of Eclipse gum.

Foul breath is so repugnant to me, that when I was single, I actually cut a date short because the girl’s breath smelled like microwaved dog dung.  When we were in my car, I offered her some gum.  But it was just putting mint on a plate of vomit.  The odor filled my small Civic and I was forced to roll down my window.  “Nothing like a bit of fresh air, eh?” I smirked with a half, forced laugh.  At dinner, I dared her to eat the mint sprigs that came with her entrée.  When she thought I was joking, I knew I was doomed.  Right then I began to make plans for my escape.

I’ve been in worse situations, though.  A few years later I was stuck in an interview room with my future boss.  It was after lunch and he must have eaten the garlic onion stuffed pepper special at Julio’s.  When I walked into the room, a green mist hung in the air and I nearly gagged.  He wore a red plaid suit and had bushy sideburns.  When he smiled, I thought I was the Tin-man and was on the Yellow Brick Road.  More green mist seaped from his blow hole.  Bovine excrement smelled sweet compared to this gorilla’s breath.  I lasted approximatly 3 minutes in that room before I became dizzy and lost all conciousness.

The worst breath I’ve fallen victim to came from an orifice of a basketball player.  I had the unfortunate assignment of guarding this expired beef stick.  Not only does he not brush his teeth before coming to play ball, but he also smokes a few cigarettes for breakfast.  Foul breath indeed – every time he opened his maw I felt violated.  The vile stench of the decay and filth eminating from his oral cavity was beyond description.  He might as well been chewing roadkill.

May I make a suggestion to my readers: take the time to check your breath.  Cup your hand and hold it up to your mouth.  Now blow like you are fogging up a mirror.  If you smell nothing, go get some gum.  If you smell hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs), methyl mercaptan (rotten cabbage) or dimethyl sulfide (cooked cabbage), go brush your teeth and tongue and then use copious amounts of Scope followed by inserting two or three pieces of Eclipse into your mouth.  Now chew.


It’s obvious we live in an era of multi-tasking.  We read email while we surf the Internet.  We walk and chew gum.  We blog while we work.  We talk on the phone while cooking dinner.

Unfortunatly multi-tasking has gone to the bathroom.  Let me state that I am a multi-tasker, but I multi-task in multi-task appropriate areas … the office, the kitchen and even the car.  But one area that I vow not to multi-task in is the bathroom.

We have a bathroom multi-tasker (BMT) at work.  He’s been known to bathroom multi-task many times.  The first time I came accross our BMT was when I pulled into slot 1 of the urinals.  He was already in slot 2 and had a cell phone to his ear.  One hand was on the cell phone and the other was directing traffic.  While I was relieving myself, the BMT finished his business.

It was the moment I was waiting for … how was he going to pack up while keeping one hand on the phone?  Was he going to set the phone down on the top of the urinal and risk having the phone drop into the pond?  Was he going to use the neck and shoulder pinch to hold the phone in place, thus freeing up the other hand?  What would he say to the other person on the phone?  “Uhhh, hold on <tap … zip … flush> OK, I’m back”

He suprised me.  He continued to hold the phone to his ear with one hand while packing up, zipping up and flushing with the other hand!  And he did it all so swiftly!  I was shocked … dumbfounded.  A few days later while I was alone in the bathroom, I tried to do a one-handed packup-zip-up-flush.  It wasn’t too hard.

The BMT is also known for multi-tasking in the stalls.  Even though I couldn’t see him, I knew exactly who it was.  He was pinching loaves while talking on the cell phone and reading the newspaper (I could hear the ruffle of paper).  Obviously I didn’t see his handiwork so I don’t know how he managed it all when clean-up time came.

So what are these BMTs talking about when they’re talking on cell phones?  What is so damned important that you have to converse to another human being while performing bodily functions?  What does the other person on the other end of the cell phone think while talking to a BMT?  Do they know they’re being talked to while the BMT is cleaning up?  Surely a few choice sound effects will inevitably be heard by the other party.  How would a BMT explain those?  “Oh … that was somebody clapping their hands.”

I’d be repulsed if I knew a BMT was talking to me while he was taking care of business.  What does the BMT say when he receives a phone call?  “Hello James!  I was just thinking about you!  You know what?  I think we need to color the water yellow on our Westpark Mall display.  What do you think?”

I know that there are other BMTs in our office.  A few years ago, one of the admins had to replace Scot’s pager.  He’d been reading a message while doing number 2 when he accidentally dropped the device into the toilet.  Scot must have knew the day was coming.  I don’t know how he extracted the pager.  However, I was there when Scot turned in his broken pager.

Scot handed the pager to Susie the admin.  “It’s broken.  I need a new one.”

Susie was pushing the buttons trying to turn it on.  “What happened?”

“I dropped it in the toilet.”

“OH MY GOSH!!  WHY DID YOU HAND IT TO ME NUMB-NUTS?!”  Susie chucked the pager into the garbage and fled to the women’s restroom where she promptly sanitized her hands.

Poor woman.  Scot was fired a few weeks later.

My workout routines are split between running outside, working out at the gym and playing basketball.

Working out at the gym is always an adventure in people-watching.

My workout ususally consists of 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  I see a lot while running and spinning.

0530: I step onto the treadmill and count how many people are doing cardio (20).

0531: I begin to walk and note one particular interesting person on the bikes … Harley Davidson Outfit Dude.  He’s got a black shirt and shorts and matching hat that all sport the Harley Davidson logo with red flames.  He’s about 240 lbs.  He’s not sweating.

0537: I’ve now upped the speed on the treadmill and am jogging.  I take interest in another fellow treadmill runner.  He’s wearing running shorts, a t-shirt and running shoes.  I guess he’s pushing the treadmill to the limits.  His legs are a blug and he’s sweating.  Cool guy.

0544: I’m almost halfway home on my treadmill workout.  Two more fellow treadmillers join the ranks.  One is a man and looks fit.  The other is a 40-something woman who looks like she sits around all day and reads Harlequin novels.

0546: The superman fit runner who was pushing the treadmill to the limits is cooling off while the other dude and Harlequin are starting to walk.  Uh … check that.  Harlequin is now stopped and adjusting headphones … she’s wasting valuable membership money by not working out.

0555: Five minutes to go.  Super fit runner dude is gone.  Other fellow runner dude is not a runner.  Whenever he lifts his left leg, his head bobs down.  It’s like there’s a string attached to his left knee and neck … it looks really painful.  My eyes are fixed on Amateur Runner dude.  He’s going to spill any minute … he’s going to bite the handle bar.  His arms are flailing like the runners in Chariots of Fire.  His nostrils are flared.  His hamstring is going to blow any second now.  This is going to be great!

0556: 4 minutes to go … 4 x 60 = 240 … 240 seconds.  239, 238, 237, 236 …  He still hasn’t bit it yet.  He’s pushing himself.  It’s as if his trying to outrun a mobster in a car.  Hands are doing karate chops in the air.  Head bobbing, hair flying … come on!  Let’s see him grip that hamstring!  Blow damn it, blow! 215, 214, 213 ….

0559: Come on … keep pushing … I’m almost there! 30, 29, 28, 27 … 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … beep!

0600: My treadmill workout is done.  I get off and walk to the back to exchange towels and get a drink.  Then I hear it.  A scream of agony.  Bone against metal.  A curse word and then gasps.  I know immediately what happened.  I see a crowd gather around the fallen runner while a trainer runs to him with a first aid kit.  Our hero is writhing in pain; clutching his hamstring; blood on his nose and mouth.  He overdid it.  He’s crying.  Poor fellow.

0603: I mount the stationary bike.  Place a towel on each arm rest and use the other three towels to dry my face, arms and chest.  I glace back at Hamstring … the medics have arrived and are carting him out on a stretcher.  I give him a salute.

0610: Sweat is pouring down my face.  I look up and see Harlequin is now walking … oops … she just stopped.  Now she’s patting her face with a hand towel … coins going down a drain.

0620: I stop.  I’m exhausted.  Harlequin is now chatting on her cell phone!  Free money for the gym.  It’s a sad sight.  I walk to the lockers and peel off my shirt.  Today, the reaction isn’t so bad.  I had just been sheared the day before and the man-silk is in the mail.  My workout is done.

My wife and I have young kids … ages 1 to 7.  We attend a church and our meetings last for three hours.  Every church meeting is an adventure with kids.

Since the kids have to appear clean and presentable to everyone else, my wife takes it upon herself to ensure that each child’s face is spot-free.  She continues the great tradition of The Lick.  You all know what The Lick is.  A kid has a smidge of peanut butter on his left cheek.  This is such a small thing to take him to the bathroom to properly wash him with water and soap.  So my wife applies the quick-fix-it-up Lick.

She sticks out her moistened tongue, places her thumb on the back of the tongue and applies an ample amount of saliva to the thumb.  Then the saliva-thumb is used as a cleansing tool on the toddler’s cheek.  If there is enough saliva, one swipe will suffice.  But if she failed to moisten her tongue with copius amounts of spittle, then another swipe of thumb on tongue will be necessary.

The Lick is not only used for smudges on cheeks.  It can be used to tame unruly hair or to remove eye boogers.  Any food or ink marking on the body can be cleaned via The Lick.

Of course The Lick is perfectly sanitary.  Purrell and other hand-sanitizers are weak compared to Mom’s spit (momspit for short).  Momspit is the emergency cure-all.  Paper cut: put momspit on it.  Bruised eye: apply momspit.  Blow to the head: momspit will do.  Severed toe: momspit.

Momspit comes in various flavors and smells.  If Mom brushed her teeth that morning, you might get a hint of mint.  If she didn’t brush her teeth, the kid might be an outcast the rest of the day.  The best flavor is when Mom is chewing gum.  Your hair might smell like Doublemint.

My three-year-old son got The Lick of momspit yesterday.  He was offended.  But he’s a smart kid and knows how to hit back.  He retaliated by grabbing an unused tampon from my wife’s purse and started waving it over his head showing everyone in the audience that my wife uses Playtex.

She grabbed the tampon and gave him another dose of momspit.

Poor kid.

Do you remember that song “We Are the World” where a bunch of musicians got together to raise funds for famine-stricken Africa?  It seems that ever since that fund raiser, there have been countless other do-gooder-things for Africa.

A recent project endeavors to put a laptop into every Afican child’s hands.  The project website has posted the project’s goal: “To provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves.”

It seems as though they are beginning to reach their goal.  In fact, in today’s news I read the following article entitled “Pupils browse porn on donated laptops

Explore – check

Experiment – check

Express – check

Here are these poverty-stricken African children sitting in class learning about math.  They’re not paying attention to the teacher.  They’re getting all heated up over at Victoria Secret’s site.

Instead of logging into eTrade to transfer their daily wage of $.25 from their bank account to their stock portfolio, they’re checking out the swimware section of an on-line retailer.

You’d think they would be researching how to maximize milk output in a cow by doing some research on Wikipedia; or that they would be posting their 5×5 color paintings of Africa brush on eBay so that they could earn some extra money to buy more chickens.

Nope, they’re just browsing porn.


The NBA has some tough times ahead after this report.

2006 Finals

It will only be a matter of time before Cuban starts clamoring again about the Mavs’ embarassing meltdown in the 2006 Finals.  The report even takes a swipe by posting a picture of the 2006 Finals game in Miami.

This is just so sad.

Like me, you may have heard this story reported on the news while driving into work this morning.  As funny as it is, the real kicker of the story was that the owner retrieved the money after the dog “processed” it.  The owner then washed the cash and took it to a bank to trade in the soiled bills for new ones!  WOW!

First of all, if my dog did that, I’m not sure I’d be the one to retrieve the bills.  I would call the neighborhood kids over to my back yard for an impromptu Easter egg hunt.  “For every $100 you find, you can keep $1”  This way I only lose about $10 and I don’t have to experience dry heaves.  As a bonus to the kids, I would give them each a clothes-pin.

The next step in the process would be a bit tricky.  I’d probably put the cash in a big bucket on the lawn and then use the garden hose to blast the excess stuff off.  Then I’d let it dry in the sun.  Maybe the sun would bleach most of “it” out.

Phase three would involve generous amounts of Febreze followed by another sun-bleaching.

The final part would be to take it to the bank for exchange.

“My these bills smell fresh!  What happened to them?”

“My son got a hold of the Febreze and sprayed it all over my wife’s purse.  Those crazy kids!”

The teller would be rubbing her nose all over the bills like those freaks in the Febreze commercials.  I’d be wincing knowing full well that just four steps ago, those bills were being pinched off by Barney the dog.

“We can certainly exchange these bills for you Mr. Apollo.  Would you like your bills in 50’s or 100’s?”

“100’s would be fine, thank you!”

Another part of this dog-eats-cash story is how it was reported by the news.  After I heard it on the radio this morning, I went to Google’s news pages and searched for it.

Dog Eats Cash News Reports

How come all these reports suggest differing amounts?  How hard is it to count?  Was it the woman who had no idea how much money the mutt ate or was it the bank that didn’t know how much money it exchanged?  Maybe the teller was totally grossed out by the story behind the cash that she just took the tainted money and threw a few $100 bills at the woman … “Here, take these and go please!”  The teller then takes the bag out back in the alley to burn.

Or maybe the reporters were just so lazy to follow up on the amount that they just arbitrarily picked a number.  “What the hell – let’s say it was around $752.35”  One report actually headlined the story referring to $1000 while in the report it stated $750!

I just hope all these people washed their hands and then soaked them in Purell.

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