Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Let the Cattle Call Commence

I was at the dentist this week when one of the assistants asked me about my plans for Thanksgiving. “Eating,” I said, already imaging the feast that I’d missed over the past 10 years while living overseas. Having divorced parents gives me two such spreads, and I was picturing the delectable meals when the girl said, “What about Black Friday?”

Suddenly visions of turkey and gravy morphed into 300 pound Walmart shoppers jockeying for position at the “starting line” at 4 am, a whistle blowing and a stampede beginning, a string of trampled casualties left underfoot (or underhoof).

“Who the hell would go shopping on Black Friday?” I asked, wrinkling my nose in disgust. “Like, who is so desperate that they have to wake up at 4 am, stand online with a bunch of loooosas and risk their life for a 20% discount at Toys "R" Us? I can’t think of anything I’d like to do less! Who does that? Seriously, who?”

“Um, I do,” the girl said, swiftly walking away. Crap. I felt like I'd just over complained to my waiter and was about to get my food spit on, in this case, my retainer tampered with to ruin my $4,000 smile.

“Oh, I guess it can be fun though!” I said, halfheartedly attempting to rectify the situation as she ignored me.

But seriously folks! Who does do that? Why do we let marketing and advertising and consumerism take over and convert us from human beings into savage beasts who will KILL other human beings just to get a few dollars off of shit we don’t need anyway? Do we really want to be part of that machine?

The answer is simple. Yes. We do. Cause we are all losas. But instead of buying a cattle prod and taking your chances out there, why not do what we do for every other aspect of our social lives nowadays? Do it virtually. We farm online, we chat online, we date online, we publish our every fartin move online – so this year, I will just Christmas shop online. Screw the masses.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Weather Genius, otherwise known as the moron behind me at Duane Reade

Photo by Eric Skiff, via Flikr

On the eve of the arrival of one of my BFFs, who's flying in from sunny Barcelona, New York City is a shitshow. It’s cold. It’s windy. And the heavens are spewing ice pellets.

When I got off the subway and blew across the street as I fought to keep my umbrella right-side-in while dodging other armed and dangerous pedestrians, I quickly nipped into Duane Reade to get honey for my tea. I was on the massive line waiting to pay when idiocy unraveled behind me in the form of an annoying couple. Obviously tourists, they’d stopped in to buy an umbrella and hats.

“I can’t believe it’s hailing,” the girl said.

“Hailing? It’s not hailing. It’s raining. It’s too warm for hail,” her boyfriend said. I sighed loudly. I had just been pelleted by the “non” hail myself.

“Looks like ice balls to me,” the girl continued. “Look, the girl in front of us has ice balls in her hair.” My hand automatically reached to pat my wet, and yes, ice-laden, head.

“Ugh. It is NOT ice balls. It has to be 32 degrees or below for ice. It’s too warm. Don’t be so stupid,” the annoyer continued. I held my breath and counted to ten.

“But look at her hair.”

“That’s just a water droplet. It’s not ice.”

I turned around. “OK, let’s get something straight. There IS ice in my hair,” I said.

The girl cracked a smile while her boyfriend turned red in the face. I ignored his ‘tude and continued. “Ice forms up there…” I said, pointing up. “So it doesn’t have to be 32 degrees or under on the ground for it to form in the clouds. Pah-lus, I was stuck in a hailstorm in Barcelona last year, where golf ball sized ice took chunks out of my plant leaves and left my garden looking like a war zone – AND it was summer. So it obviously doesn’t need to be freezing for hail or ice balls. Mmmkay?”

I left the baffled couple behind and paid for my honey. As soon as I got to work, I googled ice pellets and hail to make sure I was right. Nothing worse than fighting an idiot by being a bigger idiot. Luckily Wikipedia, a sound source if ever there was one, backs me up:

Ice pellets form when a layer of above-freezing air is located between 1500 meters (approximately 5,000 feet) and 3000 meters (approximately 10,000 feet) above the ground, with sub-freezing air both above and below it.