Author Archives: aaronkaro

Issue #199 – “Love” – February 13th, 2012

-The venerated philosopher Newman once observed, “Love is a spice with many tastes; a dizzying array of textures and moments.” I couldn’t agree more. As Valentine’s Day approaches, I am inspired to consider all of the people, places, and things I hold dear. Although nothing beats the love of a good woman, there are some gifts in life – say, a quality rerun of Seinfeld – that come quite close.

-I love the fact that my accountant lists my job description as “entertainer” on my tax return. You know there’s an IRS agent somewhere who just assumes I’m a stripper.

-I love how my mom describes technology. We got her a Kindle for her birthday and she was telling me how the lending feature works. Apparently you can borrow a book from a friend and then have two weeks to read it until the file “disintegrates.” Presumably smoke also billows out of the back like a self-destructing message from Mission Impossible.

-I love my quarterback. Although Eli Manning wears the exact same expression after he’s been sacked as he does when he’s just won the Super Bowl, I wouldn’t trade him for anyone (including pretty boy Tom Brady). I was in the stands at Giants Stadium for Eli’s first career start in 2004, and if you would have told me back then that he’d win two championships in the next eight years, well, I probably would have told you to shut up and buy more beer because they stop serving after halftime.

-I love living right near Melrose Place and knowing it is nothing like the Melrose Place on TV. In fact, there aren’t even any apartment buildings on Melrose Place. Just really expensive stores and an annoying “right turn only” sign I pretend not to see every time.

-I love how there is never any difference in the urgency in Wolf Blitzer’s voice when he returns from a commercial break on CNN. There is no way to tell if there is actual breaking news happening or if he’s going to throw to a story about puppies.

-I love how the solar-powered calculator I used in 7th grade math class still works. Someone should really look into getting that technology onto the roofs of houses.

-I love Kraft Singles. They may be my favorite snack. But I only get the ones made with 2% milk. Otherwise it would be unhealthy.

-I love how T-Mobile sends me a text message whenever my bill is paid and includes an urgent disclaimer that this text message will not count against my plan. I have unlimited text messages.

-I love when people open Twitter accounts for the sole purpose of following reality TV “stars” and people who make sex tapes. Now I know never to talk to you again.

-I love when Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week. That’s when couples really have to pay the price. Taking your girlfriend or wife out during the weekend, or even on a Thursday night? That’s child’s play. But schlepping out of the house for a quasi-romantic dinner with half the planet on a random Tuesday? That’s cruel and unusual punishment. It almost makes me happy not to be in love.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-The little shaving mirror that is suction-cupped inside my shower falls off with a loud crash about once a month. Also about once a month, I think I hear a burglar/murderer infiltrating my apartment via the shower.

-The “calories burned” function on the treadmill could just be a random number and we would be none the wiser. The only way I can really tell that I’m getting a good workout is when I sweat so much that I can’t work the scroll wheel on my iPod.

-I switched to a Mac exactly five years ago this week. Like most converts, I will never own a PC again. Every once in a while, though, I’ll still come across a program or download that is only Windows compatible. Might as well just say: “Optimized for idiots and old people.”

-I wish every restaurant provided paper napkins. There is just no way you can launder a cloth napkin enough to erase the fact that some dude once spit his olive pit into it. Of course, this is coming from a guy who travels with his own cup so I don’t have to the use the glasses hotels provide. The point is, all communal sanitary items should always be disposable. We can make up for all that additional waste by solar powering more things. Seriously, someone get on that.

-Working from home means I get to dress like a slob, but I never thought that it could also save my life. The other day, a glass lighting fixture in my kitchen fell off the ceiling and cracked me in the head. Luckily the blow was softened because I was wearing a hoodie at two in the afternoon on Wednesday.

-For some reason, the battery on my cordless landline phone only lasts eleven minutes. When I occasionally use it to call customer service, it’s a race against the clock. It literally starts to beep like a ticking time bomb. If the call is being recorded, there’s a beep coming from their end, too. Eventually it’s just a cacophony of beeping and then I get disconnected. I’ve somehow made calling tech support even more annoying.

-Every Super PAC sounds like a fake charity George Costanza would make up.

-And, finally, I’ve long suggested to guys that if you’re dating someone and are ready to get more serious, you should have “the conversation” on February 14th. It might seem a little cheesy, but from then on, every year, your anniversary will fall on Valentine’s Day and you can celebrate both occasions together (known as the “relationship extra-value meal”). However, the one time I actually executed this, we didn’t even make it to the next year. Perhaps my attempt to combine two gifts in one was not the best foundation on which to base a relationship. Though neither was celebrating Valentine’s Day at a restaurant with paper napkins. Fuck me.

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Issue #198 – “Couples” – January 23rd, 2012

-I’m fascinated by couples – how they meet, date, marry, and break up. I’ve had friends meet their mates online and others in dive bars. I’ve seen couples avoid acknowledging their relationship and others go “Facebook official” within weeks. I’ve attended countless weddings (even officiating one myself), as well as tended broken hearts and offered wingmanship to freshly dumped friends in need. But while single women are unfairly stigmatized and single men just as unfairly glorified, it’s really couples that deserve greater scrutiny. After all, they’re the ones making out and fighting in public, getting messy divorces, and generally making everyone else feel downright uncomfortable.

-I must admit to aiding and abetting a few couples myself. One of my buddies had an intricate system for entering the girls he’d meet into his phone: first name, where she’s from, and how they met. That way, should he decide to call “Lisa Boston Starbucks,” he’d know who she was. As you may remember, back in the day I used to organize epic pub crawls on my birthday each year, and my friend met a lovely Midwestern native on one such crawl. Six years later, they’re married, and my buddy still has his wife listed in his address book as what he entered the day they met: “Sylvia Oklahoma Karo.”

-There is nothing weirder than dating someone who lives with his or her sibling. You know what I’m talking about: those weird brother/sister roommates who aren’t twins but were somehow born less than nine months apart. And they’re always going out together and aggressively setting each other up. Listen, it’s sweet that you’re so close, but I feel weird going home with a girl knowing her brother will be there – and that it was his idea.

-One of my friends recently moved in with her longtime boyfriend, but after six months, it wasn’t working, so she moved out. But here’s the kicker: they stayed together! That’s a new one. Usually when you and your significant other decide to take the “next step,” and it fails, you don’t just go back to the previous step; you stop taking steps. Now their relationship is going in reverse. In about two years they’ll be having a one-night stand.

-Remember when you were younger, there was always a kid at the playground who decided that whatever you were doing that was “cool” yesterday was no longer cool today? The contemporary versions of those kids are married couples. You ever propose an activity that you’ve always done – like tailgating, or, say, staying up past 1am – to a married friend and they act like you’re the one who’s lame for suggesting it? They’re like, “Seriously? I’m in bed by midnight.” Well, excuse me, but personally I still think those things are cool. And, for the record, so is digging a hole to China in the sandbox.

-Of course, sometimes things just don’t work out. Whether you’ve been dating for ten weeks or married for ten years, breaking up is the oft-inevitable consequence of allowing another human being access into the dark and twisted recesses of your personal life. But when enough time has passed after a split, you may find yourself breaking bread with your ex and discussing what exactly went wrong. For those in the corporate world, this exercise might feel familiar: it’s your exit interview. And just like when you leave a job, you should use this opportunity to share constructive criticism with the other party. You may even learn something – most likely that you feel lucky to have gotten out when you did, and feel bad for the poor sap who will eventually take your place.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Watching the NFL playoffs live on TV means I’m forced to watch the ads I’ve been fast-forwarding through all year. It’s essentially “A Clockwork Orange” with Bud Light commercials.

-I get nervous whenever I’m entering a special event where I need to wear a bracelet. You get that adhesive on your arm hair by accident and it feels like you’re getting your wrist waxed all night. And why do bouncers always put the bracelet on so damn tight? They’re not handcuffs, dude. I’m here for the open bar, not to Occupy Wall Street.

-I don’t know if this says more about how spoiled children are these days or how uninformed they are. My friend, a teacher, asked one of her kindergartners how he spent winter break. He responded, “I went to Aspen. It’s in Avocado.”

-I was sitting in the aisle seat on a plane recently and an older woman sat down in the middle seat beside me. It didn’t seem like any other passengers were boarding the plane, so I leaned over and said to the woman, “You might get lucky.” She looked mortified. Apparently she didn’t realize I was referring to the available window seat next to her.

-I’m sorry, but I’m not impressed with bartenders who concoct “artisan” drinks infused with bizarre flavors. Making a tequila drink that tastes like cucumber and maple syrup isn’t difficult when there’s only half a shot of Patron in there. Try infusing it with alcohol.

-I thought the RSVP card my friend Kim sent with her wedding invitation was pretty creative. Instead of the usual checkboxes, the choices were in the form of Mad Libs. I especially appreciated it because I can’t go to the wedding, and I always feel rude just checking the NO box. At least now she knows I acrobatically cannot attend because I will be shaving my peanut butter.

-I was supposed to have dinner with a few friends, including my buddy and his wife, who have a newborn. When he showed up alone, we asked him where his wife was. He said, “Oh, she’s babysitting.” Can you call it babysitting when it’s your own kid? I think that’s just called “parenting.”

-And, finally, I’ve known some of my buddies for more than twenty-five years. I know everything that has ever happened to them. When I’m around their girlfriends or wives, I need to figure out which skeletons in the closet she’s aware of. I call this the relationship public domain. Multiply that by all my friends who are dating someone, and I’m saddled with an enormous responsibility to be discreet. Sometimes I can’t keep track of who knows what stories. I didn’t use to mind hanging out with couples, but now my tolerance is beginning to wane. Not because I feel awkward being the third, fifth, or even seventh wheel, but because I know where all the bodies are buried and don’t want to slip up and reveal something I shouldn’t. Would I love to have more single friends? Absolutely. I just don’t want to be the reason why. Fuck me.

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Issue #197 – “Throne of Games” – November 14th, 2011

-Flat screen televisions have gotten bigger as their prices have plummeted. At the same time, both the length of a typical sporting event and the cost of tickets have increased. All of this adds up to one thing: it’s become more enjoyable and economical to follow your favorite teams from the comfort of home than it is to schlep to the stadium and stand in the cold. I’m as big a sports fan as the next guy, but I prefer to do my rooting from the sofa. Between HD, DVR, and ESPN, my couch has become a throne of games.

-What impresses me most about football players is not their speed, agility, or toughness, but the fact that they know exactly where the first down marker is without an animated yellow line emblazoned on the field like we see on TV. I just assume any player with a tinted visor in his helmet has a Terminator-style readout that tells him where to run.

-I appreciate baseball’s idiosyncrasies – like every stadium having a different size playing field or that the American League and National League don’t even have the same rules. But the fact that some dude crouching behind the catcher calls balls and strikes is ridiculous. ESPN’s K-Zone shows you exactly where the pitches cross the plate, rendering the umpire obsolete. Sorry, but if you’re a grown man who wears gray slacks and a chest protector to work, it’s probably time to look for a new profession anyway.

-When infrared thermal replays were introduced during the World Series, it reminded me of the last time Fox tried to improve the home sports viewing experience: the infamous “glowing pucks” the NHL used in the 1990s to make the puck easier to follow onscreen. Unfortunately, that experiment failed to take into account the real reason more viewers weren’t tuning in to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs: no one cares about hockey.

-There is a tear in my couch right where I like to sit. It grows a bit whenever I have a spasm of frustration – like when Eli Manning throws an interception or Herm Edwards speaks. I have tried every remedy known to man to repair the tear, to no avail. I finally just bought a roll of black duct tape but can’t bring myself to use it to cover the hole, knowing one day I’ll have to explain to a prospective Craigslist buyer why my sofa looks like it was kidnapped and held for ransom.

-Sometimes, though, there’s no substitute for getting off the couch and into the arena. Such was the case a few years ago when I was in Spain with my family and I insisted we go see a bullfight. This, I said to my reluctant sister, was true sport. Here’s the thing, though: call me naive or just plain stupid, but at the time I had no idea that (spoiler alert) the bull dies at the end. Like, every time. I was horrified. Basically, the matadors are the Harlem Globetrotters and the bulls are the Washington Generals – except the Globetrotters kill the Generals at the end. So, yeah, bullfighting: not a sport.

-Ultimately, being a sports fan means being part of a community linked by television and connected online. When Nelson Cruz misplayed a catchable fly ball that would have clinched the World Series, I wracked my brain for the perfect way to sum up the moment. The Rangers reminded me of TV’s most famous Texas team: the Dillon Panthers of Friday Night Lights. So I combined the Panthers’ rallying cry with the Rangers’ inability to seal the deal in one poignant tweet: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t close.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-I’m starting this week in LA, then crisscrossing the country on tour before ending up in New York. All this travel will highlight a crucial weakness in my wardrobe: after living on the west coast for six years, I no longer own a single item of warm clothing. I have to improvise because I don’t even have a coat. When asked to remove my jacket at airport security, I’m forced to ask, “Does wearing two hoodies over four t-shirts count?”

-My parents are celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary next week. Meaning exactly thirty-seven years ago all of their friends hated them for scheduling their wedding the night before Thanksgiving. (Yes, they really did that.)

-Every year, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, me and my high school buddies gather at Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn for our annual holiday dinner. We also vote on “man of the year” honors. Last year I took home the award on account of my Comedy Central special. A repeat victory is unlikely for me though as this year one of my buddies got engaged, one got married, and another had a kid – or as I like to call it: “pandering to the voters.”

-So Facebook announced a complete overhaul of its user profiles…and then didn’t change anything. I got all mock-outraged for nothing.

-I’m not a huge fan of the new parking meters in LA that allow you to pay with a credit card. It’s nearly impossible to dip your card without your fingers or knuckles touching any part of the meter, which I’m convinced is infested with some type of communicable disease. It’s like the game Operation except if I hit the sides the penalty is SARS.

-I’m confused as to what the “plate warmer” setting on my dishwasher is supposed to do. So that’s, like, if your dishes aren’t dirty but you just want them to feel toasty for your dinner guests? That doesn’t seem like a very environmentally friendly option. I saw “An Inconvenient Truth;” I can deal with cold plates.

-And, finally, if you want the atmosphere of watching a big game with fellow fans but don’t want to stay cooped up at home or try to score tickets, the next best thing is heading to a bar. This year I watched two crucial games at my local sports bar: the Women’s World Cup final and Game Seven of the World Series. Sure sitting on a wobbly stool is way less comfortable than cozying up on the couch, but nothing beats the camaraderie of sharing a national – or international – event with a bunch of soused strangers. I couldn’t believe how many Cardinals and Rangers fans there are in Los Angeles – and how many people actually own women’s soccer jerseys. I came to realize that, at the end of the day, your sports throne can be any place that makes watching a match-up between two teams you don’t even follow bearable. In other words, it’s not important who wins or loses, but where you watch the game. Fuck me.

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Issue #196 – “Boooooominations” – October 31st, 2011

-I was supposed to be in Playa del Carmen this past weekend for my buddy Shermdog’s wedding, but he was forced to postpone it due to Hurricane Rina. These things happen I guess. I mean, Shermdog is from Staten Island and his fiancee is from Oklahoma so having their wedding in Mexico in the middle of hurricane season was an obvious choice. Poor decision-making aside though, this was to be the first time I ever spent Halloween weekend out of the country. In Mexico, they celebrate the Day of the Dead, which is an actual, sacred holiday. Halloween, on the other hand, is just a Hallmark-supported fabrication meant to sell chocolate and force grown men to dress up (you know, like Valentine’s Day). But it is October 31st after all, so I think it’s only right that today I share my boooooominations.

-I could never be a vampire; I can’t stand the sight of blood. Remember when you were little and your parents would crush up your medicine and feed it to you with applesauce or something to make it taste better? That’s the only way I could eat if I was a vampire. A little blood mixed with tomato soup. Maybe even some grilled cheese on the side to dunk.

-From the time you go off to college until the time you buy a house, you can’t have a pumpkin outside your front door on Halloween. For one, you’re probably living in an apartment, and leaving a pumpkin on the carpet in the hallway is weird and gross. More importantly, though, during that stage of life everyone you know is either wasted, immature, or both. So within an hour your jack-o’-lantern is either gonna be smashed, stolen, or both.

-You know you’ve chosen a poor costume when you have to write out and wear a sign that explains what you’re supposed to be.

-I was watching television with a friend and some horror flick came on. She turned away, saying that she hates zombie movies. Meanwhile, she wears a crucifix necklace. Pardon my atheism for a moment, but don’t you believe that Christ rose from the dead? So you can’t stand the sight of zombies but you’re okay wearing one around your neck?

-Ghosts seem very preoccupied with haunting people and houses. I don’t know what the paranormal regulations are, but I would definitely not stick around the place I died or waste time spooking whoever killed me. That’s just petty. It seems like ghosts would spend more time, I don’t know, spying on women in the shower. That would explain all the moaning…

-After me and my sister went trick-or-treating when we were kids, my mom and dad would sort through all of our candy and separate the sealed stuff that we could eat (like Snickers) from the unsealed stuff that they’d throw away (like sucking candies in twisted wrappers). It all seemed very arbitrary and probably wasn’t going to prevent anything bad from happening. So basically my parents were like the Halloween TSA.

-In 1984, I started having terrible nightmares. I was four years old and my parents began waking up in the morning to find me curled up at the foot of their bed, too scared to sleep alone. This went on for months. Finally, I revealed what was terrifying me: “Thriller.” I thought that the Michel Jackson zombie from the music video was under my bed. It took a while, but my parents eventually convinced me to stop hysterically crying, sucking my thumb, and sleeping on their floor. In that way, I guess, Michael Jackson and Jesus are similar: both died under mysterious circumstances, both are celebrated posthumously, and both cause otherwise sane individuals to act completely illogically.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Why don’t the clocks on washing machines keep on counting after the laundry is done? That way you’d know how long someone else’s clean clothes have been sitting there and whether or not to toss them on the floor so that you can use the machine.

-My digital bathroom scale can record the results of five previous times I’ve weighed myself. The benefit is that averaging your weight over several days really provides a more accurate result – a benefit I destroy completely by only hitting Save on “light” days.

-My buddy claimed that the word “spendthrift” means cheap or thrifty. I bet him that it actually means the opposite. We Googled it and of course I was right: “spendthrift” means someone who spends money extravagantly. He refused to pay up. Ironic bastard.

-The bar on the lat pulldown machine in my gym hangs exactly at my eye level. It’s only a matter of time before I walk right into it and give myself a black eye. I’d say the odds of that happening are greater than me ever doing any actual lat pulldowns.

-I can’t believe that some people who drive convertibles park and leave their cars with the top down. I can barely control my urge to jump in and rummage through the glove compartment and honk the horn. Or at the very least, pray for rain.

-Most wedding invitations or Save the Dates I receive these days also include a URL for the couple’s official web site, instructing me to go there for all the “latest information.” Shermdog’s wedding web site was the perfect place to update us on the rapidly changing circumstances regarding the hurricane. And update us he did. The day before I was to fly to Mexico, the rehearsal dinner was listed on his web site as “TBD.” This was a substantially more informative update than its original status: “TBA.”

-Some cabs in LA are now equipped with an app that lets you pay the fare directly from your iPhone. My friend showed me how it worked the other day. I was thrilled – both that technology has come so far and that I’d tricked him into paying my cab fare. Serves him right for stiffing me on that bet on the meaning of spendthrift.

-This is gonna sound unbelievable, but I just saw the movie “The Godfather” for the first time. I know, I know, it’s an all-time classic, but I never got around to watching it until last week. I suppose it’s a testament to my generation that I thought it was too long and not violent enough. I’ll read about Parts II and III on Wikipedia.

-And, finally, I’m not much of a costume person, so when I am in town for Halloween and do need to dress up for a party, I usually just wear my high school soccer jersey. The only accoutrement I’ve added to my original uniform is a black and white “Captain” armband. For the record, I was not captain of that particular team, but at the end of the day, Halloween is all about pretending to be something you’re not. And for me that means a former high school sports hero currently weighing in at five pounds lighter than his scale attests. Fuck me.

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Issue #195 – “TV Guide 2011” – October 17th, 2011

-Summer is my least favorite time of the year. Yes, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. But all the good television is either in repeats or – worse – replaced by some God-awful reality show. I’m a man who likes his TV, so I feel much better now that the new season has arrived. Instead of wasting time with friends or going outside, I can spend my nights at home, alone on the couch, my DVR humming softly in the background. Our time on this earth is woefully short and since you don’t want to waste even a second watching the wrong show, please sit back and enjoy this year’s TV Guide.

-I calculate how confusing a show is by using the SUMMCM scale (Seconds Until My Mom Calls Me). The all-time record holder is, of course, “Lost,” because my mom would call me before an episode was even over. The current leader is “Fringe.” My mom calls about 30 seconds after each show to try to figure out what happened. I’m like, “Come on, Mom, it’s an alternate…alternate universe,” and then pretend I have call waiting.

-I’ve never had a dog, nor do I particularly like dogs. I’ve also never played fantasy football, nor do I particularly like people who play fantasy football. Yet, strangely, two of my favorite shows are “Wilfred” and “The League” on FX. Then again, the dog on “Wilfred” talks and the guys who play fantasy football on “The League” sleep with and marry attractive women – so clearly neither is very realistic.

-I’m trying to get into “Terra Nova,” I really am. It’s got that dude from “Avatar” playing the exact same role as in “Avatar,” which has got to be the most bizarre typecasting ever. But I just wish they wouldn’t try to jam all this trite family drama into the show (hot husband jealous of equally hot wife / rebellious son rebelling against equally rebellious father / cute daughter unsure if equally cute boy who clearly likes her actually likes her). I mean, hello? There’s freakin’ dinosaurs running around! We need more dinosaurs and less heart-to-heart nonsense. No one wants to see “The Flinstones” meets “The Cosby Show.”

-For my money, the best show on TV right now is “Homeland” on Showtime. It’s got all the right ingredients: terrorist plots, Claire Danes dropping F-bombs, and Mandy Patinkin being all Mandy Patinkin-y. My one gripe is that Claire Danes keeps all her top-secret counterterrorism information in her living room next to a giant sliding glass door with no blinds. But my mom hasn’t called me once so everything else probably makes sense.

-I was at the bar on Thursday and my friend asked why I looked so glum. I said I’d rather be watching “Grey’s Anatomy.” She started to tease me and I thought it was because I’m the only guy who watches “Grey’s,” but it turns out she just thought the show had jumped the shark. Well, duh. This is a show where the Chief of Surgery not only seems to be in charge of the entire hospital, but also the entire emergency response for the greater Seattle area. If medical dramas were supposed to be consistent and realistic, the pilot for “House” would have also been the series finale.

-At the end of the day, I think that the TV characters that resonate the most with us are the ones we can relate to best or aspire to be. For me, it’s David Duchovny playing Hank Moody on “Californication.” We’re both bad boy authors from New York who moved to California for fame and fortune. I mean, we’re basically the same person – minus Hank’s out-of-wedlock daughter, criminal record, and Porsche. But, hey, a guy can dream.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-When I was growing up, my next-door neighbor had two little kids that I used to watch. One of the daughters is now in her twenties and lives here in LA. Lesson learned: when I see her out and someone asks how we know each other, don’t say, “I’m her babysitter.”

-This Halloween I’m gonna be out of the country at a destination wedding. I’m still wearing a costume, though. I’ll be dressed as a guy pretending to be happy for his friend.

-Bank of America has announced it’s gonna lay off about 30,000 people. I withdrew money at my local branch the other day and for some reason my ATM receipt was printed on the nicest, thickest paper I’ve ever seen. It was like resume paper. BofA could probably save some money by downgrading their receipts, and should give that resume paper those who need it most: their soon-to-be ex-employees.

-If you have satellite radio in your car, there is no reason to ever listen to terrestrial radio. It shouldn’t even be an option. There could a little button that says regular radio, but it has to be one of those fake buttons you can’t even press that’s just there to make the console look symmetrical.

-In the summer of 1999, I was interning in Canary Wharf (London’s version of Wall Street) and there were similar protests to the current Occupy Wall Street movement. I was walking to work one morning and some dude dressed as a court jester rode by me on a bicycle and yelled, “Take off your suit!” I remember thinking, bro, you think I wanna be wearing this suit? Seriously, wherever you’re going seems like a lot more fun.

-I can’t believe I let Time Warner Cable convince me to sign up for their “turbo” Internet service. The only thing that seems faster is the speed at which the additional fee is being deducted from my bank account.

-I have never heard of any of the songs my friends are listening to on Spotify.

-And, finally, I truly believe that all of society’s ills, including our flailing economy and crumbling education system, can be traced to one source: reality television. It is not only rotting our brains and making us dumber by the day, but it also sends the message that one can achieve success without hard work or talent. Neither Steve Jobs nor The Situation graduated from college, but the former pulled himself up by his bootstraps while the latter just did a lot of pull-ups. This whole notion of rewarding people based on whose life is a bigger train wreck runs counter to everything America stands for. Occupy Wall Street shouldn’t be protesting capitalism, it should be protesting Kardashianism. It’s time we took a stand against “unscripted” TV. If you want reality, watch CNN. If you want entertainment, watch HBO. And if you want drama, just call your mom and try to explain to her the first season of “Game of Thrones.” Fuck me!

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Issue #194 – “Double X” – October 3rd, 2011

-I remember first learning about genetics in junior high science class. It always amazed me that something so simple – being XX instead of XY – was the difference between a woman and a man. As an adult, though, I’ve come to realize just how big an impact that pesky second chromosome has. Men and women are biologically hard-wired to see the world completely differently. Sometimes I’m surprised anyone gets laid at all. It’s like women have evolved into beautiful, complex beings while the only thing separating guys from apes is that we’ve discovered manscaping.

-A lot has been written about how stick-thin models and actresses promote a negative body image among women. But no one seems to mention how this also affects men – who now prefer women with said negative body image. I used to describe my perfect girl as “petite.” Then it changed to “slender.” Now if I can’t see her bottom rib sticking out it’s a deal breaker. Don’t blame me, blame society.

-Being from New York and living in Los Angeles, I have a hard time interpreting women when I’m anywhere but those two places. For instance, I was touring the South once and a girl complimented my shirt. I could have sworn I was gonna get a blow job. Turns out she was just being nice. I tried to explain to her that, where I come from, girls aren’t just nice for no reason. You’re being genuinely sweet, I said, and that’s really confusing.

-People always ask me why I have zero desire to get married anytime soon. I tell them it’s because I suffer from a very serious condition known as R.D.S. – restless dick syndrome. Symptoms include morning wood, mid-afternoon wood, and a general desire to have sex with more than one woman for the rest of my life.

-The only time a single male will encourage one of his buddies to get engaged is if that buddy is dating a woman way above his pay grade. There are times when I’ve looked at my idiot friend, looked at his hot girlfriend, then just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Bro, lock it in.” As his longtime wingman, I actually take it personally if he’s hesitant to propose. I’m like, dude, I’ve been with you to the other side. The grass is definitely not greener.

-I told my parents the other day that I was annoyed they hadn’t visited me in LA in years – unless my dad had business in the area and had to fly here anyway. It struck me that, way back in Ruminations #61, I had argued the exact opposite point with my girlfriend. I was living in Long Island at the time, and I tended to hang out with her only when I had already commuted into Manhattan for something else, like a meeting. That drove her nuts. Six years later, I finally understand. I know this is too little, too late, but I just want to say to her now: I’m sorry. Thank God she married some other dude.

-Whenever I meet a writer or comedian who’s my age but ten times as successful as I am, I’m always really jealous. But if I find out he’s married and/or has kids, I’m even more pissed off. It’s such a waste. Those powers should be used for evil, not good.

-Despite my XY chromosomes urging me to bang as many XX chromosomes as possible, somehow the one thing I’ve never done is be unfaithful to a girlfriend. It’s just not my style. However, I believe that hooking up is the only treatment for restless dick syndrome and that if I do ever get married I’m gonna have to suppress my R.D.S. deep, deep down. Hopefully by then I’ll have gotten it out of my system enough not to stray. That’s why I don’t call what I do now sleeping around. I prefer “pre-cheating.”

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-My buddy has been wearing an ironic/hipster calculator watch for about two months now. I refuse to acknowledge it. I know that he knows that I’ve noticed it, but I still won’t say anything. He should suffer in silence.

-I recently switched dry cleaners because my old dry cleaner was having nonconsensual sex with my wallet. While the new dry cleaner is cheaper, they return my shirts with the hangers inserted the opposite way than I’m used to. Apparently I had been paying a premium just to hang my shirts with the buttons facing left. I don’t know whether to indulge my OCD or ATM.

-The downside to being an Ivy League grad is that we’re not exactly college football powerhouses. I wish the ACC or the PAC-whatever would gobble up my school. They could use us as a practice squad or waterboys or something.

-Public transportation is virtually nonexistent in the LA metro area, but one of my buddies just moved so far to the fringe of Hollywood that he actually takes the subway into town. I didn’t even know there was a subway system. I think the next stop is in New York.

-I recently hooked up with this girl who had one nipple pierced. I told her she should get the other one done, too. She said she thought the asymmetry was sexier. I said well then you shouldn’t have asked the guy who hangs all of his shirts facing the exact same way.

-And, finally, I’d like to suggest some language that we can all use to help explain the fact that most married people aren’t actually happy. They’re what I called “married happy” or “mappy.” Let me explain: Happy is doing whatever you want, whenever you want it, and occasionally having a companion to share it with – basically being single and dating. Mappy is doing kinda what you want, sometimes when you want it, and always having a companion to share it with – but you have to choose that companion after the first third of your life and then spend the next two thirds of your life with them – and if at any point you decide, eh, you know what, I think I’m having second thoughts, you’re scorned by society and have to pay a person who hates you 50% of everything you earn until you die. Now would you rather be happy or mappy? Personally, I prefer to be happy. One of the problems with marriage is that there is very little margin for error. Guys just love to chase XX chromosomes – it’s literally part of our DNA. If a man gets married, all it takes is one little error in judgment, one mistake, one girl with a nipple piercing, and next thing he knows he’s divorced and kicking game to the bartender in the lobby of the Comfort Inn near the airport because that’s where he lives now. It’s not worth the hassle. I had dinner with a buddy and his wife the other night and, after a few cocktails, I laid out my entire belief system. And when I was done I said to my friend, so what do you think – be honest – are you happy or mappy? He looked at me, he looked at his wife, he looked back at me, and I’ll never forget what he said: “Pass.” Fuck me.

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Issue #193 – “Proof of Life” – September 19th, 2011

-I recently had to explain to a buddy that the “proof” listed on a bottle of liquor is just double the percentage of alcohol. So if vodka is 80 proof, that means it’s 40% alcohol. He reacted like I’d just unlocked one of life’s great mysteries (though, to be fair, he was pretty wasted at the time). It is amazing to me, though, that for a generation that gets as fucked up as ours does, we’re still so clueless about drinking culture and etiquette. I know most of you only have a handful of brain cells remaining, so let’s make this count.

-The bottle opener on the bottom of your flip-flop is a conversation piece only. If I need to crack open a beer, under no circumstances is it appropriate for you to hand me your shoe. I mean, you just stepped on a used condom in the parking lot.

-Chasing a disgusting shot with a slightly less disgusting shot does not work. If the SoCo lime you just ripped isn’t sitting well, don’t follow it with tequila. Be smart and have a beer or sneak to the bathroom and pull the trigger.

-If you’ve confided in me, and then weeks or even months later we’re in a bar and run into the person the secret is about, don’t remind me not to say anything. I had already forgotten the whole story. But now I’m drunk and it’s the only thing I can think about.

-One of my buddies broke with tradition by having beer and wine but not hard liquor at his rehearsal dinner. He explained to the guests that some of his high school friends have a tendency to hit the bottle too hard and he didn’t want the party to get of hand. To a man, everyone turned and looked at me. I tried to shrug sheepishly but didn’t want to spill the chardonnay I was double-fisting.

-On a similar note, if you invite me to your wedding but I’m not a groomsman, my obligations end at the bachelor party. I will not send you pictures for the slideshow or help hoist you up on a chair. A groom once asked me at his reception, “Karo, why aren’t you dancing?” I handed him my gift, said “My work here is done,” and hit the bar hard.

-I was recently introduced to the “Flabongo” at a barbecue. It’s a beer bong in the shape of a flamingo. It’s a classic lose/lose/lose situation. If you’re offered a Flabongo and pass, you’re a pussy. If you accept the Flabongo and can’t chug it, you’re a pussy. And if you accept and succeed, well, you just fucking funneled a beer out of a pink lawn ornament.

-A friend of mine works for this clothing company Hugh Simms. He sent me a free tie. I don’t know why he sent me a tie, because he knows I have a “weddings and funerals” policy – I will only wear a tie at a wedding or a funeral. So I’m always unhappy wearing a tie. Anyway, the other night I’m going to a party and I decide to class it up by throwing on the tie. Whatever. Halfway through the night, I’m absent-mindedly scratching my beer gut when I feel something strange. I look at the smaller end of the tie – and there’s a fucking miniature bottle opener attached inside! It’s the convenience of a portable opener without the tuberculosis on the bottom of a flip-flop! I can’t wait for my next funeral…

-Of course, the most universal principle of drinking is that if you’re invited to a party, you should bring some beer. I had some people over my place in May and, for whatever reason, everyone drank way less than they brought. I was left with literally an entire fridge full of booze. I mean, I could barely shut the door. I’ve spent the entire summer slowly drinking my way through it. Entire shelves have been liberated but there are still pockets of cans holed up in the fresh produce drawer. It’s like the Libya of light beer.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Halloween comes way too early these days. I can’t believe October 31st is on a Monday this year. In September.

-The gridlock in LA is so bad that honking has lost all meaning. I have no idea where the honks are coming from or who they’re even directed at. Are you honking at the pedestrian in the crosswalk or at me for stopping for her? Because at this point I’ll run her over just to be safe.

-It cannot be a coincidence that two of my best friends – one in New York and one in San Francisco – have cats. They know I’m allergic to cats and that owning a cat means I can never crash at their places ever again. I mean, jeez, there’s gotta be easier ways to keep me from the hard liquor.

-At another barbecue this summer, someone offered me a jalapeno stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. I love all of those things – especially combined – but a whole jalapeno pepper is not a party snack. That’s something to be enjoyed at home, alone, with no chance of human contact for a few hours.

-Being told upon checkout that a store doesn’t take American Express is doubly annoying because my only non-Amex card is a debit card. So instead of forgetting about the charge until it shows up on my statement in two months, it’s being sucked instantly from my account. It’s like paying cash whereas otherwise it was basically free.

-If you have a side view mirror protruding from your bike helmet, please use said mirror to locate your fucking balls.

-And, finally, a few months ago I was at this exclusive club in West Hollywood when I noticed a second doorman inside, guarding the entrance to the kitchen. He was only letting people who had special bracelets – and were therefore somehow better than me – go past. I had no idea what was back there and became obsessed with finding out. But no matter how much I tried, I could not finagle a stupid bracelet. One night, I came home from the club drunk, frustrated, and alone, and did the one thing that everyone always says they’re gonna do, but never actually does: I bought every single color bracelet they make on eBay. Seriously. The next weekend, I headed to the club with all the bracelets in my pocket, figured out which color they were using that night, slipped it on, and marched right past the second bouncer. I strolled through the kitchen…and into an entire hidden VIP club on the other side. Stunned, I spotted this super hot chick that I sorta kinda know and approached her. “Hey!” I said. “This is crazy, I didn’t even know there was a back.” “Really?” she replied, flipping her hair. “I didn’t even know there was a front.” Fuck me!

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Issue #192 – “Socially Awkward” – August 8th, 2011

-There’s a simple app on my BlackBerry that combines the statuses of all my Facebook friends and everyone I follow on Twitter into one chronological list. I often scroll through it during my first shit of the day and it never fails to drive me crazy. If I see one more husband tweet his wife or one more girl post a picture of her feet in the sand with the caption “Love my life!” I swear I’m gonna go postal. Social networks have made everyone an exhibitionist – and not the good kind either; I’m talking the fat, daytime-shift stripper kind. It’s time to face facts: we’ve all become socially awkward.

-I had a day off before my show in San Francisco this year so I decided to visit some friends who work in Silicon Valley. My first stop was the Facebook offices, where I counted more bars than people over thirty (four to three). My buddy showed me his workstation and I was amazed to see that the keys on his keyboard were completely blank. The dude writes code so fast he doesn’t even need to see the numbers or letters. I just started shouting out random symbols – “Ampersand!” – to see if he could pick the right key. I’m pretty sure after I left he went straight to one of the bars.

-I’ve been going to my primary care physician for years. She reads my books and comes to my shows, but refuses to accept my friend request. I’m sorry but you can’t tell someone you’re concerned about privacy while checking him for testicular cancer.

-The next stop on my Silicon Valley tour was Twitter. Their offices are surprisingly subdued. There were no Ashton Kutcher sightings or even a giant clock counting the number of tweets, just a barista making pour-over brewed coffee and lots of hipsters being hipstery and skinny. If the Internet was a bar, Twitter would be drinking PBR and listening to bands I’ve never heard of.

-Last holiday season, I received an email that read: “Santa Claus is now following you on Twitter.” I’m telling you it made me depressed. Like existentially, Holden Caulfield-style depressed. Is this really what the world has come to? Life was so much simpler when I was a kid, back before anyone had to worry about getting a retweet from St. Nick.

-The last stop on my tour was the granddaddy of them all: Apple. Apple doesn’t have an office, it has a “campus.” And it’s fucking packed. I ate lunch in the corporate cafeteria and thought I might get trampled against the paninis. It’s also a total sausagefest. If the Internet was a bar, Apple would be the huge table of dudes just throwing money around.

-The most awkward aspect of social networking is when people who aren’t public figures are forced to describe themselves in a little Twitter bio. I cringe when I read something like: “I’m 24. I work in marketing. I like cheese and the Dallas Mavericks.” Really? That’s how you sum yourself up? Cheese made the list!?

-Of course, Facebook’s greatest contribution to society has been rendering the blind date obsolete. No more set-ups with a 9 face and 5 body. The only dilemma that remains is when to add the person you’re dating. If the guy initiates the friend request, he can come off too needy. If the girl quickly accepts, she can come off too slutty. And so the dance continues: millions of people trying to get laid on web sites built by people who never do.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Last week marked the sixth anniversary of my move from New York to LA. I guess time flies when the bars close at 1:30.

-I can’t decide whether people who CC themselves are neurotic or just don’t know how to use email. They do realize there’s a sent mail folder, right? And sure, if it’s a really important email I’ll occasionally CC myself for posterity’s sake. But every single time until your inbox is just full of emails from yourself? That’s OCD meets schizophrenia.

-For the record, if the Internet was a bar, Google+ would not be allowed in because it’s underage and kind of annoying.

-I grabbed my friend’s laptop to type something up real quick and discovered she doesn’t have Word. When I asked her about it, she said she just never installed it because she doesn’t really need it. Incredible. Imagine a life where you don’t even need Word. That’s living the fucking dream.

-The only time I enjoy talking about the weather is when someone other than me is experiencing a heat wave: “Wow, it’s 100 degrees with 100% humidity over there? Well, it’s beautiful here…so tell me more about how much you’re sweating.”

-After five years, I finally cleaned the filter in my air conditioner. It was a pretty grim sight. I assume that crud was caught from outside air coming in, and not from the air in my apartment flowing out, because none of my Glade PlugIns come in “amorphous gray gunk” scent.

-The NFL lockout and the debt ceiling negotiations were remarkably similar: both narrowly averted crises, both revolved around abstruse financial regulations, and both managed to create a new pastime for millions of people to watch: rich people arguing.

-True friends can always interpret each other’s text messages. I got one this weekend that just read: “shit shoe.” Translation: “I am wasted and it is a shit show.” Response: “I’ll be there in 5.”

-And, finally, last week’s column about religion (or lack thereof) drew an enormous response. About half of the emails I received were from fellow atheists who applauded my stance. Many others were from believers who wrote to say – quite eloquently I might add – that though they disagree with my viewpoints, they respect my right to express an opinion. And the remaining handful of responses was from – how do I put this politely? – absolute fucking lunatics. They either tried to convince me that there is a God – which I love because every argument just makes religion seem even more balls-out crazy – or warn me that my heathenism would be punished by God’s wrath (apparently he – sorry, “He” – has got plenty of time on his hands). I posted the best messages on Facebook and the resulting discussion led me to the conclusion that, religious or not, people just want the freedom to believe (or disbelieve) in peace. I could not agree more. But please understand that nothing will convince me that God exists. Well, that is unless he starts following me on Twitter. Fuck me.

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Issue #191 – “Bye God” – July 25th, 2011

-Recently someone told me that they had gone back and reread every single issue of this column – dating back nearly fourteen years – and realized I had not made one single mention of my religious beliefs. I was more shocked that someone had so much free time than about the revelation that I’ve never ruminated on religion. The explanation for that is simple: I have no religious beliefs. I’ve never mentioned it before because, quite frankly, it’s not something I think about much. That’s actually part of the beauty of being an atheist – you get to spend a lot less time judging, praying, and picturing heaven, and a lot more time drinking, fucking, and raising hell.

-In 2003, I was taking acting classes in New York. Every chick was gorgeous and smoked obsessively. I’ll never forget the day one of the girls told me she had finally given up cigarettes. When I asked her how she did it, she absent-mindedly fingered the cross dangling between her massive breasts and said matter-of-factly, “By the grace of God.” And that in a nutshell sums up what I don’t get about religious people. They don’t even give themselves credit when they deserve it! God didn’t help her kick Camel Lights, she did it herself. Just like God didn’t give her those tits, a plastic surgeon did.

-I was a nonbeliever even at a young age. I remember when I first heard the story of Passover and the ten plagues. I was like, this makes no fucking sense. Why is God murdering cattle and baby Egyptians? Why doesn’t God just kill Pharaoh and eliminate the middleman? To this day I still have not been given a reasonable explanation, which is just as well because I no longer give a shit.

-As an adult, I’ve discovered that being an atheist often means just having to grin and bear it. In April, Time magazine – one our nation’s most respected publications – ran a blaring cover story that read: “What if There’s No Hell?” I mean, seriously? The article could have been one sentence long: “There’s not and we’ll be totally fine.”

-I will never understand people who refuse to date outside their faith. You know what’s more important than your significant other sharing your beliefs? That he or she has the same cell phone. You ever date someone who had an iPhone when you had a BlackBerry or vice versa? The apps are different, you can’t BBM, it’s a nightmare. It’s 2011, people. Stop worrying if your religions are compatible and start worrying if your software is.

-My buddy Tony is a devout, church-going Catholic and when I told him I don’t believe in God he thumbed his nose at me and said, “I bet there’s a lot of atheists in Los Angeles; it’s such a hedonistic culture.” Really? I mean you gotta hand it to believers: one moment they’re just dismissing an entire city out of hand and the next moment they’re eating God’s body and drinking his blood.

-I bet that if you cornered every educated, urban thirtysomething, most would concede that there is not in fact a man (or woman) in the sky who created the planet and listens to billions of people’s prayers at once. Some will say that they’re not religious, they’re “spiritual.” To which I say: that’s fucking worse. At least take a stand one way or the other. And please don’t add, “I just think there has to be something more.” Why? Why does there have to be something more? Why can’t you just be happy with what you have? Our time here is precious, so smoke if you got ‘em. But don’t blame God if you don’t.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Watching other people run for president is exhausting.

-I just got the blood work back from my annual physical exam. Everything is fine except for my triglyceride levels, which are a little high. The doctor recommends I cut down on alcohol and sugar, and start taking fish oil supplements. So what I’m gonna do is absolutely nothing and hope for the best.

-The other day my buddy said to me, “Hit me up on plus” – referring to Google+. I was then forced to join in order to post to his profile that he should never ever use that fucking phrase again.

-I don’t get why people love the boarding process on Southwest. I much prefer to know where I’m sitting ahead of time instead of being forced to march down the aisle past a bunch of shabbily dressed strangers who refuse to make eye contact. It’s like a communal flying walk of shame.

-The concept of “Summer Fridays” still boggles my mind. So you just get to take off half of every Friday from work? How is that good for business? Is there magically less work to do in July? People who work in offices are strange. And that’s coming from a man who hasn’t worn pants during the day in nine years.

-Since I was born in 1979 I feel like I often get the shaft when generations are determined. I don’t like being included in Generation X. Those people are creepy and old. I wanna be in Generation Y with all the cool kids.

-Nothing is more emasculating – for either party – than a dude asking another dude what one of his tattoos means.

-My creaky knee has started to flare up on the treadmill again. On one hand, I feel like I should stop running so I don’t injure it further. On the other hand, I’m worried that if I don’t work out I’ll turn into one giant triglyceride.

-And, finally, two of my most popular columns ever are The Legend of Zelda and The Legend Continues, in which I interviewed my Grandma Zelda about dating, prohibition, and other issues of her day. I’m saddened to report that Zelda passed away peacefully in April, a few months shy of her 100th birthday. While her death was not entirely unexpected, she was the matriarch of my family and my last living grandparent, and she will be deeply missed. Since I interviewed her earlier in the year, I was fortunate to have had one final conversation with her while she was still alert. She always enjoyed when I wrote about her and she was buried with a copy of the column. Of course, as an atheist, I don’t believe in the afterlife or that Grandma is somehow watching down upon us (if she was she’d probably ask for some better reading material). But that doesn’t mean it’s not important to honor her memory. Zelda led a remarkably long life and had an incredible sense of humor. If I’ve inherited even one of those two things, I’d consider myself lucky. Fuck me.

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Issue #190 – “The Have-Knots: Part V” – July 11th, 2011

-It was way back in 2006 when I first discussed the conflict between those people who are married, engaged, or obsessed with one day tying the knot (“the Haves”), and those like me who consider weddings to be pagan rituals perpetuated by women and Williams-Sonoma (“the Have-Knots”). I’ve now written five columns on the topic and it continues to fascinate me. As yet another wedding season arrives, I can’t help but wonder what drives my otherwise rational, fun-loving friends to succumb to the pitfalls of marriage.

-My buddy Eric got married two weeks ago and decided not to have any groomsmen. Fair enough, I thought; to each his own. Then he asked a few of the guys to speak at his rehearsal dinner. Not a problem, we were happy to oblige. Then he asked us to show up ninety minutes before the ceremony to take pictures with the bride. Come on, dude! Why don’t we just call a groomsman a groomsman, give me a boutonniere, and end this fucking charade.

-Eric’s wedding RSVP card had only two choices to check: “Cannot attend” or “Delighted to attend.” Yeah, I probably could have used a third option.

-A few months ago, Time magazine ran an incredible profile about the artist Thornton Dial. He was born in a cornfield, raised by his great-grandmother, dropped out of school in third grade, and can’t read or write. As a hobby, he had been creating makeshift sculptures from scavenged debris, until the metalworking plant he worked for shut down. As a way to get all of his junk out of their house, his wife showed the sculptures to a local artist, and Dial’s career took off from there. And the whole time I was thinking…wait a minute, how the fuck did this dude get a wife?

-I went out to eat with a few friends recently and I asked one of the women – who I knew the least well – why her husband hadn’t joined us for dinner. She joked that she’d lost him in a card game. I didn’t quite get it, and the night continued. The next day my other friend told me that the woman’s marriage had recently gone kaput. I had absolutely no idea. Though I have to hand it to her: “I lost my husband in a card game” is a fantastic euphemism for divorce.

-As the oldest child, the pressure is on for me to get married. When I was in my twenties, if my parents called and heard a girl in the background, they would sigh, scoff at my womanizing, and ask me to call them back later. Now if they call and hear a girl in the background, they immediately light up and picture their future daughter-in-law. I should stop picking up the phone.

-Though I’m proud to be a Have-Knot and frequently mock the Haves whose weddings I am “delighted” to attend, I’m actually not entirely opposed to getting married one day myself. You see, though the concept of marriage does seem a bit antiquated to me, it’s actually the hullabaloo surrounding marriage I find most troubling. Like the fact that it’s a “goal” for some people, like a promotion at work. And the trend of wedding weekends morphing into a yearlong series of events. Or the idea of forcing your friends to schlep halfway around the world just to witness you tie the knot. It’s all a bit much. Especially for an institution in which 50% of the participants end up getting lost in a card game.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Any online shopping site’s full return policy is completely moot because the odds of me repacking the box I just tore open with gusto and hauling it back to UPS are zero.

-When you ask for someone’s business card and they say, “Oh, I just ran out,” or “I’m waiting to get new ones,” that means they never had any business cards to begin with.

-One of my buddies is infamous for his inordinate patience with women. He once spent nine years – nine years! – pursuing a girl before he finally got her to go out with him. It was like the Shawshank Redemption of dating.

-Having an air mattress for visiting buddies to crash on is completely pointless. By the time we get home from the bar hammered to the gills there’s no way I’m gonna fire up the pump and blow that thing up. I’d return it but I bought it online.

-I was recently privy to one of the greatest Freudian slips of all time. I was watching TV at a girl’s place but the remote wasn’t working. I open it up and there’s no batteries inside. The girl says, “Oh, I must have taken the vibra—I mean the batteries out.”

-I was sitting around with a group of friends and the question of how often you should change your sheets came up. One girl – who is single – said she does it once or twice a week. One guy – who is married – said he does it every three or four months. There you have it, folks: concrete proof that married people are fucking disgusting.

-I was walking with a friend the other day and when we got to a busy street corner, he actually pressed the pedestrian crossing button with his finger. I shuddered. You gotta use your elbow or your sleeve for that! Can you imagine where that button has been? If I was a bum I’d be defiling those buttons like it was my job. Which it sorta would be.

-I was recently prevented from entering a bar because the bouncer deemed me too drunk. As a man who has been very drunk in his life, I can tell you that while I was in fact drunk, I was definitely not too drunk to enter the bar. The only problem is, the more you try to explain that to a bouncer, the drunker you appear. Basically, I was outwitted by a bouncer. So maybe I was too drunk.

-And, finally, one juvenile yet treasured tradition my high school buddies and I maintain is that when one of us gets married, during the reception we play “All the Small Things” by Blink-182 and mosh in the middle of the dance floor, sending the rest of the guests scurrying. We must be getting old, though, because at Eric’s wedding I had to stop mid-mosh, put my hands on my knees, and struggle mightily to catch my breath. “Dude,” one of my friends said to me later, “we thought you were gonna puke.” “Nah, man,” I replied, “I thought I was gonna die.” Fuck me.

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