Hello! And welcome to the afterlife! Yes, I’m sorry you had to find out like this, but you are dead. As you are standing here in line, awaiting your final judgement, we hope you’ll take the time to fill out this form. Even we here who run the universe are curious to know how well we’re doing, and we find that this is one of the most effective ways. Don’t worry, it’s completely anonymous. (We know we tell you that He is always watching, but just this once, She won’t look.) If you aren’t carrying a pen or pencil, just ask the angel who gave you this, and he or she will gladly give you one. Have fun and enjoy eternity!
Continue reading The Life Evaluation Form
Don’t know why I gotta go
But if I don’t try, I’ll never know
- From the song Tryin’ To Get to New Orleans by the Tractors
There’s something different about this column. There’s something different in the way that it’s being prepared. The difference comes in the tool I am using. Gone is my trusty old computer, which has served me well over the past few years. Her successor is a Compaq Presario; a laptop, chosen for its portability. I’m no longer doing this with Corel WordPerfect 7, with the final HTML adjustments done in WordPad. This is coming to you on Microsoft Word XP, with a helpful assist from Microsoft FrontPage XP. It’s even such a sunny day that I’ve left the security and comfort of my basement to write this on the front porch. What then, has happened in my life for such drastic changes to be brought about? Why am I making such extravagant purchases such as newer and more portable, computers? It’s all because of something I’ve alluded to in recent columns, but have yet to take the time to acknowledge formally. I’m going to Japan.
Continue reading Scarecrow Goes to Japan
Back in university, I took German as my second language. And every Friday, our professor would ask us (in German, of course) what we’d be doing for the weekend, and we’d have to respond (in German, of course). 9 times out of 10, I’d say I’d be watching TV. One Friday, when this had transpired, my professor threw me a curve ball. She asked me what my favorite TV show was. I was floored. I was stunned. Here I was, a person who always spent a good chunk of the day in front of the TV, but I never stopped to ask myself what my favorite show was. So, that weekend, I took a pen in hand, and just began writing. I did a little piece of self-exploration. After 10 pages (handwritten, by the way) I came to the conclusion that my favorite TV show of all time is The Flash, the short-lived show about the DC comics character that was on for the TV season of 1990/1991. And in the grand tradition of deja vu, I find myself similarly floored.
Continue reading My Favorite Movies Ever!
OK, here’s the deal. I’m taking off for the long weekend. I’m heading out to Jasper for one last big mountain expedition before heading out to Japan. I’ve been putting off writing a column all week, and now that I’m about to go, I’ve got to throw something together. I must maintain my streak! In the 2.9 years I’ve been doing this, there’s only one week where I didn’t have a column. I must fill this void! I must throw something, anything, together so I can call it a column! I must not let a week go empty again!
(We’ll ignore the fact that this is going to wind up being posted a day late, anyway, because I won’t be back until Monday night.)
Continue reading Filler
I had pizza for supper last night. Let me explain to you how ordering a pizza in Entwistle works. See, no one in Entwistle delivers pizza, so if you feel like one, you call up one of our three local truck stops and place your order. You wait about half-an-hour, then you go to the truck stop and pick it up. It’s a very quaint system. Attempts in the past at bringing home delivery to this town failed, mainly because the streets in Entwistle aren’t numbered, so the pizza delivery person would usually get lost due to the customer’s poor directions. On this particular evening, I chose the Journeyman Inn to get a pizza from. It’s always been the Journeyman Inn, except for a year or two in the mid-1980’s when it was Norm’s Inn. The pizza wasn’t quite ready when I arrived, so as I waited by the counter, my gaze wandered around the restaurant.
Continue reading My Brilliant Idea for a Video Game
I’ve always had a fascination with all things technological. Give me a screwdriver, and I’ll have a fun afternoon tearing stuff apart. At my old job at Extra Foods, one of the turntables on one of the tills would always let out a dreadful squeak. While all the other cashiers would complain to the store manager to get it fixed, I took a screwdriver in hand with the idea that I could fix it myself. A few removed panels and half-a-can of WD-40 later, I stopped the squeak. With such a mentality, I’m sure you would understand that it spreads to computers. Long have I desired to just buy the raw parts and build my own Teletran-1. Darmok, my go-to guy for computers, has continuously offered to walk me through the process. So, when my parents bought a new computer, my eyes lit up. I might finally get my chance.
Continue reading Master of the Mechanical Things
So, here it is. Now that I’ve got this new posting to Japan coming up, I turned in my letter of resignation to Extra Foods. My final day was to be May 4. But, lo and behold, as I was walking out the door a week ago, the store manager pulled me aside to have a word with me. See, I was a supervisor. I had access to computers and money and the like. Store manager told me that, since I had just two weeks left, the company was buying out my last two weeks. Apparently, this is store policy, so the person leaving doesn’t try anything vindictive. Two weeks ahead of schedule, I was thrust into the unemployment line. I’m still getting paid for these two weeks. I’ve still got my medical benefits. On paper, my final day is still May 4. But, in reality, EXTRA FOODS IS BEHIND ME!
Continue reading Take This Job and Shove It: Scarecrow Quits Extra Foods
I don’t drink. I don’t play cards. Yet, somehow, I’ve amassed a collection of five beer glasses and three decks of cards. It’s a great testament to the human ability to get stuff. I mean, as I’ve said, I don’t drink, and I don’t play cards. So why do I need these things? Sure, the beer glasses double as great knickknacks. Someday I’m going to have a kitchen and I’ll need some kind of fancy glassware to display on the top shelves. The playing cards have even less purpose. I’ve been known to build a card house or two, and that’s about it. OK, and when I’m home alone, I’ll take the cards, put on a trenchcoat, and run around pretending I’m Gambit from X-Men. They are nothing but potential brick-a-brack and objects of role-play. Why do I hang on to these things, then?
Continue reading Of Playing Cards & Beer Glasses
It must be at least 10 years since I’ve been to the dentist. What can I say? My teeth don’t hurt, I brush regularly, and I just had a happy little denial going. But then, I got this job to go to Japan. My new company stresses that they don’t have anything in the way of a dental plan, so they recommend that you get your teeth checked out before you go. Now in my final weeks at Extra Foods, I figured that now was as good a time as any to go, mainly because my medical benefits cover the cost of a check-up and cleaning. An enquiry to my childhood dentist about rates quickly turned into setting an appointment, and before I knew it, I was off to the dentist.
Continue reading The Chair
Several of my friends seem to be into body piercing. Chuck has a simple tongue stud. One of my teenage coworkers relished in showing off a belly button stud a few months ago. Whither has a nose piercing, and a few journal entries ago at her website, she mused about getting her eyebrows done. But the queen of all of this has to be L, who has her lip, tongue and nipples pierced. Whenever one of the teenagers at work starts talking about getting some kind of piercing, I just tell them about L, and that seems to make them think twice. On a few occasions, when I really wanted to get the teenagers off of this topic and back on to their work, I’ve given these friends some extra nose rings, belly button studs and, on one occasion, a little something (ahem) down there. But with all this body jewelry surrounding me, I’ve never been tempted to get something for myself. While it looks good on my friends, I’ve never felt that it’s for me. But a tatoo, however, is something I think I could get.
Continue reading Ink