This is the kind of story that practically writes itself. Considering my lack of energy and creativity, I’m all over this gem like stink on poop.
A lawsuit filed against the largest pork roll maker in the state of New Jersey alleges that an employee was fired for farting too much.
For those of you who’d rather not click on the link, here’s the gist of it: A woman named Louann Clem has filed suit against the Case Pork Roll Company of Trenton, NJ. She alleges that her husband Rich Clem was fired for farting too often in the office. Mr. Clem reportedly had some serious flatulence issues along with explosive diarrhea since having gastric bypass surgery.
Mr. Clem was given the option of working from home. The article, which was likely eliminated from Pulitzer Prize eligibility based on content alone, stated that Mrs. Clem worked there too. The author…
This time of the year for me is chock full of presentations. People stand before me holding sheaves of notes in one sweaty palm and microphones in the other. The topics are either required by state law, already detailed ad nauseam in the employee handbook, or a favorite subject of someone in higher places.
As such, this provides me with more than ample opportunity to critique individual presentation styles and keep score with my patented “OP-5” (One Point Perspective’s Presentation Pet Peeves).
In no special order, here are a few of my presentation pet peeves:
Power Point Border Patrol – In this scenario, the presenter has no idea how to give us the Power Point without the working border being visible to the audience. People with good vision can actually read ahead in the slides on the left margin, assuming they are literate and awake.
An Old Fashioned Read-Along – This one really drives me insane. The presenter puts together a presentation, and then reads it from the screen – verbatim – to the captive audience. I have yet to sit in an audience where there were known illiterates, but if there were, these knuckleheads are only enabling them.
The Tongue Twister/Ear Acher – This involves rubbing salt in the wounds of the pre-annoyed victims of The Old Fashioned Read Along, wherein the presenter reads the presentation and butchers words with which they obviously have no familiarity. This faux pas tends to take away credibility from the presenter (For the record, it’s pronounced “fox pass”). Mispronouncing words in your own presentation is the epitome of bad form (That one is epp-ee-tohm)
Such A Freaking Joke – There is some sort of public speaking wives’ tale which says that breaking the ice with a joke will put everyone at ease. The audience is generally already pretty relaxed, sitting in chairs and waiting for the dog and pony show. Obviously, the joke is only to put the presenter at ease, but it seldom works. Telling jokes takes a little bit of talent and timing which many presenters simply do not possess. In addition, there is the matter of the joke being worth telling in the first place. Tapping the microphone and asking “Is this thing on?” will often result in ear splitting audio feedback.
If You Have To Ask…– Many presenters like to offer the audience the chance to ask questions, and this should be applauded. One can only hope the presenter knows enough about the subject to actually be able to answer. The pet peeve in this case is when the presenter forgets that he or she is the only one with a microphone and very few people in their audience can actually hear the question. This renders the answer essentially meaningless. This is easily remedied by having the person with the microphone repeat the question before answering it. In the 16 presentations I attended this September, not one presenter employed this simple strategy.
There IS Such A Thing As A Stupid Question – Every so often, the audience member asking the question will be sitting close enough for others to actually hear it. Unfortunately, some people have such enormous egos that they believe that there could possibly be one or more audience members who actually share the exact same problem as them. As an example, an assembled crowd of four hundred employees are listening to a presentation about their new healthcare plan. A person raises his hand and asks whether his preferred brand of toe nail fungus treatment will be covered under the prescription coverage. Those in the audience who could actually hear the question can only stare in nauseated disbelief.
Smart Phone/Dumb Owner – This issue is far from being restricted to presentations, but it needs to be included. Assemblies of employees are frequently interrupted by cell phones, usually those of audience members, sometimes the actual presenter. When buying a new cell phone, customers should not leave the store without first finding out how to silence the device. If you refuse to learn how to silence your smart phone, it should be mandatory that your ring tone be changed to “Hey! It’s for me, [insert name here]! I’m too ignorant to silence my phone.” This would be particularly embarrassing to anyone unfortunate enough to be named Insert Name Here.
It’s A Microphone, Not A Magic Scepter – This is pretty simple. Microphones work to amplify the voice of the speaker. The mike doesn’t work if the speaker’s gestures include pulling the device away from their faces. I’m sure someone in the tech department will read this and buy a few really expensive head-piece microphones to keep the big wheels from embarrassing themselves. You sir, are no Phil Donahue.
A Little Bit of This ‘An ‘At – We’ve all got our little speech idiosyncrasies. For example, it’s accepted that teenagers of a certain era put the word “like” in between every couple of words. Teenagers get a free pass, because correcting them will result in eye rolling and possible sulking. If as an adult, you feel the need to refer to additional thoughts as “this an at” or to use the non-word “irregardless” throughout a presentation, you will incur my wrath. I will keep score and draw non-flattering doodles of you in the margins of my hand-out.
In fairness, I should disclose that I myself gave several presentations to co-workers in early September on the basics of using a patient lift. There was no Power Point and I didn’t use a microphone, so I able to avoid many of the fox passes I listed above. I put my cell phone on silent and stayed away from jokes, deciding that the sight of me hoisted up in the sling would be comic relief enough. Irregardless, I’m sure some of the audience members did not enjoy my presentation.
It’s my turn over at The Nudge Wink Report. I’ve decided to take readers behind the scenes for a raw look at the creative process. This roller coaster ride of personal expression may be too much for the faint of heart. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin the magic of not knowing where blogs come from.
GIF of Jaime Foxx from Tumblr dot com. There is no indication that the man in the story looked this lovely.
The average person might not immediately see the subtle nuances of irony in this story. Luckily for these average people, I saw that same article. In an unprecedented post, I’m about to give the reader a look behind the scenes and expose the…
You may heard about Malala Yousafzai. She’s the young Pakistani woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to fight for the rights of women to receive educations in a part of the world where females are often treated like 3rd class citizens .
Seeing that she’s such a strong advocate for education, it seems logical that Ms. Yousafzai would want to pursue a college degree. Malala stated that she’d condider attending Oxford or perhaps Stanford. It was reported that if she was interested the latter, she would have to take the SAT’s. After all, the prestigious California school get lots of applicants and she needs to prove she can do well enough on standardized tests to hang with the big boys.
I can just picture the scene*…
Setting: The lights rise to reveal a small, windowless room. A red letter “S” with a skinny tree in front of it adorns the wall. A woman and two men sit at a table surrounded by stacks of paper. Each has a laptop or tablet glowing in front of them. Empty cups from fair trade coffee vendors and organic snack bags lay between the papers and computers. The waste basket recycling can in the corner is barely visible beneath an avalanche of crumpled paper.
ARTHUR: What about this Yousafzai kid?
BURTON: Simple: incomplete application – she had no SAT scores reported. Stamp her rejected, we keep the application fee and she goes to her safety school or re-applies next year. What do you two think of this next applicant, Tiffany Amber Carwell?
CANDACE: Wait Burt, it says the Yousafzai girl won some awards. Apparently she’s a pretty big deal in Pakistan.
ARTHUR: Candace, this Carwell kid won some awards too, AND she took her stinking SAT’s like she was supposed to!
BURTON: Christ Candy! We can’t keep making exceptions every time some kid has test anxiety or something!
CANDACE: It was the freaking Nobel Peace Prize, Arty, not 2nd place in the science fair at Clearview High.
ARTHUR: Clearview is a top notch school, Candace. You’re being antagonistic and I don’t care for your tone. For your information, I placed fourth in my junior year science fair, so that should tell you how competitive it is at Clearview.
BURTON: You two need to stop squabbling so we can move on. It’s a done deal; no SAT’s, no consideration. Like I said before, the kid is probably one of those test anxiety cases. Those kids need to toughen up.
CANDACE: I don’t know Burt, I think this one’s pretty tough. Says here the Taliban put out a hit on her.
ARTHUR: The Carwell girl raised money for a local soup kitchen and volunteered to read stories to local preschoolers…two years varsity field hockey, co-captain her senior year….AP classes in history and French!
BURTON: You know, that field hockey is pretty rough. My daughter Allie caught a stick right in the chops, needed 12 stitches. I think that scar on her chin had a little something to do with her deciding to focus on trying out for the madrigals instead of playing her senior year. She almost made the cut too.
CANDACE: Guys! The Yousafzai girl…
BURTON: Are you still on that one?! Get with the program Candy, put her in the reject pile and tell us if you agree on Tiffany Amber Carwell.
ARTHUR: Seriously Candy, look at all these applications, we’ve got a long way to go.
CANDACE: I don’t believe you two! This girl was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin!
Arthur and Burton look at Candace silently, then back at one another. Arthur straightens the stack of papers in his hands, Burton looks intently at his laptop screen.
ARTHUR: In the head?
BURTON: Well then, she’s dead, right?
ARTHUR: Brain injured?
CANDACE: No. She’s not dead and she’s not brain injured. She’s the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize, and she did it by being an activist for women’s rights to get an education. She celebrated her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon.
BURTON: Okay Candy, if you’re not going to let this go, I guess we’ll reconsider Yousafzai.
ARTHUR: Did she play a sport or belong to any clubs in high school?
Candace puts her head in her hands. Lights dim, and curtain.
* I tried to put this little vignette in play script format, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. It’s not like I’m a Stanford grad, or even a Nobel Prize laureate.
It’s my turn over the barrel again at The Nudge Wink Report. As you can imagine, the last few weeks of news left me any number of options as to what to write about. Instead of taking the easy route and talking about the restaurant that put yoga mat ingredients in their rolls and pedophiles in their ads, I took the high road and delved into the world of bad cycling fashion. What can I say, I’m just classy that way. Please enjoy the read and the road responsibly – those uniforms only make it look like the ladies are naked.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the controversial new uniform for a Colombian women’s cycling team.
Perhaps you have a life and don’t troll the interweb looking for weird crap to put in your Saturday blog post.
If you fit in the latter category, then allow me to tell you all about it.
A picture is supposedly worth a thousand words, so I’ll post the photo below and you can see for yourselves.
I don’t know why, but this team photo makes me feel dirty. I think we can all thank our lucky stars that the managers of cycling teams don’t traditionally wear the same uniform as the athletes.
Apparently the designer thought that covering the entire uniform with corporate logos was sooo last year. Instead, he made the cutting edge fashion choice of covering the crotch and lower torso of the outfit with a swatch of skin colored material, or as…
I’m far from the first person to point out how disappointingly bad the second season of HBO’s “True Detective” has been. I just watched another recorded episode last night, in the futile hopes that the series would somehow pull itself together. I’d watch the finale but I’ve gotten behind on “Naked and Afraid” and to be honest, even watching filthy digitized people eat barbequed snake is more entertaining than this season’s edition of “True Detective”.
The first season was quite good, and cynical viewers might have expected a certain amount of drop-off in quality for season two, but this has been more along the lines of a bungee jump without the cord. Here are a few comparisons of how using the same recipe with different ingredients can go horribly wrong:
Season 1: Aerial shots of vast Louisiana swamps and woodlands – worked because it reinforced the plot. You could easily imagine creepy people doing awful things out in the middle of nowhere.
Season 2: Aerial shots of vast highway interchanges and rail yards – didn’t work because the shots brought to mind strip mining and commuting more than violent crime. It also seemed like there was twice as much aerial footage – maybe they had extra money in the budget for helicopter shots. At least it reduced the number of times we had to look at Collin Farrell pushing his Shemp-style hair back out of his face.
Season 1: Powerful secret organization hides terrible secrets of child abuse and murder – worked because anyone perpetrating such atrocious crimes would be secretive by nature, and who doesn’t suspect that powerful, rich people are up to no good?
Season 2: Powerful men have big sex parties with beautiful prostitutes and/or meet in richly appointed studies to make shady land deals – didn’t work because while the idea of shady land deals is entirely believable, the thought of captains of industry and politicians having orgiastic fun in front of one another is absurd.
Season 1: Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughay play cops with personal demons and are dedicated to solving a case despite overwhelming odds against them – worked because Woody portrayed a blue collar cop who plays fast and loose, while McConaughay’s character is a brainiac whose oddness and intellect are both his best and worst enemies. Harrelson’s character is responsible for asking McConaughay’s WTF he’s talking about during his philosophical rants.
Season 2: Collin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch play cops with personal demons and are dedicated to solving a case despite overwhelming odds against them – didn’t work because for the most part, it was difficult to have much compassion for any of them. Every other line had one of them making obtuse comments about the meaning of life. The is no sounding board character, so the audience must ask WTF these people are talking about during their philosophical rants.
Season 1:Opening credits, music – worked because the images and music evoked the overlapping of good and bad, light and dark, etc. Hearing the theme song “Far From Any Road” still creeps me out. The low, mechanical rumble during suspenseful scenes brings to mind the beating heart of a dangerous, hidden evil.
Season 2: Opening credits, theme music – did not work because…I don’t even know why it didn’t work, but it didn’t. The theme song title, “Nevermind” sounds like good advice. The low, mechanical rumble during suspenseful scenes brings to mind the possibility that someone is having an MRI nearby.
Odds and Ends:
The bruised girl singing in the dive bar every time Collin Farrel’s character needs to have a confidential meeting. I’m sorry, there’s just no way she gets to sing there or anywhere else – not even on open-mike night in the City of the Deaf. Replace that droning songbird with the karaoke talents of out-of-town businessmen singing The Cowboy Junkies songbook.
The cops, one of whom was working in the same capacity as Erik Estrada’s character on CHiPs, have the ability to look at complicated legal documents and instantly determine what the fuck they actually mean. I didn’t realize that motorcycle cops had advanced training in contract law.
Collin Farrel’s pudgy, ginger son – I know about as much about genetics as I do about the legal documents for land transactions, but I know it’s genetically impossible to have a kid who looks like that from any combination of those three parents.
They always pick the right door for the plot. Kitsch’s character is being held in a labyrinth of tunnels which according to one of the bad guys, “runs beneath the entire city.” He somehow escapes, killing a half dozen special forces guys who shine their flashlights to give him good targets. After scrambling through miles of tunnels, he emerges via a ladder up to the street level, and the last bad cop is standing right behind the door waiting to shoot him in the back. In an earlier scene, Rachel McAdams is stumbling around a huge mansion dragging a drugged woman along behind her. No one is able to stop her despite her sluggish cargo. She happens to emerge from one of the dozen or more available exterior doors to where Kitsch is standing waiting for her. I can’t find the men’s room at the Cheesecake Factory but somehow these characters manage to pick the right door.
Some of the most stilted, unnatural dialogue I’ve ever heard. Vince Vaughn’s character alone has more awkward things to say in any one episode than I’ve said in my entire life (including some epic drunken stupors and childhood night terrors). It’s difficult to imagine an actor reading those lines and not asking for someone to consider rewriting it to sound like it’s being said by a human being. If you think I’m exaggerating, please note that in one scene, Vince Vaughn’s character made an analogy that not being able to identify his enemies “Is like..blue balls in your heart“.
HBO has contracted with writer Nic Pizzolatto for one more season. Like any true optimistic masochist, I’ll tune in to see if the same formula for season 3 yields an incredible souffle or cold scrambled eggs. A quick FYI; I have a couple of manuscripts on the back burner if HBO is looking for new writing talent.
Josh Smith is upset. He’s gone on the record and stated the obvious: His making a mere 6.9 million dollars next year is going to be tough on his family.
No Shit!! Amiright?!
If like me, you have absolutely no idea who
Josh Smith is, allow me to let you know what I’ve discovered so far. He’s a 28 year old professional basketball player with career earnings of 90 million dollars or so. If he started playing professionally at age 18, my massive calculator brain estimates he’s averaged 9 million a year as a pro.
Josh is far from the first young multi-millionaire who’s been faced with financial duress due to slashed wages. As a public service to these struggling men and women, I’m offering some budget advice. Even if you’re not a professional athlete or movie star, you may find a few gems in here. Following just a couple of my financial hints may help you avoid having to sleep on a steam grate near the bus station for another winter.
Shop at warehouse stores for caviar. You could save a ton of money! Down on aisle 17 they usually have great deals on variety packs of crackers to smear those delicious fish eggs on. Also…look! A Jet Ski!
Consider taking Flo from Progressive’s advice and bundle car, home and private jet insurance policies to save on premiums.
If visiting a strip club, refrain from “making it rain” with large denomination bills. Try using rolls of nickels instead.
Consider hiring a professional financial manager to help with stretching those six million nine hundred thousand dollars. I realize doing this will put your Uncle Curtis out of work, but he’s had a good 9 year run – hopefully he can get his old job back working for the county. He’ll look good driving that truck with his fur on.
Trade in your gas-guzzling Bentley and opt for a more economical Toyota Prius. If headroom is going to be an issue, splurge the extra few bucks to get one with a sunroof.
Don’t forget to have the people at the arena to validate your parking pass!
Brown bag your lunch for road games. Out of town restaurants can be budget busters! Packing some wet naps may also save you big bucks at the dry cleaners – you know how messy lobster can get!
Stay away from Kardashians! (This won’t necessarily save you money, but it’s good advice anyway). Take a look at that photo – it’s nothing but trouble; Kimmy’s keister AND evil, delicious imperial stout. This will cost you – If not in money, then in dignity.
Avoid exotic pets. Many athletes and movie stars learn too late about the potentially steep veterinary bills and liability insurance costs related to owning jungle cats, primates or birds of prey. Besides, you run the the risk that a certain American dentist may come kill your pet with a bow and arrow.
Encourage your family members to get out there and look for work. Your wife/girlfriend/baby mama may well have some untapped earning potential. Remember, if she gets a job near the sports complex, you guys can car pool in the Prius!
Avoid the big-name-jock-strap-trap! A recent issue of Consumer Reports found that start-up independent manufacturers offer supporters with nearly identical performance as the big name garments – without the big name price! The graphics on this jockstrap are off the hook! It’s a shame to cover it up with your game shorts, but the league has standards.
It’s never too late to start investing in your future. I suggest cutting a six figure check to One Point Perspective Enterprises. There’s no guarantee of dividends, but there’s also no guarantee of a return on your investment!
Finally, if things get really bad, you should consider writing a blog. It won’t likely make you any money, but it might give you enough perspective to understand that 6.9 million dollars aint too bad for a year of shooting hoops.