10 Black Friday Shopping Tips

1. Don’t do it. Really — it’s not worth it.

2. If you must, bring a bazooka for help with parking, lines, and the sales person who insists the product they are saving in the back for all their friends is already purchased.

3. A commando style getting ready montage usually helps.

4. Ask the local drug dealer if they have any Black Friday specials. The extra pep will help you get through day.

5. Setup a tent outside the UPS store. Tell people, “Gonna get me those Black Friday deals, yep.”

6. Hire a demolition derby mechanic to trick out your shopping cart.

7. Don’t shop at any store that benefits the 1%. See point 1.

8. Complain about the lack of a Planned Parenthood Black Friday event.

9. Use the computer at Best Buy to shop online.

10. Hire washed up celebrities to shop for you. Trust me, the Olsen twins, MC Hammer and the guy that played Atreyu need the work.

Occupy Urgent Care

I am sick today but the humor must go on. I write this post wrapped in a blanket and sipping on tea. Some days, when I’m not sick, I imagine how fun it would be to stay home from work wrapped in a blanket and sipping on tea. However, now that I am sick, I rather not be ill even if that means going to work. My head is spinning, my voice is gone, and I can barely concentrate. I am pretty much out it so if there are a lot of speling and grammatically errors, I apologize.

I find it funny that I sometimes fantasize about being sick so I can stay home. In America, we need to be sick to take the day off work. In fact, I started my job in June 2010 and this is the first day I’ve ever called into work. Most Americans are groomed to dedicate ridiculous amounts of time to their jobs. My wife recently listened to a Rick Steves podcast that was taking about how Europe has one month of vacation time a year. Whereas most Americans don’t vacation and if they do, there is a certain amount of guilt.

Take my dad for instance. We went to my birth city of Chicago two weekends ago for a funeral. He had to adjust his whole schedule and work on the prior weekend to make sure he could go. I think there is a problem with that. When did work start overriding family concerns?

There is really only one way to fix a problem like this. Lick the subway tiles. Who needs to occupy wall street when there are plenty of un-licked subway tiles? If we all get ourselves sick and call into work, that will really send a message to those corporate labor profiteers. The message will go something like this:

Employee: Dear boss, I can’t come into work today because I was stupid enough to lick a subway tile and was inflicted with Ebola. In fact, I don’t think I will be back ever. So please give my favorite pen to Martha and tell Bob to take a dumb on your desk for me. PS: The color for our plastic Tupperware line should be not be called Seaweed Chunk because people do not want to put their leftovers in Seaweed Chunk. It should be called Think Green to make it sound environmentally friendly.  Even though the petroleum we use to make the product is about as environmentally friendly as starting a grease fire with seal fat in a rain forest, people will just blindly assume our company is Green because we called it Think Green. Oh god, a blood vessel burst…

So let’s take back our sick time and vacation days. The next time you see a guy licking the subway tiles, pat him on the back. Tell him you appreciate what he is doing for America. Then sterilize your hand. After all, you can’t really afford to get sick. That big project is coming up.  They can’t really complete it without you. Besides, you’ll take some time off for the upcoming holidays. Oh, but then there is the new Holiday product line. Maybe that hard earned vacation will have to be put off.


My wife and I finished watching the entirety of the X-Files. One episode featured shirtless Mitch Pileggi, who was surprisingly buff underneath the doofy balding boss exterior. His character, Skinner, was that fifties-nerd-looking-character, while sans shirt, who became a Vin Diesel type action hero, with plenty of chest hair. Bear in mind that the shaven male chest is a relatively new idea of sexy. The chesty scruff look ruled supreme and even made it into the nineties. Commander Riker sported the enchanted forest look. Chest hair is the symbol of a manly man: The man that stands in front of a tsunami and says, “Take your best shot.” (The chest hair actually softens the blow.)

While most people don’t think of Mitch Pileggi as a sex symbol and a man’s man, my wife and I certainly do. We know he’s a man of action. That’s why, throughout the series, we kept saying, “WWMPD?” What Would Mitch Pileggi Do? He is a tough but caring man, combining the might of Chuck Norris combined with the fatherly wisdom of Morgan Freeman. He’d kill a man with his thumbs and cry a single tear. He had to do it, but it will be his burden to carry. He’ll carry it with dignity.

If you think we are weird now, look at us while we watch television (expect don’t because that would be creepy). For Mulder, we imagined that he spent the entire series looking for the ultimate stick ball field. Imagine Felicia and I in childlike New York accents saying, “Remember me? It’s Old Muldey! We used to play stick ball together!” My personal favorite is when Mulder was running around on the docks and my wife said, “You can’t play stick ball there! The ball will go in the water!”

The joke is never as funny explaining it the second time around. While I giggle to myself writing the Old Muldey dialogue, you are probably thinking of ways to distract me so you can call mental health. You wouldn’t be the first. My wife has many moments like these. When I find something funny, even if I’m the only one, I can’t stop laughing at it. For example, I have an IMDB profile. Most people that have pursued film at one point or another will have one. My actor friends use it for pictures and resumes. As a writer, I never really bothered to upload my picture. After careful thought, I wanted to upload a photoshop my friend did of me:

Mad Eye Aaron

SWM, likes long walks on the beach that end in slaying Death Eaters, keeps constant vigilance

I couldn’t stop laughing. The thought that a viewer would click on one of the writers of Hamlet: The Vampire Slayer and see that shining face that almost ended my life — twice. The first end would be from lack of air during the barrage of laughter. The second end would be from my wife’s bemusement turned to irritation. My brain went into overdrive. I imagined myself attending film conventions, collecting the morning newspaper, and even out in public sipping coffee and eating a scone all while dressed like Mad Eye. Wouldn’t that be brilliant? People think, this is just a silly picture but in reality, it’s the guy, the Mad Eye Guy!

Losing it with laughter isn’t what Mitch Pileggi would actually do. I imagine him to be a stoic figure with eyes that display slight pity, disdain, and the gentle grace of a father that knows his wayward child will come back one day. Of course, Mitch Pileggi doing any of these things would only make me laugh even more. The heart of comedy, at least for me, involves anyone who takes themselves way too seriously and slightly exaggerating their behavior.

WWMPD is a manifestation of that concept. My wife and I really thought this one out (considering we had nine seasons to think of it). We were going to make a website, featuring pictures of Mitch, write fake bios, and even post scenarios in the raving fan boy voice to apply the WWMPD phrase. We ended up doing none of the above. That’s not to say we wouldn’t do something silly — I am one of the guys that tried to sell his roommate on Ebay:

It’s just that some silliness is way better in the mind than out in public. Humor strikes and leaves the victim with an endorphin high and slight disorientation (sometimes leaving the “why was I laughing at that again?” thought). Maybe a comic moment happens more because the person laughing needs that release or some other physiological response. Either way, the act of inflexible seriousness seems to want that release. It is as though the person, who is too serious all the time, needs to laugh, so people like me laugh for people who can’t (or who have too much of a stick up their ass to) laugh for themselves. But that’s how I’ve always been. I’d rather fart in a prestigious person’s general direction and have a laugh about it than give myself cramps from clenching.