Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Parental Debates/McDonald's Is For Hipsters

I’m sitting in my parents’ house in my new polar fleece jacket as I type this. My parents just finished having a debate over whether the mailman picks up the mail at 5pm- as indicated on the mailbox- or a few minutes after 5pm- as is bound to happen sometimes. There was no resolution in the end. My dad held firm to his belief that the mailman always emptied the mailbox at the adverstised time. My mom stormed out the door, determined to get a few letters off before the final pickup. I would have mailed the letters for her myself, but it was more convenient for me to side with my dad and instead offer to mail the letters when I step out later so they get picked up first thing in the morning. I’m not necessarily a helpful son (though I did shovel the front walk this morning), but I would like to think I’m lovable for other reasons.

Shortly after the debate over mailbox emptying times, my parents began to argue over whether a certain frozen food item (soup, I believe) was Japanese or Jewish. The confusion arose when my mother incorrectly pronounced the brand name, making it sound very Japanese. In the end however, it was decided that the frozen food item in question was in fact Jewish. I do not mean to say that the frozen food item in fact practices Judaism, just that it is Jewish in the same way gefilte fish is Jewish. As far as I know, frozen foods are for the most part agnostic with regard to their religious beliefs.

In other news, earlier today I was thumbing through the most recent issue of Time magazine and spotted an ad for McDonald’s that seems to be aimed at people who shop entirely at Urban Outfitters. Seated together on a retro couch in the ad are a black guy with short dreads, a white guy who looks like he has a Wilco fansite, and some girl who looks like Parker Posey with a bad perm. Big white letters that spell out “Mc” stand in front them like some piece of modern art they picked up cheap and are really psyched about. I imagine they push the big white letters against the wall when they throw one of their raging parties, but for now the big “Mc” is front and center and they are totally cool with it.

The copy at the bottom of the McDonalds’s ad says something about how McDonald’s is really delicious and “cool” and brings people together for good times. Between that and the three cool people on the couch in the ad, one can’t help but come to the conclusion that eating McDonald’s will most likely get you laid, invited to happening parties, and then laid again. You might have to listen to Franz Ferdinand or some other band that sounds just like them a whole bunch while you’re at it, but it will be totally worth it considering all the action you will be getting.

The weirdest thing about the McDonald’s ad featuring the happening young people is that for whatever reason there is no mention of the 300 lb. guy in sweatpants who smokes Marlboro Reds while eating a Big Mac value meal. This is the guy that’s kept McDonald’s in business all these years. If they’re not careful, they’re gonna lose him.

Dave Hill

Original Pancake House Takes No Shit

The plague-symptoms continue today. I have a hacking cough that seems to get me a lot of attention wherever I go. I’m not proud of this- I’m merely pointing out this to be the case. The reactions I’ve been getting from the hacking cough range anywhere from a look that seems to say “Oh , you poor fella!” to “Please step away from me and my children now. Even without the cough, it is my sense that you are unclean.” Things got particularly exciting when I flew from New York City to my native Cleveland this morning. People looked at me like I was a walking petri dish, standing by to inoculate them when they least expected it. I didn’t dare go into Cinnabon prior to boarding.

As fate would have it, my parents were also flying into Cleveland today. They had been visiting my brother in Connecticut, where he has a house and cars and a family and everything. Since we were both going back to their house, my parents offered to give me a ride home. I offered to do the driving. After all, with all the money I am hoping to borrow from them, it was the least I could do.

On the drive home, my mother suggested we stop off at “that pancake place” which was apparently a new establishment in town that my mom and dad had been frequenting lately. The prospect of pancakes is always exciting on some level so I happily went along with it, especially when my dad pointed out that pancakes weren’t the only thing this place was serving up on a regular basis. There was also talk of crepes.

As it turns out, the official name of “that pancake place” is the Original Pancake House. There is a small circle with an “R” in it next to the word original on the sign in the window. That means that none of the other bullshit pancake houses that are riding on the coattails of the Original Pancake House and can just go calling themselves original too. That shit is trademarked. I’m guessing something must have gone down at some point that the Original® Pancake House felt they needed to trademark the word original in their name. I don’t blame them. If I were working around the clock to bring people the tastiest pancakes and crepes the people Cleveland have ever seen, you can bet your ass I would take no shit from anyone. If someone else thought they could just go calling their pancake house "original" too, they would have what I like to call "another thing coming."

At the Original® Pancake House I had the blueberry pancakes. I didn’t eat too much of them though. It is never easy to eat in the presence of asskickers.

Dave Hill

Monday, December 27, 2004

Plague-like Symptoms

 Monday, Dec. 27, 2004

I am battling plague-like symptoms today. Others have suggested that I merely have a cold, but I refuse to rule out the possibility of imminent death. Then again, it could be the flu, the popular illness that seems to sit somewhere between having a cold and having to make funeral arrangements. I’m not sure what officially constitutes a flu however. A cold is rather easily pinpointed and death is a “no-brainer” as they say. The flu though- will we ever really understand it? I’m told puking is often involved. I haven’t experienced this yet during this current bout with illness. This might have something to do with the fact that I have eaten very little over the past few days and as a result have very little to spray around the room. I have however noticed that my cheekbones are slowly becoming more well-defined. Dammit- I’m gonna be at this thing.

In between this paragraph and the last, I decided to run out and do a few errands. While I was out, a bird shit on my new polar fleece jacket. My mom got me the polar fleece jacket in question for Christmas. It is the kind gift that says “I love you but this was on sale.” Despite not really thinking of myself as a “polar fleece kind of guy”, I am surprised how much I am enjoying it however. In fact, I have rarely taken it off since I took it out of the bag two days ago.

Until the bird shit on it that is.

After the incident, I rushed home to handwash my new polar fleece jacket in the tub. It’s drying now. With any luck, I’ll sleep in it once again tonight. I’m told having a bird shit on you is good luck. I’m counting on it. Still, I’m hoping it doesn’t happen again any time soon. A bird with that kind of aim is bound to catch me right in the eye one of these days.