Saturday, November 16, 2013

10 Hells

Hell.  H-E double hockey sticks.  The OTHER place.  You know, the place you don't expect to go yourself but you know a LOT of other people that are going to go there.  But really where is hell?  is it DOWN?  Is it really hot?  Or is it just somewhere you don't wanna be.  Well here are 10 places you don't want to be.

10.  In that bad dream - Sure it's temporary, but when you wake up for the REALLY bad dream.  You really feel horrible and then suddenly, you feel great because you aren't there anymore!  At least there is some feeling of relief.  That school dream where you realize that you have several classes that you are supposed to be attending and you vaguely remember attending maybe the first day but somehow you've skipped the rest and it's time to take the final.  Yep, Hell.

9.  Foreign Church - When you are a kid, Church is just one of the places you go (assuming you did).  You get to know your church and who is there.  You sit with other kids, but there isn't much playing.  You don't like it much, but you go.  When you go on vacation, you kind of figure that there might be a vacation from church as well.  After all, it's not YOUR church and you're far away.  Well, depending on your parents, that could be wrong.  This is one of the many childhood hells.  You don't know anyone there, you have no real connection, you are only there counting the minutes, maybe seconds.  You know it's bad because of how good you feel when you get out.  Sweet sweet freedom.

8.  The shot line - This is a horrible place to be as a kid.  When I was a wee lad of tender years there were a couple of occasions when we would have to go stand in a long line and get some kind of inoculation at school.  Sure you got to miss school, but you had to get a shot!  This was bad on so many levels.  First you have to get a shot.  B.  You have to keep your composure because you should not be seen crying.  Furthermore, you are told that you might feel a bit feverish but it's ok, it's nothing to worry about.  This is a no win situation.  Hell indeed!

7.  Unprepared - School is often compared to a job.  But really it's more like a job in a socialist country.  You are required to do tasks that may or may not matter and you have deadlines that are more or less made up.  Work on the other hand will have a mix of deadlines because 'if we don't have a deadline we will never get it done' and real deadlines set by customers or Government penalties.  No matter what its source, if you are on the bad end of the deadline, you've got to produce.  If you don't have whatever it is ready, ugh, there are few things worse in school or work than having a deadline that you just can't meet.

6. The Boss's office - If you are sitting in the bosses office, it's very likely that you are either going to get hired, in which case the office isn't bad and you have time to notice the little tchochkies the boss keeps on their desk or, if you already have the job, odds are you won't soon.  The hell is walking into the bosses office without a reason.  You are afraid of what it could be, and it doesn't have to be right too many times to reinforce that fear.  This has a pretty good analog to the principals office, except you usually know why you are going there, you just don't know what the outcome will be.

5.  Caught telling tales out of school - So you're dishing dirt on a fellow employee, or someone at school/church.  It's not a nice thing to do, but it's pretty human.  In mid tale, you see that person out of the corner of your eye.  You now have to either turn this story around which is as hard as turning a semi-truck around on a 2 lane road.  Or you have to quickly shift the subject, but you know the damage is done.  Every time you see that person, until you try to mend those fences, will be a little trip to hell.  The fence mending won't be that fun either.

4.  Waiting for medicine - You've gone to the doctor and he has suspicions.  He won't tell you exactly what, or how bad it is until some tests are run.  Waiting for the results and the subsequent diagnosis is often worse than the disease itself.  You feel the most helpless and you know the best possible news is 'you are ok, please pay at the window'.  Which means you go home healthy.  All of the other alternatives include some kind of treatment.  Mostly, none of those things are as bad as the wait for the news.  In this entry also falls the Dentists chair, except they are working on you while you wait.  There isn't much to be done except to anticipate possible pain and make mumbled conversation with your dentist.

3.  The magnanimous speech - Someone has given you a boon.  Usually it's someone in authority but not necessarily.  In the time honored tradition of you can't get something for nothing, you are unable to get that gift/day off/award without a drawn out speech or speeches.  Sometimes you yourself are asked to continue blowing hard as well.  The acceptance speech.  You can't cut it short because you'll seem ungrateful.  But if you go too long people will just remember you as one of several boring people.  Here is a hint:  If you mention up front that you will only take X minutes and stay on that schedule no matter what.  You come out a winner.  Go over, and you're the goat.  No matter what.

2.  Heart Burn - I use this because it's something I've experienced myself.  It doesn't have to be that though it can be any chronic pain that you have no treatment for.  In my own case, it was a throbbing pain in my chest that felt like someone was slowly trying to spread my ribs apart.  It didn't burn, but it did hurt.  It didn't stop.  Finally I went to the E/R because I thought it might be something serious.  It wasn't.  But when they gave me their super duty antacid, all my troubles melted away.

1.  Can't/Must Sleep - You've got a big day tomorrow.  Whatever the reason.  You get to bed and bang.  you can't sleep.  Nothing.  You don't want to take a drug because you don't want to go in to your important thing all groggy.  But you can't.  It's at this point that your brain becomes the frienemy that you know that it is.  It will keep you up just long enough that tomorrow you will be beat.  It's all that time that you are sitting their wondering what you should do.  Should you get up?  You're awake anyway.  Should you just count sheep or tell yourself a story?  Should you take that sleepy pill or that Nyquil?  Is that admitting defeat?  What ever it is you are doing, it's not sleeping and it's not helping.  Ugh!

Well looks like I've pried yet another subject that has 10 entries from my addled brain.  Come back in 15 or so and we'll see what other cobwebs I can disturb.

Friday, November 1, 2013

10 Worthless Phrases

The human animal is given to lots of activities through the benefit of our rather large brain.  We worry.  We pretend. We speak.  In speaking we often will say things that seem to convey interest or concern, but which are actually worthless.  Most of these are expressions, but that's ok, they really don't do much but exercise your vocal cords.

10.  Be careful! - Perhaps one of the most overused and unimportant phrases we have come up with as a race.  Often told by irresponsible parents when they give a 3 year old the jug of milk to pour into a glass.  What's the result?  A perfectly poured glass of milk?

9.  Remember to ______ - This little reminder is like a hex.   It's only useful at the moment that you need to remember something.  Before you need to remember it?  Worthless.  Example: Mom: Remember to bring home your jacket today.  You:  Ok.  What happens? When it's time to come home, you forget.  A better answer?  Stick a post it note on the book of the last class of the day, or that time honored tradition of tying a string around your finger.

8. I told you so - I should say this isn't a worthless phrase it serves to show it's user as a bit petty depending on the i told you so in question.  We've all been guilty of using this self appreciating technique.  We should all stop it.  This phrase can sometimes be said without actually verbalizing anything.  Just an 'I told you so' look will give this worthless phrase undue purchase.

7. How do you feel right now? - This phrase has a lot of value when a doctor is saying it to you after a car accident.  The very same phrase has little to no meaning at all when a sports reporter asks a victorious or defeated sports team member after 'The Big Game'.  Ugh, do they actually pay these people?

6.  Did you find everything ok? - This is the phrase you hear at the end of a shopping trip.  You have a full cart with all the necessities and a lot of the non necessities, and you are asked this question.  I have taken the opportunity to mention that I was unable to find the pineapple pop-tarts or maybe the peach root beer.  Then they tell me I should talk to the customer service desk.  Maybe they should put a sign on the customer service desk that says 'Couldn't find it ok?  Come talk to us'  That would save precious breath on the part of the checkout personnel.

5.  Are you kidding me?  -  Kidding.  There is no sincerity in the are you kidding me statement because it usually follows a statement that can not possibly be true but you believe probably must be.  When the balloon festooned van pulls up and a guy with a microphone and a camera crew tells you 'You've just won the Plumbers Flushinghouse Sweepstakes!'  You say 'You're kidding!'  Obviously they aren't and you just won a lifetime supply of plumbing fixtures.

4.  Have you seen? - MOST of the time this question just doesn't have any value because right after it's asked the inquisitor will then proceed to tell you about what you just said you haven't seen.  Or they will say 'yeah, that was good'  if you're lucky.  If you're not lucky, they will reiterate the story that you both know.  This question does have some value in the right situation though.  If you are looking for something, you have a 1% chance of this phrase jogging someones memory.   If someone is on a talk show, it's a good segue into the prepared subject of the guest.  Yes, it's prepared.

3.  You're lucky - Telling someone they are lucky has no value because if they don't know it, they don't appreciate it.  It's not lucky to them, it's average.  The other thing is, usually you are told you're lucky in an ironic fashion.  You just got hit by a stray baseball in the back of the head and someone will tell you you are lucky that it wasn't a lawn dart.  Great.  Don't bother.  If that's the kind of luck I've got, I'd rather not know.

2.  Any name joke - Ugh.  Lets say that your last name is VanPelt.  That seems to be a somewhat rare name that might not have any jokes surrounding it.  It does.  Anyone that has that name can enumerate every joke they have ever heard about it.  The obvious one would involve Peanuts' Linus and Lucy.  But there are several others that might be dumber.  If you are the owner of that last name.  You've heard them all and you've been forced to bear them all.  Name jokes are NEVER useful.  If you feel like telling them.  Don't.

1.  Have a nice day - Said by people that don't really care that much if you have a nice day at all or not.  The time this phrase is at it's most worthless is when it is the closing statement of law enforcement after they have pulled you over for speeding.  At the end of one traffic stop a police officer said 'Have a better day'  I appreciated that.

There it is.  10 items by 15 days.  Come by in another 15, I might have another 10.