Seriously, Dog

NPR’s Morning Edition carried a story about the boom in energy drinks and their offspring:

The latest caffeine product takes a new form: It’s a stamp-sized gel sheet that dissolves in the mouth like a breath freshener. The product, called Sheets, is sort of like an energy drink without the water. A promotional video shows NBA star LeBron James, in black and white, placing a bright red gel strip on his tongue.

LeBron James? Why didn’t they get Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as a spokeman–he would have been perfect for this!

The Most Important Thing of the Things We Eat

This morning I made French Toast Surprise. Here is the recipe:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat 4 eggs. Add 3/4 cup milk, 3 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 tsp. nutmeg; stir well to combine.
  2. Soak bread slices in the egg mixture until saturated.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Brown on both sides.
  4. Accidentally sprinkle slices liberally with ground cumin instead of cinnamon and serve. SURPRISE!

Also, I have been ordering my eggs “over medium” in restaurants for like 25 years now, and have never once received eggs that were over medium. I presume this is because the cooks are frantically Googleing the recipe back in the kitchen and coming up empty. Let’s rectify that now:

How to Cook Eggs Over Medium

Cook eggs over easy. Then keep cooking them. Then stop. If they become over hard, you have gone too far.

Search keywords: “eggs”, “egg”, “fried eggs”, “fried”, “fry”, “eggs fried over medium”, “eggs over medium”, “over medium”, “medium”, “breakfast”, “asshole customer”.

Falling Asleep

We spent the weekend in Portland. On the drive down we saw no less than four abandoned mattresses by the side of the road.

The Washington State Department of Transportation should gather these and put them all in a single location. Not only would this help to keep our highways clean, but then skydivers with faulty parachutes would have someplace to aim for.

Woodwind Hero

Harmonix should release a new video game for the Xbox called “Marching Band”. The target market would be kids who played guitar in high school, went on to form actual rock bands, and are curious to know what it’s like to not get laid.

Rule 3.18

I had a racquetball game this afternoon against an opponent I was sure I had faced before on the ladder. He said otherwise. “No, I’m good with faces,” he assured me. “I’d remember if we’d played.”

Still, I was fairly confident that, not only that we’d met prior, but that there was something distinctly memorable about him, some unique characteristic that was eluding me at the moment.

Five minutes into the game it all came back to me.

And so, an open letter to the U.S. Racquetball Association:

Dear Sirs,

Please consider augmenting the USAR Official Rules Of Racquetball with the following:


Upon a Cutting of the Cheese, a player awards to his opponent a number of points equal to decibels/10. "Silently But Deadly" emissions will result in the conference of five points to an opponent and a mandatory 10 minute "airing out" period, during which the players may remove themselves from the court and the door shall be left ajar.

In the case of flatulent disputes, the player who smelt it shall be considered hereinafter to have dealt it.

Halloween: What’s My Clone Code?

In the early 80’s, at the height “child abduction” hysteria (and you kids thought CNN invented the culture of fear), our local TV station ran a series of commercials introducing the “Kid Code.” The concept was simple. Whenever a skeevy man wearing a hat and fake mustache approached you with a fistful of lollypops, you’d shout “What’s my kid code? WHAT’S MY KID CODE?” And the man would say “Manimal?”–which was of course your kid code because Manimal was effing rad. So you’d climb into the car with him and get molested. Another public service provided by local news.

Now that I am older, I am much better at estimating risk. I now recognize, for instance, the chances of my being abducted by a pedophile are vastly overblown (especially since I am 36 and have lost my boyish figure). No, the biggest threat, as I have learned from a quarter century of science-fiction novels and horror movies, is that:

  1. My body will be taken over by a malevolent presence or a rage-inducing virus;
  2. Someone will create a biological or robotic clone of me;
  3. A shapeshifter will assume my identity;
  4. Someone will graft my face onto their head;
  5. Due to wacky time- or interdimensional-travel related hijinks, there will be two or more copies of me wandering around concurrently.

Indeed, one of these scenarios seems to unfold in pretty much every movie made (e.g., Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Face/Off, Steel Magnolias, My Dinner With Andre, etc.).

Fortunately, motion pictures have also taught us how to deal with such a contingency: you demand that the Doppelganger (if Doppelganger he be) divulge some fact that only the real person could possibly know. A Clone Code, if you will.

As with a Doomsday Machine, the whole point of a Clone Code is lost if you keep it a secret. So here is mine. The next time you see “me” in person, be sure to verify that I am who I say I am; if I hesitate in responding or provide the wrong answer, flee immediately, contact the authorities, and report a ursurpage (or, in cop lingo, a “4-43”).

Alternatively, if you have a shotgun handy, you may want to err on the side of caution and just take my fetch out yourself.

Version: CCv1.0

Identity: Matthew Scott Baldwin

Challenge: "One year in high school, you wound up serially dating three girls with the exact same first name. What was the name?"

Response: "Shelley"

-----END CLONE CODE-----

If you have a blog, you may wish to publish your own Clone Code, to ensure that any of your doubles are promptly unmasked and eliminated.

And for god’s sakes, don’t get into a vehicle with anybody until you have adequately verified their identity. Unless it’s Automan, of course. Automan is effing rad.

Fetal Attraction

I’m going to write a thriller about a knight who returns home after a year in the Crusades, and finds his wife six-months pregnant despite wearing a chastity belt. It will be a locked-womb mystery.

Scare Tactics

I’m going to start 991, an emergency hotline for people who have the hiccups. “Oh my god!” I’ll scream at the people who phone in. “A killer is calling from inside your house!!

I’m also going to start a support line for People Who Do Not Currently Have A Song Jammed Into Their Head. It will just play this, 24/7.

Pet Peeves

Hey Science, thanks for the hypoallergenic cats. That’s terrific, really. High fives all around.

But hey, small request? While you’re in there messing around with meow-meow genes, could you also program them NOT TO INCESSANTLY MEW AT 6:17 IN THE MORNING???! Because that would be great. Thirty bonus points if you can apply the process to existing cats, so we retrofit this knucklehead:

A.k.a. “The Klaxon”

(Yes, okay, we accidentally fed you at 6:17 AM one time. Like, three years ago. But we are never never never never going to do it again, do you understand? Never. Your official feeding time is seven o’clock … plus the four minutes per “meow” that pierces our bedroom door prior to seven o’clock that I add out of sheer spite.)

In fact, Science? Why don’t you just go whole hog and program cats with some basic groundrules. You know, like Asmov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Something along the lines of:

  1. A cat may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. This includes transmogrifying from “adorable kitty enjoying a tummy rub” to “bandsaw” without warning.
  2. A cat may not barf on the floor or, if the barfing is unavoidable, will only barf on kitchen tile, rather than the goddamned carpet.
  3. When I am struggling under the weight of an overstuffed armchair, carrying it from the the living area to the kitchen so the cleaner guys can come and steam the seven gallons of cat barf out of the carpet, a cat (specifically: Louie) may not suddenly decide that this would be a wonderful moment to affectionately rub against my legs. Seriously Louie, stop. Go away. Stop. Get out of here. Come on, if you don’t knock it off I SWEAR TO BAAL I’M GOING TO DROP THIS MOTHERLOVING SOFA RIGHT ON YOU YA FREAKIN MORON!

Or if it’s easier, Science, just twiddle dog DNA until they shit in a box, and I’ll just get some of them next go ’round. That’s pretty much all cats got going for ’em anyhow.