How To Be a Terrible Emailer

11 02 2008

Just follow the simple steps below, and you’ll be well on your way to joining the ranks of awful emailers across the world! We’ve all experienced them. We’ve all been tempted to send a rage filled polite response saying, “Please don’t email me. I mean it.”

It’s very exciting when one gets their first email account with visions of love notes and fun pictures and messages from family and friends filling one’s inbox. It does not take long before one realizes that many other forms of email (and I’m not even talking about actual spam) begin trickling in and eventually clogging up space like nacho cheese in an artery.

Have you ever wanted to be the one sending these instead of receiving? Look no further. This is what you do.

1. Send A LOT (I mean try to hit all of your family, friends and coworkers at least once per week) of forwards of the following:

a) Adorable photos of kittens/and or stranger’s babies making funny faces.

b) Good luck chain emails that promise a check for $44 billion will come by mail in the next month as long as the recipient bothers sends it to all of their friends.

c) Scary warning emails that let the recipients know something extremely terrible will happen to them (like a flesh-eating disease) if they do not forward it to all of their friends. It’s nice to put a little personal note at the top saying, “I doubt this is true, but I sent it to you just in case. Keep the chain going! Oh, and how’s your family?”

2. Be EXTREMELY dramatic even in your relatively trivial emails by USING LOTS OF CAPS. Here is an example: “WOW, I can NOT BELIEVE my JERK of a boss told me I HAVE TO STAY a few minutes late TOMORROW. DO YOU THINK I SHOULD QUIT??” Everyone will understand how important this subject is to you, and they will be sure to respond in a serious and timely manner.

3. You can cuss a lot and even cuss at people as long you cutely misspell the curse word. All are sure to get a kick out of this. Plus, no one can really be angry at you for calling them an “azz.” (Related to this, if you are 18 or younger be sure you send emails that look like this: “hElLO PeoPLez. I’m DoiN’ GoOd. How ARe YouZ PeePz DoiN? ScHOol is MaD AweSoMe DiS YeAr.” Everyone really, really enjoys getting emails like this.)

4. When someone has sent you an email asking a question, wait at least two weeks before giving them a vague response. Even more importantly, make sure your email settings are such that your reply will be sent without the original email question visible. This will make for a good time when the person gets your late response that says, “Yeah, that sounds good.” They’ll be searching through their old sent messages trying to figure out just what sounds good. It’ll be just like a treasure hunt for them!

5. Send very short emails to your friends. Keep it simple. Put, “How’s it going?” This takes you only seconds while at the same time asking your friends to send a much longer, more interesting email back to you. Score! They won’t be able to just say, “Fine” because they’ll know that could sound as though they are angry or are being sarcastic. It’s a win-win for you.

6. Send emails about a funny video you saw on the internet. Talk about how hilarious it is and how the recipient would love it. Here’s the key: Don’t send the actual link. Just describe the video and say, “I think I saw it on Yahoo or something.” Everyone has spare time to go look for videos themselves so they will not mind. (I know for a fact this works as I just did it to a nephew this week.)

Bonus: Another way to be a very popular emailer is to have an email address, tell people the address, and then warn them that you “hardly ever” actually check it. This will put them in the position of wanting to email you and then second-guessing whether you’ll actually see it in the next month. This one seems to be popular with those who are 40 and older and leads to frivolity all around! They are the same ones who can’t figure out how to work their dvd players.

Happy emailing, everyone!





“See Clerk for Receipt” Rage

26 01 2008

I’m not prone to road rage. I have to be the calming one when my wife and I are getting bad service at a restaurant. I can even handle it most of the time if someone in line in front of me at the grocery store is having trouble with their credit card. However, I am having great difficulty staying in a good mood when paying for gas.

Gas Station Companies: Please FIX your broken pumps that will not print out receipts.

Is this happening more frequently everywhere, or just in my area? I am aware that they want us to come inside, praying that we will have an unstoppable urge to also purchase a package of multi-colored drinking straws, but still… There has been an unusually high percentage of gas-tank filling episodes in which I find out at the end that I have to go inside to get the receipt. (My wife is maniacal about keeping track of budgets, receipts, etc. so leaving without it is not a good option). My job involves traveling around seeing kids so I’m usually in between appointments when I stop to get gas. Much of the time, I have just enough time to get there am running a bit late. It is very frustrating to see that message come up on the screen and to have to go inside. The situation gets more horrific when I find out that I have to get in line behind: 1. A guy wearing a wife-beater shirt who is buying cigarettes and 2. A grotesquely overweight person who is buying powdered donuts (and already eating them, thereby leaving a trail of white for me to avoid).

It is important to note that I do not take out my anger on the clerks since I know it’s not their fault. However, I thought this was going to change two days ago when I reached the boiling point. The scene: I am not in a huge hurry this time as my day is coming to an end. However, it is something like 2 degrees outside with a wind chill of 4 billion below 0. I fill my tank while waiting in my car (people from Wisconsin who wear shorts when it’s 2 can make fun of me now). I finish and wait for my receipt. (Picture my wife at home with an abacus and mechanical pencil just waiting for the day’s financial comings and goings in paper form). I am shivering. I can feel my lips freezing, cracking, and falling off. I can no longer feel my arms. Then it happens on the crappy little gas pump display screen: “See clerk for receipt.” (It doesn’t even say “Please” on the read out. Nor does it say, “I’m so sorry that our sign says pay-at-the-pump even though you really can’t.” Nor does it say, “We suck. Come inside.” It’s more of a mocking tone, letting me know that something precious that is rightfully mine is in the hands of the worker inside.)

Well, in this particular instance, I am ready to let the clerk have it. No more mister patient customer.

In retrospect, I’m thinking she (the clerk) saw my facial expression while I was standing at the pump (or possibly when I threw myself to the ground kicking and screaming…or when I stood back up and repeatedly gave the finger in the direction of the pump while yelling @($*W@. An older woman at an adjacent pump quickly began to pray aloud.) Anyway, the clerk was prepared, and I have to give her credit. She acted as follows: The second I walk in the door (even though another weirdo is in the process of buying cigarettes, batteries, tampons, and tuna fish), she immediately apologizes that the receipt did not print. She quickly gives me the dreaded “duplicate outdoor receipt” and with a bright smile proclaims, “I just wanted you to have to come in so I could see you.”

She was lucky I am male. Poof, my anger was magically gone. Duplicate receipt in hand, I headed home happy. I am thinking she would have had much more difficulty appeasing my wife (especially if she had been with me).





Redneck Woman vs. The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Or Apples vs. Oranges)

12 01 2008

Is it just me, or is it a bit farcical how differently we judge song writers and book writers. I realize songs and books are different entities (duh) and that some will no doubt complain that I am comparing apples to oranges or plums or dried apricots, but I still find it intriguing how different the standards are (not counting some of those awful, cheesy romance novels). Let’s take a peek at excerpts from a few popular books, some classic, some recent.

“It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.” Paul Auster, City of Glass

“In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly-fishing.”
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose.” Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

“Anything could happen when you were with Jimmy. If he was aware there were rules — in the subway, on the streets, in a movie theater — he never showed it.” Dennis Lehane, Mystic River

“This would be a slow death. Her father was right, she must have been the worst of sinners.” Jonis Agee, The River Wife

“What happened next transpired in seconds. Everything does, if you think about it” Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know

Great stuff. Now, let’s check out some lyrics from popular songs of different genres (with the artist, not necessarily the writer, listed for the sake of easy recognition).

“I’m attracted to ya ’cause you give me love, and sweetheart, Color Me Badd is gonna sex you up.” Color Me Badd, I Wanna Sex You Up

“In a second you’ll be wrapped around my finger
‘Cause I can, cause I can do it better
There’s no other, so when’s it gonna sink in
She’s so stupid, what the hell were you thinking?” Avril Lavigne, Girlfriend

“She can handle any champagne brunch
A bridal shower with Bacardi punch
Jello shooters full of Smirnoff
But tequila makes her clothes fall off.” Joe Nichols, Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off

“Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
Cut myself on Angel Hair and baby’s breath
Broken hymen of your highness I’m left black
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back.” Nirvana, Heart-Shaped Box

“Everyone’s looking to see if it was you
Everyone wants you to come through
Everyone’s hoping it’ll all work out
Everyone’s waiting they’re holding out.” Loverboy, Working for the Weekend

“Nasty put some clothes on, I told ya
Don’t walk out your house without no clothes on, I told ya.” Destiny’s Child, Nasty Girl

“You see I feel sad when you’re sad
I feel glad when you’re glad
If you only knew what I’m going through
I just can’t smile.” Barry Manilow/Carpenters, Can’t Smile Without You

Before I go any further, let me say that I like these a few of these songs. I know what some of you are thinking. Songs are just about having fun, being in a certain mood, or communicating plain old attitude. I get that; I love music. That said, come on people. Surely we can get some better lyrics without losing the fun and attitude.

Sex you up? This is an excellent example of a “music will have to do until I can get home to watch some porn” song.

Meat eating orchids? This brings to mind that weird kid in high school who liked to say nonsensical stuff because he/she was terrified to actually try to carry on a normal conversation.

Nasty put some clothes on. This one really needs no comment.

The Barry Manilow/Carpenters one? Did the credited writers really write that, or did they raid a stack of 7th grade poems from a teacher’s desk at Our Lady of the Divine Gag Me With a Spoon. Can’t you see a kid asking his dad what rhymes with sad?

I realize there are some really good lyrics out there, but you have to admit the radio dial is filled with drivel. Song writers of the world, I am pointing a finger at you and begging you to at least give an effort. I’m not asking you to hit the ball out of the park every time, but at least quit bunting.

What if our book writers had been allowed to live by the same standards? Would Romeo have said to Juliet, “I’ll take you to the candy shop; I’ll let you lick the lollipop?” Would Little Women instead be titled, Little Hos? Would those famous first lines of A Tale of Two Cities instead read: “It was fun, but it sucked at the same time. Some were smart, but some were just freaking numb nuts. Some people thought there was something to believe in while others were like, umm, I don’t think so.”

Maybe I’m asking too much, but I just don’t want to live in a world where an Anne Rice vampire sequel is called, “Oops, I bit it again.”





Spoilers! Don’t Read if You Believe in Anything

28 12 2007

Over the Christmas holiday, the whole discussion about when one stopped believing in Santa Claus came up. It’s interesting that there is this big concept out there that one particular segment of society (kids) believes in, while most others do not. I decided to spend some time thinking about other beliefs that one portion of our society deems the truth, while others would scoff. (I’m staying away from the God’s existence debate in this blog, but you can count me as a believer on that one). Cher once asked in song, “Do you believe in life after love?” The Lovin’ Spoonful musically asked, “Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart?’ I simply ask, “What do you believe?” Let’s delve into the human mind, shall we?

Aliens Visiting Earth: There is a good-sized chunk of people out there who believe in the visitors-from-another-world-probing-people’s-butts thing. They subscribe to magazines with names like “Abduction Tales” (or is it Tails because of the probing?). They chat with others online about what is really going on in Area 51 and also in an empty wooded lot behind the super Wal-Mart near their home. These people did really well on science projects in school and always came up with something more in-depth than that dumb baking soda volcano that those of us who would have rather been pummeling someone in dodge ball resorted to. (p.s. These alien abduction people always sucked at dodge ball. They were the ones who just stood in a corner and didn’t even try to catch the ball that was careening toward their noggin.)
My Take: Hey, I like Coast to Coast with George Noory when I’m having insomnia as much as the next person, but I do not believe there is any being smart enough to travel the galaxy but dumb enough to think the best way to study us is to put something they ultimately want to keep in our rectums (or is it recti?).
When to invite these people to your party: When you might be playing Trivial Pursuit and you need someone who can answer science fiction questions.

Ghosts & Demons Among Us: These people study parapsychology in college, and, except for a few who actually find gainful employment in that field, end up working in a bookstore or library part time. They pore over photographs looking for weird white orbs in the background and listen to audio tapes recorded overnight in cemeteries hoping to catch whispered phrases such as, “I need a snorkel,” apparently uttered by someone who drowned 15 years ago. They constantly warn us of the evils of the Ouija board while secretly holding their own séances and asking if their great aunt Edna is in a happy place. They don’t date much but are prone to being attacked in their own bed by an “entity.” They have The Exorcist memorized and have probably watched Linda Blair spew the green soupy stuff in slow motion.
My Take: I certainly believe in an afterlife, but I can only keep my sanity if I refuse to believe that any spirits are wasting their afterlife time whispering into a tape recorder that someone stuck by a grave and then ran and hid behind a tree. If I’m ever a spirit in that situation, though, I plan to mess with the parapsychologists by saying things like, “It was Mr. Green with a machete in the laundry room.” (Despite my pessimism, I plan to stay away from Ouija boards just to be on the safe side.)
When to invite these people to your party: When it’s a Halloween party and you want someone to talk about “Shadow People” who are out to get you. As an aside, Shadow People would have a very unfair advantage in dodge ball.

I Deserve to Have it All Work Out. This one’s a little different. These are the people who believe that the stars will align for them one day, and, without having to do any planning or making any real sacrifices, they will find their soul mate, their perfect job, and will have the perfect house and car. These people usually drop out of college the first year. They are pretty sure they’ll win a car from Drew Carey on The Price Is Right (despite the fact that they are not actively trying to get on the show), and it will only be a matter of time before some publisher reads their blogs and begs them to turn them into a best-selling book. They know their soul mate is out there, and they are not the least bit alarmed that their past ten relationships have fallen apart within six months. Also, their retirement plans usually consist of winning the Power Ball lottery. Today’s politically correct atmosphere has really killed any gumption these people might have had at one point. They’ve had it pounded into their brain that everyone is extremely special and that everyone who plays a game is a “winner.” P.S. These people are very against dodge ball, as it is very difficult for this game to end in a tie.
My Take: It’s not going to “just happen” for you. Get a plan, and do the work.
When to invite these people to your party: Never.

The Government is Conducting Secret Projects to Screw with Me. These people have twelve months’ worth of water, canned sardines and ammunition hidden underground. They believe the government has been involved in conspiracies in the following areas: JFK assassination, 911, airplane exhaust comtrails (the white lines left in the sky), pink Teletubbies promoting homosexuality, cell phones causing brain damage, subliminal messages in pop songs and cartoons, battery packages being impossible to open, potato chip bags being only 1/3 full when you open them (due to that conspiracy known as “settling”), El Nino weather patterns, the New England Patriots’ winning streak, and dodge ball being banned in many schools.
My Take: I really don’t think the government is capable of many conspiracies more complicated than keeping that affair last summer with a 19-year-old Senate Page a secret.
When to invite these people to your party: When you’re almost out of sardines.

The Chicago Cubs Will Win the World Series in the Next Decade. I don’t know what else to say about these people other than, wow. When they chose to become a fan of the Cubs, they chose a lifetime of heartbreak. Resting your hopes and dreams on the psyche of Carlos “No Cy Young Awards Yet” Zambrano is a dicey proposition.
My Take: Long live the curse of the goat! (If the Cubs do win it soon, I may start to also believe in aliens, ghosts, etc.)
When to invite these people to your party: When you need someone to bring Chicago-style pizza to your place.





New Product in 2008 Will Stop the Stench

19 12 2007

2008 is upon us, and one thing is certain: A bunch of new stuff will be produced and placed tantalizingly in front of our advertising-saturated eyes. What cutting-edge items will we all be talking about?

-Have you tried that?

-Is it as good as they say?

-I heard they are made in China.

-I bet the price comes down after it’s out awhile.

Being an amateur prognosticator, I’ll take a stab at what we’ll be shopping for soon.

1. There will be a new OTC pill you can take that will take the stench out of bodily gaseous emissions. In fact, it will give these human emanations a pleasing aroma. It will be called “Pooty-licious” and will come in several scents, including raspberry, supersonic seaweed, carnival fried pickle, and chocolate milk. (Kudos to the marketer who convinces Beyonce – or, in a pinch, one of the other Destiny’s Child members – to be the spokesperson). The side effects for this product will be relatively “mild” and will include: Migraine headaches, back pain, discoloration of urine, voice changes, and sleeplessness. Food for thought: Would teenage boys take this product if available? Taking the horrific scent out of their “rips” would rob them of 50% of their daily entertainment (the other 50% involves nudity on the internet).

2. A new publication will help men survive the maze of digital cable and satellite television stations. It will provide much needed information to the dumber weaker sex and will be called T.V. GUIDO. Excerpt from February 14, 2008: Throw your wife a bone and agree to watch that Lifetime movie tonight about one woman’s triumphs over binge eating, prostitution, a break-up with her married boss, restless legs syndrome, dyslexia, and the sudden death of her twin sister in a horrible zoo accident involving a jaguar (sorry, not the car). Saving grace: A few decent cleavage shots of Kelly Preston (you’ll remember her from the movie, “Secret Admirer”…yeah, that one).

3. Anyone else upset that magnets won’t work on your jet setter stainless steel refrigerator? Rejoice! 2008 brings “Steel Sticks” to your favorite online retailer. For just 14.99 (plus shipping), you’ll get three (yes three!) of these nifty gadgets that stick just like a magnet to steel. Without them, you’d have to use tape, and that’s just so tacky (pun intended). Now you’ll have that grocery list, proctologist appointment reminder card, and your kid’s awful scribbles back where they belong…where everyone can see them.

4. Now this is something any God-fearing parent of a baby/toddler really needs. They’re called “Bodily Func-ometers” and are practically life savers. They are cute little stickers that you place by your baby’s belly button when you are changing a diaper, lifting your child after a bath, or any other time you are susceptible to a sudden spray of bodily wastes. The sticker will give you 5 seconds’ warning by turning either yellow, brown or green whenever your child is going to pee, poop, or throw up. This gives you just enough time to grab that diaper, blanket, towel, spouse’s favorite shirt, etc to serve as an all-important shield between you and the vile substances.

5. I know you’ll want this one. It’s an all-in-one program called “Blog-O-Matic” and will work wonders. Among other things, this little puppy will give you blog ideas daily (“Master, how about a blog involving snack cakes, astrology and seafood….you could call it, Twinkie, Twinkie, little star, how I flounder what you are.”) But wait, that’s not all. It will also repeatedly beg others to link to your page and will also visit your page numerous times when you’re not looking, thereby making you feel better about your number of hits and cutting your suicidal ideation nearly in half. Oh, and it leaves anonymous comments on your blogs involving words like, brilliant, fantastic, and genius. Now what would you pay?!





Christmas Songs You Do NOT Want to Hear

13 12 2007

Awful, worse, and dreadful are the best adjectives for the Christmas songs on this blog.

Preface: My wife recently posted a cool blog listing her 40 favorite versions of Christmas Songs (see the link on my sidebar). That got the wheels of my strange brain rolling. What are the worst yuletide songs ever? There are three Christmas songs that will absolutely NOT put you in the appropriate holiday spirit. They are:

1. “Christmas Constipation (Aunt Harriet’s Cheese Ball)” Think, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” with abdominal cramps added. I think this song may have been sponsored by the NAOPG (National Association of Prune Growers) in the 1950s. My advice…stay far away from this recording. You want your Christmas music to be moving, not unmoving. While you’re at it, you might want to avoid cheese balls as well.

2. “Pissy the Yellow Snowman” Sure, it’s important to let your kids know what snow is edible and what snow is not. However, can’t we do this without involving the holidays? If I HAD to listen to this song, it seems like the most appropriate person to sing it would be R. Kelly.

3. “Parade of the Wooden Toy Politicians” This one seems to pop up every four years or so. If you’re lucky, you can just hibernate until the next election is over. If not, get some ear plugs. One good thing about this song was the clever way they rhymed filibuster with stocking stuffer.

Merry Christmas, and I wish good music upon you.





I’m Sick of these People.

9 12 2007

I’m generally an optimistic, humanity-loving person. Sometimes, though, I get in a mood like I’m in right now. When this happens, there is only one remedy: Blog it.

I am sick of a few people. In no particular order, here they are:

1. The Obvious, Unoriginal Line-Using Dude. Situation: You are at a party or meeting and you’ve just been introduced to many people you do not know. You’ve been given a long string of names of the people in your vicinity (Pat, Charlotte, Steve, Marissa, Ted, Wolfgang, Sharquan, Leo, etc). Someone, usually the most annoying man at the gathering, says, “That’s a lot of names to remember. There’s going to be a quiz later!” If it’s not bad enough that you’ve been subjected to one of the most overused lines in human history, don’t worry because you also get to experience two more unpleasant things simultaneously: The guy’s super annoying laughter, and an uneasy feeling that you have to force out a laugh to appease the dude.

2. The Slutty Teenage Girl on Myspace. Apparently somewhere around 1999, it became necessary that 90% of females aged 15 to 19 do three things on their myspace (or similar) page: Post at least one picture of themselves lying on a bed, post at least one picture of themselves making out or acting like they are making out with a female friend, and post at least one picture of themselves with a beer bottle, wine cooler or margarita. These girls are desperately trying to look like adults and are failing miserably. They are, however, succeeding at getting friend requests from teenage boys with profile names like “The Pleaser” and “Love Dat Booty.”

3. The “Highlight-My-Fat-As-Much-As-Possible” Dresser. Also somewhere around 1999 (maybe that was just a bad year), something was added to the water that made a good number of 20-something women lose any sense of style. I’m including reasonably attractive women who maybe just have a “problem area” so to speak. They woke up one morning, and (after having a big glass of the aforementioned H2O) suddenly said to themselves, “Hey, I really need to start wearing stuff that shows off my fattest areas.” They proceeded to follow the following formulas: If I’m a little heavy in the behind and/or thighs, I’m going to wear skin tight pants and shorts, preferably made of something stretchy. If I have a bit of a fat roll around the waist, I’m going to wear low-riders and cropped tops. I want to point out that I consider myself far from a prude and a definite connoisseur of the beauty that is woman. However, some of them are in desperate need of a couple of episodes of “What Not to Wear” on TLC (guys, don’t make fun of me; my wife makes me watch it). I want to add that I am not trying to pick only on women here. If I see a fat guy wearing super tight jeans and a 3/4 length shirt, I’ll immediately be sick of him as well).

4. The Marketers Who Think We Are All Stupid. My personal favorites in this category are the people who came up with the term “fun size” for Halloween-sized candy bars. I guess they thought “super tiny” or “you’ll-want-to-eat-at-least-4-of-these-at-a-time-size” would not go over as well. Next are the marketers who came up with ways to try to make food products seem healthier than they are. For example, they started adding phrases on sugary, kids’ cereal boxes like, “Made with Grains!” or “A significant source of little-known vitamins, such as vitamin M3!” They never say, “As much sugar as a whole chocolate cake!” or “You’ll feel really sick if you eat more than two bowls in a 30-minute span!” My wife’s favorite is when food packages for products like pretzels or raisins say, “No Cholesterol!” on them. These are on foods that have no business having cholesterol in them and that no one ever suspected would have cholesterol in them. It’s like taking a package of condoms and writing, “No Sulphuric Acid!” on it. (How many guys would buy that brand in fear that the other brands did possibly contain acid?)

5. The “Look-I’m-On-TV!” People. Also somewhere around 1999, it became obligatory that every baseball game on tv must have one guy sitting behind home plate talking on his cell phone. This guy is talking to a buddy who is back home watching the game on tv and telling the guy whenever he appears on the screen. Every time a pitch is about to be thrown, the guy stands and waves toward the camera with his cell phone free hand, usually with a really dorky look on his face. He might even jump up and down a couple of times to ensure that his friend (and the hundreds of thousands of other people who just want to watch the freaking game) see him repeatedly. The 7-second delay the networks use only makes it worse. You get the joy of actually anticipating the guy’s next move. Ushers, please start removing these people from the stadium.

6. The Over-Punctuation-in-Blogs-People. These people are awful. They write a blog about people that annoy them, and they use the following: At least 7 colons. These people…wait a minute…oops.





So You Think You’re a Locksmith…

7 12 2007

(No toddlers were harmed in the making of this blog, but we were worried for awhile!)

Since it seems that many among us would watch any form of reality television, it is feasible that we will see a show called, So You Think You’re a Locksmith on the WB in the next season or two. If that does indeed happen, I have a nomination for the show. My nomination would be for an alleged locksmith who would provide comic relief (briefly) and would be kicked off Locksmith Island the first episode. I had the misfortune of dealing with this locksmith recently.

Backstory: My wife and I had a very unnerving toddler experience with our daughter recently. I was doing yard work (if you do not know me, picture a tank-top clad man ripped with abundant muscles; if you do know me, then you know better). My wife, who was suffering hunger pangs, came outside for about thirty seconds to check on my status so that we could soon proceed with our dinner carry-out plans. During said thirty seconds, our toddler, who was inside, turned the deadbolt on the door that my wife had exited. Much to our consternation, we quickly realized that we were locked out, and our toddler and all of our keys were locked in. (Okay, before you even have time to say it…yes, we should have had a spare key on the premises or with our neighbors and have now rectified that situation, but at the time we had instead given our overhead garage door code to our neighbors and usually did not lock the regular door from the garage to the house except when going to bed at night. That was the very door that our toddler locked. Additionally, my sister who lives a few miles away did have an extra key but was not reachable. We found out later that she was in a meeting with a customer and had therefore turned off her cell phone).

Back to the main point: After a short while of fruitless efforts with our neighbors, who are awesome, to either open one of our locked windows or coerce our child to turn the deadbolt the other way, we knew it was time to call a locksmith. We were pretty sure at this point that we sucked as parents and would have our parenting license revoked by social services. It was after regular business hours, of course, but we knew most locksmiths, if not all, would make emergency calls. Through the bad luck of the draw, we chose one from our neighbors’ yellow pages that was located pretty close by. I do not want to sound too petty so I will not even include the smaller details that made it obvious to us that we had called the worst locksmith in North America (I originally planned to say worst locksmith in the world but my attorney advised me that might be an overstatement. Apparently there is a much worse locksmith named Ned in Europe). I will only point out the highlights and leave it to the reader to decide if I am just a small, bitter man.

  1. He was unable to follow my directions to find the correct house in the neighborhood but did locate us after driving past each and every other house in the subdivision. I was the one standing at the corner waving him in.
  2. He was unable to budge any of the three (fairly standard) door locks on our house.
  3. He stated the locks were too dry and asked if we had WD-40. Apparently his official locksmith van did not carry this rare substance. I did have it and gave it quickly to him. He never tried it, and in fact, seconds after I handed it to him said he was going to just drill through our lock and that we would have to replace it. (We agreed immediately as we just wanted to get to our toddler as quickly as possible).
  4. He required cash only payment, and one of our aforementioned neighbors kindly made a run to the ATM. However, the locksmith, for lack of a more fitting title, did not have change, and our neighbor again quickly ran to the nearby convenience store and bought a drink in order to get change while my wife and I enjoyed our reunion with our child, who was unharmed.
  5. He gave us advice about what to do in case of being locked out of our house by a completely different type of lock, which we DO NOT HAVE on our doors.

I joke about these things now, but I really do not want to sound too petty. Bottom line is that we had to get in the house, and we did. At the time, we ONLY cared about getting to our kid. It was after that we started thinking about the locksmithing events. I am sure that some doors are more difficult to open than others, but still, come on, man…

   







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