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Effortlessly Average

Sort of half-heartedly leading the charge into mediocrity since, oh, let's say around 1987 or so.

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Location: Roaming (additional charges may apply), Argentina

Proof that with internet access and a powerful laxative, even insipid people will blog; the place where your excellence and my mediocrity collide; where my Karma whips ass on your dogma.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Please Come Again!

I figure everything has a proper place in the world. Some things should be seen by everyone - the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Nell McAndrew - whereas other things should be under wraps, where their very existence is merely implied. Any number of things fall into this "should not be transparent" category: over-weight people's clothes (including mine), for example, or commodes. Until recently, though, I'd never thought to include plastic purses, but in retrospect it should have been there all along.

Near my place of business is a mall. Now I'm not the type who really enjoys "the mall" unless the stores therein are along the music/book/tool/lesbian-lingerie-model variety. The one near my work, though, has a pretty good food court and a Starbucks, so I tool in there now and again for a capuchino and some Chinese food.

The other day I'm in line, waiting to acquire my box of orange chicken. Nothing screams Chinese food more than the small white fold-top box with the wire handle. And now my spicy orange piece of orgasmic heaven comes with no added MSG.

I was, as usual when standing on queue, casually scrolling my eyes around the place, just observing my surroundings. In front of me was a young woman of, oh I dunno, 25 or so. She was dressed in casual attire: jeans, white Oxford button-down Van Huessen, pony tail, some kind of men's tie loosely fitted around her neck. Pretty girl, I suppose, but not stunning.

She was standing at the counter watching the Hispanic employee attempt to pronounce Hu Nan Chicken while dishing up her veggie medley and steamed rice. My eyes wandered down to her handbag, which was one of those clear plastic things that likely costs more than my first car.

Talk about and open book. I can understand the need for some places to insist on transparent bags or backpacks: schools and casino cash cages come readily to mind. But why would anyone who didn't work in or attend one of these places voluntarily carry about a bag in which anyone can see those things you felt are so important that you can't leave home without them?

I felt a little intrusive, but couldn't help myself. After all, how often does a man get to peer inside that bag of useful items women carry everywhere? Outside of my wife's I can't recall the last time I saw what's inside a woman's purse.

I stood there peering through the clear plastic, gaining a glimpse into her life. I felt like someone who had stumbled upon a portal into the deepest reaches of the jungle. What mysteries would I encounter? Would it contain answers to life's pressing questions? Or would it be filled with Wet-Naps and those individual Advil packets?

Inside I could see her paystub (hmmm... she's not being paid much); car keys; cell phone; and yep, there's the obligatory, travel-sized Wet-Nap package (ooo, and lemon scented too; so she can smell like furniture polish). When she reached to grab her food, she shifted the bag to her other hand so I could then see what was on the other side and... what the hell is that?!

I peered closer, trying not to look like I was trying to get a closer look. Just there, next to what looked like a small makup case was a long, anatomically correct vibrator. This was not your mother's vibrator either (for anyone who can even imagine that your mom had one). No, this was a full on, large caliber latex sex toy that could only be made from a mold of an actual guy's unit. And not just any guy's unit, I'd bet. It probably had a name like the "Vibo-Thunder 5000" or, more subtly, just "Jerome," for those women who choose to allow the name to insinuate its size. If it were a bullet, it would be for Dirty Harry's gun.

The toy wasn't even buried under her wallet and that stack of Burger King napkins women keep in reserve. There it was, right up against the side of the plastic purse, a silent statement of "I can pleasure myself on a moment's notice." And is that a tube of Astro-Glide next to it? Or hand sanitizer?

I suddenly became aware that I was staring at this woman's purse and quickly looked around to see if anyone had noticed. Nope. All clear. So back staring. Suddenly this so-so semi-attractive woman was totally HOT. I can only imagine a world in which it would be appropriate to ask her to demonstrate how one would use such a device.

All kinds of questions floated through my mind. Is she not aware it's visible? Does she know and likes to get a reaction out of people? Am I being punked? I looked around again to see if I could see the hidden camera or someone snickering while looking at me. Is she a "liberated" woman who doesn't care if anyone sees? Is her sexual pleasure so important that she absolutely NEEDS to take care of business during the day? And what kind of circumstances would necessitate carrying a vibrator into public? And one large enough to temper concrete at that. A really boring job? A particularly long business meeting? An extended car ride? "Ok, and with that slide we conclude our presentation on office supply purchasing strategies. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some pressing business to attend to."

Or, "let's go hon, if we don't get on the road we're going to get caught in traffic?" "Hang on, I just need to get my vibrator!"

And where, exactly, would you find the privacy to use this thing? I know Penthouse Letters is full of stories of women who flaunt their sexual proclivities for all to see, but I've never met one in real life. Besides, this thing was large enough that when she turned it on, the windows must rattle. Surely something like that must take more D-cell batteries than my Mag-Lite.

"Hey Betty, do you hear that humming?" "Yeah, Susan, as a matter of fact I do. It seems to be coming from that stall over there." "Maybe it's a faulty light or something." "Hey, are those Julie's shoes I see under that door?"

Perhaps it's a gift for someone else? But if that were the case, why wasn't it in its own bag? "Thanks for your business; would you like me to gift wrap that for you?" "No, I 'll just wear it out, thanks." Now that I think about it, if you're business is selling sex toys, I don't imagine you close each transaction with "Thanks for coming." Then again, I can't think of a better tag-line for a vibrator shop than "Please come again!"

Can you?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Apparently The Oral Habits Are The Hardest To Break

I’ve never been a smoker. My mom smoked when I was a child and I still remember the smell a day of cigarettes left on her and the house. Even though I was only maybe 10 at the time, it was perfectly acceptable for us to walk to the store down the street to buy them for her. All we did was show the clerk a note she’d written asking to sell us a pack and the clerk would comply. Hey, I know, but it was the 1970’s.

I also remember her "borrowing" my allowance to fund her multi-pack-a-day habit.

When I was in high school she tried to quit and it was like living with the banshee devil from hell. She would occasionally sneak into the bathroom and smoke standing in the bathtub, blowing a cloud of blue smoke out the window. This way, her logic told her, no one would ever know she’d cheated. I suppose she may have been right, because my father never seemed to catch on. She did eventually quit, but it was hell for everyone involved.

I remember once lifting a couple of her cigarettes from her pack and wiggling far into the bushes behind the house with my brother to see what the big screaming deal was about smoking. I don’t recall ever feeling so sick to my stomach up to that point. And oh my God, the aftertaste! I guess you have to kill your tastebuds before that goes away. I'd imagine that if you'd do something that causes that taste in your mouth, you'd pretty much be willing to put anything in there.

Still, I’m really not surprised that smoking isn’t regulated in the same manner as, say, soft drugs. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that cigarettes were advertised on television, along with cleaning products and the latest model of clothes iron. Tobacco has been a national crop for centuries in the United States and tobacco companies have engineered the product to virtually guarantee a customer base. And taxes on so-called sin products is a major source of revenue for the states.

All this aside, I just never knew why someone would do that to themselves. The yellow teeth and fingernails, the stale rank of your clothes and hair, and the myriad of health disorders precipitated or exacerbated by smoking. Kissing a smoker is nas-ty. And if I get hit in the helmet by one more motorist flicking his lit cigarette out the window I’m going to whack out. Besides, look a the cost! What’s a pack of cigarettes now, $5? If you, like my mother, had a three pack a day habit, you’re burning through over $5,000 a year in cigarettes. That’s a car payment, not a habit.

Every smoker has his/her own reason for starting or continuing. At first they do so to appear grown up or cool or to fit in with friends who smoke. Eventually it becomes a crutch, then a dependency every bit as powerful as alcohol is to an alcoholic. Personally I think the argument that not every smoker will die from it is a pretty lame attempt at denying their danger to your health. Not every gunshot victim dies, either, but that doesn’t mean guns are safe.

Several years ago I was relating this to a fraternity buddy of mine - and smoker - as we sat in a bar one weekend night. He was a fellow rugby player: big; broad-chested; solid.

“Yeah, I’ve thought about quitting," he said, "I really have."

“What’s stopping you then, the nicotine?” I replied.

“Well there’s that, but no, that’s not really the reason.”

“Why then?” I asked.

He exhaled a cloud of spent cigarette smoke over our heads. “Well, because I know if I do I’ll just go right back to cock sucking.”

Monday, January 09, 2006

And In That Neighborhood, It Was Saying Something

Yesterday our family drove down into Maryland for the annual "Dollar Days" celebration at the Baltimore Aquarium. Admission was only $1 per person, but while we knew the crowds would be unbelievable (and we were right; if you didn't have your ticket by 11am, you weren't getting in that day), we decided it would be worth it for the kids to see their cousins, who were meeting us there. Oh, and to get a little edumacation, you know, given all that home schooling shtuff.

Apparently Google Maps believes the best way for anyone unfamiliar with a city to reach any destination within that city is directly through the ghetto, you know, just to provide an all-encompassing experience. In an effort to spend as little time as possible in the area, BuddhaWife and I had tuned out what the kids were doing in the backseat, although fortunately they seemed to have found something to entertain each other.

Somehow or other, they had taken to repeatedly popping their knuckles while rapping "crack! back to reality!" to the tune - or rap - of Eminem's "Lose Yourself."* I know, but remember, they are ten and eleven. Anyway, you'd think this was the funniest thing they'd ever thought to do.

At one point our son, wanting to share his latest knee-slapper comeback to another knuckle cracking rapp lyric, laughed in anticipation to his sister, "ok, do that again!"

She, unable to produce another knuckle pop, replied "Sorry, I'm all outta crack."

*Forunately one of the very few Eminem song lyrics they know.

- The Number of People Stunned by My Mediocrity