Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let's See if We Can Really Leap This Sharp-Tooth Swimming Beast

As some of you may know, I am now a weekly columnist for the Quick. You can click on this here fancy hyperlinked sentence to read last week's column. And then you can probably type in my name to further delve into my illustrious columning (new word! so hot!) career. The fact that I have bamboozled a print publication into letting me sully their product each week combined with the fact that I lost my zeal for blogging about the Mavs means that this blog has become the internet equivalent of Richardson Square Mall. Tumbleweeds rolling depressingly past an airbrushed t-shirt and cell phone accessories kiosk and the lone remaining anchor store, Sears. It's always the Sears that is the last to go. Berkner High School alum, that joke was for you! Holla back, Rams!

So I've been thinking of using this blog, until the Cowboys come back and take a big steaming dump on our football hopes and dreams of a hometown Super Bowl, to just write down the things that Belo clearly will not publish because they have good judgment. Probably not sports related. Most likely me just bitching about things like water heaters and the price of artichokes. I don't expect many people to read this. This blog is pretty much just a slightly more hygienic version of the people who repeatedly try to explain Lost to sprinklers outside the downtown library.

And to prove this point, I would like to issue the following warning: be really careful about taking valerian root before you go to bed. You see, me and sleep have a very volatile relationship. I love sleep. Sleep is pretty ambivalent about me. I have to set the mood and dress up and make everything just right to make sure sleep comes over. So from time to time, I have taken valerian root to encourage sleep. It works sometimes. But with alternately bizarre and awesome side effects.

It causes dreams that range from sort of scary to full-on, intensity in 10 cities level kickass. Usually, I only remember bits and pieces of my dreams. I was so excited when I woke up this morning that I hit record on my Blackberry to ensure that no detail of my two distinct dream cycles was lost. I present to you, unedited, last night in AmandaCobra's Valerian Dream Explosion:

Dream 1:

I was hired by the big belt sander lobby. I was a belt sander lobbyist, hired to travel the country proclaiming the virtues of belt sanders. I didn't really know a lot about belt sanders but I learned.

But then as I traveled the country, I learned that pretty much anyone who needed a belt sander in their lives was already solidly on Team Belt Sander. Those who weren't on Team Belt Sander weren't really on the fence because, well, they didn't need a belt sander and didn't know why I was wasting their time.

So once I realized that, I also realized that all the time that the Big Belt Sander lobbyists were paying me to preach the gospel of Belt Sanders, I could instead just go to amusement parks. So I did.

But then I got caught after a few months. Instead of losing my job and causing my lobbying group much embarrassment, we worked out a deal where I would travel the country in an Airstream trailer and sing folk songs in the style of Woody Guthrie about belt sanders to appeal to the working man.

This turned out to work surprisingly well and Bruce Springsteen and I recorded a duets album all about belt sanders. Then I woke up.

Dream 2:

Noted comedian Steve Harvey and I were hired by a very downmarket motel chain to travel across the country on a very special mission.

(Side note: Why I gotta be traveling on all these missions in all my dreams? It is very tiring. Can't I just rest for a little bit?)

You see, this motel chain was so low-end and podunk that they had failed to replace any of their in-room telephone books since 1975. Yes, there are many holes in this dream's logic. Why did no one notice this error until 2010? Who uses telephone books anymore? Who hires me and Steve Harvey for this job?

Well, the company's plan was as follows: Steve and I were given a master key which opened every door to every room at every motel in their chain, which is a horrible idea. I would open the door and using my cat-like dexterity and speed, I would sneak into the room while Steve Harvey distracted and entertained the room's occupants with a short stand-up set. While they were distracted I would replace their old 1975 phone books with new phone books.

Overall, Steve and I made a great team and most people never even noticed the switch. Based on this dream, I would highly recommend any cross-country trip with Steve Harvey. He is a wonderful travel companion.

Also, valerian root is kind of badass.


In the Bible, some Biblical person (probably Jesus, he’s allll up in that book) said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Similarly, when a new franchise expands into North Texas and a blog posts something about it, so too shall the trolls descend. I like to read D Magazine’s blog, FrontBurner. It breaks up the monotony of my work day and even though I’m not cool enough to play Words with Friends with the editors and I can’t afford anything they advertise on their site or in their print product, I’d like to think that I am still a loyal reader. So imagine my surprise when all attempts on my part yesterday to read FrontBurner were met with the dreaded “System Error” message. Oh well. I guess Words with Friends really was the death of them.

So I headed over to Unfair Park to catch up on their news. “Oh huh, they’re putting an In-n-Out Burger in Firewheel Mall in Garland? That’s right by my grandma’s house. Weird. Well, back to living life.” Imagine my surprise when FrontBurner returned to life this morning, adrenaline needle still dangling from its’ heart, and told me that it had briefly crossed over where dead pets and grandparents live because of their story about In-n-Out Burger. Really? To their credit, they appear to have broken the story. Rather they broke the story which appeared to return the favor quickly thereafter. I clicked on the story and saw that there were 106 comments. Wow. I rubbed my hands together, excited to jump headlong into a thread that was sure to touch on everything from the chain’s above-par treatment of their employees, how they would maintain their freshness standards so far outside their distribution area, their religious founders, maybe some new secret code words for ordering off-menu treats? Oh boy, this is gonna be good!

Fuck. I should have known. Because it’s the goddamned internet. So of course, I get 106 comments worth of suck. Let me break down the 106 comments left on the Great In-N-Out Burger Thread:

(These numbers are approximate)

“In-n-Out Burger isn’t that good/Whataburger is better” - 45 comments
“In-n-Out Burger is fucking awesome/Whataburger sucks/Sonic sucks/Red Robin sucks/I’m from California” – 74 comments
“Garland sucks/Southlake is better” – 19 comments
“Nuh uh, Garland is awesome! Rich people live here!” – 3 comments
“Food, Inc.” – 1 comment

Let me first say that I’m happy for D Magazine that they got lots of hits and comments and traffic. It appears it was a crippling amount. Kind of like when so many people show up to your birthday party and buy you so many birthday drinks that you end up puking into a shoe of unknown ownership. But why can’t people handle their shit when given the ability to comment on a blog? It’s a story about an f’ing burger franchise opening and you people are yelling at each other and name calling? Alright, I’m going to draw a line with chalk. Anyone who likes hamburgers from In-n-Out, step over to the left. Anyone who doesn’t like them, step over to the right. Guess what, there’s good news and bad news. Taste is subjective which means neither one of you are right and neither one of you are wrong. It does, however, mean that any of you who made more than two comments about whether or not a particular chain makes good hamburgers are, pardon the phrase here, dillweeds of the highest order. Chillax. Seriously.

If you’ve never had an In-n-Out burger and therefore have no opinion, I have nothing but great news for you. You can form an opinion sometime in the near-ish future when the first In-n-Out in Texas opens in Firewheel Mall in Garland. You would have known that yesterday but people on the internet had to yell about hamburgers and immigrants and stuff so you had to wait until today. Sorry.