Category Archives: Observational Humor

Steal My Identity, Please

identity-theft-protection1

Finally, somebody stole my identity.

That somebody, or who I, not by choice mind you, now call the New Me, finally took the bait and stole my identity. Ever since I invested all of my hope inY2K (that’s “Year 2000” – for my fellow Acronym Challenged brethren out there) wiping the financial slates clean from microchip memory, only to be thoroughly disappointed when the anticipated crash did not happen, I’ve been praying somebody would steal my identity and the financial baggage that comes with it.

During the waning days leading up to the turn of the century, when I wasn’t thinking about what life must have been like in debtors’ prisons, I channeled all of my remaining energy into Operation Ground Zero – my little pet name for the impending Y2K crash. Often times these thought strands would merge, and I imagined the resurrection of debtors’ prisons in the post-Y2K era.

The First Rule About Operation Ground Zero is That You Don't Talk Aboutd Operation Ground Zero

The First Rule of Operation Ground Zero is That You Don't Talk About Operation Ground Zero

Ironically, I envisioned debtors’ prisons in an optimistic light – a trait I picked up through my mother’s umbilical cord while floating aimlessly in the womb, without any financial worries whatsoever. Ah yes, the salad days. Debtors’ prison: Where else are you guaranteed a roof over your head and three square meals a day? Moreover, debtors will get the opportunity to spend more time with their families, since they’ll be imprisoned alongside their loved ones instead of alone in an office cubicle, not to mention, debtors’ prisons will have the best education system, since most teachers are in debt up until they retire.

To help tempt and encourage identity thieves, I’ve been leaving my financial baggage all over the Internet, unattended, despite all the warnings circulating in the virtual airwaves via telecom:

Warning: Do not leave your financial baggage unattended, for bags may be stolen or injected with a virus that will virtually destroy your life. Please report any unattended bags to the Internet police or any behaviors that may be considered suspicious, including but not limited to persons fitting computer hacker profiles that demonstrate antisocial behaviors in public places, shoeless children offering to carry your bags in exchange for money and/or sexual favors, or mechanical dogs sniffing through your matching, leopard-skin luggage set.

Despite making wholesale security cuts and leaving behind a mixed-trail of computer cookies a hack hacker could easily digest, nobody had been tempted by my identity. They must have read the writing on the firewalls:

Keep Out! This Poor Cat Ain’t Carryin’ No Cash or Credit

Even so, I thought somebody would at least nibble on my identity before moving on to other, more reputable and potentially profitable marks, say AIG shareholders. Although I had never bought into the Fear Industry’s mega-marketing machine, I thought my revealing identity would lure somebody into its financial abyss. Exacerbated by 9-11 attacks and the “War on Terror,” the “War on Identity Theft,” has stepped up its measures as well, pumping paranoia into the market through fear generators – known as televisions and radios in less paranoid communities.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear some advertisement warning me about identity theft:

Voice Over: Did you know that paying with unprotected plastic is like having sex without a rubber? Whether it’s somebody stealing your identity or giving you an incurable STD, you’re putting your life on the line. Why risk subject yourself to a long, painful death, when you can protect yourself and enjoy the temporary gratification without having to worry about what or who’s on the other end? No more worries; now you can buy the best protection in the industry…

The Identity Protection Industry Racket has become the new Mafia in America, offering consumers protection from identity thieves in exchange for nominal fees.

"You want identity protection...I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse..."

"You want your identity protected? I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse..."

For me the key to fighting identity theft is making sure I don’t have anything worth stealing (at least that’s what I keep telling myself), including my dignity. Subconsciously, at least that’s what I tell Therapist Bob, I’ve taken this philosophy to an extreme by digging a financial hole to China, who by the way, already owns my debt by way of the United States. Hmmmm…maybe we should tempt another country to steal our country’s identity to help erase our debt and lift us out of the current recession.

Got toxic assets?

So I began leaving my identity laying around on the Internet, thinking somebody would quickly snatch it up, but no such luck. I even resorted to using reverse psychology: “Yoo hoo. Over here. Whatever you do, keep your hands off my sweet, little identity, big boy.”

But to no avail.

However, some sucker, the New Me, finally took the bait and hooked my identity last month, only to discover he had been hobbled by a rapidly falling credit score. The New Me is not banking too well. Worse, the New Me had the nerve to file a lawsuit against the Old Me, claiming I had entrapped him into a financial quagmire.

But I’ve vowed to fight the New Me, to the death if need be, and it’s no longer about the money, rather it’s about protecting my dignity – at least what’s left of it after amortization.

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Spring Forward: Daylight Savings Next Casualty in Economic Downturn

The Clock Also Rises

The Clock Also Rises

In states that still participate in Daylight Savings, which may soon be nationalized by the federal government if Americans continue to lose confidence in daylight and are reluctant to spend their time, everyone bemoans the loss of an hour – namely because they could have used the hour to reset all the clocks in the house.

But seriously, what would they have done any differently had they had that extra hour this weekend? I’m sure if we conducted a family-feudal survey, the survey’s number one answer would be: sleep. Of course this assumes that those surveyed do not have children or milk cows, whose biological clocks resist man-made cosmic alterations in the Timexian universe. By the time these biological clocks are completely recalibrated, it will be time to “Fall Back.”

In Iowa the designated witching-hour to either spring forward or fall back centers the 2 a.m. bar-closing time, thus clearing up any confusion among alcohol peddlers as to when they should stop nursing the drunks passed out at the bar. The delayed time-switch also provides the lonely beer-goggle populace an extra hour to lose even more focus as they zero in on their intended target, preferably the one in the middle – even though they’ve only locked in on one target.

Local drunk attempts to pull back clock's big hand to extend bars' "last call"

Local drunk attempts to pull back clock's big hand to extend "last call"

So why do we still have Daylight Savings, which allows Mother Nature’s invisible hand to unhinge our time-structured world without any government oversight and/or transparency? Better yet, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Daylight Savings and the age-old prospect of Springing Forward?

ADVANTAGES:

Less time for our Do-Nothing Congress to do less of nothing

More daylight in the evening to watch your new Plasma television

Provides excuse to take off for lunch an hour earlier or justify extending your afternoon cat nap: “Really, it’s an hour later, so…”

Get your newspaper an hour earlier, so your metabolism can get a jump start digesting all of the depressing news

Milk cows, whose teats aren’t prematurely pulled, are less likely to conspire with the pigs and the horses in overthrowing the Animal Farm and/or the government

DISADVANGAGES:

More time for the GOP-arm of our Do-Nothing Congress to obstruct Congress from doing less of nothing

If you die before ‘Fall Back,” you’ll be robbed of an hour of precious life, assuming every hour of your life is not already preciousssssssssss…

More daylight in the evening to shed even more light on the melancholic faces of those folks who have lost their jobs, homes, dignity, or thought injecting botulism into their foreheads ten years ago seemed like a good idea at the time

More time for Rush Limbaugh’s shadow to eclipse the sun, especially after he has succeeded in fully consuming the GOP

Insomniac’s more likely to join Fight Club, but we’ll never really know, because the first rule of Fight Club is never talking about Fight Club (looks like my membership has just been revoked; now what Tyler?)

Fear and Exploding in the Real World: THIS IS NOT A BILL

Caution: contents may be hazardous to your health

Caution: contents may be hazardous to your health

Despite Therapist Bob’s new-age psychotherapy treatments, my fear of mailboxes returned last week. Albeit this fear may be irrational, since it’s not mailboxes themselves that I’m afraid of, rather what’s in them is what scares the living bejesus out of me.

Sometimes I feel blessed having stepped foot into the real world — leaving behind 18 imagined years of pain and suffering, frustrations stemming from having been exiled from the real world, a desire to run for the mere sake of running, a steady supply of hormonal Molotov cocktails calibrated by some sadistic power to go off at the most inopportune times (e.g. teacher calls on me to solve pi on the chalk board or stand up and give an impromptu speech on egg fertilization), and a misguided faith that the Cubs will one day win the World Series.

What a long, strange trip from the womb it’s been. Thank Flying Spaghetti Monster I had enough sense to wake up from this dream in time to register for the Selective Service on my 18th birthday.

Other times I regret having made the descent into the real world, especially when I’m shadowed and stalked by William (a.k.a. Bill) since my descent into the real world. Now the good William works in mysterious ways, often times sending out reconnaissance patrols to prepare intended targets for the eventual knock-out blow. He makes this clear with emboldened letters at the top of his message: “This is Not a Bill.” Not yet, anyhow.

Last week I received one of these non-Bills in my mailbox sandwiched between a stack of real Bills, which somehow, like me, managed to survive the imagined world. The difference between us, however, is that William survived adolescence with the express purpose of wreaking havoc on my reality, forcing me to long for the nostalgic pre-real world days.

The non-Bill in question was from my health insurance provider, Wellmark BlueCross Blueshield of Iowa and the heading of the recon-message read in all caps:

PREMIUM CHANGE NOTICE

THIS IS NOT A BILL

Given what the first paragraph said, the heading should have read:

BE PREPARED TO BE GREASED, WHACKED, OR SLOWLY BLED TO DEATH VIA WOODCHIPPER IN THE NEAR FUTURE

Welmark actuary caught on film crunching more numbers in woodchipper to help justify exponential premium increases

Welmark actuary caught on film crunching more numbers in woodchipper to help justify exponential premium increases

The Health-Insurance Syndicate wants to raise my monthly premium 17.3 percent from $529 to $629. My initial thought was that this was some sort of April Fools’ Day joke, since the effective change date is April 1. What reputable, LEGAL business can jack their price up 17 percent and still stay in business during an economic crisis? Reputability aside, the Big Health Insurance and Big Pharma are the only industries that can pull this off, while our employers, The Big Three Branches of Government, haggle over policy proposals as their bosses sit by and watch our savings accounts bleed to death, one painful payment at a time.

I plan on sending my Senators a letter voicing my concerns about the health industry’s price gouging and using the following heading:

PROFITTING FROM HUMAN MISERY IS IMMORAL

THIS IS NOT A THREAT

But my fear of mailboxes did not initially manifest with William’s Army, rather it stems back to 2002, when the community I lived in became a target for the “Smiley Face” piper bomber. In 2002, while living on a farm outside the small town of Tipton, Iowa, Luke Helder, 22, planted pipe bombs in peoples’ mailboxes. When later captured in New Mexico, Helder admitted to the terrorist crimes and said he did it, because he was angry at the the government.

To show his anger, Helder ironically planted pipe bombs across the country in a ‘smiley face’ pattern. Tragically, a bomb did explode in the face of one of the Tipton locals, Delores Werling, 70, who received third-degree burns. For the next week or so, we had to leave our mailboxes open at all times, thus ensuring nobody had tampered with them. Helder never stood trial for his deeds, because the courts labeled him mentally incompacitated.

Not only did this incident exacerbate my fear of mailboxes, but it led to my irrational fear of smiley faces. While I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart for several reasons, their smiley-face symbol helped solidify my self-exile from the Epicenter of Cheap Crap and Labor Exploitation. Moreover, I’m reluctant to go and see the new “Watchmen” film because of the smiley-face symbol with blood dripping from its forehead. Forget about all the violence, rape, and immoral activities in the graphic novel version, it’s the damned smiley face that will keep me away from seeing the comic unfold on the big screen.

Who is watching the Watchmen watching our mailboxes?

Who is watching the Watchmen watching our mailboxes?

While so many other Americans ensnared in the current economic crisis are afraid to open their Bills or investment updates, I imagine mailbox phobia is growing exponentially. If I weren’t one of them, I guarantee I would start my own mail-opening business and serve as the middle-man between the victim and the impending financial blow waiting to spring out of the envelop like a jack-in-the-box. Don’t worry, mom; I would wear a helmet.

But what I’m really wondering now is: If a mailbox phobia, like planting bombs in shape of smiley face, is a legitimate mental health issue and I never opened my mail, do I really ever have Bills?

I guess there is only one way to find out (sinister laugh here)…

mailbox-overstufffed

Irony Happens: Just Say Know to Bumper Stickers

ironic-bumper-sticker

For some of us, the cars we drive define who we are, but it’s what people slap on their bumpers, hang from their rearview mirrors or mount in their rearview windows that reveal the soul behind the wheel of the exterior shell.

Unlike people who literally give their cars names, as if christening them will guarantee lower gas mileage or help them meet other cars in parking ramps, I refuse to forge emotional attachments to objects that are, one day, guaranteed to break down on me. Besides, objectifying cars is wrong.

If asked whether my car has a name or not, my standard response is “Oh sure, I call it ‘Piece of Crap.’” Not only do I not give my cars a name, but I refuse to buy a used car that has been named by the previous owner – a life-lesson I picked up from Stephen King’s cautionary tale “Christine.”

To be honest, I don’t really care what kind of car someone is driving, just as long as they’re not in front of me, driving 10 miles under the suggested speed limit. However, from a pop psychology standpoint, I am intrigued by the accessories people choose to adorn to their cars, especially when the added fixture is ironic when juxtaposed to the car and/or the car’s captain.

Take for example the other morning when I was one my way to work and the car in front of me was sporting a “Rednecks for Obama” bumper sticker. Not only did I find the sticker’s slogan itself a wee bit ironic, but the fact that it was slapped on a Volvo screamed irony. This is even more ironic, when considering that I live in Iowa City — a university town known for its liberal populace and dubbed “The Peoples’ Republic of Johnson County” by politicos across the Heartland. So the prospect of seeing a bonafide redneck driving around in broad daylight is rare and usually triggers campus security to declare an emergency and put the campus in lockdown mode.

Speaking of liberals, last July I moved into a neighborhood considered one of the most liberal bastions of Iowa City. I knew we would have trouble assimilating when I soon discovered we were the only ones on our side of the street, who are not in a band. Because we didn’t go through a realtor, we managed to fly under the Bohemian radar undetected. To help compensate for my musical ineptitude I started this blog, hoping this alone would be enough to keep the neighbors distracted, so they wouldn’t get suspicious when they didn’t hear me rehearsing for my next gig.

Moreover, our move was in the middle of the presidential campaign and we were thrust into the middle of a sign war. All of our neighbors had either anti-war or pro-peace signs in their yards, and I imagined when they talked about us, their conversation started off something like this:

Neighbor One: Have you met the new neighbors?

Neighbor Two: You mean the ones without an anti-war sign in their yard?

Needless to say, in lieu of having the faulty wiring redone, we had a security system installed – just in case Obama lost the election. In the meantime, I knew we needed to put a sign in our yard, but I was on the fence as to which route to take – pro-peace or anti-war? So I compromised by making own sign, plagiarizing a slogan from “Dr. Strangelove”: “Peace is Our Profession.”

Order your very own yard sign now (armed soldier not included)

Order your very own yard sign now (armed soldier not included)

Just to give you a sampling of the types of bumper stickers you would see in my neighborhood, one neighbor has a “I’d Rather Be Playing Scrabble” sticker on his pickup truck, while the neighbors across the street from us don an “I’m Pro-Accordion & I Vote” sticker on their station wagon.

This is a stark contrast to the blue collar neighborhood I lived in Grants Pass, Oregon ten years ago. My downstairs neighbor, who we hypothesized, based on the rancid, dead carcass burning smell that piped through our heating vents periodically, was making meth in his kitchen, had a truck that was steeped in ironic accessories. He parked his fully-loaded, black Dodge Ram next to my fun-size Volkswagon Golf. On some occasions, after a night of bar hopping and off-roading in the Oregon thicket, he parked in my spot — his truck serving as a makeshift carport for my Golf.

His truck was equipped with the naked lady mudflaps (speaking of which, I’m in the process of unleashing naked men mudflaps, trademark pending, to tap into the female and gay trucker target market), a chain adornment around his license plate, and not one but two “No Fear” stickers. The implicit irony of the “No Fear” campaign has never been lost on me, given those who truly possess no fear would not have to advertise this to the external world. This type of insecurity can be seen in doubting Christians, who sport crosses around their necks or tattoo their temples with crosses to let the world know they’re believers while simultaneously giving God a symbolic shout out – just in case the Almighty may have missed a beat on His watch.

So what are you afraid of, really?

So what are you afraid of, really?

What pushed my neighbor’s truck over the ironic edge is that he had a once-sacred Indian Dream Catcher hanging from his rearview mirror, thus warding off any evil spirits that might invade his dreams while sleeping. Why people are sleeping while driving is beyond me, unless the intent is to protect daydreams from evil spirits. But aren’t you supposed to be in control of your daydreams? Maybe the Dream Catchers serve as nocturnal car alarms that keep the cab safe while its master slumbers in the house.

Now don’t get me wrong, Iowa City, despite its insulated liberalism, is far from being immune to the fringe element of society that makes people watching a more interesting hobby and legitimate pastime. One of the most bizarre bumper stickers I’ve seen in town was one that read “Necrophilia: Never Too Late to Pop a Cold One.” I’ll admit that I did burst out laughing when I first saw this sticker, namely that somebody would actually buy it, let alone put it on their car, which in this case was a mini-van. I sped up to pass the vehicle, just so I could get a look at the twisted man commandeering the van.

Much to my shock and subsequent horror, a stereotypical soccer mom was driving and there were empty kids seats strapped in the back, as if she had just dropped the kids off at day care on the way to sleep with dead corpses. As a parent of three, I was dumfounded and hoped that she was borrowing the van from a relative who was serving a stretch in prison for public indecency and fornicating with the deceased.

Either way, it was this particular moment that I felt I truly did “Know Fear.”

Thank Darwin for Prednisone

“So I have this rash…” has been a great icebreaker for the past few weeks when talking to friends, colleagues, and strangers at the bus stop. I’ve grown tired of talking and hearing about the weather, especially when the subject is broached while outside:

Stranger: It sure is cold out here. (hands tucked up in arm pits, shivers while waiting for me to agree with statement of obvious).

Me: (wearing puffy snow suit, scarf, and ear muffs) Really, I hadn’t notice.

Stranger: It’s supposed to get even colder the next few days.

Me: So I have this rash…

Stranger: (suddenly uncomfortable and at a loss of words, relieved by emergence of bus) Well here’s our chariot.

Me: Do you mind if we sit together? I would love to tell you all about my rash…

Despite the past couple thousand years of evolving, assuming you buy into Darwin’s theory, our species has yet to find a solution to deal with uncomfortable encounters with strangers in small, compact spaces. We tried silence, but that merely created a new problem that needed to be dealt with: repressed tension.

To deal with this, some sadistic bastard created Muzak – faux music which strips the soul out of its original recording to keep compliant with current copyright laws. As is the case with most innocuous inventions and discoveries (e.g. splitting of atom), Muzak was used for evil purposes. Muzak, for example, when not used to extract vital information from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, is pumped into elevators to sedate unsuspecting guinea pigs as a means of keeping us from turning on each other in a raging fit of uncomfortable silence.

For the most part it worked. How often do you see random acts of Elevator Rage splashed across newspaper headlines?

“Breaking: 13 Killed in Elevator Rage Incident, While Going Up”

jerry_elevator

Site of deadly episode of Elevator Rage allegedly spawned by Muzak version of “Rage Against the Machine” song

But I digress, dear Reader.

So I have this rash…and what better way to celebrate a full-body rash and the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin than a trip to the dermatologist, eh?

That’s where I was headed when I met up with the reluctant Stranger at the bus stop. My conversation-starter didn’t quite seduce the gentleman at the bus stop, who upon boarding, bolted to the only open seat in the back of the bus. I sat up front, feeling what the lepers must have felt when the Christians relegated them to the lazar section of the bus — named after Lazarus, patron saint of lepers and public transportation.

“Viva la Lazarus!”

Now, I’m willing to bet a pound of dead skin that nobody starts off in the medical profession by openly admitting: “I’ve always dreamt that of one day I will become a dermatologist.”

I’m guessing that dermatology is one of those fallback occupations in the medical field – should you not make the final cut for one of your top choices – brain or plastic surgeon (depending on what you’re more attracted to).

When I was plugging away on my undergraduate degree in Open Major at the University of Iowa, the fall back major was Communication Studies. Nobody started off on this track, but after partying leap-frogged academics on the priority list, this is where a lot of people were derailed, including my roommate, who later dropped out altogether. He was quick to rationalize his fall from academic grace, citing Tom Brokaw as his poster-boy for success:

“Brokaw flunked out of Communications at Iowa, and look at him now.”

True, Brokaw did drop out of UI, where he says he majored in “beer and co-eds,” but I was quick to remind my roommate that he also finished his degree at the University of South Dakota, not to mention his nabbed 17 honorary degrees without having dropped a single dime for tuition.

Instead of minoring in Beer & Co-eds, maybe I should have double-majored, so I would have had something to fall back on in case my Open Major didn’t pan out.

So you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with my rash, huh?

Which leads to why I found myself sitting in the dermatologist’s office with a rash that had consumed most of my body, thinking about Darwin and evolution theory. The walls in the waiting room and the examination rooms were covered with photographs of underwater sea creatures. I tried to figure out a possible motif linking these creatures to dermatology when it dawned on me that they breathe through their skin. Skin is their essence.

Sure looks fishy to me

Sure looks fishy to me

I suspected my rash was an allergic reaction to laundry detergent. Thanks to the recent downturn in the economy, I’ve had to alter my normal shopping habits. Normally, when the economy is on the upswing and I’m poor but not dirt poor, I tend to buy the second-to-cheapest product on the brand chain. Not only does this help feed the illusion that I’m not a bottom feeder, but I found the thought of playing Consumer Russian Roulette exhilarating as well.

That said, I purchased the cheapest laundry detergent on the shelf.

Bang! I lost.

My dermatologist, who I suspected dreamt of a life in plastic surgery before his Darwinian fall from grace, confirmed my suspicions. His diagnosis: an allergic reaction to cheap shit.

The cure: a steady dosage of Prednisone and a 12-step program to break my addiction to cheap shit.
Speaking of Darwin, I realize there are still skeptics out there who don’t buy into his theories on evolution, but clearly none of these naysayers saw how my rash evolved on my body. It started off as a small colony on my forearms before spawning sub-colonies that spread up my arms that eventually descended down to my ankles, where they set up temporary shop.

Sure, the Creationists will argue that my spreading rash is all part of the Creator’s master plan to keep me from buying cheap crap, but I turned to a more reputable source for guidance: The Flying Spaghetti Monster of the Church of FSM.

the new Creationism of Choice

Join The Church of FSM: the new Creationism of Choice

For whatever reason, I find the Almighty FSM’s beliefs easier to swallow.

Thank Darwin for that.

(Update: T.M. Lindsey is currently rash-free and would like to thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s creations for creating non-generic Prednisone. Let it be noted that T.M. is also enjoying the uptick side-effects of Prednisone and has gone five days without purchasing cheap, toxin-filled products; although thanks to the former he has yet to enjoy taking the latter.)

Facebook Status Update: Big Brother is Watching You!

Five years ago, the thought of having to wear a GPS ankle bracelet so authorities could track your whereabouts may have been humiliating, but a suitable alternative to prison.

Now, thanks to online social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter, these tracking devices are on the path to extinction as millions of American choose to be voluntarily tracked, preferring a virtual imprisonment over a life of privacy.

Okay, so I’m guilty of falling prey to these temptations — namely for networking reasons, finding long-lost friends, and helping the FBI shave off man-hours as they keep tabs on my subversive humor and satirical attacks on government institutions. I realize that humorists/satirists are somewhere between Jehovah Witnesses and Salvation Army Bell Ringers on the FBI’s watch list, but every minute I give back to the bureau can be better spent tracking down the real criminals: offshore bankers and video pirates.

By the way, did I mention I’m a Conspiracy Theorist? Yeah, you heard me right Mr. FBI Guy; stuff that in your secret computer file and smoke it. Ever since I read George Orwell’s “1984” in eighth grade, I’m convinced that Big Brother is watching my every move. For example, I refuse to use automatic toilets in public restrooms, sensing they are elaborate tracking devices that record your whereabouts and activities via the red lights.

"It always feels like, somebody's watching me..."

"It always feels like, somebody's watching me..."

Therapist Bob said this is absurd, but I’m not about to take any chances and flush my rights away.

And now we’re seeing the trickle down effects of Big Brother as local authorities are getting into the social spying networking game. Just recently a female college student was reported missing in Iowa City after a night of drinking with her real friends. Hmmmm….I’m sure this never happens in a college town, thus raising red flags down at the police department.

Local peace officers eventually tracked her down, claiming they used Facebook to discover her whereabouts. They did not say how they did this, but I imagine they sent her a Friend Request. Nothing like getting one of these in you notification box: “The Iowa City Police Department wants to be your friend: Confirm?”

By the way, if anyone receives the following status update from me, you know something is amiss and should text message the authorities immediately:

T.M. Lindsey is enjoying shopping for women’s underwear at Wal-Mart.”

Anyone who really knows me would know that I would not be caught dead shopping at Wal-Mart. And if I was caught dead, the county coroner, thankfully, would be the only witness as to why I was shopping there in the first place. I’ll plea the fifth on this one.

Then along comes Twitter, for those folks who just can’t leave home without their personal trackers.

I will admit that I have yet to take the full plunge into Twitter, namely because I’ve developed a false Messiah complex and worry that a bunch of my followers will start their own narcissistic pilgrimages into the blogsphere and start publishing their own musings from the basement while wearing pajamas and women’s underwear.

I am not wired to handle this much responsibility.

And in Twitterville, if you are not being followed, you are following somebody else, thus completing the full circle of consensual stalking. Iowa City’s neighbor, Coralville, has gone Twitter, including its police department. Not sure who would intentionally want the police department following them, but I imagine it’s the same folks who actually talk to pollsters when they Break & Enter their phone lines.

But what does the Facebook phenomenon reveal about our need-for-attention culture? On a basic level, isn’t Facebook the mere equivalent of standing at the end of the diving board at the virtual pool and shouting to all of your friends: “Look at me! Look at me!”?

"Are you ready to take the Facebook plunge? Jump! Jump! Jump! ... Jump!"

"Jump! Jump! Jump! ... Jump!"

Are you ready to take the Facebook plunge?

Moreover, Facebook serves as a virtual playground for adults, who can tag and poke each other without fear of having their recess stripped from them. These behaviors, however, serve as naughty gateway behaviors leading to bigger and more dangerous behaviors such as writing on friends’ walls. “Friends don’t let friends write on friend’s walls.”

It won’t be long before Facebook goes below the neck and launches an adult version that begs the status update question: “What are you wearing right now?”

T.M. Lindsey is not wearing women’s underwear at the moment.”

This Commercial Won’t Be Televised During Super Bowl XLIII

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials,” I could, well, buy my own $3 million 30-second spot during this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa Bay.

My usual response to these unsolicited declarations is: “I can totally relate. I only go to museums for the popcorn.” This emits a look of confusion on the receiving end as if they’re wondering if they had dialed the wrong number when calling someone who cares. Better yet, they are trying to remember the last time they went to the museum, and if they sold popcorn to the audience at the time.

But ultimately, my non-sequitur response serves as an effective conversation-stopper, damning up the deluge of past Super Bowl commercial memories waiting to drown me out by the water cooler at work.

What I really want to ask these commercial aficionados is “Is there really such thing as a good commercial? Or is ‘good commercial’ an oxymoron?” Then I would have to explain oxymoron, something they used to know the meaning of before they picked up an addiction to commercials on the airwaves.

A lot of these people aren’t aware they have C.A. (Commercial Addiction) because they are living in denial or have subconsciously masked their feelings by purchasing Tivo.

That’s why if I could turn my aforementioned hypothesis into reality, I would purchase a 30-second slot during tonight’s Super Bowl and run the following Public Service Announcement:

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN:

wet_brain1

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON COMMERCIALS:

sean-of-dead

This is your brain on SAY SOMETHING FUNNY:

einstein12_375

ANY QUESTIONS?

This Public Sevice Announcement was sponsored by Say Something Funny and was produced with no overhead costs. No brain cells were damaged, zombified or killed in the making of this post.