Prolific Cynic

A place for a cynical person to write his cynical petty little thoughts and musings.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Tale With A Happy Ending

For those of you reading this that don’t live in Ontario it’s snowed a lot, it’s snowed a shit load. It’s as if God, in his infinite wisdom, gazed upon the earth and declared, “Man, those are some ugly bastards down there, better hide ‘em.” Then like a paper bag put over a desperate last call pick up, he dumped ton of snow on us.

It’s a lot like in those old silent movies, you open the door and in falls a pile of snow filling the room. However, in Toronto a couple of corpses and at least one frozen purse dog usually accompanies it.

I spent Saturday night ignoring many adults who came knocking on my door to shovel the walk. I don’t pay adults to shovel my walk. I pay kids to shovel my walk who then get mugged by the adults I ignored. I truly believe in the circle of life.

Sunday morning I went out to shovel what had fallen overnight, only to find that someone had stolen my snow shovel. Who would steal a snow shovel? Hell, who has made it all the way through to March without needing one until now? I imagine it’s like bike seats. Yours gets stolen, and you steal someone else’s to replace yours. Which begs the question how did that first seat get lost anyway?

I felt like the neighborhood ass. You know that guy; everyone else shovels the walk, or tends their garden. The neighborhood ass lets the grass grow until it’s just under the window ledges. That’s when the kids on the street start telling one another that you should never step on old man Jenkins yard. “I’ve heard he keeps a row of bullets on the inside of every window and a gun on him for when kids follow a stray baseball onto his yard. I know ‘cause my mom works in the bank he goes to.”

I put up the following sign:

The reason was twofold. First to let everyone know the great injustice that was done to me, and second to explain why I hadn’t shoveled.

Next it was off to the hardware store to get a new shovel. I thought I would splurge and get a really good shovel. I never liked the old one really. It was straight and plastic. You had to turn it upside down to scrape that last few millimeters of snow off the ground. My new shovel would have a rubber handle, metal end, be ergonomic be equipped with GPS and a coffee holder.

I was politely laughed at when I asked where the shovels were. They were sold out. There must have been a rash of shovel thefts that was the only reason I could figure that all the stores were sold out, because again, who wouldn’t have a need for a shovel until March?

I walked home cursing the city and humanity in general. I saw many lovely shovels sitting on people’s front porches or on sidewalks in front of stores. I was tempted to take each one, but realizing how hard it is to run with a shovel if someone caught me in the act, I decided against it. I came to terms with the fact that I would now have to go door to door and ask to borrow a shovel. How humiliating. I anticipated all the accusations I would get, “Why did you leave it on the front porch, rather than locking it up?” or “Don’t you think you should have shoveled it yesterday, and only need to sweep the little bit off today?” or “Aren’t you the guy that dresses with all his window blinds open?” It was too much to take.

I turned the corner to my house and low and behold my walk was shoveled. Some neighbor saw my sign and was kind enough to shovel for me. Immediately I took down the sign and replaced it with this one.

Okay humanity, you win this one…

Monday, March 3, 2008

Just Where The Hell Have You Been?

Thanks for visiting. As you may notice by the dates of posts it’s been a while since anything has been done on this blog. Hell, back in June of 2007 was the last posting. So what happened you ask? There are plenty of rumours as to what happened to me in the past nine months:

  • I got tricked into joining the army and along with a rag tag group of losers ended up winning the Iraq War and the heart of my female drill sergeant, Ms. Firebrand.
  • I was locked in the basement of a candy manufacturer during their shut down, and growing too large to fit through the door had to remain there and wrote an Anne Frankesque diary about the ordeal, “Always remember this Jason, there are no walls, no bolts, no locks that anyone can put on your mind, and always carry some Lik-m-aid Fun Dip, for even the utensile is edible.”

  • I traveled forward in time nine months to unlock the secrets that the future holds. That being a Spice Girls reunion and how the writer’s strike ends. Then just being lazy didn’t do anything with this information.

  • Catalogued and named every hair follicle on my body, then after getting too close mourned the entire time after a back waxing. How I’ll miss Roger.

  • Grew my fingernails really long and opened a salon for people with itchy scalps.

I’d like to take a moment to address all these rumours. The short answer is to the question of what the hell happened is “all of the above”, but not in the order listed. But more importantly I became a father back in October. It’s a pretty crazy, life changing thing, but a hell of a lot of fun…

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Horrifying Travels of Winnie The Pooh

Winnie has been all over the world and has encountered many a danger. Dangers worst than the Huffalump, or being stuck in a tree. Let’s take a moment now to view a few photos of Winnie’s journey across the world.

We begin in Madagascar where a wild cat has pounced and quickly devoured our friend Winnie. We see Winnie is pleased with the situation as the rough tongue of the cat moves across his upper torso and makes him feel loved for the first time in his life.

Next Winnie is off to a Maine beach, where he got crabs. Not that type of crab you filthy bastard! While eating some of the smaller variety this fellow took revenge and snapped Winnie up. Winnie’s smile is due to the fact he has melted butter in his pocket and plans to eat his way out, while doing his best backwards impression of an Alien being born.

Then it’s off to the Land Down Under, Australia where this bloke jumped Winnie and scarfed him down. Winnie is as shocked as we are, mainly because he too can’t identify this strange animal.

Wild Africa, and this time a giraffe. No worries though, Winnie’s head is bigger than this fellows throat. The giraffe will slowly choke to death and Winnie will crawl out free as a bird.

“Ha, ha! The lion’s stomach acid tickles my toes!”

Then to the frigid waters of Alaska where Winnie went clubbing seals. This fellow didn’t care to watch his buddies beaten to bloody pulpy pups and ended it fast. “So cold, hard to stay awake… mustn’t fall asleep.”

And as in the circle of life this Orca eats the seal that ate Winnie. Winnie smiles in spite of himself at the absolute absurdity of the situation.

While in southwest Asia this goat stampedes towards Winnie, opens it’s gaping maw and swallows Winnie whole. This goat, as can be seen by the distinctive markings on it’s chest is a member of the Numbobby Cult. A sect that believes true inner peace can only be found by being in the mouth of another species. Winnie tries to meditate upon this as his foot slowly snakes down the goat’s small intestine.

Back in The Hundred Acre Woods Winnie realizes the sucker he’s been all his life and borrowing a page from Dr. Hannibal Lecter kills and skins Tigger to wear him as a disguise. “Now where is that little fucker Piglet… I wish to wear him as gloves.”

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Fight To The Death- Or To The Kitchen

It's a beautiful day in the land of broken dreams, so I went out on my bike to pick up some toiletries. I only do such things on a beautiful day, which means I'm one stinky bastard come winter.

I got home and collapsed on the couch. A twenty-minute bike ride to the Shopper's Drugmart can really take it out of you. I heard noises upstairs of banging around and general scurrying. Our cat, Smudgie had moved into crazy time. Crazy time is when a cat's eyes go as big as saucers and for no understandable reason the cat charges around the house in a gallop with the odd howling meow. I looked at my watch. 1:00PM, crazy time was early. This primal type of behaviour doesn't usually happen until after dark. I didn't think much of it though.

I heard him coming down the stairs behind my head. Usually if he's coming down when I get home it means he's looking for a lap to curl up on. Craning my head to look up the stairs I noticed my white with butterscotch dotted cat looked abnormally gray. Upon closer inspection Smudge had gained a ringed tail and pointy nose. Slowly it all came together, it's not crazy time, Smudgie is indeed white with butterscotch dots, had a regular cat like nose and was in fact not a raccoon.

I jumped into action grabbing the raccoon’s mortal enemy, the broom. Or as I like to call it my broomstick-boomstick and raced upstairs. The broomstick-boomstick is also an enemy of bats, stray cats, children who steal pies that are cooling from my windowsill and dust bunnies. The broomstick-boomstick has no known predators itself. At the top of the stairs was my actual cat about three times his normal size, and shedding everywhere. Much like a blowfish the cat puffs up to scare intruders, then irritates their allergies. It works on both raccoons and in-laws. I grabbed Smudge who was as stiff as a board and threw his hissing hair shedding body into the study.

The raccoon had retreated into our bedroom, and was riffling through my underwear drawer, like the perverted abomination of nature he was. I cocked the broomstick-boomstick and let loose a stream of floor slams. He ducked and lost eye contact. It looked like he had gone under the bed. Great, if he finds my old Playboys under there, I’ll never get him out. Unless I get lucky and he’s one of those rare gay raccoons. It was my lucky day, he was. As I shoved the broomstick-boomstick under the bed he darted out behind the window curtain. I drew my blade and was about to strike when I remembered my training as a thespian, I couldn’t risk killing the King’s advisor, Polonius, so I yelled profanities until he came out.

Raccoons are all of the Christian Right and hate any profanities. So I started screaming about how abortions should be legal, the war is really about oil and evolution must be taught on our schools. It worked, the raccoon was so offended he darted down the stairs, through the kitchen and out on the balcony.

I followed; he was now hiding under my wife’s bike, presumably trying to cut the locks to make off with it. Two years ago someone ripped off her bike. Now I had a suspect. Using the broomstick-boomstick I frightened him to the edge of the balcony. We faced each other eye to eye, for a brief moment I had respect for my enemy. This creature who was raised in the alleys and the muck, so desperate to have what I did, a home, a family and a very puffy cat. I snapped out of it and yelled, “Don’t you ever come back here!” and poked at him until he fell onto the tree and scurried away. My family was safe. I was reunited with Smudgie and we celebrated our victory with a cold beer. Smudgie’s shaken, it’s gonna take some time for him to get over this. As I type he is still checking ever nook and cranny in the house. We may have to move from here and start over…

Blood thirsty fiend

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Comedy Review- Smokin' Aces


Starring: Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, Alicia Keys

With a nod, or perhaps a slap to the face of Quentin Tarantino comes Smokin’ Aces. The film’s concept is a simple one. Jeremy Piven playing basically the role of Jeremy Piven is a magician named Buddy 'Aces' Israel with a primadonna complex and some lame card tricks. Through a very fast flashback we see that he rose from being a Vegas lounge act to mafia leader in what seemed to be a matter of weeks. And that folks is all the character development you’re gonna get. For immunity “Aces” goes to the FBI to rat out another mafia boss Primo Sparazza who’s story we learn from another 30-second flashback, and if memory serves he never utters a line of dialogue in this entire movie. This prompts a bounty of a million clams on Aces head and 7 hit men/women of various wackiness come a runnin'. Their character development consists of that’s right, you guessed it, 30-second flashbacks! Conveniently, each time a new character emerges their name appears in subtitles beneath them. Good thing, because it you closed your eyes for a second you’ll miss it all.

The problem with this film is that you never get any time with any character, thus never giving a flying fuck about any of them. Even the good guy FBI agents, Ryan Reynolds and Ray Liotta get little more than a few minutes of dialogue with each other, but come off as a 2 dimensional picture of an FBI man.

One group after Aces is three-bail bondsmen lead by Ben Affleck, who are quickly put away with by the more psychotic hit man group. The least experienced of the three survives and ends up in the country with a white trash grandma and her ADD karate loving erection prone grandson. I’m not sure why this side story exists since it doesn’t seem to have any bearing on the plot, nor does anything get resolved. In fact the movie loves not resolving things. After seeing it you’ll lie in bed at night and say to yourself, “I wonder what happened to that character?” then before drifting off to sleep you’ll remember that you don’t really care.

About three quarters into the film you see what you really came to see. Mainly hit men tripping over each other and killing one another in fun and fantastic ways. And for a few minutes you forget that you don’t care about anyone here and enjoy the senseless violence.

There are some laughs in this Comedy/Action. Though the characters are very 2 dimensional, the laughs are born out of their perchance for violence, and what is supposed to be snappy dialogue. We’ve seen it before, people about to commit crimes of violence and talking about things unrelated. There are two female assassins that are particularly enjoyable to watch as one extols the rhetoric of feminism before getting ready to blow off people’s heads.

The major issue here is that no one actor gets enough screen time to make a meal out of the character they are given. It’s got a lot of talented performers, but it’s like being on the bus with them. It’s cool to see them there, just not all that entertaining.

The best part of this film was the ending, where Reynolds’s character does something so unbelievably unrealistic the audience at once all says, “Yeah, right!” But then again I’m a sucker for a crowd of people being disappointed all at once, and once the lights in the theatre came up and I saw all the disappointed faces I had to laugh out loud.

Why You Should See It: Jason Bateman’s cameo, though completely irrelevant to the film is just damned funny and a touch shocking.

Why You Shouldn’t See It: It’s entirely forgettable and the actors are wasted.

Funny Factor: Some good laughs, but just doesn’t make up for the negatives.

What To See Instead: Check out Pulp Fiction for the violent humour, or watch It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World for a film that managed character development with dozens of characters that trip over each other.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Grocery Day

You know I enjoy shopping. Send me out for CDs, DVDs, books or gadgets and I'm great. There are two things I hate shopping for that is greeting cards and shoes. There are very few greeting cards that I feel are humorous enough to actually give to someone. I have never looked at a greeting card and thought, "Wow, this fart joke really encapsulates my feelings towards my good friend Tom." As for shoe shopping, well, it's just dull, plus those stores all smell funny.

The strangest thing to go shopping for is groceries. I do a fair amount of the grocery shopping in my household. My wife works from home and it just makes more sense that I stop on the way home for the food. There really isn't anywhere on my wife's commute from the bedroom to the office to buy much of anything. Occasionally the cat will have a Gucci knockoff handbag or Rolex with three x's, but how many of those can one family really need?

Shopping for food always seems a little futile. It's not like clothing or entertainment. Dole never comes out with a flashy new must have apple. You never see kids saving up to get that head of lettuce everyone is talking about. Basically you buy something that will either be gone in a week and you'll have to buy again, or it will turn into a pile of mush in the dark nether regions of your crisper.

I tend to stick to the things I know. Boneless chicken breast, lettuce, cucumber, buns, lunchmeats, bananas, grapes, soymilk and red/green/yellow peppers (all of which taste the same, don't be fooled). My wife likes the fringe or outcast food, like arugula or feta cheese. Cheese shouldn't crumble, and best I can tell arugala is an angry lettuce or something.

The most entertaining part of the grocery trip is always the checkout line. This is where I get all my news. From Britney Spears latest cootch flash to the whereabouts of the beloved Bat Boy. These are the things I read whilst the woman in front of me runs off because she forgot a lemon. My thought is that the second you put your purchases on the conveyor belt, its game over, you are committed. I'm pretty sure that's why many people have children, so that they can keep the place in line while the kid runs off to get the wrong type of spaghetti sauce again and again.

There is one cashier at my local supermarket who I call Slow George. He is dreadfully slow at the checkout. He very carefully examines everything you buy as he runs it against the scanner. I like to imagine he is looking at the purchases and imagining what kind of life you live. "Pizza, cola and sugary breakfast cereal- bachelor," or "3 bags of milk, 2 cartons of eggs, a 6 pack of Kleenex- mother of three," or "Cucumber, pepper squash, bananas, watermelon and a hand drill- pervert."

In reality though I think slow George is sizing up how he feels about the food, "I like ramen noodles, ohhh I don't like turnips at all, apples are nice. I wonder if I'll ever feel the touch of a woman. I bet a woman's breasts feel like apples. All smooth and clean with a sticker on them..."

The impulse items at the cash are pretty fantastic too. Chocolate bars and condoms. For the longest time I thought condoms were just chocolate bar holders. Cozies if you will. I would suggest getting unlubricated though if you are going to use them for this. Otherwise it makes your Kit Kat hard to hold on to.

If you want some real fun don't put that little divider down after your purchases. One of two things will happen. The person behind you will leave a huge foot long space between your groceries and theirs, or they will keep the stuff in their arms until yours have been moved through. As though your food is leprous, and their food might catch it. Or they are just plain stuck up and don't want their rhubarb cavorting with your hostess ding-dongs. Then pay for everything with pennies. People love that.

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