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Archive for October 2008

What Happened To Halloween?

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Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I think it’s in part to the fact that I love autumn, but also it’s because Halloween is like no other holiday. It was always separate from all the others, far and away it’s own special day. Think about it. It’s the only holiday that doesn’t make you honor, observe, give thanks or struggle with religious significance. It was dark, scary, spooky, eerie and sometimes even horrifying.

What do you think would happen if you showed up to a New Year’s party dressed as a ghoul with a bloody axe in your head and fake guts hanging out. You got that right, you’d be called a freak and immediately ostracized. How about going to Easter mass dressed as the devil, man that’d be fun. I’m sure you’d really enjoy the stories about what happened, after you came to in the emergency room days later. Halloween allows you to cross over to the dark side, to touch the gruesome and grotesque. If only for one night. What other holiday offers you something like that?

Let’s not forget about the candy. You might find a parade once in a while where people throw out candy, but it usually falls in a pile of house manure, tastes like gasoline or gets run over by a Shriner in a midget car just as you’re reaching for it. Halloween says, “Free candy from as many doors as you can knock on before the porch light goes out”. While some houses give better treats than others, it really shouldn’t serve as any kind of discouragement, it’s all free. Don’t like it, throw it out. Maybe you’re saying to the screen, “But Ramblin’, I’m a full grown adult, how do I get free candy?” “What are kids for?” that’s what I say. Don’t have kids, well where do you think the saying, “Like hiding in the bushes, pouncing out and taking candy from kids dressed up like dinosaurs, pirates and princess” comes from?

Lately though, it seems as though Halloween has been bought by the “Giant Wussy” corporation. I think the beginning of the downfall was when parents stopped making their children’s costumes and/or kids stopped “going” as general things, (like a skeleton, vampire, witch, etc.). Today all the kids are beatin’ the asphalt as corporate sponsors. Every time I open the door I feel like someone is going to ask me to buy a vacuum or encyclopedias, but instead of asking if they can give me a quick demonstration they just want free candy. I don’t mind giving it away, but I’d like to see some creativity, some effort, some, (dare I say it?) pizzazz! The other thing I’ve noticed is some people have taken to decorating their lawns with inflatable ornaments. Am I only the only one who thinks BB gun? Inflatables and Halloween go together like peanut butter and ketchup. It’s ridiculous. I saw a pumpkin tonight that had three ghosts popping out the top, all of which were soft and cartoony, wearing big smiles on their faces. WTF?! Halloween is for zombies, ghouls, gremlins, ghosts, bats, skulls, mummies, gigantic spiders, gallons of fake blood and the haunted, not the Care-Bears, Smurfs, or Strawberry Shortcake.

Is it too much to ask to scare the shit out of children, rendering them permanently scared, needing years of therapy to return to normal life?

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster, MD, PsyD, Child Psychologist (free consultations beginning November 1st, call for details)

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October 31, 2008 at 2:57 am

Cell Phone Debacle

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When I’m not busy being a full time idiot, I volunteer part time as a crazy person.

Are you old enough to remember a time before cell phones? How ’bout cordless phones? How ’bout push button phones? How ’bout rotary phones? OK, I’ll admit I don’t remember a time before rotary phones, but they seem like they’re from a time that has long since past. For those of you who are without the warmth and knowledge of a world without cell phones, there was actually a time when people answered their phone.

Yes, you read that right. Before cell phones and the dawn of the electronic revolution people actually answered their phone. Why? Because it was exciting! You had no idea who was on the other end of the line. If it was a prank call you had no choice but to be a victim. Weren’t those the days?

I like to imagine the pioneer of cell phone invention was standing by a lake or stream somewhere, fishing perhaps, maybe on vacation with the family. The scene is like a coffee commercial, with breath taking mountains, amazing autumn colors and of course shinning white teeth smiles all around. Everyone is happy and having the time of their life, when suddenly, as our future genius and multi-gazillionaire casts the rod, a vision, a voice, a sign, the light bulb explodes and they say to themselves, “You know what would be awesome? Is if someone could call me right now and ruin this.” So they dropped their fishing pole, left the family in the tent, drove all the way back to the city, locked themselves in their lab and proceeded to invent the cellular demon.

Why don’t they ever have news coverage on cell phones giving your brain cancer or giant head tumors anymore? There was a time you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing a special report about it. Perhaps in fifty years they’ll be a slew of ads, much like the ‘Truth’ anti-smoking campaign, where hip, young teens will come up with fun and nutty ways to divulge the cover ups, evil practices, and hidden/adulterated scientific research from “Big Cellular Companies”.

What I find odd about cell phones is the technology associated with them. The phone I have has a MP3 player, (never use it) Bluetooth capability, (never use it) a camera that takes pictures with a quality equal to if I had my cat make a rending of the scene, much like a courtroom artist and a lot of other things that I don’t even know what they’re for. What kills me is, that I used these features to help me pick this phone over the others. I don’t want these features because they help me, I want them because they’re cool, but they don’t make me cool, ’cause nobody cares. Now days, everybody and their dog has a cell phone, yet it seems like it’s impossible to get ahold of most people on them. We want to be in touch, but never be bothered.

Honestly, I don’t care much about cell phones. I like having mine in case I need it and it has come in handy at times, but I’m not going to pretend that I couldn’t live without it. I won’t make light of the people who are oblivious to basic phone etiquette or the countless number of people who have almost killed me whilst driving, because you know who you are and your time is going to come.

My only real complaint is those of you out there who have the “classic” bell-ringer as your ring style. Please go somewhere and die. Retro technology might be cool if certain areas, like vintage clothes or guitar amplifiers, but not in obnoxious noises. When your phone rings, I think to myself, “I bet prison isn’t as bad as they make it out to be. I just need a good lawyer, besides, this would be my first murder.”

By the way, I want a new cell phone. One that I can blog on and has a toaster.

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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October 30, 2008 at 4:39 am

The Less Fortunate Make Me Happy

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For those of you who don’t know me, which I guess would be anyone reading this, I’ve been known to throw myself an occasional “pity party”. I’ve sat on “the pot” and neither shat nor got off. You might catch me on a certain day where I’m felling sorry for myself.

I’ve always been the type of person that keeps to myself, especially when it comes to vocalizing my “problems”. I’m not the person that will tell you about my sister being in jail, or my cousin’s baby that was born addicted to crack, or my uncle’s struggle with testicular cancer. I’d be the quite guy in the back that you’d never even notice was there. On the rare moment of needing to “express” myself or vent my problems, I might choose a friend to punish with my baby-boo-hoo rant. When I finish with my tirade, the following response is usually given to me, (I’m paraphrasing) “Well at least your life doesn’t suck as much as someone else who’s less fortunate than you”.

I’ve never understood this logic. I get the fact that it’s basically trying to enlighten you to the fact that things could be much worse and you should be happy for what you have, but it seems evil to use the downtrodden to pull yourself up. People use it for everything, in any situation, for any circumstance.

“Gosh, I can’t be believe my boyfriend cheated on me!” “Well at least you had a boyfriend.”

“Can you believe I lost my job!” “Well at least you’re strong enough to look for another job”

“My steak is cold and is raw in the middle!” “Well just think of all the people in the world who have never had food to eat.”

Then there are those who throw out random ones:

“I can’t believe I got into an accident with my new car!” “Right now, somebody, somewhere is sleeping under a bridge because they’re homeless.”

It never stops. Can’t someone feel bad about something anymore? Even if it’s just for a moment? Yeah, there’s a lot of poverty in the world. There’s injustice, unfairness, bad luck, dark karma and tragedy, but can’t I be mad that I stubbed my toe? “You should be happy that you have all your toes and can feel pain in your appendages.”

It just seems creepy to be sad and depressed, then think of horrible things that are happening to other people and be inspired to be happy again. I know I need to be thankful for what I have, but I don’t think the misfortune of others should make you chipper. If anything, it should give you the opposite reaction. Being reminded of how vane you are isn’t a good feeling or to be shown how much we take for granted. You’d think having someone put things in perspective like that for you, would almost make you mute.

On the flip side, can I not enjoy the things I’ve earned? Can I like the level of achievement I’ve reached? I don’t feel like I gloat or hold it over any one’s head, nor do I judge those who have less than me. If I’m in a restaurant and I order a steak, well done and they bring me a rare steak, why can’t I complain? I know there are people in the world that don’t have hardly any food, but they’re not at the restaurant with me, nor did they work 50 hours this week and spend two hours worth of wages on a undercooked steak. Must I always take what I get, regardless of condition? If I buy a new dress shirt and it has no buttons, must I keep it because someone in the world is unemployed?

It does seem shallow and selfish, but I notice there are very few humble, grateful for what they have people walking around. They might have their moments of reflection and give thanks, but most don’t seem like they have time for it. Average people don’t really seem to care about caring.

Thanks for reading my blog. “At least you have a blog…”

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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October 29, 2008 at 4:46 am

HR Saved My Life

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I’m a full grown man. I even have the ear hair to prove it. I’ve had some adventures and some life changing experiences. I’ve done some crazy things and stuff I regret. I’ve made wise decisions and bad decisions. I’ve learned from previous mistakes and continued making others. One thing I never thought I’d ever have to encounter in my adult live was being told how to wash my hands.

The office I work at put up signs recently in all the bathrooms and in the “kitchen areas” after several complaints about a this single employee who didn’t wash his hands after defecating. Ladies you may now let out a sigh of relief and “high-five” one another as you collect your money from any bets that might have been placed on the fact that something so disgusting could have been perpetrated by a woman. Anyway, the human resources department of my office elected to put these signs up everywhere there was a sink.

A quick side thought. Human resources? Human? Is there an Inhuman Resource? Animal Resource? Mineral Resource? Why don’t they call it the “Whining Baby” Resource? Or the “My Boss Wants To Sleep With Me But I Need To Negotiate A Company Car Before Considering” Department? I’ve always thought that was a silly name/concept. Sorry to slow you down…

This sign comes from the Minnesota Department of Health. Sadly, I guess they don’t have that department in the state that I live in, so we’re forced to “get edgumacated somes where else.”

 I love the child like quality of the art. The soft lines, the size of the hands, the odd ’70s color theme and the angry germ characters make it a PSA masterpiece. The detail you’re missing out on is the germ characters in Step 1 wearing expressions of happy-chaos. They love being dirty and can’t wait to make you sick. Step 2 they are scared and frightened by the mysterious soap falling from the sky. Step 3 they’re choking and dying, literally being driven away. Seems kind of violent for the child-like poster. Don’t get me wrong, this flyer has very “handy” advice, but let’s over critique it.

1. It’s speaking to you as though you are the world’s biggest moron. If that’s the case, you’d never be able to complete any of these steps, because it doesn’t tell you to turn the water on. Now I don’t know about you, but if you leave the world’s biggest moron alone in the bathroom, tell him to wet his hands, things can get unsanitary awfully fast.

2. Keep in mind, “world’s biggest moron”. There’s no steps to take if soap and paper towels are not available. If you don’t know how to wash your hands, you surely aren’t smart enough to improvise in the event of a hand washing emergency.

3. Just like the missing instructions to begin, there’s nothing that tells you what to do after you’ve washed your hands. You turn off the water and I guess stand there until rescue teams find you or the white light descends upon you.

4. I love the title, Be A Germ-Buster. They’re trying to sell it with pride, like it’s bragging rights, as if you’d use this point as a highlight of your life’s achievements. “Yes ladies, it’s true. I AM a germ-buster!”

Also, if you are taking the precaution to turn off the water with the paper towel, shouldn’t you open the bathroom door with the paper towel? When the hell was the last time a door handle was cleaned?

Anyway, thanks human resources for saving my life. If it hadn’t been for you, I might have gone swimming in the toilet and drowned.

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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October 28, 2008 at 4:51 am

Let’s Go To The Lobby & Have A Heart Attack

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“Let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby, let’s all go to the lobby and get ourselves a treat.” I can’t remember if it’s “have ourselves” and if “treat” is “snack”, but this is the jingle I recall from every drive-in theatre I went to as a child. Tonight’s blog isn’t about drive-in theatres, but rather the concession sold at movie theatres. I just always liked that goofy jingle.

Real quick, before we begin, I just want to establish the different type of movie-goers. There are three types:

Type A – People who don’t really care about the movie. They can miss parts, be multi-tasking, etc. The movie is the equivalent to background noise.

Type B – People who talk out loud during the movie. This type covers those that may be really into the movie, (talking to the screen) and those who are confused and are asking the person next to them for clarity/explanation or guessing the next scene/ending.

Type C – People who “zone-out” and don’t want to be disturbed, (not even if the theatre is on fire). They want to see the movie from the opening credits to the house lights coming on.

I’m a Type C movie-goer. When I was single, I use to go to the theatre up to three times a week. On my birthday, I’d go to the theatre and watch movies from the first showtime to the last. I loved it. I was never tempted to buy concessions, nor did I sneak them in. For some reason when I’m at the theatre I suffer from “old man bladder” syndrome. So I never wanted to drink a 32 ounce beverage and have to miss a part of the movie. I’d buy a drink, find my seat, (which I prefer the very back row, center) and then for the duration of the previews, I’d try to resist drinking my beverage. It was always difficult, but for some reason I had it in my mind that if I could wait until the movie started to begin drinking, I’d be OK. Eventually I grew tired of the game and decided to be “concession free” and I was always fine with it.

Now that I have children, they associate “movie time” with “truckloads of treats”. Now I know that many a comedian, whether they’re a professional or your next door neighbor have made light of the outrageous prices at movie theatre concession stands. So I know that I am not breaking any new ground here, but after taking my son to the movie today, I want blood.

Again we run into the issue of “people-laying-down-and-accepting-ridiculous-corporate-commercial-sodomy”. We are all fully aware that a small bag of popcorn doesn’t cost five dollars. We are all educated enough to realize that a 32 ounce drink doesn’t cost seven dollars. Yet, like cattle with whip marks, we serpentine through velvet roped lanes, waiting in aggravating long lines, only to open our veins upon our turn and bleed green to young kids who for some reason refuse to fill your seven dollar beverage to the generally accepted “full line”.

It really makes going to the movies a drag. Isn’t there some kind of government enforcement about price gouging? Or does that only apply if you have monopolized the market? In any event it really doesn’t matter. The price of admission is ludicrious, the concession is mind blowing and in the end, if the movie you take a chance on sucks, you’ve dropped a car payment for chest pains. Buying the DVD when it first comes out is a couple of gallons of gas cheaper than two movie tickets. That just isn’t right. It’s totally insane! How can this kind of treachery continue?

Please go and see my new movie, “Ramblin’ Rooster’s Blog-tastic Movie”

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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October 27, 2008 at 4:37 am

America Ruined By All

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This is the perfect example of tonight’s theme. I feel as though I need a disclaimer or make a statement that I love America in effort to avoid people being offended by the title. So let me just say, I love America, I love the fact I have the freedom to write and speak my mind. It is my dying wish that you can smell the sarcasm…

Which is why, ironically, freedom is on the topic board for scrutiny. Freedom, we all love it, we all take it for granted and assume it is a right, not a privilege. Let ye never forget, that which is given, can be taken away. But how much trouble has freedom caused? How much damage is it responsible for?

I think the biggest area of freedom abuse is in the legal system. Take for instance the lady who won money from her lawsuit for being burned by her coffee. That case should have never entered into a courtroom. The magnitude of the stupidity surrounding it negates discussion. The fact that it “win her money” has turned this world into a “warning label” nightmare. You can’t buy a product that doesn’t “warn you” about the dangers of negligence and the company’s position of not being liable. Do I really need to fear chewing gum, toothpaste and shoelaces? Is there really someone in the world, whom is without alternative motive, that’s going to eat a frozen pizza that’s still frozen?

In turn the world has “gone dumb”. The more people tell you, warn you, scare you or direct you, the less you think for yourself. Tolerance doesn’t mean everyone has the right to intervene into every person’s business. Tolerance is allowing those you hate to live their lives, not control them in an attempt to convert them to your way of thinking. If you hate Ramblin’ Rooster, that’s fine. You don’t have the right to kill me, make me stop writing or try to make me write about something you would find pleasing. Let the opposite be said that I don’t have the right to make you stop hating me or your trying to spread a campaign of hate amongst the populous. The more you insist on forcing peace and harmony, the more you infringe on freedom. You can’t make all the people happy all the time. Did you learn nothing from Bob Marley?

“Justice is blind.” I’ve never understood why people think this is a wonderful, positive slogan. It doesn’t mean that “the system” is fair and judges us all the same, (’cause we all know that’s not true. If you’re rich and you have a good lawyer, you’re going to get away from just consiquence). Justice is blind has always meant, to me, that “the system” is uncaring of circumstantial fact. Example; If you were caught stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family, because you had been fired from your facotry job after the company went bankrupt and you were unable to find other work, you would be facing the same punishment as a person who stole a loaf of bread that was high on crack and thought it was a designer purse.

Some days it feels as though you can’t do anything. You can’t smoke, beat your kids, look at dirty pictures, eat food that was made in a factory that had a bag of peanuts sitting in the desk of the floor manager’s office, etc. Americans live in fear of always waiting for the other shoe to drop, the next thing to fear. Even people who love each other want to kill each other at times. There’s no way to be one, big, happy family.

Conflict is the spice of life. Without it we’d all complain about how nice everything was. How horrible would that day be?

Do you really want to ruin happiness by making the world a happy place?

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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October 26, 2008 at 6:23 am

Meteorologists Equal Professional Fraud

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Close your eyes. Relax. Take a deep breath. Exhale, slowly. Imagine you are a cashier at Burger-Mart. A customer walks in and orders the number three with cheese, no pickles. The total is $7.48. The customer hands you a twenty dollar bill. You push the buttons on the cash register, the drawer opens up, you put the twenty in and return $1.21 to the customer. How long do you think it’d be before the customer jumped over the counter to strangle you?

Here’s another one.

This time you own a furniture store. You run print ads and radio commercials for your upcoming weekend sale. The ads claim that all entertainment centers are 85% off. The day your sale begins a customer walks in and sees the entertainment center of his/her dreams. Upon looking at the price tag, the customer notices the mark down is only 15%. How long before a riot ensues?

What does it mean? It means meteorologists are full of crap man!

There’s no other job in the world that allows you to be so wrong, so often. So much, that most people consider your profession to be a joke. These people went to college for cryin’ in the night. Who cares if you know what a stratocumulus or a cirrostratus is. I don’t. I just want to know if I’m going to die in the blizzard. Is that so hard to understand “Cloud-Man”?  Plus, they make crazy money, (at least the ones on TV). Yet they’re as incompetent as legless mules. Why don’t they just say, “There’s a 50/50 chance of sunshine, showers, snow, hail, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruption, swarms of locust and meteors falling from the sky today” every time they give their report? Just get it over with in one broad stroke.

Everyone knows meteorologists are worthless, but they don’t care. I’ve heard people say in the same breath, “The weather man is such an idiot… do you know what tomorrow’s suppose to be like?” Like grandma use to say, “If you want to know what the temperature is, go outside.” Dang, grandma was sweet AND smart. Your local meteorologist can be wrong every day for weeks and yet people still check the weather constantly, even though they are fully aware that it’s a “hunch” at best. Why can’t I have a job like that. “Hey Ramblin’ Rooster what 10 plus 10?” “Ummm… 37?” “Nope. Here’s your check, see ya tomorrow.”

Why are people so obsessed about the weather anyway? “Hey Billy, I’d love to come over and hang out, but it might rain, so I’m just going to stay here locked in the bathroom, laying in the tub with a mattress over the top of me. Maybe tomorrow.” Why would the weather stop you from anything you wanted to do? “Mr. Ramblin’ Rooster, maybe we might want to have picnic and we want to see if it’s suppose to rain, ’cause we’d hate to pack the basket, get all ready and go, just to get rained on.” Well, I bet you’d feel more stupid if you didn’t go and it didn’t rain. “I missed wishing my brother goodbye at the train station because Hank told me that snow was likely.” Don’t let that be you.

The worst part of all is when severe weather does hit, (and it’s always the same) “This storm just came out of nowhere…” Or it came out of the sky. Perhaps you need to crack open your meteorology handbook and verify what the red, fuzzy circle means again. Severe weather strikes, so you turn on the news, (assuming you still have a TV) and suddenly there’s fifty meteorologists “on location” all over the city. People you’ve never seen or heard of. The regular weather person is never on. WTF?!?! So you watch the broadcast for hours, hoping to catch a morsel of information and for three hours you sit through these second and third string meteorologists going on and on about what “they saw”. “Tell us what you saw Jim.” “Tell us what happen there Judy.” “Tell us what it’s like where you’re at Jam-Goo, the dancing sheep dog” Who cares? Just tell me if I’m going to die in the flood.

Truth is, I’m just jealous of anyone who gets to do shadow puppets in front of a “green-screen”.

Egg On!

Ramblin’ Rooster

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October 25, 2008 at 5:26 am