Category Archives: Food

Up Chunk

Living with roommates has it’s advantages and disadvantages, and these pros and cons must be considered carefully before you enter into such a living situation.  Luckily for you, the reader, I have had many different roomies over the years.  Using this experience, I’ve come up with a little list of some positives and negatives for you to weigh to help you make the right decision:

  • Cost of living is greatly reduced by splitting rent/bills…
  • But your level of stress is greatly increased because your roommate never has his portion on time and regularly needs you to cover his ass,  and he knows you will because the lease is only in your name, not his, and he knows you actually care about your credit rating and whether or not you get evicted.
  • You always have someone to hang out with…
  • Like when you bring your date home after dinner to watch a movie and there is your out-of-shape roommate sitting on the couch watching television in nothing but his boxer briefs.  You give him a hint by asking if you can use the TV/DVD player, hoping he’ll retreat to his room, and he responds with “sure, what are we watching?”  No second date.
  • Roommate has a hot sister and/or friends…
  • Not only does he not have a hot sister, his girlfriend is an ugly, loud-mouthed pothead who just walks in whenever she comes over and likes to talk about making pot brownies no matter who is around.
    Or, in another nightmarish scenario, you had previously dated your roommate’s current girlfriend, as he saw no problem in aggressively pursuing her once you had stopped dating.  Hearing them do it is just gross.
  • You have someone to help with chores…
  • Or so you thought.  Not only are you cleaning up after your dogs, but your roommate likes to throw cigarette butts all over the yard – butts you discover while cutting the grass, a chore that he agreed would be his.
  • Roommate has nicer furniture than you…
  • Or, your roommate comes into the arrangement with nothing but an end table full of flea market trinkets.  Out of pity you purchase him a used futon to sleep on, which he quickly ruins by falling asleep on it while watching TV with a huge plate of cherry cheesecake in his lap.  Who knew dessert could make such a sweet pillow!
  • Roommate likes to cook dinner for the house…
  • Maybe he will, or maybe your roommate will  sit around and eat the food you bought, and then play dumb whenever you ask him where your last can of Chef Boyardee is.  And maybe you’ll actually find the can, if you look hard enough – empty, in the trash can in his room.
  • Roommate lets you borrow his cool car…
  • If only he had one (a car, that is).  After totaling his car, he constantly calls you for a ride to or from work.  He knows you’ll do it because you need him to be earning so he can give you $100 of that $350 he owes you for rent on time.
  • Social life enhanced by your roommate’s partying…
  • Your sleep time is depleted when you are suddenly awakened at 5 AM on a Saturday by loud scary music coming from the living room.  Upon investigation, you discover that one of the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies is playing on the big screen TV with the surround sound cranked to eleven.  Better yet, your still-partying roommate and his loser friends aren’t even watching it; they’re in the hallway participating in a drunken wrestling match which is beginning to border on total gayness.
  • You get a discount at your roommate’s place of employment…
  • Nothing is more satisfying than a half-priced, cold cheeseburger from a fast food place fifteen miles away.
  • Your roommate can let your dogs out when you’re not home…
  • Especially since he just got fired and he’s home all the time, but hey, that would require consideration and a little bit of common sense. After all, they’re your dogs, not his. Besides, he’s probably still be upset because you have dogs (which you had before he moved in), but you won’t let him get a pet snake (you told him no pets before he moved in, and even so, you allowed a pet turtle at one point, which one of your dogs killed because he had left the turtle crawling around the backyard.  Out of guilt, you got him another one, which died a week later because he left it in an aquarium in the back yard and it rained – the turtle drowned).  But wait – then he surprises you.  Any time your dogs make a mess, he lays a paper towel on it.  What a guy!
  • Roommate’s girlfriend has hot friends…
  • Not unless you think 16 and 17-year-olds are hot.  Do you tell your thirty-year-old roommate that he shouldn’t be dating someone ten years younger than he is?  After all, you’re his roommate, not his dad.
    Or you could find yourself in this gem of a situation:  your roommate’s girlfriend DOES have hot friends, and after a night of partying at your house, your roommate is banging one of them in the garage while his girlfriend (the girl you previously dated) is passed out drunk in their bedroom.  Now you’re forced into keeping the secrets of one friend from another, which is always a guaranteed good time.

Now, there is no reason to freak out.  If you are careful during your screening process and don’t jump into a situation too quickly, you should be fine.  I do have just one piece of advice:  don’t room with anyone who goes by the name “Chunk” or with anyone who has a friend who goes by the name “Chunk.”  Over time I’ve discovered that if a majority of a person’s friends go by nicknames, they’re probably not the type of crowd you want to be involved in.

My roommate had such a friend (I still don’t know his real name to this day).  Chunk was a big guy.  We’re talking 6’2″ or 6’3″ and easily pushing 300 pounds.  He was a little too friendly and a little too talkative, and I don’t think his elevator went to the top floor.  He always carried around a huge 52 oz. thermos-type mug filled with water, and he usually showed up with a Taco Bell bag containing enough food to feed {an army/an entire family of Mexicans/my uncle}.  Chunk would come over and disappear into my roommate’s room for long periods of time.  I know my roommate smoked weed and I’m pretty sure Chunk was his supplier.  Knowing that I wasn’t cool with it, roommate kept that part of his life away from me for the most part.  The thing about Chunk was, once he came over, you had to practically kick him out or else he would never leave.  Sometimes he would finish his food and pass out on the couch, and we would have to wake him up and kick him out.  Sometimes I would suddenly find myself alone with him in the living room, suffering through a pointless conversation that he would continually push.  My roommate would be hiding in his room laughing at the situation, and I’d have to go get him to make up an excuse so that Chunk would leave (i.e. we have to go to sleep now or whatever).  I’m just too polite, and he wasn’t my company – I didn’t feel comfortable telling him to leave.  These were all only small annoyances, however – small compared to what happened next.

One night Chunk came over and picked up my roommate.  They were about to go downtown to drink and hit on girls. I had to work at six the next morning (not that I would have ever have hung out with Chunk in public anyway), so I wished them a good time and retired to the couch.  I eventually fell asleep there, which was not unusual.  Around four in the morning, I was half-awakened by the sound of giggling and the rattling of keys.  This went on for several minutes.  It sounded as if they were too intoxicated and uncoodinated to get the key in the door to unlock it, and I remember thinking wow, they’re completely wasted. I drifted back into dreamland.

All of a sudden, I was violently awakened by the full force of someone flopping themselves on top of me.  I couldn’t move, and I could barely breathe.  It was pitch black.  I was laying on my back, and the person on top of me was also laying on his back with his head coming right up to my neck.  It was my roommate, trying to be funny because he was drunk.  Still in a daze from the previous slumber I had just been pulled out of, I began squirming and pushing on his head.  I quickly realized that the person on top of me was not my roommate because one, roommate has a shaved head and I was pushing on a moptop, and two, I was pinned by something very large, something my roommate was not.  That something was Chunk.

I started screaming “W.T.F?” and “get him the f*ck off of me!”  Before I even got that last sentence out I simultaneously noticed two more things:  Chunk was dead weight, making no effort whatsoever to remove himself from my body, and I thought I had just heard some sort of gurgling sound.  This was immediately followed by the feeling of warm, gooey liquid flowing over my neck and shoulders and soaking into the couch cushions below me.  I began screaming, gagging, and pushing all at once… still no sign of Roommate.  Another gurgle, more warm liquid.  Roommate finally noticed my cries I guess because the lights came on and Roommate asked Chunk what he was doing.  I impatiently explained in a pissed off manner as Roommate helped him off of me so that I could get up.  Now alone on the couch and on his stomach so he didn’t choke to death, the appropriately-named Chunk threw up some more.

Unable to raise Chunk on the phone the next day in order to get him to come over and clean his vomit, I spent the entire afternoon trying to salvage my couch, hosing off the cushions in the driveway and letting them air dry.  I went out and bought a couch cover which ended up not really fitting right, either.  Roommate apologized profusely, but I told him Chunk wasn’t allowed over again until he apologized and gave me $100 for the cleaning I had to do and the couch cover I had to buy.  Roommate came home a couple of weeks later with $40 from Chunk.  I got the remaining $60 six months later when he unexpectedly showed up at the house.  Luckily for him, enough time had passed that my anger had subsided, thanks in part to my brand new couch.

In summary, when searching for a roommate it is important to be thorough when screening potential candidates.  Interview them, ask tough questions, and make sure you have a little something in common.  You can even do a background check if you deem it necessary.  Just make sure they don’t have a friend named Chunk.

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Filed under Animals, Food, Friends, Funny, How To, humor, Jobs, Life, Lists, People, Relationships

Bathroom Etiquette

I met some family for lunch about a week ago, and I had to use the bathroom before we left the restaurant.  The toilet trip got me thinking (what else do you do in the bathroom?), so I thought I’d share a few very basic rules that a man must follow when using a public bathroom:

1.  If there are less than two of any combination of toilets/urinals and all are taken, wait outside of the bathroom until someone comes out.

2.  Never speak to or look at your neighbor while relieving yourself at the urinal.  This is no time for small talk.

3.  If there is a bathroom attendant, wash the willy off of your hands even if you don’t have a dollar to give him.  I don’t want to indirectly touch your junk as I open the door to leave.

4.  Always courtesy flush.

5.  Check for toilet paper before sitting, not after.  It could cost you a pair of underwear.

6.  Don’t talk on your cell phone while in the stall.  That’s just weird.

7.  Lock your stall door.  Not everyone looks underneath for a pair of feet.

8.  Acknowledge and/or obey any and all signs posted, such as “out of order,” “wet floor,” or the sign I happened upon during my bathroom trip:

I feel really bad for whoever is in charge of emptying trash cans, but hey – rules are rules.

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Filed under Food, Funny, humor, Life, Lists

Something’s Fishy Here

It’s no secret that we Americans are the fattest and most impatient people on the face of the Earth, a deadly combination.  Everything we eat is pre-packaged, processed, frozen, or fast.  Nothing is fast enough for us, and everything is we do wastes time that could be spent doing something else that we think is important.  I almost don’t have time to write this blog because I’m having a Big Mac attack.

A few years ago, it was realized through the media that we have become a fast food nation and that far too many of our children are obese – we’re talking epidemic proportions here.  Super-sized, if you will.  Speaking of which, this was also the time period that the independent documentary “Supersize Me” was released.  It was because of this static that most of the fast food chains began releasing nutritional information and adding healthy (okay, healthy-er) food items to their menus.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this was only to save face while under pressure from the public and the media – we needed help to not be so fat (because we don’t have the willpower to stop eating something named Big & Tasty).  Consequently, McDonald’s adds an entire salad menu, yogurt, low fat ice cream; they also serve milk and orange juice, but not in a 32 oz. like the soft drinks.  Most of the other chains followed suit, offering an array of salads, deli-style sandwiches, and alternative drink options.  The static slowly decreased, and you don’t hear much these days about the obesity problem this country still has.

The truth is, people who like McDonald’s Double Cheeseburgers aren’t going to suddenly start ordering the Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken.  I mean, come on – it doesn’t even come with fries.  I also suspect that a salad connoisseur isn’t going to ditch Crispers, Sweet Tomatoes, or Panera for a McSalad.

My favorite part of all of this are the new menu items that appear to be a healthier option, but aren’t.  While doing some birthday shopping for Girlfriend in the mall yesterday, I stumbled across one such item (I won’t go into how I ended up in the vicinity).  May I present to you Long John Silver’s new Ultimate Flatbreads!  I’m sure you’re at least aware of their staple item, the deep-fried fish fillet with extra crunchy things.  Now that I think of it, almost all of their items are deep-fried with extra crunchy things (except the cole slaw – yuck).  Now, with the creation of the new Ultimate Flatbreads, LJS now has something for everybody.

I’m sure you’ve seen those fresh-looking gyro sandwiches and pita bread sandwiches that are available at your healthier establishments and deli’s, right?  Wipe the drool from your mouth and picture this:  a round piece of flat pita bread, stuffed with lettuce, bacon pieces, melted cheese, and your choice of a deep-fried fish filet or several deep-fried shrimp (not sure about the extra crunchy things).  Can you believe it?  They managed to make their staple item look heatlhier while actually adding calories to it.  It’s like a fried fish taco.  Genius.

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Filed under Culture, Food, Funny, humor, Life, People, Restaurants

I’ll Try the Steak; Hold the Small Talk

I realize that the ability to conduct small talk is a social skill. I wonder… what do they call “the inability to enjoy” it? Inhuman? Could it be a genetic trait? (I can picture my grandpa coming up with witty retorts (read: the straightforward kind of witty (OK enough with the parentheses)) that left many a person speechless.) Whatever it is, I have it.

Now, don’t get me wrong – almost every job I’ve ever held has required my friendly interaction with complete strangers. I would say that I am “above average” in the small talk department. It’s not pointless conversation as a whole that annoys me, it’s the apparently-inbred, forced, robotic, nonsensical vocabulary of one vocation in particular: waiters/waitresses.

Before any of you slam me for making fun of pointing out a few server idiosyncrasies, know that I worked in this industry for several years. I’ve been a busboy, a waiter, a server trainer, and even a manager – it’s very possible that I taught you how to do your job. Keeping that in mind, here are a few rules to follow that will ensure the continuation of a long-standing tradition in the restaurant industry: annoying small talk[1]. I may or may not be guilty of some of the things you are about to read.

♦ Rule #1: Make sure that, when you come to my table, you tell me that you’re going to be taking care of me today (more on the word today later). I, as a stranger in your building, am probably very nervous. It’s comforting to know that if anything happens, you’re going to be there for me no matter what. What a relief! I can finally relax and eat, which is what I was hoping for.

♦ Rule #2: It’s important that you are honest with me from the moment I take a seat in your section; make sure that I understand our relationship will be over almost as quickly as it’s about to begin. Leading me on could cost you money. You can impress this upon me by simply using the word today, over and over. Examples: From Rule #1 – “I’ll be taking care of you today.” “How are you doing today?” “Can I start you off with something to drink today?” This will make it clear to me that you don’t really care if I’m going to be hungry or thirsty tomorrow. The time is now and I need to enjoy this moment while it lasts. By doing this, you are not only going to quiet my growling stomach, but you’re also teaching me one of life’s lessons. That should be worth an extra dollar at the very least.

♦ Rule #3: Also known as, “The For-Ya Rule of Five.” Confused? It’s simple. Try to end as many questions as possible with the prepositional phrase for ya[2]. Examples: “What can I get for ya?” “Can I get that out of your way for ya?” “Can I get anything else for ya?” “Can I rub your back for ya?[3]” This lets me know that you are paying extra attention to my needs, and tells anyone else within an earshot of your voice that you are not talking to them.

♦ Rule #4: Any question that you don’t end with the words for ya (which must be done at least five times, hence the name of Rule #3) or today must be completed with the word or, but make sure you don’t offer the second choice that or so obviously indicates. This will leave me momentarily confused and forever-wondering what the other choice might have been. It’s also very important that your voice trails off into oblivion. Following this rule will make you seem secretive and mysterious, and will surely make me want to leave you extra tip money in the hopes that you might open up to me. Examples: “Would you like some more to drink, or…?” “Does everything taste OK, or…?” “Do you need a box, or…?” I still wonder what the other container-choices are for taking home leftovers.

♦ Rule #5: There is one way, and one way only, to ask me if I will be ordering dessert: “Did you save room for dessert?” (It’s optional, but not necessary, to incorporate Rule #3 into this Rule.) Asking me for dessert in this way shows me what an incredible sense of humor you have. You watched me stuff myself silly in true American fashion for forty-five minutes, and only afterwards did you let me know that I could have had something else, something sweet and delicious, had I monitored my intake a bit more carefully. My answer, of course, will be “No,” causing you no extra work whatsoever. What it will do, however, is cause us to share a laugh and smile. I will feel closer to you than ever at this point – how can I not be even more generous with my gratuity?!

♦ Rule #6: If your server is extremely hot, all other rules are thrown out the window. Her small talk is never annoying, no matter how stupid or robotic or forced. It’s cute and endearing, and she probably wants you. She now has permission to speak in Pig Latin if she so chooses[4].

Footnotes

[1]Including, but not limited to: bad grammar, bad jokes, bad breath, or just plain stupidity.

[2]Using “ya” in place of “you” shows that you are very casual, laid-back, and chill. It makes me feel like we are friends.

[3]This one hasn’t actually happened yet, but one can only dream.

[4]Ouyay obablypray illstay on’tway etgay ay ackrubbay.

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Filed under Food, Funny, humor, Language, Life, Restaurants