Tales from the Bike Trail

Wow, only my second time on the bike trail this year and already the idiots are out. This does not bode well.

Just a couple of tips, folks, when you’re out on the bike trail:

1) just because you have your dog on one of those five million foot long retractable leashes DOES NOT mean you can let him run at the very end of it. This is ESPECIALLY true if you’re letting the dog run on the OTHER side of the trail. You have now created a great accident-in-waiting for the poor bastard who comes tearing around the corner and sees you. Oh, and when I holler out I’m behind you and want to pass, you need to PULL THE DOG TO YOU, not stand there and stare like I’m somehow going to magically take flight and go over you.

2) to the lady who was letting her medium-sized dog take her out for a drag: you, madam, not only need to ditch the retractable leash, you need to hie yourself and your canine to an obedience class. Honestly, what was the point of getting the dog if you weren’t going to train it? You aren’t doing anyone any favors, lady.

3) to the lady who was absentmindedly staggering down the middle of the trail trying to slap at a mosquito (or an invisible hamster, how the hell would I know): watch where the hell you are going, and when I holler I’m passing on the left, DON’T walk that way. I ended up passing you on your OTHER left, you moron.

4) to the four teenage morons who thought lining both sides of the bridge for photo ops would be fun: hogging half the bridge like that is the bike trail equivalent to standing in a doorway. Don’t do it. I don’t care how cute Brittany will look with the stream behind her, I and the guy coming the other way would like to be able to use the bridge at the same time, which we could do if you weren’t SO SPECIAL AND IMPORTANT.

There are lots of people on the bike trail, and there are RULES for a reason. Coming downhill around a blind corner and finding some idiot blocking the trail is not only annoying, it’s dangerous. If everyone followed the rules, we could all enjoy the trail. The Earth revolves around the sun, kids. Keep it in mind.

Let’s Talk About Misandry

Because it really pisses me off. And frankly, there are some women who seem to think it’s perfectly okay to bash, malign, or otherwise treat men as if they are lesser beings who are only around to provide money to fund whatever said woman has in mind at the moment. I hate these women, because they make the rest of us look like greedy bitches who have nothing better to do than to sit around sipping wine and eating bonbons and bashing men.

We’ve all seen them. Hell, HGTV and its ilk show bridezillas, teen mothers, and women in general in less than a flattering light. In these shows, women are self-centered, pushy bitches who only seem to think their men are a financial means to the end of their ever-exorbitant dreams of The Perfect Wedding, The Perfect House, or The Perfect Baby. Once these women achieve their goal, the man is relegated to the job of Wallet. As in, give me money and get the hell out of my way.

How fucking sad is that?

I love men. I love one man in particular. I don’t think of him as my personal bank account, the person who should “take care of me”, or someone I can use and treat like crap, so long as he keeps giving me what I want. And quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the bitches who treat their men this way, and I’m increasingly amazed at the number of men who will tolerate this kind of crap. But, I digress.

Women, here’s the thing: men are wonderful, amazing creatures who will die for you if you treat them with the love and respect they deserve. They don’t ask for much, but the nicer you treat them, the nicer you will be treated. That’s kind of true of anyone, but men like to be, well, MEN, and they like it if you’re nice to them and let them do some things for you. No, you cannot be a delicate flower who can’t do a damn thing for herself, but men like to be helpful – LET THEM. Don’t nag, bitch, or complain about what you want them to do. ASK. If you are reasonable, a man will respect you; if you’re being a bitch, well, you’re on your own.

Men like to have their egos stroked; who wouldn’t? If he does something nice for you, TELL HIM. Men love to help out, but you need to appreciate the effort. Say please, and thank you, and plant a big ‘ol kiss on him if he takes the trash out without you asking. I guarantee he’ll be more than willing to do it again, with that kind of encouragement. He just wants to know you appreciate him. Don’t be a bitch, ladies.

And for Chrissakes, don’t give me that “I was home with the kids all day and I’m too fucking tired to have sex with you” crap. YOUR HUSBAND COMES FIRST. Your kids are second. Most sex experts will tell you that even if you’re not in the mood, you should just go for it – the mood will come. And come on, ladies, you’ve been home with the kids, but he’s been out dealing with an asshole boss and he just wants to spend some intimate time with you. You should be flattered that he does. Take advantage of it. Trust me, everyone will be happier if you apply this logic to your life. If you don’t, well…I hope your divorce is amicable. Just sayin’.

The Post Office, or the Christmas Rant Corollary

The only thing more annoying than Christmas shopping itself is Christmas shipping. You all know what I mean. This, my dears, is the Christmas Post Office Rules of Conduct Rant. Enjoy.

Rule #1: Complaining does NOT make the line move faster. Hello, have you BEEN to the post office in the last fifty years? Have you EVER seen anyone who works there move with any speed? If you have, I’m going to need some empirical proof, because frankly I don’t believe you. That said, bitching to anyone who will listen is not going to speed up the process. All it’s going to do is annoy the fuck out of the people who had the misfortune to stand next to you in line. Shut up, already.

Rule #2: Have your packages ready. Spend ten minutes at home addressing the box, INCLUDING zip code, and make sure you seal and label the box correctly. If this is too difficult for you, perhaps you should just go see a matinee of whatever Disney movie is playing at the moment and give up. Clearly you are an idiot.

Rule #3: Leave your kids home. Again, you know damn well you’re going to be spending an hour standing in line during the holiday season, and the thought bores YOU out of your mind. Imagine what your active three-year-old is experiencing. Spare all of us the toddler meltdown and either leave the kid home or make daddy take the package to the post office already.

Rule #4: You’ve been in line for an hour. An HOUR. By now you should have been able to read all the helpful signs posted ALL OVER THE POST OFFICE about different services and their cost. DO NOT spend twenty minutes quizzing the postal clerk as to how best ship your package as if these signs did not exist, or I cannot be responsible for what gets thrown at your head. Just sayin’.

Rule #5: DO NOT come into the post office during the holiday season with one of those orange package pickup slips and expect not to wait your turn. Huffing and sighing in line behind me is going to get you nowhere. Eventually some postal worker will have pity on you and call you all up front to get your stuff; until then, STFU and wait your turn. I’ve been standing here longer than you have, and no, the reason for your visit does not matter.

Rule #6: Don’t be an asshole to the postal workers. If you had to watch 40% of your customers agonize over what color stamps they want (seriously, people? Does it REALLY matter? A stamp is a stamp is a stamp, FFS) you’d be crazy too. They don’t call it going postal for nothing. Say please, and thank you, and make their day a little bit better. You’ve been there an hour; they’ve been there ALL DAY.

Those of us who have learned our lesson the hard way shop online. Seriously, check it out. It’s totally worth it to go click, click, insert VISA card number here, and have a gift purchased, wrapped and shipped in ten minutes. Trust me, you won’t be sorry. And you won’t have to wait in line at the post office.

Wow, I’m Already Over Christmas

And it’s only December 4.

Well, quite honestly I was over it when they started pushing out Halloween decorations on October 5 to make way for Santa, but that’s probably best saved for a seven thousand page rant for another day. I’ll spare you for now. Consider it my Christmas gift to you. You’re welcome.

I went to Barnes and Noble to pick up a couple gift cards for my nieces (I like to fancy myself the “cool” aunt who inspires them to read; chances are, at the ages of 12 and 14, I’m the “annoying” aunt who makes them spend money on books. Oh well – I’m not changing now!) and the parking lot was FULL. FULL! It was freaking NOON on a Saturday, WTF? And, Christmas spirit is officially over. EVERYONE looked stressed out, ticked off, and in a hurry. Granted, I am NOT a fan of Christmas and do 99% of my shopping online, so I have very little tolerance for this “let’s all run to the store and stand around” crap. I TRIED to zip in, get my two cards, and get the hell out, but oh, no. Here’s why (and take notes, shoppers – this is especially true at Christmastime but it applies year ’round):

The aisles are called AISLES for a reason. DO NOT stand in the aisles to reminisce with old friends, spend four hours asking your kids what they want to buy (which could be a whole separate rant, if I weren’t so lazy), or otherwise TAKE UP THE WHOLE AISLE BY STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF IT when you can clearly see people want to move along. You are either looking at the shelf to your left or the shelf to your right. Pick a side. Don’t stand in the middle and act like you own the row. Newsflash: you don’t. This applies especially to doorways as well. Honestly, people, WHY do you think the damn doorway is a parking place? It’s called a door WAY, not a door BLOCK. The fact that you have the ability to read at a level that allows you to browse a book store should also dictate that you understand the meaning of EXIT and act accordingly. Sadly, this appears to be a mystery to a majority of people and becomes even more hard to grasp as we get closer to the holidays.

And now, my random holiday rants (which can likely be applied year ’round, but are especially true this time of year):

If the only time you pull the car out of the garage is the Christmas season, for the love of God, please consider mass transportation, making one of your ungrateful adult children drive you, or a cab to get to your destination. You’re not making any friends driving 12 miles an hour in a 40 MPH zone and slamming on your brakes at every light because a) it OMG might turn red in the next twenty minutes or b) you were SURE that store was here somewhere. Seriously, if you don’t drive on a regular basis, DON’T DRIVE.

Hang up your cell phone if you’re in the checkout lane. I get that you think whatever you’re doing is a bazillion times more important than the clerk who has to ring you up, but really what your behavior is saying is that you’re a self-centered, inconsiderate douche who probably needs to have your cell service revoked until you understand the Earth revolves around the SUN, NOT around YOU. And stop being rude to the clerks. It’s not their fault if the store is out of something, and you just look like an asshole giving them crap for it. Clearly you have never had to deal with the public, or your ego has become so inflated that you have forgotten how the real world works. Here’s a clue: management makes the rules, then becomes conspicuously absent when they have to be enforced. So STFU already. Screaming at some poor eighteen-year-old who is only trying to pay her way through college is not going to make the Barbie du jour magically appear in your cart. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, there is NOT a magical “back room” where all the stuff you can’t find is hiding. STOP ASKING ALREADY. If you can’t make the basic mental connection that stock on the floor = sales, then you probably should not be shopping for anything, ever, let alone during the holiday season. You suck.

Leave your damn kids home. Seriously. They’ve been wound up since early September waiting for Santa, and by December they are completely mental. This is not their fault; I blame the Corporate Advertising Evil Overlords. That said, you know this. You have to. You live with these people. (I recently saw a Hallmark “Countdown to Christmas” ornament commercial and thought to myself that any parent who actually purchased that deserved to spend time in the room with padded wallpaper. Seriously, the little girl in the commercial made me want to hang myself with a pair of nylons. No, I’m not kidding). Taking them out to a store full of toys after feeding them a buttload of carbs and sugar at McDonald’s is only going to make the shopping experience suck for you and everyone around you. Either learn to use the Internet, or get a babysitter. And for the love of God, recognize that a four-year-old does not give a shit what you buy Grandma for Christmas. He’s too excited about what Santa might be bringing HIM. This is excusable for said four-year-old, but not for the idiot parent who dragged his over-tired, over-stimulated ass to K-Mart to pick out Granny’s present. When I shoot you that crusty you-suck-as-a-parent look, don’t be surprised. You earned it. And dads, same rule applies to you. Just go get something for your wife and put the kids’ names on it. Seriously, if they are under the age of twelve, they don’t fucking care.

Also, could we please stop the Secret Santas, Christmas Pot Lucks, and various and sundry Christmas crap at work already? People are stressed out enough. Let’s just all go to the bar, have a couple beers, and pay our own tab. Or better yet, let’s just forget the whole thing. Honestly, it would be much simpler, we’d have a lot more fun, and no one would be up all night baking cookies. Win-win. Not only that, but in our new global workplace it’s time to recognize that there are a growing number of people who don’t celebrate Christmas, so let’s just stop the pretense already. I was raised Catholic, but quite frankly if Christmas ended tomorrow I’d be the first one to celebrate. Seriously.

And could we PLEASE get over the “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays” crap? Let people say whatever the hell they want, and take it as a general expression of their well wishes for the holidays. Seriously, do we REALLY need to get our panties in a bunch about this? I’m an agnostic, but I don’t spend twenty minutes bitching out the Salvation Army guy in front of K-Mart for saying Merry Christmas. In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” It’s CHRISTMAS, people. The season (supposedly) of brotherly love and tolerance. Could we maybe show some? Sheesh.

The Dumb Daddy Brigade Was Out in Force Tonight…

Here.

Let me start by saying I LOVE Oskar Blues. I truly do. They have the most kickass habanero wings on the planet and an EXCELLENT beer selection. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is fun. They hang all their unused beer taps from the ceiling – it’s a great conversation starter and just damn fun to look at.

I do NOT, however, like clueless parents. There was a group of fathers in there tonight with six kids under the age of 7 between them, and they were all SITTING AT THE BAR. AT THE BAR, people. Six little kids drinking water and bellying up to the bar, taking up seats meant for paying customers. And, it’s inappropriate. IN-A-PRO-PRI-ATE. Period.

Then, they moved to a table.

For about ten seconds. After that, it was kiddie playtime while the dads slammed down beers and blissfully ignored the fact that the waitstaff was forced to monitor their kids. Which they should NOT have to do. To her credit, the hostess seating us saw the kids climbing on the booth she originally was going to seat us at and motioned to the server to see if it was okay to move us to her section instead. The waitress (and I need to get her name; she’s waited on us before and she is AWESOME) was gracious enough to agree. So good for them for seeing a problem and heading it off, but seriously, WHY IS THIS NECESSARY?

Quite honestly, if she’d tried to seat us there I would have declined, and stated why, loud enough for the clueless “fathers” to hear. I’m done being tolerant, people. You act like entitlement-minded pricks, I’m calling you on it. LOUDLY.

Listen up, assholes: if you want to drink beer and it’s your night to watch the kids, pick a house, order pizza, and send someone to the liquor store. DO NOT make the rest of us deal with your non-parenting. And to the manager of Oskar Blues, let me say this LOUD and CLEAR: your waitstaff cannot see these short little people when carrying a tray of food. If they were to trip over one of them (through NO FAULT of their own) YOU will be sued. So-called “parents” who cannot be arsed to mind their own demonspawn will think NOTHING of blaming you, your employees and your establishment if their kids get hurt. Also, I cannot believe these people are worth it. Breeders of this caliber are notoriously bad tippers and they leave a tornado of trash behind. I, however, tip well and don’t scream my head off in the bar. You may want to start courting your more reliable customers, or we’re all going to go away.

Children DO NOT belong in bars, and they ESPECIALLY don’t belong in bars if their handlers aren’t going to watch them.

Those dads were asshats.

And it’s really become time for bar owners and managers to start telling them to go to Chuck E. Cheese, where they belong. And you people who actually parent your kids need to get on them as well.

Oh wait…you lot weren’t dumb enough to drag your kids to a bar. You were either probably home with your kids, or you actually paid money for a sitter. If it’s the latter, I can’t believe one of you didn’t get up at smack these idiots with a menu.

One more thing: I WILL be calling out these businesses from now on. I may not have a huge following at the moment, but you’d better hope for your sakes I don’t get one. Just sayin’.

Arguments of the Childfree

So, my plan today is to beat down the most popular arguments of crap parents as to why we should all kowtow to the wishes, motives, and desires of their underparented, spoiled, shrieking brats. (Yeah, you 20% of the population out there that actually try to do a good job, you can lump yourselves in with me. I’ll don the asbestos underwear for all of us).

Let’s break down some common arguments as to why I should “suck it up and deal with” some of the inappropriate behaviors of some people’s kids, notwithstanding the fact that a) they took these kids out HOURS after what most of us would deem an appropriate bedtime and b) IGNORED all the shrieking/crying/running around like monkeys on crack because they don’t think their lives should change just because they had a kid.

I’ve been around the kids vs. no kids argument long enough to know two things: 80% of “parents” will get OMG WTF on your ass any time you suggest they might actually, you know, MAKE THEIR KIDS BEHAVE (common comments here are “they’re just kids” and “we are trying to socialize them” and “you just don’t know how haaaard it is!”) and 20% will say “OMG I paid for a babysitter to go out for a nice evening and some dumbass brought their three-year-old and he SCREAMED all through dinner” or “OMG my kids DO NOT act like that” or “OMG “WHO keeps their six-year-old out at 10PM???”

You know who you are. All five of you. I feel your pain. Really I do. I know it has to suck ten million times more for you, because you paid for a babysitter just so you could have an adult night out.

Every night for me is an adult night out. I can’t imagine how pissed I’d be if I PAID someone to watch my kids so I could have an adult night out and some asshat decided to foist his/her hellspawn on me.

Holy Hell.

Now, the dirt of why your kids are not the Second Coming, and why I really don’t give a fuck about them. Let’s cover the top arguments lazy parents use to justify why their kids belong everywhere and anywhere.

My kids will be paying your Social Security

Oh, STFU. Seriously? Social Security is slated to go broke the year I’m old enough to collect. And, your kids will still be living in your basement.

Who will take care of you when you’re old?

REALLY? How dumb are you, exactly? Have you ever BEEN to a nursing home? I have – I volunteered in one for over a year. And I can honestly tell you, there are a LOT of people there who have kids and NEVER SEE THEM. Take care of me when I’m old – what a joke. That, and PLEASE tell me the reason you had kids was not to have built-in staff.

My child might grow up to cure cancer.

Yeah, and your kid might grow up to be the next Charles Manson. Are we going to get a refund on all the tax dollars we spent on him then? I thought not.

It’s different when it’s your own.

Is it? Is it really? Let’s tell that to the many, many people who have killed their biological children. Because I think they don’t know.

Parenting makes you a better person.

See above. Clearly, this is not always true.

It’s the most important job in the world.

Again, see above. And, if it is, why the blue hell are SO MANY of you spending SO MUCH time trolling teh Intarwebs and bashing the childfree? Shouldn’t you be bizzy mums, raising your kids? What were THEY doing while you were hovering over your keyboard, waiting for one of us to post up why you annoy us?

Methinks thou dost protest too much. The six actual parents who read this are laughing their asses off right now, because they’ve heard your bullshit too. The rest of you are pissed because I used the word “methinks” and you think I’m being all uppity and shit.

If you have a kid (or two, or three) and are laughing at this, you know I’m not talking about you. The rest of you, well…

Why I Am a Non-Practicing Catholic

Well, I really do have a bazillion reasons for this, but I’ll try to break it down to the major basic parts.

Let’s start with Catholic Guilt. Honestly, WHY does everything we do have to be fraught with guilt? I like a guy, I want to sleep with him, I should FEEL bad? REALLY? Oh, but if I MARRY him, it’s okay. Um…no. HELLO, Catholic Church, I’m HUMAN. I have both NEEDS and FEELINGS. Fuck you for telling me I can only enjoy those in the “sanctity” of marriage while your priests are molesting generations of children and you’re fucking covering that up. At least *I* am sleeping with adults, you fucking hypocrite assholes.

And, I just want to bust out Stephen Fry’s complaint about the Catholic Church here, because, while I liked him before, I think I freaking LOVE him now.

One of my “lay teachers” (a teacher who is not a nun) in Catholic school went to JAIL for molesting boys. So, either my Catholic grade school sucked major ass at background checks, or they didn’t care. Hmmm, judging from the trainwreck that is priests molesting boys, am I surprised?

NO.

Also, have ANY of you heard of the Magdelene Laundries? No? Check it out.

The Catholic Church has done a LOT of things in the name of what is pious and holy which were really in the name of what was vicious and cruel.

You know what, Catholic Church? I don’t care about you. I don’t believe you are what’s best for me.

If God exists, and He is a benevolent God, he would denounce you. I think I’ll live by my own moral code, thank you very much.