Friday, September 5, 2008

Tips for Men

"What do women want?" It's the oldest question around, and virtually impossible to answer because women are unique, complicated and mercurial. All paranoia aside, I do have a few recommendations to help men avoid conflict with the women in their lives. I've been told by Cranky that men like lists, because they are straightforward and difficult to screw-up. Therefore, I have compiled my suggestions into a simple list:

1) Laundry - Do not do a woman's laundry for her. Women's clothing is exorbitantly expensive, and is generally made from unpractical fabrics like silk, wool, rayon and the ubitquitous and easily-shrunk "cotton blend." Nothing will get you into hot water (no pun intended) faster than having your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, mother-in-law, etc find her brassiere and favorite (think $$$) blouse tangled into a shrunken, soaking pile at the bottom of the spin cycle. The only thing worse would be for her to retrieve these items from the dryer, after a 75 minute tumble on nuclear high. Unless you are familiar with the meaning of terms like "hand-wash, dry flat" and "line dry, cool iron", or my favorite, "dry-clean only," stay far, far away from a woman's soiled garments.

If you really want to help, extract your laundry, including any communal sheets and towels, from the pile and proceed through the steps of wash, dry and put away. Be sure not to leave your clothing in the dryer, or in a pile on the bed, as this will be perceived as only completing half the task, and therefore, not helpful.

2) Gifts - Chances are you have a special occasion coming up soon. Whether it's a birthday, an anniversary, a holiday or that dreaded made-up holiday we call "Valentine's Day," you do not want to be caught flat-footed. Always ask if there's something she wants. With any luck she'll provide a list (see note at top about the usefulness of lists), and all you'll have to do is fill her order. If she cannot, or will not, provide a list don't panic. Here are a few tried-and-true gift choices that will not fail:
  1. Flowers and a card (very safe bet for new relationships; add a homemade mix CD to kick things up a notch).
  2. Jewelry (do not give jewelry if you are not serious about the relationship, and/or are not willing to spend money on a quality piece).
  3. Dinner at a nice restaurant (not Olive Garden, Famous Dave's or the Outback - think something downtown with cloth napkins, where reservations are recommended).
  4. Tickets to see a show, a band or a game (only do the game or band if she is a fan; if she hates football, she'll see right through those Redskins tickets).
  5. Make dinner for her (don't touch this one unless you know how to cook, and are prepared to do the shopping and the clean-up).
  6. Take her on a picnic (have all the gear and food ready before you involve her).
  7. If it's a birthday, call her friends and arrange for a surprise happy hour at a bar she likes.
  8. TIP: For any of these suggestions that require travel, you are expected to provide transportation to and from the event. For those who are still confused, that means she drinks, you drive.
Here is a list of gifts NOT to give:
  1. Scented candles, or other useless trinkets.
  2. Household appliances (nothing kills the romance like a new vacuum cleaner with a set of refill bags).
  3. Books or videos about diet and exercise (she'll wonder what are you trying to say).
Finally, there is another element to gift-giving which men often overlook. Selecting, purchasing and sending gifts for friends and family on the man's side of the social calendar. These are your responsibility, as are any thank-you notes for gifts received from your friends and family. Do not expect your woman to take care of these, unless she offers to do so, in which case she is entitled to a gift of gratitude selected from the list above.

3) Groceries - Have you ever gone to the store, list in hand, only to come home and get reamed out for buying the wrong things? Technically, it's not your fault. There's a little thing called "product labeling," awareness of which is the cornerstone of the savvy grocery consumer. Food marketers spend millions of dollars on packaging, for the sole purpose of confusing, misleading and essentially tricking the customer into buying the wrong thing. Generic brands mimic the brand leaders in an attempt to steal their market. Low-fat, low-cal, sugar-free, fat-free, all are tricks to get the diet-conscious consumer to pick their product. Often the product is loaded with preservatives, sugar and/or salt in an attempt to compensate for the lack of flavor which results when fat, sugar and calories are removed from food. You may be thinking that the obvious solution to this dilemma is to simply call your spouse and ask for clarification. While not a bad idea in theory, it's best to leave this option for a last-resort. Calling her from the store runs the risk of making her feel like it would have been easier to do the shopping herself. Better to ask for brand names, and a detailed description, before you leave for the store. Let's role-play:

Her: Can you pick up milk on your way home?

You: Sure. What kind of milk?

Her: What do you mean? [Note the tone of annoyance that implies "You idiot, it's just milk!"]

You: Well, there's six different brands of milk, and at least four types of milk under each brand. Can you please be more specific? Last time you gave away an entire gallon, because I bought the wrong type. [Add your own tone of irritation that says "Aha! Didn't think of that did you? Now who's the idiot?]

Her: [chastened] Oh, good point. Anything 2%, prefer the Organic Valley, but if they don't have that brand, just go for whatever in 2%.

Start insisting on this level of detail for all list items, and eventually you'll even begin to recognize your household's preferred brands. Now you can shop with confidence!

4) Her Friends - A woman's friends are her most prized possessions. If you are lucky, these friends do not include her mom, or her sister, as that creates the double-whammy of an in-law and an interloper who is privy to the most intimate details of your life. Generally, there are a couple of rules to follow with regard to her friends.
  1. Always be a gracious gentleman in their presence. Nothing scores her points like having a good man. Nothing scores you points like making her look good in front of her peers.
  2. Never hit on the "hot" friend. Inevitably, there is one friend in her group who is better-looking than your girl. If this person happens to be her sister, be extra careful about following this rule. If you find yourself wishing you had hooked up with her "hot" friend/sister instead of your partner, it might be time for a break-up. Trust me, women are keenly aware of where they fall in comparison to other women on the looks hierarchy. She's spent her whole life in the "hot" friend/sister's shadow, don't make her feel inadequate in her relationship.
  3. Never, ever, ever try to force a friendship between your woman and your buddy's wife, your mother, your sister or some other female figure from your side of the social calendar. Women select their friends carefully. Each potential comrade is carefully chosen, vetted and bonded based upon a complex set of criteria. If she decides to befriend a woman from your side of the social calendar, be flattered as it is the supreme compliment. But be wary, as this friendship could be a strategic alliance formed for the sole purpose of intelligence gathering that will result in one or both parties gaining greater control over you and your actions. If you suspect this is the case, skip down to number six, and start planning your exit.
5) "Guy's Night Out" - This one is a sacred cow among menfolk, and for good reason. It affords men an opportunity to socialize with other men, where the conversation can be unfiltered, competition (if a game is involved) fierce and unapologetic and nobody orders a salad or discusses calories and weight-loss. A good woman will understand your need for this time. However she may envy you, and become annoyed if you make these nights of glory too frequent of an occurrence. This is especially true if she has recently relocated on your behalf, meaning her friends and family are far away and she hasn't seen anyone socially in several weeks. Same holds true if she is a stay-at-home mom, who has been on duty for the past 16 hours, and was looking forward to taking a shower without interruption when you get home from work. Then there is the condition that may render her incapable of understanding your need for time exclusively in the company of other men. This condition is called "lone-she-wolf syndrome." You'll know she suffers from this if she has ever uttered any of the following statement: "All my friends are guys," "Women are so boring, I hate talking about shopping, babies and diets," or my personal favorite, "Whenever I go out with the girls I get dirty looks if I have more than two cocktails." She doesn't bond well with her gender, and will not understand your need to do so with yours. Well, actually she understands all too well why you want to go out with the guys, and is hurt that you won't let her join you. The only solution to this is cohabitation. Once she has you (and your buddies) underfoot all the time, she will savor a night at home alone. If this fails, hope that she finds a hobby that involves drinking, or a group of tomboys that play roller derby.

6) hard to do. Bottom line: be a man about it. Don't be a douche and hide from her. This will just cause her to escalate her attempts to communicate with you. Be honest. Tell her that it's not working out for you. As in "I'm not in love with you, and I don't see the point in continuing things." Do not go into a litany about how annoying her voice is, or how much you hate her friends. If you have already met someone else, it's best to leave this detail out of your explanation. She does not need to know about the cute girl at your work who threw herself at you during sales week in Tampa, nor does she need to hear how hot the sex was, or how great the new girl looks in her thong. The exception being that this someone else is her best friend, and you guys are going to take things public. If this is the case, I suggest a politely written note (minus details of the hook-up) left for her on your way out of town. That's right, the only decent thing to do in this situation is relocate.

Got another one you'd like me to explore? Send it via the comments link, and I'll see if I can shed light into the mysterious cause behind the conflict in your relationship.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Choose Civility, Senility, Stupidity

Cranky has been busy lately, and hasn't had time to write about anything of substance, but the long Fourth-of-July weekend allowed Cranky to reflect on a few things.

The first being the wonders of the "Choose Civility" campaign that is sweeping Columbia by storm. It seems like every soccer mom, AARP member, and Baby Boomer is on board with this ineffectual grassroots civility message. Every time I get behind a Toyota Avalon in the fast lane going 35 in a 55-mph zone, or a mini-van cuts me off because they can't use their side mirrors, they invariably have a "Choose Civility" sticker on their bumper. It's almost a guarantee that anyone with one of these stickers is somehow going to "fail" at exercising common courtesy while driving in Columbia.

Cranky applauds the makers of the "Choose Civility" bumper stickers for helping him identify dangerous drivers in Howard County. Additionally Cranky applauds the makers of the "Choose Senility" sticker. See this for more information on this hilarious spoof.

If the makers of the "Choose Senility" modification read this blog, please contact Cranky, so I can donate to your campaign. Additionally, if at all possible, please create also create a "Choose Stupidity" sticker! :-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pony Attack, Part Deux

We made it through the gauntlet, and that was the last we saw of the ponies at our campsite for the remainder of the trip. Our friends, however, were not so lucky.

But first, a little background. The year before, their site was pillaged. Apparently, they left their food out in the open on the picnic table. The ponies came, ate and left a mess. This year, they had a plan. They bought big rubber bins with lids that made an authoritative "clunking" sound when snapped into place. I was impressed, and wondered if our groceries would have survived, had we adopted the same equipment.

Confident that no animal could break the seal on the food containers, our friends ate, drank and made merry well into the night. My parting gift was a rum punch that packed a punch. A "kick in the pants" I believe was the term Jeff used the next day to describe the *nightcap* I served.

The following afternoon we dragged our beach chairs and a few small coolers laden with cold beverages and sandwiches down to the beach. This was the best part of the trip. Two nights into the revelry, and everyone had hit their stride. Today was a day to simply enjoy the surroundings, and the company of good friends.

Sometime after lunch, but before dinner, the story came out; in the middle of the night our comrades awoke to the sound of Joker's hoof, pounding and scraping against the lid of their food containers. The two couples clamored out of their tents to see who/what was causing the commotion. Jeff, one of my *nightcap* victims, was so twisted he ran into the clearing completely naked, before he realized that he was not alone.

Quickly covering himself, Jeff shouted at Joker; just as I had done so early in the morning the day before. Meanwhile, Cinnamon figured out how to pry the lid off the food containers. She grabbed a pack of hamburger buns, and lifted them high over her head, shaking the bag triumphantly.

Jill, another brave camper, commissioned some crockery; banging the pieces together to create an awful racket.

"Oh no, you don't!" shouted Jill. She reached up, and snatched the bread bag right out of Cinnamon's greedy mouth.

That did the trick. Joker trotted off abruptly, mercifully Cinnamon followed without protest. And so ends the "Attack of the Hungry Ponies."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Attack of the Killer Ponies

Every year for the past three years Cranky and I have gone camping with a group of friends at Assateague Island National Seashore. This year we invested in some new gear to make our trip more comfortable. Most notable of this new gear was the "REI screen house", a roomy, breezy structure that promised to protect us from both sun and bugs.

One of the first things we did when we arrived at camp was to erect our new screen house, and marvel at its sturdy simplicity. Best of all, it has no floor, so you can pick it up and plop it right on top of your picnic table. Voila! Now we could enjoy bug-free dining and drinking, and it worked like a charm. Bugs stayed outside, people stayed inside. Plenty of room, plenty of fresh air, plenty of rum.

Lulled into a sense of superiority by the initial comfort and protection afforded by our screen house, we wrongly assumed that we were at the very *pinnacle* of the food chain on that little barrier island. This thinking led us to make our biggest camping mistake ever: putting the food in the screen house.

Looking back, I honestly do not remember what we did with our groceries on past trips. We must have locked them in the car, because we learned on this trip that even coolers and other types of sealed container are no guarantee of protection from the wildlife. At any rate, we never had any animal invade our tent, so we figured we could leave our grocery bags full of 'smores fixings, buns, chips, granola bars, etc...safely zipped in the screen house; which, after all, is really just a great, big tent.

Watching the embers die on the ocean-front campfire put the finishing touches on my exhaustion. We hobbled back to our site, and crawled into our sleeping bags. The sound of the waves breaking on the beach, coupled with an abundance of fresh, cool, ocean air, sent me to dreamland faster than you can say "Good night!"

However around 5:30 a.m., as dawn was creeping over the Atlantic, I heard a ripping sound, followed by the rustling of plastic bags and crunching. Lots of crunching.

Poking my head out for a closer look, I saw that the screen house had been ponies! I watched in horror, while one of them (I dubbed him "Joker," cause he was a paint) got tangled in the the screen siding and simply kicked his leg through the material. Meanwhile the other one (whom I named "Cinnamon," because of her chestnut color) grabbed the marshmallows, and proceed to consume the entire bag right before my very eyes.

"Get up! We have company!" I barked at my sleeping husband. I grabbed my hat (what presence of mind, considering the events that followed), and rushed over to the screen house, clapping my hands and shouting "Git! Git! Get outta there!"

My cries had no effect. The ponies on Assateague Island are protected wildlife, and they seem keenly aware of their status. Joker regarded me with a practiced eye, as he continued working his way through a bag of tortilla chips. Cinnamon seemed a tad distraught by my sudden appearance, but she still wasn't giving up on those marshmallows.

"Ha! Ha!" I shouted, and clapped my hands some more. The ponies ignored me, and kept eating. Now I was getting angry.

Cranky stumbled out of the tent, looking dazed and hungover. When he saw what the ponies were doing he laughed hysterically - in that crazed tone reserved for cartoon characters who have completely lost their mind.

"Shoo!" Cranky mumbled as he staggered toward the pony I called Joker. Joker didn't even blink. Cranky flung a handful of sand at Joker. The pony pushed his snout deeper into the bag, rooting around for more treats.

"Alright. I've got an idea. I'll distract them, while you grab the groceries and make a run for the car," I instructed the barely-awake Cranky.

Cranky reached for the bag, and Joker nipped at his hand.

"Ahh!" he yelped, jumping back in fear.

That did it for me. I grabbed one of the tent poles and shook the entire screen house, banging my hat against the side for added effect and yelling like I really meant it. This got Joker's attention. He raised his head from my tortilla chips, and looked at me with dark, angry eyes; giving Cranky just enough time to snatch three of the five grocery bags, and scurry towards the parking lot.

Not wanting to be left alone with the marauders, I ran behind him without a second thought. Once we stowed our provisions safely in the truck, we marched back to our campsite, still unsure of how to permanently remove the ponies. We saw that Joker hadn't budged from his position. In fact, he had done even more damage by punting our pineapple across the table onto the sand, and rustling through the remaining bags that held our plastic cutlery, paper plates and napkins. Meanwhile Cinnamon had torn her way through what was left of the door, and was assisting Joker with his inventory.

Feeling bold, Matt reached in and grabbed a bag right out from under Joker, causing him to back up and hip-check Cinnamon. Seeing an opportunity in the chaos, I tossed some sand and hollered at them to "Shoo!"

Instead, Cinnamon bit Joker in the flank, and snatched a box of graham crackers. I daringly reached for the box, but Joker reared up and charged me!

Fortunately, I had my big, floppy sun hat with me, which I waved above my head while jumping up and down and flailing my arms to look as big as possible. This spooked Joker, and finally convinced him to turn around and head over the dunes. Cinnamon remained, aggressively shaking the box of graham crackers in her teeth to open the plastic bag inside. Frustrated, she dropped the box on the ground and stomped it with her foreleg until the bag burst. She nosed through the crumbs, stomped the box a few more times to render it completely useless, and ambled away over the dunes in search of Joker.

We scraped up what was left of our supplies and trudged towards the car. As we rounded the dune that separated our site from the boardwalk to the parking lot we saw more ponies. Lots of ponies. They were spread out on either side of the boardwalk, creating a virtual gauntlet of equine threat.

"F*ck!" Cranky said.

"I dunno. What's worse, keeping this stuff at our site, and risking a repeat performance; or walking down the path of doom, and hoping nobody notices we have food," I said.

We opted for bravery. After all, the herd was grazing on grass. Perhaps these ponies had not be corrupted by high-fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. To be continued...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Fridge Is a Weapon

Every once in awhile I actually read the packaging for the food items I'm ingesting. This morning my wife brought Kraft "Mexican Style Four Cheese Finely Shredded Cheddar" to my attention. Apparently, I should be very afraid of this product.

From the package:

"Keep bag away from small children in case small slider should come loose from bag. Immediately discard any loose sliders. Young children may choke on loose sliders. For more safety tips on feeding young children visit"

This statement so intrigued me that I had to immediately browse to this URL, in the hopes of finding awful stencil art of kids and babies choking on something called a "slider". I was very disappointed as this URL is 404 "Not Found", thus forcing me to browse the Kraft website looking for the correct URL. I didn't find the kid safety link, but I did find some other interesting tips that I thought I should share with everyone.

First up is one of my favorites:

Q8. What's the meaning of the "Best When Used By" statement that appears on some product packaging?

The answer to this question is a long definition of what each word in quotes means in the English language. Which promoted me to wonder out loud, that if you don't know what these words mean, you most likely can't read the answer. Followed shortly thereafter by the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson, "English Mother @#$%$% do you speak it?"

Next up was this excellent tip:

"Children under 4 should always be supervised while being fed. At this age, children do not have the ability to judge how to eat safely, and may engage in running, jumping and other inappropriate behaviors while eating. Make sure your child is seated at the table, or at least sitting down, when eating."

I thought this was awesome cause I always wanted to run, jump, fly, spin, or some other activity while eating a sandwich or hot dog. Additionally, I wondered why this was limited to 4-year-olds, as the news says most of the adult population attempts to eat while driving, and then acts puzzled when their car ends up in a ditch.

Finally, Kraft has a massive article on "Lunch Box Safety." The most notable quotes from this article are the following:

1. Tote Oscar Mayer Lunchables Brand Lunch Combinations in an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack.
2. Keep hot foods, like soups, stews or chilies, hot. In the morning, bring the food to a boil and then immediately pour into a hot, sterile vacuum bottle. (Sterilize the vacuum bottle with boiling water.)

This may not sound like much on the outside, but as you can see Kraft actually wants your child to be mistaken for a terrorist. If you can remember back to your lunch box (it was most likely made of metal), and then think about adding an ice pack, and full vacuum-sealed bottle of hot liquid. This is now a weapon, that I'm sure the TSA would confiscate from your child if he tried and get on an airplane. Your kid's food might be safe, but the rest of the kids in class are probably not.

Next week I'll be reviewing other highly entertaining warning labels and FAQs from other household items. Including the "Rock Band Guitar is not a real Guitar", and "WiiMote strap must be worn at all times, to prevent WiiMote from going airborne."

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pub Dog and Frisco Grill

Frisco Grill has excellent guacamole, decent margaritas and a fine mahi-mahi fish taco. They also have live music on weekends, and a low-key, neighborhood atmosphere. Their televisions leave something to be desired, but there are plenty of screens showing various games on any given night. They also do a fine job on nachos and chile con queso dip. Just don't order the vegetarian burrito. The tofu lacks flavor, and has a creamy texture that doesn't quite belong.

In the same shopping center is Pub Dog ( It occupies the space once taken by the Hard Times Cafe. While I was sorry to see Hard Times go, the Columbia location was always the red-headed stepchild of the franchise. The food and service paled in comparison to the Northern VA and Bethesda locations. I was always baffled by how the Columbia Hard Times managed to screw up chili, onion rings and chicken wings.

Fortunately, the new Pub Dog (a Baltimore favorite that expanded to Columbia) is a solid establishment with excellent service, good deals and tasty microbrews. I could go on about how friendly the manager and servers are; it's the type of place where you can walk in alone, and have new friends by the end of the night. My only suggestion to Pub Dog is to add some greasy bar treats to the appetizer menu. While the personal pizzas are pretty good, I would love to be able to order some chicken wings, nachos or cheese fries to go with my 2-for-$4 beers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seriously...what's the deal?

I was driving to work the other day, and this crazy woman came up behind me in her Honda. She was right on my tail, and clearly angered by the fact that I was only willing to go the speed limit.

There was a car in the lane next to us, and the minute it sped up as if to overtake me, Ms. Road Rage whipped in behind it. My neighbor was merely matching my speed, and eventually fell behind a bit. This caused the nut-job in the Honda to get back on my tail. Guess she thought if she applied enough pressure I'd put the pedal to the metal. No dice.

Meanwhile the car next to me slowed enough to create a gap for the tail-gater to squeeze in between them and the car in front. Now Ms. Road Rage was right next to me, and hard on the heels of the car in front of them. Too bad they were coming up on some traffic and had to slow down. Sigh. Ms. Road Rage zipped in behind me...again.

This went on for several miles. Given the opportunity, I would have gladly gotten over so she could own the lane; but because she jumped in next to me the minute there was an open space, I had nowhere to go. It was amusing in a futile way, but also a fine example of what's wrong with drivers in this area: they are consumed with self-importance, anger and impatience.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Terrorists sneak around (TSA)

Yesterday I had the pleasure of flying around the US, and I was reminded of why I call the TSA "Terrorists Sneak Around". Since the institution of the new, post-9/11 TSA regulations, the American air traveler has been continually harassed and pick-pocketed of run of the mill household items.

"Get rid of your lighter, put your toothpaste in a zip-lock bag and make sure that your pill bottles contain only the number of pills you need for your trip."

This creates two classes of travelers; the few who follow all these silly regulations to a T, and the rest of us who have figured out how to hide all these items in plain sight and bypass the security mechanisms in place. Putting everything in zip-lock bags, buying small travel-size toothpaste, and ditching lighters is very annoying and cumbersome. But more importantly, failure to do it correctly only results in the loss of a 25-cent lighter, or a $5 tube of toothpaste. This creates a high tolerance for mistakes. It actually makes economic, and common, sense to practice until you can beat all the security mechanisms, so that when you get off the plane your bag still contains your lighter, your toothpaste and your pocket knife.

If you would like to see this in action, your best bet is an airport that still has a smoking lounge behind the security checkpoints. Plant yourself in this lounge, and wait for someone to light up. You'll be surprised to see that 99% of the smokers managed to get their lighters though security.

Ready to try your hand? Go out and get several small pen knifes that cost between $5 to $10, then spend 10 minutes thinking about how an X-Ray machine works, and what its potential limitations might be. Now place the lighters in your bags, and see how many make it though. (random legal disclaimer cause the world is litigious, "I don't encourage or condone this type of activity.")

The real point behind all of this is, if the average air traveler can figure out a plethora of ways to avoid detection at airport security, don't you think the real bad guys, who have money and time at their disposal, can "at will" avoid detection? With that said, what's the point of the TSA ?

If you agree with me I urge you to write your airline of choice, not the TSA or a government official, and simply say the following:

"I want air travel to be fun and hassle-free like it used to be. Please lobby the government for less security, and less regulations from the TSA. If you do this for me, I'll fly your airline more often and to more destinations. I am the majority, I am the average "Joe", this is a democracy, you are a business, and I understand that you think you have to look strong on security. However, your customers are smart enough to understand that all this tough talk about security is nothing more than a facade. Please make my travel experience better by eliminating, or severely restricting, the authority of the TSA. In return, I will give you more of my money."

A few people to petition:


Continental Airlines:



Other airlines

If you find other email address for people please post them as comments. The best way to find valid email addresses for real people is to search google and MSN for "customer relations manager " Then search the results. Most of the time you will find at the very least the name of the person who holds that title. Then send out a test email to "", "", etc etc until you get one that doesn't bounce.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Center Strikes Back

I loved Cranky's last post so much I had to share this link - Huckabee's Proposed Constitutional Amendments

This about sums up my opinion on the 2008 campaign. I am so tired of the polarized rhetoric in politics today. The only take-away is that, no matter which candidate I chose, I am guaranteed to lose some, or most, of my freedoms!

Monday, January 7, 2008

No one for me in 2008

The only thing on the news as of late is the 2008 Presidential race and the round-the-clock coverage of the Primaries and Caucuses. Since I'm a good little American, and I do exactly what the TV tells me to do, I started thinking about who I am going to vote for in the next election. This irresistible urge to comply with the TV forced me to do millions of Google searches, read all the candidate's websites, troll the forums on major media outlets, and write lots of emails to each candidate on the issues at hand. Unfortunately, after tallying all my results, I've come to the conclusion that I'm pretty much FUBAR when it comes to picking a candidate with views and politics that agree with mine.

The reasons for this are pretty clear, I'm too simple. Now this statement might not make sense to many of you, so I'll lay it out for you without any ambiguity.

My politics are the following.

1. I get to keep my guns, and you don't get to mess with them.
2. I get to keep my money. I made it, it's mine.
3. I don't care about universal health care. 50% of doctors still graduated in the bottom half of their class; it doesn't matter who pays an idiot, the government or me, he's still an idiot.
4. I don't have any faith. There is no God, deal with it, you just die. I don't want the church in my government, and I don't want anything to be decided on faith.
5. Women get to choose. If men got pregnant this wouldn't be an issue, it would be part of the Bill of Rights.
6. Stem cells should be played with as much as possible. Since I got no afterlife coming, I would rather just live forever.
7. Don't spy on me, leave me alone, and I'm not a terrorist. TSA stands for "McDonalds wouldn't hire me/Terrorists Sneak Around". Give me back my lighter, don't take my laptop battery, and zip lock bags don't stop explosions. Please let me get back to enjoying air travel.
8. The government needs to be smaller. Keep the government poor, and remain free.
9. I don't care about Social Security. I'm never gonna see a dime anyways. Figure out how to phase it out.
10. If I have to pay taxes only people who pay taxes get to have my taxes. This is a nice way of saying if you aren't a citizen you don't get to enjoy the benefits of my tax dollars.

Now, given the above I normally favor the Republican party, as it is supposed to stand for "I get to keep my money, my guns, and the government stays small". However as of late the Republican party seems to be waffling on all 3 of these issues, so in all fairness, to find the candidate for me I investigated all the people I could find.

This resulted in the following tally. (shorted to 2 for each side)


Hillary Clinton

a. Pro-choice
b. Down with stem cells.
c. Godless

a. Thinks the 1st and 2nd Amendments aren't part of the Constitution.
b. Champion of universal health care.
c. Wants all my money

Barack Obama:

a. Pro-choice
b. Seems to have no real plan for social security. I'll give you a pro on failure to give a crap.

a. Plans to use my money to pay for health care, by eliminating tax cuts on the middle class and upper middle class, and then somehow doing some magic of what he calls middle class tax fairness.
b. Really dislikes guns, the NRA rates this guy as Satan.
c. Into the Bible. Defended that he was a Christian, and a true one at that.


Mitt Romney

1. Guns are ok, they aren't great, but they are ok.
2. Free market health care. This gets a pro, cause he's in my boat. Doctors can be dumb, no matter who pays them.

1. Anti-choice
2. No stem cells, and every time I masturbate I'm killing kids.
3. Loves the God.

Ron Paul

1. Small Government
2. Everyone gets a gun.
3. I get to keep all my money.

1. Anti Choice - hides behind states rights blah blah blah. Overturn Roe v Wade and all legislation around abortions, because it's not the Fed's problem.
2. No stem cells, the federal government shouldn't fund research around things that are potentially "moral" issues.
3. Thinks teaching Creationism is somehow useful in our schools. Believes Creationism has scientific facts backing it.

After this fun tally I went back and reviewed a number of other presidential hopefuls including McCain, Huckabee, Edwards, Guiliani, Hunter, Thompson, Gravel, Kucinich and came to the following simple conclusion.

The Republican candidates are running the agenda that God is on their side, and because of this abortion is evil; but you get to keep your guns, because we are pretty sure we are evil and you might have to use them to get rid of us. Additionally, the Republicans are running on the platform of smaller government because they believe Congress and the Senate are incompetent, so we should leave things to the states. While on the other hand they want to increase funding to our security agencies, and make it easier to spy on us under the illusion that it keeps America strong. They also want to make DHS bigger, because somehow that agency of the government isn't incompetent.

The Democrats are running on the agenda that you, America, are idiots and they are a super-race of social problem-solvers. They plan to fund stem cell research, so the rich can live forever, while getting taxed to death to pay for a broken social security program. Additionally, they want to tax the almost rich, so they never become rich, to pay for social welfare and universal heath care. All the while taking my guns, and making the government the largest employer in America.

Given the above I've decided that I cannot support any of the current presidential candidates. This is why I'm announcing my bid for president, the cornerstone of my campaign agenda will be the following:

1. Everyone woman gets the right to choose whether or not she will carry a child.
2. I get to have all the guns and ammo I want.
3. I will never trade freedom for security.
4. I will close down the DEA and all the money used on the War on Drugs will be funneled into Social Security. I will then pay out all outstanding balances in the Social Security system and disband the program.
5. I will remove Creationism and Intelligent Design from all Federally-funded educational institutions.
6. I will disband the TSA and "ebay" everything they have confiscated over the years. This should generate billions of dollars. I will take this money to improve our education system.
7. I will severely limit the welfare system, and make it harder to get into it and faster to get out of it. I will encourage people with compassion to start non-profit organizations to help people, if that is what they like to do.
8. On immigration I will open our boarders, as immigration is what made this country. There is no such thing as an American. We all immigrated from somewhere. However if you don't pay taxes, you don't get to use public services; and if you want to be an American citizen you must speak and read English. I will pass legislation to make English the official language of the land.
9. I will overturn the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA). American companies should innovate, not litigate, to stay competitive in a global market.
10. I will support a free and open Internet. Network providers will not be allowed to filter content, restrict content, or impose regulations of supported vs not supported protocols or services. I pay for bandwidth. If that is what you sell, then that is what I'm buying.
11. I will overhaul the FDA, so drugs can reach sick people quicker. This will come at the price of safety, in some situations. The American people will be informed of this, and can make their own decisions as to whether or not to take a drug or undergo a procedure that has inherent risk.
12. I will stay in Iraq. Just because the previous administration made a terrible mistake, doesn't mean I'm not obligated to clean up the mess.
13. I will remove the federal regulations that mandate states institute 21 as the legal drinking age, .08 as the legal blood alcohol level, and 55 mph as the maximum speed limit in order to receive federal road money.
14. I will do a bong hit in the oval office, and I will inhale.
15. I will encourage states to hold open votes on the issues of gay marriage. If your state wants this, they can pass their own laws based on the majority of the voting population.

Vote CrankyinColumbia in 08