In the past few weeks the malt liquor/energy drink/cocaine in a can beverage known as Four Loko has come under fire from the Food and Drug Administration and now faces bans in numerous states. The product has achieved widespread popularity amongst people who enjoy doing terrible things to their bodies, blacking out on a regular basis, and consuming liquids that taste like Japanese coca-cola variations. Facing substantial revenue losses at the hands of government interference with the all-out-nationwide-rager perpetuated by the beverage, Drink Four – the parent company of Four Loko – has announced a new Thanksgiving themed product offering.

Four SOFO will stick with the same philosophy that made Four Loko a success – combining uppers (caffiene), downers (alcohol), and abhorrent flavors in a triple-serving can. Four SOFO is to feature a fun combination of tryptophan, the chemical compound found in turkey and red wine that is renowned for its ability to induce sleep, and meth.

Customers who were offered the product for a night in the test market of Forsyth county, Ga had this to say:

“The meth gives the drink a great tangy aftertaste and a failsafe excuse for sleeping with ugly girls!”

“I’ve always been a fan of tryptophan in the same way that I love a good Oxycontin hit and I’m a huge fan of the added meth! The result was a complete inner calm and relaxation while I rabidly fought my best friend in the bar over a remark he made about my shoes being unfashionable!”

“Being from Forsyth, I’ve been using meth for years. I love a good thanksgiving flavored, tryptophan-induced food coma balanced out with a few crystals of methamphetamines from my cousin’s trailer, but this sublime combination has never been handed to me in a convenient, camouflaged can before! This is the greatest thing since…strippers and crack cocaine!”

“If you think you’re thankful for oversized canned beverages that taste like rotten fruit now, just wait until next Thanksgiving when you can be thankful for being out of jail in the wake of whatever you did after drinking two Four SOFOs in the same night!”

When asked about the possible negative health implications of the product, a Drink Four spokesperson responded:

“Health implications? Its thanksgiving, man. To quote Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants, a man who was offered a sponsorship deal as soon as he uttered these immortal words, “I just want to rage. Right now.””

Four SOFO will hit the shelves of your local run-down gas station tomorrow on what the company is calling “Blackout Friday”.

A happy thanksgiving to you from all of us at sorryforstaring.com – we’re thankful for anyone who wastes enough time on a regular basis to visit the site, binge drinking, and meth.

When a man must part with his mustache, he loses a part of himself.

In the wake of the first annual Tenessee ‘Stache-out, there, perfectly perched on my upper lip, was a glorious collection of shimmering blonde hairs that comprised my mustache (may peace be upon Him). With the glorious vision of a respectable mustache ever-present in my mind, I nursed those hairs from a mere stubble  all the way to a bristly, broom-like citadel of whiskers which stood as a defiant and stark island of contrast compared to the smoothness of the remainder of my face. Then, with a detrimental good-news phone call and the placement of an interview for a $57,000  starting salaried job on my google calendar, the mustache was sentenced to a dying day.

Reginald Bourquin III, mustache, esq. was shaven on October 27th, 2010. May peace be upon it.

Ever since that day, something has been missing from my life. The world just seems to make more sense when the sensitive upper lip is coddled and covered by a security blanket of esteemed protein strands. I will now make a case that all men need to hear. I will now reveal the secret to a meaningful and fulfilling existence. My friends, a resolution:

  • WHEREAS, having a mustache will make you money:

According to this article written in the reputable business site Reuters.com blog “Shop Talk”, Americans with mustaches earn 8.2% more than bearded Americans and 4.3% more than their cleanly-shaven contemporaries. Additional economic evidence in support of the ‘stache unearthed by this study include the fact that whiskered Americans are spend 11% more than the rest of Americans. Personal experience suggests that if this is true, mustached Americans are 11% more fun to go out with than the rest of America. Thank you to the nice lady who brought this to my attention…the day after Reginald’s death. May peace be upon Him.

  • WHEREAS, accomplishing something whilst sporting a mustache adds value and respect to that accomplishment:

My roommates brought to my attention that this fact is clearly evidenced by two great swimmers: Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz. Spitz won seven gold medals in the Munich olympics in 1972 – an act only surpassed by Michael Phelps’ eight medals in the 2008 games. Though Phelps beat Spitz’s number by one, Spitz is clearly superior for the reason pictured below:

American flag Speedo. AND MUSTACHE. In a sport as hydro-dynamically inclined as swimming, Spitz was able to do what he did with a 6-inch set of swimming breaks – the facial hair equivalent of swimming with a large parachute attached to one’s feet – perched gloriously and with great pride upon his upper lip. The only explanation for this is that Spitz’s mustache provided him with the extra testosterone needed to give him a net hydrodynamic gain after balancing with the negative effect of his facial hair situation. Also, with sample size 2, sporting a mustache has proven 100% effective in preventing large-scale media scandals involving elite swimmer/celebrity/subway spokespeople and bongs.

  • WHEREAS displaying a mustache will get you mad compliments…from dudes.

I once dated a girl who proposed this theory: sometime women dress to impress guys (tight clothes, cleavage, more cleavage, etc.) and sometimes women dress to impress other women (loose fitting, un-revealing, “fashionable” abominations e.g. the romper). As men, sometimes we facial hair for girls, and sometimes we facial hair for dudes. Wearing a mustache is the male practice of the latter.  When I had Reginauld III (may peace be upon Him), female passersbys did not regularly take the opportunity to remark but rather His self-esteem and support came from…other dudes. “Dude, like the ‘stache.” “Sweet ‘stache man.” “Is that a mustache? Dude. Sweet.” My point is that, no homo, it feels good when your mustache gets a man-compliment. That’s a true fact.

  • WHEREAS growing a mustache worthy of social rapport places oneself in grand company:

Legendary men of the past who have sported a mustache are numerous. From Teddy Roosevelt – presidential badass and rough rider – to Charlie Chaplain – who is the rightful heir and to the and popularizer of the incorrectly named “hitler style” mustache – men have done great things with a well-protected upper lips. From Ron Jeremy to Friedrich Nietzsche, Salvador Dalí to Fu Manchu (yes, he was a man AND a mustache), the ‘stache has consistently inspired greatness  and served as the mark of someone who is good at life.

PS Because of its gravity, ruining the Charlie Chaplain mustache shall henceforth be added to the list of grievances against Adolf at position number two.

BE IT RESOLVED: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at growing a mustache worth growing.” – Theodore Roosevelt, Inauguration speech, 1904.

This post is dedicated to:

Reginald Bourquin III

October 1, 2010 – October 27th, 2010

Mustache to one, friend to many

May Peace Be Upon Him

We did it. Georgia is the nation’s number one party school. We’ve got downtown Athens, which was described to me by a greater-atlanta magistrate court judge as “The alcohol capital of the state”. We’ve got the greek life scene, which has been healthy at UGA for a long, long time. Finally, we’ve got the general dedication to a good Friday night possessed by most – if not all – university students. Georgia is just NUTS, right? The perfect storm of PARTY. Boom.

But here’s a challenge: call up anyone you know who went to Georgia ten years ago. Ask them what it was like. Ask them about the rule that stipulates that two alcohol related events within a year of one another will get a student suspended. Ask them about the increased security at bars downtown. Ask them about the newly-instituted pairing of police officers on practically every street corner downtown. Aid them in retrieving their jaws from the floor. Ask them about their craziest college memory – I’m willing to bet its pretty wild – or at least wilder than yours. Aid yourself in retrieving your jaw from the floor. Inquire into how the greek life scene was back in the day – then tell them about all of the rules and ‘regs currently in place. Their jaw again.

Hypothesis: Georgia parties LESS than it used to.

Georgia has climbed the list of top party schools, from #7 two years ago, up to #4 last year, to #1 this year – but things in the classic city aren’t getting any crazier. In fact, due to the uptight administration who cares more about the Princeton Review than its own students continues to institute anti-alcohol, anti-tailgate, anti-greek, anti-party policies that have tried to sterilize the atmosphere and fight against something that we all know – including these 100 university presidents –  to be a simple reality: college students like to party.

But even This phenomenon has been in decline. The hard facts say that Georgia is much, much harder to get into than it was as little as five years ago. Compared to twenty years ago? No contest. Students that are as good at high school as one needs to be in order to gain entry to UGA these days are not students that drink until they throw up on someone’s shoes six nights a week. Just three or four. Which is normal. Minus the shoes part. Studying until 2AM in the MLC is way more popular than drinking until 2AM in the bar. The University regulations have only increased. Greek life is closely, closely monitored – much more so than in the past – and the ACCPD as well as the UGA police are netting record numbers of alcohol-related offenses.

I would assume that this is taking place at more and more universities – especially large state ones that are seeing increased competition in the admissions office. So what has happened here is that UGA has fallen down the ladder a little bit less than everyone else – we’re definitely not partying more than we have been.

I do not mean to be a debbie-downer. Rejoice in the #1 ranking. All that drinking we’ve been doing these last three years has finally paid dividends. But a word to the administration: don’t listen to the Princeton Review. Don’t ruin the way college has been – and ought to be – for the incoming class of freshmen. Start running busses to cut down on DUI’s. Sign that petition. Quit expelling good students for doing what everyone does. Let the greeks be greeks – students who have fun, raise money for philanthropy in record-high numbers, participate in shenanigans, serve the community, make their pledges do things that pledges do, and make better grades than the all-male average every year. The rest of the numbers show that the UGA student body is doing really, really well in all facets of being a college student – know that we’ll continue to do so. You’re welcome for that, and with regard to the #1 ranking thing…Sorry for partying.

The view from the pavement is a lowly one – especially when you’re staring up into the eyes of the people who just watched your journey from prideful individual to pride-less, newly arrived to the asphalt by means of a pedestrian crash, individual. This crash-dummy’s eye view is as undesirable as it gets, but don’t even think about being Sorry For Staring if you see one of these catastrophes unfold before your eyes – they make for great entertainment. Who doesn’t love a good pedestrian fail? Here are a few that I’ve been lucky enough to witness.

Take My Eyes, But Not the Board!

Fact of life: everyone wants to see a good skateboard crash. This story is second hand, but a good friend of mine almost got to witness just that. There was a dirty, dirty hippie riding his longboard down Sanford drive towards Tate Plaza when he decided to hop the curb up onto the sidewalk. He popped the board over the barrier, and started to lose a bit of control. At this point, everyone whose field of vision in which McHippie-boarder was stopped and stared, desperately hoping to witness a crash. The silver surfer, in a deft showing of athletic ability – especially for a hippie -gained his control and aptly hopped off the wobbly board to avoid crashing and consequently (unknowingly) fulfilling the wildest dreams of the onlookers.

As McHippie was thinking to himself how awesome he was for not being face down on a sidewalk in that moment, he realized that the almost-fall had shot his board out into Sanford drive, right in the path of a big, heavy, mean, skateboard-eating UGA bus. The bus driver had no time to react. His eyes widened as the wheels of the bus demolished the board like an Israeli bulldozer on a peaceful protester.  The man dropped to his knees and cried, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”, as if someone had just forced him to shower or shattered his favorite bong.

Bearing witness to this would be no easy task – one must balance the urge to instantly start laughing hysterically with the empathy and respect that one feels for another who has just lost a beloved object to the wheels of a bus. This is quite the weighty decision that requires moral fortitude and a dedication to decency. I propose laughing after 30 seconds have gone by and you have had time to pretend to call someone and be laughing at their funny phone-jokes, because the fact of the matter is that this sort of occurrence makes it impossible not to laugh. Sorry For Staring has confirmed with an eyewitness that compulsory laughing did indeed take place.

"Oh Dude. Dude. I mean. Dude. F. Dude. C'mon. Duuuuuuude. Not my. DUuuuuUuUUuuude. Dude. Dudeeeeeee." -Skateboarder

The Trip Wire

The other day I was gaily moseying along on my newly acquired mountain bike, headed back to my east side shag pad after a quick stop at Sunshine Bikes downtown. With the goal of going from Washington Street to Clayton Street, I decided to cut through the 40 watt parking lot in order to avoid having to make a double left turn. This was a costly mistake.

I pedaled hard a few times, getting my speed up to the neighborhood of 15ish mph before glancing at the “40 Watt Parking Only” sign and deciding that even though it was there, that it should only pertain to cars, and that I would continue through the parking lot because, you see, I was on a bicycle. Which is definitively not a car.

The 40 watt, in a fervent effort to sabotage bicycle commuters, has constructed a trip wire to cause handle-bar diving and provide premium entertainment for any lucky passersby. The cable, with its high strength-to-weight ratio (this comes into play in 5 seconds), was thin enough to be almost transparent – I didn’t even notice it until the aforementioned strength-to-weight ratio put a stop to my forward progress like an Israeli bulldozer to a peaceful protester.

The real winner in all of this is, as I came to realize as I confusedly lifted my face from the asphalt in an attempt to discern what exactly just transpired, was the man looking at me from his car window. Never before in his life had he been more happy to be stuck at a stop sign. He classily executed the impossibly hard task of asking if I was OK without laughing, then cracked a smile, thought to himself “That was awesome” and proceeded to make his right turn. I got up, dusted off my person, assessed the battle wounds, and put my pride back in my satchel before pedaling off into the sunset, befuddled and embarrassed.

Clockwise From Top: Man flips over handlebars. Pride level takes drastic hit. Lucky dude has day made.

Ice (?) Skating

Problem number one: homeboy is roller-blading around campus. If you’re going to do that, you had better do it well, because when your skate slides out from underneath you as if the bricks on the Baldwin street crosswalk were ice, you’re making an extra large sized ass of yourself. And it’s impossible – absolutely impossible – not to laugh at.

The best part about this one is that I didn’t see it coming. Homeboy stood poised at the crosswalk at Baldwin, SLC bound, poised to leap into all of his Rollerblade-y glory as soon as the white man appeared. I stared at him, then down at his k2’s, then back at him, perplexed as to whether I though he was the raddest dude alive or just a strange, strange man for electing to skate around campus. White man. Homeboy leaps into action. He pushes off with the right foot. His weight shifts, and he powerfully pushes off on the left. Then the right. Then the left, gathering speed all the while. I was admiring his elegance and swiftness as his blades propelled him across the sun-bathed bricks in the late afternoon. Right skate. Left skate. Swoosh, swoosh, boom.

Boom. Just like that. Homeboy gets horizontal. It happened in a flash, but I saw it play out in front of my eyes in slow motion. He pushes powerfully on his right skate, but the wheels find nothing to push back against due to the extreme angle at which they converge, and the skate, as if it were suddenly on ice, slips out from under him. He Never before and never since have I seen someone go from being upright to being flat on his face in the middle of a road so elegantly. His status as a man standing upright was toppled by his epci fall – like an Israeli bulldozer to a peaceful protester.

Hey, look at me, I'm rollerskating! I'm doing it! I'm doing it! Oh. I'm on the ground.

What these three experiences have done for me above all else is instill in my small black heart a healthy dose of hope. Hope that while crossing the street, the person in front of me will run his bicycle into the newspaper kiosk. Hope that my benign commute will turn into the spectacle of a lifetime and a week’s worth of bar conversation. Hope that even though it may be 20 degrees and rainy, that somehow, someone may collaborate with these ideal pedestrian-accident-creating conditions and, once more – just once more,  give me something at which to be Sorry For Staring.

Sorry For Staring.com wants to know about YOUR eyewitness accounts of pedestrians failing and transporting themselves. Do post a comment!

Texas, the state that flew solo for nine years, gave us the epic loss at the Alamo, and ranks number one in state pride, has added to its long string of accomplishments a “world class” and “exceptional” list of social studies textbook requirements.

The Texas Board of Education has passed a revision of the things that must be included in social studies textbooks used in the state, which people of all levels of education and political orientation agree – including the sponsors of the provision – is a deliberate re-insertion of conservative viewpoints into the current “liberal”, “hippie” textbooks we currently use. Present in the provisions are the de-emphasis on the civil rights movement and its effects, the spotlighting of the Conservative’s resurgence in the 1980’s, Thomas Jefferson being stricken from the curriculum where he used to occupy a spot as an enlightenment philosopher, and the elimination of any assertion that hip-hop culture exists. With regard to poor Mr. Jefferson’s situation, add  to the list of reasons why it’s a  bad idea to tell the world that you’re a mostly atheistic deist: “will ruin your future as a historical figure in Texas.”

If I’ve learned anything from my mother, it is that when you change one thing, that means you’ll need to change another thing eventually, and thus, it’s better to innovate and renovate all at once because things have to match. Always.  For this reason, I think that it’s important that the cowboy hat-wearing, “everything is bigger here”, free market-loving Texan Conservatives finish the drill. They’ve got some great conservative, religious-friendly, white-affirming curtains, but the coffee table and carpet should be styled to suit. Below is a list of 1000% super serial provisions that should, in congruence with what has already been proposed, be included in the Texas textbook revised list of requirements.

  • The Great Society set of programs implemented by Lyndon B. Johnson, which had the liberal and thus terrible goals of ending racial injustice and eliminating poverty, shall be referred to at all times as the Marginally Successful Somewhat Mediocre Society. It will also be noted that while Lyndon Johnson himself was from Texas, he, due to his liberalism, is under no circumstances to be considered a Texan.
  • To accompany the elimination of “hip hop” as an important cultural movement, we will be adding that Johnny Cash’s album “Man In Black” is the greatest musical accomplishment of all time. It will also be noted that Bob Dylan frequently accompanies the Devil to gay bars, reads Howard Zinn, doesn’t know what he’s talking about, can’t sing that well, and never should have gone electric.
  • “The Trail of Tears” shall be re-named “The path of excretions from the eye caused not by sorrow but rather by an averse reaction to pollen and dust in the air at the time”.
  • It shall be clearly enumerated that the reason Rosa Parks didn’t stand up and surrender her seat on the bus was because she accidentally sat on six pieces of gum and could not physically rise – not because she was protesting a terrible and oppressive system. It will also be noted that she was not a cute old lady.
  • The Sherman Antitrust Act shall be known as the Sherman-shouldn’t-have-interfered-with-the-free-market-and-neither-should-you act.
  • Along with the terminology BC and AD, which every other institution of higher learning has forsaken in favor of BCE and CE, Texas textbooks shall qualify dates with an additional BR(MPBUH) or AR(MPBUH). An example: “Jerry Falwell founds the moral majority,” 1978 AD-BR(MPBUH), which means 1978 Anno Domini, Before Reagan – May Peace Be Upon Him) OR “Liberals further environmentalist agenda by sabotaging BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico,” 2010 AD-AR(MPBUH) (2010 Anno Domini, After Reagan – May Peace Be Upon Him).
  • The language “1859: Oregon admitted as a state” will be changed to “1859: Liberal Oregon sneaks into the union”.
  • Coverage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s socialist New Deal will be replaced with facts about inconsequential Republican President William Howard Taft. Its not that we don’t like the New Deal, its just that there are more important things to learn. Taft was, after all, the last American president to sport facial hair. That’s one mean mustache. Note the curled ends.

Special notes by the authors in the books should also include that Watergate was a liberal sabotage of a conservative sabotage, that we didn’t lose Vietnam – we were just concerned with the North Vietnamese’s self-esteem, Ms. California was the victim of the liberal news-media and is the rightful Miss USA 2009,  and that Texas is not sorry for staring because apologies are un-American and should be reserved for use by tree-huggers, liberals, and Tiger Woods.

Note: self esteem doesn’t matter or exist. It is a lie invented by hippies and liberals. If you don’t agree – you don’t love America.

Its summertime in Athens, GA. The classic college city shrinks a bit, things slow down, and it gets hot. I’m not complaining – I rather enjoy it – but I will say that on occasion Sunday nights can be slightly uneventful, especially when one tries to proactively study for a test before there is any real pressure to do so.  I was bored.

There’s the justification, here comes the pile of bricks.  I watched the Miss USA pageant.

In lieu of International Marketing, I learned this fact of life: Men and Women are different.

After each skin and cleavage filled procession of estrogen, the camera cut to two rather aged ladies (whom I assume are mildly famous but are by no means on my small celebrity radar) who take turns blowing sunshine onto a contestant or two, then ripping their least favorite contestants to shreds. The commentators take the reigns and conduct a Sportscenter-like breakdown of the previous performance. At this point, men quit caring and change the channel while these two females talk about things like “poise” and “confidence”. The ones whose wives, girlfriends, or partners wouldn’t let them flip back to the game had to stay and listen.

I think this process would be drastically different if commentated on by men. A brief hypothetical comparison:

Female Commentators: “And you just lookie here at Miss Oklohoma! She has just such great “confidence” and “poise”. Look what she’s doing here with her piece of golden fabric. Ooo and that spin, that’s just fantastic! Such elegance! And poise! Oo and confidence! Poise. Confidence.

Male Commentators: Ok Bob, next was Miss Oklohoma. She’s hot. After that was Mississippi. She’s hot. Following was Pennsylvania. Also hot. Georgia. Hot. Florida. Hot. California. Hot. Alaska. Surprisingly super hot. Idaho. Not at all like a potato, very hot. And that’s our take, back to you Bob.

That applied to the female commentary while in a good mood. Let’s look at the respective female and male reaction to last night’s main highlight – Miss Michigan’s stumble during the third movement of the evening gown portion.

Female Commentators: “Oooo ok let’s get that big event up here on the replay. Look here, Miss Michigan trips! She trips! Everyone knows you shouldn’t have a train on your gown lest you trip! She’s done for! Absolutely terrible. What lack of poise. To me a trip just shows how un-confident some of the contestants are. No poise. No confidence. Oh my.

Male Commentators: Idaho. Still hot. Wyoming. Hot. Michigan – did you see her rack? Man. hot.

Aside from the bedeviled commentary, we got to intimately know these girls in a number of ways including seeing them mostly naked in swimsuits, seeing them mostly naked in photographs, and hearing them tell us about themselves. Some gems from the 30 second bio’s were that Miss Mississippi owns and operates her own fireworks stand, and that one of the anonymous blondes collects purses and shoes. In fairness, Miss Michigan does have her MBA from the University of Michigan, which was a great showing of feminine beauty paired with intelligence far greater than my own and that of many, many men.

We were further opened to the wonderful world of the ten finalists as individuals with a brief Q and A conducted by the MC’s. The highlight question of the night was decidedly, “I hear you make a great grilled cheese sandwich, tell us about that…” In response to this, the contestant explained that she liked to put extra cheese on the bread. This lead to the cultivation of a deep and profound respect in my heart for this woman and her prowess in the field of grilled cheese.

The final gauntlet for these ladies was the question and answer session, which proved to be pretty awesome. The contestants all drew a question at random, asked by a celebrity judge, which touched on tough issues like the BP oil spill, the Arizona immigration bill, birth control, and the exploitation of women as sexual objects in pageants for television advertising revenue. Ok so they skirted one of those, but that didn’t stop the contestants from not giving a definitive or direct answer to anything, or from saying little to nothing of value in a rant of no more than 30 seconds.

When Paula Dean asked how many sticks of butter it takes to get to the center of a heart disease pop, I mean, who is responsible for the BP oil spill (which was the easiest question of the night; what color is Harry’s blue shirt? Blue. Who’s responsible for the BP oil spill? Come on now…), the contestant still somehow managed to be ambivalent and indecisive. I will say that I can’t blame her – I would also crack like the eggs into a mixing bowl on its way to becoming a set of deep-fried truffle cupcakes in the presence of the great Paula if I weighed 110 pounds. Which I admittedly almost do.

The most suspenseful moment in the night came when the top five were announced, in order, resulting in one Miss USA 2010. Once there were only two godess-like, beautiful, bonerific women remaining, the two females engaged in the pageant custom of embracing one another while the final decision was announced, acting as if they legitimately wanted the other one to win. For some reason, the two women chose to face each other and hold hands. Then they elected to touch each other’s faces while remaining very close and holding hands with the other arms. Then, for womanly support of course, they held the back of each other’s neck and intensely and nervously looked each other in the eye. As the drums rolled and the lights flashed, every woman watching was on the edge of her seat, eager to hear which woman would be selected as this year’s MISS USA! Every man watching was on the edge of his seat, eager to see if two of the hottest women in the nation were really, actually, maybe just maybe, about to make out.

In a true underdog story that rivals the great sports films Miracle, We Are Marshall, Remember The Titans, Cool Runnings, and Rocky I-IV with the exception of III, Miss Michigan grabbed the crown despite her third quarter stumble, thus becoming the first Muslim american to don the Crown. Its the feel good story of the summer. Sorry for Staring, but the swim suit portion was on while I was channel surfing, its not my fault, they’re so hot.

Humor is a funny thing. I can write until I develop acute carpal tunnel in both wrists about the funniest subject matter there is (probably extreme tea-party members or mid to late 80’s fashion trends) in the best, most comedic way possible, and still not be as funny as strange animals doing strange things on video. Today, I surrender. Here are my 5 favorite comedic gifts from our furry friends.

5. Standing Cat Is Watching You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1NR7oGzcEg

I know I’m stating the obvious, but cats are evil and want to overthrow all mankind. They’re only living with us domestically to scout out our lifestyles and eventually make an assault on all that is good, holy, and American. This video serves as proof that the felines are working hard when they think no one is watching to make the transition to bi-pedalism. Anyone who has seen Shrek II knows that cats are vicious while standing and engaging in sword to sword combat. Note the arm move around 31 seconds. Looks like a threatening gesture to me.

4. BBC’s Take a Walk on the Wild Side: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ1HKCYJM5U&feature=channel

British people can hear the thoughts of animals, just like Mel Gibson in the feel good film What Women Want, but with animals, not women. These English-accented conversations are always funny due to the unfair comedic advantage enjoyed by all English folk and give true insight into what is really happening in the animal kingdom. I would encourage you to watch all of the related BBC animals talking videos on youtube, as they are all quite comical, until you feel you have mastered the concept. At this point, you will be able to watch “Life” on the Discovery Channel again because of your ability to mute Oprah’s terrible narration and fill in the commentary yourself.

3. Who Dat Dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYvI_vtYeA8

This spirited pup and his drunken supporters provide one of the top five most awesome instances of man’s best friend being made fun of by man. The dog is decidedly confused because, like most people this past  football season, he doesn’t understand how or why it is exactly that he is a Saint’s fan.

2. Fainting Goats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9_CdNPuJg

Maybe Charlemagne, the sassy beau who graces the banner of this page, has me primed to favor vids of goats, but regardless, this one is a gem. How these guys survived the gauntlet of natural history is beyond me. Hop into their shoes: You’re a luscious goat, and you see a predator coming. You sweat. Your heart rate spikes. Instinct takes over and you and you spring into action! Except that the action you take is fainting, which is the evolutionary equivalent of curling up on a silver platter and putting an apple in your mouth…for presentation. Nonetheless, I’m glad these guys made it, because now, after having seen this video, I feel way less bad about that thing with the girl and the bra when I was 13.

1. Slow Loris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9f-6jygRJk

Over 2 million other people decided that his clip was hilarious, which goes to show that there’s something inherently awesome about wide-eyed animals enjoying a bit of massage.  Moreover, zero of the aforementioned 2 million people have the slightest idea what a Loris is. Or if its actually called a Slow Loris? I don’t know either. I’m of the opinion that the Loris (Slow Loris) was discovered by the makers of Furby, who have been trying to keep their existence secret ever since.  I would like to add that if you scratch my chest at any point during the day or night, I will behave in a similar manner.

Honorable mention to “Cat Massage” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnZhi5gaX8g), which would have made the list, but its really about how unbelievably strange that woman treats her poor cats (for whom I can’t feel sympathy due to my aforementioned feelings towards cats), “Turtle Humps Shoe” (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=turtle+humps+shoe&aq=1) which is just way too easy to make jokes about, “Karate Monkey”(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__7L6ht6_Qg) which is just more awesome than funny, and “Dramatic Hampster” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8Kyi0WNg40) which is the filming of a hamster’s reaction to the news that Sara Palin is running for president in 2012. That guy is Sorry For Staring too.

Savannah Musings

Ramblings inspired by a weekend in Savannah:

Props: There was a text message sent and received at midnight calling for an impromptu drive to Savannah in order to view the sunrise from the Tybee Island beach. The sender was in Athens, found out we were already in Savannah, and said he would pick us up at 6:00am. I laughed, went to sleep, and was quite surprised to be woken up by a 5:45 conversation concerning directions to the Best Western. It would be quite the showing of cowardice to fail to agree to go to a beach that was 15 minutes away with friends who had just driven 4 hours, so I jumped in the car and saw one hell of a sunrise. Then there was a milkshake spilled into a sunroof. Congrats on that real dedication to Carpe Diem. Props for really seizing that carp.

Progress: Sun Chips has made a 100% biodegradable and compost-able bag to contain their tasty and delicious chips. I had the pleasure of snacking on a bag of said chips this weekend, and bought a bag today. In doing this, Sun Chips had also made the loudest chip bag in the universe. There is a strong correlation between level of crinkly-noise and environmental friendleness, who knew? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, poke one such bag next time you’re in the grocery.

Flavor: In Savannah, you can walk around and drink beer on the streets. Beer, when made portable, carried out of bar and consumed in a street, tastes better.

Apology: While in Savannah this weekend, we walked past a guy playing the trumpet. He kept spurting off 30 second segments of famous theme songs or really popular songs. I found this to be quite a low form of art and street entertainment, but he had a huge crowd surrounding him, laughing continually, who seemed to be enjoying it very much. Upon further investigation, he was playing songs that had something to do with people who were walking by, e.g. man running = rocky theme song, man drinking a beer = 99 bottles of beer on the wall, fat woman in yellow shirt = yellow submarine. Mean, I know, but hilarious. Sorry for pulling out my jump to conclusions mat my friend, your act is pretty awesome.

More Flavor: Wet Willie’s is a bar in Savannah famous for making pungent mixed drinks containing gas-station style slurpee (or “squishy”, in the wise words of Homer Simpson), and gas-stations style grain alcohol. This weekend I learned, through the sampling of a friend’s beverage, that putting 17,000 proof grain alcohol into a delicious summer treat is a great way to ruin a delicious summer treat.

Theory: If there is a tall, semi-abandoned structure in the vicinity of drunken college students that sports a ladder of any kind, they will climb it if at all possible. This is a good thing.

Slogan Success:  “Everything is better in Metter.” I was treated to a cup of  home-made soft-serve ice cream in a Metter, Ga Phillip’s 66 gas station this weekend after being referred to said gas station by a native named Greg. It was delicious. “Everything really is better in Metter.” Exit 104. Head east. Phillip’s 66. The Ice cream machine is right next to the pork rinds.

Advice: Don’t enter into a relationship with your formal date if it is a spur of the moment decision.

Reality: Vacations are awesome, the email inbox upon return sucks, and the to-do list never ends. After watching the previous sentence walk by, the trumpet guy would have definitely played the “Womp woooooommmpp” sound. Great weekend.

Love thy neighbor as thyself. This biblical maxim to which we can all aspire and fail to achieve applies, under a liberal interpretation, to many instances of the word “neighbor”, including one’s home state. So, on this good Friday, with spring break fresh in mind, let me as a Georgian shed a little love on my neighbor to the south: Florida. Here are my top five favorite things about america’s thumb.

5. “Salt Life” Stickers – The first time I saw “salt life” strewn across a back windshield in sticker form, it was on a car driven by a good looking woman. I got a quick glance at it, and made a conclusion as to what it said. It is a known scinetific fact taht if one reads the fisrt and last lettres of a wrod corretcly and qucikly, that one will arrive at the correct meaning of the word the large majority of the time. I find that I do this frequently, often jumbling the letters in the middle word and arriving at the wrong meaning. This explains why I was so appalled that a good looking woman would have a “Slut Life” sticker on her car. This process repeats itself for a microsecond every time I see one of those stickers, which means that I have, for a microsecond, have thought that almost every Floridian lives the slut life.

4. Hair Gel Selection in Convenience Stores – While visiting the local Winn Dixie in St. Augustine Florida, I got lost on my way to the tequila section and wound up facing an impressively stocked wall of hair gels. You name it, it was there. Bottles of Axe, L.A. looks, Big sexy, and many others looked me right in the eye and said “buy me because I go great with gold chains and Jager bombs.” It could be argued that I’m making un-necessary fun of Florida and its residents, but the laws of supply and demand apply to the Sunshine state, and those laws, my friends, do not lie.

3. AARP Members – The American Association of Retired Persons is one of the most powerful political lobbies in the nation. Their members, none of whom are from Florida, all live there. This is great because it ensures that wherever you drive in Florida, that you will be stuck behind someone  going five miles under the speed limit, and consequently, you too will be traveling at 5 miles under the speed limit. Also, watch out for the 5:00 dinner rush (its important to have enough time for a game of boggle after dinner, but before 8PM curfew), the 6:00AM seizing of all the pool chairs, and the un-humanly, somehow unnatural although I know that it is not,  level of tan achieved by those dedicated old few who spend each and every day seizing the aforementioned pool chairs.

2. Club La Vela – No brainer. Where else can you party with thousands? I guess you can do that in a few places, but not THESE thousands. Of course the thousands to whom I refer are the thousands of teenagers from the greater metro Atlanta area who enjoy dancing suggestively with strangers because they’re drunk on the liquor they stole from their parent’s cabinet before the left for spring break or summer vacation. The club is also good for seeing ex real world cast members, and sightings of the aforementioned hair gel in use.

This sign is like a hug from a loving mother after some elementary school bully who wore a lot of hair gel made you feel bad about yourself. This sign is the light at the end of the tunnel, the glimmer of hope long down the highway of life, the metaphorical paycheck after a hellish week of work. Nothing makes me happier than to be back in the land of peaches and patriotism after a foray into the most southern state that is certainly not part of the south. Thanks to Florida for making me appreciate and love the peach state by setting the bar really, really low. Sorry For Staring, but I’m just really, really happy to be looking at that sign.

UPDATE: Below is a scathing rebuttal from a Floridian friend of mine. I’m afraid she’s right on all accounts. Especially about the aloe.

“1. You never seemed to mind Florida before…in fact you willingly drove 5 hours just to be here on many occasions.
2. Your family vacations to my state….you’re welcome.
3. Every Floridian who reads your post will feel sorry for you and tell you to rub aloe on till your sunburn goes away and you feel better about life.”

This weekend I went to the emergency room. I cut my toe on a metal utility cap that jumped out of the ground and attacked at the precise moment that it saw a niche in my almost impregnable Teva sandal foot-armor. I fell down, my friends laughed at me, I walked inside, I got a drink. No big. Then I saw that I was bleeding profusely from the right big toe. After some sink washing some expert healthcare advice from Cameron, the pre-dental student, and Mike, the future accountant, we decided that I should go to the ER to entertain the idea of stitches. That’s when the fun started.

Emergency rooms are terrible places. I would argue that hospitals are terrible places. With the exception of the birthing of babies, there’s really nothing good happening when you’re on your way to the hospital. It is much like Sanford stadium after a loss – its a large building full of lots of really unhappy people that I don’t want to be in.

I entered, had a great chat with a woman with Austin Powers level bad teeth, got a number, a sweet bracelet that is impossible to take off without scissors, and took a seat with the pledge who drove me to begin what would be the first of my longer-than-thirty-minutes waits. After longer-than-thirty-minutes, I was called back to an examination room. It was here that a series of nurses would have the distinct pleasure of touching and dealing with my feet, that, after 2 showers, were absolutely disgusting from walking around in a mud pit during the tug of war tourney that the fraternity put on earlier that day. I can’t think of a time wherein I have had dirtier feet. Bad luck for the nurses. The first nurse curled her nostrils in disgust while the second went to get a gas mask and a pair of chain mail gloves to wear.

The nurse practitioner, who seemed to be the shot caller and resident medical expert, examined my toe and engaged in a series of painful pokes and prods for which I was not prepared and reacted to with flinches and whimpers. The pledge laughed from his chair in the corner of the room. She then told me that she was going to “give me a little bee sting.” Now, through my 21 years of experience in avoiding pain as often as possible, I have come to learn that when doctors, nurses, and worst of all, dentists, say things like “I’m going to give you a little bee sting” or “You’re going to feel a little prick”, that seem slightly painful, that those things, when they happen, will cause enough pain to make you wish you were stuck in a room watching repeats of The View for all eternity. Last time I checked, bee stings hurt like hell.

The pledge laughed again from his chair in the corner. My eyes got wide and my brow furrowed as the nurse produced a syringe. I clutched the side of the bed, decided to look at the wall in stead of the needle sliding into the base of my toe, and told the nurse to go ahead and “do me.”

The nurse did me. I felt something needle-shaped slide into my toe, which hurt moderately, but then I felt whatever was on the other side of the needle passing from syringe to Randall, which felt a lot like someone had injected vinegar into my toe and that the aforementioned vinegar was seeping out of my wound. Note: I know what this feels like approximately because my older brother once dressed a childhood wound of mine with white wine vinegar in stead of water…as a joke…hahaha. In this moment of crisis and surprise duress, I decided to deliver an F bomb to the wall I was staring at. The pledge laughed hysterically. She pulled out the needle. Damn. Ow. Glad that’s over.

The nurse then re-inserted the needle a few centimeters to the left. I proceeded to let the wall know that I am of the opinion that he is the son of a quite disagreeable woman. The pledge fell out of his chair. One more shot in a new location. At this point, the previously mentioned room with The View on loop has, in my mind, risen to the level of the heavenly place that comes with 72 virgins that jihadists are always talking about. The pledge continues laughing on the floor. I really let loose on the wall this time by hurling a nonsensical combination of profanities at him and adding a physical strike for good measure. Poor guy…none of this was his fault…

The nurse is chuckling at this point, which was probably equally motivated by my choice of vocabulary and the pledge’s reaction to the happenings. She concludes her assault on my toe, which I am starting to lose feeling in already, and says that she will be back in a moment to clean the wound and that we’ll move forward from there. She leaves. I order the pledge never to speak of what just happened.

Being a strawberry-blond–red-beard-pretty-close-but-not-quite-ginger type of ginger, I get to choose when to be part of the club (whenever beneficial) and when not to be (kick a ginger day. Try to kick me. I dare you. I’ll come down on you like you were a cut big toe and I were a malicious nurse with a needle). I’d like to link you over to this very legitimate study that proves scientifically that redheads are less affected by anesthesia than are people of less fortunate hair coloring, meaning that, in short, they require almost 20% more to achieve the same level of painlessness. What can I say? We’re highly evolved.

I had read this study some time ago and the thought of it crept into the back of my mind as I was playing with my numb body part, which is a very strange, unusual, and entertaining sensation. Five minutes had passed. Then seven. Then ten. Then twelve. Then I started to vaguely feel my pokes and prods. The fifteen minutes had passed. I was really starting to feel my toe again. Then seventeen minutes had gone by. “You know…I bet this shot wears off on my red-headed self a little faster than on other people, ” I said to my pledge-friend. Then twenty one minutes had gone by. Then twenty eight. Then thirty one. Then the nurse showed up.

“Hi, hello, how are you? Welcome back!” I said, somewhat testily and with a pinch of sarcastic enthusiasm. “Question for you: how long does that anesthetic typically last?”

The nurse ignored me while she looked at my toe. “I’m going to have to really get in there to clean this…sorry what did you say?”

“Oh, pardon me, I was just wondering how long the anesthetic is supposed to last. Its just that I can kind of feel my toe again…”

“It should last about 17-19 minutes,” she said, not realizing at all that it had been at least thirty since we had last spoke.

A very painful cleaning of my cut ensued, followed by a painful dressing of my wound, followed by an angry signing of my signature and billing information, followed by an angry exit from the hospital premises. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I now, for my sanity, am requiring myself to theorize that the particular nurse that administered my shot just happened to really enjoy giving shots. Dad, I do not wish to know how much this shot ended up costing. Also, If you’ve read this, you’ll probably want to un-read it before you get the bill for the shot.

Question: Would you marry someone, live happily for fifteen years, and then finally get around to moving in with them 15 years after the divorce? Of course not. Do you enjoy not getting the McMuffin you want because you ordered at 11:15 AM in stead of 10:30? I hate that too. Worse, have you ever showed up to chic-fil-a for your post Saturday night hangover breakfast on a Sunday morning? This is one of the top five worst emotions in existence. DO YOU BUY A MOVIE TICKET AND THEN GO INSIDE THE THEATER AN HOUR AFTER THE MOVIE ENDS? NO. NO YOU DON’T. Dear St. Mary’s, Sorry For Staring, but I’ll pass on the shot next time.

❤ Randall