08 June 2005

the creepiest greeting card ever

So I was at the Save-On yesterday looking for birthday cards. You've got the usual array: Hallmark, American Greetings, birthday cards for "Him," anniversary cards for "Her," those creepy cards of the animals with the big eyes, etc.

I'm scanning the little headers that appear behind each stack of cards and I see one that says "Secret Pal." In the midst of all the ones that say "Just for Fun" or "From the Group" there's this lone stack that says "Secret Pal." What the hell? So I pick it up. The front has a nice watercolor of some happy, colorful balloons along side the message:

"Happy Birthday from your Secret Pal who thinks you're very special"
On the inside it says, ". . . and don't you forget it."

Just imagine receiving a card like this either in the mail or, even worse, at work.

First of all, there's the whole secret pal thing. That's weird. Nobody wants a secret pal. Secret Santa? Maybe. Secret Pal. Oh HELL no. Friendship is supposed to be a two-way thing. When it's not, that's called stalking. Secondly, it's super freaky that the hypothetical secret pal has found out when your birthday is, written it down and (more than likely) obsessed over it.

Oh Man. Her birthday is coming up. What am I going to do? I have to let her know how special I think she is, but I don't want to freak her out. I don't want her to guess that I have a ball of her hair in my drawer that I collect from her coat when she's away from her desk.

Then, lo and behold, the creep goes to Save-On and finds exactly what they're looking for.

Kaloo-Kalay, there's a greeting card for everything! Now I can surprise her on her special day. I wonder if she'll guess it's me. If she figures it out, I'll have to go to her house in the middle of the night and convince her that I'm not crazy!

The last and best thing about this secret pal card is the message on the inside ". . . and don't you forget it." Your secret pal is watching. I know everything there is to know about you - where you shop, where you live, what you like to eat, and I even know that you sleep on your side and wear pink pajamas! AND DON'T YOU FORGET IT!!!

I'm thinking I should send one to The Tool with, like, a bloody thumbprint on it.

no-kids-allowed airline

Greetings all,

Let's see, what's new this month? Well, I just got back from my last business trip for the season. This time it was a four-day trip to Houston, Texas. They say Houston is the fourth largest city in America. I think maybe they were judging based on waistline (ba-dump bum).

Actually, Houston isn't a terrible place. This was my second visit and both were, as The Crow would say, it was "non-objectionable." I think there are many misconceptions about Houston. For one thing, there are no cowboys there. In fact, I imagine Houston is fairly similar in appearance to most mid-sized cities such as Atlanta, Columbus, etc. There are many attractive historical buildings and the downtown seems similar in size to Seattle. That said, I wouldn't drink the water, leave the city limits, or breathe the air for any extended period of time. This is "Bush-country" after all. Oddly, I saw very few of those "W" stickers, fewer than I see here in Orange County. Maybe it just goes without saying.

Everyone in Houston was very friendly, and it was fun to experience a little of that Texas pride. People really do put "Don't Mess With Texas" stickers on their bumpers and nearly everyone greets you with a friendly "Hi, ya'll" (even if you're by yourself . . . which confused me at first). I also got to enjoy several tasty meals of Cajun-style food. Overall, I'd say Houston is more of a southern city than a cowboy town. One last thing, the classic rock station played a sweeper that went something like, "Here at KTEX we play the full spectrum of classic rock from Lynyrd Skynrd to 38 Special to the Steve Miller Band." I nearly swerved off the road I was laughing so hard.

So, after this latest trip, I am more convinced than ever that there should be an airline that bans children. I even have a slogan for them: "Every Child Left Behind."

For those of you who are pro-child, hear me out:

I am willing to tolerate a little bit of fussing on take off and landing. It can be a little scary and I understand it's tough to get the hang of "popping" ones ears. But the constant chattering and kicking of the seat and running up and down the aisles and smearing their boogers on the armrest is more than a person should be asked to endure. Think about it, they require special carriers for pets on airplanes to prevent the very same activities that children are permitted to do with complete impunity.

This isn't an isolated incident either. I've been on over fourteen flights since January and more than half of them were plagued with misbehaving kids. Sitting in my seat, unable to sleep because of the repeated blows to the back of my neck from the kid behind me, I fantasize about having the bad ones tagged. The next time they step up to the gangway, a large red light will flash and a big sign will light up that says "REJECTED."

Or maybe kids should be required to get special permits: passport-looking-things for air travel. The parent would have to present the permit at the airport. If the child has been good, no problem, have a nice flight. If the child has received three or more infraction stamps. NYET! Out of there. No Disneyland for you!

Alternately, I propose no-kid flights, or, no children on flights between 5am and 9am. Who's with me?!?

Well, that's about it. I've been doing a bit of blogging recently. Click the link below to read about:

The creepiest birthday card ever:
http://themadhapa.blogspot.com/2005/06/creepiest-greeting-card-ever.html

and/or my thoughts on the new Victoria's Secret bra commercials
http://themadhapa.blogspot.com/2005/03/ipex-shmipex.html

Until next time.

-MD