Sunday, May 29, 2005

Oh, its so TRUE!

Eleanor kindly sent me this:

18 Round Holes and a Square Peg

By John Kelly (of the Washinton Post)

It is hard to expect much sympathy for badly sunburned legs when
you got them while playing in the Washington Post employee golf

So I pretended to be stoic last week. When My Lovely Wife remarked
that my shanks were red, I just smiled and said, "It's not too bad."

I mean, what can I say? "Oooh, feel sorry for me. I spent an entire
workday reveling in the cloudless sky, cracking jokes with my
friends, playing a silly game, interrupting the game only long enough
to purchase chilled, alcoholic beverages from a girl driving a golf
cart. Then I won a door prize."

No, I can't say that.

The thing is, I'm not even a golfer. I don't know what I am. There
are different categories of golfer -- hacker, duffer -- that take
into account various degrees of mediocrity. I aspire to dufferdom or
at least to not being a danger to those around me.

I picked up the sport two years ago, prodded by my friend Craig,
who even bought me a subscription to Golf Digest (foul temptress!).
Golf looked like fun, and it seemed like the sort of skill I should
be able to acquire. I can do things that involve coordinating my arms
and legs: drive a manual-transmission car, play the drums, drink a
beer while walking and talking on a cordless phone.

So I took some lessons, the main legacy of which are the
grotesquely oversize grips the instructor insisted I needed to have
put on my bargain-basement clubs. I would like to blame the grips for
my awful swing, which is less a golf swing and more of a golf lurch ,
a ramshackle thing that looks like junk falling down from a closet

But it's not the grips. The truth is I just stink. When I'm teeing
off, I'm capable of putting a golf ball places you'd never imagine it
could go. I will warn fellow players to move behind me, and they will
laugh as if I am making a joke.

They seldom make the same mistake twice, since my drive only
occasionally involves the club face cleanly striking the ball. (Golf
is a very anthropomorphic game. The club has a "head," a "face," a
"heel," a "toe," a "thorax" and an "occipital bone.")

I occasionally feel comfortable during my practice swings and have
even been known to breeze through the empty grass with a satisfying
shwish . But when it comes time to address the actual ball, whatever
comfort I feel evaporates. I see my shadow and can tell just by
looking at it that I'm crummy. I try to recite in my mind all the
things I'm supposed to remember: keep my left arm straight, keep my
wrists loose, keep my legs above the ball, picture an imaginary
parallelogram intersecting my thorax and my occipital bone.

And whatever I do, KEEP MY HEAD DOWN!

Then there's the math involved. I majored in English and married
someone who can balance a checkbook so I would never again have to
deal with numbers. But golf is full of them. Not only is every hole
numbered (from 1 to 18), there are digits scattered all over the golf
course, too, incised on little plaques that look like Claymore mines.
You're supposed to use this information -- how much farther it is to
the hole -- to pick the right club, which is also numbered.

I'm told that the club numbers correspond to how far the ball is
supposed to go when hit, though I've seen no proof of that. And I
think I might be more comfortable if instead of numbers the clubs
were lettered (consonants for irons and vowels for woods) or named
after figures in literature: "We're about 120 yards from the pin. You
gonna use a Winston Smith or a Willy Loman?"

Why is it so hard for me? It's amazing the people you see playing
golf successfully: pregnant women, fat men, old men pulling carts
with one hand and oxygen tanks with the other. They have odd, compact
swings made necessary by their girth or their catheters, and yet the
ball goes straight. It might be short, but it's straight, one of the
four possibilities that exist for every golf drive:

a) long and straight

b) short and straight

c) long and errant

d) short and errant.

I tend toward the errant side of things and consider it a
successful outing if the number of other people's lost balls I find
is equal to or larger than the number I lose.

I'm not a bad putter, legacy of a youth spent trying to time the
windmill just right on the indoor-outdoor carpets of countless
miniature golf courses. But before the putt comes the topped drive
that barely makes it to the ladies' tees, then the flubbed second
shot that wrenches my shoulder, then the slice into the woods, then
the ricochet off the tree, then the poison ivy and the "chip onto the
fairway" (hah!), then the splash, then the second splash. And so on.
. . .

When the ball finally goes in the hole, it's not so much a victory
as a capitulation.

Still, I had a great time at the Post golf tourney, in a foursome
with my friends, lazily driving the cart, getting to wear a really
ugly hat that I bought at a yard sale. And for a door prize, I won a
utility iron with a 22-degree loft. (Whatever that means!)

I can't wait to try it out. As soon as my sunburn heals.

In a recent column about how I receive e-mail from strangers asking
me to update my contact info or join their "network," I mentioned
spam from Nigerian scamsters, Viagra pushers and "bored, lonely
housewives." That last category was meant to refer to dirty Web sites
that promise adulterous introductions with what are, no doubt,
fictitious housewives, and not to actual housewives, from whom I love
to hear.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Now THIS is funny...

Store Wars

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Intelligence test

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional manager. Scroll down for each answer. The questions are NOT difficult. But don't scroll down UNTIL you have answered the question!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend... except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory. Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting. This tests whether you learn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers. Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.

Thanks to Slyeyes.

Things you'd like to say out loud at work....

1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.
2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.
7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
8. I don't work here, I'm a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a damn word you're saying.
10. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.
11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a damn.
14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?
20. I'm not being rude, you're just insignificant.
21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be...?
23. Do I look like a people person?
24. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.
25. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.
26. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
27. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
28. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
29. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
30. Wait! Wait! I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.
31. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
32 Can I trade this job for what's behind door #1?
33. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
34. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
35. Chaos, panic, & disorder. My work here is done.
36. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
37. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
38. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
39. Oh I get it... like humor... but different.

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson.

A curse generator

...for Neo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Hunting for a way to describe someone.... having had too much to drink? Try here for a list of possible terms...

Reaction times

This nice little productivity enhancer tests your reaction times by getting you to shoot a tranquilizer dart into escaping sheep....