I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Don't Take Your Valentine's Day Gift Advice From Space.

If you listened to the radio in the last few weeks you have been bombarded with commercials reminding you that Valentine's Day is nearly here, "Order now. Don't delay." Now I don't know what the local stations have been trying to get you to buy, but the satellite radio is pushing some stuff that might just get the inexperienced husband or boyfriend in some serious trouble. As a public service, I now offer a rebuttal to several of the worst offenders.

I wuv you. Yes, I doozy woozy. (That's six feet of crazy, right there.)
Won't your girlfriend be surprised when she receives an six foot teddy bear? Show her how much you love her with GINORMOUS LOVE TEDDY BEAR! 
   Really? It's weird to be giving teddy bears to women you are trying to sleep with. If a woman still has a bedroom full of teddy bears after a certain age, you better watch out, she's gonna have some issues. This is a no win. If she's semi normal she's going to be totally freaked out by a giant teddy bear (is somebody hiding in there?) If she is the type of girl that wants a giant teddy bear, you might not want her. Unless you don't mind baby-waby voices and debilitating daddy issues.

Run.  Don't look back, just run. It's not worth it.
Won't your girlfriend be surprised when when receives the Teddy/Teddy. A regular sized teddy bear in a tux, holding a box with lingerie in it. 
   Yeah, but surprise isn't always a good thing. She might be surprised she's involved with such a clueless moron. And again with the teddy bear thing; yikes. Also, if she wants lingerie, she'll buy it.

'Cause nothing says romance, like sleepwear for toddlers..

Show your woman how much you love her, with her very own footy pajamas.
   It should be against the law to make footy pajamas for anybody over nine years old. It's super freaky. It's not even campy-cool like the snuggie (the blanket with sleeves), it's disturbing weird, like collecting porcelain clowns.

She just read it to see what all the fuss was about. 
Your girlfriend read the book, now she can own the merchandise. Yes, we now present to you, our radio listeners; 50 Shades Of Gray, the Sex Toys. 
   We all know that 50 Shades Of Gray was a hugely successful book series, and I'm sure that like .01% of women were aroused by it. But if you bring home a leather crop for Valentine's Day, you might end up passionately getting the selfsame crop removed from your posterior at the local emergency room.

I don't think this is one of the videos you'll be receiving.
Do you want to get half off before you get her off? Order now from Adam and Eve, and we'll send you sexy stuff. Sensual potions and notions so you can get your hands all over each other and a video to get her in the mood. Plus a special gift that's so naughty we can't even talk about it.
   Studies show that women are increasingly becoming interested with porn. Your wife is not one of them. She got married to you so she didn't have to worry about all that stuff. When you try to spring a video to WARM her up, you are going to spend the next month COOLING off on the couch. But at least you'll have your video, special gift, and sensual potions to keep you company at night.

   Those are just the biggies. There were a myriad of others, from rainbow roses, chocolate fruit bouquets,  giant cookies, to chocolate and nut covered berries of various types. My best advice is too listen more to your significant other about what she wants for Valentine's Day, and listen less to the messages from space.

I wrote A Black Eye For Valentine's Day several years ago, it also addresses Valentine's Day and the fatal mistakes men make.

I Guess Mardi Gras Just Doesn't Travel Well.

Every since I was a young boy I have been intrigued by Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnival in Rio De Janerio. The stories and pictures that come out the party leading up to lent are just amazing! Those people throw an insane party! It's looks so crazy.
   Although it's not as crazy as when I thought it was to celebrate giving up lint, these people really hate lint, I thought. They hate lint so much they don't wear much in they way of clothes (where lint loves to hide, FYI) and they have constant lint checks, mostly of statuesque young females, (who knew that lint was partial to female chestal regions?) and when you've passed lint inspection you get beads instead of an inspected by sticker, also that lint doesn't like to be in the general vicinity of alcohol, so everybody consumes vast, lint repelling amounts. 
   No, after I learned that Mardi Gras was a religious celebration, everything became much less weird. Except the boob thing. And the bead thing. And the total drunken debauchery thing. That being said, I have always wanted to experience Mardi Gras or Carnival first hand. BUT, my high paying job as Junior VP to the Executive Sanitation Engineer at the local McDonald's doesn't allow for much travel budget, so I had resigned myself to never experiencing the joy of puking on my shoes while in a strange and exotic land. 
   And then one night while curled up reading a book, inspiration hit. And by curled up reading a book, I mean I was hanging out at the local golf club drinking martinis with my friends, and by hanging out at the local golf club drinking martinis with my friends, I meant I was by myself at the scuzziest bowling alley in town slamming beers in the nastiest bar you've ever seen, and by inspiration hit, I mean Inspiration, the female body building bouncer ex girlfriend type, hit. Me. Solid in the face-like.

   And I was out. And while I was out, I had a dream that Mardi Gras and Carnival were calling out to me like long lost lovers, or maybe peanut vendors at a baseball game, or possibly even infomercial spokespeople trying to get me to try out their latest and greatest most have invention. But regardless of how they were calling out to me, I heard their message loud and clear. They needed me. And if I couldn't go to them, then by golly, I was bringing them here.
   And that is how the Inaugural 1st Annual Mardi Carni-Gras Celebration Spectacular came to be. First I did some research. Or I attempted to. Apparently the public library is anti-Mardi Gras. All I did was search for Mardi Gras, beads, boobs, and pictures and before I could blink, I was unceremoniously dumped on the sidewalk. Well, I wasn't going to let that deter me, so I just set out armed with the knowledge I already had. 
   First, one of the biggest things about Mardi Gras is beads. But where can I find huge amounts of beads? And even if I find beads, I can barely throw, what with my old high school football injury. (I accidentally told the quarterback that rugby was tougher because they didn't have pads, and then he might've sorta run me over with the team bus.) I know! BB's are just like small beads, (and I've heard that size doesn't matter anyway) and shotgun shells have hundreds of beads in each container. And the shotgun will make sure the beads arrive at their intended target, my gimpy limbs be damned.
   Next. At Carnival they wear elaborate costumes made of feathers and rhinestones. But I can't afford anything that nice. Glitter and feathers must cost, literally, several tens of dollars. Farmer Joe always has chickens for sale, two for $5. Now they're old and gimpy, to old and tough for even stewin' but they'll do for my needs. A chicken on my head and one tucked into my banana hammock, a can of spray adhesive, and some cupcake sprinkles and my costume is complete. 
   Booze. Gotta have booze at a party. I think they drink those Hurricanes in New Orleans. And I'm sure they drink Mai Tai's or Molotov Cocktails or something down in that Brazil. I don't really go out for mixed drinks, but if that's what Mardi Carni-Gras wants, that's what Mardi Carni-Gras gets. Boone Farms Strawberry Hill Wine and White Lightning Tequila mixed an empty gallon of milk, BOOM! Check another thing off my list.
   I had all the necessary elements for a successful Mardi Carni-Gras. So with beads (of a sort) in one hand and booze in the other I launched myself down the street to celebrate with the people. The first person I met, seemed a little unprepared to share in the festivities, and took off running and screaming. I didn't want him to miss out just because he was a mailman, so I gave him some beads as he went.

   That's when I realized that the bead delivery system worked a little too well. The mailman fell to the ground screaming in pain. They had actually stuck into him. Good thing he was far away, when I gave him some beads, or he could've really been in trouble. I offered him some Strawberry Lightning out of my jug to ease the pain, but that didn't seem to help any. Now he was rolling around holding his stomach and projectile puking all over the place. Must be something he ate. I didn't have time for this. I told the mailman I was sorry and headed out. He seemed almost relieved that I was gonna take the party  elsewhere.
   Note to self; Don't launch beads directly at somebody, better give it some arc. I want bring fun to the people, not pain. I rounded the corner and started out on to a main street. There was a grocery store on one side of the street and a retirement home on the other. I decided to just split the difference and march down the center of the street in a one man parade. I began launching beads at both the retirement home and the grocery store parking lot.
   Again, people seemed unprepared to party as there was a lot of screaming and ducking under cars and running into buildings and general hidey-ness. The people didn't realize there was a party afoot, so I began to let people know. "Happy Mardi Carni-Gras!" and "Take off your shirts" and "PAR-TAY!" I shouted. I didn't seem to alleviate their concerns, I was still the only one celebrating. And maybe I should have filed a permit for the parade, because I was having an adverse affect on traffic, in that they had all swerved to avoid me and were crashing into each other at an alarming pace.
   Well at least I had an audience, and perhaps some participants, for my revelry. I went up to the first car I saw and knocked on the window. "Let's party" I told the wide eyed driver, and took a swig of my booze to emphasize. The middle aged man just looked at me in shock and shook his head. "C'mon, lets get naked, it's Mardi Carni-Gras time!" Nothing. This guy was a huge stick in the mud.
   Somebody had to want to party. I launched some more beads into the air and begged for somebody to get out and partake in celebration with me, but if anything they seemed more determined than ever to not have fun. Most of the people in the cars had either run away or were huddling on their floorboards. I screamed at the heavens, "Why won't somebody celebrate Mardi Gras with me?!"

   A deep growly voice behind me declared, "Because that was yesterday you psycho. Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Now put down the shotgun and slowly raise your hands." I protested that I wan't using it as a weapon but as bead delivery. He seemed unconvinced, and expressed his skepticism it by firing 50,000 volts through my body with a tazer.
   As I lay on the ground twitching and writhing around, I was struck by a couple of thoughts. One; timing is everything, this probably would have gone over better yesterday. B; maybe Albuquerque just wasn't a party town. And lastly, you really shouldn't shove chickens down your pants and then get hit with massive amounts of electricity.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Confessions Of A Middle-Aged Lurker.


To what? What do you want? Why am I here? Why are you shining that bright light in my face? Why am I handcuffed to this chair? ...Are these fuzzy handcuffs?
Well, yeah. The cop supply store was out of regular handcuffs, so I had to go to the adult store.
They're very comfy. Do they only come in pink?
I know aren't they? Yes, that's all I saw. I'm thinking about trying some RIT dye. Maybe a nice macho Black or something.
That would be nice. Or maybe just save the pink for the girls and do blue for...
...for the guys, yeah I was thinking about that too. Great idea.

Great minds and all.
Yeah. Now, where were we?
Oh yeah. CONFESS!
To what?!
You know.
I don't. Honestly. I'm a little confused, the last thing I remember was looking at Facebook. And then I woke up here. I've never done anything to anyone. I'm innocent.
You make me sick.
Are you sure it's me? Maybe you ate something.
Shut up. You rebel scum.
Ooh, Star Wars. Nice.
I know, I know. Sometimes my geek shows through.
Oh don't I know it, I can't tell you how many times I've quoted Monty Python or The Princess Bride.
"I do not think that word means what you think it means."
Hahahaha... Can I go?
Haha... No. Not until you confess.

OK. I don't always wash my hands after I pee.
Ewww. Gross. I wonder if you can dry clean fuzzy cuffs?
I don't pee on my wrists.
Whatever sick-o. But that's not it.
What then? What?!
You have been accused of the heinous crime of... lurking.
What?! No no. That wasn't my fault. She left her blinds open, and I just happened to be taking a walk on the 4th floor fire escape. It was an total accident.
Not peeping. Lurking.
LARPing? Only once when I was a teenager, my friend convinced me hot babes would be there, but it was only Gretchen from the chess club and Androgynous Pat. It was a total bust, I never went back. On the plus side, we did get to go to IHOP afterwards, and I ordered the Rutti Tutti Fresh and Frutti, but I was too embarrassed to say it so I just wrote it down on a piece of napki...
ENOUGH! Not LARPing (dork.) LURKING. Lur-king. Luuuurkiiing.
Does that involve baby oil, a twister board and... never mind. What's is lurking?
Lurking is when you sneak around your friends on social media sites and never say anything.
That's a real thing?
Very real. And you violate it every day. You're a heinous offender.
Serious? No. But... no. No.
Yes. If I was to start a conversation and you just listened in and never said anything, wouldn't that be considered rude?
Well yes. But Facebook isn't like that. It's just people posting a bunch of crap they found on the internet. It's not like a conversation.
You should know this better than most, Mr Graphic Artist. Isn't visual information, pictures and drawings, non-verbal communication?
No, I, uh... It could be.
So, your friends and acquaintances are trying to have a conversation with you, you just stare at them blankly and drool on yourself. You disgust me.
I didn't know. I didn't think of it as a conversation, I thought of it as billboards on the highway. Not something I had to comment on.
Is that so? Do you put things on Facebook?
No. Never. Not usually. Only my blog...
What was that?
My blog posts.

Speak up. I didn't hear you.
My blog posts.
Oooh, the mighty author posts his ART on Facebook. Do people comment?
Yes. Sometimes.
Do you like their comments?
Of course I like them.
No. Do you like them?
What? Press the "like" button? No.
Too high and mighty for that, eh?
No, it's not like that see? They don't care if I like it.
Oh really? And how else do they know if you have seen their comment?
It's the next day?
Too lazy to click a little button, eh?
I didn't know.
How do you feel when people don't respond to your comments.
Empty inside. Dead. So cold.
Is this a joke to you?
No. Yes. A little.
Is it funny when you post something and you don't get a response?
No. But that's different. I actually WROTE something. I didn't find it; I created it.
So. How is that different to the woman who wrote about stupid bosses or the guy bragging about his exercise regimen?
It just is.
Says the arrogant jerk.
I'm not.
You are a no good, two-bit LURKER.

I'm not.
OK, OK, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I promise to change my evil ways and honor Facebook in my heart, and try and keep it all the year.
You promise?
Scout's honor.
You were never a scout.
How do you know? Who are you?
It's me. Bobby. Your best friend, I figured you would have gotten that by now.
Dude, what the hell?! I couldn't see you with that friggin' light in my face. Why are you doing this?
Because I can see when you are on Facebook and you never say anything about MY stuff.
Oh well, I never comment on your stuff because, I don't know how to respond to it.
Well you start typing under the my post where it says your name, and...

No. I know HOW to. Just not always HOW to.
For instance, you posted something about being bored. If I like that, am I saying that I "like" that you are bored? That's just weird. Maybe they should have a button that says, "ambiguous", or "I saw this, and have no opinion on the matter."
You're a moron.
I guess, but that's getting to be a lot of buttons.
Again. What?
One that says "like", one that says "ambiguous", one that says "you're a moron", and one that says "I saw this, and...
N0. YOU are a moron.
OK. "YOU are a moron." Plus I don't think anybody will click on that button, that's kind of a mean thing to say to your friend.
I give up. I'm outta here.
Uh, dude. Hey Bobby, can you undo the cuffs first? Bobby, come back, I'm sorry. I don't "like" this anymore. BOBBY!