No Weighting--Classifying the Human Race By Volume

This site is dedicated to spreading the word that the common two-dimensional descriptors of human beings--height and weight--are obsolete. Welcome to the enlightened theory of "Volumaism." In short..we believe a more accurate description of human beings is how much personal space they occupy, predicated on their personality, hygiene, behavior and appearance. Join the movement! For new visitors, please read from the bottom up for a full explanation of Volumism.

Monday, January 15, 2007

V is TTFN

In the pure spirit of not being volumaic, I will not take up more room in the blogosphere than I'm entitled to, so this is "see ya."
Made my point, got the ball rollin', earned some believers and most importantly, helped some folks learn that size doesn't always matter, but being an asshole can certainly make a difference in how much room on this planet you are hogging.
Thanks to those who posted comments or sent emails of support. Interestingly enough, no one ever communicated with me to disagree with the basic Volumaic theory which states that regardless of your physical size, your personal hygiene, habits and personality are the real determinate factors of how much space you take up.
I won't take the site down, just in case someone should stumble on it. Never can tell--might win another convert.
So farewell and and for gosh sakes, don't be volumaic.
--Volumater

Thursday, November 23, 2006

S U Volumaic

Lately I've felt like I have two asses. It actually began in early August when I traded in my mid-size SUV for a full-size beast. The backstory to that foolhardy move is a long and tortuous tale which I'll resist sharing for fear of boring you all to tears and tossing turkey legs at each other. The point is, I'm now the captain of a road yacht that sucks gas like a politician pockets payoffs.
Indeed, there can be no more volumaic machine than one of these oversized four-wheelers.
That brings me back to my two asses. It's sort of the same feeling when you're wearing a big winter coat trying to gingerly walk through the aisles of a gift store. But everytime you turn your Gore-tex insulated ass it crashes into a fragile cup and saucer set. That's the way it is with this thing. I'm trying to pull out of a tight space in a parking deck but the butt end of my family tank seems just a little too big. I have to make a 14-point turn just to extricate it and then worry every time I turn a corner to drive down the aisle that will hopefully lead to the exit.
Try changing lanes in moderate traffic. Someone piloting a normal sized vehicle can pick a spot and go when it's safe. Not so with my rolling building. I pick a spot, put on my turn signal, and start to go, but suddenly that spot looks woefully inadequate, because I didn't account for the SU(cks)V's big ass. So I flick my blinker bar off and patiently wait for a much bigger hole, but by the time it appears, my exit is a mile behind me.
Yes, I could tool around in an all-wheel drive vehicle that will give me excellent traction in the winter and much, much better fuel economy. But I don't.
Couple of reasons. I live in a climate that demands 4x4 capability in the winter, plus I need lots of room for my skis, kayak, hockey crap and big boxes of electronic toys I can't help buying from those big box electronics palaces.
So for as long as it lasts, I'm stuck behind the wheel of a land barge with a big behind...and that means when you see someone volumaic on the road, the V, is me. Just watch out for those two asses.




Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vertical Volumism


It's like a surprise package every time those two doors part. Will it be crowded? Will you have the car all to yourself guaranteeing an express ride to your floor? Did some idiot hit every floor button? Will the folks joining you look at the floor, check out your briefcase, or try to make lame conversation in the fleeting time available before you escape the hermetically sealed vertical transportation pod? More to the point, is there any more fertile ground for volumism than an elevator, lift, dumbwaiter? You're in close quarters with no hope of freedom until the light with your desired floor number is extinguished and those doors part. This all leads to the prime examples of elevator volumism.
Example 1: To go....to hell: You've enjoyed an hour grabbing a relaxing lunch in the company cafeteria with your buddies. Both the meal and conversation went down easy, and now it's back to the cube. Just when your head and stomach reached sympatico you hop the crowded elevator. The stench quickly fills the limited air space. There he/she is! Carrying a styrofoam food coffin, Al/Alice from purchasing is transporting leftover boiled carp for that late afternoon snack or tomorrow's dinner. Everyone that's not Al/Alice pastes their bodies as far into the perimeter of the elevator car knowing they're screwed. It doesn't matter if you get off first, or are preceeded by Al/Alice. That dumpster-smelling delicacy will stay stuck in your olfactory nerves for the remainder of the day and night..until lunchtime..tomorrow, when Al/Alice carts home leftover tripe.


Example 2: Gel-o: Easy one. 10 human beings in a 4x4 module. One of 'em decided this would be a great day to goop their hair with shampoo by Shell. The utter disgustingness (is that a word? Is now) of the petroleum-soaked follicles causes you to gag to the point of semi-consciousness. Doesn't matter if the next stop isn't your floor, you dash out of the car, grab a breath of fresh air and decide, what a great day to start my fitness program by taking the stairs.

Example 3: Nice Day...nope: I'm not unfriendly, but I do like my elevator ride to be uneventful with no human entanglements. So that's why when someone starts to chat me up on my way to the sixth floor I'm unfailingly polite but certainly don't expand the scope of our quickie conversation. Yup..nice day, have one too, buh bye, don't care your kid is staying with your estranged spouse this weekend.

Example 4: Phon-y baloney: This one's too easy. Jerk+cell phone (crowded elevator)/10 other occupants=Volumaic moron.

Example 5: Package deal: Hey..think I'll go shopping and instead of leaving my twelve packages of Charmin in the car, I'll schlep 'em up to the office so no one steals them. So now four people desperate to get to their desks before their bosses notice they're late are bumped from the next car up because someone is taking up their space with toilet tissue. Now there's an asswipe.

Going up!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Cell-U-Not Lite


It was a short flight, less than two hours, but the end of the long day. We had spent the day in my hometown, New York City to pick up an award, for blogging, then shot straight back to the Motor City. My colleague and I were beat and were power walking through the airport concourse for a non-stop jaunt to the short-term lot where our cars awaited to take us the last 30 minutes to our homes and cold beers.
Good plan until we encountered a barely moving human roadblock. We never did see her face but we sure saw her voluminous gluteous extremely maxiumus packed into a much-too-tight pant suit. We think the pants were panting from stress. Out in front of her boulder-broad head her beefy arms were stretched out holding a tiny little flip phone in full flip mode.
As she struggled to figure out the technology that makes the phone place and receive calls her sausage-thick fingers poked at the little bitty buttons. The more she probed, the further out she held the phone from her Shrek face and her plodding slowed.
The airport was crowded with early evening travellers making it all but impossible to pass the creature on the left or right. We could not take advantage of the moving sidewalk because she moved so slowly, people started stacking up against her as she blocked the entrance to the belt. We figured, OK, we'll just walk alongside the moving sidewalk, but at the last minute the cellphone toting troglodyte eschewed the convenience of the moving sidewalk and once again blocked our way.
Horrified travellers walking the opposite way pulling their wheeled luggage gamely attempted to avoid head-on collisions with Mt. Cellmore as she kept her sunken eyes focused on her phone, oblivious to the agony she was causing. Several were unsuccessful and were launched head over tea kettle into the newsstand, covered with fallen People Magazines and bags of trail mix. We finally reached the wide intersection that led to the airport exit and parking lot to make our escape. She never saw it. Last we heard, with no clue where she was headed or how to operate her phone, the voluptuous vixen of volumism wandered onto a plane headed for Croatia. We thought we heard the flight attendant make an announcement to clear the aisle before takeoff.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

42 Short, Inexplicably Wide


As I exited my car headed for the store I could see my imminent nemesis ahead of me. He was a trim gentleman about 6-foot-2, accompanied by his wife who wore a skirt much too short for her age or assets. They were a good 100 feet closer to the door than me, meaning they would find their way to their destination first. It was a big store containing men's clothing, women's clothing, children's clothing and household goods at bargain basement prices. You know the chain. It's all good name brand stuff but at prices that make sense.
So with all the possibilities, what were the chances this otherwise fine couple would navigate their way through the narrow aisles and racks and plant their corpus immobili exactly where I wanted to be--in front of the 42-short sport coats? The answer--100 percent.
OK, they have a right to shop wherever they like, but first of all, the guy was a skyscraper compared to me, so why is he camping out in front of the runt rack? They were neither loud nor demontrative, two sure signs of being volumaic, but what put them into this space was the fact that these well-kempt, reserved shoppers found the need to expand their territory to point where no one else could possibly browse the same territory as them.
Now two contained human beings entered the realm of volumismby creating a penumbra around the 42-shorts giving me, a guy who really is a 42-short, even a fighting chance of getting a glimpse of the garments.
So I coyly circled the rack, playing it cool, giving the rack a quick and nonchalant glance, gliding over to the belts and socks, all the while keeping my target in sight.
As they lingered, my route took me over to the ties and buy one pair, get one free socks. Didn't need any. Wanted a 42-short sport coat.
Finally, after a quarter hour, I decided that not only did this couple have an unhealthy fixation with the 42-short sport coat area, but that this giant had serious issues about his height, wishing he had my same Lilliputian proportions. So sad.
Fed up with wasting so much of my Sunday, I decided to make a bold move. I sauntered to the opposite side of the rack which put my eyeball to eyeball with the 42-short sport coat squatter. I lunged across the 52-longs taking in every last 42-short item no matter how shoddy, ugly or gauche. I even held my gaze for a good 15 seconds over a simply unacceptable lavender plaid abomination.
The strategy worked. Visably shaken by my ardor for the bargain priced fashion faux pas, the gentleman nudged his miniskirted mate with an urgency not seen since
Cher's latest farewell tour.
Seizing my victory I triumphantly took my rightful spot dead center at the 42-short rack and maniacally fingered and considered every last wretched coat, none of which was suitable to wear among fellow homo sapiens. How could this be? I had waited and schemed and circled and stared, as the too-tall guy and his trophy gal plopped their volumaic selves in my size range. Why? To torment a short guy in need of business casual clothing? What kind of world is this? What kind of monsters were these people? I only hope as they realize their sin, they find themselves in a most untenable situation. Face-to-face with a locked door during normal business hours on inventory day, at the Big and Tall Men's Shop.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Paint Yer Waggin'


Now here's a turnabout. A sales guy being annoyed by someone else's loud conversation. You be the judge on who was volumaic. If you decide it's me, you can still be a friend, but I'll never offer you a piece of my soft pretzel.
Here's the setup. I'm travelling on a luxurious Lufthansa Airbus to Germany. See previous post re Germany. My company has been generous to purchase business class seats for our group of four travelling to attend a conference at the home, or would that be, haus office.
I'm seated across the aisle from one of my colleagues and next to a super-sized salesman from a paint company. Maybe he's more properly described as a can and a half..because his bottom certainly was more than a single can..maybe two. Oh yeah..he was German. A sort of Teutonic acryllic two-coat paint pusher.
So my colleague and I start to chat. A little business, a little bullshit, but it's all friendly and light and it helps the 7.5 hour flight pass by that much quicker.
Full disclosure, while we were talking Johnny Splotch had his brontasaurus size noggin' deep into a five-story stack of Power Points for a presentation I presumed he had to deliver first thing upon arriving in Deutschland. I couldn't quite see what the subject was but perhaps it was on the eternal debate: "Roller or brush--Strokes of genius or broadbrush insanity?"
Whatever, a few moments into our conversation Sir Spraypaint whips his bulk around resting on his side while beaming a hard stare in our direction. Given his size and the angle of his list, I believed a large freighter was next to me resting on its gunwales.
The combination of his threatening glare and formidable dimensions caused me to move as far as I could toward the aisle in hopes of putting some space between me and the potential projectiles he clinged to in the form of Mt. Power Point.
Surely, our conversation, no matter how esoteric or vacuous, must have been more interesting than the ins and outs of chemical cosmetics. Although I must admit, a rich vanilla white does set my heart aflutter when applied to quality wainscotting.
Anyway, you can go only so far in an airplane seat..even a nice wide business class perch. The paint blob continued to maintain his pose and stare until my colleague and I no longer felt comfortable carrying on our conversation.
But the standoff finally ended courtesy a well-timed coincidence. Just as we believed the Deutsch Boy was about to actually launch himself at us the friendly flight attendant came by with a basket of warm rolls.
The fragrance of the fresh bread and promise of feeding his jowling jaws instantly calmed the boiling beast. With a smile, he accepted the bait, along with a few pats of fresh butter, and retreated to his straining seat.
My colleague and I did not speak again until landing. But I promised to retell this story of volumism on the part of a pasty-faced paint salesman, without glossing over the details.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Cubist Portrait



I've been waiting for just the right time to tackle this no-brainer, but nevertheless a vital Volumist scenario. This is it. Life in the cube farm and its most volumaic denizens.
How does someone steal space in an office? Simple. Through obnoxious and selfish behavior, they repel co-workers to the point of avoiding them at all cost. Walk by Mr. V's cube and risk an endless story about his kid's soccer game? Nope. Take another route to the washroom.
Normal route to the exit closest to the elevators run by Ms. V's lair and give her entree into your soul with her high-pitched whining about the fact that she's been passed over for promotion 13 times? Time to get a little extra exercise by taking the long way around.
A few cases-in-point:
The PA Announcer: This is what I've named the person who must speak as loudly as possible on the phone so that everyone in the office must stop what they are doing because the noise level is so high. "HI. WHAATTA YOU DOIN'? WANNA GO TO A MOVIE TONIGHT. I HATE THAT MOVIE. IT SUUCCKS! YEAH, YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE TOO! SCREW OFF! YEAH. OK, THAT MOVIE IS OK BUT I'D RATHER SEE "FAT CHICKS ON BIKES."

The E-Mail Carpet Bomber: There's one or two in every office. This person feels they must send what they feel are oh-so important emails to every single person on the floor. Here are a few examples of useless emails carpet-bombed by this equally useless person.
"There's carrot cake at the admin's desk. It's really good and I made it myself and we all deserve it." Translation: I know you all hate my guts but maybe I can bribe you bastards into liking me with some cake to stuff your ugly faces and give you an excuse to do even less than you already do.
"Just a reminder, file folders are a nifty way to organize loose papers and put them in alphabetical order by subject." Translation: I have absolultely nothing of value to contribute so I thought I'd waste some of your valuable time by offering some advice with little or no value to you.
"Don't forget. Tomorrow is a company holiday so don't come to work." Translation: No shit. We've been killing time all day in hopes the boss will let us out early.

Microwave marauder: Ever microwave raw fish? Ever SMELL raw fish being microwaved? Yeah..it smells like the men's room at a freeway rest stop. But there's always someone in every office who thinks it's a swell idea to nuke a mackerel in a microwave oven for lunch. The gagging by his or her co-workers never seems to be a strong enough hint that it smells like a day-old soiled diaper and there's no way anyone in their right mind would actually put that stinking grayish pus in their mouths...and survive. The rancid odor itself creates a massive penumbra around the break room or kitchen area, thereby preventing other hungry workers from grabbing a snack or a cup of joe in a room that's supposed to be a refuge for everyone. Next time you see a co-worker start to nuke a fish, cast a hook in their direction, capture the offending filet and toss it out the window. If they protest, just deadpan, "it ain't fishin' season and you're over my limit."

Technorati Profile

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Achtung-Deutschland ist sehr Volumaic


The land of beer, liederhosen and early 20th century atrocities may be about 4,000 miles from my hometown, but after a whirlwind visit, it can have all the space it needs.
Made the journey to Deutschland for business--actually to speak to a prestigious group on corporate blogging--like they don't have anyone just a little bit closer to discuss this topic. Apparently nicht.
While the folks I encountered were unexepectedly warm, humorous and patient (with my extremely limited German vocabulary) I have discovered that perhaps the nation's new anthem should be "Volumism uber alles."
Example 1, the salad bar: My co-worker warned me. If we hit the salad bar at the company cafeteria, one must be quick, ruthless and decisive, or risk being mauled by the other famished POW's (prisoners of work)temporarily uncaged from their offices. She was right. I attempted to line up for my crack at the greens and crunchies, but it appears, there is no line. "Oh, forgot to mention," said my more experienced co-worker, "Germans don't queue." Huh? Yeah...Germans just don't like to line up. Instead they launch a personal blitzkrieg on the buffet shoving, reaching in, snatching the tongs and beating you to the last crouton. I managed to capture a couple of lettuce leaves, some purple cabbage and the biggest thing I could get my unsanitized hands on--a whole grain roll. To linger is to lose..one's toes.. as the savages procede to step all over you in search of their precious fiber.

Example 1a, the breakfast buffet: At the hotel I almost lost several fingers as empty-stomached Germans slashed their way through the unidentifiable luncheon meat laid out for breakfast. They seem to have a fascination with sharp metal objects and are quite content to stab anything available, whether or not it's edible. They don't queue for breakfast either. I dared pause to figure out what all the mystery meat was but never got a chance to make a choice because the multitude pushed along like digestive peristalsis.

Example 2, the train: So I'm sitting in the window seat in a car on the high-speed intercity express headed from Frankfurt to Stuttgart, with a short stop in Mannheim--yeah where the Steamroller must have come from. A woman gets on in Mannheim with a load of crap and asks if the seat next to me is taken. It isn't. She sits. About five minutes later, a wimpy dude with a thin goatee whines the lady is in his "Plotz." That's seat. She snaps back that there's another seat nearby, couldn't he just move there. Nein! Wimp boy insisted on that seat. (This is going on in German) I detect the word "Fenster." That's window in German. After the two argue for awhile, the exasperated woman takes all her crap and moves to the nearby Plotz yelling "train travel in Germany is a joke!" She kindly did this in English for my benefit. I appreciated that since I was perceptive enough to realize I had a good story to tell. As wimpy settles in I ask him if he wants the Fenster. (All nouns are capitalized in German). Nein, he replies very wimpily. He wasn't going to take on a guy who barely speaks his language.

Example 3, the gut: Finally arriving in Stuttgart, I check in to my hotel which is attached to an entertainment complex with a theatre, cinema, some cheesy shops and a few bars. As I'm walking through the complex, I glance out the large window to the biergarten where a guy is sitting at an outdoor table across from a young lady, sipping on a tall glass of the local brew. Nice scene, right? Nein! Beer boy has his collared shirt completely unbuttoned, exposing on the world a white, pasty, doughy, sweaty mound of flesh, otherwise known as a gut. I recoiled from the window, shielded my eyes and went through my knowledge of first aid hoping to recall some quick method of inducing instant amnesia. Obviously I failed at that since I'm recounting this brain-scarring incident in this space.

I'm only now beginning to recover, but I'm bracing for a relapse. I have to return there in a few weeks. I'm expecting the wurst.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Extended Warranty....Noodnik


This is a generic red-shirted computer guy..not the one you'll read about below.


OK, what's a noodnik? If you're not from New Yawk, as I am, it's not a epithet with which you might be familiar. Very simply, a noodnik is a pain in the ass.
Generally in this space we discuss people who are volumaic, that is, create space around them because of their bad personal hygiene, offensive personality, careless habits, and generally being inconsiderate noodniks.
Let's take it one step further--the combination of an already volumaic person--a salesman, and the thing the person is selling. That thing in particular is the blatant rip off known as the extended warranty. It is virtually impossible to buy anything you plug in without being pitched the extended warranty. Very simply, it's a way for a store to get you to buy something you probably won't ever need.
So here I was, ready to buy a new computer for the family. We researched it before entering the store, knew exactly what model we wanted, and even checked the availability of that unit at that particular store. Easy, right? Nope.

After waiting at least 15 minutes for a salesperson, an apologetic young guy came over and offered his assistance. I pointed to the computer, saying "I'd like one of these. Don't need a printer or monitor, just the CPU." How easy is that? Then it started.
"Well," said the red-shirted salesman in stockboy's clothing. "We sell our computers supported or un-supported. Unsupported is equivalent to buying a computer out of someone's car trunk. Supported means we take care of your unit for 3 years."
"Extended warranty, huh?" I replied.
"Well, yeah," he admitted.
"Never buy 'em," I retorted. "I'd rather have the money in my wallet then yours."
Right then you would think I insulted a family member or told him I heard he sucked at "Grand Theft Auto." His eyes bulged, faced tightened and lips narrowed as he spat back at me, "So, you're a gambling man?"
"Absolutely," said I, "and I almost always win."
This went on for another 10 minutes and the aggressive geek wouldn't take the hint. I imagine this is due to too much time on the computer eroding his interpersonal skills.
I exhibited all the body language: turning away, averting my eyes, giving him the finger, but no go.
Finally, he admitted defeat and retreated to the warehouse to retrieve my computer.
"I'll bring it up to the cashier for you," the now broken horse bleated.
But this guy was tougher than I thought. A 20-year old supersalesman in the making. He had one more bullet in the chamber.
As we moved to the front of the store, he couldn't help himself, frustrated he couldn't up-sell me on anything.
"So, how much you pay for long distance phone service, ever hear of Vonage?"
But alas, this volumaic verbalizer's shots failed to hit home.
As if wearing a mental vest of Kevlar I smiled, puffed out my chest and sweetly responded, "Heard of it, don't need it, good day."
Yessssss! The noodnik quietly set the computer on the cashier's desk, gave me a bewildered look, and shuffled off to the break room to think about what just happened.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Convention-al Wisdom

Sorry I've been away so long..a blogger non-non. I say that in French because that photo to the left is a clump of Frenchies engaging in a conversational manage a trois at some convention..probably a gathering of truffle merchants. I actually have no idea. What's that have to do with being volumaic? I've spent the past week at a trade conference which turned out to be a veritable petri dish of volumism.
Here's how it goes down. Take any man or woman ready to enjoy a free cup of joe from one of the many urns placed on tables positioned smack in the middle of the main aisle outside the meeting rooms. For some reason they find themselves compelled to back up without looking, sending fellow convention-goers fleeing as the coffee slingers realize their folly and their arms go flying, forgetting they are holding mugs of scalding liquid. What is it that causes otherwise contained individuals to become coffee-wielding zombies creating space around them by those fearing second degree burns and costly dry cleaning bills?
Case #2: People who attend trade shows or conventions do so, in part, to network or simply to catch up with professional acquaintences. That's real nice. However, just like the French fries in the photo, they feel it necessary to conduct said sessions smack in the center of the aisle so there's no possible way to pass without either interrupting them or hitting your ass on a nearby coffee urn. This would be a case of collective volumism. Don't bother to ask them to move. You get a look that says quite unmistakenly, "Network with you? Don't bet your raised letter business card on it." That's very cold in the convention-trade show-networking-corporate bullshit arena.
Finally, there are the pigs who insist on taking their precious laptop computers with them...everywhere...especially in the actual sessions. They used to lay out pads and pens for everyone for taking notes. Ha! So 20th century. Now every guy has to take up two seats by popping open the laptop, agenda materials and a cup of that crappy lukewarm coffee. All the time the speaker is struggling to be heard, all you can hear is the insistent tap, tap, tapping of nerd boys on their keyboards...many of whom don't give a shit about the presentation. Oh, they're easy to spot..they're the ones playing solitaire or surfing the web or registering on some find-a-date website in hopes of finding a nerd girl that will love them for their strategic thinking skills. The result of all this is the slobs take up twice the room, leaving those who may actually want to learn something stuck in the back row of chairs where there aren't any tables to write on and the sound is, huh? distant.
So did I have a crummy time because of all the volumism? Are you kidding? I drank about nine dozen cups of free coffee and was very comfortable..as I spread out my laptop.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Repast Tense


Cliche' alert: You are what you eat. Volumaic Corollary: What you eat can make other people flee and barf.
Mea culpa. I'm a pain in the ass eater. Only person to have ever lived in Arizona that didn't learn to love Mexican food--won't touch sushi, except with forceps--Indian food reminds me of an EPA Superfund site. It's not that I have anything against any of the cultures from which these foods hail. I just don't like 'em. If you do, that's wonderful. In fact, I envy you for not being such a finnicky eater. It's just a curse I can't seem to shake. Don't ask me if I've ever tried the foods, I can't even be in the same zip code.
So for me, being in close proximity to anyone enjoying certain ethnic foods with pungent odors is an instantly volumaic situation. There's only so far you can flee in a restaurant. You can push your chair a bit or turn more towards a companion ingesting more conventional or less smelly dishes, but that's rude. I've tried holding my breath for long periods of time, but that makes you look like a moron and lengthens the time it takes to finish your own food. It also severely limits your role in the mealtime conversation. So I suffer in silence, taking shallow breaths, sipping my drink, taking bites and burying my nose in my own food to soak up a more acceptable smell, and pray for dessert, which almost never includes anything with objectionable odors. Ah..but then it's time for the O'Henry twist. I order a double espresso and prepare to inhale the nutty, strong aroma as I lift the demitasse cup to my lips. Just then my burrito, nacho, taco eating buddy wrinkles his nose in disgust as he spits his words at me: "What's that vile smelling swill in that kid-size cup?"
Touche'. But have you ever smelled mayonnaise infused tuna? Aha!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Swan Song for a Killer Bird

I love nature. I love natural things. Animals are sweet. Swans need to die. Oh, don't be shocked. Swans are one of the most vicious, volumaic creatures to suck the oxygen out of the atmosphere. Don't let that graceful neck, stark white plumage, and regal air fool you. Swans are the Joan Crawfords of waterfowl-dom. Here's the proof. You're out on the lake, paddling away quietly and respectfully in your kayak. You see the buzzard in swan's clothing floating calmly taking in the sights. Then, you get within 50 feet and it's Mommie Dearest with feathers. The damn thing starts flapping its wings, making guttaral sounds like those coming out of Linda Blair's mouth during "The Exorcist," and unless you beat a hasty retreat the Kamikaze bird hurls itself at you, beak blazing. Yeah, yeah, I know the story. The bird's trying to protect its young. That's swell, but no one wants to hurt their precious little cygnets. We just want to spend a nice, calm morning soaking up the sun, bobbing with the swells and getting a little exercise. Instead, Jack the Nipper goes postal on you believing the whole damn lake belongs to the swan family. Tough luck, future pillow stuffing. You're nothing but a volumaic provocateur. Get ready for your swan song.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Duh Sunday Supermarket Sweep

OK. This time it's me. Just stick a big "V" on my forehead because today, I was was the volumaic one. One of the true pleasures in life is the soft cookie called a "black and white." If you've never had one, rewrite your life's goals and make the search and ingestion of a black and white your number one goal, just ahead of finding a cure for drivers who don't use blinkers. For the uninitiated, a black and white is a soft, cakelike cookie with both chocolate and vanilla frosting on top, giving the treat its name. They seem to have originated in my hometown of NYC but are beginning to spread to Middle America. To eat one is to know a pastry pleasure matched only, perhaps, by the caloric but sublime Napolean. So I was ecstatic to find out that black and whites had arrived at one local supermarket chain. I grabbed the kids, tossed 'em in the car and took off for the store vowing to bring home the bakin'. Alas, a big pile of black and whites lay neglected by the clueless crowd. They had no inkling they were so close to greatness. We quickly rushed to the bin, flipped open the lid and began piling individually wrapped black and whites into a bakery box. The other shoppers gazed at us as if we had just pulled in from the boonies and left the pickup idling outside. With our treasure finally secured, we headed for the checkout--the self-checkout--the one where you do it yourself until you screw it up and someone has to help you. Ooo...bad move. The rush of the moment quickly evaporated as the machine rudely asked us to input some sort of code. There was no code, no bar code, no Morse code, no Boy Scout code. No code. The impudent electronic checkout chump ordered us to just stand there and wait for help. But no help came. The line of shoppers hoping to skip out quickly to resume their Sundays began to build. Their body language screamed "you idiot!" and I could only look helplessly as the impatient pudgy checkout chick asked me disgustedly, "what're those things, donuts?" No, they're cookies I told her. The crowd behind me didn't really give a shit. "I dunno" the chick spat back. Then I took the closer look at the black and whites I should have taken at the outset. Remember I told you they were individually wrapped? Welllllll...on the back
of the wrapping there was a price sticker emblazoned with a bar code. Now I really felt stupid and the 20 people wishing my life to be extinguished at that point readily agreed. So, like an idiot, I asked the pudge, "Do I have to scan each of them individually?" "Yeah," she whined, "just scan each donut." "They're cookies!" I shouted back as I began to scan each of them.
"Guess who's volumaic today?" my daughter laughed. "Yeah, yeah," I sulked. It was painfully clear---in black and white.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Eau No!

The crisp but artificial coolness and scent of the grocery store's air conditioning was a welcome respite from a brutally hot and humid Sunday morning.
It had the hallmarks of a successful sortie in the otherwise wild world of the supermarket. My wife got a head start on her shopping while I mortgaged my future for a tank of gas. I snagged a great parking spot close to the store and the cart corral. I confidently walked into the store, took in the cool air and headed down the big center aisle where I could quickly look down each product aisle to find my wife. Then, the promise of a non-volumaic morning came to an abrupt end. As I reached aisle 6 a creature with wild mouse-grey hair slipped ahead of me as she emerged from aisle 5. My nose flared, my lungs ached and my eyes watered like a hole in the Rotterdam dike. This otherwise earnest, quiet, comported and contained individual entered the realm of the volumaic as a result of some foreign substance saturating her scalp. The odor was a cross between acid burning through flesh and any Indian food. Immediately, the space I had given this follicle-based landfill grew first to a few feet, to several yards to, I don't know, a zip code. I forgot the reason I entered the store in the first place. I began hallucinating. The boxes of cereal looked like demonic sentries of the nation's grain supply. Tony the Tiger took on a monstrous pose as if warning me, "Keep your goddam hands off the Frosted Flakes. They're for kids you middle aged loser with a Peter Pan complex." Actually, for an animated advertising spokes-lion, that was pretty deep.
Quickly gaining my composure I ducked into the household cleanser aisle and breathed in as much Glade as I could, except for the Sweet Spring or whatever--that was worse.
My head cleared, the source of my olfactory incident disappeared into the pet aisle, where she clearly belong, and I found my wife--ahh the smell of success.