Sunday, July 25, 2004

Abob and the Canoe

I spent the weekend at my friend’s cabin in the mountains. Because of Pioneer Day, I had a three day weekend instead of two. Thank you pioneers. All your back-breaking labor got me a day off. You see? It was worth it.

But not everyone’s company likes the Pioneers. Only three of my friends got Friday off, so we decided to spend the day canoeing until everyone else arrived that night.

Unfortunately, we were faced with the task of getting the canoe from the cabin down the mountain to the lake. We had one car, mine, a 2004 Chevy Aveo. Think micromachine, only smaller. Don’t get me wrong, I love small cars (I bought the thing, didn’t I) but, admittedly, they do have a few disadvantages (like their inability to go fast on steep hills or the impracticality of putting gigantic canoes on their backs, for instance).

So my Aveo, which I’ve named Abob, had to somehow carry the canoe. To make matters much more daunting, we only had one old bungee cord and one small rope to attach the canoe to the car.

“Thank goodness I was a boy scout and learned all kinds of nifty knots.” That’s what I would have said had I actually remembered a single knot. But such was not the case. I mean, when do you really expect to use those things? My scoutmaster never once said to me: “Learn well, my son, for one day you will need to tie an enormous canoe to your tiny car.” So what motivation did I have? I mean the brain only has room for so much information and my knowledge of knots was replaced by Simpsons reruns long ago.

But, miraculously, we were able to secure the canoe and get down the mountain, although we did have to stop several times to readjust it and were waylaid once by mountain hicks looking for their dog. The whole thing looked pretty comical, as you can see from the picture below.

I guess the lesson in all this is that even if you’re small, it doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish great things. But that lesson is sappy enough to induce vomiting. So here’s a better lesson: If you’re going to design a canoe, design it with hinges. That way it can fold up all compact-like and be put in your glove compartment. You gotta look out for Abob.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

We Were All Wrong

I just read an interesting news article. A monkey at an Israeli zoo has begun walking on its hind legs, like most humans (Dick Cheney, excluded). This un-monkey-like behavior started shortly after being released from treatment for stomach flu, which according to the monkey's veterinarian, also caused some brain damage (due to the stomach's close proximity to the cranium).  
This explains so much!  We were all wrong. Humans are not the offspring of some miraculous advancement in evolution -- humans are the offspring of brain damaged monkeys!

If Hawking can change his theory on black holes, then evolutionists can darn well change theirs. Get to work scientists, you retarded monkey babies.


The Missing Link revealed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Damned Ladies

My boss came up to me this morning to tell me that she had a dream about me. My immediate thought was, "Lady, you have a son my age!" -- but luckily it wasn't that kind of dream. She went on to explain that in the dream I was flying in from California, and everyone at work was coming to greet me at the airport. "How nice," I thought. "Aren't I popular." Not really -- they weren't coming to welcome me home, they were coming to yell at me. I generally don't make a trip all the way to the airport when I want to yell at someone but my co-workers apparently just couldn't wait.

The reason? According to the dream, I had fathered two children with two different women and everyone at work decided to storm the airport and let me have it. Right. After my boss and I had a good laugh (hers genuine, mine slightly worried), I had two thoughts: 1) How did she find out? and 2) Did her tye-dye wearing neighbor happen to stop by that day with some special brownies.

I don't know what you're supposed to think when your boss dreams of you having illicit relationships. I guess it's better to think nothing at all.

You see, I work in an environment overflowing with estrogen (with every employee in my department being a woman except me and the other designer) and one soon learns to ignore some of the wacky things that go on.

For example, the space right outside my cubicle has been officially designated the "girl talk" gathering place. When in this space, you are only allowed to discuss three things: hair, clothes, and shoes. You would think with such limited conversation topics, there wouldn't be much to say. But you would be horribly wrong. If given a chance, the women at my work would discuss these things for weeks at a time, without taking a breath.

For the most part, I try to tone it out, since why the heck should I care if so-and-so's shoes look so cute. But sometimes I pick up on amusing fragments like:

"Oh no! My hair almost fell out."

Then I laugh until one of them explains to me that she just got extensions and they don't always stay in or whatnot.

The point is that I've learned that stereotypes are often true, at least some of the time. I went through highschool with more female friends than male friends -- and I can't say we ever breached the topic of hair, clothes, or shoes, but perhaps they just avoided these subjects for my sake.

If so, then I have to say thank you. High school would have sucked if we spent all our time discussing heels rather than brooding or listening to Oingo Boingo, or whatever else the heck we did in high school.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Well it's been 7 months since Arnold Schwarzenegger took office, and although I don't know much about how he's doing politically, at least he's entertaining.

On Saturday he delivered a speech in which he referred to Democrats opposing his budget as "girlie-men."

This is an obvious allusion to SNL's old Hanz and Franz sketch which starred two ridiculously proportioned bodybuilders with Schwarzenegger-like accents. Wouldn't it be great if all lawmakers, old and new, started imitating their Saturday Night Live counterparts? Clinton could start biting his tongue while giving comedically-timed thumb-ups at his book signings, Bush Sr. could drone the "wouldn't be prudent" line in all of his public remarks, Janet Reno could hold weekly dance parties, and Bush Jr. could well...act like himself, I guess.

I was tickled by all the righteous indignation of some Democrats. The fact that they were extremely offended only gives support to his remark. Sure, it was a stupid thing to say, but hey, so is 90% of what leaves most politicians' mouths.

I don't really like Arnold. I think he only ran for governor to further inflate his already over-inflated ego. But hey, at least he seems to be doing a better job than Gray Davis (who was like a creepy, evil version of Mr. Rogers).

Good luck Kah-lee-fornia. You're going to need it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Me vs. The Lawn

Now that I have my own house, I find that I have to take care of things I never had to bother with before. There's quite a bit of upkeep involved with a house that one never has to worry about in an apartment. For one thing, I now have to mow the lawn.

Big deal, you say. Well, when you're lawn-maintenance-retarded, like me, these things ARE a big deal. You see, I never had to mow a lawn before in my life. Back in California, there was an abundance of a certain ethnic group that was always more than willing to mow it for me. Not so in Utah.

It took me three weeks after moving into my house to buy a lawn mower. By then the grass had pretty much taken over. The weeds themselves were taller than Shaq. But I hacked and slashed my way through it, filling up 12 large bags with mutilated lawn waste. By the time I was finished, I vowed to go back to California and kidnap some gardeners.

Long story, short--They fought me off with their rakes and their hedge clippers and I barely escaped with my life.

Here's my point: I think it's high time someone invented some kind of potion that stunts grass growth. I mean, we must have similar potions already out there. How else do you explain Gary Coleman?

Friday, July 09, 2004

The Ten Year Retrospective

During a weekend trip to California (the one I wrote about a couple posts back), I decided to go through some old boxes I've been storing at home. In one of the boxes I found a sealed, yellowing envelope, folded in half, with the these words scrawled on the front: "Do not open till 2004 AD. Written 1994 AD."

I checked my watch. Lo and behold, it was exactly 2004 AD and I now had permission to open this mysterious envelope. I only vaguely remember writing it. As I recall, a sunday school instructor asked my class to write to ourselves ten years in the future. I believe he told us to include our thoughts, dreams, aspirations and whatnot so that our wiser, matured self could see how far we'd come.

I'm sure the Sunday School teacher didn't expect anyone to follow through. It's one of those things you assign because they take up class time and because you forgot to prepare a REAL lesson.

But here the envelope was, ten years aged, just waiting for me to open it. My expectations were high. I was a fairly articulate 14-year-old, I thought. I've always enjoyed writing. Surely I was in for a treat. Instead, I was met with the following:

Dear Jeremy,

My Sunday school teacher told us to write a letter to ourselves and read it in 10 years. There isn't much to say. Most everything there is to know about me is in my journal. In 10 years I want to be a designer or an architect. Those jobs sound neat. Well actually since I'm going on a mission, I'll still be in college in 10 years. Oh well. Bye!
--Jeremy Munns, 14 years old


What the?! What kind of drivel was this? I could have kept dog droppings in an envelope for 10 years for all the good this letter did me. For one thing, I never kept a journal, so I was obviously lying. This led me to one undeniable conclusion: My past self was playing a prank on my present self. What a little punk!

I've decided that revenge is in order. But since time machines have not yet been invented, my past self is off-limits. So the only sensible course of action is to instead get revenge on my FUTURE self. Ten years from now, when he finds a yellowing envelope, he will think: "Oh yeah, I remember this. What great knowledge will I discover about who I was in my mid-twenties?" He will rip at the envelope, eager fingers fumbling to get the notebook paper unfolded. And this is what he will read:

Dear Jeremy (you old fart),

By now you're 34. How does it feel? I bet you never thought you'd end up being a friendless, bald, wandering hippie, did you? There isn't much to say. Most everything there is to know about me you wouldn't understand, with all the brain damage from the heroine and all. Oh Well, Bye!
--Jeremy Munns, 24 years old.

That will make him feel real dumb. "What a sarcastic little jerk of a 24 year old I was," he'll think. "Why did I even bother?" Then he will crumple the envelope in his fist, adjust his thinning comb-over, and walk with his rainbow-colored napsac into the sunset.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Iraq and Roll

There was a time when country singers sang about respectable things, like their truck breaking down or their dog running away. But now this is all changing. Personal drunken observations no longer make acceptable lyrics. Now country singers are expanding their horizons, looking beyond the farm, small town or rodeo at the larger picture.

That's why all country songs are now angry, patriotic anthems about 9/11.

I know this because I watched a Fourth of July fireworks display at a small amplitheatre in Clearfield, Utah. At the rate these songs were being spit out over the crackly loudspeaker, there must have been hundreds of them. Thousands!

Now let us not rush to judgement and assume that these songs have no redeeming value. In fact, I learned a lot about America while listening to these tunes. Here are a couple interesting facts:

1) I had always assumed that the "American Way" was to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in an environment free of dictators and despots; to be a glowing example of democracy and goodness to the world. But I was wrong. Ignorant, and wrong. You see, the true American Way is to put a boot in someone's ass. It's so clear now. What was I thinking?

2) And as long as we're at war with SOMEONE, we're on the right track. This is a good life lesson. For example, If someone robs your house and gets away, you're going to be angry. And the best way to deal with this anger is to attack some other guy you don't like, whether or not he had anything to do with it. Because, after all, he's a big jerk anyway and had it coming.

And that's just few drops out of an ocean of knowledge one can get by listening to Country. Now I'm going to have to listen to it all the time. Good thing I live in Utah where you only have to give the radio dial a couple twists before hitting a country station. In California, I had to give the dial a good whirl before I found anything in ENGLISH. And let's be honest: Spanish just doesn't cut it. Never once have I heard a mariachi song about Iraq. Get with the program you sombrero wearing peace mongers!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Oh Nigeria, Where Did We Go Wrong?

I was listening to NPR's "Talk of the Nation," which has become a daily lunchtime ritual for me, and they had a guy on who runs a website called "The Spam Letters." He replies to spammers with long, amusing anecdotes and stories. I suppose its his way of spamming the spammers.

But what caught my attention most was the mention of a series of spams by Nigerian scam artists. (The section on the website dealing with these letters can be found here:

I got one of these spams when working as the editor of Inscape. I remember really enjoying the email, so much so that I printed out a copy. They're just darned amusing to read. Although English is an official language in Nigeria, the spammers' attempts to sound official equates to a lot of nonsensical drivel. They write as "high-level public servants" that need to use your bank account to transfer $31,000,000 that is being blocked by yaddity yaddity. Apparently by performing this service for them you get 20%. Hold me back!

Their biggest problem, aside from writing in all-caps and sounding like morons, is making the sum so large. Most people do not perform transations anywhere near the million dollar range. Do they think all Americans fly to work in private jets and use $100 bills to smoke gold dust? Well actually, some of them do think this. I've spent time in Senegal and talked to a few people who were under this mistaken impression. But these people were pretty dumb -- dumb in the sense of "partially retarded," not your ordinary run-of-the-mill dumb. Also, let it be noted that the dumb people only made up a very tiny, tiny percentage of the people I met there.

Maybe we can just assume that Nigeria is different (if we're going to make generalizations [which we are] about an entire country). Many Senegalese have told me that Nigeria is considered the armpit of Africa. I have heard similar claims from other West Africans. It certainly doesn't help Nigeria's case that a Polio scourge is ravaging several Nigerian villages because they refused immunization shots. They claimed that Westerners had laced the shots with mind-controlling drugs. Come now, Nigeria, we used up all those drugs on the back of our postage stamps (something has to account for the terrible taste).

But whether Nigeria is an armpit or not, we can be certain of one thing:


So what are we waiting for? Let's go make some money!