27 September 2013

Several (More) Surprisingly Effective Things You Can Say

This post is "inspired" by this post of (almost) the same title, in which the four surprisingly effective things to say were as I recall: I'm sorry, I was wrong, I need help, and Faster, twerp.  Yeah right I know, that's what I thought.  Here then are some other simple statements that are surprisingly – nay stunningly, almost inexplicably – effective, depending of course on your purpose, on who you're talking to and on the way you say it.

"Get off!"  Say this when something is on you or someone or something else you want them to get off of.  Makes people get off almost anything.  Telling someone to get off something is empowering and restructures the relationship.

"To go."  This is surprisingly effective at encouraging takeout joints to box and bag your meal for easy portability.  The key is open and honest communication of your needs to a sympathetic co-listener.  Ask for what you want. Don't be bullied or emotionally manipulated into 'For here' any longer.

"That's it mother&!$(@#, it's on like Donkey Kong."  Use when someone cuts on you in line or steals a table you had eyes on at an open-air cafetorium, takes the last waffle or starts getting it on with your significant other like you're not even sitting there.

"Noooooooo!" Actually this one is surprisingly effective only due to the double negative effect, i.e. it is unsurprisingly ineffective, as it is generally used when there is no hope of the thing stopping, e.g. under torture, during plummeting or tiger attack, etc.

"If it ain't the carnival, it's the sarcophagus."  Use anytime.  Stops conversations in seconds.  Kills small talk dead.  Amazingly effective, results guaranteed or your money back.  Order now and receive at no additional cost the phrase 'cheese prize massacre award anniversary giveaway tragedy', which starts conversations but only with the interesting, while effectively driving away the boring and the insufferable.

"It’s all your fault." This one effectively rankles just about anybody, especially if it really was all their fault.  They may try to deflect some of the blame onto others but don't you let them, make it clear that it was totally their fault, that you are rubber and they are glue (another relatively effective utterance btw), &c.

Enough joke-like things on this subject, gotta get dinner on before the kids get home.  Please use our proprietary "Comment Box" technology to share, from your personal experience or imagination, more surprisingly effective things to say.  Let's all chip in our two cents to help make each other more effective communicators, for the good of each and every one of all of us. Amen.

20 September 2013

Pants: A Primer

On the Nature and Function of Pants

[The following is an excerpt from the best-selling top-of the-charts bestseller What Do Clothes Do? by Ruthie Bilderberger, reprinted here without compensation or apology, no link to her Amazon page, not so much as a by-your-leave.]

Pants are worn on the body.  Specifically, on the legs. 

Pants generally include two tubes, one for enclosing each of the legs.  Garments lacking two tubes long enough to reach from the human waist to closer-to-the-ankle-than-the-knee are not properly referred to as 'pants'.

In addition to the leg-tubes, pants also contain an upper portion that spans the waist and covers – while at the same time allowing convenient access to – the crotch area.  "Pockets" in which items of a personal or utilitarian nature may be stored are usually included into the bargain.  Oddly, this upper portion of the pants has not been formally named, but if the leg tubes are jettisoned what remains is a pair of 'cutoffs', which if made of denim are 'jean shorts'.

Panties, or 'little pants', are generally intended to be worn inside the actual pants, to provide an extra layer of pant between the skin and the 'outerpants', or 'pants'.

Pantaloons belong to a sub-class of the pant family known as 'trousers' which bear a striking resemblance to pants in many cases but are generally worn more for purposes of ornament than insulation.

'Tight leggings' (not to be confused with modern 'tights' or 'tats') are generally not worn as pants because they fail to adequately obscure the crotch; effectively underpants, they are most effective under overpants or secondary outershorts.

Crotchless pants?  Say what?  Ain’t no such thing as crotchless pants.  At least, not until right this second.  Ladies and gentleman, may I present, for your viewing pleasure, crotchless pants.

Now that we have outlined the basic nature of pants, let's talk about the many roles they quietly, nobly play in our everyday lives.  The functions of pants include: covering the legs to keep them warm and shield them from prying eyes, thorns or burning oil, providing pockets in which to temporarily store personal articles, preventing the rear end from directly contacting the guest furniture, ornamentation, insulation, place to wipe hands, etc.  In addition to these utilitarian aspects, pants may simultaneously serve as a personal statement, by for example matching the shirt or blouse and/or contrasting with the shoes, concealing horrifying scars or accentuating the buttocks or perhaps both at the same time.

Much more could be said about pants: their history, origins and evolution, where they came from and who invented them, who were some of the early pants pioneers and what did their pioneering pants look like; the future of pants (and of legs in general) … pants for different species, up to and including alien pants or the possibility of pants existing in an infinite number of dimensions, wow, can you imagine infinite pants?

But I only had to get to 520 words with this and we passed that a few minutes ago.  So hang on again and continue clicking around the vast expanse of the world wide web for further amusement, after these brief messages.


11 September 2013

Plant Gift Ideas

Oh dear, every year it’s the same dilemma: What to get your plants for the upcoming shopping/gift-giving jamboree?  Since most plants don’t appreciate clothing or perfume, this simple practical guide is chock full of tips for other stuff you can buy for your "li'l greenies" to cheer them up during the dismal holiday season otherwise known as life on earth.

Plant Toys.  Raise happy, engaged plants, not sullen, distracted types.  Climbing structures are appropriate.  Educational toys should be purchased with discretion: make sure to submit your plants to standardized testing to properly assess their developmental level before you waste your money on something embarrassingly off the mark.  Cars, bicycles and other forms of transportation are generally inappropriate, although some potted ferns are known to enjoy snowmobiling, they say they never had anything like that growing up.

Most plant foods are boring, reduced to their basic chemical constituents with little regard for flavor or texture.  This year give Wolfbane Pup's new line of fresh-frozen microwave-defrostable sweet-to-eat Gourmet Plant Snack'Ums.  What better way to reward your young plants after a particularly strong flowering or crop.  Plants love 'em and so will your kids, so definitely keep these puppies locked away on a high shelf.

Grow lights are considered slightly offensive as they carry an element of criticism: Are you suggesting my stalks aren't thick enough, my fruits insufficiently succulent?  However, colored bulbs or track lighting may appeal to certain of the more flamboyant subshrubs such as the Dwarf Hairy Penstemon.

Many plants do like to read but most prefer to read books written by other plants, which are unfortunately not sold in most human book stores and notoriously difficult to recognize even when you're staring one right in the face.  Fortunately this problem is easily sidestepped through the use of gift certificates.

The best present you can give your plants is a nice sunny spot in some good nutrient-rich soil with plenty of water and a healthy ecosystem of (micro)flora/fauna plus a decent selection of music and for god’s sake clean the bathroom once in a while.

Got any great plant gift ideas?  Sure you do.  Share.