Archive for February, 2013


The left, rear tire on my truck has developed a tumor. It’s been there for days, and it is a constant reminder, along with a couple other things, that I am missing some key elements of manhood that make other men useful. I have written about this before, but I like to really drive things home through example and honest portrayals thereof. Additionally, one of the greatest things about writing a blog is that you are the king of said blog.

The tire bulges forth from its normal tire self making the once circular object into an oblong shaped nightmare. Instead of a round tire, I am driving on a football–lengthwise. I know that the tire is holding on for dear life, trying not to fail on me, but I also know that I am pissing in the faces of the gods every time I drive. Another thing I am absolutely sure of is that, due to my tire’s elliptical shape, my truck drives like an excited puppy whose tail is wagging furiously as it makes its way down the highway. The pine-tree-shaped-fragrance-enhancing-tree-thing hanging from my rear view mirror swings violently from left to right, and every third second, up and down. The movement causes slacking in the twine that connects the mirror to the part of the tree that would hold the star at Christmas. Above the tree, the rear view mirror is having a seizure. The cars entering my rear view mirror’s vision seem to be jitterbugging down the road (I feel sorry for them…poor bastards).

Cars passing by notice. I know they do. I watch them in the driver’s side mirror as they make their way around my pulsating vehicle. These cars are also jumping in unison with my mirror’s motion. They examine my truck. They think they are the first to notice. I hate them for it. As they come directly along side, their windows flush with mine, I can feel them trying to gain my attention. They are jiggling in my peripheral like children trying to bother their siblings through annoying gestures alone. I refuse to look their way; instead, I sit there oscillating up and down, side to side, side to side, and up and down. For a moment the highway comes to a standstill. I meet the traffic and slowly wobble to a halt, and now I can actually feel the three cars surrounding my vehicle all aching to convey their concern over my tire’s health. They look to each other as if forming a spontaneous intervention. I pray a silent prayer for the traffic to regain its momentum so that I could ramble on down the road leaving the judgmental stares of men and women with normal shaped tires behind.

So you think to yourself. Use your spare. Let’s be honest, people. If I use the spare, Murphy will show up and screw me like it’s cool. There is only one thing that can be done here. There is one course of action that can take place that will effectively fix the problem. We are out of options and we must take evasive action. The truck needs to be blown in place like a disabled military vehicle you don’t want to fall into enemy hands…the truck is no good anymore. This truck is dead to me. The only problem with this course is that the man skills required come up with a device that would blow the car in place, but still look like an accident also reside beyond my man capabilities. Trust me I have thought of everything. And so I just jiggle everywhere I go. Calls I make from my car sound like I’m being burped throughout the duration of the conversation. But, I just jiggle.

I know my father will read this in disappointment, and he will question where he failed. He will look down at his old, weathered hands aged through experience and hard work. He will feel the ache of arthritic thumbs (which are not the result of years of over work, but rather from his discovery of first person shooter games at the age of 60), and he will begin weeping. He will cry crocodile tears; the floor will be wet with tears of sadness. I will be the reason for his first good cry.

I am not proud, but I have to tell you, the vibrations of the vehicle have done wonders for my back. As another bonus, I got to write a blog and portray my father as weeping, which is always fun. If my father is crying right now, it is more likely caused by a thirteen year old who beat him in a video game.

Look, I just wanted you to know, because I’ve been holding it in for years.

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And now I offer to you a few techniques that you need to put in your little mental toolkit and carry with you everywhere you go. The title to this is a bit misleading, because it centers itself on the art of debate, but really, this is about winning people over through smoke and mirrors. Don’t get all weird on me, this is something that is being done to you on a daily basis; I have decided that you should be well equipped and wearing the full armor of intellectualism, which if used properly, culminates in a win in battle. If you can master the art, you will be a force to reckon with anywhere you go. You will likely get the best looking mates, gain riches beyond your wildest dreams, attain fame and fortune, and most importantly, look down on others not so well prepared.

**It is important that you understand that these techniques have a limited operating area i.e. don’t take on subject matter experts in a debate of subjects wherein they are experts–this is lunacy. I have done this and there is only one outcome with which you can save face. You actually have to speak in circles and then finally end by saying the following statement, “I think we are arguing the same point. I’m just not communicating it very well.”** I will show you other escapes momentarily.

When making a point in an argument where you are a) unprepared, b) want to win quickly and at all costs, or c) a combination of both a and b, you must utilize the following

1. “It has been proven”…

“It has been proven” is a difficult one to make work, but it is worth the try. A good opponent will naturally retort with the logical counter, “by who?” you must then immediately say, without hesitation or wavering of voice, “let’s not get into semantics here, anyways….” That word “anyways” is your ticket to victory, people. After the “anyways” you just say whatever half truth or fact that best defends your side and, voila, you have somewhat won. Somewhat winning is as good as winning in my book, somewhat. This little trinket is the “I’m just saying” of the intellectual discussion. There is no really effective counter, but I have seen grown men lose friends when the user of this method continually falls back on it for all arguments, so use accordingly.

2. The next little trick you can apply is displacing the burden of fallibility upon someone that your oponent will never be able to verify without a lot of leg work. I like to use basic knowledge I may already have that is out there on the subject being debated. Then I say one of these these golden phrases:

“I think this is what John Smith (insert author whom you believe says anything close to whatever garbage you are about to try and sell) discusses in his book….”

Even if your opponent has read the book, as long as you didn’t get overly specific with your point, you are fine. If you feel trapped, all you have to say now is, “I need to read that again, it was such a good book.” This is misdirection at its finest. It appeals to the opponents love of the book, and in the same breadth, you look like a lifelong scholar. It’s genius

Or,

“I heard a lecture on this very subject, who was the doctor speaking? (Really sell right here that you are searching for a name, shit, you can even say a name, but then take it back and continue. It is much about the selling the drama as it is the phrase) I forget his or her name, but they said…..”

(I like this one, because you never really have to have attended any lecture on anything, plus you look like you walk around thinking about more than food, sex, and beer..)

3. This tactic is more delivery than an actual specific phrase.

I saw this recently during a brief where a friend of mine was asked to convey a specific plan by walking step by step through a process. With the confidence of a Spartan warrior, my friend proceeded to rattle off a random sequence of numbers and letters. He added in a few important words that everyone wants to hear like, safety, fuel allowance, worse case scenario, etc….you get the idea. My point is that my friend said nothing of value. I’m not even sure he had a plan in the first place, but he said nothing of value with such conviction that he received accolades for the thoroughness and depth of his plan. When I confronted him on this, he simply told me to shut-up and walked off hurriedly…you can’t shit a shitter.

4. The last tactic is not for the weak or faint of heart. This is boldness in action, and relies on passion. I use this as my, “all hell has broken lose” course of action. When you have realized you have argued yourself to a loss, simply attack the character of the person you are arguing. It can be subtle, but it must be based off of some small crumb of reality.

For instance:

Your opponent says, “the problem with your argument is that you are based purely on a flawed understanding of the world.” Your opponent is right, but now you have to make it look like this is name calling, and by sheer nature of this, you no longer want to engage in petty discussion. This makes you look so civilized it’s not even funny.

If all else fails you need to resort to name calling, but you need to make sure that you will not get punched, or that you can punch harder, and that you punching harder is universally understood by your opponent as to deter actual physical contact.

Use this and you will be successful.

I just wanted you to know, because I’ve been holding it in for years.


Stop! Pay attention, because the people I’m going to describe right now are everywhere. Worse still, the type of person I am going to describe may be similar to you, and I just might be saving you from yourself. I’ve said this before, I am here to make the world a better place one blog at a time; unfortunately for you normal, well adjusted individuals, my audience consists of the same 29 loyal readers and three or four random people from Pakistan, Eurasia, and some smaller countries that make up South America. As such, the 29 of you need to work like foot soldiers helping spread the word of progress. But, I digress.

I want to talk to you briefly about a certain type of person that has been surfacing more and more in my day-to-day existence. I call these people the, “I am missing the piece of biological machinery necessary to understand and subsequently stop me from being annoying” people. These people run rampant today. They are everywhere and involve themselves in all kinds of fun. These people show up and make whatever activity you are doing suck worse than it originally sucked, or make otherwise enjoyable activities have moments that suck that shouldn’t. These people do things that most people understand are annoying, but don’t get it themselves. Here are examples to aid you in your fight against the annoying:

1. In group functions or lectures, these are the students or members of the group that talk for the sake of talking, that continually ask questions that you can tell they are making up as they go along, or are meant purely to impress the person they are questioning with their unbelievable knowledge and vocabulary. These people work very hard to be considered astute, but in the very act of doing so become horribly annoying. What is being considered astute if no one ever wants to hear you talk?

It is okay to have questions, to be inquisitive in nature, and to seek knowledge, but it is a flaw in a person’s personality to ruin other people’s lives by dragging out things unnecessarily because you want to string together a sentence with a bunch ten cent words and a question mark so that you can impress your peers.

Screw it, let me just write what I’m feeling, because I can if I want.

I hate when anybody asks questions I didn’t need to know the answer to in order to function. I’m sorry if this is the wrong mentality to have, but it’s the way I feel. If you are that in disagreement with me, you can write a blog to the contrary, but it will be short and most normal people will think it’s annoying…Of course, all of this is assuming I am normal, which could be a stretch.

2. These people go to the lanes at the grocery store that are unmanned and meant to be utilized with speed and agility. You know the lanes, you scan and bag your own merchandise, and it keeps you from having to wait in longer lines with real humans scanning your garbage. Only for annoying people, once they start scanning they become the only people in the world. They take their time, they start other activities in the middle of this larger activity and then forget to continue the larger activity. Somewhere, someone made this person forget to be a good human to others–to be considerate.

Screw it, let me just write what I am thinking, because I can if I want.

I like other humans, I think when everything is working right, we generally do pretty well together. Insert annoying people into the mix, and suddenly getting to be around generally likable humans becomes not worth the annoyance.

3. People missing the annoying switch show up to casual functions overdressed and act like they dress that way all the time…(this may or may not be accurate).

4. They take up a spot at a crowded gas station, fill their car up, and then run inside the store for an hour while the rest of us decent humans run out of gas waiting (this is deadly accurate).

5. Unaware Annoying People interject into your private conversations things called nerd facts. They are convinced that their nerd fact will somehow be so profound that there is no need for your conversation to continue and will then hover around to ensure it doesn’t (this cannot be argued).

6. Annoying people write blogs belittling other annoying people just because they can (I know a guy like this).

These annoying people are developmentally challenged, I am convinced of it. Most normal people know when they are being annoying. Think about it. How many times have you stopped and held yourself back from saying or doing something for any reason? That very stopping mechanism is the thing that makes you normal. It is the very thing preventing you from being annoying. Rejoice! It is a great thing to have! It is the “stupid filter,” and I wish it was fitted on us all.

Whatever.

I just want you to know, because I’ve been holding it in for years…


Certain magnetism exists between the mall and my wife. It is the allure of the over-accessorized ladies clad in black, past-the-knees dresses. They peddle their fragrances with relentless fervor while you hurriedly try to escape the cloud of chemicals emanating from the atomizer these women cling to like it’s their last weapon in the fight against the zombies. It is the cacophony of smells purging their way out of the food court rushing out in all directions like throngs of ghosts escaping from the Ghost Trap in any one of the Ghostbusters movies (if that analogy doesn’t make sense to you, you are too young or lacking the requisite knowledge to be reading this blog). It is the rush you get from competing with 14 other vehicles for the same spot and the joy of victory watching 13 other cars mope off to start another fight. All of these make the mall the place to be. All of these things and, well, watching the odd nature of teenagers and their poor decision making, especially with respect to facial hair and wardrobe.

So this was my Saturday. I was heading to the mall, and I was generally fine doing it, because there is nothing better than documenting the horrible lives of teenagers. We set off, driving down the long winding road towards civilization. For the sake of thoroughness, my story begins earlier in the week when an awkward blink of the eye sent my left contact lens tumbling to the carpet. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a lecture from a General Officer in the Marine Corps and could not start crawling around on the floor to find the rogue lens. Instead, and probably more annoying to the speaker, I notified the surrounding Marines using a complex gesturing system, which involved me mimicking an awkward blink, holding my palm over my eye, and simultaneously pointing to the deck. This is the universal symbol for, “Don’t make a scene, but I lost my contact lens. Try and look inconspicuous while you help look for it, but please don’t let the general know that we are only minimally paying attention.” Unfortunately, this symbol seemed to be less than universally understood and was met with judgmental looks of my peers.

The irony being that, without that contact, I could not read the presentation’s slides, which were covering how to read more effectively. Long story short: I am now wearing glasses.

We set off, driving down the long winding road towards civilization. The brightness of the sunlight flickering in and out of the trees along the country road created a strobe light effect washing out my vision. Luckily I had brought my prescription sunglasses. Even more luckily, the prescription sunglasses were issued by the Marine Corps to me. There are many like them, but this pair is mine. Donning their awesomeness, I was once again blessed with vision and continued on my trek. At this point in the drive, Whitney and I have been bantering back and forth, talking about this and that, and generally enjoying the moment. I was relaying a story about the price of some item. Here is how it goes:

Heath: I was surprised once the lady told me how much it costed.

Whitney: What?

Heath: I said that I was blown away by how much the stuff costed.

Whitney: I’m sorry what?

Heath: Growing more aggravated. “Whitney, it costed a lot of money, and I wasn’t going to pay it!”

Whitney: I’m sorry, but did your cool little glasses make you forget how to use irregular verbs? I let it slip once, because I thought you were joking.

At this point I understood I was beat, so I switched into what I call, “I am insulted mode.” It is also called, “Misdirection.”

Heath: Hold on here! What is wrong with my sunglasses?

Whitney: I didn’t say anything was wrong with your sunglasses.

Heath: You said, “your cool glasses,” with a really snarky tone like they are nerdy.

Whitney: No, I don’t think they look nerdy…. they look like women’s glasses.

Heath: Oh, you think that I won’t wear them out in public?

Whitney: It’s not that I don’t think you will; it’s that I hope you won’t!

I spent the rest of the car ride looking at my feminine glasses in the mirror wondering if it was worth it to wear them in public. The tone with which Whitney said “it’s that I hope you won’t” echoing in my head made my mind up for me. I would not be wearing my sunglasses where anyone could see them in all of their femininity. I would do this for the sanctity of my marriage, because I am a man. A man with feminine glasses, but a man still, and I will sacrifice my eyes for her happiness—our happiness.

Arriving at the mall, I quickly secured my manly, and very cool military issue glasses, changing them out for my more traditional ones for casual wear. The mall was as I left it. Teenagers everywhere. Teenagers everywhere making horrible decisions. On three occasions, I bore witness to a teenage boy buying jewelry of all levels of ornament for their teenage lovers. How happy they looked, happy and pathetic. I wanted to rush in and grab the young man and yell. I wanted to stop the madness. I wanted to stop this kid’s downward spiral into the abyss of stupid gift buying. That was when I saw their faces. I knew I could not stop it. Each of the teenage boys, still relishing in their transition from boy to man, were letting any possible hair that wanted to grow, grow. Their faces looked like training grounds for pubic growth. I was ashamed. I know I did the same thing. I know that there were instances in my past where I had two distinctly different colors of beard hair, but I rocked it like it was hot. Teenagers.

I was just getting over the tomfoolery going on at the jewelry stores when we wandered by a man and his wife. This woman was laying into her husband. It was the kind of argument where the man closes his eyes and flies away. He flies away to a land of unicorns, chocolate rivers, and rainbow avalanches. A land where Chumbawamba’s “I get knocked down, but I get up again” plays endlessly, and where teenagers shave until the hair on their chin is all one color and stiffness. The man was making all of the right body gestures, but his soul was gone. Robotically forcing apologetic movements, but internally, he was surfing the rainbow avalanche to the base of Marshmallow Mountain. Whitney looked at me and made me promise that I would never let her do that to me. She hated the sight of the man, how embarrassed he must have been, how broken. To her credit, Whitney would never do this anyway, but the sentiment was well taken. I took the moment to ask Whitney if she thought that the man wore the wrong sunglasses in public or used the incorrect form of an irregular verb….she smiled, and just kept walking.

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years…


The Fame Ponzi Scheme

Listen,

We can do this together. It is going to take you being unselfish and a little trust. I need all of your support on this, or we are not going to accomplish what I am about to explain. Before I go into detail, you need to know that this is not all about me either, there is plenty to go around. Nowadays with it being so cool to be communist, this shouldn’t be that difficult to get on board with. Seriously, this could change your life for the better and in a dramatic fashion.

So gather around, suspend your negativity and listen.

The theory:

Becoming famous, and the extravagance and riches associated with said fame can be a game changer for more than the person who is the “face” of this fame. One can use the fame of the famous person to their benefit. It sounds so Machiavellian, but in this instance it is not, because all would agree that this is how it should be. The person who initially finds fame and fortune is the stepping stool for those to follow. His selfless devotion to the betterment of the whole will save the day and change countless lives.

The Argument in the converse:

The Che Guevara / Castro Possibility. In this story of communist takeover, you have what I call, unoriginally, the “totalitarian in communist’s clothing” revolution. A leader guy with seemingly good intentions gets a bunch of other people with seemingly good intentions to help him overcome the oppressive regime with seemingly ill intentions. Unfortunately, upon successfully overthrowing the oppressive regime, the leader guy, who a bunch of well intended persons thought was well intentioned, becomes decidedly oppressive himself…or at least thats the way I think it went.

This is a possibility. This is why the person we send should be someone who can shoulder the burden of power (fame) and still function the way we need them to. To act as our preverbal “coyote” shepherding those he used to find fame originally through the divide separating the plebeians from the proletarians. Without using words I just looked up to find: We can’t afford to make a person famous and then have them become a Judas, who will kiss our cheek like we never existed. The person has to be of solid character, yet believably capable of being famous.

The MC Hammer Paradox. This troublesome little tale has a skilled dancer and purveyor of words who finds fame. After achieving his goal, he brings his entire neighborhood along to share in the party. Soon, Hammer finds himself struggling to make ends meet and with nothing left of the millions his feet had earned him. Regardless of how much the man prays, he cant touch this problem and it just won’t go away. When people should have had to hold him back and beg, “Hammer, don’t hurt ’em,!!!” he just let these so-called friends suck his life away.

This is much more unlikely because our plan is not parasitic in nature. I’m not, rather, the person we nominate, to send to fame isn’t just going to spread his riches, he is going to utilize the infrastructure of his fame to build the rest of the people’s. It is brilliant and absolutely without flaw. This isn’t the “come mooch off me” plan for life, it is the “let’s not waste an opportunity and only let idiots like the Kardshians and Perez Hilton be famous for nothing when we can all do it” plan.

The How:

We have to work together to make one of us famous. We have to violently enforce our will upon the outside world and take fame. We have to spread and push the name of the individual we are peddling with tenacity. Through voracious and relentless work towards a common goal we can raise one person to stardom regardless of what they are actually capable of doing that would solicit fame. The details need to be hashed out, but the premise is sound.

The Who:

As I have alluded to, this person needs to be of sound mental stature and able to deal with the pressure of riches. He needs to be convincing at convincing people he deserves to be famous. He needs to possess some intangible quality associated with people of fame. In short, this person must be of great character and willing to serve the people. Even shorter, I nominate myself.

Remember I’m doing this for you — I am your sacrificial lamb and we are about to usurp the way this world works.

Let me know?

I just wanted you to know, because I have been holding it in for years….