Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Episode 49: Did You Know: Indiana

I live in Indiana, so I thought it might be interesting to find out just what makes this state important or interesting.

Did you know there is a town in Indiana called Santa Claus? I am not even kidding. You can find it right near Christmas Lake, which you cannot go to because the people who live there got tired of visitors and turned their little haven into a gated community. In any case, the story is they wanted to be Santa Fe, but there was already a Santa Fe in Indiana, which caused a problem when they wanted a post office. To get a post office, they had to change their name, and what better name for a town could there possibly be than Santa Clause? (Did you know quarterback Jay Cutler was born in Santa Claus?) Although I have very little proof, which is to say absolutely none, I am pretty sure those responsible for naming that town are somehow connected to those who most recently named our beloved Fort Wayne baseball team.

Speaking of baseball, shortly after the aforementioned name disaster (the town, not the team), the first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne. It was 1871, which also happens to be the year something was invented, someone was born, and something else fantastic happened or didn't happen. It was a good year.

Another good year was the one in which someone discovered lots and lots of limestone in southern Indiana. A whole collection of good years followed for the people who figured out how to sell that limestone to the folks building the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Pentagon, the U.S. Treasury and a bunch of other buildings in other places.

A collection of bad years for Indiana trees began shortly after settlers came and started chopping them down. Before the settlers, Indians lived in Indiana, and they seem to have liked trees a bit more than the settlers, so they left them (trees) mostly alone. (They had really good reason to like trees more than settlers once the settlers started attacking trees and bringing all sorts of new illnesses, like "boy bands" and "pop divas".)

Back in the day, before boy bands and pop divas, Indiana was around 80% forested. After all the settling and buildings and fences and fields and SUVs and talentless hacks with pretty faces and small brains exploited by greedy shysters with lots of money and no scruples, we are now closer to 17% forested.

That makes me feel bad about using my fireplace. I mean really, shouldn't I be watching all those poor exploited artists instead of wrapping my fingers around a steaming cup of hot cocoa while staring blankly into the flames as the firelight flickers warmly around the otherwise dark room and the cares of my day melt slowly away? Of course not, then all the trees would have died in vain! You have to ask yourself, if you were a tree, would you rather be chopped down and burned or subjected to the latest American Music Awards show?

Thankfully, Indiana does not have be ashamed of the artists we have produced. We can boast about the likes of James Dean, Steve McQueen, David Letterman, John Mellencamp, Cole Porter, Axel Rose (okay, we might have some explaining to do on that one), the Jacksons, and some other famous people.

The point of all this is there are lots of useless facts and tidbits floating around out there, and you may never know any of them. On the other hand, there probably aren't really any bad consequences for that, so you don't have to get all panicky about it just yet.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Episode 48: What Just Happened?

Have you ever suddenly wondered how you got to where you were? For example, you find yourself alone in a row boat in the middle of Lake Michigan in the middle of a snow storm and you cannot remember how exactly you ended up there when you started at a New Year's Eve party in Toronto. (If this has ever happened to you, you need to start asking yourself some questions about your friends.)

Okay, maybe you cannot identify with that, but how about something a little less extreme. Perhaps you find yourself wedged into a seat next to a very drunk half-naked middle-aged man sporting what is supposed to be some sort of team emblem in body paint on his chest and screaming incoherent insults at the opposing team. You wonder how you got yourself into that when all you did was accept free tickets to a game from a friend.

In any case, we had a friend over for lunch a while back. Later in the afternoon we found ourselves in the guest room looking at our newly remodeled bathroom and chatting idly about something quite forgettable.

Very innocently, she suggests the room might be more "open" if we move the bed a bit. My wife is skeptical, but figures there's no harm it moving it just to see. Of course, to move the bed, we have to move a few other pieces of furniture, but what else do we have to do on a Sunday afternoon?
Had we only glanced up we may have seen the grill of the truck hauling a trailer full of doom bearing down on us, but we did no such thing.

The next thing I know, I am in the garage staining a Crosley-like wooden record player/radio/cd player a darker color (to match the other dark wood furniture) after building two new shelves for the closet and moving all the furniture from the guest room into my office (which only recently recovered from its part in the bathroom remodeling project) while my wife and our "friend" are out shopping for paint, material for curtains of some sort, and a new reading chair.

Maybe it was the fumes from the stain, but I couldn't remember how on earth things went from, "You know, if you moved the bed over there, it would open up the room." to "Hey, why don't we tear down the house and rebuild it before your parents arrive in three days for Thanksgiving?"

As I try to navigate my staining sponge around all the knobs and dials, and use q-tips to try to clean when I am not so successful at avoiding said knobs and dials with my staining sponge, I wonder if this whole thing could have been avoided somehow.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Episode 63: Brush Like a Superhero

In an ad on the back of a sports magazine for kids, some toothpaste company had Spiderman slinging his webs under the caption, "Brush like a superhero." I guess that means all superheroes are good at brushing their teeth. On the other hand, it could also mean all superheroes use that particular brand of toothpaste. I suppose it could also mean any number of other things related to super-heroism and dental care.

It got me thinking about superheroes and their teeth. Spiderman, for instance, has a mask that covers his mouth, so I am not at all sure he is even able to brush his teeth (bla, bla, bla, Peter Parker, bla, bla bla.). Of all the superheroes available, why choose him for a toothpaste ad? It would seem the ad was actually advocating not brushing teeth, assuming we are supposed to brush our teeth the way we would if we were superheroes who could not get at our teeth to brush them.

Perhaps the ad was actually put out by some other toothpaste company trying to discredit the one supposedly putting out the ad. I mean, who would trust a toothpaste company that apparently advocated not brushing your teeth? Clearly this was sabotage. There is no way those highly astute mushy-brained kooks would have missed such an obvious detail, right? I mean, that would be like putting Lex Luther on an ad for hair dryers. "Blow dry your hair like bald evil villains."

On the other hand, maybe this just reveals the amount of contempt those mushy-brained kooks have for their audiences. Or, perhaps this is a test to see whether we pay attention to their work. Maybe they feel overlooked, forgotten, lonely, misunderstood, and under-appreciated, and this is their way of crying out for attention. I hear you, mushy-brained kooks, and I share the pain you feel from your windowless basement offices. We do notice your work and we want to respond to it in the way you intended when you poured out all your sweat and tears to create it, we just don't understand what you are trying to say.

Maybe abstract art and advertising don't mix very well. I'd love to brush like a superhero, if that was a good thing, and the model superhero was actually capable of brushing his teeth, and I knew what exactly about his method of tooth brushing I should emulate.

To prove my commitment to affirming mushy-brained kooks everywhere, I have stopped brushing my teeth and started wearing a spiderman hood every day. Well, actually, it is more like a red hoody sweatshirt I accidentally put on backwards with the hood up this morning. It's my way of raising awareness for your plight, mushy-brained kooks. People don't seem to get it yet, and I cannot really talk with the hood blocking my mouth, but I will not stop until people do get it, somehow, because it's what you do every day for us.

You are not alone, mushy-brained kooks (at least metaphorically or metaphysically anyway). Let's all join together to support advertisers by posting random, unrelated, irrelevant phrases and images wherever we can until our message cannot be ignored. No one will understand it, but everyone will notice it, and isn't that what it is all about?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Episode 63: Sunburns and Cultural Confusion

So, on a beautiful September day in the great state of Indiana I was minding my own business watching what was supposed to be soccer (as it turns out, 7-year-olds aren't very good at making it look much like soccer, despite the jerseys, cleats, shin guards, goals, and soccer balls) when I was brutally attacked by the sun.  

I made it through two years of pool days, beach days, and other-activities-in-the-sun days in the hottest days of summer only to be sucker punched on one side of my face by the almost-fall September sun in the middle of the midwest.  While I have no statistics to back me up (something that has never stopped me before) I am quite certain no one else at those soccer fields got sunburned that day.  I take it as a vicious attack on my culture by a remorseless celestial bully.  

That's right only someone whose blood is entirely Nordic could have felt the effects so severely, at least I think Nordic means Norwegian, or at least something geographically close to Norwegian anyway.  I'm not actually sure about that that because really the only thing Norwegian about me is my blood and genes and all that.  I have never even been to Norway.  Once, when I was motivated to learn more about my cultural heritage I tried to learn some Norwegian.  It didn't go very well on account of the fact that there are no vowels and every word looks like a random collection of letters designed purposefully to be impossible to pronounce.  In point of fact, I am probably more Mexican when it comes to actual demonstrations of culture.  I speak Spanish, have been to Mexico, and love the food.  I don't speak any Norwegian, have never been there, and dislike the only foods I have encountered from Norway.  This is very confusing for me.  

My blond hair, blue eyes, and basement-dwelling skin tone don't fit very well with Mexican culture, but I don't know anything about the culture of my blood.  I guess this is what it means to live in a melting pot.  At least I can always claim my American culture, whatever that means...unless I am in South America. Even American culture is confusing.  Well, for easier discussions about my culture I am going to call myself Normeximerican from here on out.  We are a small, misunderstood culture, but we will never lose our roots...at least not after we find them anyway, provided they are not hanging out anywhere near that back-stabbing, two-bit, sucker-punching sun.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Episode 4: Super Windy Turbo Jet Turbine Hand Dryers

Who knew it was so difficult to build a functional paper towel dispenser for restrooms? I use two hands and pull, just like the very helpful instructions indicate, but I know who writes those sorts of things, so it is not a big surprise when it doesn't work.

Instead, I end up with a wet, thumb-sized scrap of paper towel clutched tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and an otherwise undisturbed paper towel mocking me from the dispenser as I shake my hands violently to dry them enough to grip the remaining towel well enough to dislodge it. By the time I get my hands as dry as possible using towels with the absorptive qualities of the thirty-year-old shingles on my roof, my food has gotten cold, so my wife has boxed it up, paid the waiter, loaded the babies into the car, pulled up to the door, washed her hair, walked the dog (presumably someone else's since we do not actually have one), read an epic novel, and fallen asleep.

That is why I heartily endorse the super windy turbo jet turbine hand dryers. Not only do they provide loads of amusement for kids waiting for their parents, but they also keep restrooms free of paper towel trash. I am trying to convince my wife to get one for the house.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Episode 55: Good Sportsmanship

We have been working on good sportsmanship with our 5-year-old son these days. He is very competitive and very good at finding ways to win whatever activity in which he chooses to engage (going down the stairs, getting in the car, getting out of the car, getting into the house, getting out of the house, eating, getting dressed, etc.). In the sphere of 5-year-old sporting activities he mostly likes to write his own rules to ensure he wins. If we play catch, he gets points for catching the ball and I lose points when he drops the ball because that means I made a bad throw. I haven't figured out yet how I actually get points. All I know is the score shifts drastically from throw to throw.

"Daddy, you have 15 and I have 1000."

"Okay daddy, now you have 200 because you did pretty good, but I have 10 thousand hundred, so I am still winning."

I have a checkers game on my iPod and he likes to play against himself instead of against the computer, or anyone else who might win. When I tried to explain to him that he should play against someone so he can get better at it he responded mostly by crying and punching himself in the leg emphatically. Later that day, however, he informed me that when he gets to Heaven one thing he wants to do is play checkers with God. He also informed me that he would not be upset if God won.

Well, I guess that is progress of a sort. At least he now concedes there may be someone out there who could best him at something, and he can be gracious when his opponent is omnipotent. Now if I can just convince him to play fairly with mortals we will be all set to tackle the next growth hurdle


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Episode 50: Nice People

I have learned some interesting things during my travels and gatherings. For instance, Ashland, Ohio is the “World Headquarters of Nice People.” I am sure it is totally unrelated, but Ashland is also the World Headquarters of Last Place Finishers. Anyway, we didn’t stop there, but I am curious as to how nice people there really are. Clearly they do not have any sort of government offices there, thus have just never been tested as to their niceness. Also, how many people does it take to be the World Headquarters of Nice People? It didn’t really look like a very big town. Or maybe it really is just the headquarters, so there is an office with a few people toiling away at whatever it is nice people around the world need from their headquarters.

Apparently I am not a very nice person because I have never been contacted with an offer to be part of their organization. Maybe we should declare Fort Wayne the World Headquarters of Nice People and see what they do. Then we will find out how nice they really are. I am trying to image a brawl between people all claiming to be the nicest. Maybe I should do some research on this whole thing and get back to you on it. (I have to be honest; it is very unlikely I will remember any of this by the time I get to the end of this column.)

In any case, I also learned my breath is not so great in the morning, at least according to my 4-year-old. At one of the many recent family gatherings, I think we were in Cleveland for this one, she did something ornery shortly after getting up in the morning. So, being the proactive father I am, I of course pulled her aside to give her a serious talk about how tying her brother to the dog using the cat’s tail was not a good choice for her. (I cannot remember exactly what offense it actually was, but that sounds like something she may have tried if she had thought of it.).

It being a holiday family gathering, I am sure I had eaten all sorts of delectables the night before, and I am equally sure they were probably still simmering away somewhere in whatever part of the body uses the mouth as an exhaust pipe. In any case, in the midst of my serious discussion, somewhere around “Do you really thing you should have done that?” and “Do you really think your brother wanted you to do that?” she looks me straight in the eye and says, with all the gravity she can muster, “Daddy, your breath makes me stinky.” When I tried, unsuccessfully, to stifle my laughter she tried to impress upon me her seriousness and replied, “It really does!”

Well, what can you say to that? I am pretty sure she is a genius at getting herself out of trouble, and she doesn’t only use her charm on her parents. She has a pink blanket, satin on one side, very soft material of some sort on the other. This blanket has been around for pretty much all of her four years and she has a little ritual with it when she is sleepy. She threads her two middle fingers around the blanket’s tag and then sucks on them, leaving her index and pinky fingers to wiggle around rubbing the tag on her nose. It is very cute, but the tag is probably on the top ten grossest things on the planet by now. It is also pretty much shredded and hanging desperately onto the blanket by very few threads. One day I tried to prepare her for the day when the tag is going to fall off. She, however, is not concerned because, “I love my tickly tag. I told God to please not take it off and He respected me.”

As long as that tag stays on, I don’t feel so bad about falling prey to her charms.

Episode 51: Don’t Take Drugs Seriously

Levsin is an antispasmodic medication given to help treat various stomach, intestinal, and urinary tract disorders that involve cramps, colic, or other painful muscle contractions. Because Levsin has a drying effect, it may also be used to dry a runny nose or to dry excess secretions before anesthesia is administered...If you take Levsin for a stomach disorder, you may also need to take antacid medication. However, antacids make Levsin more difficult for the body to absorb...Side effects may include…confusion, constipation, decreased sweating…drowsiness…excitement…impotence, inability to urinate, insomnia….

You are probably wondering just what is going on so far in this week’s month’s column. Be assured I have not gone any further insane, at least not that I noticed, which raises the question of whether I would notice if I had anyway. In any case, my sanity is not the reason we are here.

We are here because I am worried about the collective sanity of the world in which we all live. You see, the excerpts above were taken directly from a www.drugs.com page about NuLev. Why do I care about NeLev you may now ask…go ahead, ask away.

Well, I am glad you asked. I have no real interest in NuLev other than the fact that it is stamped on a small rubbery colon now sitting on my desk looking at me through yellow eyes and smiling at me with its one vampire-like tooth, a snake-like tongue, and a very dapper little red bowtie.

It is a souvenir from a surgery I had many years ago, and another genius idea from the mushy-brained kooks in some pharmaceutical company’s basement (I would look up which company, but you know about my budgetary restrictions).

I thought the rubber colon was hilarious on its own, but then I read the drug description and my brain almost turned entirely inside-out. Who wants to take a drug that can treat both your colon and your runny nose?

Am I the only one confused about how you need to take antacid medication with this medication, but the antacid medication makes this medication not work right so you have to keep taking more and more antacid and more and more of this medication?

As with any drug, however, my favorite part is the list of possible side effects. I am trying to picture what it would look like to be an excited drowsy insomniac who can’t sweat. If you think ADD is bad, try taking this medication.

That wasn’t even what I was going to write about, but it just jumped in and took right over and that’s all the time we have left.

Please tune in again next week month time when we discuss what it was I meant to discuss this time before I was hijacked by a rubber colon.

By the way, in a completely and totally unrelated coincidence, tomorrow (or today, or March 5th, depending on when you are reading this) is Dress in Blue Day.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Episode 62: The System is Down

“Every bite is pure joy.”  That little tidbit of knowledge came from my McDonalds bag today. It also informed me the reason I “get so much pleasure out of a McDonald’s hamburger,” is because McDonalds uses 100% pure beef.  It didn’t really do me any good today with my slightly warm dried out crispy chicken sandwich, but it did make me feel better about the last time I enjoyed a somewhat warm paper-thin slice of beef from them.  I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but Im…(okay, my iPhone can automatically insert those stupid apostrophes whenever I type “Im” so why can’t my computer?  My phone is now smarter than my computer.)…Where was I? Ah yes, I’m really not complaining about the food at McDonalds.  I knew what I was getting into.  If I wanted real food I would have gone to a real restaurant or made some myself.  What I wanted was to get some food without having to engage much of my brain or get out of my car.  I did get that, almost.  You see, the McDonalds I visited to day changed the system. 

It would seem I am not so good with adjusting quickly to new systems.  There were real people outside taking orders and payment.  It wasn’t so bad giving my order to a real person.  Ive…(There again, my phone is smarter than my computer, stupid computer. Im leaving it that way just out of spite.)…given my order to real people before.  It shouldn’t have been a big deal to give my money to a person either, I do that all the time.  What confused the system is the person taking the money was outside, all the way outside, not just holding an appendage out a window.  Well, when she gave me my change and said, “Have a nice day,” or something of the sort, I thanked her and drove off.  Shortly thereafter I realized even though she was a person and was my second interaction at the drive-through, she was not, in fact, the person who handed out the food.  The person at the window handing out the food knew this and was watching from the little window as I pulled over, backed up, got out of my car, and went inside to get my food.  That whole system broke down.  I had to do one of the very things I wanted to avoid.  Don’t they know the whole reason I go through the drive-through is because I want to avoid people and physical exertion?  I guess I just need to pay more attention, especially when things start changing. 

Paying attention is how I came across the very informative messages on my McDonald’s bag.  I always wondered why I got so much pleasure out of a poor excuse for a hamburger, and now I know.  We should all pay attention to the message printed on shopping bags, receipts, and other such things because that is how we find out what we should like, what we do like, and why we do like it.  Wherever would we be without the help of the mushy-brained kooks writing helpful message all over everything?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Episode 61: Ponytail Science

In a Physical Review Letters scientific journal article, physicists claim to be able to predict the shape of a ponytail. I can do that too. It will look like a ponytail.  Does anyone not know what I mean by that? I can predict the shape of a square too. It will be a square.  Maybe I just don’t understand physics as well as the group of physicists sitting in a room somewhere drinking strong coffee and musing over ponytail shapes. 

The new equation they developed accounts for hair stiffness, random curliness or waviness, and gravity.  (One factor it does not consider is the activity level of the 6-year-old girl whose hair is trying valiantly to stay in a ponytail. Try predicting what that will look like at the end of the day when her dad is the one who tried to install the ponytail.)  According to one of the British scientists involved, ponytail dynamics have baffled scientists and artists for some 500 years.  The Ponytail Shape Equation uses all kinds of scientific-sounding jargon, like the Rapunzel Number, and it is this new equation that enables esteemed physicists to predict the shape of any ponytail.  In their defense (the physicists…ponytails need no defense because they are cute and fun and all that…unless they are weird and stringy and attached to middle-aged male physicists), this new equation will also help those same esteemed physicists understand the workings of random fibers in materials made up of random fibers, whatever those might be. 

I think they should have a contest with hair dressers to see who can predict ponytail shapes in the real world.  Maybe next they can predict what a pile of spaghetti noodles will look like.  That would be very useful to fancy chefs and such.  Is it just me, or does science seem to be taking itself a bit less seriously these days?  Back in the glory days when physics was first invented, physicists studied neurons, protons, electrons, photons, and a bunch more ‘ons. If they want to study ponytails the least they could do is come up with a more scientific-sounding name…like Fiberous Sliatynop.  That sounds way more baffling and serious.  I would say this is what happens when a bunch of hippies who became physicists hit midlife crises, but these guys are British, and I don’t think there were hippies in Britain.  In any case, none of this scientific research is any help to me in getting my daughter’s hair into a ponytail that looks like a ponytail done by someone who knows what a ponytail is supposed to look like, which makes me wonder if that equation would work for one of my Fiberous Sliatynops. I predict another victory for random ineptitude over scientific prediction.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Episode 44: Carnivores Versus Herbivores

So we were in the car on our way to a lake or some such summery place, and we passed a field in which some cows were grazing. My son looked out at them and asked, “Do cows eat other cows?” “No,” I replied, “cows are herbivores.” With those few words, I sealed my fate for the rest of the drive.

“What are herbivores?”
“Herbivores are animals that only eat plants and grass and such.”
“Do cows eat grass?”
“Yes, because they are herbivores.”
“What do tigers eat?”
“Tigers eat meat, so they are carnivores.”
“What are carnivores?”
“Carnivores are animals that eat meat.”
“What’s meat?”
“Hey, is that another cow?”
“Do cows eat meat?”
“No, cows are herbivores, so they only eat plants and grass.”
“Do tigers eat cows?”
“Probably not, tigers probably eat mostly smaller animals.”
“What kind of animals?”
“Probably herbivores.”
“What are herbivores.”
“Animals that eat plants and such, just like cows.”
“Do tigers eat grass?”

This went on for some time, but I am quite sure I wasn’t sure whether cows ate tigers or grass by the end of it.  In any case, it made me wonder who would win in a big gangland-style brawl between herbivores and carnivores. Sure, the carnivores have sharper teeth and worse attitudes, but there are some pretty big herbivores.

Speaking of big things and eating, did you know the biggest chocolate heart weighed 7 tons? The largest pizza was just over 122 feet in diameter. The largest Pierogi weighed 93 pounds. And just what is a Pierogi? Well, the experts at Wikipedia tell me it is some sort of Slavic dumpling-type creation stuffed with “varying” ingredients, I guess that makes the recipe pretty simple:

1.       Make Slavic dumpling-type thing.
2.       Stuff dumpling-type thing with whatever you can find around the kitchen.
3.       …(I didn’t get any further with the Wikipedia experts, but I assume you cook them somehow, or maybe not, but eventually you eat them…maybe.)

In any case, I wonder what the makers of these gigantic food items do with them. Maybe they use them for school lunches and such, which brings us no closer to who would win between carnivores and herbivores. I am open to hearing arguments from both sides before I make my final hypothesis.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Episode 60: ATMs and Fast Cars

A long time ago people had to go into banks to get money.  Banks used to be buildings in which people wore suits and little green visor hats that matched the money they spent all day counting. Sometimes their counting would be interrupted by people who wanted to give them more money to count or wanted to take back some money they had left there before to be counted.  You might ask why people wanted other people to count their money.  Well, it seems the bankers were better at counting and sometimes when they counted there was more money than when you counted your money at home.  The longer you left the money with them, the more money you would have when you came back to ask them for the count.  No matter how long you left your money in a breadbox at home, you would probably get the same count.  Maybe bankers were just better at separating the bills. (That is what people called little the little green slips of paper they used to count to see how much money they had. Now we use computers.)  It was all very confusing and time consuming. 

As more people got cars and cars got faster, people realized they did not have the time to go into the bank and talk to the counting people. This was strange because one would think faster cars would actually make for more time.  If you can get where you are going in ten minutes instead of four hours, you should have plenty of time. (Scientists in California are trying to figure out just what is happening to all that extra time, because they could use some extra time to keep ahead of the rest of the world in their research on the dangers of everything to everyone.)  In any case, banks decided to allow cars to drive through the building so people could just reach through the window to pass the green slips of paper back and forth.  Injured bankers and high heating bills forced a redesign of the drive-through concept in which bankers stayed inside and the green papers were passed back and forth with modified vacuum cleaners that sucked the papers out of the cars and into the bank or blew the papers out of the bank and into the cars.   This worked fine for a while, but cars continued to get faster, which meant people had less and less time to spend chatting it up with the bankers, who craved human contact after spending so much time counting paper.  That created an opportunity for the ATM to shine.

The automated teller machine (ATM) allowed people to give and get money from a machine instead of a person.  Luther George Simjian had tried to market his ATM in the 1930’s, but cars weren’t fast enough yet, so people still had time for bankers, not to mention a healthy fear of electronic devices handling their money.  James Goodfellow, John D. White, and some other folks tried again in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but people still had too much time, and most of them were hippies who cared more about growing their hair out and wearing ugly shirts than about counting money. 

Eventually people drove so fast they stopped having time to interact with other people and grew more comfortable interacting with electronic devices, which led to a surge in popularity for the ATM, more sad and lonely bankers increasingly desperate for human contact, and an inconsiderate woman who had the audacity to put her car in Park at the ATM. Yes, I drove up behind her car in the ATM lane and idled (in Drive with my foot on the brake) while she sat there preparing her papers for their ATM excursion.  I cursed James, John, and fast cars while I waited…and waited…and waited. I must have wasted at least three minutes just waiting for her. That is time I will never get back, time I could have spent doing other important things, like driving back home. 

Now that cars move so fast, it is vitally important to get places and do things, which makes it cosmically frustrating to encounter people who have no concept of how important my time is.  My Zombie Lane crops need to be harvested so I can get money to whack more zombies to keep them from attacking my fences, my Facebook friends need me to check their status updates every five minutes so they can feel connected with me, I have lots of Angry Birds that aren’t going to launch themselves at things, and I am sure there are some new youTube videos I cannot miss.  My life is full of important stuff.  I knew I should have just deposited that check via the camera on my iPhone.  Whenever I leave the house, I run into people, and people get in my way, and that slows me down.  At least the advance of technology is allowing me to do things faster so I can have more time to do other things even if people get in the way, which is good because the proliferation of iPhone apps means I have tons to do. Just think, without all the time-saving apps iPhones provide, I wouldn’t have time for all the other apps they offer.  What a sad and slow life that would be.