Friday, April 27, 2012

Nurse the Hate: The Draft Idea

I drove to Cincinnati and back yesterday and listened to about eight hours of NFL Draft coverage. The best part about that is everyone speaks with such certainty about the players that have just been selected. “Poe doesn’t have the mental makeup to be able to compete in the National Football League. That pick is a complete bust.” This is usually coming from someone that has never seen the guy play, never spoken to him, or never even heard of him a week ago. Yet there is absolutely no accountability. Will you ever remember what someone said about a Chiefs defensive interior lineman? Unless he kills someone at a nightclub or breaks Tom Brady’s spine on a cheap shot, that’s it. He’s forgotten. Still, the talk is fun. The problem is that the NFL Draft is only one weekend. It would be great if we could all play Amateur Talent Evaluator all year, wouldn’t it?

  I think there is a huge opportunity to take the sports talk model into the business community. Why not combine the content of the dry business section with the high flying opinions of the sports talk host. For example, let’s say some guy blows a sales call. The host would lay it out and then take calls just like in sports talk. “You’re listening to Big G on 92.5 Cash Register Bizness. Let’s talk about how Stevens blew the Gliatech sales call yesterday. Guy goes in… totally unprepared… his pricing all out of whack… and then EXPECTS TO MAKE THE SALE? How many times is Xerox going to allow this happen? OK. Let’s go to the phones… Here’s Larry from Mentor…”

CALLER: “Hey Big G! Long time listener, first time caller. Yeah, I couldn’t believe the Stevens thing either. After he messed up the Sears deal, I figured he would right the ship, but it looks like he’s not what they thought he was. They have to deal that guy. Any chance those rumors about Stevens being traded to Jergens are true? I’d love to see Xerox get some fresh hungry talent in there. Love the show. I’ll hang up and listen.”

“Stevens to Jergens? Jergens? Let me get this straight… You think you can take a kid that can’t handle office machines and put him into the lotion game? Lotion sales is a meat grinder! There is NO WAY Stevens can even get on the field at Jergens! Who would Jergens even want to spin to Xerox? Nobody on the sales team… Maybe that Sheila Washington woman from accounting, or maybe… MAYBE…Ella that answers the phone. What does she have? Two, three years left in her? The problem is that Xerox decided two years ago to go with a salary cap, and now you got guys like Stevens, Wilson, and Jones bungling around out there on sales calls. Until Xerox gets serious and decides to spend on A list talent, they are not going to be hitting any quotas. Xerox doesn’t even have a good cup of coffee over there, and you think a closer like Phil Nelson from Jergens is going to even walk in there to take a crap much less an account list? C’mon Larry! C’mon!!! Next caller!!!”

  It’s all upside for the radio station. No rights fees. You could broadcast the sales presentations live. Sell sponsorships. “Sugardale Hot Dogs! Official hot dog of Xerox Sales Presentations!” The commercials on the station practically write themselves. “No one likes to strike out on their big sales call. Make sure you don’t strike out at your cookout this weekend! Make sure and have Sugardale hot dogs on the grill! Sugardale hot dogs.” Yes, eventually you will have your first “superstar salesperson”. That will lead to the first “Salesperson Superagent”. Then you’ll have to pay someone just to have the opportunity to get a sales pitch. “I’d be happy to sell you windows Mrs. Smith, but I will need you to pay your personal seat license fee before I can let you sit down here in the showroom. Also, have you signed the release form for the TV? Our sales office is on ESPN-S.”

The key to this thing will be to get in on the ground floor. You waste your time on the NFL draft if you want to. I’m moving on to the next big thing. By the way, I heard about you at your job. I’m questioning your work ethic.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Bubblegum

A friend of mine went to a work conference in Phoenix. I don’t know if you have ever been to Phoenix. It’s sort of like if you took Columbus strip plazas and dropped them on the surface of Mars. Chain restaurants and industrial parks sit awkwardly on dusty desolate lots forming an uneasy community. My friend is standing around in this trade show with a co-worker. The day is starting to wind down and the co-worker suggests they go outside for a smoke. My friend doesn’t smoke, but is not above looking for any excuse to leave a trade show floor that he has been trapped on for the last ten hours. They walk outside to the back entrance to the building, reserved for facility employees and trade show workers. They hop onto a loading dock ramp and take in the late afternoon sun and relentless heat of Phoenix in June. In the parking lot, an elderly man is sweeping up trash. A late model import car pulls up, and a beautiful woman gets out of the car. All three men stop what they are doing and stare open mouthed like they are 14 years old as this woman walks confidently by them into the facility. The woman shows them no more notice than if they were shrubs. The door closes behind her. The janitor chuckles to himself and walks over to the loading dock where my friend is sitting. “You know about the wimmens. They love two things. They love the bubble gum and they love the dick. And I always tell them I’m out of the bubblegum!” He cracks himself up so much, he doubles up in laughter. After a minute he goes back to sweeping. The guys went back inside to the trade show.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Food Allergies

In my previous post, a comment was made regarding the rarity of actual food allergies. Despite every overprotective mother that believes their child is allergic to bee stings, tree nuts, gluten, shellfish, dust, pollen, cats, dogs, and God knows what else, most people aren’t actually allergic to these things. Sure, there may have been a one time incident, but the body adjusts. My face turned red one time after eating a dodgy piece of fish, but I did not swear off all aquatic life after that. I took it for what it was, a one time incident. I didn’t get fish at that restaurant anymore though…

I did encounter an actual food allergy once, and it was pretty spectacular. A thousand years ago when still sowing thy wild oats, I took a young woman out on a date. I remember her as being a bit odd in that the first time we went out, she offered me her cheek at the door. I figured that she didn’t like me very much, and planned on moving on. I was surprised when she called me a couple days later and initiated us getting together again. I was not really that interested, but to be honest I was in my twenties and did not have a lot of options at that time, so I figured “What the hell?”

When I picked her up at her grim little apartment, she let me in while greeting me in her robe. She told me to sit in the living room while she finished getting ready. We were talking small talk across the apartment as I absentmindedly flipped through coffee table books. She couldn’t decide on which shoes to wear and said “Come here and tell me which ones you like better.” I walked back to her bedroom and she was standing there in her blouse and two different shoes. That’s it. A top and two different shoes. Now, I find it a bit odd that a girl that didn’t even want to kiss me two days ago asked me to come back to her bedroom to display her pussy. I found it even weirder that we both pretended that nothing was out of sorts as we decided on her shoes. There was no sexual vibe at all. It was really sort of disturbing receiving what can generously be called “mixed messages” from this woman.

I had a pretty good game plan set up for this date. There was an exhibit at the Art Museum that seemed interesting, and then I would take her to a quiet little restaurant in Little Italy. This seemed like a way to portray myself as worldly and well rounded, and would hopefully increase my chances at getting inside her underpants in that grim little apartment later. I was very focused at this young age at appearing to be much more interesting than I actually was. The key was always misdirection. If she focused on the art on the wall, she probably wouldn’t notice that I was a complete goon.

I don’t remember that much about the night except this image I have in my mind of the both of us at the table. The small café table had a flickering candle, and the bread had already been placed. I was drinking a Moretti, and she had some cheap wine. We both were staring at the menus, and she was deciding on what to order. I remember finding her indecisiveness annoying. “I was thinking about either the chicken or the linguini with clams.” I vividly recall saying, “You should get the clams. You can get chicken anytime.” She ordered the clams. That’s all I remember about the dinner.

On the car ride back to our side of town, she started to complain that her throat was itchy. Then she said she felt like she was swelling. I looked to my right, and noticed I was driving Quasimodo back from a date. The transformation was really impressive. She looked awful. Her head was swollen up, and it looked like one eye was larger than the other. Her speech started to slur as her tongue kept swelling. I suggested we stop at an emergency room, but she was adamant about getting back to her apartment. There was no doubt about it. She should have ordered the chicken.

When we got back to her place, she went back to her bedroom and threw herself on her bed. I called the local emergency room. As expected, they offered no useful information and just wanted me to bring her in. While I was on the phone, she ran into the bathroom and barfed up the clams. That continued for a couple rounds. I did the “small knock on the door are-you-ok?”. When I became convinced her swelling was subsiding and she wasn’t going to choke on her own tongue, I slunk out of the apartment. I’m sure she was as relieved as I was that the evening was mercifully over.

I don’t remember doing anything with her again. Frankly, I was put off by the choice of her cheap shoes when she was showing me her vagina and pubic strip. That food allergy thing sure didn’t help either.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Allergies

I just recently became allergic to something that blooms here in NE Ohio around this time of year. A few years ago it hit me out of the blue. I thought I was getting a monster cold, but when I noticed no fever, etc., I knew I had developed allergies. I had always thought of allergies as psychosomatic. For example, didn’t every only child with an over protective mother suffer from allergies when you were a kid? Early in the school year Mom would usher into a diatribe about her special son’s unique conditions to the teacher while we all uncomfortably looked on. “Billy can’t go play kickball because he’s allergic to grass. Oh, and don’t give him any peanuts or shellfish! The boy blows up like a balloon! Also, don’t let him near magic markers. It causes a rash on him!” Meanwhile the kid would be looking up at his mother lovingly, a special little victim getting the special attention that he so richly deserved…

That little pussy from second grade morphed into the little nark in high school and then into the drama queen adult. It is an easy transition from being the boy getting one-on-one time with the teacher in the classroom during recess right into the adult that is an emotional lamprey. Let’s all rally around our little trooper! Let me brush your hair while you tell me about your little problems. Put on that diaper, and go all the way my pretty little baby. The child learns that they get attention and nurturing if they play up infirmities. How do you think that will play out as they age?

What great weather we had on Sunday! How was your weekend Denise? “Well… not so good… My allergies kicked in so I couldn’t go to the family picnic. My husband Roy made me a plate of food for me, and brought it to me in bed. I had to stay there all day, because of a migraine. I had all the curtains drawn shut so I didn’t even know what the weather was at all. I spoke to the doctor, and he said blah blah blah blah blah…” Notice me please! I am in crisis! Hear me!

I have so little compassion for that. I was raised to go to work/school even if you were bleeding out of your eyes. When you complained about it, you were weak. Yet, I have to admit, whatever allergy I just developed thoroughly kicked my ass this weekend. I sniffled my way though Saturday, but then Sunday it was like a grenade went off in my skull. That’s when I went to the Benadryl…

I don’t know what is in Benadryl, but it whacks me out. I have been staggering across a city crosswalk in a Viking outfit with a gallon of vodka in me and felt more together than I did yesterday. I feel like those old drawings of opium dens where old Chinese men in Fu Manchu mustaches lay in bunks and smoke long pipes. Whatever is going to happen, can happen. I will just lay here and let it wash over me. What? The house is on fire? Hey man, someone will put it out. I will just wait here. It’ll all be just fine. Nighty night.

When I woke up this morning, that same grenade had been shoved up my skull and detonated. I chased the dragon. That’s right. I took two Benadryl and let the morning come to me. While everyone else was stressed out about their morning commute, I just floated on in. I think I was driving about 4 mph. It might have been 142 mph. I’m not really sure. It just sorta happened. Kind of like this writing is happening now. Someone else is typing the keyboard, and I’m thinking about H.R. Puffenstuff and how much I miss seeing Mayor McCheese hand out cheeseburgers to good little girls and boys. It’s gonna be a groovy morning. While I now have to re-think my stance on my psychosomatic allergy position, I did learn of the wonders of Benadryl. This allergy thing hasn’t been a total loss. I think I’ll go get in my car and drive around.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate Long Drives

I have spent hours upon hours in a series of 15 passenger vans. I bring this up because I heard someone say to me last week, “I have a three hour drive tomorrow. That’s a really long drive.”. Well sir, I have driven from Spokane, WA across Montana and North Dakota into Fargo. That was a long drive. The drive a few weeks ago from Kansas City to San Antonio was no picnic either. The problem with long drives like that isn’t really the driving itself, which is just tedious. It’s that the brain starts to rebel due to inactivity.

After you have listened to everything you want to listen to on the stereo (which happens surprisingly fast to a guy with 25,000+ songs on his iPod), you start to come up with little games to kill time. One of our favorites in the Cowslinger days was “Hide and Go Kill”. Generally Leo would close his eyes and count to ten, while Bobby would try to hide in the van. If Leo found him, he would give him a severe beating. It may not surprise you that Bobby found it challenging to come up with a sufficient hiding place in a 15 passenger van loaded with gear to find safety from Leo. For example, Bobby curled up on a back bench with a jacket over him usually didn’t create more than 3.2 seconds of a barrier to being roughed up. That also happens to be about the best hiding place you can come up within 10 seconds in a moving vehicle.

While that game provided some brief amusement, The Boys creation after that was a real favorite. Bobby or Leo would blow their nose into a Kleenex. They would sit across from each other, one in bench #1 and one in bench #2. They would open their mouths and attempt to toss the used Kleenex into the other’s mouth. This was a very popular game until Leo actually successfully threw the Kleenex ball smack dab into Bobby’s mouth. I will probably always remember that look of shock and horror that swept across Bob’s face when it registered that Leo had finally made a successful throw and the used Kleenex was resting on his tongue. I don’t remember anyone playing that game again after that.

The one game that always had traction though was Dare Leo. I would usually come up with a question. “Leo? You think you could drink a six pack of Zima before we get back to the Cleveland City limits?” Then you set the stakes. With the Zima challenge, we were driving back from somewhere South on I-77, West Virginia probably. We were right around Salt Fork on a Sunday morning when the challenge was agreed upon. If Leo could finish a six pack of Zima and a couple Zima 40 oz appetizers to boot before we got back to Cleveland, he would be given a carton of cigarettes. Leo was all in. “No problem. I don’t have anything to do today anyway.”

You would be surprised how difficult it is to knock back six of those things, especially on an empty stomach. Leo was well within striking distance when we pulled into gas up in Canton OH, with two Zima to go in the hour or so left on the drive. I think the 40 oz Zimas knocked back in rapid succession hit him harder than expected. I say this because he decided to go to the bathroom and was seen staggering across the parking lot filled with churchgoers filling their tanks after services. Most of the people pumping gas pretended nothing was amiss, but they all stared out of the corners of their eyes. It was a real scene.

The bathroom at that particular Speedway was one of those ones with a separate side entrance, and you had to ask for the key attached to the grimy piece of wood they kept at the register. Leo had on his gig clothes from the night before, and he swayed his way to the bathroom like a man sailing on rough seas. I remember hearing a little kid saying “Mommy! Mommy! Look! It’s a drunk cowboy!”. It’s probably not something you see a lot of in North Canton on a late Sunday morning.

He was in there forever. We were sitting in the van waiting, the gas paid for and engine running. Bobby hopped out of the van, and said “I’ll go get that asshole!” while walking to the bathroom. I was sitting shotgun absentmindedly looking towards the bathroom door, when I see Bobby open it and keel over laughing. He moved to the left, and I could see in the little room. Leo, for some unknown reason, had taken off all of his clothes and was sitting on the toilet in that filthy restroom completely naked. Bobby, with absolutely no compassion for the drunk Leo we had created, swung the door open wider exposing Leo to the churchgoers screaming “Look at Leo! Look at Leo!”.

It took Leo awhile to get it back on the rails, but he eventually emerged back from that bathroom. Not only that, he knocked back the rest of those Zimas before we got back to Cleveland. He got the smokes at our next practice. I paid for them myself too. That guy earned those Marlboros.