Tag Archives: Sarcasm

Welcome signs

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You know you’re in for it when the rules aren’t just “Rules,” they’re “Policies, Rules and Regulations.”

And they fill an entire page. In 8-point type. When I made my reservations, I thought I was visiting a campground. But after reading the Policies, Rules and Regulations, I’m thinking this is a wild, wild world; unsavory characters with Danger! in their eyes lurk around every corner (and, quite possibly, in the restrooms, showers and laundry).

Some rules are obvious and reasonable:

No gray or black water to be dumped on the ground.

Fires of moderate size are permitted in fire rings.

No dogs in restrooms or showers.

Some rules are less obvious and less reasonable. But OK. We’re guests, not owners.

Do not use BBQs on tables.

Do not clean fish on your site.

Generators are not allowed.

Some rules are reasonable, but really, do we need to spell it out?

Do not cut or destroy trees or shrubs, under penalty of prosecution.

Prosecution?! Put the hatchet away. Eek.

Do not toss cigarette butts on grounds.

Emphasized in red type.

Smokers are such pigs.

Some rules are strange.

No wetsuits in shower rooms or restrooms. No wetsuits in washers or dryers. Report any irregularities immediately.

See what I mean about unsavory characters? I guess scuba divers are pigs, too.

Some rules are In. Tense.

DO NOT WALK DOGS ON EMPTY SITES.

This rule is in red. Bold. Underlined. ALL CAPS.

They’re not kidding.

Some rules are just plain mean.

No bicycle riding here.

Ohhhhkaaaaaay.

Do not check in early. Do not check out late.

And if you check in late, you’re in for a world of hurt. Late arrivals will be tracked down by 9 a.m. and burned at the stake.

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The upside of ebola: It can turn a slob into a Lysol-brandishing traveler

I am so sick of hearing about ebola, I could bleed out of my eye sockets.

Just kidding, all right? It’s a joke, for crying out loud. We can’t even joke about it?

I think it’s all a bit overblown since the odds of my dying from the flu this season or being hit by a distracted driver who’s texting his besty about his weekend plans to score some ganja are a lot higher than my contracting ebola.

No one’s devoting 35% of every news hour to distracted driving, right? Oh, it doesn’t sell advertising? I see.

I think one of the worst things about ebola (besides the threat of death) is the loss of human interaction. “When you go a week without seeing a human face, that does something to you,” said Dr. Kent Brantly, the American medical missionary who recovered from ebola. “I didn’t have the touch of another human being’s skin till the time I was released from [the hospital].”

The lesson here: Let your dog lick your cheek and appreciate it now because you don’t know when you might catch ebola.

Still, when I ran across a story in this month’s Real Simple magazine titled, “How to Degerm a Hotel Room,” I ripped it out and starting assembling a travel bag of Lysol and disinfecting wipes. I’m traveling this week, and who needs to catch ebola from a hotel drinking glass, right?

I am normally not that traveler (sometimes I even leave the bedspread on the bed and — gasp! — sleep under it). Yeah, and I’m the one who sometimes clips my toenails in a hotel room. So there. Such a rebel.

But you know, exercising an abundance of caution seems in keeping with all the talking heads on the TV news. So I’ll adopt a little bit of clean freak attitude. What of it?

I also saw “Gone Girl” on Friday. I’m thinking about hiding the box cutters around here. You never know.

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500 channels to surf and nothing to watch

someecards.com - This 'Address to the Nation' baloney better not cut into my 'America's Got Talent.' That's a red line for me. There'll be heck to pay if someone crosses that line. I'm not kidding.

Calling 1998

This archaic bit of technology reminded me of old times the other day when I was traveling through Union Station in Chicago.

public telephone

What’s that, say you teenagers? It’s what we used to have on nearly every street corner, in the rear of many stores and in the entryway of most restaurants, back before we carried our phones with us everywhere we went.

There are about 300,000 pay phones across America, say phone industry officials, but the national total is tiny compared with the all-time high of 2.6 million in 1998, just before cell phones took off, according to a recent story about pay phones in the San Francisco Chronicle.

That silver snake-like thing? It’s a cord, a device to keep you tethered to the phone while speaking (or listening). No privacy for you, no siree bub. That big black U-shaped thing? It’s the handle connecting the speaker for your ear with the mouthpiece. And those finger-sized buttons. Yes, they are buttons big enough to actually press the correct numbers.

Oh, how quaint.

And if I had composed a better picture, you could see the coin slot on top — for collecting money for every call. “Changes may apply” never goes out of style.

Psychiatrists side with newspaper hoarders, er, readers

Overlooked by mainstream media, a new disorder was added recently to the updated version of the American Psychiatric Association’s official guide to classifying mental illnesses: Cleaning Supplies Blindness.

The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders,” to be officially released at the APA’s regularly scheduled annual meeting in San Francisco in May, now lists Cleaning Supplies Blindness between Obsessive Compulsive Behavior and Post-Traumatic Clutter Disorder. This change will significantly affect how patients are labeled and limit the number of cleaning supplies they may subscribe to at any one time.

cleaning suppliesCleaning Supplies Blindness is characterized by a frantic housekeeping session followed by the random distribution of cleaning supplies in open places. Patients often proclaim they are finished cleaning even when bottles of Fantastik, dispensers of dusting spray and used sponges can be observed in supposedly “clean” rooms. In severe cases, patients actually use cleaning supplies in their interior decorating schemes, such as aquamarine Windex bottles as table centerpieces in Art Deco rooms, mops used as door stops or Andy Warhol paintings of Tide. In patients beyond the point of no return, they actually venerate bottles of Lysol or Febreze.

A clear warning sign: Bottles of hand soap on the edge of the sink are joined by dishwashing liquid and irrational tirades about “dirty sinks” which are marred only by water spots.

Most troublesome for the loved ones of victims of Cleaning Supplies Blindness is the penchant of patients to rant and rave about stacks of books and piles of dog toys; sometimes patients actually secretly throw away old newspapers belonging to roommates and spouses, leaving dust rags and unused vacuum cleaner bags in their place. Patients are often considered highly hypocritical.

Patients who meet the criteria for having Cleaning Supplies Blindness are treated with exposure therapy, meaning they must cope for prolonged periods of time with clutter considered by other people to be useful and beautiful (like out-of-circulation slick magazines, recipes torn from periodicals and attractive baskets full of electronic device chargers). Unfortunately, effective treatments are rare and the associates of such patients must simply learn to accept and live with the diagnosis of Cleaning Supplies Blindness in their loved ones.

Cleaning Supplies Blindness previously was considered a part of the Anal-Retentive Spectrum of Behaviors. Dr. John Smith, who leads group therapy sessions for loved ones of victims in an effort to prevent explosive retaliation, says the change is based on extensive research that has been going since Procter and Gamble introduced Swiffer cleaning products in 1999.

“It’s something that we need to deal with,” he said, “because it contributes to self-delusions of cleaning superiority among its victims and it really has highly irritating effects for collateral players who simply appreciate easy access to unread newspaper and magazines, however high their piles get.”