Beta Testing: The Flu2.0 (Part I)

I have the Flu. I am far sicker that I can remember ever being in my adult life, except maybe the time I got food poisoning from the $20 all-you-can-eat sushi place. That was pretty bad too. Regardless, at least the food poising stint only lasted two days. This particular flu is barreling full steam ahead into its fifth day.

Flu: Hi, friend.

Me: Are you kidding?

Flu: I’m not sure what you mean.

Me: I mean, are you being completely serious with me right now?

Flu: In regards to what?

Me: I regards to how you’re, um, like, killing me.

Flu: Oh, that. Yeah, I’m totally serious, though not quite as serious as a heart attack.

Me: Not funny.

Flu: It’s nothing personal.

Me: Well, it feels pretty fucking personal.

Flu: You could think of it that way, if it would make you feel any better.

Me: So not funny.

Flu: No, I really mean it. I’m a beta version of a new flu virus. One of your co-workers signed you up for a trial of my new and improved services.

Me: Not interested. Thanks, though.

Flu: Too late. Sir, if you are willing to cooperate with us in regards to any feedback or insights you may have into our new Flu2.0 features, we would be willing to compensate you accordingly.

Me: This hardly seems fair. I didn’t ask for this.

Flu: *ahem* I assume you have some severe head pain.

Me: Yes, head and face. Severely severe head and face pain.

Flu: Would it be fair to say that it feels like there is a balloon being blown up inside your skull while an industrial strength vacuum tries to suck your brain out of your eye sockets, which would be fine, except that the hatchet stuck in the middle of your forehead is somehow holding everything together?

Me: Wow, that is surprisingly accurate.

Flu: Yeah, it’s our new take on the classic headache. You like it?

Me: What? No!

Flu: I meant, is it effective?

Me: Oh. Well, earlier this afternoon, I was paying for a can of chicken noodle soup at the deli. A wave of pain came across by brow which was so intense that I went blind right before passing out for a split second, collapsing to one knee, clutching my forehead. So, yeah, I’m guessing that when you can inflict so much pain on the inside of my face that my brain shuts itself off because it can’t handle that magnitude of pain, then yeah, I guess you could consider it to be fairly fucking effective. Christ, what kind of consult is this?

Flu: Perfect.

Me: I don’t think I want to talk to you anymore.

Flu: That is certainly your right. But if you cooperate with me, I might be able to relax my grip a little.

Me: I’ll think about it…

TO BE CONTINUED (See: Part II)

Postal Snowman

I found this cool little guy whilst on my lunch break last week, around 26th St. & Park Ave. South.

A miniature snowman built atop a US mailbox, sporting US dimes for eyes and a crown.

Apparently, Frosty is updating from the corncob pipe and the button nose. Bling-bling, bitches.

DimeStoreSnowBuddy

At the end of the day, on my way home from the office, I walked by the miniature snow man again. I was happy to see the three dimes still resting in his little snowman head.

You did good, New Yorkers. You did good.

LOST : Episode, “Eggtown”

WARNING: SPOILERS.

Last night’s episode of LOST was pretty good, but at the same time, I’m pretty sure I misinterpreted the ending. Severely.

My girlfriend walked out of the room at the very end when Kate walked into her child’s bedroom, when we saw Kate’s son for the first time. As soon as they showed the first shot of Kate’s son, I screamed to my girlfriend across my apartment, which is big (my apartment, not my girlfriend), “Holy shit! Kate’s baby is retarded!”

My girlfriend came back into the room and I rewound the DVR so she could see, as this was a very bold and bizarre plot twist in my opinion. It explained why Jack didn’t take Kate’s invitation to follow her home. He’s a doctor. He has to deal with that weird handicapped crap all the time at work, it’s probably the last thing he wants to deal with in regards to his romantic compartmentalization, as it were.

Anyway, my girlfriend tried to convince me that the baby is not retarded.

I argued my point further, “I mean, I guess the baby’s father could be retarded, thus making the baby only half-retarded, but I really don’t see Kate taking weenie from a retarded man.”

My girlfriend gave me a look that I don’t know how to describe. Maybe a cross between regret and despair, somehow relating to her having ever met me in the first place.

I continued, “Look, that is a retarded baby if I have ever seen one in my life. They always use beautiful babies on television. If they don’t, they’re trying to tell you something. Think about it, Kate is gorgeous. Wouldn’t you expect her to have a beautiful baby?”

Her: “You’re drunk.”

Me: “This is true.”

Upon a few more viewings, I decided that Kate’s baby is not, in fact, retarded. Instead, I decided that it must be the director’s kid or something, because there’s no way a casting agent would cast such an uuuugly baby. I mean seriously, that baby was so ugly that I, a LOST fanatic, seriously considered that the major plot twist at the end of the episode was that Kate has a retarded son.

Maybe it’s just me.

I have no idea what my point is.

Please go away.

Romantic Vacation Cancelled: Instead, IHOP

My girlfriend had been talking about taking a mini vacation. The plan was to walk across the George Washington Bride to spend a nice weekend at the Fort Lee Hilton (now Doubletree). They have good restaurants, a fitness center, heated indoor pool, a nice lounge, excellent mattresses, etc. Oh, and a bar. Very important.

While discussing our vacation, the vacation in which the destination is less than a mile from my apartment, an IHOP commercial came on TV. This excited my girlfriend to no end. She asked me to search the intertubes to find the nearest IHOP to the hotel, so we could go there for breakfast on our vacation in New Jersey. My girlfriend loves IHOP. Also, continental breakfast sucks.

I went to the IHOP online locater and plugged in my zip code. As I mentioned, the hotel is less than a mile from my house, even though it’s in another state, so my zip code is sufficient for finding said IHOP.

I looked at the first couple of listings. I blinked a couple times. I looked closer.

“Hey, babe? This intertube says that there is an IHOP in Manhattan. Even better, it’s at 135th & Broadway!”

“Don’t play with me. You know how I feel about IHOP.”

“No, seriously. The phone number is right here. I’ll call and confirm.”

I call. (ring, ring)

I confirm. (fist pump)

Girlfriend: “Well, fuck the Hilton! Let’s just go to IHOP Saturday morning!”

Me: “I love you.”

Things I Remember: The Story Of Last Night, According To A First Person Narrator Who Doesn’t Really Remember Much About Last Night

I met some people at a bar. We drank. The people were good. The drink was good.

We went somewhere else, some Japanese thing where you sing popular songs, I don’t know.

I sang a George Michael song. The bathroom had a lot of vomit in it. I vomited because when I see vomit, I vomit. I sang another George Michael song. I reminded myself that I like women. Didn’t George Michael vomit in a bathroom?

I found myself kind of wanting to make out with this one fat guy.

We went somewhere else, a bar which had carpet on the floor.

I left.

I followed some guy from Missouri to a bar to take some sort of pineapple-upside-down shot.

I found myself kind of wanting to make out with this Irish chick.

I left.

I got home and had some quality time with my pineapple-upside-down stomach.

I wouldn’t trade a second of it in return for the world. You guys are awesome.

Announcement: Do Not Eat The Blue Candy

I have watched every season of American Idol, ever. However, in the interest of full disclosure:

In the past, I have tuned out after the first-round auditions, the beginning where they show the really bad auditions, the people that make me laugh until I cry, rewind the DVR, repeat. Then I pause my DVR and shift my eyes aimlessly but usually upward, jaw dropped open, staring at the ceiling in disbelief, trying to truly digest the scope of what I have just seen. Yeah, I’m dramatic like that.

Anyway, I usually take a couple months off to drink scotch and then rejoin the regular programming towards the finals, as I can certainly appreciate a stunning vocal performance. Seriously, that was my major in school and shit, vocal music performance and drama. I even went to a performing arts high school, like “Fame” and shit. No, I really am being serious. Okay, you don’t believe me, whatever, I really am telling the truth.

Moving on.

Talent-wise, I think last night’s episode of American Idol was one of the best of the entire run of the series. The guy that sang “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the Irish chick, Asia, the skunk-hair-girl and that one sixteen-year-old kid who’s so nice that it makes me wonder how I’ve managed to turn into such as asshole at the age of twenty-eight, well, they all really blew me away. Mostly, despite the following final-round contestant’s meltdown, I predict that that the midwestern-emo-brit-kid, this kid who ditched the studio band and fell to pieces when it really counted, he will find his fame and fortune. American Idol or not.

All sentiment aside, and regarding the title of this post:

Who was giving out the blue candy on Day-2? I counted several contestants singing with bright blue tongues. I suspect the big jolly guy who made it to Hollywood with his sister.

[Update: As I suspected, the midwestern-emo-brit-kid got cut and I am standing firm in my prediction that this is not the last you will hear from him. Also, the big jolly guy got cut which convinces me that I’m not the only who suspects him of being the blue candy culprit.]

Scambaiting: A Websport

I used to have a cat. A cat, and an apartment with mice. When my cat would catch a mouse, she would stand over it and bat it around, back-and-forth, between her paws for hours. Not killing it. It was only after Circe batted every drop of entertainment value out of the mouse, after the mouse wasn’t moving anymore, that she finally killed it.

I found a new website which I have spent the better part of the last two days reading.

We’ve all heard of the Nigerian 419 e-mail scams, yeah?

I found this website, written by a businessman in London which is devoted to scamming the scammer, masterfully. A “websport” called “Scambaiting”.

I freely admit that I enjoy watching my enemies(i.e. scammers, my bank account) suffer.

It is beautiful, the skill with which this man works. Torturing his victim, twisting the knife just right. Keeping them in pain and off balance, just enough to where they don’t fall over… dangling by a thread until he decides to let them go.

Our man in London has developed several techniques to flip the script on these guys. The scammers, believing they will soon see a massive payday, this guy is able to manipulated them into doing some outrageous things.

On the website, you can follow the e-mail chains and phone calls as hilarity most definitely ensues, over and over again.

One of my favorites is where our man in London convinces a scammer to record himself reading the entire book, “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, in English, under the belief that he will be paid a large sum of money for royalties on audio books sold in Nigeria. Our man explains to the scammer that the industry standard is to record audiobooks regionally, as a book which is read with a regional dialect sells much better in said region. Hilarious. It’s almost painful to read along as our man in London makes the scammer re-record several times, thus taking the scammer into debt with unscrupulous characters, owing for DJs, hotel rooms, computer rental, etc.

The result:

Nine hours of crystal clear digital audio, broken into 35 chapters, of a Nigerian scammer reading “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, on the website.

There’s also one where he tricks the scammers into commissioning good-sized wood carvings, made of hard woods, in competition for a fake art grant. After the scammers have paid hundreds of dollars to ship their carving to our man in London, hilarity most definitely ensues. I won’t ruin it.

Oh, and the one where our man ruses the scammer into getting a ridiculous tattoo, complete with mandated high-quality photographic proof? That one is pretty good too.

If you’re not busting out of your skin to go to this website right now, you and I don’t have as much in common as I once might have thought.

Enjoy www.419Eater.com.