Sunday, October 23, 2011

It Appears I Am Partially Responsible If My Father Murders Anyone in the Near Future


[Very old photo taken back in the day when I might have been sneaking boyfriends over fences and nearly getting everyone shot by undercover police.]

My father and I have a semi-estranged relationship which makes our every meeting equal parts awkward and exciting. It’s like having a friend who already knows all the important players in your life, but hasn’t heard about all your recent debaucherous exploits and you can’t wait to share them. But then there’s the added weirdness of that person being your father, and him being slightly pissed off because you’ve forgotten his middle name and phone number (slight exaggeration).

So, in honor of Cancer Dad’s 68th year of life, I met him at “The Club” for too much wine and appetizers I can’t pronounce (feuilletés? Eh?) so we could catch up.

About halfway into a house bottle of chardonnay, my father launches into a story that makes absolutely no sense in the context of his sweater-vest-wearing, very-dry-martini-drinking life.

It started off like this: “We were in the bowels of Gardena, searching for a Glock at a local pawn shop when the Porsche’s engine light came on.”

Wait. One, my dear father detests Porsches, but two, the real mystery here is how he ended up in a pawn shop looking for semi-automatic pistol.

“I’ve taken up shooting,” he explains, as if this is the most natural thing for an aging cancer patient/occasional university professor to do.

But … why?

“If someone breaks into my house, I want to be fucking sure I can take them out,” he says. “Right now, I can only kill them if they are standing still and are roughly the size of a barrel.”

That really doesn’t make me feel better.

Also, I smell something seriously fishy in this story (or is that just the aroma of my gently seared ahi?), as break-ins are virtually non-existent in my father’s upper-crust neighborhood. In fact, where he lives, my father has a better chance of being trampled to death by a prized Arabian stallion or run down by a Mercedes-Benz SL600 Twin Turbo (the neighbor has one, and I suspect he doesn’t always look both ways before exiting his driveway) than experiencing a home invasion.

I decide to pry further.

“One night, I heard a commotion in the backyard, and when I went upstairs to investigate, there was a squad of plainclothes police officers with their weapons drawn,” Cancer Dad explains. “Someone had scaled our back fence!”

At that moment, if could have turned any paler, I would have. Unfortunately, I already have such an astoundingly white complexion that I might be better suited to living in close proximity with Ozark cavefish.

“I’m taking [Wife Number Four (or Five)] to the shooting range too,” he continues. “That way, she’ll know what to do if she has to gun down a robber!”

At this point, I have two options:

  1. Point out that this “attempted” home invasion occurred about seven years ago, and then quell Cancer Dad’s fears by admitting the following: The alleged burglar was actually in the upstairs bathroom cupboard hiding from the police, because he was my then-boyfriend and I had surreptitiously snuck him into the house and then panicked when the SWAT team showed up in my bedroom.
  2. Feign complete ignorance of said incident.

I choose the latter.

Needless to say, I will not be breaking into Cancer Dad’s house to stock up on ravioli and dish washing detergent anytime soon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In Spain, Michael Scott is Available to Assist You

I don't know if you're noticed this, but there is quite a lot of advertising on the Internet ─ and not all of it is up to snuff.

You know those ads, the ones that use stock photos that don't even make sense? Like, there's a blonde woman covered in tattoos with some copy that reads: "Refinance your mortgage now!" And you're sitting there scratching your head, like, I don't want to be judgmental, but I'm pretty sure the woman in that picture doesn't even know what a mortgage is?

Yeah, like that.

I bring this up because I was taking a few minutes before my lunch break to google things to do in Spain, as I will be there in mid-November. (Yes, I am rewarding myself for hording all my vacation days by hitting up España with Blonde Beyoncé, whom you might remember from my days as an extremely poor homeless shelter employee.)

I found a website called Discover Sevilla, which seemed promising. That is, until I spotted the most amazing advertising fail in the history of the Internet:


[Oh goody, Michael Scott is available for Live Chat!]



After I stopped laughing hysterically in my cubicle, I came up with a theory. Some poor slob in a basement office in Girona, Spain, was probably given the task of finding an image to convey "professional office staffer" to any baffled users who needed live assistance (for what, I don't know, the ad didn't really say).

Like any underling worth his salt, he decided to google the word "office" and steal any relevant copyrighted images.

Sadly, our poor Spanish friend isn't really up on popular culture. So instead of conveying professionalism and experience, he let all Discover Sevilla users know to expect this:

I fucking love the Internet.

P.S. I decided to share this awesomeness with The Boyfriend prior to posting. Somehow, I'm not really sure if he got it and was trying to fuck with me, or if he really just tunes out all my insanity and tries to respond appropriately without actually listening to what I'm saying:

Me: You know those ads on websites that have horrible stock photos that don't make sense?

The Boyfriend
: Yes, all the time. [Wait, what?]

Well, I'm about to email you the BEST ONE EVER.

The Boyfriend: Okay.

[Conversation pauses while he waits for the email.]

The Boyfriend: Hehe. You're saying that Steve Carell does answer the phone?


You guys, I really have no idea.