Clean Living in the Great Midwest


by JRM

February 9, 2009

Do we have any refrigerator salesmen in the audience? I ask because I just reached into the fridge and got a beer.  Suddenly I find myself exceedingly curious about tempered glass.  Now I know that when something is tempered, it means that it has been hardened or strengthened by application of heat or by heating and cooling.  Past that, I am mostly curious as to why it remains important to write the phrase "tempered glass" on my beer shelf.  If I go to Sears tomorrow and tell them that I want a fridge, will they happily show me the best model, open the door and stretch their arm out like Vanna White and say, "Look it's got tempered glass!!"? I highly doubt it.

I guess what I'm really asking is that have we, as a collective society, reached the point that if we see glass inside of a refrigerator, that we can assume that it's been tempered?  Can we stop extolling the virtues of tempered glass in the sparkly prose that is the Best Buy Sunday insert?  Can we state once and for all that we have defeated the problem of highly breakable glass refrigerator shelves?  I think we can...turn the refrigerator page America .  If not for me, do it for the children...

Actually, I'm somewhat curious as to whether or not there has ever been non-tempered glass serving as a refrigerator shelf.  I would hazard to guess that before there was tempered glass, refrigerator shelves were probably made of plastic or granite or whatever.  I should really go to Amazon and see if anybody has written The Comprehensive History of Tempered Glass Refrigerator Shelves.

I was writing a comedy sketch yesterday.  It just wasn't as funny as it should have been.  The name of the sketch was "CelebreD.O.T.". The premise of the sketch was the existence of a Department of Transportation office that caters only to famous people.  I don't know about you, but I've never seen anybody famous in the D.O.T.. It really should have been funny...and it still might be eventually.  It's turning into a version of SNL's Jeopardy! except they're at the D.O.T..  Then I started to worry a little bit that it might have been done already.  I have missed about the last ten years of every sketch comedy show except Mr. Show and The Post Show. Anyway, if you guys want to help me out, I'd appreciate it.

"You almost never get what you want by screaming and crying" - Good advice from me to my 3-year old son.

"Underwear is not jammies.  What if something fires up the house? You can't go outside in underwear." - Good advice from my 3-year old son to me.

At the back of my son's "classroom" at his "school", there is a bathroom.  It's your run of the mill school bathroom - there are toilets and sinks where the kids can do their business.  The cool thing about them is that they are tiny.  When the kid uses them, he looks like the opposite of an actor on one of those movie sets where they make everything huge so that adults can play children's roles. He doesn't even look like a kid...he's just a dude in the bathroom.  I thought those little toilets were the coolest thing ever.

I don't have any weird phobias about crapping at work - In fact, I am of the opinion that one of the greatest things about this country is that if one plays their cards right, they can get paid to poop.  I did, however, feel pretty odd when I stepped into the stall at my new place of employment to find a toilet very similar to the one at my kids' school anchored down in there for employees to use.  The little ones must be cheaper or something.  I tried to use this thing...once.  Never ever again.  It was like trying to ride a tricycle while taking a dump in a dixie cup.  Once again, I am driving to QT to use the bathroom.

When working on a writing assignment, I used to start a column in the evening and write the bulk of it, if not all.  I would then e-mail it to myself, come in to work early and proof it with a fresh pair of eyes.  After I was done, I would then send the attachment to whatever editor wanted it.  I figured that the system worked pretty well, so I would continue it at the new place.  The e-mail came through and everything worked out great...until I tried to send the finished copy to my editor.  Yeah - apparently my new employer uses some sort of Googlesque software that scans outgoing mail.  The main difference is that Google is exploiting the technology to sell advertising - my employer is scanning it to determine inappropriate content.  When the program thinks it has zeroed in on said inappropriate content, it sends a message to the network administrator who then reads the e-mail manually.

Of course, it caught mine.  I would think that they would like to do this quietly so that they could determine what to do with the information.  Not quite the case here friends.   The program sends an undeliverable message that tells you the email was blocked for content for the sole purpose of making a stupid employee sweat over the weekend.  And sweat I did - I knew I was busted.  In case you didn't see it, here's the sentence that got me called into the boss's office:

"Throughout my years, I have always found that the best source for reliable information on how to deal with just about any problem is the 23 year old gay Filipino software engineer.  I’ll tell you what, the matriarch next door is enough to make anyone move to San Diego …and become gay."

Everything turned out okay...but now I have to fix my routine.  I'm telling you guys, I need a rich and stupid person that will pay me to write for a living.




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