The Old Corporate Dudes Who Go to Happy Hours After Work and Bust Jokes to the Waitress Because She Has No Choice But to LaughI understand. Your boss ignores your ideas all day. He or she swats away your flights of fancy like flies hanging around a juicy piece of watermelon at a hot summer picnic. After eight hours of this, you need to blow off some steam. You and your buddies head to the local watering hole. This is all fine, a perfectly acceptable way of dealing with life's unfortunate speedbumps. But can't you just go ahead and order your nachos or your wings or your Miller Lites or whatever and just spare the poor girl unfortunate enough to have to serve you the amateur George Carlin routine? Seriously, she doesn't find you funny! She simply knows that she has to laugh at you because her tip depends on it. Her chuckles are not the "Haha, you are a riot" variety. They are more like, "How long do I have to sit here pretending to find this douche hilarious while his pals stare at my rack and long for the days of their misspent youth?" If this is you, please save us all the anxiety! You are not a charming rapscallion with a catalog of dazzling one-liners. No, the aura you are giving off is more like "I'm a ridiculous creep who will begin perusing porn sites as soon as I walk through the door at the end of the night's festivities."
Sports Talk Host Who Tries to Talk MoviesMore and more, when I want to listen to sports talk radio these days, I am listening to 97.5 FM, the station otherwise knows as The Fanatic. It is usually just for twenty minutes or so around 5:45 when I am driving home from work. The guy who hosts the show is Mike Missanelli. I enjoy his style. He knows sports and, more importantly, he is a witty, entertaining personality. However, the other day he went out of his wheelhouse to discuss the career of filmmaker Oliver Stone on the occasion of his birthday and he quickly showed why it would be a good idea for him to stick to sports. First of all, he called the overrated Platoon the best film Stone has ever made. Then, he proceeds to say that JFK, a film that I consider to be one of the ten best ever made, "sucks." Natural Born Killers, a visceral thrill ride chocked full of ambition and cinematic splendor, he declared a "mess." He also stated that Born on the Fourth of July went overboard with its sentimentality. OK. Now, it is fine to have opinions. I may think he is insane and off-base, but I guess there's nothing wrong with sticking your neck out there and slagging a once-great director. It was what he did next that revealed that he was way out of his element: He started running down his films. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was no good. Alexander was a bomb. The People vs. Larry Flynt was "Eh." There's only one problem with that though. The People vs. Larry Flynt was directed by Milos Forman. Missanelli was running down Stone's "producer" credits on IMDB. In other words, Stone didn't even direct that movie and shouldn't be "blamed" for its perceived failure (by the way, it's a very good movie). Look, if you want to say that Stone makes crappy movies now, that is fair. If you want to run down flicks that are universally lauded by people who know what they are talking about, that is cool, too. But if you can't tell the difference between the roles of producer and director on a movie set, then you should probably just shut the f*ck up and talk about baseball!
Germaphobes in My Office BuildingI know a corporate office building bathroom is not exactly a great place to hang out. Folks are lighting it up on the bowl. Guys are taking apparatus in hand and aiming into the urinal while thumbing through their smartphones. Basically, it is a place that you want to get into and out of as quickly as possible, usually without making eye contact with that co-worker who just created a smell reminiscent of that which emanates from the average trash dump and now wants to have a conversation about last month's accounts receivable. This being said, there are some people who get really dramatic about their cleanliness upon leaving the little boys' room. Just last week, I saw the following things take place: Guy takes a piss. He goes over and washes his hands. Scrubs them down with a paper towel. Keeps paper towel in hand, walks over to door, uses it to open the handle, then throws the paper towel on the ground for some other poor a-hole to pick up. Then there was the second guy. He did the same exact thing, only upon running the water to wash his hands, he didn't even bother to turn the faucet off. Just left it running. Otherwise, he would have had to risk picking up the bubonic plague that evidently was making its home on the sink's handle. There's not much more I can add to this: People simply have to man up and trust that twisting a door's handle or turning a hot water valve on the sink isn't going to render them a twitching, bugeyed walking corpse a la Gwyneth Paltrow in Contagion.