Archive for the ‘GUILTY PLEASURES’ Category

There’re Many Excuses for Eating McDonald’s – These Are Mine

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

I don’t have to chew as much.
Because what’s chewing when I can chimney-slide it down? From the second my McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder is unsheathed to when I squish ‘n toss the wrapper, I barely have to work my jaw. It’s a true metaphor for American cultural identity: less chewing/more swallowing. And whoever thought up printing “nutritional” information on something with such a limited hand-to-mouth life is a genius!

Don’t look at me; I’m hideous.
Even as I decry such privileged attributes as lazy eating, I’m occasionally swayed by food-matter that requires neither fork nor self-respect. Never mind that I’m hunched in my car, windshield angled at a hedge to hide my private shame. Kookiest part is, the way I wipe my mouth, use my napkin, or react when a chunk falls from my fingers or face is very different than what I exhibit at my own dinner table or in an actual restaurant. It’s the Jekyll and Hyde of posture and manners: as if it would feel right somehow to take off my shirt to eat a Big Mac.

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Court Referred Community Service Diary – 4

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Where Excuses Go to Poop“My brain processed disgust and fault, but fairness also factored”

I meant to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time had passed I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center. Welcome to #4 in a series…(Here’s parts 12, and 3)

March/April 2014 – Goodwill Donation Center, Friday.

It’s one thing to work alongside Goodwill’s physically challenged employees and see the nonprofit’s bighearted claims of helping the disabled play out before you. It’s quite another thing to use a toilet after them.

HAIL SATAN_Where Excuses Go to DieBut first, a little scene setting…

Disabled persons selected to work at this particular Goodwill are essentially removed from the non-disabled. To use the employee break room, for example, they have to pass through the “regular” employees’ work areas, but not the other way around –because they’re stuck in a corner. They’re not banished in any way, but they do work in a rather lonesome neighborhood of the building.

I’d rather not exaggerate things by adding that their primary function –sorting donated clothes– is the most repellent of Goodwill tasks, but it’s true. It doesn’t help that the neighborhood in question is surrounded by a wall of six-foot roller-bins, clothing racks, and giant piles of donated garments. Benjamin Netanyahu would be jealous.

Donated Clothing Fun Fact: even by the time garments reach the floor, soiled handkerchiefs and, er, other items, can often be found in pockets. It’s dicey, sure, but my guess is everyone goes through a checking-pockets phase regardless. You can’t watch how nonchalantly bags of expensive clothing are thrown from luxury cars by people who decline receipts without letting your curiosity get the best of you. (more…)

The Kevin Cook Show – TONIGHT

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

WKTA 1330_Kevin CookIf you can laugh behind bars you can survive just about anything.

I’m looking forward to assuming the guest position tonight on WKTA 1330 AM – Chicago’s Kevin Cook Show, where topics careen “from politics to the paranormal.” You can look for the interview link right here next week, or listen online. The show begins at six pm Pacific –

The Kevin Cook Show is piloted by Kevin Cook and Heidi Hollis, and while it’s scheduled to go an hour, I’m not sure if they’re going to take live callers or just make fun of me.

Either way, it sounds fun, and I’m sure we’ll get into prison reform, parolee reentry, and maybe even the top 10 self-help books currently being treated for Twinkies on prison yards across America. Many of the other excuses, subjects, and current issues found here on Where Excuses Go to Die are all up for grabs as well.

If you listen in and wind up offended, please tell your friends.

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Court Referred Community Service Diary – 3

Monday, March 17th, 2014

“His jaw was working harder than a hog’s hips at a crowded trough.”

I really did mean to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time passed that I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center. Welcome to #3 in a series…(Parts 1 and 2 are here and here.)

March 10, 2014 – Goodwill Donation Center, Wednesday

Microwave Isotropic and Anisotropic SuperconductorsOnly when you’re outta your mind on blow do you pay $59 for a thrift-store microwave oven circa 1995 by leaving a deposit with the manager, going to your car, and coming back for the thing a mere 15 minutes later. Only when your head is reeling from cocaine psychosis do you not realize you’re wiping your mouth in a forward motion with the back of your hands like a rat. And only when you’re anxious about returning to your car for more booger-sugar does your “inside voice” become your Dodger Stadium voice.

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Court Referred Community Service Diary – 2

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Blotchy the Bear“Where Pleated Pants Go to Die” – Thursday morning, March 5, 2014.

I really did mean to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time passed that I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center. This is the second in a series…

Day one’s “Top Five Items that Qualify as Most Disgusting.”

  • Food-encrusted plates and utensils
  • Matted stuffed animals
  • Pillows
  • Crumb-sprinkling toasters
  • Hairdryers and curling irons

Three hours was all I could do. I thought for sure I’d be able to push it to four, but both the headache and the pre-judgment I’d arrived with had worsened.  And yet, even failing to scratch the surface of my commitment, I began to appreciate the septic funhouse I’d entered. (more…)

Court Referred Community Service Diary – 1

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I meant to pay the speeding ticket right away; now I owe 50 hours.

Goodwill-Logo-Registered-TrademarkI really did mean to pay the ticket on time, but when both extensions I’d requested were granted, so much time passed that I marginalized its importance. When I finally faced the music, the Traffic Commissioner was happy to suspend my hefty fine in exchange for 50 hours of community service at a local Goodwill Donation Center.

March, 2014 – Goodwill Donation Center, Monday

Ten feet inside the door, a 20-something young lady at the counter took one look at the yellow triplicate form in my hand and rolled her eyes. Turning to a tiny Asian woman helping her stock sunglasses, I heard her say, “typical community service,” as she walked off.

The Asian woman, though, threw out her hand, shook mine, accepted my paperwork, and started walking backwards toward a pair of beat up, swinging metal doors. “I’m Julie,” she began, “and I’m afraid you can’t work in those.” She pointed to my 501s. “Do you have black pants and a white business shirt?”

“Not that I can work in, no,” I admitted. “But thrift store clothes and I go way back, so I’ll just buy something now. That cool?”

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Clint Eastwood Is Going to Die Soon

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Good, bad, ugly, and the empty chair too, I love arguing Eastwood

GrrrrrrrEvery few days this realization makes me pause, as if I’d been struck with Déjà vu or forgotten my keys somewhere. As a lifelong Eastwood enthusiast (having winced my way through some of his ‘80s choices only to beam with pride when he came to his senses), I dread his absence – and also his last laugh at leaving us to ourselves. 

Will I know what to do with myself when that day comes? Yeah. But I’ve never lived in a world without with Clint Eastwood – have you?

Every now and then some Eastwood reminder will come my way or I’ll exit my house past  a huge The Good, The Bad and The Ugly poster that hangs by our front door. Not enough space here to list all the reasons I admire the man, but the three that most frequently come to mind are his elderly grace, professionalism, and class. You see, I love ‘im for what he is now because it makes what he was then so much cooler.

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