Friday, December 19, 2008

Clubbed Thumbs

My sister-in-law has an unhealthy obsession with “Clubbed Thumbs”. From Wikipedia: “A clubbed thumb is a term used to describe the genetic clubbing of one or both thumbs. It is characterized by a particularly short thumb that is round in section and bulbous at the end. The thumb nail is very wide and short. The scientific term for clubbed thumb is Brachydactyly type D or BDD". This is a medical condition which gives the person in question unusually large thumbs, almost like big toes on their hands; like when Tom gets his thumb slammed by a giant mallet wielded by Jerry. My sister-in-law is fascinated by this condition, and secretly stares at people's thumbs searching for this rare occurrence in public.

I gave this a lot of thought, probably too much, and I decided that it would actually be a good thing to have clubbed thumbs. Here are some reasons why:

1. People with clubbed thumbs are gold medalists in hitchhiking. They could hitchhike all the way to Mars and back if they wanted to.
2. Guaranteed win in any thumb wrestling tournament. It would be like King Kong Bundy wrestling Emmanuel “Webster” Lewis.
3. Clubbed Thumbers can kick a soccer ball with their hands.
4. If you are ever in a car accident, and the emergency response teams are late with the Jaws of Life, a clubbed thumb-haver can save your life with their built in “Thumbs of Life”. You will be out of any mangled wreck of a car in 5 minutes or under. Every time, guaranteed.
5. Built in movie screen. Just hold your thumb up and project a movie onto your thumbnail.
6. Imagine if Roger Ebert had clubbed thumbs? A “two thumbs up” from him would translate into a 500 billion dollar gross at the box office, just from movie-goers being overwhelmed into attending.
7. No more hidden crib sheets for important tests. Write every math problem ever on the ball of your thumb, and leave the magnifying glass home…
8. Tennis racket optional at the country club.
9. Built in fly swatter. Or in this case, “fly atomic bomb”.
10. Portable puppets.

The list goes on and on. Don’t be so fast to condemn clubbed thumb folks. They have many advantages (listed above, and that is just the tip of the thumb-berg). I think they are endearing, sweet little appendages. Give some love to a clubbed thumber today for the holidays. They may just save your life one day.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Office Spark

I work in an Office. I know, that word immediately brings to mind rows and rows of grey cubicles with silent workers diligently typing away and filing IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS, sending URGENT FAXES and taking 15 MINUTE SMOKING BREAKS OUTSIDE IN THE DESIGNATED… sorry, I didn’t realize I was yelling that whole time. Silence would be welcome here at my office, but fate has not granted me this wish. I work 10 feet away from an Office Spark. What’s that? You have never heard of this term? I figured every office had at least one. I think my office has the head Spark, or at least the regional manager of the Northeast branch of Office Sparks. An O.S. is someone who arrives at the office first thing in the morning and gets a conversation going before even reaching their desk. "Starts the fire", as it were. In my case, the O.S. is an older woman with a voice that would curl a bald man's hair. Think late 20th century Long Island hairdresser. Vintage. I’m talking about Fran Drescher without the lilting fairy tones she sprinkles through the air with her siren song. She doesn't contribute to the conversation, she just comes in and shouts a random topic as her way of greeting everyone. Some examples:

"American Idol, everybody! American Idol last night!"
"The election! Coming up everybody! Obama! McCain!"
"Snow coming everyone! Get your shovels ready!"

Then she sits at her cubicle and waits for the fire to spread. And it does, oh it most certainly does. Someone will inevitably make a response comment that really gets the fire going. Then other voices join in, and suddenly there is a firestorm of conversation when before there was only silence. Like a spark, the O.S. burns bright only for an instant, and then lays dormant with nothing more than a few murmured responses or ambivalent grunts. Our O.S. has done her job again, like a Town Crier, only I'm the one crying. In lieu of the standard "Good Morning Everybody!" we get "Economy everyone! Dow Jones!" Just random snippets of current events, like a match thrown into a pile of dry kindling.

Our Spark also varies her tone depending on the gravity of the events surrounding the topic. Frivolous topics get a hearty shout with a little laughter mixed in ("Deal or No Deal! *giggle* A million dollars! *chuckle*), while national tragedies get a solemn tone; a reverential hush as she sadly announces the topic at hand and waits for the resulting inferno (*low voice* "Katrina everybody...yeah, I know...Katrina...the sad *trailing to almost a whisper*). Regardless of the state of the world, she comes in ready to burn every cubicle wall to the ground with nothing but a cup of coffee and a bullhorn voice. If she is on her game, and she always is, the conversation (fire) rages for a good 15 to 20 minutes, at top volume, while 10 feet away this lonely office worker tries to keep himself from getting overwhelmed by smoke (vomit).

I suppose it could be worse. It could always be worse. She could choose personal subjects as to use as little verbal firebombs instead of world events:

"Explosive diarrhea, everyone! Breakfast Burrito!"
"Hit and Run, everybody! Rearview mirror blind spot, everyone!"
"DUI, everybody! Vodka Martinis last night! Driving backwards on the turnpike, everybody!"

Yikes. I'll be thankful for small favors as I sit here in my asbestos cubicle hoping that the fire doesn’t overwhelm me. Or I could just get a good pair of earplugs.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

End Of Days

Friends and neighbors, I come to you a humble and frightened man today. I read some news that will surely bring the End of Days. DO NOT PANIC! In this dark hour, it is important that we band together and take care of each other until we can find a solution. Okay, I’m just going to come out with it, like ripping a band-aid off with one pull:

Oprah Winfrey has gained weight.

I know, it is the worst possible scenario for the planet. She hasn’t just “gained weight”, she has “amassed fat” to the tune of two bills (two hundred pounds in Canadian metric scale), and that is a disjointed tune, my friends. I know what you are thinking. How can a woman who can command the weather and decides whether or not there will be light or darkness on any given day let something like this happen? How can a national treasure that has the ability to read minds and can catch bullets with her teeth become so horrifically downtrodden? How can “O” gain so much “W”? Her personal trainers have done their best, but she has let us all in on a little secret: Oprah is afraid of exercise. Who can blame her? Aren’t we mortals all afraid of elliptical machines with their non-circular motions and sharp claws? Stairmasters with rotating steps that literally go nowhere! There be monsters in yon treadmill! Stephen King couldn’t write a more frightening novel! Between you and me (and Bobby McGee) I have always believed that weights are too heavy to lift. Plus, they can easily be dropped and make a comical hole in the floor through which you can see your downstairs neighbor cooking dinner.

Speaking of dinner, what is Oprah supposed to do with such clearly inferior personal chefs and assistants? They are obviously overworked and have shirked their duties to the point that Oprah Winfrey is fat! Again! Is no one as outraged as me? I mean, how is she supposed to fly her Lear jet to Cabo San Lucas when she can’t even fit into the dress she wore to the Oscars a year ago? Has the world gone mad? Mark my words, this is just the beginning. There are many theorists who are predicting the end of the world due to the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in the year 2012. In three years from now, imagine how immense Oprah will be if something isn’t done now! Let me throw down a little timeline for you: 2009…Oprah is 200 pounds…2012…Oprah is 500 pounds…Mayan Calendar ends….the connections are too numerous to even ignore. 2012 = Oprah stuck in a vortex = Yahtzee = Game Over.

We know the problem now. Oprah, giver of light, has bravely stepped forward and let us see what has become of her. What can we, as a nation, do? That is the real question here. President-Elect Barack Obama says he is a man of change; well Mr. Obama here is your first challenge! Let the gauntlet be thrown! I say, alert the United Nations! We already have a “peacekeeping force,” why not an “Oprahkeeping force”? You know France will jump on board. Sure the economy is a disaster. Millions of American workers are out of jobs and homeless. Look beyond these selfish humans: Oprah has lost control of her mouth and chewing/swallowing mechanisms! She needs more qualified personal trainers! Take some bailout money and immediately send it to Oprah’s personal chefs! Restore Oprah to her rightful size! She actually referred to herself as a “fat cow” in a nationally available interview! Are you going to stand by and let this happen? No more! Stop this disgraceful spiral now! De-claw the elliptical trainers! Give the Stairmasters a destination! Smoke out the treadmill demons! Shut down the Hamburger Plants! If not now, when? If not you, who? If not Oprah, Who-prah?

The universe (and the Mayan civilization) is waiting.

How do you do?

I was reluctant to jump on board the whole myspace/blog/online journal/etc thing, but here I am after all. The blog wave crashed over me and dumped me on the shoreline with seaweed in my hair and my bathing suit almost pulled off. How embarrassing.

Anyway, I hope to use this space to write down things as they pop into my head. Probably nothing too personal; just things I observe that make me laugh, or think, or think about laughing, or laugh about thinking. If you are reading this now, hopefully you aren’t expecting too much. If you stare at this thing too long, you’ll burn your eyes out. Trust me on this.

I will say this, not everything here will be factual. Don’t come here expecting hard hitting topical essays. Most of the things I write are nonsensical and whimsical and other “-icals”. Have fun, and remember…

There is only one “I” in Sammy Davis Jr.
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