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You know what is just as exciting as watching paint dry? Watching people lose weight. Seriously, it is one of the most boring, most mind numbingly uninteresting things ever but 18.9 million people will tune into watch it. 3-4 million more would rather watch D-List (at best) celebrities learn how to dance which is pretty much the same as watching people who look like your neighbors try and fit into an old pair of jeans. The other weird thing is that people are voted off. The people who are losing weight for health, emotional, or whatever other personal reasons run the risk of being thrown off the show each week. So now we have overweight people stressing about whether or not they will have to go home. I don't know, I was under the impression that when people go to obesity camp they stay there until personal goals are met and the last thing they are allowed to do is go back to the lifestyle, which landed them at camp in the first place. I suppose you can get sucked into watching people shed pounds. You kinda start rooting for a person the same way you root for the paint to dry so you can set up the rest of the room. You start planning where you will put furniture, pictures, hang shelves, speakers, etc. The planning is actually pretty cool and once everything is set, you are happy with the outcome. I guess if you're rooting for a contestant and they get kicked off the show, you are then really mad at someone who already has issues (you dick!) so I take it back, watching paint dry is way better than watching people lose weight. Plus, with the painting, the whole concept and design is up to you and you are not relying on someone else for anything, so it's actually more rewarding, get a sense of accomplishment out of the whole task.
I'm thinking that if you were able to text the person on the other side of the screen or maybe call them before and after each challenge, they would know I support them and I've become somewhat of a coach or fan club member...some team player of sorts. Unfortunately, you can't get a hold of them and let them know that you really hope they pull through and keep at it. Instead you just sit there drinking soda while they are on the other side of the screen chewing gum and talking about how it taste like banana cream pie. There are people on screen losing weight while I am not really doing much to improve my health. I'm gaining calories while they are losing some so I guess it balances. It feels like watching animals or something, like maybe if this was on the Discovery Channel it wouldn't seem so weird. I find yourself staring and scratching my head trying to figure out when something awesome is going happen, like an alligator will come out of nowhere or a hawk with a bear trap for a mouth will fly by and mess stuff up. Anything to spice up the scene that is on the screen; it's just some people sweating and not really doing much. The other thing is it's kind of perverse, just sitting and staring while people starve themselves, they are on a gum diet for crying out loud. I mean it's great people want to be healthier and change themselves, if I were a personal trainer I could see why I would take an interest in watching the process but I am just a guy who is hanging out in my living room flipping through channels, got stuck on one for some reason, and found myself thinking about what color I would paint my living room if I were to actually paint it and wondering how long it would take to dry.
Anyway, you ever get really pointless texts and/ or phone calls?
Not the fun ones where there is a chance that you and your best friend solve some of the world's greatest mysteries and debate pretty interesting stuff, but the ones that wake you up 15 minutes after you got to bed. The ones where you don't recognize the number and when you flip open the phone it is some really really pointless statement or dumb question that Asking Jeeves (wait, he got fired), so you could Google it yourself or actually just think for a minute or two and you should have an answer. The out of the blue calls and texts from an ex. Those are the worst. The question is really easy or the statement is meant to provoke a response but the number has no name attached. Great, now it's time to break out the thinking hat, trench coat, grab the pipe and magnifying glass and piece together clues. Rule out who it's not, start wondering who you've known from the area code, wonder if contacting Scotland Yard and turning the case over to a younger detective would be a better idea because you are way too old for this case and just don't have the heart for it . Could just text back 'who is this?', which runs a high risk of offending the mystery person, and you will raise the question which you already know the answer to: why would the person ask you to answer this question anyway? This is the information age we are surrounded by technology. Someone even told me Groupon is taking over the world. Oh yeah, why did the ex text? Because this forgotten person has some kind of unresolved issue or a much more in-depth and personal question that needs answering and you are the only who can do it. First thing's first, run the whole relationship through your mind on fast forward and see if anything stands out. Maybe I should not have made that 'Oh Shit!' face in bed when she told me she felt 'very comfortable with me.' It was like a week in so, I don't know, I guess I thought this was the female equivalent of premature ejaculation, so I just ignored it. Should I have not done that? Yeah, yeah I definitely should have just ignored it but I am pretty sure she saw my eyes bug out like I had just seen a ghost or witnessed premature ejaculation.
Hmmm...so I am the person who holds the key to solving a personal quest for this person!? Oh man! Awesome! Ball's in my court! I have the power to answer the person or just add them to the pay no mind list, which is where they landed when I deleted their number 30 seconds after I decided to abort the whole relationship. It is like the story my friend told me about how she dumped her boyfriend the day after Christmas while they were 5 hours from Chicago and like 15 minutes from her mom's house. The whole trip was silent except for the radio which was on a very low volume. She turned it down to break the news to him and for the rest of the trip they just sat and listened to whatever was playing at one of those volumes where you know the radio is on but you can't really make out what is being played or said. That power exchange, the whole back and forth that happens between 2 people, all that power just went right to the volume button and no one would take it back. In this case though (oh yeah, I figured out who it is by this point), the option for control is totally up to me. Do I text back and actually give the person a response? Do I just roll my eyes and delete it? I guess we left on okay terms, but still, she was kind of control freak so not responding or responding with an even more pointless question would totally piss her off and make me laugh pretty hard (I could kind of immaturely respond to combat that whole premature matter that happened earlier). Plus, she woke me up and for no good reason after I spent the evening watching people try to drop a waist size. Or maybe there is a reason and she didn't state it.
Normally in these cases, and I have seen a lot of these cases, the pointless text will lead to a bigger reason but do I really care to text back and forth (yeah, she never liked talking on the phone but she would text you a book if you told her that you did not wanna go out) for like a few hours trying to get to the point. What if it takes like 5 days and during that time I could have met some really awesome chick who is not only totally cool but also likes to paint living rooms!? I can't really rule that option out this early in the case. It could happen. I went back to bed without figuring out what I should do with this text.
So, about 7 out of the 10 people on the bus this morning were glued to their iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, or whatever computer they carry in their pocket so I took it upon myself to constantly switch seats to see what people were doing on their phone. I only use my for calls and text (and receive texts from old girlfriends or wrong numbers) so I am assuming that these people are emailing, watching YouTube, or maybe they found some kind of break through porn clip or new celebrity sex tape. (That would actually be great. Riding the bus next to some guy who is staring at his phone and he gets a call and tells the other person "...oh nothing, just riding the bus and watching that woman from that one show get boned by some dude....what are you doing later?") Or maybe they are blogging or Tweeting, Googling themselves perhaps but whatever they are doing, I was thinking that maybe I would get a good idea of how to respond. I could ask but then I remembered how the girl in question would only text and not talk where I would only talk and try not to text (because conversation texting is one of the most frustrating things ever). Well, I figured asking may throw people off and break their concentration which would be like removing the species from their environment and since they would be very aware that I pulled them out of the virtual life, my findings would be completely useless. The best way to see what is up in cyberspace is to look over their shoulders and run the risk of receiving a black eye and being called a creep. It was a risk I was willing to take, a risk I had to take. I mean come on, that one woman from that one show could have been getting boned and I was guessing that the dude with the manicured goatee was definitely watching it. Alright so the first person, a dude that I would guess is in his 30's (the guy with the goatee) was checking Facebook. Good thinking, better update your status and let people know how fun and not gross the Grand Ave bus is. Yeah, wasn't going to learn much here.
Next up was a girl who, I am guessing by the word written on the ass of her sweatpants, was about 21 or 22. She was texting and I don't mean saying 'hey' to someone, she was texting everyone and everyone. I was thinking that this is perfect! The girl who texted me was older than this chick with the cool sweatpants, but it seemed they both would only text in order to communicate with people. When I started reading what she was texting, she wasn't even using words. Just a bunch of 'idk's', 'lol's', smileys, and 'omg's'. All these abbreviations and just gibberish. I would need a teenager to decipher whatever the hell she was saying and enlisting such help would slow the investigation. She did at one point inform someone named Julie that she was a 'total slut!', but again, that is not going to help me. I switched seats again.
Alright, the next person was some dude, probably in his 20's. He was busy getting his groove on while texting a person labeled 'girlfriend'. No name, just 'girlfriend'. I started to wonder about his response to things that I could point to through the window. You know, I point to the Hancock building and he would just say "building" and then I point to people at the bus stop and he would shout "woman" or "child" and then I quickly point to a pizza place and he would say "food" or, more appropriately, "awesome." Again, this guy was not going to be any help. If I copied what he was sending I would 1) just totally handover my manhood via text and 2) she would be under the impression that I had been hit in the head or forgot how to construct a sentence. She might actually be relieved that I was no longer as long-winded as I was when we were hanging out but again, I totally wind up losing.
The last woman on the bus was kind of surprising. She had to have been in her 40's, she had one of those pant suits on so I assume she was a professional of some type, and she was Tweeting. I won't disclose the content of her Tweets but man, she had some weekend. Yeah, old pant suit over there can fucking party.
How are people still having communication problems again? I know about these people and we never said a word to one another. In fact, I think I know way too much about these people. Well, mostly just pant-suit and the fairly monosyllabic guy who I would like to think is like Encino Man. You know, a caveman discovered by Pauly Shore and Rudy, but him actually being that entertaining is all just based on assumption and chances are he is not a caveman and in reality, I am no Rudy.
At any rate, we have two people in a relationship so there must have been some correspondence that took place at some point between the two that actually gave light to a relationship (just trying to figure it out now, kind of step outside my text dilemma and get a general view on relationships. This case is really pushing me to the limit.). The two know each other and somehow realized they can't convey messages to one another. Alright, so how do you send word that the relationship is over? From what I learned on the bus today, we can Tweet it, we can send about 15 text messages to the other person, we can update our Facebook status and hope the person logs into their account and takes note, we can blog it, send a bulk email to everyone in our address book, smoke signals might work, a strip-o-gram maybe... It's like we can think of anything to do but just actually tell the person face to face or with a phone call. But I remember doing that. So what is with the text? Do I actually have to pick one of those choices and not only end it person but end it virtually for them as well?
The digital age is the age of passive aggressive relationships. One bonus, if I really have to name one, would be a decrease in venereal diseases because everyone can just lay in bed and sext each other. So, that's a plus and it seems to be in the news a lot. In fact, there are now tips and websites that inform you about safe sexting. Please, everyone, just make sure the sext consensual. You don't wanna sextually molest anyone. I read that inmates in prison can be really harsh on sextual perverts.
The downside, other than sitting in your cell and getting sexts from other people on your cell block about how shower time is going to be no fun for you, is how the fuck do you know if you are in a real relationship? You can't know that, it all runs on bytes and characters and wireless interface and useless applications, not human emotion. Talking equals texting and all the texts and online chatting and whatever other virtual contact you engage puts ideas in the person's head and that becomes a relationship to the person. I know, it sounds really dumb (because it is) but it happens. People wanna see it one way and your non-verbal response gives them the idea that their relationship vision is 20/20, hence why when you verbally tell the person it is over, they can tell by your tone and your emphasis that it is really over. Delete the number and move on. You know, fight that passive aggressive fire with more weak and passive aggressive actions, i.e. ignore them. Alright, so throw some gas (or I guess ice cold water for this entry's sake) on that virtual, passive aggressive, I'm pretty sure my friend's 16 year old brother is in a more mature relationship than this one's fire!
In real life, using the F-Word a bunch and restating the point like 500000000 times worked but that is just in real life, just ignoring them in the cyber-sense of things is like dropping the virtual A-Bomb. The person now knows that it's done and over and if they still persist, well, um, yeah, you may wind up on Dateline and your story may appear as a commercial during that show where people try and lose weight. That really boring show that may cause you to wonder what color would look better in the living room while you are trying to rationally explain to your roommate how you don't even need to get off the couch to get a spoon to eat the ice cream in your root beer float. Yeah, you can kinda use your straw and be fine. So awesome, in the new technology age we have taken out a lot of birds with one hit of the send button. We slaughtered the English language, we have created fantasy worlds for ourselves and others (double lives which is kinda like this), gotten rid of body language (why would you wanna do such a thing!?), stunted social and emotional growth a bit (nice! Give the future generation more isolation, but we can turn those experiences into television specials), probably put a dent in the education system somewhere along the line, and maybe we even gave ourselves or the other person a false sense of importance. It's exactly like when a person posts a blog and he tells you what he drinks while watching bad television and then thinks you really give a shit. It's weird, in the world of high speed wireless we turned power and control over to emotionless keys on pads that fit easily into your pocket while making human reaction and interaction slower.
Oh yeah, my mystery text. Alright, I'm this far in so I might as well just respond. Here I go, one small and insignificant step in cyberspace and one giant LOL! for humankind:
Question: I can't post the actual text so just think of something very general and dumb with no real significance or meaning. Something you could ask anyone. Pick any kind of line you or an idea you would use if you saw someone you wanted to talk to but really had nothing to say or just couldn't think of anything good. Now phrase it as a question and insert that right
Response: Who is this again? We're not sexting, are we? That creeps me out and although I now know how to do it properly because of recent research, I think it is one of the most funny, sad, and lamest things ever. You know what is really fun? Staring contests with monkeys at the zoo. What if the monkey had a root beer float, too? Just hanging out, drinking some soda staring at me and I am eating a banana, staring back. Whoa! I think I just blew my mind! Better not text or call me anymore, my mind is all exploded and there are pieces of brain on my computer and desk. Some got on the phone, too. Gross. Yeah, it's probably going to take me a while to get the stains out and clean up and put my head back together. Good luck with everything!