Monday, December 28, 2009

Cry Uncle

The other day, my friend and I were comparing holiday loot when he decided to show me the mug he received from his young nephews. The mug says "#1 Uncle" on the side. You might think that's a nice gesture, being the big ol' soft-hearted pansy that you are. But it got me thinking: So my friend's the number one uncle, huhn? Well, doesn't the number one uncle deserve more than just a coffee mug testifying to his superlative status? Wouldn't something like - oh, I don't know - a new Mercedes Benz be a bit more fitting???

After all, he beat out ALL THE OTHER UNCLES!!! He's number one, for pete's sake! I've never actually done the math, but believe you me, there are a lot of freakin' uncles out there; it's no small feat to place first. You think you could do it? I think that such an accomplishment at least deserves a snazzy luxury vehicle with comfy leather seats designed to warm the buttocks on chilly winter mornings. It's the least one could do in recognition of my friend's ability to successfully exist and be a male sibling to someone who sired several small children.

Ok, so maybe the "Benz" is a little out of the kids' holiday-buying budget. I understand that! But STILL… a little effort would have been nice. I'd bet dollars to donuts they didn't even go to the dealer and check the prices or see if they could pay in installments. Barring that, did they maybe consider rewarding their uncle's efforts with a less costly alternative, like, say, a night with a high-priced call girl? Nope! Right to the mug! BANG! FIVE DOLLARS! NUMBER ONE UNCLE MUG, PLEASE! Real nice, kids. Real f***ing nice.

Secondly, I don't even remember anyone holding a competition for "#1 Uncle," do you? I'm an uncle, did I even place? How come no one ever gets a "#56 Uncle" mug? I still think that's pretty respectable, considering the amount of fierce competition out there. I suppose it's another testament to the toxic "winner take all" mentality fostered by our capitalist society. The #1 uncle gets all the babes and the mugs, while number 56 has to drink his coffee out of a cheap paper cup which can barely protect his digits from its scalding hot contents. It's almost like American Greetings is telling me, "Tough luck, ass munch. Maybe next time you won't be such a douche to your nephews. Enjoy your finger burns."

The whole thing got me so depressed that yesterday I actually went to the Hallmark Store to take matters into my own hands. That's right; I wanted to buy a "#1 uncle" mug for myself. (The Benz is a bit out of my price range too.) I'm not proud of myself, but it had to be done. The fact is, I'm not going to let anyone deny me the personal validation that can only come from an engraving on the side of a white ceramic cup. So I tried to purchase the mug, and in an effort to be stealthy I slipped it between a stuffed Woodstock doll and a little man made out of metal wire (I'm actually not sure if he was playing piano or dancing the Watusi with an oversized platypus).

Unfortunately, the clerk was not fooled by my clumsy tactics and chastised me severely: "That'll be 28 dollars and… hey, waitaminnit… What the hell do you think you're doing buddy? You think you're number one uncle material? That's your FRIEND! You're number 45,678,992! Now get the HELL OUT OF MY STORE before I beat you over the head with that little man playing the piano - er, either that, or cleaning out a pool filter with a misshapen golf club, one or the other."

Needless to say, I scurried from the premises, dropping my blue and tan "casino money" bank in the process. On the bright side, I DID finally learn my ranking in the great pantheon of uncles - 45,678,992! Hmmmm. That's pretty weak, I have to say. Well, maybe with a little hard work and dedication - or a couple of extra Milky Ways for the nephews around Halloween time - I could boost that number to 45,632,724 in no time at all.

Ah, screw that. Truth be told, isn't this whole "#1" thing contrary to the vaunted self-esteem movement that's running rampant in this country? Isn't everyone supposed to be praised, whether they achieve "#1" status or not? I say no more "#1" mugs for uncles, aunts, moms, dads, grandmothers or grandfathers. I don't care if you're Bill Huxtable meets Bill Bixby on "The Courtship of Eddie's Father." From now on, the mugs should reflect our true cultural ethos - I wanna see mugs printed with stuff like: "Good Try, Grandma"; "Nice Mothering, Mom!"; "Above Average Job, Grandpa"; and "Thanks for Not Showing Up Drunk, Hitting on the Neighbor's Wife, and Falling Down Ass-backwards in the Snow Like Last Year, Uncle!" (You might need tiny font for that last one.)

Okay, so maybe that's not such a good idea. What do you expect from the guy who's number 45,678,992, anyway? Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Top Band Names That Sound Like Crossword Puzzle Clues

Hey everyone! Nite Owl here. If you live in the Northeast (like I do) you may have been hit with a buttload of snow this weekend. As a result, you probably spent about 20 + hours scraping and shoveling. In my case, that means scraping up whatever measley bit of food is left in my house and then shoveling it in my face while I look out the window and wait for the snow to melt.

Either way, the end result is I'm completely exhausted - much too exhasuted to pen a witty, incisive blog this week. Or any other week, for that matter. But don't you worry; I've got you covered! I've invited Gerry Schramm, Renaissance man, to be our special guest blogger! Woo-hoo! (That's Renaissance the hotel, not the era, by the way. Don't ask; you don't want to know.) Some of you may by familiar with Gerry from his short stories on the now legendary "Topless Review," as well as his work as the writer or co-writer of awesome online strips "Blood Culture" and "Cockroach Comix." (The rest of you may know him from hanging around the Renaissance Hotel parking lot.)

Take it away, Gerry...


Let's face it, folks. Some band names suck. Some of them suck so bad that they make no sense at all and only make sense if they were crossword puzzle clues. That's why Nite Owlz All Night Blog Spot is proud to present:

Top Band Names That Sound Like Crossword Puzzle Clues

* Of Montreal

* Therapy?

* Death Cab For Cutie

* Minus the Bear

* Her and Him

* Jane's Addiction

* Panic! At the Disco

* Creed

* When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water

* Supertramp

* The Postal Service

* Pixies

* Funeral for a Friend

* The Carpenters

* White Stripes


Visit Gerry here:

or here:

or here:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Years: The Lost Years

I think when this decade is finally over, you won't hear people talking about it very much, because no self-respecting individual wants to say, "Hey, remeber back in the NAUGHTIES when we...?" It sounds stupid, and you'd probably get your ass kicked for saying it. (Other names for the decade haven't really "stuck" either.)

The only viable alternative is to say, "Hey, remember at the turn of the century when...?" but that's too damn wordy, especially in the age of obnoxious, incessant texting. (Maybe we can condense it to "TOTC"?) Plus, it makes you sound like you're about 110 years old, wear a red and white striped jacket, sport a handlebar mustache and ride a tricycle with a front wheel that's 30 times bigger than the ones in the back.

No, it's clear there will be nary a word uttered about this decade, because it never found a suitable (let alone catchy) monkier. People still talk about the roaring 20's, the fabulous 50's, or the swinging 60's, but no one really refers to the (19)00's or (19)10's much, a phenomenon which I believe has more to do with nomenclature than actual passage of time.

So, if you did something really amazing and revolutionary this decade, you're pretty much screwed. No one's gonna want to talk about it because no one wants to say (for example), "Boy, the NAUGHTIES were incredible - remember how that panel of top scientists cured cancer, AIDS, SARS, and heart disease all in one week??? MAN! What a decade!!!"

Nope, doesn't matter. Hell, they could invent a better type of silly string in the 2020's and it would get talked about more, simply because it's easier to say "Those Toy-filled Twenties!!!!" than "The Age of Medical Advancement and Disease Vanquishment." SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!!!!!!!! Save it for the history books, daddy-o!!!!! Pass the silly string!

Ah, it's just as well, I suppose. Looking at the world around me, I think the less said about the "naughties," the better.

(Footnote: Have you ever considered the fact you will probably never get to live in a decade which is numerically 10 years before the one you're born in? So, if you're born in the 70's, you'll most likely never get to live in "the 60's" (of the next century, of course). If you're born in the 80's, you probably won't get to live in "the 70's." Never thought about it, did ya? Kind of a bummer, huhn? Whaddayamean, "NO"???")

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dumb Luck

It kind of bothers me that the people who work in casinos wish everyone "good luck." They can't really mean it, at least not every time, because if EVERYONE had good luck, then the casinos would obviously go bankrupt. Nevermind the fact it's a statistical, if not a logical, impossibility for everyone to have good luck.

Think about it; if everyone had "good luck," wouldn't we have to redefine what is lucky? After all, the norm for what is an ordinary amount of "luck" will have shifted. Soon, it won't be enough for everyone to hit the lottery... the people with "good luck" will have to hit it TEN times!

The casinos should be a little more forthcoming with their patrons. Next time I'm in Atlantic City I want the staff to say, "Hey, try not to lose so much money you end up working the streets later just to get cab fare home, ass-wipe - you know, like last time."

I think I could respect them for that.