Dave’s Strange and Unusual World

November 26, 2008

Sprinkle, Sprinkle Little Hagelslag

Well, I am going to take a few days off for the Thanksgiving holiday.  However, before I completely leave you alone and without direction in life, I needed to relate an interesting experience that I had this evening.  My wife and I are in part-time business with a friend and his wife.  This friend is from Holland and I never noticed any particularly strange cultural nuances before, until I met up with him this evening.

We met our friend at his house, where he was just about to sit down to “dinner.”  This is where the strange cultural nuance kicks in.  Our friend poured himself a glass of milk and then promptly started eating a weird looking sandwich that his wife had prepared for him.  I gazed at the sandwich wondering, “what is that?”  Noting the quizzical look on my face, my friend explained to me  that he was eating a sandwich consisting of butter and chocolate sprinkles (see exhibit 1 below).

spaceball1peanut_butter_sprinkleExhibit 1 (picture on loan from another website)

Apparently, this sandwich is called a “hagelslag” or something appetizing-sounding like that.  Now, I always try not to be culturally insensitive, so I didn’t comment on the sandwich.  I did, however, decide to make a cool after-dinner comment to my friend as he was looking through the pantry for something after his “dinner.”  Now, please note that he had three sandwiches prepared and only ended up eating two of them – one of them went back into the refrigerator.  Sensing that he was looking for a little after-dinner treat, I sternly announced that he should in no way think he was going to get any dessert until he finished his chocolate-sprinkle sandwich.

Anyway, I’d like to thank my fan for supporting me throughout this year.  I will remember your undying support as I eat copious amounts of turkey and ultimately slip into the three-day tryptophan-induced coma.  I am thankful for many things in my life and I would encourage you to take this holiday as a time not only to increase your waist size, but also to increase your thankfulness to God for the blessings that each of us, whether we realize it or not, enjoy.  We are blessed to live in a country where we can both eat turkeys and elect turkeys to public office.  So, I’ll be back soon…until then, have another slice of hagelslag!



November 25, 2008

When Animals Attack

I’m the kind of guy that likes to find trends, however disturbing they may be, and bring them to the attention of you, my faithful reader (yes, the singular form of ‘reader’ is correct).  Why?  Mostly to gawk, but sometimes to inform.  So, today I stumbled across an article that sent chills up my neck.  Why, you ask?  Well for one, the air conditioning at work was blowing right on me when I was reading the article (seriously, it’s the winter…why is the AC blowing on me?).  More importantly, however, is the fact that this disturbing tale is all too familiar and I am convinced now, more than ever before, that dogs are exacting their revenge on humanity.

The first story that I read today (read it here) deals with Mr. Matthew Marcum who was shot by his Labrador, Drake.  Mr. Marcum received a 12-gauge blast to his buttocks and his back, and an even deeper, lifelong wound to his pride.

This story seemed eerily familiar, like one of those eerie programs that goes like this:

(Serious, deep-voiced narrator) “Ralph Scratchinbottom was driving down the road, minding his own business in a rural town in Delaware.  Suddenly, Ralph filled his Ford Festiva with a massive bodily emission that blew out his windows, causing him to pass out and roll his car into the ditch.  At approximately the same time, his twin brother, Fred, on the opposite coast, in California, had just won a tri-state chili-eating competition.  Was this just a coincidence?”

So, anyway, I looked back over my vast archives and found three more incidences of flatulence.  No, wait…I mean three more incidences of dogs shooting their owners.

In August of 2007, in Memphis Tennessee, a Great Dane named King George shot his owner in the back with a .22 caliber pistol (read it here).  The police ruled the shooting an accident and refused to press charges against the dog, which has since been placed in protective custody away from its owner.  Again, in October of 2007, another man by the name of James Harris of Tama, Iowa “took between 100-120 pellets in about a 4-inch circle to his calf” with his dog named as the trigger man (read it here).  Again, no charges were filed.  And, finally, in January of 2008, Perry Prince was shot and killed by his Labrador (read it here).  The dog’s muddy prints were found on the shotgun.  And, again, no charges were filed.

This is a disturbing trend and I wanted to be the first to break it to you.  As I believe that prevention is the best cure, I have already taken the drastic step of locking up my dog’s handgun and hunting rifle – I just don’t trust him anymore, no matter how innocent he may seem.  Dogs can turn on their masters in a heartbeat and I’ll take my chances with him trying to “shank” me over him shooting me any day.  And, to top it all off, the “law” doesn’t seem to be willing to do anything: none of these dogs have been prosecuted, and none have been put down.

So, be careful out there.  And, remember, treat your animals well…they might be packing heat.

November 23, 2008

The Going Out of Business Sale

Yesterday, my wife and I went to the “Going Out of Business” sale at Linens-N-Things because we need a new pan or something like that.  Apparently, there really wasn’t much of a sale going on: things were marked down by 25 percent, which was still too much to pay for the stuff, in my opinion.  I mean, seriously, I get about five coupons from Bed, Bath and Beyond every week that guarantee me 20 percent off any item, and the store isn’t even going out of business.  So, this leads me to an oxymoronic statement that I made to Amber as we left the store:

“This store needs to be going out of business just a little longer if it wants my business.”

But, of course, this statement is not completely true.  Have you ever been to a store that’s going out of business?  It’s definitely not business as usual.  Usually, you will find that the store looks very much like it was looted by an angry mob.  Many of the products are opened and strewn about and, if you look hard enough, you might find a dead body somewhere in the store.  Children are screaming and two elderly ladies are fighting over a discounted (and broken) electric toothbrush.  There may be some tires burning in the middle of the store and street people hitting you up for spare change near the housewares section.

Anyway, generally, the life-cycle of a “Going Out of Business” sale works in such a way that the prices are kept high initially in order to move the “good” merchandise.  These prices are kept high long enough for people to ransack the store and destroy much of the merchandise.  One this occurs, the store increases its discount a little higher to reach the segment of shoppers that are willing to buy half-destroyed items, such as chairs that may be missing one leg, carpets that may be stained from a child’s milkshake, and lamps that have had their cords gnawed off by sale mice, among other things.

The sale continues a bit longer until, by order of the city fire marshall, the building has to be imploded.  The order usually requires that all building materials and remaining sale items, up to and including any and all squatters who may have built lean-to’s and took up residence in the curtain section, must be burned in place in order to prevent environmental contamination of the surrounding areas.  Thus ends the “Going Out of Business” sale.

November 22, 2008

Curses…Here Come the Mall Gypsies!

Filed under: Knee-Slappingly Funny — dangrdave @ 12:46 am
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Well, I went to the mall today with my wife, and we encountered the much-dreaded ‘mall gypsies.’  I’m not sure if they are officially termed ‘mall gypsies,’ but that’s what I call them.  You know who these people are: they don’t actually have a store in the mall…they have a kiosk in the middle of the walking areas at the mall and they usually sell something utterly useless like fingernail exfoliators made from Dead Sea salt cubes or hand lotion made from the udder lining of a virgin Palestinian yak.

Now, because these ‘mall gypsies’ don’t actually have a store, coupled with the fact that they aren’t actually selling anything that a normal shopper wants, they tend to drum up their business by randomly and spontaneously materializing, Star Trek-like, directly in front of shoppers as they walk through the mall.  You’ve probably stumbled over one of these gypsies at one point or another.  These gypsies know that if they can make eye contact with you their chances of being able to waste your time are enhanced by approximately 42 percent.

After making eye contact, the ‘mall gypsies’ somehow pull you to their little kiosk, which is laden down with random blue and white products that smell like antiseptic.  Special note: The gypsies actually live in this kiosk at night.  Anyway, immediately after you get to the kiosk, another gypsy will generally materialize out of one of your shopping bags and begin rubbing some ointment on your hands while furrowing her brow, profusely frowning and mentioning something about your hands looking like the severed hooves of a dead mountain goat.

The Gypsy will tell you how the ointment that is being rubbed into your hands was refined from dead sea salts, camel spit and the dried bones of garden gnome.  The gypsy will use use her powers to try and convince you that your hands feel and look better than they ever have in your entire life.  The gypsy will even pick some scabby looking items up off of the table and tell you that these are the calluses that have fallen from your hands as a result of the Dead Sea scrub.  Finally, the gypsy will announce that you can have the lotion, along with a special bottle of fingernail undercoat to prevent rust stains and a genuine coprolite power bracelet, for the low price of $72.

The gypsy then takes over your mind and causes you to want to buy two sets of this lotion: one for you and one for a friend.  Then, approximately fifteen seconds after you leave the kiosk, when your senses return, you realize that you’re a guy and you don’t need a hand exfoliator.  By this time, however, the gypsies have already hitched their kiosk to a team of mules and moved to another mall.  This is true because if you return to the kiosk, though it may look the same, there will be different gypsies standing there.  You have no choice but to bring your lotion to a white elephant gift exchange and hope that you’ll get some good trade-in value.  True story: I got a package of one of these products at a white elephant gift exchange.

So, anyway, as I started out trying say at the beginning of this post, the ‘mall gypsies’ were out in full force today at the mall, spontaneously appearing in different places and slathering people’s hands with products that have not been tested for effectiveness by the Surgeon General.  In order to avoid any trouble – you never want to mess with a ‘mall gypsy’ – my wife and I have learned to always look away and never make eye contact.  It doesn’t make for the most joyous shopping experience, but it’s the safest experience.

November 21, 2008


Filed under: Politics,Seriously Serious Stuff — dangrdave @ 2:24 am
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I still don’t think that the Big Three should be entitled to receive public funds; however, I am glad to hear that Congress is actually bothering to request a plan before it considers handing money over to the ailing auto industry.  I imagine that Ford, GM and Chrysler will write something up to ultimately get their money because Congress really wants to fork over the loot (but they need to check a box so they look like watchdogs of our money).  The Big Three probably won’t adhere to what they write up, but they will write something up, I’m sure.  And, they’ll get their money one way or another.

Why am I sure?  Well, because GMAC Financial Services went and filed to have its status changed to that of a bank.  This, of course, will qualify GM, or at least a branch of GM, for funds from the bailout package (read about it here).  An automotive bailout is inevitable, it seems.

Pretty soon, I imagine that $25 billion will be spent and all this hubbub will fade away as a distant memory.  We’ll forget how much this money could have helped small businesses that are the engines that actually run our economy and generate bold innovations.  We’ll also forget how much this money could have helped our children and their children by not actually being spent at all.

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