Tag Archives: evil

10 Fads That Haunted Our Childhoods

Growing up in a consumer driven America led to a strange fad phenomenon. These things came and went faster than your first significant other, but my god were they amazing while they lasted. If you didn’t know about the latest fad, you were sentenced to the lunch table with the snotty kids. If you discovered a new fad, you were hailed as a hero and almost mythical creature. These things made or broke people.

Tamagotchi – Push a button and feed it. This thing could even poop! I have a vivid memory of some girl crying after her’s died after a week. There were many knock-offs of this, but the gold standard was tamagachi. I hope nothing like this ever appears again.

Pogs – Nothing spells fun like cardboard and aluminum milk caps. The problem with this fad was that after it was done you were stuck with about 4 tons of round smiley faces and slammers that said “super cool” on them. The sick bastard who made these popular needs to be institutionalized. What ever happened to the billions of pogs?

Skip-it – Kids seemed to get a kick out of voluntarily putting a ball and chain on their legs. While at least promoting a semi-healthy activity these things were still around for a bit too long. All the cool kids had reset the counter. That’s over 1000 skips and probably a days worth of time where you could’ve been doing something much more entertaining.

Cats-Cradle – A loop of string… that is all. What marketing genius convinced us that this was so great? I can still do that damn Jacobs Ladder.

Yo-yo’s – Ok, I admit. Yo-yo’s are pretty cool, but the time and skill people put into these things was amazing. Most of the time people would get too frustrated and end up using this as a makeshift lassoo and try to catch a helpless bird.

Furby – I honestly think the devils hand was at work here. There is no other explanation. This thing is a fury ball of evil. Not to mention it’s annoying as shit. If I ever entered a dark room and saw one of these things staring at me, I would probably poo myself.

Virtual-Boy – While I never had one, these things were sweet and in every video shop for about 6 months until they realized no one was buying them except for that one kid who was cool for 6 months. I think this only came with one game. Boxing. And my god was it fun, but so damn expensive.

Pokemon – I’ll admit. I liked them. I played the video game. It was fun. The names! The cards! The adventure!…. I must stop or I’ll be forced to start playing pokemon games again.

Magic – Yes, I’m flashing my dork sign here, but this was (and still is) a sweet game. The true fans stopped collecting after the 5th generation. It all got a bit too complicated after that.

Beanie Babies – There was a time when people justified paying 50$ for a bean bag shaped like a starfish. For the good of humanity, this time has come to pass.

Know of any others?

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Grocery Shopping

Everything here is closed on Sunday. It’s quite a pain in the ass, especially when I do my grocery shopping every third day. I don’t like loading up with too much stuff because I have to take it on the tram and it gets cumbersome and just looks awkward.

No matter what I do I always forget about the Sunday rule; this forces me to abandon my second rule, which is don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry. I wake up on Monday after eating some strange combination of wurst, old fruit, and granola and set out on my quest.

German grocery stores are much like they are in the states, but with a much better selection of cheese, bread, and meats. Coincidentally, these are things I love. I’ll horde as much of the stuff as my arms will allow and make my way toward the register.

In Germany, for some reason, there is a general lack of trust when it comes to waiting in line. People first shoot elbows and if you aren’t paying attention they’ll sneak in front of you as if nothing happened. They all look around at everyone with looks of hate and distrust. Before I know it, I’m naturally acting on the defensive. I hug my armful of meat, cheese, and bread as close to me as I can and glare at the little old lady standing next to me. I just know she’s trying to take my place in line. Once I get to the conveyor belt I put my food down nervously.

This is where Germans get really crazy. They take the dividers and literally throw it between your food and theirs – even if there’s about 3 feet between the two piles. I return the favor the the helpless person behind me, who snaps out of their frantic distrustful searching and glares at me, but acknowledges the ritual at the same time with a wry and out of place smile.

Once I reach the cashier they give me a stressed look and ask for my money. They refuse any form of card payment and the Euro is prone to coin usage. So, I fumble through my wallet while the person behind me starts swearing along with the cashier. I find the perfect amount of change, and with a look of satisfaction and pride, I hand it to the evil register lady. She crumples up the reciept and throws it in my direction. I take my meats, cheeses, and breads and head on my way very confused about the strange cultural maze I just navigated.

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Monday’s a Drag; Click Some Links

Canvasing for Obama and what he learned.

What pencil not to use on a test (xkcd comic)

Yoink!

SNL: Affleck Mocks Olberman

Rednecks for Obama

Nothing We Can’t Do Obama Ad:

Please vote… and get a free coffee…

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The Fly

You know those kids who you drive by and are nuking some ant hill with a magnifying glass?

Yeah, I was one of those, but a lot worse. I would spend hours planning my assault on helpless bugs. I couldn’t help it. Some invisible little boy force had taken ahold of me and told me what to do.

“Kill the bugs,” it said.

All I could do was obey. This all stopped after several people whitnessed my actions and filed complaints. The bugs never forgave me though, and they’re getting their revenge on me now.

They’ve sent a demon fly to haunt me here in Germany. It won’t leave me alone. The fly hides in a corner, and just when I forget about it, it dive-bombs me right in the eye. I then smack my face hoping to catch it, but it is somehow, magically, on the other side of the room flicking me off.

Whenever I sit down to eat, this fly goes right for my food, where I’m pretty sure it relieves itself. All I can do is shoo it away and get some new food for it to ruin.

The worst though is when I sleep. I’ll wake up at two in the morning to a soft buzzing. I’ll wonder what it is, and then it will stop, and then right before I fall back to sleep it’ll start up again. This fly has somehow learned to fly extra slow in the dark. It will hover around my ear, impervious to my frantic blind swings at it. And as soon as I turn on the lights, the fly takes off with lightening speed and sounds like a motorboat with a diesel engine.

So, this is my formal apology to the bugs of the world. I hope this enough for you to take this evil fly out of my life. I swear I’ll never torch an innocent ant hill ever again.

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Showdown

I’ve had an interesting saga with one of my professors so far. It’s one of mutual respect and constant battling. It’s turning into being a learning experience, but not the type I thought I would get when I signed up for the class. The teacher teaches an Irish film course that, in the beginning, I was very excited about, but she seemed to make it her personal mission to shut me out of the class. I, on the other hand, have refused to drop the course since I’m only taking it to learn.

The First Battle: The Lines are Drawn.

On the first day, I strolled in happy that I would finally end my isolation in the small town where I’d be stationed. The teacher casually walked into the class and hid what I swore was a wand into her trench coat. She then proceeded to scan the attendance list giving a smile and a nod to the other students.

She suddenly landed on my name and her eyes bulged a bit as if it were some ancient curse words never to be spoken or read about. Then singling me out with a menacing grin, proceeded to tirade me in German about how I wasn’t registered with the right major for the class. After doing this she gave a look of expectation, clearly assuming that I would run for the door and beg for her forgiveness.

Now, I’m normally a pretty calm person and like to avoid conflicts at all costs, but I could tell she’s done this to more than one foreign student in the past.  So, I decided to make a stand for all my foreign fallen comrades who were casually tossed aside like old fruit in the past.

After an awkward silence where the class looked at me, then her, then me, I mounted my argument. I tried explaining in broken German that I was an exchange student here on a scholarship and the school’s office said I could take whatever I want. The look she gave me was like I had laid a smelly fart in her face.  She seemed a bit vexed and shot back saying “I have to do a project if I wanted to stay in the class, just like the other students” and that “couldn’t take it for credit”, or “ohne schein” in German, all while waving her finger at me as if I’d done something wrong.

This was her mistake because it freed me from caring at all about the outcome. It’s not that I wouldn’t try and do all the work. It’s just that I still really wanted to take the class, and now she had nothing to hold over my head. I was taking the class solely to learn. Whether I got a piece of paper saying I took it or not, I could care less. I agreed. She seemed surprised.

The class went on, and afterwards I told her I would be missing the class next week because I was going to England with the school I was teaching at. She muttered something inaudible and then grunted. I wished her a nice day and went off on my merry way.

Battle Two – The e-mails and Sweet Sweet Victory.

Later that day I set up my brand new University e-mail, and had a lovely message already waiting for me from the professor. The e-mail stated that she had checked with people “in her department”  and that “I really wasn’t allowed to take the class”.

German e-mails are very polite when they want to be, and she was pouring it on. She addressed me in the politest grammatical form possible, apologized a million times for the inconvenience, and wished me luck.

Any sane person would probably leave it at this, but I’ve been isolated from civilization for a while and was bored. So, I decided to continue. I wrote her back an e-mail politer than hers and informed her that I would still love to take the class and would go as soon as possible to the exchange student office to sort things out. I also cc’d the e-mail to the head of the foreign student program and asked them if there was anything I could do. I went to the office where they swiftly added a major to my student records at the Uni. They also were kind enough to print me out a copy and foward the good news to the professor.

I went out and ordered a cup of coffee. I then clasped my hands together and gave a low chuckle of victory like mad scientists do in old movies.

I have yet to get a response to that e-mail.

Battle Three: Punctuality

Sometimes things strike at the wrong time. What happened to me today was equivalent of my navy being destroyed by a storm.

The trip to England was fun and relaxing. I had almost forgotten my sweet victory from the week before until today rolled around. I packed all my things and set out. I arrived at the train station to be informed that the train was going to be late. This was bad news. This meant that I would be rushing to get to class. I knew that if I didn’t get there on time the professor would ring my neck and claim victory. I would be utterly ruined.

I like to think of myself as fairly punctual; in fact, I get pretty anxious when I’m running late. Usually, when I am late it’s for a legit reason. This is usually accepted in the U.S. as long as you have a legit excuse. Here in Germany they take things to a whole new level though. Yet, everyone at the train station seemed to be very calm and happy about the train being late, as if they had been plotting with my professor. Traitors!

The train finally arrived. I picked a seat and looked at my watch every five minutes thinking about the different scenarios that could take place. I told myself I would get there with five minutes to spare and the teacher would curse her friends at the train company. But as the train moved on, I realized more and more that I was probably going to be late.

I dashed off the train pushing old people and innocent children out of my way. There was yelling, but no time to look back. I arrived at the building sweating and panting, clunked loudly up the stairs, and caught a glance of my watch.

“Five minutes late,” I thought, “I can explain this.”

I creeped toward the door and tried to sneak in. I pushed. I pulled. I rattled. It was locked. I gave a light knock and heard some shuffling behind the door.

It opened a crack.

I saw two green eyes staring at me and heard “zu spät” or “too late”. The door then slammed and I heard a manical laugh on the other side of the door as the other students screamed in horror. I shook my fist in the air and screamed “why?!”

Next Course of Action

I’m not going to give up. I’ll be there next week and this time an hour early. It will be awkward, but I’m not going to lose this war.

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