I QUIT! - 9/29/06

I would consider myself to be a consistent, entry level practical joker. If you want to be a Journeyman Practical Joker, you have to study for years and the jokes you pull off take months of planning. I like phony phone calls and the doctoring e-mails variety. I’m lazy. But, I’m consistent.

So when something does go down, I get blamed. That screws with the other entry level guy who’s trying to work up the practical joke ladder and I’m getting all the blame/credit. “I didn’t do it.” It’s easy to lie when you aren’t.

So yesterday, something happened. I know it wasn’t me that did it because the joke was on me. It all started when I went to the fax machine and checked to see if anything had come in for me.

Author’s Sidebar *** (Our New Fax Machine is Our Old Fax Machine)
Our current fax machine is our old copier/print/fax machine. When the bosses decided to upgrade, they huddled in their offices and picked a slick new color copier/scanner/printer. I felt a little left out because I am, by default, the company’s IT guy. But no one likes the IT guy in a meeting. The new copier was brought in and installed. Tech guy was showing us how to operate the new machine when someone asked how to send a fax on the new machine. He looked at the machine and looked at us and said, “This model does not have fax capability.” My bosses were crazed. They called the salesman in, “How come this has no fax!” He eeked, “I never said it did?” My bosses were enraged. “How come you didn’t tell us to ask if there was a fax capability!!?” The default IT guy had to laugh. In the end, we got to keep the old copier/printer/fax machine (though we got the credit for turning it in) and it sits right next to our new scanner/copier/printer.

The fax machine had several faxes and confirmations sitting in the tray. I sorted through them, found the one I was waiting for and headed back to my seat when I noticed something very odd. On the cover page of my fax, someone had written, “I QUIT! - 9/29/06”

At first, I thought someone at Skan Electric in Ft. Bragg, NC had got fed up with their job and chose to share it with me. As I looked closer, I saw that it wasn’t printed in the dull black that our fax machine spits out, but rather black pen. This had to have been done in our office and, by looking at the time the fax came in, in the last twenty minutes.

I immediately accused Angie because she sits right next to the fax machine and would have been in arms reach of the output tray. I also suspected her because she is usually the victim of my jokes and has been known to get me back. She denied it. But then again, she was smirking when she denied it.

Next on my list was Shorty. But he’s not that clever so I immediately crossed him off the list.

That was everyone on my list, so I was out of suspects. I went back to the fax and tried to analyze the information:

I QUIT- Quit what? Who is I? Why would they want to quit? Why all capitals?

9/29/06 – Why is that date important?

I took the next ten minutes using white out and a pen to make the faxed invoice look presentable so that accounting wouldn’t ask any questions. As I mangled the fax even further, I’d stop and accost or accuse someone else in the office. Everyone seemed pretty sincere and I don’t think anyone is clever enough to stump me on such a simple prank.

Angie keeps track of the scheduling in the office and I asked her to check what was going on that date and why it might be significant. She looked that the calendar and said, “Oh, that’s the day you had the horrible program…..”

And she said it as I thought it.

“YOU DID IT!” I did it.

On September 29th 2006 I had thirteen emergency jobs across the states. I had to get 10 guys to 13 different locations within 24 hours. I found the qualified guys, negotiated payments and got them on the road/plane/boats (one guy had to take a ferry.) At 4:00pm on Friday, the client called. I was very pleased to share with him that we had all the jobs taken care of. That was when he told me there were 10 more locations that needed fixed in the next 24 hours. As I plotted them on a map, they landed in areas where my guys who were now on planes could have driven. Basically, if he had given me the additional 10 locations four hours earlier, I could have handled them with the guys I had. Now that my installers were all ready on the road, I’d have to find new guys. At 4:30 on a Friday. Fuck! I was ranting and pouting around the office. I stopped over at the fax machine, pulled out a sheet of paper, wrote “I QUIT – 9/29/06” and shoved it in the middle of the stack of paper waiting to get printed on.

Two months later, that sheet of paper worked its way to the top of the stack and tricked the trickster.

Only a few people have witnessed me in the Doug fetal position. That’s where I sit on my knees and lean my head forward until it touches the floor. Usually I shove the palms of my hands into my eye sockets and fold into myself. Kind of what an ostrich would do if there were no hole to stick their head in.

I had to laugh. I got me good.

Gifts for Guys

Every Christmas, my family does a gift exchange. Each guy buys one gift and it randomly goes to one of the other adult, male relatives. I spend weeks (minutes) deciding what gift I can buy that would work for a wide age range, from my father (aged 68) down to my brother-in-law (aged 35.)

Since I was looking anyways, I thought I would share some gifts that any guy could use. As a matter of fact, every man should own the following:

Gerber Rescue Knife

This is a completely useless tool that will get you laid. The chances of you driving along and seeing a car flipped over in a drainage ditch is pretty slim. But… telling a chick in a bar that you are capable of rescuing her in case of emergency is enough to get you in her bra. (The seat belt cutter also works well on bra straps.)

Black and Decker Auto Wrench

Let me be very upfront; I do not think this wrench will work very well. No hand tool that requires batteries is worth squat. But it’s the thought that counts. You are buying this gift to make someone’s life easier and that’s what they are advertising. Especially good for your Uncle who lost his thumb in that regrettable strip club accident.


Every man should have an anvil. This is our credo.

6 "D" cell battery Maglite Flashlight

I love MagLite’s flashlights. I love beating people with clubs. Why not combine the two? If you find yourself confronted by ninjas and you’ve left your Bo Staff at home, this flashlight will protect you. If you have failed (again) at fullfilling your girlfriend's every desire, she can borrow the batteries out of this for her vibrator. Or she can just borrow the whole flashlight.


I need these gay things very badly. I figure if I can get other guys to make them cool to wear, I can bounce along and not look the fool. Who doesn’t want to bound along at 20mph, do flips and slam dunk?

Window Washer Scaffolding

Every man deserves scaffolding. It so useful! Looking into windows at women getting dressed. Pulling off heists. And if you are seeking attention, you can cut a cable and dangle for hours waiting to be rescued while the local news helicopter hovers above you. Hello book deal!

Mayonnaise Packets

Mayo makes everything taste good. And when it’s portable, it’s even better. Mayo in packets has at least six uses that I will make up right here:
1. Consumption
2. Removing gum from hair
3. Lubricant
4. Paparazzi lens smearer to block that shot of you leaving a bar with Tara Reid
5. Legal tender (in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast)
6. A very small pillow

And don’t get me started on Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip is for people who breast fed until they were five.

Refrigerator Magnet Bottle Opener

Oh sweet Jesus. This is the perfect gift for all guys. You, of course, must give them beer as well so that they can test out the opener immediately.

Sauerkraut Stuffing

This is the tastiest recipe for stuffing that I have ever tasted. Grandma Susie gave me the recipe and the honor of making it this year. Give it a try if you have a slow cooker and an open mind (tongue.)

Stuff for the Stuffing:
1 bag of cornbread stuffing
1 14.5 oz can of chicken broth
1-1/3 cups water (not one, 1/3rd cup, 1 1/3 cups or actually 4/3 cups water)
1 stick o butter
1 can of sauerkraut (32oz can for Germans or Chris Loy, 14 oz can for everyone else)
2 eggs

Big enough pan (see below)
Slow cooker

Stuff to do to the Stuffing:
Add broth, butter and water to a pan that will end up being large enough to hold everything. A good rule of thumb is to guess and then dump everything into a larger pan when it overflows.

Bring to a boil while chopping up the sauerkraut into smaller bits. Not too small though. Just small enough so that people won't know its sauerkraut.

Add stuffing and mix so that everything is MOIST. (MOIST is such a great word. I’m adding it my list of good words. And when you say it, you have to say it loudly.)

Beat eggs. Mix in the sauerkraut and eggs.

Gently dump all into a slow cooker. Cook on high for one hour, then cook on medium for at least two hours.

Hopefully, with the rest of the smells in your kitchen, the sauerkraut won’t be overwhelming. I’m promising you, this is delicious. Keep it in mind for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

Tracy really hates me

I didn’t think it was possible that I could create such venom in someone. Sure, I’m an asshole, but assholes are nuisances that hit on your girlfriend or don’t pay you back for lunch. Usually we don’t cause steaming, putrid hate.

Tracy hates me. With vitriol on top.

I saw her at Freckled Jen’s this weekend during the Ohio State game. It had been about four months since I pissed her off last so I thought she might be receptive to a hello. Not so much. Her eyes didn’t meet mine the entire night and she would say things under her breath that I’m sure were not pleasant. It almost seemed like she would stand close to me just to ignore me.

I’m torn between the “I don’t really care” and the “screw her.”

If it was the “I don’t really care,” I wouldn’t be writing this right now. So if I’m being honest, it’s got to be the screw her. Perhaps there is a middle ground. How about “I gave a shit, but now I couldn’t give two shits?”

Oh well. It gives her something to get excited about. Better me that someone else. Maybe she really likes me and can’t do anything about it, so she feels the need to push me away! Oh, that’s good. Hold on…

**** *******

Tracy really loves me

I know someone who has a secret crush on me. And I have a crush on her. It’s Freckled Jen’s friend, Tracy. She and I have been involved in a cat and mouse game for several months, but it has become increasingly hard for us to hide our emotions.

As a cover, we fight in front of everyone. We don’t make eye contact. She says horrible things about me. We avoid each other.

But when we are alone…

Recently, Tracy has had to take it up a notch. At the OSU v Michigan game this weekend, I pretended that I wanted to say hello and be amicable. She acted like she wanted to slit my throat. IT WORKED!

Maybe someday we will be together. Until then, I will be an asshole and protect that secret. I'm sure Tracy will do the same.

Ohio State v. Michigan

Doug's prediction:

Ohio State – 27
Michigan -17

And, yes, that is a negative sign in front of the Michigan score.

Libertarian Freedom Fighter

At Ohio University, we did a live broadcast called “Fridays Live.” It was a live show that combined real time interviews with pre-packaged movie reviews, Man-On-The-Street bits and some video segments we thought were funny at the time.

Thanks to YouTube, we can all relive those special moments and see what Doug looked like 50 pounds ago.

A warm How-Do to Tony and Craig in the pillow bunker.

Tony is an author and I think Craig is running for re-election in 2008.

I said, it’s a Honda.

I have never purchased a new car in my life. Adopting someone else’s misery always seemed like a better deal than bringing home a brand new, expensive, depreciating baby.

Today we brought home our newly adopted child. A 2004 Honda Odyssey. It’s roomy and actually has some git up and go. I drive it like a teenager who drives his parents', well, minivan. I admit that I like driving it. I also admit that I like Helen Reddy music.

But to purchase this van we had to get rid of Doug’s Car. We swaddled it up and left it at the dealership doorstep. They said they would find a home for my baby.

Suckers. They just spent the worst $500 of their lives!

My poor little ‘95 Honda Civic. It held up so well over the past eight years. The 10,000 miles between oil changes. The watered down anti-freeze. The watered down break fluid. I abused that poor car. Acton reminded me of when he and I left a club one frigid winter night and as we sat freezing in the car, I revved the engine to the red line to heat it up. He said I was killing the engine. I said, it’s a Honda.

I slept in the back seat when I had had two too many. I slept in the trunk when I had many too many.

Right there at the end the clutch began to give up on life. The clutch was so bad, the sales guy at the dealership asked me to drive it around to the service garage because it kept stalling on him. As I shut it off, I realized that there was probably 1/100th of a tank of gas left. I timed it perfectly.

Some 16 year old kid is going to get a terrific Christmas present this year. As a matter of fact, I can almost squeeze the first bit of the 12 days of Christmas out of it:

Five fuses blown
Four balding tires
Three quarts low of oil
Two taillights out
And a spare tire with a big fat hole

Three years ago, I got a flat. I threw on the spare and drove off. An hour later, I went through a pothole and my spare went flat. I was only a mile from home so I drove on the spare. For the next three years, that spare was flat in the trunk of my car. As my tires began to bald and show the furry metallic signs of steel belt, I started to think I might need to get my spare fixed. Instead, I traded my car in.

Welcome to the family, 2004 Honda Odyssey. Godspeed 1995 Honda Civic. Join your brother, 1988 Honda Civic, in that great big Möbius Strip race track in the sky.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life

We bought a mini-van.

I just pulled my pants up a little higher and ate a bowl of Fiber One for breakfast.

Ohio State vs Michigan

It’s Ohio State vs Michigan week.

And oddly enough, for the 3rd year in a row, I have a business trip to Guam that leaves at 2:00pm on the Saturday of the OSU v Michigan game. The business trip returns sometime Sunday morning, depending on flights and customs.

Sadly, the trinkets and post cards at the Guam Duty Free Shop are overpriced and I never seem to bring any home.

I do have a series of photos of me there last year. Miss Sally always asks to see the photographs.

Here I am on Mucholohi Beach:

Here I am participating in a native dance ritual:

Here I am at a local street fair:

Looks like it's going to be another boring trip again this year. I'll try and bring back a shell or something. Unless I forget again.

Go Buckeyes!

Brtny txt msg

What the break up text message may have looked like from Britney Spears to K-Fed.

Kingy's Pizza Pub

The dudes got together last night at Kingy’s Pizza Pub. I know it is very lame to have a name for your group of friends, but it’s less generic than “the guys” and we all know who we are including when we say dudes. (And I’m not capitalizing dudes because Dudes would be completely faggy.) We would have chosen a cooler name but “Booze Hounds” was taken and the number in “Fab 5” isn’t large enough to encompass the group.

Kingy’s Pizza is in Canal Winchester, right off of 33. It’s almost dead center between Columbus and Lancaster so it’s a convenient place for everyone to meet. Except for Tony who lives up in Delaware, OH. And Doob who’s in Chicago. And for Kit because he’s Kit and can't seem to find his front door.

During our high school years, many of us thought Kingy’s was a gay hangout. Not due to any fault of Kingy’s. There was a rest stop in close proximity that was labeled by the locals as Lollipop Park. Gay people or freaks would go there to hook up. There were a number of complaints and sadly, Lollipop Park was shut down, requiring people that had to pee and gays alike to keep their legs crossed until they got to Columbus. Kingy’s got a bad rap and we idiotically avoided the place.

Right after high school Greg worked at a vending machine company and he would collect money and fix vending machines and video games. One of the places on his route was Kingy’s. One day, someone mentioned Kingy’s. Greg perked up. “They’ve got great food there.” We were all stunned. You eat at Kingy’s? He explained that it was on his route and that if he timed it right, he could get there around noon and stay for lunch.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha! You are gay! You go to Kingy’s and you actually eat there! Fag!

Greg tried to argue that is was NOT a gay hangout and the food was really good. We did not listen and continued to make fun of him for the next five years.

The intersection that Kingy’s was built near went under construction a few years back. It was determined that Kingy’s would need to be torn down for the new overpass to be built. The owners decided to re-build on the opposite side of Rte 33 off of Diley road. Handsome Joe lived around the corner from there and came back with a scouting report:

Hotties. Smoking hotties everywhere. I had to go check it out.

After dredging up all the old Greg is gay jokes, we decided that the dudes would meet at Kingy’s. Handsome Joe was right. All the waitresses were smoking hot. (I’m not going to go into the details of what standards are used in Central Ohio to judge hotness. For rural Ohio, these girls were 9s and 10s when graded on a curve.) I believe that Canal Winchester has a policy of giving the smoking hot, high school graduate girls a diploma, a slap on the ass and a Kingy’s t-shirt so they can start working that night. Needless to say, we were all awestruck and a few hours later, drunk and awestruck.

Now that Fat Cat’s Pizza sucks, Kingy’s pizza is at the top of my list. Just don’t get it to go. Eat it there. Slowly.

Apologies to Greg for all the gay comments. Apologies to the owners of Kingy’s that we incorrectly made fun of your restaurant all those years. And apologies to our hot waitress last night who had to serve a group of loud guys who stayed until closing and still call themselves dudes.

Landing Strip update

1. Here is a photo of the Landing Strip sign taken via camera phone.

2. The angle shows the sign as one leaves the parking lot.
3. Much has changed in the past four years.
4. Some things have not changed in the past four years.

In a holding pattern outside of the landing strip

You want to know how I feel right now? Imagine having the Holy Grail (the golden kind with jewels, not the cheap wooden one from Raiders 3) within a hands reach. You reach out to grab it and you knock it over and it rolls out of reach. Gone.


It rolls back around again within a fingertips reach… you stretch out…and you miss it again. Gone.

Last Thursday, I was five minutes away from The Landing Strip in Romulus, MI. It was 11:30pm and I was sick. I had the chills. And I had to get up to Clarkston, MI to meet with my guys. They had mutinied and I to get them back on board. There wasn’t any time to go. The next day I had to get back to Ohio. Just out of my reach…

Tonight, I am driving up again. I’ll be driving within five miles of the most beautiful place on earth…

It’s 7:30pm now. I’m weary. I’m tired. I’ve got to meet the client at 7:30am. If I leave when I think I can, I’ll be out the door here at 9:00pm and be at teh hotel at 1:00am... but that also means I could be at the Landing Strip at 12:30am. I’d need 4 – 5 of the $10 drinks to loosen up.

And hey! By some act of whichever god you choose to imagine in, John just called. His quote was a little something like this… “Five years ago it would have been a no brainer, you would have gone. Now, we are older. I give you a 50/50 chance of going. If you do, take a photo on your camera phone and send it to me.”

It’s 7:38pm now. Maybe I can get out of here in the next 15 minutes.

The Landing Strip Wednesday night special is buy one Holy Grail of Coors, get the second half off. (There’s a better joke in there somewhere. Any suggestions?)