Rantopolis

Why being Greek Orthodox is cool.

Today is Greek Orthodox Easter.  (It’s also Easter for the Russians, Serbs and other segments of the Orthodox Church.)

Here’s why this rules.

1.  Our Easter typically does not coincide with Western Christian Easter.  You know what that means?  Half-priced candy.  Yes, that’s right.  While the rest of you pay retail, we swoop in the day after your Easter and get everything for 50% or less off.   This discount is a very good thing because we need every extra penny to pay for the rest of the extravagant feast we serve at our Easter table.

Discount gourmet bunnies, bitches!

2.  Red Easter eggs.  Really bright red Easter eggs.  While the rest of you are dying your eggs wimpy pastel shades, we are busy making ours like like they were dipped in a vat of blood.  This comes in handy if we are trying to spot them from a satellite.

Don't be scared. They don't glow in the dark.

We also play a fun game with them.  We take turns bashing the ends of the eggs with each other.  The last person to have an unbroken egg wins.

Food and aggression all rolled up into one custom.  How can you not love that?

3.  The Easter Feast.  Greeks are always amused when we hear things like, “I’m making a honey-baked ham for Easter.”

Bwahhahha.   Just ham?

People, we have at least three meat-based entrees.  Lamb is always a main character, flanked by other meats like turkey and ham.  Then there are a variety of pastas, salads, olives, feta cheese and anchovies.

Yes, you wimps.  We eat anchovies and we love them.

4. The dessert part of the Easter feast.  This is so decadent that it deserves its own number.  My hosts this year had at least four cakes, three different Greek pastries and another three Greek cookies.

The only thing missing was an insulin syringe.

5.  Wine.  My people have been drinking wine for five millenia.  Probably as far back as 3,000 B.C.  I think I had my first taste of wine when I was about seven.  (Of course, it was mixed in with a lot of water, but we were taught at an early age that a glass of wine is something that adults enjoy with their meals.  My father had a glass of wine or a beer every single night of his life with dinner.)

We are just a party culture.

So here I sit stuffed after this year’s Easter celebration.  I also may or may not be on a serious sugar buzz.   And I also may or not be wearing loose-fitting yoga pants right now because they are the only thing in my closet that won’t cut off my blood supply.

I wouldn’t know how to celebrate any other way.

Christos Anesti to all of my Eastern Orthodox readers.  And to the rest of you who celebrate the other Easter, thank you for leaving some great gourmet chocolate bunnies behind.

April 15, 2012   Comments Off on Why being Greek Orthodox is cool.

Categories: Food, not just for eating , Holiday rituals

The dangers of a $20 coupon

It’s not often you open your email to find a $20 coupon.  To get that much off, you are usually required to spend a couple hundred bucks.

The good news?  All I needed to spend was $40 to get $20 off!  The bad news?  It was at Ace Hardware and unfortunately, I seldom need forty bucks worth of wing nuts and spackle.  More bad news. Anything already on sale wouldn’t count.

But, hey…it’s 20 free bucks, so I figure it was worth a trip.

So, first place I look is the aisle with the paper products.  Damn!  Kleenex, which I actually needed, was already on sale.  There goes my idea of walking out with 10 boxes.  (Okay, so I’m a hoarder.  You got a problem with that?)

Next brilliant idea was a new step stool.  I walk over to the ladder section.  I then discover that Ace only stocks step stools that weigh as much as anvils.  Seriously, what is up with that.  Pass!

Then I go over to the housewares section.  Ahh…a four cup Pyrex measuring cap.  Who doesn’t need one of those?!  Into the cart it goes.

At the end of the aisle are large refill bottles of Windex.  Yup, yup.  That works.

Then I spot one of those flat rubbery things that you use to open jars with.  Throw that sucker in the cart.

By now, what’s in my cart already has exceeded twenty bucks.  But I still need another $20 in order to use the coupon.

And then I spot the solution to all of my problems.  A small crock pot for $21.99.  I think to myself, I can use this to make soups, stews and other good stuff.  Plus, it’s only going to cost me about $2.  When the hell am I ever going to be able to get a crock pot for $2?!

This was my genius of an idea yesterday.  Here is where the crock pot is today.

I may need to ebay this sucker.

Top shelf of the coat closet next to the 1970s Polaroid camera and ski headbands (last used during the Reagan Administration).  This shelf is like a possessions hospice. I believe objects go here to die.

Dear Crock Pot, we hardly knew ye.

April 8, 2012   Comments Off on The dangers of a $20 coupon

Categories: I paid what?! , Shopping roulette

Tales from Disney World

Or as my friend Denise calls it, The Kingdom of Hell.

Roadmap to blisters and heat exhaustion.

Required to be in Orlando for business on Monday, I thought I would take this opportunity to spend the weekend at Walt Disney World.  Because I am so tired after three days of being moused, all that I am capable of is a quick review of the highlights/lowlights.  Hi ho, hi ho…it’s off to blog, we go!

Dumb thing overheard at the Animal Kingdom:

Is that really an anteater or is that a dog with a costume on?

Dumb thing overheard at Hollywood Studios:

Mom!  I can’t believe that girl is wearing my shirt.  I don’t care though because I’m rockin’ it better than she is!

Constantly heard at the Magic Kingdom:

Children screaming non-stop for five hours.  What wasn’t heard was the quiet sound of me going insane.

Award for longest wait and lamest attraction ever:

Toy Story. Ninety minute wait only to end up on a seven minute ride where you get to shoot some targets.  If there was live ammo in that gun, I would have shot myself.

What this really means is that if you are over 50 this ride will kill you.

Weird things parents do:

Bring newborns to Disney World.  What could you be thinking?  It’s not like they are going to remember and you will be spending all of your time in the bathroom changing diapers anyway.

Most amazing meal:

Brown Derby/Hollywood Studios.  I called the manager over (who, btw, made Rupaul look straight) to compliment him on the service.)  That’s when the free stuff started to flow.  Champagne, dessert, etc.  My kind of restaurant and manager.  I even got called “sweet cakes.”  I’m guessing that’s not from the Disney handbook.

Second most amazing meal:

Sushi at Tokyo Dining in the Japan section of the World Showcase.  I have never been bowed to more in my life.  Plus the sushi killed.  Arrigato!

Restaurant voted most likely to make your eardrums bleed:

I did not realize that booking a table for lunch at the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom would be like the audio version of water boarding.  Next time I’m showing up with a machete.  (Click on the link below for nine seconds of audio hell.)

Rainforest

Amusing things seen at the gift shop:

Corn on the cob holders with mouse ears.  Crayons with Disney character heads. Tongs with Mickey hands on the end.  M&Ms in every color of the Pantone chart.  A $250 handbag with Disney logos. Wind chimes with Mickey heads.  4,273 key chain types.

I’m proud to say that I bought nothing, although I really eyeballed one of those African rain sticks.  Mostly because the sound momentarily pleasantly drowned out the screaming children.

Then and now:

The first time I visited the Magic Kingdom was 1975.  Those were the days of the paper ticket books and the coveted E-ticket rides.  Today’s iteration includes a fingerprint scan, iPhone apps and Fast Pass options to (allegedly) make your visit more efficient.

Back in 1975, I couldn’t get enough.  Today, after three days in the park, I feel like my feet have been walking on hot embers and that someone has bludgeoned my back with a baseball bat.

Hey, Disney!  May I suggest  a new deluxe package?  You know…something that involves litter bearers carrying me from attraction to attraction?  Just a thought.

April 1, 2012   Comments Off on Tales from Disney World

Categories: Fantasy apps , Florida insanity , Holiday rituals

It’s a hole in the wall.

Last Tuesday, my building engineer knocks on my door and tells me there is a little problem brewing behind one of the walls in my master bedroom.  He thinks there is a problem with one of the water pipes and unless it’s dealt with it might burst.

Fabulous!

The thought of having hundreds of gallons of water pouring out of a high pressure, high-rise water system and into my bedroom is not particularly appealing.

Even less appealing is the thought of tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

So, I immediately consent to the inevitable.  Breaking through the wall to get to the pipe. Sledgehammer away, people.

After about an hour of pounding, I walk into the bedroom to find the following.

Apparently my building engineer is a frustrated cartographer.

A rough representation of South America with Australia apparently having been relocated to the south Atlantic.

Oh, yeah and the rest of the bedroom covered in fine plaster dust.

Long about now, I’m thinking that a flood would have been more desirable.

So, out comes the dust rag and the vacuum.  (Handling these things normally cause an involuntary face tick.  Which is how I justify a biweekly visit from my housekeeper.)

The next day the crew returns to switch out the pipes.  The water is shut off in that portion of the building for five hours.  That means 35 pissed-off residents.

I finish and retreat back into my office.  About an hour later, I hear more banging.  I walk back into the bedroom a hour later to find this.

Oh, man. Australia is still fine, but what the hell happened to South America?!

And once again, the entire bedroom is covered in white plaster dust.

I briefly consider calling Ripley’s Believe It or Not as I reach for the vacuum cleaner a second time.

Then on Thursday, a different crew arrives to plaster and paint the former South America and Australia.  Then a third crew needs to come back upstairs to move my furniture back in place.

In doing so, my white bedroom carpet is stained, which results in a call to the carpet cleaner.  Appointment set for Wednesday.

I wish they had just taken that sledgehammer to my head.

March 18, 2012   Comments Off on It’s a hole in the wall.

Categories: Chicago style , The high rise files

New things I learned this weekend.

In the process of renting my condo, I learned some brand new things this weekend.  For example:

1.  All females born in 1986 are named Kate.  Yup.  That’s a fact.  I had three different applicants born during that year who were named…yes, you guessed it.  Kate.   (My current tenant is also named Kate.)  You want to take a wild guess what the new tenant’s name is?

2.  People have no clue what their boyfriend/girlfriend’s birth date is.  Listen up.  You must master this skill.  Failure to do so will earn you decades of tears, reaming and other unpleasant consequences.  (Two of my applicants screwed up their partner’s birth date.  I had to point it out to them after doing the credit check.  One guy even begged me not to tell his girlfriend.)  Oh, the power.

3.  People are lazy and/or have reading comprehension problems.

  • What floor is the condo on?  (It’s clearly stated in the ad headline. When was your last eye exam? Please tell me you have a good health plan.)
  • Do you allow small pets?  (What is it about the words “no” and “pets” in the ad that didn’t you understand?  Unless you have an ant on a leash, the answer is still no.)
  • Does it have a garbage disposal?  That’s a deal breaker.  (Yes, the condo has one giant garbage disposal.  No closets, toilet or bedrooms.  Just an 800 sq. ft. garbage disposal. )

4.  Try not to say stupid things to your potential new landlord.  Like how you are going to screw over your present landlord by only giving them three weeks notice.  And then provide that landlord’s name as a reference.

5. If you are going to apply for an apartment have good credit.  Yeah, we check.

6.  If you are big boy or girl and are ready to move in with your boyfriend/girlfriend then don’t ask if it’s okay to have your parents cosign.  It isn’t.  (Why don’t we just skip the middle person and just have your parents move into the apartment.)

March 11, 2012   2 Comments

Categories: Uncategorized

Why being a landlord sucks. Part 2

Sigh.  This has been another week of prospective tenant hell.

I am so exhausted from dealing with all of these asshats that I can barely type right now.  So, I’m going to keep this rant short.

Here’s a play by play of some of the conversations I’ve endured while trying to rent my one bedroom condo.

Location, location, location

Prospective tenant #1: Hi…I’m really interested your apartment.  I see that you are asking $1700 per month rent.  But, I’m currently paying $1,100.  Is there anyway you can reduce the rent?

Me: Sure.  I don’t see why not.  First let me call my bank and tell them to reduce my mortgage by 60% so that I can cut the rent by the same amount.  Oh, and by the way, I give prospective tenants an I.Q. test.  Clearly you won’t be passing that anytime soon.

Prospective tenant #2.  (After a 30 minute apartment showing and tour of the building.)  Oh, one more thing.  We are really looking for the lease to start on May 1st.  Would that be okay?

Me:  Of course, it’s okay.  Are you kidding me?!  I’ll just tell the bank to fuck themselves in April.  I was just kidding when I posted April 1st in HUGE type on the ad.

Prospective tenant #3. How many square feet does the apartment have?

Me:  Sorry, I cannot rent the apartment to anyone who is illiterate.  The square footage is clearly listed on the ad.  Unless you are visually impaired there is no excuse for your stupidity.

Prospective tenant #4.  (Provides a number in the query email for me to call him.  I dial it and the name on the voicemail doesn’t match the name on the email, so I reply to the email stating that.  He calls me shortly after and tells me that the autofill put in his old work number.)

Me:  Seriously?!!!   Did you not notice the incorrect area code and digits?   Are you capable of going to the bathroom without supervision?

Give me strength to find a suitable tenant before I commit a felony.

March 8, 2012   Comments Off on Why being a landlord sucks. Part 2

Categories: Chicago style , The high rise files , Uncategorized

Why being a landlord sucks

As a long-time landlord I’ve had my share of great, and not-so-great, tenants.  (Current husband/wife tenants are awesome sauce.  Unfortunately, their family is about to expand and they need more space.  God speed.  They’ve earned themselves a great referral into perpetuity.)

Unfortunately for me, this means I have to start the tenant courtship/screening process all over again.  Kind of like starting a new dating relationship except that a credit check, criminal screening and a lot of cash is involved.

Then, again, I’ve been known to put prospective boyfriends through the same thing. I just feel that Google stalking is pretty much mandatory if you are going to impact my life in any fiduciary manner.

Brand new bathroom with floor to ceiling marble just completed.

Being that this is a one-bedroom apartment and located on Chicago’s lakefront, it usually attracts late-twenty-something, up-and-coming middle managers.  Typically, ones who have been educated at prestigious universities.

Unfortunately, their educational pedigree is not always a good indicator of their character.  May I share with you my first three experiences from this cycle?

Prospective tenant A.  Mom and dad live in a well-heeled Chicago north shore suburb.

Their little princess is a fairly recent graduate of the University of North Carolina.  She emailed me last Sunday to arrange for a viewing.  By Wednesday, I had not gotten a reply to my email back to her.  I sent her another one from a different address just on the outside chance it ended up in the spam folder.

Twenty-four hours later I heard back.  She was interested in setting up an appointment for either Sunday or Monday.  I emailed her back within in minutes trying to get specifics from her.  As of this writing, no reply.

Prospective tenant B.  Late 20s, Gonzaga U graduate who is relocating from the West Coast.  I called her within minutes of her email on Thursday.  She was only in town for a couple of days and wanted to secure an apartment for an April 1st move in.  She wanted to see the apartment the next day.

I call my current tenant to nail down a mutually convenient time and call “B” back within five minutes.   We confirm a 2 pm showing on Friday.  I shuffle around my business appointments to accommodate her.

The appointed time comes and goes.  I call her at 2:15 pm.  The call goes into vmail.  She is a no show.  Needless to say, she didn’t even return my call to apologize or explain.

Prospective tenant C.  She called me yesterday and set up an appointment for this afternoon for her and her fiance.  She makes it, he doesn’t.  Lovely young lady who tells me that she really likes the apartment, but that they have already been approved for a different one.  She asks to take an application and discuss with her fiance.  I receive a polite email an hour ago that her fiance has decided to go with the other apartment.

So, as a public service to 20-something young professionals looking for apartments, here are some tips.

1.  There’s this thing called the internet.  That means that prospective employers and even landlords are going to search your shit out.   We will track down your work history and connections on LinkedIn, check your vapid tweets on Twitter and reverse search your phone number.  And that’s just for starters.

2.  As landlords, we are likely to be older and better connected.  As in, we actually may know people in top management in the company for which you just accepted an entry level assignment.  It’s not a smart idea to piss us off.  (I’m speaking directly to you, Ms. Gonzaga.)

3.  If your Twitter profile professes your love of martinis and partying, you aren’t even going to get to the credit check phase with me.  The last person I want living next door to me is a drunk who may end up puking in the hallway.

4.  If you make an appointment with me and don’t show, I will check your Twitter or Facebook.  (It’s because I care so much and want to make sure you didn’t have an accident and are in the emergency room.  You get that I’m being sarcastic, right?)

If you are posting away about your adorable Tar Heels, I’m going to take that as a sign that you are still alive and you are a rude piece of crap for not keeping your appointment or calling to cancel.

5. To Applicant C.  Thank you for being classy enough to send me an email informing me of your decision.  Common courtesy will get you far in life.  Oh, and your engagement ring was gorgeous.  Just sayin’.

I will eventually rent this apartment.  Probably sooner rather than later.  I will likely get an amazing tenant (reread the part about my ability to conduct thorough background checks).  But in the meantime, I’m also likely to deal with several more spoiled private school, trust fund babies who were never taught the importance of courteous behavior.

March 4, 2012   3 Comments

Categories: Chicago style , Rude people , The high rise files

Idiots at the ATM

Unless you are a visitor from another galaxy or someone born before women had the right to vote, you should know how to use an ATM.

How difficult is it to shove a card into a horizontal hole and type in your PIN?!

Apparently, very.

Hell, the damn thing even speaks about 10 languages.  So unless you are from Papua New Guinea that shouldn’t be an excuse.

If I stand behind one more idiot that doesn’t know how to complete a transaction in less than a minute, I’m going to go into ATM rage.

Take, for example, the little incident that happened during lunch.

I had raced to the health club for my 12:15 p.m. spin class.  With five minutes to spare (the parking gods were smiling on me today), I pit stop at the Chase ATM located  inside the building.  I figured, this should only be a 30 second detour.  Stick the card in, punch in the PIN and deposit my check.

Uh. No.

There’s a repair guy working on one ATM and a woman with the I.Q. of a lint brush attempting to make a deposit on the other.

(This is the part where I tell the blood vessels in my brain to please not cause a stroke.)

She kept shoving formerly folded, wrinkled checks into the deposit slot and the machine kept rejecting them.  Further, she doesn’t get the concept of sticking all the checks in at one time.  Even though those instructions are clearly displayed on the screen.  (Mr. ATM repair guy even tells her the same thing verbally. The only think missing was the Goodyear Blimp flashing instructions.)

By now, I’m dangerously close to missing the start of my class.  Which, of course, means I have to become assertive.  Here’s what I want to say:

Listen up.  You are so incredibly stupid that you should only deal directly with bank tellers. Most of them are equally as stupid so so you should get along just fine.  Please leave the ATMs to people who can actually read instructions and don’t wad their checks into a ball before attempting to deposit them. 

However, this is what I actually say:

Hi.  I’m sorry to disturb you, but my class is about to start.  Do you mind if I just deposit one check.  I’ll be done in less than 30 seconds.

She turns around and looks at me like I’ve spoken to her in Sanskrit.

Oh lord.  Please don’t make me reach up and pull you away from the machine by your hair.  (Which incidentally would be really cute if this were still the 80s.)

Lucky for her she decides to cancel her eighth deposit attempt and step away from the machine.  Thirty seconds letter, I’m walking away with the receipt in my hands.

Oh, and if you are one of those idiots that doesn’t know how much money you have in your account, don’t even think of standing in front of me when you start playing the “let’s see how much money I can get out of this ATM.” Watching you guess withdrawal denominations in $10 increments does not amuse me.

I bet you are the same person who holds up a grocery store check out line by attempting to pay by check.

Sheesh.

February 28, 2012   1 Comment

Categories: People are stupid

I am channeling a 24 year old male

I have a secret I want to share.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve been channeling a 24-year-old male for the past decade.

How do I know?

Because many of my purchasing decisions—particularly those involving consumer electronics—are more in line with that demographic vs. my official baby boomer status.

Plus, something happened a few weeks ago, which I think provides absolute proof.

As a self employed person,  my most important tool is my computer.  A few years ago, I invested in a high-end, custom-built gaming machine.  (See what I mean?)  I had no interest in playing a single game on it, but I did want the power that this bad boy could offer me.  (I like to work with a zillion files open so that I can multitask.   For example having 40 browser windows open simultaneously is normal for me.)

Because of the fast processor and three hard drives (yeah, three…that’s how I roll), controlling the temperature inside the case is critical.  So, in addition to a fan, the system is liquid cooled.  (A pump runs non-conductive blue coolant through flexible coils.)

But here’s the thing.  Every nine months or so, the coolant needs to be topped up.   Hasn’t been a problem up until now because I had a great tech who makes house calls.

Noticing that the coolant was at a dangerously low level, I called him.  His response was devastating.  He had moved out of state.

I was officially screwed.

I tried calling other computer techs in the Chicago area, but no one seemed to have any experience with liquid cooled systems.  Then suddenly my situation went from bad to worse.

My computer started crashing and wouldn’t reboot.  I knew I had a thermal situation on my hands.

I decided that I was going to try to fix it myself.  (Again, that’s the 24-year old male talking.)

Cracking open the case was the easy part.  Trying to access the coolant reservoir that was shoved on top of the Blu-Ray burner was a whole other story.  Regardless of how hard I tried, there was a metal piece at the top of the case that would not allow me to remove the reservoir.

This is the belly of the beast.

I put everything back in place and waited until the next day to call the manufacturer.  A helpful tech on the other end told me that I would have to first remove the top DVD drive (there are two DVD burners), which would then allow the reservoir to drop down.

Okie dokie.  One little problem though.  How the hell do you remove a DVD drive?!

That’s when the 24-year old I’m channeling suggested I check You Tube. (Or maybe I thought of that myself.  Who can be sure.)  There I found several tutorials.  Apparently, DVD drives are secured via more than one way.

Lucky me.

So, once again, armed with my power screw driver, I disconnect all of the cables, remove the power source and ground myself by touching an unpainted surface (by now you should be seriously impressed).

Now I’m ready to remove the DVD drive.  I unplug the power and data cords on the back of the DVD player and then use the power driver to remove the screws holding it in place.  I carefully push on the back of the player forcing it out of the front on the machine.

OMG….did I just seriously remove a Blu-Ray player/burner?!!!

I then reached up and held the coolant reservoir in place, while I removed the screws holding it in place.  With that accomplished, I was then able to shimmy it out of its crammed position.

OMG….I am now holding the impossible-to-get-to coolant reservoir in my hands. I’m positively giddy.  I balance it on top of a tall FedEx box, because I need to have my hands free in order to add the coolant.

However, the problem is that if the coolant isn’t added carefully via the small hole at the top of the reservoir, then it will end up spilling all over the internal components, including the motherboard.

This would redefine the term “seriously fucked.”

I had thought of this previously so after my trip to the computer store to pick up the coolant, I stopped by Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up a condiment bottle.  (The kind with a tapered dispensing closure.)

I filled a third of the bottle with the coolant which would allow me to tip it over quickly and insert it into the reservoir without spilling.  (The 24-year old male did not come up with that idea.  That was female baby boomer all the way.)

I refilled the condiment bottle a couple of times, until  all of the coils and the reservoir were completely full.

It was then time to reverse the whole process and reinsert the guts back into the computer.  It took a few minutes to get the reservoir back into its crammed spot.  But after that, all of the other components, plugs, doors, popped into place fairly quickly.

As I plugged in all of the cables and inserted the power supply, I said a little prayer.  After all, I just performed surgery on a serious piece of hardware.  Without chipping my French manicure, I might add.

I pressed the “on” button on the front of my machine.  I sat back waiting to see what would happen.  A few seconds later, I saw the Windows logo signaling that my machine was rebooting.

This baby boomer heard choirs of angels.  The 24-year old male just fist pumped.

And that folks, is a narrative of one of the proudest moments of my life.  And, of course, proof that I am channeling a 24-year old male.

February 21, 2012   8 Comments

Categories: Manual labor , Technology drama

a. I’m alive. b. I hate fingernail biters.

My deepest apologies Rantopolis readers.

Things have been so insane in Rantopolis land that I have not found time to post all month.  (My absence on this blog has even prompted long-time friends to call wondering if something bad had happened.)

You like me.  You really like me.  (With credit, of course, to Sally Field.)

Now, that I have confirmed that I am alive and well, I am going to try to make up for lost time.  (Even though I haven’t been writing, I have still been gathering blog topics.  Here comes the first one.)

What’s with people that confuse their airplane seat with their bathroom?!  May I enter exhibit A your honor?

No, they didn't really have marshmallow faces. I never said I was a PhotoShop expert.

A few weeks ago, I boarded a flight from Chicago to Las Vegas.  (Business trip, not pleasure.  My huge distaste for Vegas would never put a trip there into the pleasure category.)

A few minutes after claiming my seat, the guy across the aisle starts eating his dinner.  And by eating , mean gnawing.  And by dinner, I mean his finger nails and cuticles.

This guy starts attacking ends of his digits like a piranha.  Clearly not caring, or perhaps oblivious,  that other human beings were a few feet away from him.

He would bite, pull, chew and repeat.  I would gag, avert my gaze and pray that he would stop.  Finally, after ripping off every possible piece of flesh and nail that he could clamp onto, he stopped.

I sank bank into my seat and breathed a sigh of relief.  I had about 10 seconds of respite.  Then the guy in front of him started biting his nails.

I knew at that moment I was in the Compulisive Nail Biting Twilight Zone.  Ahead of me was a three-plus hour flight with freekish nailivores in my sightlines.

People with weird habits, I have to ask you.  Are you in a hypnotic trance?  Did someone drug you?  Those are the only reasons I can come up with to explain your inability to recognize that you are in a public place.

Newsflash. Strangers can actually watch you engaging in your gross, obsessive little habit.  (You should be deliriously happy projectile vomiting didn’t come your way.)

So, here are the rules going forward.  If you do weird, freaky things in public places and I see you, I will definitely write about you.  And I will most likely photograph you.  (Although I may choose to give you a marshmallow face.)  Consider yourself lucky I opted not to shoot video.

(BTW, note to the guy who sat next to me in the middle seat on the return trip. Either go on a diet, or buy two seats the next time.  Spilling into my seat is no longer acceptable.)

So, in the future, please show some self restraint.  Or if you absolutely need to dine on nail and cuticle while on a plane, please do so behind the closed doors of the lavatory.

Thanks a bunch.

February 19, 2012   Comments Off on a. I’m alive. b. I hate fingernail biters.

Categories: Just plain weird , Travel drama , What is wrong with you?