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Friday Afternoon Scratchpad

In A Slump

April 24th is "Bring Your Kid To Work Day," which is, like, a total rip-off because I, personally, don't have a kid. I thought about bringing my four-year old nephew to work that day and introducing him to my coworkers, because it would be fun, when my colleagues said "I didn't know you had children," to reply "Yeah, well if my wife asks: I don't!" But then I remembered that I don't have a four-year old nephew, so that plan is shot all to hell.

Lacking an actual or surrogate child, I figure I should be allowed to do something else special at work that day. And I've been meaning to take up swooning as a hobby for some time now. So on that Thursday I think I'll just spend the day passing out at the slightest provocation.

Supervisor 1: This report looks great, Matthew.
Supervisor 2: Yes, the Ballard division loves. it. Except ...
Me: Yes?
Supervisor 2: Well, they wanted to know if the date could be right-justified.
Me: Right-justi --?! Ohhhhhhh... [slumps sideways in chair, falls off to floor]
Victorians used swooning as an additional punctuation mark, a kind of super exclamation point used to indicate overwhelming surprise, love, or large-hat wearing. But it's since become something of a lost art. That's why I'm going to do my part to revive this tradition on the 27th. In fact, it occurs to me that swooning could even have some practical applications:
That One Guy I Work With: [Coming into my office uninvited] Yo Matthew, did you catch 'American Idol' last night?
Me: Listen, I've told you a dozen times that I don't have the slightest interest in --
That One Guy I Work With: Kimberly -- the blond Kimberly, not the other Kimberly -- was supposed to sing this one song, but then Clay --
Me: Please let yourself out when you're done. [slumps sideways in chair, falls off to floor]
If you are likewise kidless and your office has thick carpets, consider joining me for Swoon With Alarming Frequency At Work Day, April 27th. I'll be printing up "Swooners Do It In A Crumpled Heap On The Floor" bumper stickers shortly.

Memo To The Teen In The Elevator

You probably think that your t-shirt reading "Pimptown University" makes you look cool. And yet, despite the fact that I myself have remained steadfastly uncool for approximately 32 years, I can assure you, with absolute confidence, that it does not.

A Cutting Remark

My first job was as a meat carver at a buffet-style restaurant -- you know, those guys who stand at the end of the line with an enormous knife and half a cow, and, upon request, will give you a slice of beef approximately seven microns thick? Yeah, that was me.

One day I recognized the big, burly guy coming down the buffet line as Mr. S, my second grade teacher. He had been one of my all-time favorite elementary school instructors, because was always cracking bad jokes and allowing me to skip classes to play chess with a friend of mine. I hadn't thought of him in years, but, now that he was here, I was excited to meet him again as an adult.

I wondered if he'd recognize me a decade after I had been in his class. I assumed not, so as he approached I opened my mouth to greet him, to announce that I had once been his student. But before I speak he looked up, saw me, and cried "Whoa! That is a big motherfucking knife!"


Bad beers reviewed.
Hive, an addictive, two-player strategy game, now has an online demo.
Defense Department 'Iraqi's Most Wanted' Playing Cards. [pdf file]

Five Games You Can Play With Your Iraqi's Most Wanted' Playing Cards

  • Operation Iraqi Freecell
  • Gin Rumsfeld
  • Hearts and Minds
  • Haliburton's Lucrative Contract Bridge
  • War
  • Update: in the comments, Duane added "Go Fish For Weapons of Mass Destruction"

Posted on April 11, 2003 to Scratchpad


Man, are you shitting etc

Posted by: Steve on April 11, 2003 5:43 PM

Not only do I want a deck, but I challenge you to a game of War. Just be aware that if I start to lose, I'm heading for Syria.

Posted by: John on April 11, 2003 6:27 PM

Breaks from blogs are bad! Your loyal readers will greatly miss you. And swoon when we see you have not updated.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 11, 2003 7:33 PM

Burnout is a bad thing, but no, we don't see it yet. Enjoy your hiatus anyway, and come back with good news about a yetiette.

Posted by: Caryn on April 11, 2003 8:41 PM

Before you take your break I want to see the photo shopped version of the cards.

Posted by: Norm Jenson on April 12, 2003 4:54 PM

I'm 22, unemployed and live in Seattle. I'll let you take me to work and pretend I'm your kid.

Posted by: brian on April 13, 2003 1:56 AM

This is what you call treading water?? Show-off!

Posted by: Kevin on April 13, 2003 11:51 AM

What about Go Fish for Weapons of mass destruction?

Posted by: Duane on April 14, 2003 8:03 AM

55 cards!? Does this explain US hegemony - nonstandard deck size!?

Posted by: cmd on April 15, 2003 1:02 AM

You can also play "Red Hot Poker." Qusay's favorite...really motivated the Olympic soccer team...for a while...

Posted by: Laurie on April 15, 2003 7:16 AM

Slap [British Foreign Minister] Jack [Straw]

Posted by: C on April 15, 2003 1:11 PM

I do not know who you are or where you came from. I came to this site hoping for a link to order a deck of those cards but, I was giggling my ass off as I read your page. I like you and your innovative idea for swooning. It's life's little unnecessary over-reacting that we've all fallen away from. Maybe "Swooning Day" may make us realize to stop, and just swoon for the sheer hell of it or when faced with adversity, whichever causes the best swoon.
On a different yet similar note, I like to consider myself a "Catalyst", not an instigator. The difference being, where both cause silly shit to happen to others; a catalyst is not part of the final outcome-they just stir it up and watch what happens. I like you, Matthew. I think we are cut of the same jib. SWOON ON!!!!!!!!!!!! Please add me to your mailing list(if you have one) for updates. I will add this page to my list of Favorites. 4/27-Swoon Day. I'm with you. jomphey

Posted by: Jennifer on April 16, 2003 4:44 AM

if i see another dancing banana gif on any site somebodies going get a boot up the ass.

Posted by: alex kidd on April 16, 2003 7:25 PM

We do not beleev dis bullsheet ov so-called 'burned out' which amerikan spy you are reporting. Camera which we place in your house only last weeks is showing you in love-fest with wimen to produce infidel yetiette. May allalala smote bandweedth of which you are using, and may camels toe your clotheses.

Posted by: Al Hesin Euranus on April 18, 2003 8:55 PM

You could play Pimps and Saddam

Posted by: josh on April 20, 2003 6:05 PM

::blushes and takes off "thugtown city" t-shirt::

Posted by: Simon on April 21, 2003 6:42 PM

Has anyone else noticed that the banana sits down and rests after about 4 hours? Weird.

Posted by: Rob Cockerham on April 25, 2003 8:36 AM

ah. excellent. love the site. i stumbled on it while reading the mimi smartypants archive. i realize from your links @ the right, that you, too, are addicted to the mimi.

rage on, my friend.

Posted by: kristin on April 29, 2003 1:32 PM

I just wanted to know where i can print out all 52 "Iraqi's Most Wanted Playing Cards"
Email me at pschin87@aol.com

Posted by: paul on May 1, 2003 5:39 PM