Friday, December 17, 2010

Has Fist-Bumping Replaced Handshaking?

The other day I went to referee a high school basketball game. The varsity officials came in and all three of them would not shake hands with me. They all gave me the fist-bump. What am I, 15 years old?

I thought it was just an isolated incident, but then I saw it again: Some dude extends a fist to me instead of an open hand for a handshake. What is going on? Have we become so anti-social that we can't even manage a proper hand-shake?

I know that in some cultures people bow, there is the kiss on the cheek(s), and there are various other traditions, but almost universally the hand-shake is recognized as the way that people greet one another in polite society. This is a way to show that you are not an enemy, and it starts off a relationship on the right foot.

The fist bump is universally recognized as the way that teens, or convicts, or athletes, or deranged people greet one another. The person on the receiving end of a fist-bump wonders if the next fist will be aimed at his nose. When I see it, I think of a caveman before he learned anything about anything just grunting and greeting all people with a fist-bump.

"Og, this is Grog." "Ugh." [fist-bump]

I, for one, will not adopt this appalling tradition. Some people might be afraid of getting sick, or passing germs, or squeezing too hard, but the hand-shake is the only civilized way to meet anyone.

The next time someone offers me their fist, instead of an open hand upon meeting, I might just sneeze on their hand. Then I will say, "Sorry, dude!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Grandson is a Stud

I know how this will sound, and I hate to be one of "those people". I have two lovely grandchildren, and they are both cute and smart and fun, but recently I have noticed that my grandson has been showing certain tendencies. They say that genius in some areas is manifest early in life, and I hate to admit it, but I have to tell you: my grandson is a stud.

My grandson is only 1 year old, and already he is showing signs of being quite the ladies man. He always smiles at the females he sees, and he gives them this coy little look. I think he is just practicing for when he gets older so that he can "score" with the ladies (whatever that means).

He also seems to be very knowledgeable about how to get what he wants. When he is hungry, he throws a complete fit until we feed him. I can't imagine any other one-year-olds are that smart. He also knows just how to find what he is looking for. For example, if you take something away that is dangerous, like a hammer or scissors, he does all he can to find them again; it's uncanny!

The final straw was the other day when he opened a cupboard, and of all the things in there that he could pull out to play with, he chose the Whey Protein. That made it clear to me that he is already thinking about how he will start working out to lose all of his baby fat. I could probably take some lessons from him, and get more buff myself.

I look forward to the future when I can go watch my grandson at his MMA matches, or in the NFL, or the NBA. I hope he gets me front row seats; I don't think that's asking too much, do you?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just Chill'n on Black Friday

Have you ever had the desire to stand in line early in the morning on Black Friday? If you answered no, then you are sane; if you answered yes, then you need help. I need help.

What is Black Friday, you ask? Well, that's the day after Thanksgiving when all the stores try to lure you in with fantastic deals. I decided to do my part to help the economy, and stand in line early in the morning so that I could take a crack at nabbing a 40" 1080p HDTV for around $200.

When I arrived at the front of Target, it seemed that the line was short; no more than 50 people between me and my giant TV. I figured some would be confused about where the TV was in the store; I planned ahead, and had mapped out my route. I also assumed that some might be slow, or weak, or infirmed, or handicapped in some way; I would pass by them without a moments hesitation. I told myself that waiting for 3 hours in the cold would be worth it. I kept repeating: "eye on the prize, eye on the prize...", as the temperature dropped, and the wind picked up.

Some people kept themselves occupied with various activities. Some played Angry Birds on their iPad, but all that did was create an angry man who did not yet own an iPad. Some brought lots of hot coffee, and some had little warmers, and some had special blankets and even a couple had tents; I had none of these. But, the hours ticked by, and I kept repeating, "eye on the prize, eye on the prize."

Approximately, 30 minutes before 4:00 AM in the morning, they came out and set up cones so that the cattle could run down the chute without any trouble. I noticed that what appeared to be 50 people in front of me several hours ago had now swelled to around 100. My TV dreams seemed to be fading from my cold, tired mind. But I kept saying, "eye on the prize, eye on the prize...", and then the wind started to blow.

As we got ready to head into the store, I looked at the line behind me, and it was as far as I could see, and the parking lot was full. More people kept coming all the time. Several people tried to get into the line, and they were rudely thrust away. Can you imagine how people who have been waiting in line, in the cold, for 4 or 5 hours feel? I can, and it's not happy.

So, the countdown starts, 5-4-3-2-1 we stampede towards the door, slowly at first, but then picking up speed. As soon as I get into the store, I run towards my prize. I scoot past slow people getting a cart (amateurs), and I run around clueless gawkers (slowpokes) and I finally get to where my HDTV awaits. However, I am in for a surprise.

When I get to the stack of TVs, there are only five left. Three of them are trapped by a lady that is laying (I am not kidding) on top of all three of them. A group of people are yelling at her and trying to physically drag her off. The other two TVs are being pulled in multiple directions by at least 8 people. I can't really see myself getting involved in any of this, so I just stand and watch for a moment; it is very entertaining (I am now cursing myself for not having taken a picture at this moment).

Suddenly, I get pushed from behind into a rack of clothing. I decide that getting out of there is the best idea, and so, after waiting in the cold for 3 hours, I walk over to another area, get a less desirable TV, grab a low-priced keyboard, and head out the door. As I left the area, I could still hear people fighting and hurling insults and threats at each other. I also heard on the store intercom: "code red in section 7!" I don't know what any of that means, but I am sure a fight was breaking out over the last few HDTVs.

So, was my mission a failure? I did get a couple of good deals, and I am sure they were gone in less than an hour. I did get to the cash register first, and was out of the store in less than 15 minutes. I did get to see people behave in a way that I rarely see, and I don't want to see again soon. You may ask, "would you do it again?" Why yes, I would, as long as the TV was large, and the cost was small.

Halle Loves Olives

My granddaughter Halle loves olives. I'm not sure why, but she does. She would eat an entire can if we didn't prevent it. She will eat a whole meal of just olives, if allowed.

Just prior to our Thanksgiving feast, she put ten of them on her fingers and proceeded to eat each one carefully. There were only a few left in the dish, so her mother said, "Now, Halle, put some of those back so that others can have some."

Like any good girl, she removed several from her tiny fingers, and put them back in the bowl. It was now unclear to all of us which olives had been on her fingers, and which ones were fresh. I believe the only person eating olives on Thanksgiving was Halle, because, she just loves olives.