Category Archives: Society Sucks

The Illinois Primary Sucks

(This is a dreaded “political post” but not about the typical dumpster fire. Maybe it won’t be so bad.)

The Illinois primary for Governor is Tuesday. This post is a little late in coming but with a deadline comes desperation which brings motivation. The primaries should mostly be focused on the democrats because our governor is a republican (Brucey Rauner) and will certainly win his primary. What’s more important is Brucey is pretty well hated in our state and we will (almost certainly) elect a democrat for our next governor. In effect we’re choosing our next governor based on whoever wins the democratic primary Tuesday. So who’s running?

We have three “big candidates”: J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, and Daniel Bliss. Surprisingly (really unsurprisingly), I know who’s going to win. It’ll be J.B. Pritzker. Why? Because he’s rich as fuck that’s why.

Here’s a link that, while a bit older, describes what these people make or are worth. I know they’re different numbers but you get an idea about how much money they have to throw around. Kennedy made over a million dollars last year, and J.B. made about 9 million dollars and is worth over 3 billion dollars apparently. Biss, along with his wife, made $55,000. Wow. Biss is poor as fuck.

J.B. will win because if you have three billion dollars you can spam ads everywhere. Every few days I get a goddamn Pritzker ad in the mail (which immediately goes into the trash), and I see other ads for the bastard everywhere. Facebook spams me with Pritzker ads and the TV yells Pritzker ads at me. That’s all anyone in Illinois hears about is Jay Bee Pritzker. It’s exhausting.

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A wild Pritzker ad appears! Seriously, these things are like Zubats in caves.

Politicians don’t win elections based on how decent their policies and ideas are. They’re successful based on how well they can get their names out to the masses. It’s one big, stupid popularity contest. You could have the best candidate ever but if they don’t have money to throw around they don’t have any chance of winning. It’s sad, but that’s how it is. Politics Suck.

You could also blame the voters. People walk into the booths on primary day with little idea of anything. They vote for the name that is most familiar. How many ill-informed voters will stroll in to vote only knowing there’s some democrat named J.B. running? Enough of them to guarantee victory for the guy. JB? Hmm. I’ve heard of him. And his name sounds cool! *Fills in bubble*

I’m sick of rich people being in politics. I get that “business people” are seen as good candidates for office, but damn, can we quit having billionaires running for things? Having a fuckton of money doesn’t show you can successfully represent people; it just means you have a fuckton of money. So say hello to our future governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker. He might be qualified and he might be a good governor and you should notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about specific policies. This is mostly because policies don’t matter and that’s not why he’ll win. He’ll win because he’s rich as fuck and can buy advertisements. That’s it. Once again, Politics Suck.

Phone Books Suck? What Are Those??

Say phone book a bunch of times and it really does seem like an unused word from the distant past.

Phonebook

This right here is a phone book. You might be too young to know what a phone book is. Along with landline telephones, dial-up internet, cassette players, CD players, CRT TVs, and dinosaurs, phone books became obsolete a few million years ago due to technological innovation. In the case of phone books it’s because of this certain thing you might’ve heard of called the internet. You see the internet is a place where computers and servers are connected and shit and this let’s you get information about anything you want. You want to order pizza? Internet. You want to watch porn? The internet excels at that. You want to have in-depth discussions involving people who share the same hobbies that you do? Internet. Want to read someone’s shitty blog? Internet. Book a vacation? Internet? Go to college? Internet. How about having lively political debates on Facebook that change people’s minds and improves the world? Nope. The internet can’t do that. Sorry.

I found this relic near the mailbox one day. It’s still there too. I might go out and take some more pictures but it’ll probably just sit on the curb and rot in a few months. It’ll serve as a lovely greenhouse for growing various molds in the spring and summer once it gets some water damage. Currently it’s covered by a layer of snow, buried under a glacier like it’s friend and kin the Woolly Mammoth. Sorry phone book, but you’re useless.

There it is

There it is! Along with some asshole’s Mt. Dew that they couldn’t possibly toss in a goddamn trash can. I hate people.

Before the internet there were books, big thick books, that had shit printed in them. They had maps and a bunch of phone numbers. The white pages were — you guessed it — white

White

The white pages. Don’t call anyone.

and had people’s home phone numbers printed. You could seriously look up the last name of a girl you had a crush on, guess which address was hers, and mail her creepy letters, call her randomly, and even stalk her if you wanted. Another section of the book called the yellow pages (which were strangely blue…) had businesses arranged by what they did. If you needed to find someone to put a roof on your house you’d look under “roofing” and there would be a list of roofers. You could advertise your company and get a big gaudy ad that would make you more likely to be called. As a kid I thought lawyers, realtors, and car salesman always had the dumbest, gaudiest, and most obnoxious ads of all. Luckily that remains true to this day on TV with car salesman screaming NO MONEY DOWN NO INTEREST UNTIL 2020 IF YOU BUY A LEASED CHEVROLET SOCCER-MOM-WAGON-TANK TOOODAAAYYY. ACT NOWWWW. It’s like one of those old wrestling or monster truck commercials you’d hear on rock radio stations. Damn.

I’d also like to point out that I took these pictures from a phone book we had lying around the house because I couldn’t be bothered to carry the curbside one back to the house. It was still in its plastic bag. We’ve had it since May of 2016. The thing sat around for two years under some junk without being used or opened. At all.

May 2016

The internet killed phone books off but like all organisms they’re trying their best to evolve under new natural selection pressure. They’ve gotten smaller and thinner, and the ink used doesn’t seem as colorful. Only the shittiest ads are now printed from the sleaziest lawyers and others who don’t realize that the internet is actually where people look for services if they’re under 90 years old. See this chump right here?Lawyer Somehow he thinks he’s going to get business from his face being on the back of a phonebook. The only people that will see him are garbage men and recycling people but seeing as he’s an “injury lawyer” maybe that’s what he’s going for. Are they more susceptible to being injured than others? No one else will see him unless they are cleaning some random drawer in living room a few years from now when they clean shit out of it. Also on the front cover is a company advertising digital advertising. On a phone book. I don’t even know what to think about that. There sure is some dissonance going on.

It’s kind of sad to think about phone books even if they are as useful now as a triangular car tire, but they really were a thing. They were Google before Google existed. It’s even sadder to think that companies are still trying to be profitable with them. Why? Let them die off like the dodo, they’re not coming back barring a meltdown of society. Someone cuts trees down, turns them into paper, and prints them onto useless books. It’s almost like credit card offers where junk is sent to your house without you asking for it. It seems like such a waste for (I’m assuming) little benefit. It’s hard to say that phone books sucks because they’re more pathetic than anything. They are like a soon to be extinct animal that just couldn’t make it in the new world. They’re not mean or malicious. They’re just sad and pitiful.

And then I stop personifying or animalifying them or whatever and realize they’re damn phone books. Quit dropping them off at my house. I’m going to let it sit and rot and I’m never going to use it. Phone books Suck.

(It was after writing all of this that I noticed this little thing on the cover: you can opt out of receiving the damn things! You know what I’m going to do right now…)

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FREEDOM

Nazis Suck: Tiki Torches

I’ve all but given up trying to deal with Trump’s shit on a moment by moment basis because of this post right here: I can’t keep up. It’s also hard work shitting on someone over and over again even if they deserve it by being a horrible human being. I have to source links, make arguments, and it’s exhausting. So I want to try something different while keeping current events and politics and our current social situation in mind. I wonder if making quick and feisty posts about current happenings might be a fun thing to try? After all, this is a relatively new blog here at Everything Sucks and I’m always trying to fine tune things. So what’s up on the current events this week recently? (I’ve been planning and going on a vacation the past week so I’ve been slacking on the nazi thingy) You didn’t even have to think of it because you already know: It’s the Charlottesville demonstrations and protests involving some Nazis and the KKK (ku klux klan) and in case you weren’t aware yet…they Suck.

They suck because of obvious reasons that don’t need to really be stated but I’ll state them briefly in case you’re stupid. Hate is a bad thing. It’s already been scientifically proven that the races are the exact same and no one is actually superior. It’s also 2017. It’s been 72 years since the end of World War 2 where us and our ally buddies defeated the original Nazis in Germany. And for all of our progress since then Nazis are still around and people still sympathize with the losers of this past war. It’s also been 150 years since the end of the civil war, and even though slavery was abolished and there was the civil rights movement in the 1960s, we’re dealing with white superiority groups and the KKK, sympathizers with the lost Confederate cause a century and a half ago. Sure, society has many equality problems to deal with still: police brutality, wage differences between males and females, minority education disadvantages, and others, but at least we’ve made it this far. We’ve made progress! Dealing with the base issues of white superiority and slavery in 2017 is just nuts. This shit is settled and has been settled for centuries, can we move on now?

I want to save the hard logic and reasoning for another post that I’ll probably never write. About how white culture or whatever isn’t really threatened at all. But for this post I want to touch on something that’s very strange and absurd. I’m sure we’ve all seen the pictures of these demonstrators and one thing in particular jumped out at me about the photographs: the tiki torches.

Like my post on covfefe, sometimes things happen that are so…stupid…that it’s hard to comprehend. In that post I argued that the president of the United States, nuclear codes and all, tweeting the word covfefe was insanely…I don’t even know…post-post-modern? Like you can’t make shit up with how ridiculous it is. Despite spell checker, online dictionaries, and even autocorrect, the word covfefe still slipped by various “checks” where it should’ve been caught and was published. He actually posted it! It’s borderline unbelievable and that’s what is shocking about it. It was harmless, but in its stupid harmlessness it screamed of gaudiness and an inability to care about spelling, the tiniest of tiny and stupid errors. Aren’t presidents above that?

And so it is with the tiki torches. Remember, white supremacists are some scary ass people. You don’t want to cross paths with them because they are dangerous as fuck. They’ll slit your throat for looking even slightly like a black person even if you’re just a pasty white dude. Scary people. Bad hombres. So you see these hateful and angry people on social media and it’s scary and saddening and it kills your faith in the future of America and people in general. And then you see the tiki torches. Your mind has a fit of cognitive dissonance as it struggles with the heirs of the Nazis and the Confederacy intellectual property holding the tacky, fun, and not-serious-at all-torches that your aunt and uncle have lit for their fourth of July festivities. People on social media are having a fit about the anger and hatred, but wait, are these terrifying people really carrying tiki torches? Huh?

Like covfefe I wonder if these morons have any idea of how society perceives them. Obviously they’re having an uphill battle in getting their grievances heard, so if I were them I’d try my hardest to adjust my image in a positive way. Everything is image. People think you’re angry, stupid, insecure white people scared of losing your culture of football, Budweiser, and Nascar. Well, prove them wrong. Tailor your image to make them think and not judge you instantly. Hell, it took months for me to figure out a logo for this blog, and to hell with it if anyone suggest a goddamn tiki torch anywhere on my page simple because it’s stupid and doesn’t fit with the image I want to create. My point is that by grabbing tiki torches you immediate undermine any sort of fear you’re intending to put on society and open your entire group up to ridicule even though it’s already being ridiculed. It’s the dumbest thing possible outside of having Easter Bunny costumes being your new uniform. Even if you hate black people and think your race and culture is endangered and may go extinct you up the stupidity to whole new level by marching with unthreatening tiki torches. If anything it makes the whole white culture thing seem really stupid.

And why fucking tiki torches? I’m assuming they were trying to go with the whole “angry mob/power-to-the-people” angle here, and popular belief does say that angry mobs carry torches. And pitchforks! Part of the reason they used torches was because they need light, they’re menacing, and that they’re easy to make. Instead if making their own torches (which seems easy enough; I’ve never made a torch but I think a stick, some oil, and a rag would suffice?) they must’ve just settled for the tikis. I don’t know. I imagine something like this happened:

 

“Man. I hate n***ers.”

“Yeah, me too. Wanna go to the white power rally?”

“Okay. I think we should bring torches though.”

“Why?”

“Because it gives it that angry mob feel. It looks threatening to those lesser races. Maybe pitchforks if we can find them.”

“I’m not a farmer; I don’t know where a pitchfork would be. Do you know to make a torch though?”

“No.”

“Well. My aunt has some over at her house that they use for the fourth of July parties they have. Where I jumped off the roof after drinking Budweiser!”

“Torches? Like real torches.”

“Nah. They’re them decorative ones, that look like they came from Hawaii or whatever.”

“That’s threatening enough, right?”

“Yeah. A torch is a torch. Who cares.” *shrugs*

“Yeah! White power!!! XD”

 

So what you end up is this.

tiki

They still left the little cap on to put the flame out in a safe and easy manner!

A bunch of angry pissed off white dudes who are mad because other races are being treated fairly or something. I think their complaints are deeper and more complex than that, but still: angry, pissed off white dudes hold flags of people who got their asses kicked by America years and years ago. And what do they compliment their anger with? The fiery anger of theirs is represented by the hot, dangerous, and burning flame that is the tiki torch. Angry mob. White power. Heil Hitler. 4th of Julys at your aunt and uncles. Budweiser. Sparklers. A mosquito free evening. Polynesians and the tropics. Hula skirts. Leis. Moana.

Fucking morons.

Vacation Sucks: Life Without Work

I’m currently at work having just returned from a week-long vacation, and I must say it’s pretty shitty being back. Despite me having a job so simple that I can write a blog post at work, it’s still awful being back. It’s obvious to anyone that returning to work from vacation sucks, but in a strange way it’s nice to be back. I realize Work Sucks, but looking back and realizing Vacation Sucks more than work is pretty depressing. It makes no sense, but without fail when I return to work I think my Vacation Sucked and that vacation was pretty pointless.

The Second Job: A Halfway Vacation

First up on the “Vacations Sucks” post is the gripe that I work two jobs and only have a vacation with one of them. In case you didn’t realize my “vacation” is simply time off from work and not an actual “go somewhere and do something special” thing. This might not apply to some people, and if you’re one of those lucky people who only has a single job or who can get both jobs to allow you time off to do something, well congrats because this doesn’t apply to you! Working two part time jobs like I do leaves you with the typical situation where one gives me time off when the other doesn’t. This sort of “halfway vacation” sucks for all the obvious reasons. I’m not working as much, but still working enough to make life not enjoyable, and it probably makes work and vacation suck more because of the juxtaposition of the two. Working only one job isn’t really a vacation, it’s just normal life that doesn’t suck quite as much.

Motivation? Where U Go?

The prospect of having tons of free time while off of work (even one job) always seems promising to me. I feel that by having more leisure time I would be able to focus on a few of the goals I have. There’s this blog, and my derelict blog, and I also (try to) write short stories on Wattpad. I also have a few really stupid ideas for small businesses. Obviously, I have a bunch of crap going on in my head and time is a premium when it comes to making meaningful progress on anything. Working two jobs simply makes it hard to focus and get anything done and vacation should allow me to actually be productive.

Then I was on vacation and how many blog posts did I post? Zero. How many short stories did I write? Zero. Did I work on my business plans or revamp the blog’s Facebook page. Nope. I did basically nothing. What the hell happened?

You see, having a bunch of free time seems to have the counterintuitive effect of making me less motivated. I’m assuming I’m not unique and other also have this problem. Having more time allows me to escape the feelings of doom and desperation that working two jobs fills me with, and without that awful feeling staring me down daily and hourly, I have no drive to really be successful. When I’m working and I’m miserable and my schedule is busy there is no time to worry about motivation: if you want to write a blog post you fucking write one and post it because need to get on that shit if you want to do something with your life! But on vacation you’re like “Meh. There’s no rush. I have plenty of time!” Somehow having more free time gives you less motivation and drive making the vacation look ultra-depressing and pointless, especially in retrospect. You didn’t work, and you didn’t get any hobbies or goals accomplished. You basically wasted life without actually enjoying it.

Vacation is what Life Isn’t

Despite those two previous whine sessions, they aren’t really why Vacation Sucks. They’re facets of shittiness, contributing to vacation being awful while being offshoots of the primary reason: Vacations Sucks primarily because you have to go back to work. “Yeah, no shit.” you’re probably saying, but let me elaborate.

Vacations are what we all want to achieve out of life. Vacation is not working and having enough money and time to do the things you want to do. Some even call vacation by another name: retirement. We all want to save enough money so someday we don’t have to work and can have a “perpetual vacation.” If you’re really lucky you can retire earlier or might not have to work at all. This is a perpetual vacation called “being rich.” There’s this grand idea that if you accumulate enough money you don’t have to work at all, and this laziness to not want to work might be a large driver of the world’s greed. Retirement, being rich, living off the land, and vacation all serves a single urge: not working and doing something else you’d rather do! Chase your dreams! Do what you want to do! 

So vacation is a little taste of this for the lowly lower-class worker, especially if it happens to be a paid vacation. Here you have a week with no work and you still have money. You can do whatever the hell you want (or don’t want to do) with no obligations to a job. While you might not have a ton of money and aren’t actually rich you still get a temporary taste of not having to answer to anyone. This is life without a job, and it’s pretty refreshing.

Except the dream and experience has to eventually end of course. You always have to go back to work because you’re not rich and you’re not retired. You’ll probably have to work nearly the rest of your adult life with little to no breaks and you have to do it sustainably so you don’t burn out and just fall apart. Or get so discouraged at life you kill yourself or descend into alcoholism. Life is one big grind to make money to survive and to support your family, and compared with the wonderful fantasy that is vacation, it’s awful. Vacation gives you the perspective to what life would be like if you didn’t have to work. Going back to work from vacation just hammers the point home: this is your life, you hate it, you’re stuck here. How was vacation btw?!

Making it even worse, you might not even enjoy your vacation and this leads to some more troubling thoughts. If vacation is a microcosm of being rich and not working, I’d be a fucking miserable mess. I made no progress on my blogs and business plans and whatever other stupid shit I wanted to do. I didn’t travel anywhere and I didn’t do a bunch of housework. I don’t even think I mowed the yard a single time. In fact, I spent a bunch of money on fast food, drank about 50% of the time, and gained about 5 pounds. Apparently I’d be a fat, lost, unmotivated alcoholic mess if I didn’t work my jobs, so as much as work fucking sucks, it almost seems that vacation is shittier than work. It’s like I need to work to keep my ass in line, focused, and sober. Vacation makes me realize how much work does and doesn’t suck while work makes me realize how much vacation does and doesn’t suck.

In short you can’t win. Vacation, Work, and Everything Sucks.

Work Sucks: Detached Survival

Work Sucks. That’s right. I mean in case you weren’t aware of it. Work really sucks, but it sucks in such a way that is obvious but not-at-all-obvious when you think about it in depth. Work sucks — we all know that — but exactly why does it suck? If you’re like me, you might think that work primarily sucks because it’s something you have to do. Strangely, I’ve realized that if my job were voluntary, where I could show up and work whenever I need and wanted to and could take days off at will, I would probably still show up and work, but somehow I’d be much happier at going. This speak volumes towards the “I have to go to work” complaint as to why Work Sucks. But this doesn’t quite explain it all because even if you had a purely optional job, eventually you’d have to go (what with you being starving and homeless…) and then you’d be back at where we started at: work sucking because you have to go. But why is that? If your survival is dependent upon work you’d think you’d enjoy it a little more.

Work Sucks because it is required, because money is required, and shelter, food, water, and transportation are all required. Work is essentially for us to survive. But with a person’s survival on the line, you think people wouldn’t mind work too much. The alternative to not working is dying, so yeah, work isn’t too bad! Work is required so we can each survive, but it doesn’t really seem like that when you’re at work. To us, work seems very detached from the idea of survival where no one sees their jobs as important to their wellbeing.

People at work aren’t like “I’m doing fairly well, although I need to take some extra hours because I’m on the verge of starving to death! How is your day going Jerry?” At work, and in our greater society as a whole, money, food, shelter, and survival seem really distant, almost like an afterthought. Also realize the fact that you probably do stupid shit at work that seems so pointless and redundant to basic survival that it’s amazing to think that your own person survival really does depend on it. That’s crazy! You as a cashier must listen to people whine and bitch so you can survive. You as a taxi driver must drive people around so you can survive. And me, well I move Amazon boxes from an airplane into a semi-truck, so I can survive. It seems really dumb that my survival is dependent upon such a stupid thing.

I don’t think survival has always been this detached from everyday life either. Think back to how life was 200 years ago, as if you would be living on the family farm all pastoral style. You’d wake up when the sun comes up, and do a bunch of chores to take care of animals. But you have to do this so you can kill the animals and eat them because if you didn’t you would starve and die. You’d have to work in a field harvesting vegetable and canning them, because if you didn’t you’d starve and die. You might have to hunt for wild animals, or build and repair a fence to keep the cows in the pasture, so you don’t STARVE AND DIE. Before winter you’d have to have enough firewood on hand so you didn’t freeze to death during the coldest months of the year. My point here is that day-to-day life was almost directly attached to survival, and while you’d probably have to run to a store periodically for fabric, clothes, tools, and the rare food item (like salt), most of your life didn’t suffer from the detachment to survival that we deal with today. I bet people were happier and perhaps the Amish are onto something…

..Nah. Society is pretty cool with how comfy it’s made life. Instead of worrying about my next meal I can work a few hours, buy a box of doughnuts at the gas station, and sit on my ass at home wandering around a virtual world in Minecraft. It’s almost laughable how easy things are and you have to appreciate how nice it is when you think of life hundreds and thousands of years ago. We have time for leisure activities and most of us don’t deal with day to day survival like a gazelle in Africa has to deal with when drinking water. Babies don’t die from preventable diseases, and our drinking water is clean. It is nice not waking up day after day worrying about living or dying. But I don’t think this can happen freely without some sort of tradeoff, without some compromise happening within our human spirit. In our day-to-day lives, at work and at home, survival and existence are so far detached from anything we deal with that we forget that it’s there. It makes us go mindlessly to a job day after day without really thinking about survival at all. It seems really pointless and mind numbingly mundane. Jobs, while attached directly to survival just don’t seem important enough to care about. I work for my survival, but not really.

So we never face the daily connection between work and survival. Our jobs are pointless, mindless, and usually involve some chain of production or service that seems to have nothing to do at all with basic survival. You work to get money to live and survive on, but there seems to be so much extra crap going on that work and survival are only related in theory. That is why Work Sucks: your shitty job is directly required for your survival but since society is cushy enough your survival is detached from your job and you never relate the two together. It makes work seem pointless and arbitrary compared with something much more important: survival and living your life.

Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers Suck

I walk to the mailbox, eager to get something even though nothing useful or good ever shows up in the mail. Well, sometimes Amazon boxes show up in the post but I know about those items in advance and expect them. You get “useful” stuff in the mail — stuff that isn’t really “wanted” but that has a purpose. These items are bills, statements, and maybe the occasional vehicle registration renewal notice or whatever. No one wants to get a bill, but you know you’re going to get them and paying them makes you feel like a successful and capable adult. But outside of those things there’s also a bunch of shit that shows up at your house that has no purpose at all except to convince you to buy something. I can excuse the weekly advertisements and coupons because, well, maybe you can use them. The might have some sort of benefit to the consumer even though 99% of the time they’re fucking garbage. The bane of junk-mail, the worst of the worst, and the stupidest shit I ever received in the mail are pre-approved credit card offers. They fucking Suck, and here’s why.

They’re Wasteful

I hate waste and pointlessness. For example, I hate paying bills with paper envelopes, stamps, and checks. It just isn’t efficient. Why involve yourself with envelopes, paper statements, stamps, pens, checks, and the physical mail when you can hit a few buttons on a smartphone and pay instantaneously over the internet? Even if you aren’t worried about the environmental aspects of manually printing and shipping paper, it still sounds better by being more efficient and direct. The same is true for these credit card offers. Why the fuck do these companies think randomly sending shit unwanted to people’s houses is the most efficient way to do things? It has to make sense from a profit perspective (because they still do it, so they must make money) but from an efficiency standpoint? Come on….

A credit card company has to pay to chop down trees, cut up and process the trees into paper pulp (and whatever the fuck else goes into making paper), make the paper, print the paper, make the envelopes, pay for the postage and the return postage, as well as having a database of people to actually mail them to. They have to pay for every step of this as part of the built-in costs, and while they themselves don’t make the paper or whatever, someone has to. Imagine a tree being cut down in the forest and knowing that the tree is going to be sent to houses in the form of credit card offers. It sounds so damn stupid. With all of the shit you could do with a tree you’re going to make credit card offers that end up in the trash? I’m not saying paper is useless but mailing garbage to people? Jeez.

They’re Rude

Most people don’t like salesmen showing up at their houses, and most people have some mundane story about dodging Jehovah’s Witnesses during some point in their lives. The point here is that people don’t like to be bothered or solicited. We hate when the guy outside the gas station tries to sell us shit, or when people come door to door to sell us siding or security systems. When you walk into a store and a worker asks if you need help, you say “No, I’m just looking.” because you don’t need some asshole trying to sell you shit and hovering around you the entire store. If you’re like me you probably think something like “If I wanted [insert product or service here] I’d go shop for it myself.” I don’t need people to try to solicit products to me or to “let me know the benefits of [insert product here].” I’m a fucking adult and I know what the hell I need without a company telling me that I need their product. It just seems rude and pushy, and I don’t see how that tactic really works anyways. At the very least it’s obvious: they’re trying to sell you something so they can make money.

Extend this outlook to these credit card offers! My mailbox is my mailbox and I’d like to get useful shit in the mail, and preferably shit that I actually asked for (like a bill for a service I used). I’m not asking to get credit card offers, and by them sending them to me without me asking I’m less likely to actually get the stupid card because it’s annoying. Does this tactic actually work on people? As stated before, it has to be cost-effective to some degree otherwise they wouldn’t do it. But really? Do people really get a credit offer in the mail and think “Oh yeah, I needed a credit card, I sure am glad this showed up!” Use the damn internet. Shop around. Find the card that isn’t begging for you to accept its offer. Find a good deal with decent perks you can exploit. Do you buy the first car the salesman tries to sell you? Do you buy car insurance from the company whose commercial you see first? So, why the hell would you ever accept a pre-approved card that randomly shows up in the mail one day?

They’re Useless

Okay, let’s say you don’t reply to every single offer you receive. That’s cool. But let’s also say you don’t want to throw them out. Is there another way to use the paper you get, like how you can use paper towel tubes to wrap Christmas Holiday lights around or how those deli meat containers can be used as plastic bowls to store leftovers in? Probably not.

Sometimes I pick out the return envelopes and save them because you can use them for mailing stuff. But the thing is I really don’t have a huge need for envelopes and an economy pack of 100 from Walgreens is cheap and lasts me about 5 years. There isn’t a need for “free envelopes” really. Is there anything else you can do with these offers?

They’re paper so could you make lined paper out of them? No. Not in a cost effective and non-time consuming way at least. How about toilet paper? Fucking no, you don’t want to wipe your ass with those. About the only thing you could ever do with them beside tossing them in the trash/recycling them is to use them for starting bonfires or a grill. They’re junk to the highest definition of the term: useless, unimportant, and unvaluable crap that no one can use.

Oh, maybe shred them up and use them for composting? *shrug*

A Way Out

Is there a way out from those dreaded credit offers? Is there a way escape the junk besides perpetually adding them to the garbage or starting fires? Well, surprisingly there is a way out. I’ll give you three ideas that you might want to try when you get the next card offer in the mail.

Option One: Send the shit back

I don’t know how these things actually work, but I know the credit card companies have to pay for the shipping costs somehow. As you might know, pre-paid cards usually come complete with a “paid postage” return envelope, as I’m expecting people are more likely to accept an offer if they don’t have to find their own precious stamp and plop it on the envelope. The way I see it, you could just take all the shit they mailed you and mail it right back to them! It’s no cost to you and you get some sort of “revenge” on them I guess. I don’t know what the company will think when you send them all their trash back, but you’d expect they’d have to realize how much of a waste it is at the very least. Maybe you’d just piss off some poor person who works there, I don’t know. This would also support post office jobs, which we all know are having a rough time with the internet and email.

Option Two: Opt Out

Yeah, somehow you can opt out of getting these offers! I don’t think people really know about it, and I didn’t when I first whined on Facebook about these offers years ago, but you really can. Here, here’s the link. If you don’t want to wage passive-aggressive warfare on multi-billion dollar companies in some quixotic struggle, simply fill out the form and don’t worry about the offers for a few years. Yes, it really does work, it’s like the fabled “do not call list” that telemarketers have.

Option Three: Do Nothing

You could also just keep doing the same damn thing you always do and throw the offers away when you get them and not ever try to change anything about your life you fucking sheep.

So, pre-approved credit offers are shit because they’re wasteful, rude, have no other possible use, and are simply annoying as hell to get. Especially if they’re somehow disguised so they don’t look like credit card offers at first. You can opt out of these offers if you’d like, so there is an escape from the hell of receiving them. And Capital One, if you’re reading this, fuck off.

Watermelons Suck: Selecting “The Good One”

Back in the day, I used to work in the produce department at a local Sam’s Club. I stocked food and had the pleasure of dealing with dumbass customers which could be a post all on its own. It’s been awhile since I worked there so I don’t have that fresh, fiery hatred to rant about it as if I had just experienced it. One of the things I would be asked on a regular basis was, “How do you know what watermelon is good?” or “How do you pick out a good watermelon?” And, dammit, that question would piss me off more than nearly anything else ever, besides asking me for a product that they’re standing in front of. So how do you pick out a watermelon?

“How to Pick a Watermelon”

First off, I’m not a watermelon lover by any means, so me being constantly asked about how to pick out a “good watermelon” was ridiculous from the start: there are no good watermelons because they all taste like shit. It’s like asking me to pick out a good country song: there are no good country songs. The same goes for coleslaw. I also hate cantaloupes and any other sort of “melony” melons. It must be a DNA issue with me or something because I have no control over it. When customers would ask me about “the good watermelons” I’d usually tell them that I don’t even like watermelons so I didn’t know how to “pick one out” and usually suggested that they just randomly grab one. They didn’t like that advice. 

Slaw

…in case you needed to be told this.

Luckily some of the more zealous customers would tell me, matter-of-factly, how to pick out a “good watermelon.”

Some told me to look for wide stripes on them! Watermelons have dark and light green stripes on them (in case you’ve never seen one), and the ones with the wider stripes are “gooder” apparently. How the stripes determine the flavor profile of the melon I don’t know, but that’s what makes a good one. Some other people would say to look for a spot where it lay on the ground because it means the melon is ripe. Nevermind the fact that they all have a spot because melons, in fact, grow on the goddamn ground. Some people would say to look for a little stem at the end that would pull off easily, or something like that. Others would pick the damn melons up, put their ear on them, and knock on them like it was a fucking door. I tried this myself and they all sound the same and I never learned what “sound” a “good watermelon” makes as opposed to a “bad watermelon.” I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few of these “tried and true” methods for determining what makes a watermelon “good” or “bad” but whatever. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this post anyways…

Lightly researching on the internet (because everything on the internet is true), gave some even more ridiculous methods for finding a “good” watermelon. One person insisted on the melon having “straight green lines” and “the more perfect the better.” The same person also recommended that the scar where the flower falls off should be small, and that this “guarantees a perfectly sweet and rupe [sic] watermelon (;” Another person suggested that, as direct advice from a farmer (!!!), that the prospective watermelon pickers look for the location of a bee sting on the melon, given away by a tiny bit of juice oozing out husk. Once again, this all but guarantees that the watermelon is decent. And just to cap it off with some really fucked up nonsense, another person described an old wives tale about putting a broom straw on top of a melon, and if this straw spins, the watermelon is ripe. At least this person didn’t seem to take the technique too seriously, by adding “…entertaining at least.”

Does Any of That Work?

As stated, I’m not a watermelon expert, but I’m pretty damn skeptical of these methods mostly because they trigger my “sounds like bullshit” alarm. Even though a farmer (who is expected to be an expert) suggested something about bee stings, I know enough about bees, or have enough questions about bees and their habits that should undermine that theory. Do bees even eat watermelons? If they do, why would they sting the melons? How do bees know the melon is ripe? Has anyone actually compared a “bee stinged” watermelon to a non-bee melon and compared the taste profile? I doubt it. The theory seems on shaky ground, and just doesn’t seem to make plausible sense. I mean I might be wrong, but it sounds fishy from the start.

What about stripes on the melon? Once again I’m skeptical because there are natural variations in all fruits, vegetables, and meats. It’s a bad analogy, but it’s like saying people with black hair lie a lot, or that blondes are more likely to get cancer. I’m just skeptical that the damn stripes or the “greenness” of the melon really has any correlation with how yummy the melon is. Once again, I might be wrong, but shit like this should be so easily testable that it should be common knowledge by now. Get a green melon, or a “straight striped” melon, and eat away. Are they better, or not? Do some fucking science people.

Ooo, or what about the straw from the broom? Someone please tell me how the melon’s interior, by being sweet, yummy, and tasty can influence a piece of straw to rotate? Do the sugar molecules move in such a way that produces a magnetic field that somehow interacts with the tiny amount of iron in the piece of straw which causes it to rotate? Maybe it does! Or maybe that theory is just some silly bullshit that someone made up?

At the very least, given these ideas might actually work in selecting a melon, no one is this picky when shopping for other fruits, vegetables, and meats. With apples, you check to make sure they’re not rotten, and you buy them. Lettuce? Is it green or brown? Brownish lettuce is starting to rot, and green is fresher (unless the lettuce is naturally brown). Duh. Squishy tomatoes are about to go bad, and potatoes are obvious as fuck due to the horrid smell they emit. No one browses through package after package of ground beef looking for “the good one”; you just grab one that isn’t a nasty brown color and go about your day. But melons, NO! Somehow melons are the single thing in the produce department that takes 5 to 10 minutes to find the “the good one.” Get the hell out of here…

The Right Way?

I found a website that seemed to give some decent tips at finding a “good” melon, or as they called it, a “ripe” melon. First off, a ripe melon is a different thing than a “good” one, and already seemed to be off on an objective footing. Secondly, the things to look for actually make some sense in an obvious way. Suggested traits to look for are a firm husk with no soft spots, a yellow spot where it laid on the ground (as opposed to a whitish spot), the melon should feel heavy, and the melon should sound hollow. These are boring things to look for, but they don’t send my “bullshit” alarm into insane mode because they make logical sense. We look for firm fruit and vegetables all the time, and it’s almost obvious to realize a soft watermelon is going to be nasty to eat. At first I was confused about the spot, but if it starts off as a white spot and becomes yellow as the melon ripens, well, that makes sense then. It’s like saying a red tomato is ripe when a green one isn’t. Like no shit. And the heaviness? That is because a ripe watermelon has a lot of water in it (go figure) and water is pretty heavy. “Listening” to the watermelon also makes some sense as you’re simply listening for a hollow-sounding melon that doesn’t sound “dull.” This ensures that the melon isn’t filled with nasty, goopy, rotten pulp.

The point with these things is that they don’t tell you that the watermelon will taste amazing! No, they simply tell you that the watermelon isn’t fucking unripe or rotting. These traits are also fairly obvious as opposed to the witchcraft the customers all seemed to be doing. There isn’t a “good” watermelon sound that only you can hear properly; you’re just making sure it doesn’t sound dull and liquidy inside. Picking watermelons isn’t glamorous, and you don’t get to prance around like you’re the Watermelon God or something because you’re so damn good at it, so sorry. But considering the watermelon is a melon, these techniques are probably about as good as you can do without cutting it open and having a taste of the damn thing.

If I Ate Watermelons…

…I’d look for something akin to the paragraphs above: a watermelon that isn’t blatantly rotting, soft, or leaking all over the place. That’s it. If I go to buy a watermelon for someone else, that’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to walk up, and get a damn watermelon. It’ll take me twenty seconds at most to find one, and it’ll probably be almost as good as any other watermelon. And if it isn’t, well, it’s not like the watermelon eater I’m shopping for will know the other melons were tastier. It’ll be good enough.

In case you don’t know, Sam’s Club (and hence Walmart) is a fairly large company and they don’t source their melons from mom-and-pop farm operations; they most likely get melons in bulk from big-ass farms that mass produce them, just like every other thing they have in stock. My point here is these melons are planted in bulk, probably genetically modified, grown in bulk, and are all picked at the same time with little care given to ripeness or quality. There isn’t going to be much variance in the melons, because they’re not “hand picked” in that way that hand-picking implies. There probably is nothing better about watermelon A, B, or C; they’re probably nearly carbon-copies or clones of each other. And if I was buying a watermelon from a large supplier like that, well, I’m going to just randomly pick one because that’s about as good as you can do. The melons probably won’t be the best, and won’t vary much in flavor, so don’t waste your time.

If you’re at a farmers market or a local produce supplier, sure, you might be a bit more discerning with your melon picks, although you might be assured that the person picking them is themselves an expert and picked them at the prime of ripeness. This also gives you some reassurance that the melons will be “good” because someone who knows what’s going on with melons would’ve picked them. But if you’re at Walmart, or another large grocery store, just do what I’d tell a few customers to do in regards to finding a “good watermelon”: just fucking pick a melon because they’re most likely all the same.

Fun Fact: There’s a National Watermelon Promotion Board complete with a Watermelon Website. Yes, watermelons have their own lobbying group to influence the government.