February 26, 2009

The Mile High Club Does Not Exist

I fly a lot as the Minister of Common Sense, and I don’t think the famous "Mile High Club" actually exists. I think that anyone who says they have had sex on a plane is probably lying. Every time I go into a bathroom on an airplane, I wonder about the possibility of trying to have sex in there - and I've become increasingly convinced that it’s a mechanical impossibility.

It’s fucking small in there, people! It’s barely big enough for one person, let alone two people – let along two people who are banging away. It’s so small in there that I don’t think there is enough room for me to masturbate, let alone involve someone else. And I’m not a big guy, either... I'm probably on the small side (OK, I didn't mean it like THAT, I meant in terms of body mass), so if I can't pull it off, how are two average-sized Americans
able to wedge themselves in there? Not only do you physically have to get two people in there, but you have to actually achieve a position of penetration, which is a whole other question of physics. Look at this photo from a bird's-eye view... how can anyone fit??

Even if we forget about the space requirements for a minute, I'm not even sure there is a legitimate opportunity to try to get two people in there in the first place. You know that those bathrooms are never vacant. There is always a line of people waiting, and there
are seats immediately before or after the stalls (the poor bastards). Then there are also flight attendants making crappy food nearby (although it's not their fault, it's the food's fault), so how do two people even TRY to get in there without raising immediate suspicion?

Even if you could get into the bathroom without raising suspicion or inconveniencing the line of people who need to pee, and even if you could fit both you and your likely-to-have-a-fat-ass lover in there, and even if you could get "it" in... what about the fact that it fucking stinks in there?! Either it stinks like people have been using it like a bathroom
(surprise) or it stinks like that bathroom sanitizer stuff. How the hell do you get hard or wet to the seductive aromas of 2000 Flushes? You might as well sleep with your office cleaning women or the high school janitor – you’d get the same aromatics.

And have you heard the violence with which that toilet flushes? It sounds like an explosion that sucks the living hell out of anything in the vicinity. I’m nervous just taking a pis
s near that thing. I’m pretty sure it can rip your sausage off, so the last thing I’m going to do around that toilet is any activity that makes my sausage a bigger and an easier target for that black hole commode!

Anytime they show two people having sex in an airplane bathroom in a movie, there is always a TON of room. They make it look like it's the master bathroom in Mar-a-Lago or something. There is no way there is as much room as they show in the movies. It’s complete fiction. (And if you want to believe the movies, then you have to
recognize that something really bad always happens to the characters who try to have sex in the airplane bathroom... they always die, crash or get bitten by a snake or something. So if you believe the movies, then you need to believe that anyone who has ever tried to join the Mile High Club has died, which supports my thesis that no one is actually in the club... because they are all dead).

I don’t envy anyone who says that they have had sex on a plane (assuming they actually have). There is nothing about it that sounds physically possible or pleasing. But, if you want to try to give me a handjob under the blanket at the seat... OK, now I’m interested.

P.S. - As a side bar, what is it with people taking photographs of themselves in airplane bathrooms?? have you seen this stupid phenomenon? After I started writing this post, I came across a ton of people who took photographs of themselves in the mirror on planes. When did this become a fad? Did I miss something??
Look at what you find if you search Yahoo! images for "airplane bathroom". There is page after page of these people taking photos of themselves. What's up with that? Can someone explain this to me?

February 19, 2009

Oh, Canada

I got back from skiing in Banff a few weeks ago. For those of you who do not know, Banff is the Aspen of Canada. It is a few hours outside of Calgary, so I had a chance to spend some time in the city. There are some good things about Calgary, as well as some problems.

First of all, you haven’t met cold until you have been to Calgary in February. It was EIGHT degrees there... FAHRENHEIT! Freezing is 32 degrees and it was 8. It sounds so weird to say that it was “eight”. When someone asks you what the temperature is, and you respond by saying “eight”, the likely reaction you will get is “eight what?” Exactly! It’s such a ridiculous, ass-cold temperature that no one believes you when you say it. What does "eight" even feel like?? Can you live in that temperature? I mean, at some point you immediately die if you step outside into a certain level of cold, right? Like, if the air was 100 degrees below freezing (-68 degrees Fahrenheit), then I think you would immediately die, wouldn't you? Well, is “eight” all that much warmer? I found out first hand that you CAN survive in 8 degrees... but only barely. I’m not sure how the people who live there year round actually make it through the winter.

If you actually can withstand the bitter cold and make it out into the streets of downtown Calgary, you will soon notice that their street addresses are all messed up. Calgary had the good intention of building a grid of numbered streets and avenues (like in New York), but their common sense stops there. What do you think the addresses would be of buildings in Calgary that are located between 4th and 5th Street? The building addresses would be numbered somewhere between 400-499, right? Well, not in Calgary. The addresses between 4th and 5th Street are NOT 400-499... they are 500-599! The street addresses in Calgary are always 100 behind! So 415 Sixth Avenue is located between 3rd and 4th Street, not between 4th and 5th Street. How does this make any sense?? Believe me, when you are walking around outside in 8 degree weather, you definitely don't want to find out that you are a whole block off because some backward ass city planner couldn't fucking count correctly! How did this ever happen? Is every stupid city in Canada like this? Are there stupid cities in the U.S. like this??

In addition to the street addresses in Calgary being misnumbered, the country also has a fucked up ZIP code system. Have you ever mailed a letter to Canada? Holy shit, it’s awful. Here is a sample ZIP code in Calgary: “T2P 1N8”. What the fuck is that? Is that a license plate or a ZIP code? Do you really need to alternate between letters and numbers? Canada, your country isn't big enough to require THAT many different combinations of ZIP codes using both numbers and letters. We are perfectly fine in the U.S. with a FIVE-NUMBER ZIP code system (despite the fact that the U.S. has eight times the population of Canada, as well as eight times the habitable land mass), yet you're telling me that Canada requires a SIX-digit ALPHA-NUMERIC ZIP code system?? You're like one of those websites that requires you to set up your account with an eight-figure, alpha-numeric password with at least one lowercase and one capitalized letter... when all you want to do is leave a comment on a blog or something. It's totally annoying and unnecessary.

Canada, can’t you just shorten your ZIP codes and stick with either all letters or all numbers? Do you know how awkward it is to type a letter, then a number, then a letter, then a number...? Especially if you’re doing it on a Blackberry and need to hit the ALT key every other time. Ugh, that’s annoying. And what’s with the fucked up grouping in the ZIP code?... letter, number, letter... and then number, letter, number? Could you make it any more confusing?! I know you're trying to do an alternating pattern, but you do realize that the space in the middle intuitively fucks it up, right? So stupid. Oh, Canada... why?

But, despite its failure with addresses, Calgary was a surprisingly cool town. Despite only having one million residents and being landlocked near what feels like the Arctic Circle, it surprisingly young, hip, cool and trendy. The population in downtown Calgary is generally young and attractive. The girls have trendy haircuts and were fashionably dressed. Based on my visit, I would rank Calgary well above many major cities in the U.S., in terms of fashion and trendiness. Also, I could totally notice that I was no longer in America just based on the average weight of the Calgarian population. Everyone in Calgary seemed to be thin and fit, even the middle-aged people. While the population in Calgary would probably benefit from some extra fat to help them make it through the frigid winter, they all had attractive, thin bodies, especially the women. It was very noticeable, and it made me think to myself, “Jesus, what the hell ARE we Americans eating??... and how MUCH of it are we eating??” It's always shocking to go to a foreign country - you almost always notice the weight difference right away.

Canada has a free healthcare system, and they also have free Internet in the airport, which was nice. But I was shocked to see that The Onion and The Superficial were “blocked sites” by the Calgary Airport Authority. Really? Do these sites really need to be blocked on people’s personal laptops? Let's lighten up on the civil liberties, Calgary. Thank god The Minister of Common Sense was accessible! At least Canada still lets you look at some of the good stuff.

UPDATE: Oh my god... Calgary has CASINOS, too!! Just another reason why the city is cool!

February 12, 2009

School Zone Quandary

What are the laws regarding school zone speed limits? It seems to me that people will generally drive faster than the speed limit on a normal road... unless it is a school zone. School zones seem to be the one traffic rule to which everyone will adhere. When we see those flashing lights that caution us to drive no more than 20 miles per hour because children and a school are nearby, we all basically abide by the law. Twenty miles per hour is so painfully slow that it’s obvious when someone is going too fast, so everyone really has to stick to it. But it’s for a good reason because no one wants to accidentally kill a kid who runs out in the middle of the street. However, sometimes these school zone lights are incorrect – on holidays and weekends, as an example. So my question to you is, do we have to obey the 20 mph speed limit if you know that the school zone sign is wrong?

There is a school zone near my house, and I was driving through it on Christmas Day. Of course, everything was closed on Christmas, and school was not in session. The school zone speed limit lights were on an automatic timer, so at 3 pm on Christmas, they were blinking to enforce a 20 mph speed limit. Now, I knew that school was not in session, and therefore (technically) the school zone speed limit should not have been enforced (there were no kids, no crossing guard and no cars in the parking lot). But I didn't know what to do. Should I drive 20 mph?... or is it OK to drive faster than that? The few other drivers around me seemed equally confused, as some were driving normal, and others had slowed down dramatically. So what is the real legal rule in that situation? Could a cop have given me a speeding ticket for driving faster than 20 mph, even if I could have proved that school was not in session? I imagine that he COULD have given me a ticket, but would my defense be adequate to have it dismissed in traffic court?

In another example, what if a school speed limit sign was stuck in the “on” position forever... all day, all night, all through the summer, when clearly there are no kids going to school? Could you fight your way out of that speeding ticket? What if one school speed limit light was on, but the others were off? I saw this just the other day - it was on Sunday (obviously, no school) and one sign was blinking and the others were off. What’s the rule under that situation? Would it be "speeding" to drive through this area at 30 mph? Would it be a ticketable offense?

The hazy rules can get even more nuanced. Last year I noticed that one of the school zone speed limit signs near me had not automatically adjusted itself for daylight savings time - the others had, but not this particular one. The light would continue to blink for an hour after all the other school zone signs had turned themselves off. Is it wrong to disobey it? It was freaking me out because I knew that the sign was wrong, but it was also "wrong" during a time that was very close to the real school time. I probably looked like a reckless asshole for “speeding” through the area when other drivers were not aware that the light was operating on the wrong time zone. Should a cop have given me a ticket for this? (CAN a cop give me a ticket for this??) After all, the reason why we have signs and traffic lights in the first place is so that we don’t have to rely on people to make personal decisions and judgements about how and when to follow the rules. But does it matter if the rule/sign/light is incorrectly posted?

Think about the moments when you come to a broken stoplight - a traffic light that is stuck on red. After sitting there for minutes and minutes, ultimately you realize that it is not going to change to green (or maybe you came to the intersection and drivers had already figured out that it was broken, so they were driving through it when they could). What are you to do? You have to eventually drive through it and disobey the "traffic law", right? So, therefore, wouldn't driving faster than the school zone speed limit be OK when you KNOW that the sign is wrong (which can probably be most clearly determined when there is only one sign blinking and all the rest are off). But what if the OTHER sign (the one that is not blinking) is the broken one, and it really IS a school zone time? Or what if you think the blinking signs are wrong because they are on during the summer, but they are actually CORRECT because there is summer school? Or what if they are on at night because there was a school play that evening? I guess you can never really know for sure.

When I see a school zone sign that is clearly malfunctioning (i.e. it is the only one out of the four signs that is flashing, or they are flashing on Christmas Day...) then I opt to straddle the different speed limits. I won’t drive as fast as I normally would (which would actually exceed the normal speed limit), but I won’t go as slow as 20 mph, either. I don’t openly dismiss the flashing lights by driving arrogantly at 40 mph, but I don’t strictly adhere to the school zone. However, I’m still waiting for the day when I get pulled over by the police and have this discussion with them.

February 5, 2009

Bicycles Are Not Cars

Bicyclists, we need to talk. You are not a car. You do not move as fast as a car. So why are you riding your bicycle in the middle of the road?! You’re like the little brother who tries to do all the same things as your big brother, except that you can’t. And because you are tagging along with us, you're making it harder for us to buy beer and get girls. So please go home until you grow up.

Don’t you hate it when you are driving along the right lane of a road on a Saturday morning, and you come up on a painfully slow car in front of you? You think to yourself, “What the hell is this guy doing? Fucking hurry up.” Cars are whizzing past you in the left lane, and when there is a opening in the traffic, the slow car in front of you moves over... and then you see it... some fucking guy riding his bike right in the middle of the lane. Come on, dude, you can’t do that. Ride on the sidewalk. Or drive to the park with the bike in the trunk of your car and take it out when you get there. Or ride on deserted streets, not ones that are active with cars. Or ride on the street (if you must), but do it up against the curb to allow for cars to pass you in that lane. But bike riders always seem to ride smack dab in the middle of the lane, like they have every right to be there.

Look, Mom... No Car!

Who do these bike riders think they are? First of all, do they really have a legal right to use the street just like a car? I don't know - maybe they do and maybe they don't. But even if they do have the right to ride in the middle of the lane, then they need to adhere to the other rules of the road... like the MINIMUM SPEED LIMIT! If you really can ride your bike as fast as a car, then you can use the road with us (by the way, this type of bike is called a "motorcycle"). But if you can’t ride as fast as us, then get the hell out of the way. It already pisses me off that these bike riders are so rude as to ride in the middle of the lane, not caring that they are inconveniencing every car that comes up behind them, but then they have the audacity to peddle along at a leisurely pace! What they fuck? While I don't like any bicycle in the middle of the road, at least I RESPECT those who are peddling their asses off and trying to go as fast as possible. At least they are showing some urgency, which conveys the fact that they know they are going too slow and acknowledge that they are messing everyone up, so they are trying to do their best to minimize their impact on traffic patterns. It’s the other leisurely riders that are the biggest disgrace.

Sometimes you see two bicycles riding side-by-side together in the middle of the road, just flaunting their traffic-blocking ways. Ugh. They probably don’t ride in a single file up against the curb, because they feel it’s too dangerous and it makes them nervous to have cars driving by them in such close proximity, but that’s the whole point... if you don’t like cars near you, then get off the ROAD! Should I be allowed to walk down the middle of a street strolling along at 4 miles per hour? Wouldn't the police stop me from doing that? Wouldn't that be improper? So why is it OK to have a bike rider (who’s fractionally faster than a walking human) to roll down the street?

I partly blame Lance Armstrong for all of this. He popularized bike riding among the non-athletic types and the general population. Whatever good he did for society by raising money for cancer, he basically undid it all by encouraging people to clog our roadways with inefficient weekend traffic. [OK, before I get a 100 angry-cancer-patient emails on this... I was just kidding!]

Compounding the frustration we feel from these bike-induced traffic jams are these mother fuckers’ outfits. More often than not, it’s always a fat guy wearing super-tight black shorts with his padded ass staring at you as you try to figure out a way to navigate and drive around him. And there is often an accompanying tight yellow shirt that highlights their belly spilling over their shorts. Come on, guy – do you really think that aerodynamic clothes are going to help you at this point? Don’t you think your fat lumpy shape is going to give you so much wind resistance that you’re beyond the help of Lycra? Don’t dress like you’re in the Tour de France when you can’t crack 20 miles per hour on the street.

We could only wish this was the problem...

But bike riders will argue that they have a right to use the road just like everyone else. Well, if that is the case, then you have to follow ALL the rules of the road. As I mentioned before, I’m sure they are moving below the minimum legal speed limit in many situations. But in addition to that, after holding me up and making me miss the green light, I see them ride right through the red light that I now have to brake for! You can’t have it both ways. If you want to pretend you are a car, then you have to adhere to ALL the rules. You can’t enjoy inconveniencing everyone by riding slowly, and then enjoy the convenience of going through the red light! If the police are not going to make these guys move over or get off the road, then I want them to be ticketed for going too slow and running red lights.