Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Allan Rickman, Colonel Sanders and Me

I confess to having a man crush on Allan Rickman. There I said it.

This thought occurred to me as St. Pauli Girl and I watched “Bottle Shock” over the weekend (an okay movie from which I learned that women will sleep with you if you give them a really good bottle of wine). However, by the end of the movie I was fantasizing about sitting in an old AMC Gremlin with Rickman, drinking wine and eating a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken while he made droll comments about Colonel Sanders except he kept referring to him as Major Sanders.

(Sidebar: the movie made a mistake in that he was obviously eating original recipe in that scene yet the sound effect made it sound like he was eating extra crispy. Original recipe does not crunch!)

But how did my man crush happen? When America first met Allan Rickman he was the epitome of evil and destined to play only the most dastardly characters. He had his first big role in 1988 in “Die Hard” where he played the evil Hans Gruber doing battle with Bruce Willis who played Bruce Willis. This film was followed by 1990’s “Quiqley Down Under” where Rickman reprises his role as evil against Tom Selleck playing Tom Selleck. From that point on, when you saw Rickman in a movie, you knew he was the bad guy or at least you could never really trust him.

Somewhere along the line, he started playing other character types. I guess that’s the advantage of a British accent: you can be a snob, sensitive, and/or intelligent. I remember watching “Dogma” for the first time where every time Rickman appeared on screen, I expected him to become a traitor to the cause, but he never did. And I thought, “Wow! It sure was nice for him to be on our side for once.” And that’s what’s great about Alan Rickman, if he’s against you, you dread facing him, but if he’s on your side, he’s awesome!

It’s kind of like back in school when teams are getting picked for a sport, let’s say soccer. Rickman is not a captain, but he’s always the second or third player picked. If you get picked on the opposite team, you know at some point the game will have to go through him. As you dribble the ball toward him and the goal, he just stands there in supreme confidence, laughing in your face because you dared to challenge him. Then he’d probably sucker punch you, steal the ball, and kick you in the butt for good measure while making a sarcastic comment like “You should have tried to ‘Bend it like Rickman,’ you sad sack.” (And if it were a movie, he’d then break your neck with his bare hands). But the next day, you get chosen for his team and you cheer as he takes down an opponent and laugh uproariously at his clever sarcasm and then help kick the opposing player while he is temporarily down before exchanging fist bumps with Rickman (at which point he’d stare at his hand wondering what happened, then mumble something like “Americans….” And shrug).

And that pretty much sums him up. When he is in a movie, attention must be paid. But it still doesn’t explain why I want to drink beer and eat fried chicken with him. He would undoubtedly complain that the beer is too cold, that it should be no colder than a retriever’s nose or something equally British-sounding, and that the mashed potatoes tasted like they came from some blimey’s stewpot on the Isle of Wight. But then I could say, “Yeah, that Major Sanders was mad as a hatter.” And Rickman’s withering look would be priceless.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sharia, Don't Like It!

(Note: On 11/2/2010 the state of Oklahoma banned the use of Sharia Law in Oklahoma courts because we can only assume it was a big problem in the state whereas other states including Mississippi and Texas follow their state laws and state constitutions.)

Bailiff: Hear y’all, hear y’all. The 15th State Court of Oklahoma is now in session, the honorable Jim Ed Don Paul presiding.

Judge: Please be seated. Let’s see what we got here. The State of Oklahoma versus Hakeem Achmed. [Glances down at defendant dressed in a long robe and cloth headdress.] Well, Haji, says here you got the sticky fingers.

Hakeem: My name is Hakeem.

Judge: And you will address me as Your Honor.

Hakeem: It would be my honor, Your Honor.

Prosecutor: On the night of October 15, Mr. Achmed stole a music box from Garth Billy Ray.

Garth [standing and yelling from the middle of the courtroom]: It’s not a music box! It’s a four-hundred-and-fifty dollar I-pod!

Judge: And you are?

Garth: The victim. Not only did he steal it, but when I got it back, he had replaced my Toby Keith playlist with some recording of dead goats wailing.

Prosecutor: It’s true, your honor. Four police officers needed psychological counseling after listening to the music box for evidence.

Judge: These are very serious charges, Hakeem. How do you plead?

Hakeem: I cannot lie. I did it.

Judge: Let the records show that Mr. Achmed pleads guilty.

Hakeem [bowing his head while slowly placing his left arm on the table in front of him]: I wish to restore honor to my name.

Judge: What are you doing?

Hakeem: I give you my left hand.

Prosecutor: Your honor, he would like us to cut off his hand. This is standard practice under Sharia law.

Judge: Is that right? Well I’ll be! Sorry, but you are out of luck, Haji. The good people of this state have outlawed Sharia law in our courts. We’re sick and tired of you people coming in here in your bath robes with your harems and genies and AK-47’s. Actually, you know what? The guns are okay. But we don’t smoke ‘em no hookah pipe in this state, you got that?

Hakeem: No, it is okay, really. Please, take my hand.

Garth: You heard the man! Anybody got a knife?

Judge: Sit down! One more word out of you and I’ll hold you in contempt! That outburst could be construed as promotin’ Sharia law in a state courthouse. Now Haji, as I was saying, we’re not killin’ all y’all in Iraq just so you can come in here and make a mockery of our courts. Bob Ed, what are y’all looking at for punishment?

Prosecutor: He has no priors and as far as we can tell, other than this case, he seems to be a model citizen.

Judge: A U.S. citizen or a Sharia citizen?

Prosecutor: Good one, Jim Ed! Anyway, the state would be satisfied with one year’s probation.

Judge: Done and done. [Pounds gavel.]

Hakeem: What is this “probation?”

Prosecutor: You’ll have to meet with a probation officer every week, we’ll drug test you, check you for alcohol, and you’re not allowed in bars.

Hakeem: And you will take the hand?

Prosecutor: No, but if you mess up, we’ll put you in jail.

Hakeem [slamming his arm on the table]: Please, take the hand! For my honor.

Judge: If you spout anymore Sharia nonsense, I’ll have you gagged.

Garth: One year’s probation? Can you at least waterboard him for good measure?

Prosecutor: Well, you know judge, waterboarding really isn’t Sharia law…

Judge: He’s already confessed and pleaded guilty. We are a state of law and order. The people have spoken. There will be no Sharia law in Oklahoma. We’re sick and tired of it. Haji, you can put your arm down.

[Hakeem holds his arms out in front of him and approaches the Bailiff.]

Garth [yelling]: Watch out! I bet he’s booby-trapped!

Hakeem: Cuff me?

Judge: No need for that.

Hakeem [still approaching the bailiff]: We can go back to jail, please?

Judge [snickering]: No Haji, you’re free to go.

Hakeem: I do not understand. You don’t take my hand, you don’t cuff me, and I do not go back to jail?

Prosecutor: Just make sure you get to your probation officer next week. And no opium either.

Garth: This is outrageous! I thought we were a tough on crime state!

Hakeem: Ironic, no?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pick a Card, Any Card

Recently, a follower alerted me to a hot new way of meeting people. For about the price of a case of beer you can get a pack of cards with some sort of witty opening line that you can pass out to women in hopes that they will then contact you via a webpage listed on the card. This is to save guys the embarrassment of possibly being shot down in a face-to-face situation and/or the cost of having to buy someone a drink.

(This is where I smack myself on the head and think, “Why didn’t I think of that? I could be rich!”)

Anyway, the articles focus mostly on women using these cards with a high degree of success, but what they’re forgetting is that men will ruin this just like we have ruined all previous new-fangled methods for attracting someone:

Dating Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ruined by
Clubbing a woman over the head . . . .Civilization

Newspaper personals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Guy who wrote the Pina Colada song

Video dating service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Guy who invented fast forward button

Online personals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Married guys, creepy guys, and liars

Matchmaking Services . . . . . . . . . . . . .Married guys, creepy guys, and liars

Speed Dating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Married guys, creepy guys, and liars

As you can see, there is a trend. But with these cards, it won’t be the married and/or creepy guys ruining it but rather just the natural state of guys. Whereas women tend to be pickier with the focus of a laser beam, men tend to be more like a shotgun blindly aimed in a crowded room and hoping to hit someone. But now we can be more like a nuclear bomb, saturating entire cities with these cards in hopes of meeting 5, 6, or 20 women, depending on how many cards are purchased.

A normal guy would probably order 2500 of these cards. Then he’d order 2500 more for the next weekend. (Married and creepy guys would be getting volume discounts on orders of 10,000 and up).

Women will be dealing with card envy. “Hey I just got carded. Again,” a woman will sigh to her friend. She will toss the card onto a pile in her backseat already overflowing with them. Women’s purses will get larger to accommodate all the cards collected in an evening out.

Then there’s the inevitable card snub. Imagine a subway where some hot guy is walking down the aisle handing out cards left and right. Suddenly he realizes he’s down to just one card, but there are two girls left uncarded. He starts to offer Girl #1 his last card, then his eyes light up, he jerks it away and walks on. Girl #2 is prettier. Or bigger-busted.

Then there’s the follow up on the webpage where the girl tries to contact the guy that gave her a card. If you thought calling technical support for a computer problem was a horror, imagine what happens when she dials the number listed on the webpage:

Girl: Hi, you gave me a card last week.

Guy: Hello, thanks for calling Max. We are experiencing a large volume of calls at this time. (She’s put on hold.) Thank you for your patience. Are you contacting me from Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, or Wichita?

Girl: Hi! It was Dallas. You know, from the restaurant.

Guy: Of course. Chinese, Mexican, seafood, or barbecue?

Girl: It was at The Hungry Jellyfish.

Guy: Bar, patio, lobby, kitchen, parking lot, or restroom?

Girl: Restroom? You went into the--? Oh, never mind. Bar. Short brown hair, black turtleneck.

Guy: Barstool or table?

Girl: Barstool. You liked my glasses.

Guy: Wire rimmed or Buddy-Holly-ish?

Girl: Uh, Buddy Holly. You said you liked my sexy librarian look.

Guy: Vodka, beer, or wine?

Girl: Zima! It was a Zima! I was the only one in America drinking a Zima at the time! Sheesh.

Guy: Ah, of course! I remember now. How are you? So, you wanna go out sometime?

So ladies, as marketing and technology seek to break down the awkward first meeting ritual, remember that it is actually a gatekeeper. Forcing someone to come up and talk to you in real life, or better yet buy you a drink, is nature’s way of filtering out the riff-raff. Yes, you may lose a few good but shy catches, but it’s worth not having to sort through the ones that will only waste your valuable time.

And for you guys out there, if you really want to meet fun, interesting women, follow romance writers on twitter. Uh-oh. I think I just ruined twitter for women.