Sunday, April 25, 2010

You're In Trouble

It was a routine day at B3 for me. I was in the cleaning materials department looking for some supplies to maintain the impeccable level of sanitation I prefer in my apartment. I was holding a bottle of tile cleaner when I saw it.

I almost didn’t believe it at first as I caught it out of the corner of my eye. But I did a double take and there it was.

A bottle of Urine Gone.

But it wasn’t just a single solitary bottle of Urine Gone. No, there was a stock of Urine Gone. As to say not 1 but many people have the need to get rid of a large quantity of urine on a regular basis.

My mind instantly went into overload trying to rationalize the existence of this product on our planet. Surely it couldn’t be for human pee… right? I mean this has to be for animal owners… right? For a while I thought the “Beyond” in Bed Bath and Beyond stood for beyond good. Now I realized it stood for “Beyond human comprehension.”

Of all the places I would expect to find a 24 oz bottle of Urine gone, B3 was not on the list. For me, the B3 is a place of fluffy towels, spatula sets and electric toothbrushes, not… pee removal.

If anything I would expect to find a bottle of this product in a place like a gas station, the same place you can buy the malt liquor, red Solo cups, and ping pong balls that would cause one to get drunk enough to pee on a… well... anything.

And let’s also consider, outside of the bathroom, the bed is the place you are most likely to find pee. But that you can clean up immediately by just tossing your sheets and mattress pad in the washing machine.

So this product must be for removing pee from OTHER surfaces and locations.

I had questions that needed answers. Most pressing was this:

What human had decided there was an untapped need in the market for pee removal?

It did make sense that the product was housed on the bottom shelf where you have to kind of surreptitiously stoop down to get it. I can’t believe anybody would want to proudly display this product in his or her cart.

Hey, everybody! Look what I got!

Which also makes me think just what an awful moment it must be at the register when the associate has to ring you up. Even if they were ignoring you, you would think curiosity would get the better of them as they wondered who could need such a product.

I know there are some things that I have been embarrassed to buy, My Ped Egg to name one. And usually I can play it off with a silly comment or self-deprecating joke. But Urine Gone? What the hell are you supposed to say if somebody gives you a look?

Boy did I have a hell of a weekend!

And if you are buying it, it is probably not an emergency because you would have used whatever you had on hand to get rid of that stain ASAP. So that means you have an OLD urine stain you need to get rid of, OR you are anticipating an awful series of events in the near future. Either way, I don’t envy you. Not even a wee bit.

Ha-ha, get it? Wee? Ahh.

I was so dumbfounded when I came across Urine Gone that I forgot to read the label, but upon returning home my curiosity eventually got the better of me and I googled it.

Here is what I found.

Urine Gone effectively removes new or old stains and odors from carpets, mattresses, and furniture. Urine Gone works on just about any washable surface or fabric! Just darken the room and use the Urine Gone "stain detector" black light…

Wait a minute.

Stain detector? STAIN DETECTOR?

Here’s the thing, if you KNOW there is urine in your home, but you don’t know where, you don’t need Urine Gone. You need a home security system complete with motion sensors, HD cameras and a barbed wire fence.

Who is peeing in undisclosed locations in houses? Are there criminals regularly breaking into houses to deface the home and then leaving, doing the old “Pee and Flee?”

If you are using a black light you are no longer a regular person, you are a detective. You are a forensic scientist tracking down human detritus. You are the star of the new hit show P.S.I.

The description continues:

For Pet or People Accidents Non-Toxic Safe for Carpet Litter Boxes Wood & Tile Bathrooms Sofas & Beds...

So there is proof it is not just for pets, but people too. There are people with pee accidents in their home. Many people. PEEple.

I’m not sure what would cause such an accident. Perhaps you have white carpet in your home and you recently brought home an Eskimo child who immediately set about to write his name.

If you go on the Urine Gone site they say:

 If you loved the 24 ounce urine gone, you might like… the urine gone refill.


Also on the website, in the “Product features” part, there is this great tidbit.

Don’t leave your house smelling like a litter box… Get Urine Gone.

Hmm OK. So what you are saying is, when faced with the choice of cleaning up pee or just leaving it, most people choose to just leave it? Is that the reason for the arrival of this product on the market? Laziness?

The only thing I found more outrageous were the actual customer reviews on the site.

Mind you these are actual reviews.

I have ten cats, and one of the former-ferals sometimes sprays in the house…

I’m not even going to show the rest of that review because it doesn’t get any better. Ya know what helps get rid of the smell of 10 cats? Not having 10 cats.

I have literally bought dozens of urine removers on the market…

Really? If you have bought DOZENS of urine removers, don’t you think it’s time for a lifestyle change? If you cannot get your animals to stop relieving themselves around the house shouldn’t you be thinking of getting a barn or something? I mean jeez at least buy a tarp.

I have 9 cats and 8 dogs in my house and somebody is always doing something somewhere that they shouldn’t!

17 animals? I’m not even, I mean I just… I can’t…

I think my favorite part of the product is how they don’t specifically advertise but more subtly mention that this can be used in the removal of feces as well. I really think it’s only a matter of time before Urine Gone gets a companion product called, “Damn it, Go Away Poop.”

And I bet you won’t need a black light to find that mess.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Second Rant

Again, my document of things I want to write about is growing at a rate faster than I can possibly handle. So, much like I did in The First Rant, I have compiled a short list of topics that don’t require their own post but (in my scientific opinion) are still worth mentioning.  What follows are things that have been marinating in my brain for better or for worse.


Living in New York I am very particular about my Bagels. As I am about my pizza as well. There are many bagels I enjoy. The sesame is a fine bagel, as is the pumpernickel, the cinnamon raisin and several others but there is one bagel I don’t get;

The Everything Bagel.


I am opposed to this bagel on so many levels. The first being that, for whatever reason, the Everything Bagel is always cooked next to my most favorite of the bagelino family, the egg bagel, which has no seasoning. You’d think they would cook the everything bagel next to the salt bagel or maybe… in its own oven in a different store… in another city.

Its like a plague on other bagels. A bagel plague... a plaguel.

I mean it’s barely a bagel, it looks more like an art project.

And ya know what if you like the everything bagel, I don’t judge you, but can we get some kind of restriction on what is in this bagel? Everything is not an ingredient list. What the hell is in an Everything Bagel? Garlic? Cheetos? Bleach?

It’s like knocking the spice rack over into the mixer.

Is there anything more uninspired than the ingredient list for an everything bagel? I can only imagine the originators of this recipe.

Bagel Maker 1:  What should we put in it?
Bagel Maker 2:  Umm everything.
Bagel Maker 1: What do you mean everything?!
Bagel Maker 2: I mean everything!
Bagel Maker 1: You are gross, I hate you.

Solicitation Emails

Now I don’t condone solicitation emails. You know the ones I am talking about, those emails that say you stand to gain a 40,000,000 Euros if you will just help this dethroned king from Zimbabwe transfer his funds to the Chase Bank in your neighborhood.

The scams take good money out of the pockets of decent humans every year. But the people writing these emails are idiots! I mean they are written in such crap English. You’d think they would hire a decent English-speaking criminal and say

Hey, we are looking to rip off some of the Americans, would you mind rewriting this scam email so it sounds legit?

I think some American criminals could really clean up by consulting for these international hooligans by just suggesting they stop starting out their emails with “Dear Honorable Sirs.” Stop talking to me like I am Nobleman from the 14th century, unless of course you meant to send this email to a Renaissance village, in which case you have other problems.

Airplane Charges

I was on an airplane recently that had those need little TV screens in the back of the seat in front of you. My first thought was “yippee, free movie time.” But no, I was wrong. There was a rental fee. Do you know how much the fee was? 8 dollars. EIGHT FRIGGING DOLLARS! How the hell does that make any sense?

At the movie theater I pay 13 dollars to sit in a good quality seat and watch movies on a screen that is roughly 80 feet.

I can order a movie on TV for like 4 bucks that I can watch from the comfort of my couch (in my underwear no less…. Don’t judge) and eat the food in my fridge.

And yet to sit in a too small tin and pleather shit seat on a noisy plane next to some inflated troglodyte with seemingly 7 elbows and watch a 5-inch screen? 8 dollars!

I can’t even sit back in my seat with a screen that size. I need to lean forward so my face is almost touching the screen. And god forbid the person in front of me puts their seat back while I’m watching, they’ll shatter my nose like a Ivan Drogo. Because nobody ever just gently puts their seat back, they thrust it back like they just hit Mach 12 in their Jet fighter.

Is it too much to ask to use the same care in backing your seat up as when you back up your car? Just take a peak over your shoulder to see if there is anybody directly behind you before you punch the gas like you’re in a chase scene in the Bourne Identity.


I pulled a muscle stretching the other day. I think that’s a good sign I’ve hit rock bottom in terms of physical activity.


There are millions of wines in the world. The odds that your local restaurant is going to have your exact favorite is usually pretty slim. I was tending bar recently when a guy came in and ordered a blush.

A blush? Do people still order blush? What is this, Sephora?

Another customer said to me, “Do you got Moscatto?”

No, I replied.

“You don’t got no pink wine? Damn you don’t got none of the wines I like.”

Mmm indeed.  You have my sincerest apologies. And by the way, thank you for bringing your brand of class to our fine establishment. Leave me your name and number and I will also let you know when we have added Twinkies and Jerky to our menu.


I regularly rant against the funkiness of stinky people. But mind you stink is a broad spectrum of which the atrocities are many.

While I used to enjoy the odoriferous benefits of Polo Sport, I think it is important that you don’t smell like you DRANK a bottle of it before you left the house.

And as long as we are talking what people shouldn’t smell like I would like to mention a perfume for Women called Moon Sparkle.

Moon sparkle? I cannot imagine an audience for this product that doesn’t also regularly discuss the pros and cons of Unicorn ownership and spend their days attaching ribbons to the back bumper of their cars.

Moon Sparkle sounds like the name of Rainbow Bright’s horse.

Saddle up Moon Sparkle, we’re going on an adventure!

Somebody brought it to my attention recently that now they make Moon Sparkle for men. I have GOT to believe that the audience buying this product is limited at best. I’m not the manliest of men but I get the feeling if you buy moon sparkle it would come with a free purse and subscription to Cosmo Girl.

But if it came right down to it I’d rather smell like Moon Sparkle than an everything Bagel… but just barely.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

How Stupid Do You Think I Am?

Ok don’t answer that.

I am aware that I don’t always make the best impression on people. It could be the reflection off my skin or the way I like to pretend strangers are my long time friends. I’m not sure what it is but I am used to getting a stare that says, “Are you stupid?”

But sometimes people have actually followed up with a question by actually asking,

“Are you stupid?”

OK, OK those things I can handle. But that’s just me. I think we as a society, and more specifically the people who are in control, are starting to think everybody else is stupid. And not just a little bit stupid… a lot bit stupid.

It’s not an aggressive assumption of stupidity; it’s a bit more subversive. You really only notice it if you are paying attention. And if you are stupid, you probably don’t pay attention, so you probably don’t realize that the people that think you are stupid are… well… thinking you are stupid!

The first time I noticed this was a couple of weeks ago when I had some friends stay with me. My friend was brushing her hair with a fine piece of hair management equipment.

I was quite impressed with it and picked it up to take a closer look when I noticed the handle was extremely squishy. It was quite a nice feeling. I am not one to brush my hair really, but this was a brush I would make an excuse to use so I could feel the squishiness of the handle. I took a closer look at the handle and noticed this:

Plasmium gel? What the hell is plasmium gel? I don’t even know if I am supposed to capitalize it, and in fact Microsoft Word is underlining it in red right now to let me know it too, has never heard of it.

Plasmium Gel? It sounds like something Astronauts rub on themselves so they don’t get a space rash.

Jim: Hey Connor my feet are itchy as hell, do you have space rash too?
Connor: Nope, I put 2 scoops of plasmium gel in my boots this morning.
Jim: You are so wise.

It’s not like hair brushes come wrapped in air tight containers where you can’t touch and feel what they are made of. The advancements in hairbrush technology have been quite limited over its lifespan. You don’t really need to oversell a hairbrush, which perhaps explains the ridiculousness of this marketing.

I have to wonder what kind of clientele they were expecting to lasso with that bit of marketing. It’s a hairbrush… not a rocket ship.

They could have just written “Feel Good Squishy” and that would probably have been enough. I don’t know what plasmium gel is so I’m not sure I would want to touch it, but feel good squishy? Oh yea. Give it here.

Recently I was down visiting my parents in South Carolina and I was hanging out at the pool. I have already detailed some questionable poolside activities here before, but I was not expecting to run into it again.

I was lounging in a chair and soaking up the sun and trying to not burn my lily white skin to an unrecognizable crisp. I decided it was about time to cool off. So I sauntered over to the edge of the pool.

Now this particular pool had a graduated entrance. So basically there was a dry ramp for about 15 feet before the water started and then it went down slowly to about 5 feet.

I was just about to make my way down the ramp when I saw this sign.


Who the hell is diving into no feet of no water? That doesn’t even qualify as a pool. I mean is this a risk that people face daily? Are there people around the world just jumping headfirst into pavement?

I mean, by that assumption we should start putting “no diving” signs in parking lots, grocery stores, and car dealerships.

I can even understand the no diving sign in the 1 foot of water because OK maybe your eyesight is bad and you think it is deeper than it looks. But 0 feet of water. I mean if you can’t tell there is no water there you either don’t understand the concept of swimming or you are blind. And if this sign were in fact intended for blind people, it would have been in Braille, but it was NOT in Braille. I checked.

So I was left with the conclusion that either somebody had dove headfirst into the no water before, or the management did not think the swimming public could be trusted to not dive into the no water.

Shortly thereafter I was about to open up a new toothbrush (yes I know, I enjoy good dental hygiene) and not really paying any specific attention to the packaging. It was a normal toothbrush. In fact I even took a picture of it.

I was struggling to open it (sometimes I have issues) when I noticed a tiny, tiny bit of writing in red right near the base of the toothbrush. And do you know what it said?

It said, in tiny nearly unreadable red lettering: “toothbrush.”

Ohhhhh OK. Thanks for that.

What idiot is turning this over in their hand wondering what it could be? Who is this writing for? Aliens? Distant tribes who just happen to speak English but don’t recognize toothbrushes? I can only imagine the conversation taking place in the grocery store.

Jeb: Hey ma, I wanna buy this here thing.
Ma: What all you got there?
Jeb: It’s like a stick, but it’s got like some bristly things at the end.
Ma: A bristly ended stick? Sounds like the devil’s work. Does it say anything on it?
Jeb: Don’t know, I can’t read good.
Ma: Give it here. OH OK, see here at the bottom it says, Toothbrush.
Jeb: Ohhhh… does it have a plasmium handle?

Or something like that.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chairman of the Bored

I needed to buy some chairs.

It always starts out so simple doesn’t it?

I needed to buy some chairs because I have been living in this apartment for 2 years now and I have been sitting on folding chairs at my kitchen table.

I use that term “kitchen table” lightly because my kitchen is so tiny that I can’t open the fridge and have a thought at the same time.

My kitchen table actually sits in my living room.


So anyway folding chairs are extremely uncomfortable. I am a fidgety human as it is, but sitting in a folding chair is awful. I have to shift around every 3 minutes until I finally get comfortable with my feet on the lamp and my head under the couch… and then my butt goes numb.

I was getting so angry, not at myself for having not purchased chairs, no, I was mad at my chairs. I was starting to yell at them.

Rich: Man you suck, you know that? You just suck so bad. You are so awful I hate you.
Chair: (Blank stare)

So I decided to buy some nice, new, comfortable chairs.

Having no car and not really wanting to bring chairs on the subway (though that would solve the challenge of finding a seat), I decided to do it online and have them delivered to me thereby saving myself time, stress, and inconvenience.

What I didn’t realize was that I probably could have built my own chairs in the time it was going to take for me to get them in the mail.

I get online and I do my normal dance where I over research something, then order it, then have second thoughts, then cancel it and buy something else.

So by the time all that dust settled I had ordered a pair of this chair.

Exciting right? Yes quite.

Click, buy, confirm, woohoo.

I received an email telling me that the chairs had been shipped from Stockton, California. Hooray! My chairs were on the way!

On March 5th I checked the tracking website and saw that my chairs were “In Transit” in Reno.

And that is when the communication stopped. I went a whole week without hearing about the status of my chairs. I started to worry.

Had my chairs gotten off the truck in Reno to stretch their legs? (Rim shot!)

Thank you, thank you, you’ve been a lovely audience!

But back to my chairs.

Had they stumbled into a casino and lost all of their money? Were they sitting at a craps table with a couple of rough necked barcaloungers with cash to burn? What the hell were my chairs doing in Reno that they couldn’t’ be reached?!

Or maybe the delivery truck driver had lost his mind and decided to keep all of the furniture on the truck for himself. I could see him driving across the country on Route 66 blasting Lynard Skynard with his head out the window laughing like a maniac as he chomped on a cigar.

Sometimes my brain runs wild.

I pictured my chairs sitting on the back of a truck writing me a tear stained letter,

Dear Richard,

We left Reno days ago. I’m so scared. This truck is so dark. I haven’t been sat on in days. I can’t see anything and there is some ottoman in the truck somewhere that keeps screaming in the night. It is so lonely. Help me!


2 Red Chairs

But then good news my chairs had arrived in Jersey. And then Long Island! And then while I was at work one day I saw my chairs were out on the truck for delivery! And then I got home and… I still had no chairs.


I checked the tracking website to find this awesome tidbit.

Wait why?

What did they mean by undeliverable?

I watched as my chairs went back to Long Island, and then Jersey, and then California (curiously skipping Reno on the way back.)

So now I am seething. I am angry. My blood is boiling, I am red. Red like my chairs, which I don’t have because they have been sent, back to California.

So I call the shipper. The conversation went something like this;

Rich: Yo fool! Why you send my chairs away?!
Shipper: Chill playa, the vendor requested them back.
Rich: Word?
Shipper: Word.

So I call the vendor who sold me my chairs. Now I am really really red and trying to control my voice because despite my best efforts, when I get angry my voice doesn’t sound scary, it just gets higher and sounds like I am about to cry.

So I call customer service and I meet my undoing;

A syrupy sweet lady with some southern drawl who is just a pleasant as a peach. And apologizing her head off for the transgressions enacted upon me.

So instantly I feel all bad, but only for a minute because then she asks me;

Well we can have them resent to you or would you rather just cancel the order?

What do you mean would I rather just cancel the order? What kind of logic is that? Well ya know, I really wanted to start sitting on these chairs in early March, and since I’m not going to be able to sit on them until late March, well, jeez, I mean I just don’t know if I can use them then.

OF COURSE I STILL WANT MY CHAIRS! It’s not like these chairs are going to be stale when they get to me. Unless these chairs are made out of bread… are these bread chairs?! Did I accidentally order the Sourdough Dining Set, because if so, let me know and I will cancel.

But as it turns out my chairs were made out of wood, not bread. And they were resent. And they arrived. And they are beautiful. And I am sitting in them as I write this.

They are comfortable too! So comfortable that I don't have to rearrange my existence every 3rd minute. And my butt hasn't fallen asleep either... yet.