Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Disloyalty Cards

Posted: November 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

When the hell did they start making shopping so difficult? I walked into a bookstore today, picked up the new Terry Pratchett hardcover and headed to the cashier. Turns out my ex-employers have added a new layer of aggravation to  the simple concept of commerce. They now have 2 separate loyalty cards. One you can buy for a steep price which gives you 10% or so off books, the other is free and gets you…a series of vague promises of savings and/or rewards. I don’t know about you but I already have a wallet full of these friggin’ cards. In fact I have a wallet full of the useful ones and a kitchen drawer full of the useless ones. I tried to explain to the “Customer Experience Representative” that I wasn’t going to bother keeping the card in my wallet, I already had enough of them in there.

“But sir, you don’t have to keep the card. We can just give you a sticker and you can add it to a card you already have in your wallet.”

– Ummm…no, I really don’t want to add your sticker to my bank card just to collect points for a new bookmark.

“Well, we can just pull you up in our database. You don’t need the card at all.”

Then why the fuck do you have cards at all? Why were you so desperate to cram one in my hot, sweaty hands a couple of seconds ago? Anyway I suppose I should tell you I was lying earlier, I already have one of your cards in a drawer at home. If it means I will get out of this fucking mall any time in the near future then please feel free to look it up.

“Can’t seem to find it listed here.”

– Suddenly I am less confident in your database.

“Well, we will just add a new account with all your details so that they can look it up next time”

– Suddenly I foresee a future when I get a new one of these fucking cards every time I buy a book.

So why did I bother signing up? Because I knew they would waste time trying to pitch one to me EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME I WENT IN. That is the reason most of us break down and get one, so we don’t have to listen to some over eager store manager explain the virtues of signing up every time we stop in to buy something. Handing over my personal data is literally the price I have to pay to make buying items from that store quick and convenient again. If I know I am going to interact with the company again then odds are good I will break down and sign up for the card at some point, it is just a matter of the right cashier pestering me at the right time.

I remember back when the started with these damn cards, it sounded like a great idea. You fork over some personal information for a reduced cost on items. Mostly it was for grocery stores and they were kind enough to make it worth your while. Now every store, boutique, and barely legal massage parlor has a card like this*. After people ran out of room in their wallets and started leaving the damn cards behind some genius thought up those key fobs. Now a person would need an entire keyring just for those alone.

But what are they doing with all this personal info anyway? The idea was to use it to better market to individuals and track market trends. It isn’t working though. The e-mails I get from the bookstore are just the picks from the CEO of the company and her only philosophy for book choices seems to be “What Would Oprah Read?” I also get weekly e-mails from a grocery store about their deals. Like I am supposed to clear my schedule for the day because they are having a sale on tampons and baby food (just what every bachelor needs kicking around in his pantry). Plus the marketing data collected would probably be more overwhelming than useful. Unless some fairly obvious trends cropped up the purchasers would probably still decided what items to carry in their stores the old fashioned way, whichever company offered the best steak dinners and lap dances.

Maybe it is just me getting nostalgic for a time when serving customers was the point of customer service, when did pestering the shit out of your clients become a good sales strategy?

Rancid J. Monke
* – Kentucky Fried Chicken has a fucking loyalty card! What possible use does the Colonel have for tracking my fried chicken consumption? Is he using it to figure out when to send flowers to my next of kin? When the card stops getting used on a weekly basis does he send a team out to harvest my organs for experimentation or something?

A few years ago I finally decided my bill to the cable company was taking far to much of my work life to pay off every month. I cut the telephone land line, that was an easy call since I already had a cell bill bending me over the table and using me impolitely but the big question was cut the internet or the cable TV. One of these services provided me with top quality porn, bottom quality porn…in fact a wide range of porn quality options, as well as video gaming abilities, email access, the list goes on. The other service provides me with re-runs of CSI 4 times a day. Both my head and my nether regions agreed that high speed internet had reached a point just below clean water and shelter in my list of “things I sort of like to have” and the Las Vegas Forensic team would just have to solve crimes without me watching like a Cheeto-covered pervert. Still, even when you are devoid of TV itself, you hear all about it. The internet is full of news stories and forums and hateful rants about shows. You go into anyone’s home and need to kill 10 minutes then you will probably flick on the TV and start scanning channels. I mean, unless you plan on spending the time sniffing their underwear drawer, who am I to judge? Point being, I have been absorbing a lot of second hand television and I am starting to get a little concerned. I just think TV may have stopped taking it’s meds at some point.

Talent Shows- There are honest to god talent shows on TV now. The last time I saw a talent show was in grade school. In amongst the people who actually practiced a musical instrument was a couple kids who applied googly eyes to their chins and lay upside down trying to pull off a vaudeville act while the blood rushed to their heads. There was also some interpretive dance that could only be interpreted as “I have a spastic colon, please don’t laugh”. The thought never occurred to me that someone would go through the process of holding auditions of people playing the spoons or burping classic show tunes in order to make a show. Oh look, a panel of judges. The cross-looking humorless dick at the end must be Simon Cowell, heard so much about him. Haha, he ripped into that persons hopes and dreams for my amusement, what fun!

The Bachelorette – The last time I saw ten guys vying for the attention of one girl it was in a porno. It didn’t really end well for that young woman, I imagine she got some awkward looks when she had to bring in her dry cleaning. Honestly, this feels more like a Westminster Kennel Club Show, I keep waiting for her to check each of their teeth and cup their genitals to test firmness. Oddly enough, she usually will at some point. I keep trying to decide who is being more degraded here. The men putting on a dog and pony show so they don’t get cast aside into loveless TV oblivion, or the woman who needs a multi-million dollar television production to find a mate. Seriously lady, you’ve never heard of putting on a slinky dress and heading out to a club? It works for MILLIONS of women a year.

I Have Massive Amounts Of Children, Please Film Me – WHY?!! Seriously, I have 2 nephews and 2 nieces and none of them has pulled off anything that would be worthy of a nationwide audience. Not even the really cute 1 year old, not even on her best day. Watching people pop out kids like a clown car at a circus then try to go about their daily lives is not the basis for a show, I don’t know how anyone thought it was. If anything it is the basis for a planned parenthood pamphlet or a condom ad.

MTV Cribs – I don’t need MTV to remind me how much nicer rich people’s stuff is than mine. I have an uncle who will do that for me.

Music Video Channels – “Alright, so here is the plan. You fanning out money in front of the camera, shot of women’s asses. You throwing money in front of the camera, shot of women’s asses. You spanking a woman’s ass, shot of…well you get the picture. Now I know this is going to be a bit of a departure from your other videos, Elton, but it is trending positively with the vital 18 -35 douchebag demographic…Sure you can keep the tiara on.”

Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? – So if you loose then you may as well hand your GED back in and apologize to all your teachers personally and if you win all you managed to prove is you made it out of grade school with a basic understanding of the subjects taught.

Combat Hospital – I keep seeing ads for this popping up. It appears to be a show about life in a combat hospital…just a guess though. I wonder if anyone has shown the producers a re-run of M*A*S*H. Anyway, it basically looks like some exec somewhere said “Boy, that ER show sure was popular…Why don’t we do something like that but jazz it up a bit and make it more relevant to today by adding terrorism and patriotic flag-waving bullshit”. You know what else is popular TV execs? Boobs, Bacon, Chuck Norris, Ninjas, Pirates, Zombies and Boobs.  I smell a “Walker, Texas Ranger” remake brewing.

Ice Truckers, Deadliest Catch -You know, there is a lot of danger inherent to my job as well. Those cardboard paper cuts are the very dickens I tell ya. Plus there is risk of infection. Once I stubbed my toe. WHERE IS MY CAMERA CREW, DAMN IT! I don’t care if you are a lion-taming fire fighter, I watch TV to escape my job, not watch you do yours.

Dog the Bounty Hunter – How the hell does this man manage to sneak up on anyone dressed like the drummer from an 80’s big hair metal band? The guy operates out of Hawaii and Colorado, yet he dresses in black leather. Wouldn’t the smell of rank sweaty ass be a bit of a tip-off for fugitives to head to the back door?

Intervention – “Honey, all of us are here to talk to you about your meth using, and we brought a camera crew along to make you extra defensive.” Good plan folks.

Operation Repo, Parking Wars, Billy the Exterminator – What the hell? What is this? Why are we filming people doing shitty jobs? When did that become a trend? I have done shitty jobs all my life and no one has considered it noteworthy enough to send a camera crew. Add in the things like “The Osbournes” and “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” and it paints the picture that all the average person wants to watch is celebrities being twits and blue collar workers shuffling through their dreary days. I mean how is this entertaining? At least when they pandered to the masses in ancient Roman, somebody’s carcass had to be dragged off to the lion pit when they were done. I am actually quite surprised no one has thought of televising deadly gladiatorial combat to keep the masses occupied and happy…


Jersey Shore – Fuck off.

Rancid Monke

Let’s face it, After 12 years or more of having your little sponge mind filled with facts, figures, dates, formulas and god awful poetry you will step out of the warm embrace of academia and run face first  into the brick wall of real life. You will realize that among all the things school was cramming into you your brain-hole they were also doing a smashing job of creating unreal expectations about how the world works. At the same time they were also neglecting to teach you basic life skills that every person should know but few of them actually do. Well, I am nothing if not the bearer of bad news and harsh realities.

Let’s start with the beautiful lies school taught you.

Vacation – Are you kidding me? You set up a lot of unreal expectations about life when you hand a kid 2 months of freedom every single friggin’ year.   No one is going to let you wander away from your job for 2 months out of 10, that shit just doesn’t happen. Even teachers will tell you the myth of them getting a solid 2 months off is utter crap, there are tests to grade or lessons to plan or supplies to buy. I have also never received more than a few days off at Christmas time in the real world.  Spring break is utter horseshit that only seems to exist in the academia. “You young people have worked hard enough for now, those exams can be very taxing. How about you head on down to Cancun and spread some of your STD’s around. ” No one in the real world will give a rats ass about over stressing you until the day you snap and make an attractive Jackson Pollock out of their lower intestines in the staff room.

Recess- School starts off by teaching you that you only have to show up for half a day, and most of that time is about learning to tie your shoes, having stories read to you and napping. Honest to god, they thought my 4 hours of playing at the rice station might take it out of me, so they dropped mats on the floor and got us all to lie down quietly for 15 minutes. When I woke up they fed me celery sticks, which is the nutritional equivalent of flipping me the bird. Water and dental floss in a green little stick, YAY! Then you hit a grade with an actually number associated with it. Naps are gone but you still have two breaks a day to go play in the sunshine. You move up to the next stage and the breaks get reduced to “whatever amount of time it takes you little shits to get to your locker and back” which turns out to be about 10 minutes. Even then, at least you are working on different subjects every few hours. No one is expecting you to do eight straight hours of calculating the area of a circle despite the fact that your math skills topped out at the basics needed to figure out how to tip on a restaurant bill (and you still tip high in hopes the waitress will be so impressed she will throw herself at you) . No matter how many mundane classes you have to take, there is probably one that peaks your interest if only because the teacher has a interesting stories or an amusing speech impediment.

Welcome to the real world. You may very well be tasked to do the same repetitive, mundane, mind-numbing labour for eight hours a day for the next 40 odd years. Whether it is building the same fences, writing the same pointless reports or grinding out the same lines of code. If you are lucky you get two 15 minute breaks in your day to go sit in the staff room and stare a hole in the wall. You could try chatting up your co-workers but odds are the struggle to communicate with them during the rest of the day is enough to make you pour vodka in your water bottle every morning. Some guy in the corner will be yammering out a story about how things would be different if he ran the place, you sit there half listening/half wondering if it would be possible to decapitate him with the plastic knife someone left on the table after the last staff birthday cake.

You are a beautiful, unique snowflake – Yes, it is true there is no one out in the world quite like you. However your deep seated perversion towards wearing a diaper during sexual encounters is not really something the rest of the world is going to celebrate. Neither is your ability to play the spoons half assed well or your photographic recall of all the lines spoken in original Star Trek episodes. Unless you excel in a useful or sellable way you will end up holding down a mediocre job like the rest of us. Likely your own hope is to trot out your amazing ability to impress some girl at a party, and odds are she is still going home with the guy who has a motorcycle.I mean, he has a motorcycle for god sake, all you can do is burp the national anthem after a few beer. (switch genders in above example to your preference as needed).

You can grow up to be anything you want – Sesame Street and other kiddie programming used to tell me this shit all the time. The topper used to be “You can even be President of the United States some day”. Turn out that as a Canadian citizen I fucking well can’t. Get your facts straight Big Bird. Even in school (where they at least had a basic understanding of what country I came from), they liked to tell me that hard work and determination would get me far in life. I suppose the existence of Justin Beiber and Kim Kardashian came as a bit of a blow to guidance counselors everywhere. Of course, a career in guidance counseling probably came as a bit of a blow. Some git puppet with a hand up it’s arse probably convinced them they could run a foreign country.

Rancid Monke

I had been thinking about going on an internet dating site for a while, but all the ones I knew about cost a monthly fee. When I heard about Plenty of Fish about a year back (and the fact that it was free to use) I finally decided to bite the damn bullet and join. Expectations were high, common sense was lacking and pandemonium ensued. Here is all the stuff I wish someone had told me before I started. Maybe they can save you some time and anxiety.

1) Get some good pictures first – This is where pretty much every single person stumbles out of the gate. You write the perfect profile, you add in all the details on age and height and profession, you are all ready to post and start raking in the attentions of lonely single women (or men) in your town. Then it asks for a recent photo. Unless your an actor or model or incredibly vain then odds are your not sitting on a stack of professional headshots. After combing through any Facebook photos or vacation shots or grad photos from ten years back you finally decide to take matters into your own hands. You grab a camera and head to the bathroom mirror to cook up the ultimate in enticing fish pucker faces.

First, If you are going to do this please remember to flush first…goddamn that is gross. I shouldn’t have to remind you of that. I don’t care how awesome the shot was or how you finally found a position that showed off your butt and your winning smile at the same time you should not be posting that.

Second, if you use the flash on your camera it is going to pretty much obliterate your face in the mirror. Turn it off or find some creative way to shoot the picture that doesn’t leave a giant white splotch where your face used to be. Also, while you are flushing and cleaning the toilet maybe clean the mirror too. No one wants to see the crust of toothpaste splatter you left on there.

Third, you will forever be the kind of person who takes a picture of yourself in a bathroom mirror…live with that shame or make a better plan for getting good photos.

2) Your profile needs to be unique – My profile was probably the hardest thing I have ever had to write. They really should have some sort of learning annex class on how to make a useful and attention getting profile. The only advice I gleaned was

Keep it positive – No one wants to date your sorry, depressed and bitter ass. Fake it if you have to but try to stay positive and upbeat. No one on the site is going to be interested in your story about how your ex screwed you over and made you into the twisted shell of a person you are today.

Keep it short – No one but you really cares about the tedium of your job unless you tame lions for a living. Nor does anyone need to know a complete list of bands you like. Open with a joke, talk about your life, mention some future plans, list your hobbies. The profile is a means to an end and the end is the awkward coffee date.

Make some damn sense – “I like the outdoors.” I swear to god I saw this on EVERY profile. There is only the 2 options and I can’t imagine anyone getting excited by your love of the indoors.

Skip the full disclosure – “Just so you are aware, I have a 2 inch penis and a personal odor problem…wait, where are you going?!!”

3) No matter what you do, you will be called a jerk – Inevitable you will get contacted by people you are not interested in. At first I tried to ignore them. I was called a jerk. Then I tried to lie so I didn’t hurt their feelings. I was called a jerk. Lastly I tried to be honest about my thinking it just wouldn’t work. Yep, still a jerk. My advice here is do whatever you feel comfortable with and meets your moral needs, cause your just going to be called a jerk anyway.

4) The things people can be shallow about are MIND-BLOWING – “I need a guy who is over 6 feet because I like to wear high heels” Well I like to wear crotchless panties and a french maid outfit but that doesn’t require a special mention in my ad, that is third date info. At 5’10” I was apparently incompatible with this persons need to wear stilettos to all occasions. I will of course go away shamed by my choice to not grow an extra inch to better match your evening wear.

5) Niche sites aren’t worth it – At the same time that I joined Plenty of Fish I also joined every other site I found advertising itself on Plenty of Fish (which is a pretty weird advertising style but I digress). The most obviously intriguing was a site called Geek2Geek. I’m a geek, I like being a geek, perhaps meeting a fellow geek would bring meaning to my life on a whole new level. First off let me say that a crippling addiction to World of Warcraft is not sexy on either side of the gender line. Second, it had the same problem all niche sites had – lack of users. It wanted me to pay 5 bucks a month to peruse the same 30 profiles from my area. Plus it seemed to think of my entire province as an acceptable pool to draw from, possible as a way to look like it was worth the money they wanted me to spend on a full access membership. Nothing is as disappointing as finding a great profile only to realize they are 2 cities over and a 4 hour drive away. That is a long way to go for an awkward coffee date.

6) This isn’t something you should be paying for – I also checked out e-harmony. I had seen all the ads and heard all the stories and I was ready to get down to the business of finding a serious relationship so it just made sense. So I went through the 20 page multiple choice exam that passes for a questionnaire so they could start matching me on the 2000 levels of compatibility that only questions like “If you decided to stay at home for the evening would you tend to do:” could generate (None of the listed options for that one were “masturbate like a bonobo chimp” so the results were already tainted).

Well, the thing e-harmony doesn’t tell you is they won’t show you the images of the profiles they send your way unless you pay for it. Well played e-harmony, I will go get my wallet. $15 later and I was a full fledged member capable of viewing the bathroom mirror pucker faced pics. Hey wow…these are the same women who rejected me on plenty of fish…well then…Crap!

Don’t waste your money folks, when I tried to quit e-harmony it explained that I should give it time. Apparently it takes the average e-harmony user up to a year to find their soulmate. That didn’t seem any statistically better than random encounters at a grocery store…where the hell was all this compatibility bullcrap? Why did I have to tell you my deepest darkest secrets in multiple choice form?

7) There will be Nazi’s – That isn’t a euphemism or witty catchphrase. I was once messaged by an attractive young woman from the next province over. We chatted over the course of several days and I ended up giving here the info to find me on Facebook. She friended me and made a few witty remarks on my current status. I decided to check out here photos because I was both nosy and generally horny and all evidence so far was that she was smokin’ hot. There was several of her in a bikini mixed in with the regular nonsense that ends up on a Facebook profile. So her I am thinking “JACKPOT” until I notice one photo out of place. It was a picture of a women in a bikini’s back, someone had thoughtfully applied sunscreen to the back in a distinctly swastika-like arrangement. WHA?!

A quick perusal of her remaining photos brought up various other logos of a racially intolerant nature. I never did find a picture of her in a white sheet and hood but I figured I had all I needed. We aren’t talking some crap she found on a Google search, she had posted official logos from some serious white supremacy groups. I wasn’t actually aware that such groups had a need for graphic design on this level, the thing looked like some sort of family crest with hatefulness at the center. Meanwhile, back on my profile she was having a lighthearted back and forth on my status with my Malaysian art teacher. Before it all went any further down the crapper I de-friended her and sent a polite but firm note suggesting she go sell her brand of crazy elsewhere. I believe she called me a jerk.

Rancid Monke

Back in my day…

Posted: May 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Every new generation has to hear from the last generation about how much better things were back in the day. The grass was greener, the streets were cleaner, the people were nicer. The torch has been passed, so now I am the out of touch wierdo urinating on the youth of today’s awesome parade. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s for reference. The problem is somewhere between nostalgia and reality I have begun to realize certain things just really were better in my day. So how do things stack up from then to now?

Fast Food – Better in my day, no contest. Somewhere along the line it was decided that we needed a hamburger in our hand in under a minute. So instead of building a meal with care and attention, fast food workers mostly dump pre-formed proto-food into deep fryers for a 30 second count. They say your taste buds change over time and this may account for some of the change in flavour and enjoyment but that doesn’t explain why ground beef I buy at a store tastes nothing like a patty of burger shaped food goo from a fast food place.

Movies – The big difference is that in my day they still made R – rated movies. Movie Execs weren’t afraid to get some violence and boobies in there to liven up my cinema experience. Hard R action flicks (which was kind of a favorite genre of mine) are now usually more kid friendly. I mean, the original Aliens vs. Predator movie was PG-13. Who thought that was a good idea?

Cartoons – I think once you have to start filling up 2-3 channels worth of 24 hour a day programming with cartoons the quality is going to slip a little. I can’t knock them for making cartoons just to sell a toy line, our generation had it’s share of those too. Still, at least back in the day some sort of effort was put in. My nephew has shown me cartoons where the entire premise is that people play a collectible card game where the characters come to life off the cards and battle it out. Imagine filming your Magic: The Gathering games and splicing in footage of a Godzilla movie. If that sounds riveting, then you are an idiot.

Music – Okay, this one is a draw. I mean, I could complain about Justin Beiber but we had NKOTB (I couldn’t be bothered to type out he full name, don’t mistake that for familiarity or fandom) and Tiffany. I don’t think American Idol and it’s brand of bland pop music is helping the world as a whole, but the sheer volume of music being created in modern times means for every albums worth of crap there is at least one good song out there.

TV- Another draw. Despite all the pointless reality shows currently cluttering up the networks it sort of balances out against shows like “Full House” and “Family Matters”.

Video Games – The modern world wins…fine, bite me.

Celebrities – I don’t know, it just seems to me that back in the day celebrities were better at hiding their crazy from the rest of the world. Makes it hard to watch Mel Gibson movies, I will tell you that much.

Rancid Monke

Awkward, just awkward

Posted: April 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

So I am getting ready in the change room at the gym and I can hear the auto paper towel dispenser just going nuts. It just keeps pumping out sheet after sheet. I figure it is broken or something but eventually it stops. So wait a beat and I start heading out to meet my trainer and no word of a lie some guy walks from by the washrooms with absolutely nothing but a smile on his lips and a song in his heart carrying a bag. As he walks past and I get more of an eyeful then I EVER wanted I realize he just took a shower but didn’t bring a towel. Dude just used up half a roll of paper towel to dry off on. Kudos to you stranger, life gave you lemons and you made an entire lemonade stand complete with rice krispie squares and everything.

Rancid Monke

I have come to the conclusion in the last week that my education is in dire need of upgrading, my body is in dire need of a good work-out routine and my love life is in dire need…well I just need a love life. Also I need a big fancy new laptop to compensate for my other shortcomings. I can’t buy a Camaro so more Ram will just have to do (any and all puns intended, baby).

Sadly, most of this is on hold waiting for the all important tax return from the government. The problem being I am not known for my patience so I am checking my accounts daily waiting for a wad of cash to appear like magic. In the mean time I am eating ichiban noodles for dinner and hiding in my apartment watching movies (cause at least that doesn’t require any money.) I may go to my parents tomorrow night for free food and laundry. I probably shouldn’t have to do that at this point in life but bite me, that 8gb ram upgrade isn’t going to pay for itself and my place charges $4 a load to do laundry. All the Dad’s Laundromat and Bistro requires is I play the ABSOLUTE WORST CARD GAME EVER and do a few dishes.Turns out that only after leaving do I realize how good I had it at home.

Still, the benefit of living on my own is I can type this up in the living room while wearing boxers. I suppose I could have done that while living back home but it would have lead to some awkwardness. Among other things my father never put curtains up in the living room. Every neighbor walking by would see me typing in my Haynes. 


Day 3 of my healthy life was a wash out. Ended up skipping lunch till 3pm when my friend took pity on me and ordered us up a pizza. As much as I felt bad for eating it, after opening and scanning and receiving a severe bum load of new iPads I was ready to resort to eating the bottle of mystery pickles in the back of the work fridge anyway.  To ease my guilt I bought a salad from Safeway for dinner. Not bad, had some chicken and cheese and for some reason corn in with it.

Day 4 was pretty good. Despite work deciding to lay out a large spread of pizza, chips, dip and cookies I managed to carve out 30 minutes in the day to walk to a Subway and get a salad instead. Wasn’t too bad either, I would have one from them again.

Day 5 went a little wild with a brunch out but in the end the food came to the table cold and wasn’t all that great anyway. So sort of a moral victory as I probably will find a better place for brunch next time, perhaps with some sort of healthy alternatives. Plus the meal will probably have to be all I get till dinner so if I top it off with a salad tonight it won’t be the worst thing I have done in a day.

Rancid Monke

Southgate Mall Food Court – I have to say, this is the closest I have ever been to using an executive washroom.  The stalls were spacious and had a nice dark wood veneer.  The stall was nicely tiled and had no graffiti (although this did leave me with nothing to read). There was a little shelf behind the toilet to place my bags or coat or firearms or what have you.  The sink had hands-free soap dispensers, and hands-free taps to prevent me having to associate with other people’s bacteria.  They had hand dryers which is still a cruel trick to play on your patrons but at least they were the high speed ones that sound like a jet engine, plus it turns out they have hands free paper towel dispensers over top of the sinks that I was just to transfixed to notice.  All in all it was a tip top experience and my only regret was that I didn’t bring a book.  I really recommend that if you plan on stopping by this bathroom that you do so before the unwashed masses have sullied it with bawdy limericks and requests to call a certain number for a good time.  Also take the time to enjoy it, bring the kids, pack a lunch, make a day of it.

West Edmonton Mall by the Security Office and the Exit to the Buses –  This one used to be a bit more classy but after existing in West Ed for so long it lost some of it’s shine and gained more than a little graffiti.  Still when nature calls mid shopping trip you could do a lot worse. So right off the bat I usually skip the regular stalls.  There is only enough space to enter, drop trou, do your business and  exit.  Luckily the handicapped stall(or differently abled or handi capable…whatever offends you the least) was designed for people bringing their own hospital bed.  You could park a smart car in there and still get around it.  Some might consider it in poor taste to use a handicapped stall but I figure the statistical likelihood that someone in a wheelchair shows up in that particular washroom at the precise moment I am sitting there is small enough that I will do my business in peace and comfort thank you very much.  So far that has only backfired on me once and I was lucky enough to sneak out while his back was turned.

Any Public Washroom Downtown – Just pee your pants…it will be more sanitary.

Whyte Ave – Even the municipal government has given up and agreed that you may as well pee in the street.  It was certainly nice of them to drop off the Rubbermaid urinals, but odds are most bar patrons will still just find the closest wall, lamp post or mailbox.  This is why all my pay stubs from the last job ended up smudged and soggy.

I guess I will update this as I continue on my quest for bladder relief.  Any comments or suggestions for top flight public restrooms are more than welcome.

Rancid Monke

I have carb-loaded to an unhealthy amount this morning and I am waiting for my body to reject the generous gift of high octane fried food I gave it.  I fully planned on making a batch of cookies right now but the thought of it is making my stomach twitch in distress.  So as I sit here digesting, I figured it was the perfect time to describe the perfect food court meal.  Perhaps my sub-conscious knows I have been bad and is assigning this as penance.

Sadly you can’t get everything in one spot and forget about combo pricing.  Still, as a man who has eaten his way from unhealthy to a walking testament to the evils of trans-fats, I feel I am the perfect authority to guide you on this trip.  If my body can be likened to a temple (and I am sure it can) it would probably be broken down, overgrown, musty smelling and dedicated to the God of cooking with animal fat and drinks you can make out of powdered crystals.

The Perfect Food Court Meal

The Burger: Dairy Queen Bacon Cheese Grill Burger – There are very few burgers available out of a kiosk in the mall that taste anything like what I can accomplish at home with a pack of ground beef and a propane BBQ.  DQ is about the closest to actually tasting like a cow may have been involved at some point.  It fills the hole in your stomach with something burger shaped and hints at complex concepts like bacon and cheese being present (perhaps only metaphysically), which is about all you can ask for without eating in a place with table cloths.  This may not sound like a ringing endorsement but consider the alternatives.  The fries don’t excite me but fries never really do.  Thus we move on to.

The Side Dish: Arby’s Loaded Potato Bites – So some genius in the Arby’s test kitchen decided to add cheese and bacon bits to the stuff inside tater tots (which I often hope is potatoes).  Then they are breaded in…something and deep fried.  They come in 5 packs but get real, your headed for a full 10 pack box.  They serve this culinary perfection with ranch dip and a hint of guilt.  You know it can’t be good for you but you just can’t work up the energy to care.  Dry your salty and starch filled tears and let’s replenish our fluids.

The Drink: Fresca – It’s carbonated grapefruit pop.  Stop pretending like your above such things.  I am not saying cola is bad, I am just saying this is better.  I currently have a 2 litre of this stuff sitting behind me and it is taking all my strength not to crack it open and enjoy the bubbly grapefruit goodness.  Plus many places have it as a fountain drink now.  They had it on tap at the freakin’ Costco lunch counter.  Next, what meal would be complete without a little hardcore sugar fix?

The Dessert: DQ Blizzard – By this point your feeling bloated and even your elastic-waist sweat pants are feeling a little tight, so why even bother with dessert? Mostly because your not good at pattern recognition but also because ice cream sort of feels soothing after a heavy meal…unless you have lactose issues like I do.  Not matter how you justify it, soft serve ice cream and the crushed candy bar of your choice is probably not going to be the part of the meal you regret, at least until you finish eating it and are forced to explore a food court bathroom.

Rancid Monke