In Dog Years, I’d Be Dead 60 Times Over.

Today, we celebrate the 800th entry in the almost 5 year history of the CDP.

For those keeping track at home, you’ll know that since the launch of the CDP, I’ve averaged around 15 essays a month, which calculates out to about one essay every other day. Not too shabby from a kid that was told his short attention span would be the death of himohmygod, I have fudge in the fridge! I gotta go!

In honor of this momentous blogging achievement, I’d like to once again turn the soapbox over to you, the amazing CDP fans. Please sound off in the comments section and share with everyone some of your favorite CDP moments. They could be classic essays you’ve liked over the years, comments and conversations that you’ve enjoyed, being unbelievably privileged enough to meet me in person or anything else that the CDP has done to make your life a little more entertaining and tolerable since 2004. And hey, if you’ve been looking for a reason to jump in and start commenting, what better time than right now to join our phenomenal community? Without all of you, Post #800 simply does not happen.

Thank you. Please start the conversation in the comments section and enjoy your week. The CDP will return on Friday.

An Open Letter To Milio’s Sandwiches.

I walked into your establishment and bought a Veggie Sub; the same thing I’ve been buying there for years now.

The sandwich was made, the cash was exchanged and the transaction was completed. I said ‘thank you,’ and made my way to the door.

As I got halfway back out into the street, I could hear the voice of the kid behind the counter scoffing under his breath:

“Hey man, thanks for not tipping.”

I wanted to go back in and explain to him that it’s not customary to tip at an over-the-counter establishment, like a sub sandwich shop.

I wanted to go back in and explain to him that I never carry cash on me.

I wanted to go back in and explain to him that I used to tip at Milio’s like crazy, until I noticed that I was being incorrectly and retroactively charged each time I put a tip on my debit card, eventually determining that it wasn’t worth the hassle.

I wanted to go back in and explain to him that, for all intents and purposes, you don’t deserve a tip for doing your job. You don’t make a waiter or waitresses’ wage, you don’t have to wait, bus or monitor tables, and there’s nothing ordered that cannot be made in less than 90 seconds.

I wanted to go back in and punch this douchebag in the face for being a classless moron that will probably be making my sandwiches for the next 25 years. I also wanted to tell him that he kind of hurt my feelings.

Instead, I walked back to my car, and never bought another sandwich from there again. This was about two years ago.

Considering that I used to buy six lunches a month from Milio’s, and each lunch cost me anywhere from $11 to $21 (delivery charges are a bitch and those guys deserve to be tipped), I’d say that I’ve successfully managed to keep around $2500 in my pocket and away from the asshole that insisted I leave him an extra dollar for a job well done.

Well, job well done.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. Post #800 arrives Monday.

Look At Me, World! I Can Use A Computer!

I’ve never fully understood why people venture to public places for the sole purpose of using their laptop computers. For about a decade now, and in virtually every coffee house, bookstore, food court and wi-fi compatible strip club, people are meandering out of their houses and surfing the web. “Why aren’t these people at home?” I would always wordlessly mumble as I looked for a seat. After I was assured by the Missus that these people were all business travelers and were doing extremely important and potentially life-saving work on the fly, her argument was almost instantly shot down when I noticed that damn near everyone using the Internet in public was on Facebook. To me, it seemed completely unnecessary in every way; a mere status symbol, and an excuse to hang around a Barnes & Noble without actually having to purchase anything. Silly, really.

If you remember from way back in the CDP archives, I was a bartender for about a year in 1997. Some quick math will also remind you that I was 15 years old at the time, but that story has already been told. Regardless, as a bartender, I was trained to know that non-paying customers were poison, and simply got in the way of the natural flow of business and commerce you’d want in an establishment that exchanges goods for money. If someone had been sitting on a barstool for more than a half hour without buying something, they were asked to move. It’s simple economics, really. If you walked into a gas station and wandered around the aisles for two hours, you’d either raise suspicion or get arrested, and your weird ass would deserve it, too. Why were the public Internet-surfing trolls exempt?

Nowadays, most atriums and Wi-Fi ready locations are loaded with freeloaders; jackasses that buy a small vanilla Latte and camp out for a length of time rivaling that of the entire Korean Conflict. If I were the manager in a place like this, what would be the point in letting these people hang around? Ambiance? Hipster status? Fear of lawsuit? This is one of those seemingly insignificant things that really bothers me when I go out; “What are you doing here? Got sick of playing Scrabulous at home? Needed to feel like you were actually interacting with a non-virtual environment?

The Missus told me I was being an asshole (I am, and an unreasonable one at that), and reminded me that for a lot of people, they don’t have Internet access at their homes, and if they had to walk down the street to the coffee shop to check their mail and research an important term paper or report, then they should do so. My response to that is Internet access can be obtained in your home for about $10 a month now. Make the phone call, and stop making me wait for a seat at Gloria Jeans so I can enjoy my hot chocolate like a nice, paying customer should. In 2008, a home without Internet access is like a home without a toilet. You’re in my way.

In an attempt to clear my head, I stepped away from my unnecessary rage that consumes me on a minute-by-minute basis and considered the weight of the situation. I wanted to see both sides of the “public web surfing” argument, so I decided to join the unwashed masses and try it out for myself. The Missus was throwing a dinner party one day (the ruthless cult known as Pampered Chef has sunk their potpourri-scented claws in), and I took it upon myself to get as far away from CDP Headquarters as I possibly could for the next five hours. In doing so, I threw my laptop into the Wild Stallion v4.0 and headed off to Borders, where I was to become everything that I’ve ever hated.

I ordered a Latte and a chocolate chip cookie that was about the size of a personal-pan pizza, and took a seat next to four other computer-pecking guys that had clearly been here for awhile. Maybe since the place opened; I don’t know for sure. One guy had ordered nothing, it appeared; a nerdy looking fellow that was probably about 30 years old (nerdier-looking than even I). The guy next to him meant business; a chubby hick sporting a trucker hat with important newspapers and documents strewn across his table. He was sucking on an energy drink that they didn’t sell within the confines of Borders, which meant that he brought it in himself. Christ.

The third guy was tucked in the corner, looking very shifty and strung out. Clearly, he was looking at something that he didn’t want anyone else to see. Corpse Porn*, probably. The fourth guy packed up and left before I even had a chance to set up my computer. Again, he was certainly up to no good.

(*I’ve heard about people that are into the idea of Necrophilia, and to accommodate their curiosities, they have their significant others soak in near-freezing water for a length of time, and remain corpse-like and limp back in the bedroom, essentially simulating a dead person during the intimate act of their choosing. While I’ve never participated in this, no doubt interesting, activity, I will say that if you’re fortunate enough to have a mate that will do that for you, hang onto them for all they’re worth. That’s a man or woman that will go through hell for you later down the road.)

Anyway, I set up my equipment in the last open table and got down to business, beginning to write the essay that you’re reading right now. Almost instantly, I realized how distracting it was to be creative in public. I’m typically so focused on not tripping over things, spilling my drink into my lap and getting robbed that I have no time to worry about writing something worth reading (this essay is potentially Exhibit A). I was constantly looking over my shoulder, people-watching and gently nibbling on my embarrassingly-large pizza cookie; my laptop was an afterthought.

I’m used to my own private room, mood lighting and ambiance; this was like an exercise in futility. The constant screeching of the barista’s blender, the hopeless, brittle, Tupperware party-throwing bitches at the table next to me rambling on about how much better the planet would be if they were the President (“No more Olympics cutting into my Soap Operas; Haw-haw!“) and the lingering thought that a bunch of my Wife’s friends were simultaneously touring my home and pawing my breakables with Mojito-sticky hands was almost too much for me to handle. I figured that if everything around me was succeeding in hindering my creativity, I’d do the same thing for the sake of my own entertainment. I almost instantly started talking to the fellow web-surfers around me.

Hey, what’cha working on?” I asked to the weiner-looking guy to the left of me.

Resume.” He replied kindly, kneading his forehead with his fingertips in a feeble attempt to calm the hell down after digesting approximately eighteen gallons of coffee. It appeared that he really was working on something important, although I still wondered why he would work on something so important in a place so capable of breaking concentration. I didn’t ask a follow-up.

On my right, I got the attention of the large, trucker-hat guy with all the papers and documents.

Hey man, what’cha working on?

Online exam.” As fate would have it, he was working on one of the many State Examinations that I worked with the Wisconsin Board to help create. Poor guy; those things suck. He then surprised me when he turned the tables and asked me what I was working on.

Well…um, I’m writing an essay.”

Cool. What about?

I stammered and thought of anything besides the truth. “I’m writing about how much I think I hate guys like you” seemed to be a little counterproductive and practically begging for a boot to the sack.

I…am working on…um…book. A book, I mean. I’m working on a book.” Technically, I was sort of telling the truth.

Wow, a book, huh? Good for you, man.”

Hey, thanks. The answer to Number 23 is ‘Connective Tissue,’ by the way.

Awesome, thanks, buddy.”

This research conflicted me, as these guys were legitimately there for business. Regardless of how I felt about it, they had every right to do so. Hey, maybe the annoying buzz of the downtown Borders was still a more tranquil and peaceful location than their home. This is almost certainly true of a household containing any more than zero children.

(NOTE: Borders charged $6.95 for a Wi-Fi subscription, so the argument that people go to these places for free Internet is not always true. That, to me, almost completely negated the purpose altogether.)

After nearly an hour had passed and my coffee and pizza cookie were gone (both delicious, if you were wondering), I was entering uncharted territory I had forced myself to venture towards. Just how guilty was I going to feel sitting here without buying anything else? I mean, how much longer did a seat in a coffee house belong to me once I was done enjoying their delicious, sugary products? In any case, I had at least another hour to kill before the dinner party started to wind down, so I dug in and went for it.

Suddenly, an unexpected thing happened. The latte, a caffeinated drink that I seldom suck back except for cases of extreme loneliness (much like brandy Manhattans), began to take its toll on my colon in a dangerous and, quite frankly, unpredictable way. I had to use the bathroom, and fast. But what was I going to do about my computer? My saved seat? This was something that I never thought of. What if someone takes my notebook? What if someone takes my spot? Do I take all of my stuff into the stall with me? Should I just stake my claim and mess my pants? What was I going to do?

I deliberated for a few minutes until I reached critical mass in my small intestine. A decision had to be made, and quickly. In lieu of asking the guy next to me what he happens to do in these situations, I decided to leave everything where it was and make a beeline for the can. I didn’t want to, and I can assure you that I took the fastest poop of my life, but it was something that needed to be experienced for the good of my vital research. And so far, the theory of using a computer in public wasn’t worth the trouble; resume, exam or otherwise. I missed my office, I missed my bathroom and I couldn’t ignore the fact that, for a place that’s supposed to be hip and ambient, these places tend to destroy your will to concentrate. It felt like I was trying to recite a Shakespeare play from memory while running through the ‘Slopsticle Course’ on Double Dare.

Good,” I thought to myself; “This is telling me exactly what I need to know. Public web surfing is bad for your brain.”

About a minute later, the Missus called me up and told me that the dinner party was over. Like a shot, I gathered my things and made a beeline for the door. On the car ride home, I tried to come to some sort of finality or official word on how I felt about public web surfing, but surprisingly, couldn’t. While I still stand firm that owners of these places have no reason to let web surfers hang around without making regular purchases, I have no question that a coffee shop or bookstore can sometimes offer something that your home cannot (coffee and books, for one). In one way, it made me happy to know I have such a tranquil home life, but in another way, made me feel like my research still isn’t over.

That night, as I was soaking in freezing cold water while the Missus blared the Funeral March from the master bedroom and put on her favorite black dress, I still couldn’t understand why people are so damn weird.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

I Still Do Weddings.

(Sorry about the photo quality; the wedding was held at ‘Pixelated Gardens.’)

If you’re a longtime CDP fan, you may remember that I am an ordained Reverend that has previously presided over a wedding ceremony and a baptism. I’m also available for Last Rites, Exorcisms and probably Bris’s, if I could only find what I did with my utility knife.

I got into this side hobby as a joke, honestly, but it has since turned into something that has provided me with some truly happy and unforgettable moments. Oh, and I guess that the wedding party likes it, too. Whatever; I’m only there for the free veggie platter at the reception. I fill my plastic bag-lined pants with celery and ranch dressing and hit those exits in a hurry.

Quick backstory. Two years ago, when my nephew was born, my sister was getting hassled as to when she planned on baptizing him. She was indifferent on the matter, but certain religious family members (read: all of ’em) insisted that Evan get water splashed on his head so his soul wasn’t doomed for all eternity. She obliged, but did not want to do the deed at a church. She needed some advice, so she called about a hundred different ceremonial experts for their take.

And when none of them answered, she called me and I told her I’d take care of everything.

Once I found out that baptisms meant absolutely nothing from a legal standpoint (being raised Catholic, I assumed no baptism meant instant death if discovered by the torch-wielding masses), I also found out that weddings can be officiated in the state of Wisconsin by any ordained witness. Of course, to be ‘ordained,’ you need to do nothing more but have a name and hands by which to sign a marriage license, and even then, I suppose you could sign it with your feet if you were really careful.

Minutes later, I was legally allowed to officiate weddings in the Dairy State. I never planned on actually doing them, of course, I just thought it was a funny little tidbit I could add to the list and share with people, much like my CPR certification. If an actual wedding or actual drowning victim showed up on my porch one morning, I’d assuredly get someone else to take care of them, proper credentials or not.

But in August of 2006, my uncle and future aunt asked me to officiate their nuptials (see the above link; it’s in my book, too), and there was no way I could possibly say no to them. It was an unforgettable experience, and I felt very proud and humbled to be a part of it. Since then, people ask me to do weddings because they know what they’re going to get from me: a professional, non-denominational, casual ceremony that’s unbelievably cheap (I never ask for money) and a tight ten minutes in length. This keeps me in high demand, it would appear.

Which brings me to a few weeks ago. A co-worker had asked me to officiate her upcoming wedding, and she left me in no position to back out. This woman was one of the first friends I made when I joined my current place of employment back in 2004; she was teaching me how to handle phone calls at a reception desk (we were both peons at the time), and we spent a good three months tethered together by a headset with about three inches of cord between the two of us. That was how we lived at work for the entire Summer of 2004, our cheeks essentially pressed against each others, instructing licensed professionals as to what they needed to do to remained licensed.

We’ve both since been promoted, and life is a lot better. Although I’ll go on record in saying that I never minded the whole secretarial bondage thing. Our safe word was ‘wasps.’

I knew we were going to get along with this wedding right away, as after she read my proposed script for the first time, replied with “I don’t want any prayers or God stuff in there, okay?

Sometimes I wonder why I get myself into situations like this. My social anxiety feels that willingly speaking in front of hundreds of people is sort of counterproductive to my overall well-being, and I’m prone to agree. In the end, I’m a pushover who craves attention, and besides, I get more respect as a Reverend than as any other moniker I’ve adopted in the past 26 years. You know that you carry some power when people start watching their language around you and hiding their alcohol. That’s the sort of intimidation that you can only get by posing as an impostor clergyman, and it never ceases to make me laugh my ass off.

So, the wedding day arrived, and quite frankly, it went perfect. The bride and groom looked wonderful, the guests loved the ceremony and a certain ordained officiate didn’t puke his pants in the courtyard of the Olbrich Botanical Garden. Another job well done, it would seem. Little did I know, I was less than five hours away from ruining a marriage. Sort of.

Feeling pretty good about myself for a job well done, I took it upon myself to partake in a tradition as old as marriage itself: getting drunk at the reception.

All bets are off at a Midwestern wedding reception. The wedding party is drunk. The guests are drunk. Hell, even the kids are drunk. Rules simply don’t apply; adults always allow kids to drink at receptions, in fact, I’d argue that most people get their first taste of beer in a crammed VFW hall while ‘Shout’ blares over the soundsystem. It’s just the way it is; everyone drinks at a wedding reception.

Everyone, that is, except for the Missus. That grrrl is so Straight Edge, CM Punk just asked for her autograph. All the better, for she was my ride home.

I thought that I was off the clock. I thought that my work for the night was through. I thought I was in a position to loosen my tie, fraternize with guests and stumble out after my third piece of cake. Unfortunately, this assumption caused me to put my guard down and get a little sloppy.

At around 10:30pm, one of the bridesmaids picked my sweaty husk up off of my chair, thrust a ballpoint pen in my hand and led me to a table near the back of the hall. “Time to make this official,” she said, presenting me with the marriage license that I needed to fill out to make sure that all of this was legally binding and…you know…actually existing in the eyes of the state.

The lights were bright. The form had very small writing on it. ‘I’m Too Sexy’ was blaring. Someone kept grabbing my ass. I was confused, things were blurry and I was in absolutely no shape or position to fill out a document as important and potentially life-altering as a freaking marriage license. Nonetheless, I trudged forth with the grace and dignity of a chimpanzee flinging a wet turd at a group of stunned tourists.

I would later find out that I made several glaring errors, including writing down my street address incorrectly two times and crossing them out (a huge no-no with the Registrar of Deeds), putting ‘Officiant’ in the box marked ‘Gender,’ and misspelling the word ‘Reverend.’

Can we go now?” Asked the Missus.

Not until they play the Humpty Dance!” I slurred back. “I requested it nine times!

I’m getting my keys.

We finally exited at 11pm, and she was more than happy to call it a night. As I laid in bed that evening, room swirling over me, I felt pretty proud of myself. “Another job well done, Tiger…another job well done. That’s how you’re gonna beat ’em, Butch. They just keep underestimating ya’…”

When I walked into work the following Monday, the Bride was waiting for me. I assumed that she wanted to once again praise me for a job well done, and give me a thousand dollars or something. “We have to talk,” she said.

In the storied history of Mankind, there has never been a conversation that started with “We have to talk” and ended on a positive note. It’s never something like, “We have to talk…there’s free muffins in the conference room; plenty for everyone!” Nope, this was important.

The State isn’t recognizing the Marriage License.”

Whaa? What happened? Did they change the laws or something?

Nope, but it helps if you fill it out correctly, nimrod.” She snarked, and I knew that she found it just as funny as I did when she handed me the garbled-beyond-recognition parchment I boozily emoted over just 48 hours prior. I can assure you that the drunken Marriage License was hilarious; it looked like Michael J. Fox filled it out while riding the Tilt-A-Whirl. After some black ink and about a dozen apologies, I was out of the doghouse and the happy couple were legally married.

That night, as I was recalling all of the events of the wedding with the Missus (along with my subsequent mangling of the legal portion of it), I told her that I thought it was a good time to retire from the Ordained Reverend game. It has gotten too commercial, I remarked, and it was probably a good time to step aside and let a new generation of up-and-comers take the helm.

The Missus cocked her head to the side, either not getting my joke or refusing to acknowledge it. “You’ve only done two weddings, dork.

I know. And I’m totally spent.

She smiled. “Love you.

Love you, too.

My Car On Google Street View.

I’m a published author. I’ve been interviewed dozens of times. My blog has received hundreds of thousands of visitors and fans over the last 4.5 years. The CDP has been voted Wisconsin’s funniest since 2005. A Google search of my name returns 12,200 results. People have recognized me on the street, and I have been complimented and praised by complete strangers.

And yet, none of that matched the pure, unbridled joy that I felt when I saw my car parked in my driveway on Google Street View. This blurry, pixelated snapshot taken from a robotic camera mounted on the roof of a Toyota Prius caused me to leap from my chair, call the Missus into my office and point at the monitor like a monkey with a new mirror.

It’s my car!” I exclaimed. “In our driveway!

That’s very nice,” replied the Missus. “Can we order a pizza now?

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend.

10 Olympic Events That I Might Be Able To Win.

With the incredible 2008 Summer Olympics winding down, it got me to thinking about my own skills and weaknesses. Watching these one-of-a-kind physical specimens break records and do the impossible made me begin to question what my personal, one-of-a-kind talents happen to be. The things that set me apart from the pack; the things that I could be the best at, and not even know.

Here’s what I came up with.

These are the 10 physically and mentally taxing activities I believe I can do better than anyone on the planet, and compete on a global scale therein. Once these events are finally (and justifiably so) instituted in the Olympiad, I’ll be the USA’s best hope for gold since Mark Spitz’s mustache gave birth to Michael Phelps’ lovechild. Here we go.

1. Determining if anything in my office has been moved a quarter of an inch, and correctly identifying the guilty party for questioning.

2. Urinating without making any splashing sounds in the bowl whatsoever. This talent is heightened between the hours of 1-5am.

3. Attracting the unwarranted attention of lonely psychotics at the supermarket. This talent is also heightened between the hours of 1-5am.

4. Stealthily retrieving the mail in my boxer shorts without being seen and subsequently arrested by local authorities.

5. Predicting when a lightbulb is going to burn out within two hours (Note: This event, due to length of competition, may have to begin months before the official start of the Olympics, or even years in the case of a fluorescent bulb.).

6. Knowing the exact moment when the water softener runs out of salt, by the sole act of washing my hair. I consider this talent to border on telekinesis, and I have an open challenge pending with Uri Geller.

7. When my cat throws up, I can hear it at work. There’s got to be a way I can harness that gift, even if we can’t make some sort of contest out of it.

8. Watching Schindler’s List without crying.

9. Watching Norbit without crying.

10. During all the swimming events that took place last week, I kept hearing announcer Rowdy Gaines say things like, “This guy is the greatest breast stroker in the world!

I beg to differ, and I’m ready to step up. 2 tha’ streetz, if need be.

Sound off in the comments section, share your Gold Medal talent and enjoy your day.

TOMORROW: I’m Caught By Google Street View.

10 Hard-Hitting Answers From The CDP.

On Monday, I axed some hard-hitting questions. Here now, my own personal answers.

QUESTION #1. You wear glasses or contact lenses. Suddenly, a miracle pill comes along that will fix your eyes perfectly, without the aid of surgery. For a relatively low price, your eyes will remain 20/20 until the day you die. The only catch is that after you take this pill, you can never again wear glasses, hats, earrings, or any other cranium-based accessory for the rest of your life. Eye makeup is also not allowed.

Do you take the pill?

THEME: Is style and vanity worth more than substance and necessity?

MY ANSWER: I have perfect vision, so I can only answer this hypothetically, which is to say that I’d choose temporary ocular solutions for life in exchange for keeping my vanity. I wouldn’t take the pill.

TIDBIT: Even though I value them more than perfect vision, cranial accessories have been quite the burden for yours truly. Hats fit me about as well as someone with Microcephaly, and at the age of 18, an infected ear piercing left me with a permanent scar and one of the bloodiest Emergency Room visits of my life. That all being said, I think people prefer superficial choices over boring fixes, and I’m part of that majority.

QUESTION #2. You want to be in a band. One night, the Devil makes you a deal that will instantly rocket you to super-stardom, multi platinum success, instrumental and songwriting talent, adoring fans and critical acclaim for the duration of your musical career. The downside is that in exchange for this fame, your all-time favorite band will cease to exist. Any memory of their music or historical legacy will disappear forever, and you will never be able to hear any of their songs ever again.

Do you take the deal?

THEME: Will personal success fill an emotional void this large?

MY ANSWER: This question was slightly misunderstood, in that nobody (yourself included), would ever know that your favorite band existed. The question lied in the thought of your own questionable talent taking the place of another in the timeline of mankind. Is your success worth robbing humanity of The Beatles, Bob Dylan or Mozart? In my opinion, my favorite band needs to exist on Earth, and regardless of my fantasies of stardom, I’m not taking the deal.

TIDBIT: Initially, this question was written to say ‘The Beatles’ instead of ‘Your Favorite Band,’ but I thought that would make it too easy to decide if you were on the fence about the Fab 4.

QUESTION #3. You are offered the sum of one billion dollars to never engage in any type of sex again. Breaking of this rule will result in instant death.

Do you take the offer?

THEME: What if money couldn’t buy everything?

MY ANSWER: Love and Money are, more or less, the two biggest driving forces in our lives (I feel that power and faith can be easily replaced by love and money). That being said, you can be happy without money; you can’t survive without love. I’m not taking the cash.

TIDBIT: In the grand game of Life, boobs always win. Always. Believe me, if I had any sort of control over this undeniable fact, I’d be the first to reverse the trend. I just….can’t.

QUESTION #4. You’ve been offered one of two options. One, you are allowed to continue living life as normal with your significant other, with the knowledge that he or she will die in exactly three years. You can never share this information with them, and they will never be aware of this fact. Or two, you can immediately terminate the relationship, and he or she will live a long, healthy live and die comfortably at the age of 90. The only downside is that you can never explain your actions to your significant other, and you will never be able to see them again.

Do you terminate the relationship?

THEME: Is love and selflessness worth it at any cost?

MY ANSWER: If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you purposely sabotage a loving relationship for the sake of the love of your other half, when do they cease to be your other half? If you love someone and let them go (and they can’t come back), then, in my opinion, your relationship ceases to exist. I’d rather spend three years with my wife than 65 years without her, and I know she’d say the same thing about me. Sorry kids, I’m enjoying it while it lasts.

TIDBIT: The Missus agrees with me, so I’m right. You have no basis by which to dispute me.

QUESTION #5. You are offered a guest-starring role in the series finale of the ABC TV show Lost, where it is revealed that all of the happenings on the island have been taking place in the head of an autistic boy or girl, played by you. Should you choose to take this role, you will be a part of television history forever, but the backlash will be instantly and universally panned. Should you choose to not take this role, however, the finale will conclude under significantly more plausible circumstances, cementing Lost’s place in history as the greatest television drama of all-time.

Do you play the role?

THEME: Is being a part of history worth it, regardless of how negative a part you play? What is the cost of fame?

MY ANSWER: No. No times a million. I will not ruin Lost; not for all the money or I Love The New Millennium appearances in the world. This was an easy one, although I thought it was a funny question. And yes, the ‘autistic child’ thing came directly from St. Elsewhere.

TIDBIT: It should be noted that I’d have no problem ruining just about any other television show in exchange for even an infinitesimal amount of fame.

QUESTION #6. You are granted the power of x-ray vision for clothing only; you are now able to see anyone in the nude. However, you are unable to toggle the x-ray vision. For the rest of your life, everyone you look at will appear naked, and you will never be able to see clothing again.

Do you want this power?

THEME: Do the risks of a superpower outweigh the seemingly small reward?

MY ANSWER: I like this one, because it calls your Id to task. When I think about it, however, there aren’t all that many people I want to see naked anyways. I don’t take the power, but there will be many days where I regret this decision.

TIDBIT: People always compare ‘X-Ray Vision’ to nudity, when in fact, you’d only be seeing everyone’s skeletons. When did this just become commonplace?

QUESTION #7. Through an address mix-up at the CIA, you are mailed an envelope containing the unbelievably true stories behind the moon landing (faked), Kennedy assassination (cover-up), Roswell crash (UFO) and the interpretive ending of 2001: A Space Odyssey (beats me). Once you open this envelope, you will know the truth behind all of these events, but from that point forward, everyone you meet will be convinced that you are insane. No matter what facts you present, arguments you make or books you write, you will be branded a loon and be permanently ostracized from the life that you once knew. You will never be believed by anyone.

Do you open the envelope?

THEME: How important is knowledge if it cannot be shared?

MY ANSWER: To me, knowledge is my spirituality. It’s my faith. Knowing things separates me from those forced to believe in things they cannot prove. But if everything I believed, regardless of its authenticity, led to my global ostracizing, what would its worth be? I’d know what a conservative Christian feels like, sure, but I’m not in the business of being a lunatic.

Oh, screw it. I’m opening the envelope. I don’t care what people think of me.

TIDBIT: With it being so easy to convince people of anything, no matter how ludicrous, it would be strange to not have anyone on Earth believe in you. Only O.J. Simpson understands this feeling for sure.

QUESTION #8. While getting the newspaper one morning, a Brinks truck crashes outside of your house, spilling tens of millions of dollars into your driveway. The driver, fearing losing his job for not following standard security protocol and for being drunk, offers you half of the money in exchange for your testimony that says you saw him get robbed at gunpoint by a street gang. In addition to this, the money contained in the truck was originally headed for the American Cancer Society to assist in the invention of an experimental device that may cure cancer (the odds of it working are about 15%). Without this specific cash delivery, the machine will not be able to be invented for another 17 years. The money can not be traced back to you in any way, and your testimony will be perceived as the truth by a judge and jury. If you refuse the money from the driver, he will shoot you in the kneecaps and flee, causing you considerable mobility problems and pain for the rest of your life.

What do you do?

THEME: Easy money…but at what moral (and bizarre) cost?

MY ANSWER: I kept adding stipulations to this one because I liked that it kept getting more outlandish and difficult to keep track of. Of course, I forgot about the loophole where you just donate the money that you receive. Sure, the machine still can’t be built for another 17 years, but hey, every penny helps. I’d donate half of the money and keep the rest; nobody would be the wiser.

TIDBIT: I like money, and every time I’m driving behind a Brinks truck, I get awfully religious.

QUESTION #9. Through a post-apocalyptic Death Race competition, you are crowned the champion and rewarded with anything you want for the rest of your life. The only drawback is that every time you blink, you will crap your pants. This is incurable and unavoidable in every way.

Is it worth it?

THEME: What’s so powerful that it makes everything worth nothing?

MY ANSWER: There are things in this world that aren’t worth all of the money and power in the world. But pooping your pants a few million times? Surely, we can learn to deal with this minor setback, right? Right?

Nope. I’m out.

TIDBIT: I bet this is a real ailment, and someday I will watch a two-hour documentary devoted to it on the Discovery Health channel.

QUESTION #10. You’re in a passionate and long-term relationship with a significant other named Pat. In fact, you love Pat so much that you end up getting the name tattooed across your windpipe, which can never be removed or covered up. Months later, you and Pat are forced to part under frustrating circumstances, and you’re left to find someone else to spend your life with. Soon enough, a wonderful person named Chris enters your life, bringing with it just as much love and passion as your previous relationship with Pat. However, you also start a relationship with a new person named Pat. Your relationship with this new Pat isn’t on the level as your relationship with Chris, yet it’s decent enough to fulfill your needs.

Do you choose Pat over Chris because you already have a ‘Pat’ tattoo?

THEME: None, really; just funny.

MY ANSWER: Out of all of the questions I’ve asked, this is the one that it the most like my train of thought. I probably would stick with Pat, purely for the lazy, apathetic and passive-aggressive reason that I already have her name tattooed on my neck. You ever watch a television show that you didn’t like, just because the remote control was too far away for your lazy ass to reach? Yeah, that’s how I live my life.

TIDBIT: Okay, not really. I’d stock up on turtlenecks and call it a day.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your day.

TOMORROW: 10 Olympic Events I Could Probably Win.