Monday, January 23, 2012

Ten Ways To Torture Me: A Primer

1)  Strap me to a chair and force me to watch a marathon of The Brady Bunch. For a minimum of 12 hours. With no bathroom break. And no barf bag close at hand.

2)  Lock me in a room packed floor-to-ceiling with crates of Dr. Pepper (the old-school glass bottle kind), and leave me without a bottle opener. I am also not allowed to possess any other tool by which I might conceivably open the bottles. It is important that the bottles not be the twist-top types, but must instead be the kind which can only be opened with a tool. In addition, the floor, ceiling, and walls of said room must be thickly padded with foam, to make it all the more difficult for me to smash the bottles.

3)  Prepare a meal for me, consisting of large quantities of only the following foods:  cucumbers, rutabagas, cottage cheese, raw celery, beef liver, chitterlings (aka chitlins), and chocolate-covered ants. If possible, blend all the ingredients together till they become a smooth paste. Then, spoon-feed this mixture to me over the course of a three-hour time frame, denying my repeated pleas for water and/or any other beverage which might tamp down the multiplicity of flavors assaulting my palate.

4)  See #1 (above) and replace The Brady Bunch with any television show hosted by or featuring Rachael Ray.  Or Anne Burrell. Or Sandra Lee. Or the Neelys. Or...well, you get the picture. Any annoying cooking show will do the trick.

5)  Corner me at a social event and talk to me at length about cars. Be sure to include as many details about the most insignificant parts of the car and the ways in which you are able to repair them expertly. While you're on the subject, profess to me your undying love of NASCAR. Please specify your favorite drivers and why they are your favorites, as well as your least favorite drivers and why they are your least favorites.

6)  Read me the latest stock exchange numbers from the Wall Street Journal. Indicate, for each one, why it is good or bad that the numbers are up or down, and what effect this will have on the economy. For ultimate effectiveness, bring along a financial adviser and have them explain in greater detail using the least number of common, everyday "layman's terms" possible.

7)  Put on your favorite "death metal" CD in my presence, crank it up to maximum volume, and "sing" along.  When the CD is finished playing, please insert your next favorite "death metal" CD and repeat the process until you have played your entire collection for me.

8)  Force me to read a story written entirely in "textese". Make sure it includes as many occurrences of the following "words" as possible: "2moro", "l8r",  "ur", "c-ya", "ne1", and "ROTFL". Please ensure, prior to selecting the story, that it is a minimum of 20 pages in length, and contains no actual fully-spelled-out words.

9)  See #1 (above) and replace The Brady Bunch with any show involving four-year-old beauty pageant contestants and their emotionally unstable, living-vicariously-through-their-children, possibly psychotic mothers.  Need I say more on this one?

10)  Take me hunting.  Insist that I shoot an animal. Then make me "dress" it. Because anyone who knows me will testify that I love hunting. With a passion!

WAR AND PEACE UPDATE:  I'm on page 78 of the printed version, which is Location 2400 on the Kindle, and that means I'm now roughly 8% finished. I could be going faster, but I'm reading, like, six books at once currently, so it's slow-going. But I'll get there. Guaranteed!

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