Thursday, June 21, 2007

Noah's Ark or Noah's Lie? You decide.

With arrival Evan Almighty in the theaters, I started thinking about the story of Noah's Ark.

For all those unaware of, quite possibly, the most famous bible story of all time, click here.

Here are my thoughts, in easy-to-read bullet point of course:
    When I was going to Sunday school, it seemed to me that every story had people talking to God much like we talk to people on cell phones today. Out of the blue God would bellow from the sky, "NOAH." And Noah's relaxed response would be "Oh. Hey God, What's up?" I don't know about you, but I would shit my pants if someone bellowed from the sky and tried to call my name. And nowadays, haven't you noticed whenever anyone says they received a message from God and that the world will end in (insert amount) of days, those people get thrown in the loony bin?
    In Sunday School, our teacher told us that Noah picked two of every animal (one male, one female) to go aboard the Ark. "So, he would have to travel to Antarctica to get two penquins, then up to the Arctic to trap two Polar Bears, then to Africa to get some Gorillas and then over to North American to grab a Grizzly Bear?" I would ask my Sunday School teacher. "Yes," she would respond. "Well, since they had to walk everywhere, wouldn't just rounding up those four animals take, like, I don't know 10 years?" The teacher would look at me, "Well, the lord does work in mysterious ways." I don't know about you but, in my opinion, that phrase is basically used by people who don't know how to answer a philosophical church question.
  • FOOD
    Okay, so you've got two of every animal aboard the Ark. What are they going to eat? First off, I'm thinking they're going to eat each other. A tiger would be prowling around the ark going by various tasty animals from various continents. He'd come across a squirrel and think, "Wow, I don't know what that is, but it sure looks a bit more tasty than that gazelle I've been eating my whole life." A chase would ensue and then either (A.) the tiger would be successful and the female squirrel would have no mate or (B.) the tiger would fail to capture the squrrel and, instead, opt to chase another tasty creature. Which leads me to believe that it would be pretty crazy being on a boat with vicious animals for 222 days. I would think Noah himself would have to dodge an alligator's bite or a rattlesnake's fangs on a daily basis.
    In one my Noah's Ark coloring books I had when I was little, Noah even captured dinosaurs to put on the Ark. I remember coloring a Brontosaurus male and female climbing aboard the Ark followed by some field mice. Now c'mon, really? I picture the artist and the illustrator hanging out in their flat smoking a doobie. The artist sits up with a shit-eating grin on his face and says, "Hey Janet , let's put some dinosaurs in this coloring book. That will really fuck up the little ones, eh?" Thanks a lot, it fucked up me up all right. But, the truth is now coming out in this blog, huh? Who's laughing now, you pot head?
    When I was in high school, one day our American History teacher walked in the room all excited. He had a giddy smile on his face. One of our class brownnosers raised her hand and asked what he was so excited about. "Now kids, I really don't want to get your hopes up," he said breathing heavily. "But, they may have found Noah's Ark." Yep. This was our American History teacher. The same guy that told us about our first president, the French and Indian War and the Triangular Trade was excited that scientists found Noah's Ark. Suffice to say, we were dumbstruck. After the giggles subsided. He said, "Today they found what they believe to be Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat. I'll give you guys more information when I hear about it tomorrow, but this could change the way we interpret the Bible forever." Guess what? We didn't hear any more information. I think it was our Principal silencing my American History teacher. Now, we'll never know the truth. But, I think we already know the answer. Don't we?
    Sure, we should thank or forefathers - Adam and Eve - for bringing us onto this Earth. But, if all the creatures of the world died except for those on the ark, humans included, then I guess we're all a bunch of inbred cretins. So, basically, we should be thanking our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great Grandfather Noah for seeding the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE! Thanks Noah! We should have, at least, some sort of national holiday celebrating our great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great Grandfather Noah. I would think it may be even more important than Christmas, but that's just me.

I don't know. It's just my stupid opinion. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cedar Point Does Rock, but...

Just a quick note. I was reading through my 'blog' about Cedar Point and how it rocks my nut sack. It left me with a number of questions:

1.) The Future of Rollercoasters. Will there be a limit or will they just keep getting higher and higher and higher? Will you have to wear oxygen when you climb the initial hill or will the oygen deprivation be part of the 'ride experience'? Just imagine the drops. You'll be screaming for an entire minute on the first hill. FASCINATING.

2.) Wacky Ride Part 1. I can't take credit for this, but my good buddy mentioned that there should be a ride at Cedar Point where you get shot. Basically you stand in line and you can choose the body part you want shot or you just wear a bullet proof vest and get shot in the chest. Imagine the rush of knowing that you're going to get shot. WOW!

3.) Wacky Ride Part 2. I'm thinking of a ride where you get into a regular car and a giant slingshot shoots you and four other people into Lake Erie. Then you have to try to escape before you drown. Cool!

4.) Beer. I'm all for beer at amusement parks, but they should have machines, much like pop machines, where you can drink beer while you're waiting in line. That would be a lot of fun.

5.) Puke Ride. There should be ride strictly made for you to puke. Basically the first part of the ride consists of you eating at a greasy buffet. Then, after you're finished eating, you wait in line for a spin ride that basically guarantees that you will puke. Then, as an extra-added bonus, the employees will not clean up the puke until the end of the day. Ewwwww.

6.) Signing A Release. As a collectible souvenier, I would sell releases that you won't sue the park for accidental dismemberment or death. That way, kids can have something to frame on the wall when they get home. "Look," they would say to a friend. "I survived Cedar Point!" Coool!

7.) Old-Person Day. The first old person (over 80) that dies on a ride during Old-Person Day gets their funeral paid for and the family gets a check for $500,000. "Hey gramps, let's go to Cedar Point!" CHA-CHING!

8.) One Person Dies a Day. Maybe there should be a marketing campaign that guarantees one person will die each day at the park? Maybe a sniper will shoot you while you're walking through Frontier Village or perhaps a big blade gets lowered on any given coaster and beheads you while you're on the ride. You know that people who didn't die or get their heads cut off would leave the park with a deeper respect for life. Heck, they may even make serious changes to their personalities because of it. Plus, if you die at Cedar Point you will be a martyr of sorts anyway. So it's a win-win situation.

What are your ideas to make Cedar Point more 'fun'?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Smuggling Toilets from Canada.

I was talking to a Columbus buddy a couple weeks ago about toilets.

I heard that you could get arrested if you try to smuggle a toilet with more than 1.6 Gallons Per Flush (GPF) from Canada into the United States because of some law forbidding toilets over 1.6 GPF. However, laws in Canada don’t have a GPF statute, so they can make them, and import them, with stronger flushes than the United States.

This law/code was put into effect to cut down on water consumption in the United States, but I think it needs another look.

My buddy said one flush would take care of everything if you had a bigger GPF - say eight gallons. I agree. Instead of flushing 5 times (my average) during a normal shit, I could now only flush twice: once before I sat down (courtesy flush) then a second to discard the waste of my bowels.

Also wouldn’t it be ‘retro’ to have an old-time toilet in your house? Of course, it would be state-of-the art and all that, but I think it would be neat to have that pull-down handle. It would make you feel like your were living in the 19th century minus the Black Plague. I think it would be fun to put on a Pilgrim outfit during Thanksgiving and to take a crap using your 'retro' toilet - just to get that 19th century feel.

On another note, I think the above idea would be a great road-trip, father-son bonding movie. An adventure, of sorts, between a baby boomer dad and his Gen X grandson as they try to smuggle toilets across the Canadian border. It could work. Crazier movies have happened. Just to make sure the law is in existence I went to and sent a question to – your online destination for facts, goofs and outright online lies. Haven't received a reply yet or information from either. However, I did find a fun article in MenStuff magazine.

This past week, I talked to my landlord about this Gallons Per Flush theory.

"Naw, you can't get arrested, but it is illegal," he said with a smirk and a cigarette dangling from his lips.

After an odd moment of silence, he looked both ways, gave me a sly wink and said, "You know your upstairs toilet?" I nodded. I did know it. "That's a sixer," he said as he let out a wry smile and walked away.

Cool. A six-gallon flush toilet! Every single time I take a shit - I'm breaking the law!

Eat your heart out Tony Montana.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cedar Point Rocks!

Our four-hour journey was almost complete.

As our blue station wagon careened onto the midway, my heart raced like I had just run up a hill at maximum speed. I was a six-year-old, Ohio-born kid from Martins Ferry who was about to witness Christmas in July compliments of the two people in the front seat of the wagon: Mom and Dad.

"There it is," my brother screeched.

Like a coached-Pavlovian dog, I took a spot next to my brother and smeared my face against the cool glass of the backseat window. Although I received no dog treats for this feat - I did get utter satisfaction in what I saw.


Those were the only words I could utter. I resembled one of those cartoon characters –Tom, Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Homer Simpson - who went Ga-Ga when a pretty young women crossed their path - complete with mouth slamming to the ground and eyes popping out of their sockets.

Like a Lion hopping on a gazelle in the African outback - we gobbled up this vast wasteland of entertainment. Not with our teeth - but with our eyes. As we approached the park in our beat-up wagon, the big, green double-ferris wheel greeted us with a circular hello. Endless streams of metallic, roller coaster track was tossed across the peninsula like hot spaghetti on a plate.

"Could it be one roller coaster or five or six various coasters," my small mind attempted to calculate the odds to no avail. In the distance, there was a giant, white carousel complete with red, yellow, green and blue seats that arched above the clouds into the vast sky.

"This is Cedar Point kids?" Dad said from the driver’s seat. He seemed extremely relaxed like he’d been here before or something.

"SEE DER POINT," I mulled the words over in my head. You could have just called it heaven.

It was a giant among parks. It was the result of a thousand Belmont County fairs thrown into a blender and stirred ferociously. My mind could only conceive it as the biggest carnival in the history of the world. The only thing that could go through my six-year old mind was "How come I haven’t heard of this place before?"

Having known nothing of what it was like to French kiss a girl nor feel a girl’s breast over a cotton t-shirt on a warm, summer’s night - I could honestly say that this was going to be one of the best days of my life.

Then I saw the Point. The Needle - as I would come to know it in later trips – was the classic icon of the park. A small red, spinning cylinder slowly climbed the giant, white needle ever-so-slightly to the top. "I wonder if we can go up on that thing?"

I felt like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when he was messing with the mashed potatoes in front of his shocked family.

"This means something. This is important."

In a way, Cedar Point was my creative Statue of Liberty. Like many immigrants who witnessed one of the most important beacons of hope in the world, I was supposed to be here. I was destined to be here. This was important.

The park with all of its dazzling primary colors and that shining point was my welcome to a place that exceeded my imagination on so-many levels. I was arriving to my destination and my place in the world.

If the Cedar Point was my Statue of Liberty than the admission gate was my Ellis Island. As we approached the ticket booth, I heard the screams come from the blue roller coaster to my right.

It was the Blue Streak and - to my eyes – the biggest roller coaster in the world. The screams were earth-shattering. "Why are they yelling?" I’d think to myself and was convinced they were in some sort of pain and was a little scared that I may have to ‘actually’ ride that blue thing.

My father, complete with bushy hair and pork-chopped sideburns, bell-bottom pants and mustache glanced towards my mother and put out his hand. Dad – who after the Vietnam war worked his way up from washing UPS vans to a bonafide driver - was enjoying the most money he’s ever made on this Earth. But Mom - who with her long black hair, funky Elton John sunglasses, tight blue jeans and cool veneer – handled most of the ‘family finances’.

At the time, Mom was only one of a handful of women I knew, the others being my grandma, my aunt and our neighbors Cathy and Martha. The three men – my brother, my dad and myself - were happy to have her along on this glorious day of roller-coaster revelry.
Mom reached into her pockets, pulled out some of the green stuff and handed it to my Dad who ushered us through the ticket booth with a smile on his hairy face.

No doubt looking like rejects from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, my brother and I - decked in total 70’s garb complete with long pants, canvas tennis shoes and 100 percent polyester t-shirts - walked into the park hand-in-hand and smiles brimming ear-to-ear.

Then my nose kicked into gear.

If there’s one place in the world where you can get a ton of different aromas – some good, others not so good – its Cedar Point. From taffy, corndogs and the sweet doughnutty smell of fresh funnel cakes to body odor and burning fossil fuels from the old-time buggy rides – a pallette of aromas went Mike Tyson on my nose and made me drool – and sometime cringe - at every turn.

And the sounds. The glorious sounds.

People yelling. People screaming. Buzzers buzzing and bells ringing. From the shouts of glee when Midway prizes were won, to the laughs and guffaws of families, friends and lovers walking by. From the roars and creaks of the giant roller coasters to the clicks and clacks of the various rides whirring, purring and spouting fun, the symphony of new-found sounds clamored for control of my ears. It was - in a word - unbelievable.

"Well, what do you want to ride first?" my Dad asked after we secured a locker for our valuables. As I was mulling this decision next to my brother. There – less than a football field away – I saw it. Floating boats made out to look like logs. An actual ride that takes place on the water! My God, it was THE LOG RIDE.

"Do you want to go on that?" Mom asked us. My brother and I nodded furiously. She grabbed our hands and - as a family – trekked towards this beautiful feat of make-believe intertwined with nature.

The Log Ride was the first ride I’d ever ridden at Cedar Point. And the Baptismal water that covered me as we splashed touchdown into what seemed to be a huge abyss of water - would cement many years and many more memories with families, friends and lovers at this great fun park.

Decades later – 27 years to be exact – every time I visit Cedar Point I get that same giddy feeling like I was still that six-year old kid in his 100 percent polyester shirt running around with a big smile on my face.

Not a care in the world.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hey. How's the weather?

I was walking to my office a couple days ago happy as a clam when I ran into a co-worker with a smile on his face.

"Hey," he said. "How’s it going?"
Almost automatically I responded. "Well, you know. It’s Monday."

Now, if I can pause a minute. I didn’t even believe what I was saying. I just said it. I was feeling pretty good. Even loving life you might say. And still responded that I loathed the day just because IT WAS MONDAY. I should have responded "Dandy" or "Fabulous" or "Hey, at least I don’t have cancer." Or maybe even responded with a simple "Eh," with hand extended, going back and forth motion, which would have been better them my response.

Then I got to thinking.

Here is a basic discussion when I run into people, various people around the office or at work - or even in an elevator.

Me: Hey
Person: How are you?
Me: Good. And You?
Person: Can’t complain.
Me: Pretty nice out today, eh?
Person: Oh yeah. It’s nice.
Me: I hear it’s going to be even warmer tomorrow.
Person: No kidding.
Me: Nope. No Kidding.
Person: Huh? Well here’s my floor. See ya.

Let me first preface by saying that when I’m hanging out with my friends, I never talk this way. This isn’t me. But, let me also say that – as embarrassing as it sounds – I REALLY, TRULY, HONESTLY AM INTERESTED IN THE WEATHER!

Being a jogger, runner, hiker etc. and walking to work every morning, I really want to know what it’s going to be like outside, especially in the Spring when the Ohio weather is about as predictable as a ground hog running across the highway.

Am I slowly inheriting Old People traits or am I slowly turning into that fat lady in Office Space who says "Looks like somebody's got a bad case of the Mondays."

I guess either option sucks.