Wednesday, September 30, 2009

20 Fun Ways To Burn More Calories

One exasperating thing about trying to lose weight is the snail's pace at which the pounds seem to drop. I've come up with 20 easy ways to boost your metabolism by adding fun activities to your day to day life. Just do these easy and fun activities every day, and it should be more than enough to shift your weight loss out of neutral and move it full speed ahead again.

1. Have more rigorous sex. This burns 300 hundred calories each time!

2. Run with the Bulls in Pamplona, dressed in a billowy red dress and cape.

3. Play “taser tag” with the police.

4. Do the Appalachian trail, on a pogo stick

5. Smile. This burns .08 calories!

6. Buy a “Flintstones” style car, where you push it by running your feet through the floor.

7. Play “Frogger” at the Indianapolis 500. Make it more fun by dressing like a frog!

8. Start your own Rick Shaw service. Lose weight and make money!

9. Play full contact lawn darts with your neighbor’s kids.

10. Host a dance-a-thon in your own back yard. Try to out dance everyone in your neighborhood.

11. Clean your house. Clean your friend’s houses. Keep cleaning. Cleaning can burn as many calories are rigorous sex! For more fun, have rigorous sex while cleaning your house, and your friend’s house.

12. Train for the Iditarod, as one of the dogs!

13. Try to break the hula hoop world’s record.

14. Join the Marines, and go to boot camp.

15. Ski more, but don’t take the lift back up the mountain, jog up the mountain!

16. Swim the English Channel. Backwards.

17. Power all your home utilities with your exercise bike.

18. Captain a double Dutch squad.

19. Take a tap-dance course, and then instead of walking, tap-dance wherever you go.

20. Do your Kegel Exercises. It burns as many calories as smiling!

Monday, September 28, 2009

10 Clever Ways to Announce Your Pregnancy

Congratulations! The doctor just confirmed your suspicions: you’re pregnant! Finding out you're pregnant is a very exciting time for women, so it only makes sense that you want to share the news with your family and friends as soon as possible. Here are 10 extraordinarily fun ways to announce that your bundle of joy is on the way:

1. Send out letters to all your family and friends and sign it from “the fetus.”
Getting a handwritten letter is a wonderfully antiquated way of communication that some people still enjoy. For best results, find a really small piece of paper, and a crayon in order to craft a letter like it’s actually written from the fetus you are carrying. Because your baby still has an underdeveloped brain, hands and fingers, make sure the writing is sloppy and lots of word are misspelled to make it really realistic looking.

2. Start pushing an empty baby carriage around wherever you go. From the moment you find out your pregnant, start pushing around this carriage. Rig it up so that when people look inside a Jack in the Box springs up holding a sign that says “Coming soon, a new baby!” to startle them.

3. Invite everyone over for your “Pregnancy Shower”. Although certainly some people will complain that throwing a party for oneself is tacky, ignore them! This is a great way to let everyone know you’re pregnant and a great way to get some free gifts at the same time.

4. Rent a theater one evening, hire actors to dress as sperm and ova, and have them reenact the moment of conception for your family and friends through mime. Everyone loves live theater! You might also want to consider selling tickets to this event, and charging for concessions in order to cover your costs and make some extra money.

5. Make cookies in the shape of embryos and hand them out to your family and friends. The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Back for those you love some fetus shaped cookies. This way, you not only inform everyone you know that you are pregnant through the gift of food, but you can also take care of your cravings for sweets at the same time.

6. Send full, unopened tampon box to your friends and family with a note attached that says “I guess I won’t need these for a while!” Most people enjoy a good riddle. This should keep people guessing why you are sending them female hygiene products through the mail. Once they make the connection, however, they are not likely to forget the big news!

7. Send everyone you know a copy of your paternity test and a copy of the child support letter your lawyer just sent to the father of the baby. Your family and friends will certainly get a chuckle from this creative way of letting them know you got pregnant with that looser you just broke up with.

8. Create a “Uterus Piñata”, and fill it with baby themed candy. Remember how fun smacking a piñata with a stick was when you were a child? Recreate some special memories with a piñata that looks like a uterus. When they open it up with the whacks from the stick, make sure Sugar Babies, Jr. Mints, Baby Ruth’s and Runts fall out.

9. Have a movie night and only play baby themed movies, such as “Knocked Up”, “Look Who’s Talking” and “Nine Months”. Movie nights can be a blast, but this movie night will live on in everyone’s memory as the best! Make sure you serve a lot of great cocktails and buy everyone a pack of cigarettes. Prenatal care can start tomorrow, tonight we party!

10. Start wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m Pregnant.” until everyone you know sees you wearing it. Ok, so this one is not particularly creative or clever. However, it gets the job done.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

5 Easy & Quick Ways to Flatten Your Tummy

You look at it every day and wish it would just go away. But it doesn’t. That little pouch surrounding your belly button that keeps staring back, laughing and mocking you and all your pathetic attempts to get rid of it. You starve yourself, you do crunches, you do sit ups… yet there it is just “flopping around.”
There are all sorts of cute names for it: snack pouch, spare tire, love handles; the list go on. All you know is that it is not cute and you want it gone. However, just doing exercises all day and dieting will not get rid of the excess fat that you have around your waistline.
The following are 5 easy and quick methods I have developed that will help you gain the toned, flat stomach that you have been craving.

1. Tattoo abs directly onto your stomach. Getting those washboard abs is nearly impossible, especially for those who like to eat cheese and drink beer as much as I do. However, did you know that it is possible to get exactly the same look from the tattoo parlor as it is from the gym? Forget those crunches and go ahead and enjoy your beer! Just find a talented tattoo artist to draw in the stomach of your dreams.

2. Wear Antebellum or Empire Period Dresses, each with a corset. Those women of the late 1700’s and early 1800’s knew exactly what they were doing. Even though they are looks currently NOT in style, the hourglass figure they will give you is ALWAYS in fashion. Unfortunately, this is not as flattering a look for most men.

3. Constantly suck in your gut. It is a great habit to get into: walking around straight and tall, sucking in your gut the entire time. If you suck in deep enough, you will totally fool everyone that you are fit as a fiddle! (Until you need to exhale, that is.)

4. Wear really wide pirate belts and cummerbunds with every outfit. Flatten your tummy by hiding your tummy! A really wide belt or cummerbund is a fun fashionable way to force the fat back inside the contours of your clothing. Don’t be afraid to always wear your belt or cummerbund in potentially awkward places such as at to the office, the beach or at the nudist colony. In fact, those are often the places it is most important to flatten your tummy.

5. Be seen only with the morbidly obese. Flatten your stomach by having much larger stomachs draw the attention away from yours. The fatter your friends, the more healthy and fit you will look like in contrast. So, go ahead, enjoy that donut! Just make sure your friends have two.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When it’s Too Late to Get Your Ex-Girlfriend Back.

No matter what they say, breaking up is not the hardest thing to do. Getting back together with your girlfriend after you broke up with her is actually the hardest thing to do. I encourage you to always follow your heart; however, sometimes you have to read the subtle hints that it is too late to rekindle the relationship. When the indications are that she has moved on, you have to realize that it is just too late:restarting the relationship at this point would be impossible. Here are five examples of when it is truly too late to get your ex-girlfriend back.

1. She seems really happy in her relationship with her new girlfriend.

2. After serving as a Navy W.A.V.E .in WWII, she went on to have a wonderful career, married and raised a terrific family, and is now living out her golden years with her husband of 60 years in a beautiful assisted living complex in Florida, taking water color classes and yoga on the beach.

3. She has requested not to have visitors at the Poughkeepsie Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she was institutionalized after the trial that she was found guilty of trying to kill you at your family reunion shortly after the break-up.

4. She took her final vows as a Sister if Mercy and moved to Guinea-Bissau to serve the poor by founding a hospital for those suffering from leprosy and tuberculosis.

5. They day (which also happened to be her birthday) after you broke up with her (via a text message) to go on a date with the girl (who was also her best friend) who ended up dumping you (on your birthday), she won the largest payout in lottery history (312 million dollars).

6. She doesn’t come to pick you up the day you are released from prison.

7. She can’t seem to remember your name or that you even dated. When you remind her of the specifics, she nods knowingly, laughs and says “Oh! Now I remember you. Yeah, no thanks.”

8. She is happily recovering from her final gender reassignment surgery and has begun her new life as "Frank".

9. She died last week.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Five Questions You Should Ask Before You Pick Up That Hitchhiker:

Even though it is often thrilling, the decision to pick up a hitchhiker carries with it a certain amount of risk. Not every person may be willing to pick up a hitchhiker as it is essentially a personal decision, and one that may not be wise for some individuals to practice. After all, inviting a stranger into your car on a dark and rainy night on a deserted stretch of highway requires a level of trust that, in extreme circumstances, might be taken advantage of.

The following questions are for the drivers. If the time does come, though, and you want to have a little fun by picking up a complete stranger and offer them a ride, please consider asking the hitchhiker these 5 questions to ensure a safe ride for the both of you.

1. Are you alive? This might seem at first like a strange question, but all too often, we hear about a friend of friend who offered someone a ride, usually to a cemetery, only to have them disappear near a gravestone that is carved with the name that they gave you. Why? Because they were not alive, you gave a ride to a ghost to their final resting place. Don’t waste your time giving rides to lazy spirits. Ask your hitchhiker if they are alive before they get in the car. If they are dead, tell them to just shuttle back to the afterlife on their own dime.

2. Are you human? It is vitally important to know if your passenger is even of the same species that you are. Often, the lonely stretch of highway is the hunting ground for some dangerous predators looking for their next meal. If they are not human, avoid giving rides to giant insects, werewolves, or carnivorous aliens. My personal policy, though it may seem unnecessarily draconian, is to only give rides to members of my species.

3. Are you a serial murderer, or do you suffer from any violent pathological tendencies that make you dangerous to me in any way? This is an easy way to screen out the most dangerous hitchhikers on the road. The only drawback is occasionally you will run into a pathological liar, and it will be impossible to tell if they are being honest with you. In those cases I recommend that you carry a portable metal detector and try to screen out any weapons they might want to bring into the car, such as axes, ice hooks, and meat cleavers. If you find them, make sure they place them safely in the trunk.

4. Would you submit to a drug screening such as a urinalysis or a sweat test? Illegal drugs have no place in the world of the safe driver. In the passenger seat, drugs can even turn a gentle hitchhiker into a dangerous sexual pervert. I advise that you carry with you drug screening tests of some type and ask your hitchhiker to submit to the test. Although it takes days, make sure you wait for the results, even if it means that you sacrifice the spontaneity of picking up a hitchhiker.

5. What kind of music do you like? The most important question of them all: There is nothing worse than picking up a hitchhiker, only to find out you have vastly different tastes in music. The odds are that you will both end up fighting over the radio. Do yourself a favor and only pick up those hitchhikers who enjoy listening to your favorite CD’s and radio stations.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just kill ‘em with kindness...

As a young boy, when I would complain about those that made me mad, my Gramma would always reply, “Calvin, just kill ‘em with kindness.” I never understood what she meant.

Now that I am older, I totally understand what she was trying to tell me with her simple, uncomplicated axiom. “Just kill “em with kindness” is a perfect strategy to deploy when dealing with your enemies. It is a subtle way of turning situations with your enemies to your advantage; it just begins with a kind gesture of some type.

It’s not as easy as it might seem. In order to help, I have come up with 5 creative ways in which you too can “Just kill ‘em with kindness”.

Hug your enemy. Make sure when you hug them that you squeeze tightly enough to snap their spine, puncture their lungs and suffocate them. For good measure, stab them in the back before you release your embrace.

Send your enemy flowers. Everyone loves receiving flowers, even those that you do not like! However, when you send them to your enemy make sure that an entire hive of crazed and angry killer bees is hidden somewhere in the bouquet.

Cook for your enemy a delicious gourmet meal. When you serve it to them, make sure it is laced generously with a deadly poison. I often garnish their food with broken glass, just for fun.

Give your enemy an expensive new car as a gift. Who doesn’t love the feel of a sleek new car beneath them as they dangerously race along precarious cliffs overlooking the ocean when it’s foggy and rainy with a chance of sleet? Just remember to cut the break lines before they take it on its first test run.

Leave an adorable baby puppy wrapped up in a blanket nestled in a basket at your enemy’s doorstep. What is cuter than a baby puppy? A baby puppy wrapped in a blanket nestled in a basket, that’s what! The sight of this sweet little puppy would make anyone feel better, unless you lace the baby puppy’s basket and sleeping basket with a highly contagious and fatal biological weapon such as anthrax or smallpox that is!

As you can see, killing your enemies with kindness does not need to be difficult in order to be effective. All you need is a kind heart and a little creativity. Good luck!

*Authors note. Please do not really do any of these, and then sue me. Thanks!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

How to Tell if Your Newborn is the Spawn of Satan

1. You spawned with Satan, and then nine months later had a baby.

2. Your baby manages to break all of the 10 Commandments while still in the playpen.

3. The paternity test named Satan as the father (as you feared), rather than your second cousin Bobby (as you hoped).

4. Your newborn has a chilling birthmark in the shape of a pentagram, “666”, or Dora the Explorer somewhere on his little body.

5. While teething, your baby swears like a sailor using a deep, resonating adult voice.

6. Your child will only wear the black diapers with the words “Hell’s Littlest Angel” stitched in red on the butt.

7. Your baby gets a picture of the Devil with the words “I love my Daddy” tattooed on his arm.

8. Your infant prefers to watch movies such as “Saw IV” and “Halloween” over “Bob the Builder” and “The Bear in the Big Blue House.”

9. The baptism of your child goes terribly awry, with the screaming, writhing, and knocking over the Baptismal Fonts that occurs when pure evil comes in contact with Holy Water.

10. Your baby is born with cloven hooves, a tail and two cute little goat horns.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

10 Signs that You are a Bad Driver

Sometimes it is difficult to have the objectivity to examine your skills as a driver. In order to help you, I have compiled 10 indications that you might not be as good behind the wheel of a car as you might think.

1. Virtually every passenger who rides with you says “Wow. You are a really bad driver.” If your passengers, after begging for their lives and pleading for you to stop the car, routinely fall out of your automobile, having soiled themselves and still weeping, stumble away to call their parents just to tell them they love them, this might be a good indication that you need to improve your driving skills.

2. You consider traffic laws as “neat suggestions” or “great goals you might try to aspire to”. Attitude is everything, and this attitude makes you a bad driver. This attitude also makes you seem weird and lazy. Time to bone up on your attitude and your driving skills!

3. Hal’s Auto Body & Repair sends you flowers and a bottle of expensive Champagne, and then enrolls you in “The Cookie of the Month Club” to thank you for your continued patronage. Generally, Auto Body Shops do not do this for their average customer. They tend to reserve this to someone who is paying for their kid’s college tuition and their next European vacation.

4. When the court orders you to re-take a Defensive Driving Class, you notice that you are in all the videos they show as the “what not to do” example. Though this might be tempting initially, this is really not something to be proud of. It is a clear sign that even the DMV thinks your driving skills suck. You might want to consider working really hard to become a better driver.

5. You are considered a menace, even on the streets of cities such as Rome, Mumbai, and Mogadishu. And some of the world’s worst drivers are in these places. If that is the case, you might want to consider improving your driving skills.

6. People continually run screaming and leaping out of your way as you drive down the sidewalk. This might really want to start paying attention to this sign of poor driving skills in particular, as it might indicate you are probably not as good of a driver as you might like to believe.

7. You are actively recruited to become a NYC taxi driver. This means that you are a bad driver.

8. You cannot get employed as a NYC taxi driver. This means you are a terrible driver of epic proportions. The kind of terrible driver that legends are made of. You will go down in history as the worst driver in the world.

9. The points against your license are higher than the combined total of your IQ, your credit score, and the number of times you secretly have watched reruns of “The Nanny” and really enjoyed it. I am aghast. I am not sure what I find more appalling, your bad driving record or that you watch… and enjoy… reruns of “The Nanny”. Perhaps this is a symptom of a far greater psychological problem.

10. You think that everyone else on the road is an idiot. This is the definitive sign that you are a bad driver. No, this is proof that you are a terrible driver. Dude, really? I mean, seriously…really?? Unless your name is Einstein or Steven Hawking, the odds that everyone else is stupid and you are the only one who is not is highly, highly improbable. The more likely case is that you’re the idiot! Clearly, you need to learn how to drive or get off the road, dumb ass.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

15 Random Nuggets of my Wisdom:

“Wise men speak because they have something to say, Fools speak because they have to say something.”

Plato – 428 -348 BC

Calvin's Wisdom - not as good as Plato's - but still worthwhile...

1. Don’t toss an anvil straight up in the air.

2. Don’t use a porcupine as a pillow when you are camping. Don’t use a porcupine as a pillow when you are not camping. In fact, it is a good policy never to use a porcupine as a pillow.

3. Never, ever recycle toilet paper by using both sides.

4. Don't eat gravel.

5. Don't take naps on the train tracks. That's just really uncomfortable and you could really mess up your back.

6. Don't stoke the fireplace fire with your toes.

7. Walk around lava flows, not through them.

8. Never put in your mouth the stuff you find between your toes.

9. Don't bathe in a tub full of slithering mounds of venomous snakes.

10. Don't iron clothes while wearing them. They never look as good as when you take off all your clothes at the dry cleaners and have them press them while you wait.

11. Don't wash your kitchen floors with molasses.

12. Don't kick a cactus with your bare foot. Put on a glove and slap it instead.

13. If someone shouts "Heads up!" I have learned that they usually do not want you to raise your head up. What they mean is "Quick cover your head with your arms and then duck!", but that just takes to long to say and you are usually struck by the object they they are trying to warn you about by the timet they shout that out.

14. Don’t use a weed whacker naked. In fact, try not to garden at all in the nude. Horticulture was meant for clothes

15. If sticking pins into bulletin boards, press on the flat end.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Calvin’s Potty Training Tips for Parents

Is your baby old enough to ditch the diaper and start using the toilet? Potty training your child can seem like an arduous process, but it doesn’t have to be completely traumatic for either of you! Even though I am not a parent, I am great with kids! Here are five helpful hints I created so both of you survive the potty training period. Each child is different, so use one by one or as a whole package. Good luck!

1. Offer your child money to use the potty. Everyone knows babies are greedy. Bribery is an effective tool to motivate toddlers, and nothing motivates more than cold hard cash! Depending on your child’s level of greed, you can probably get away with offering just $20 each time they use the potty.

2. Potty train in stages. Some kids just are not as smart as others, so perhaps in this case it is good to transition them into using the potty. A great midway point between diaper and potty is a littler box. Have your toddler use the cat’s litter box until you think they are ready to try a potty. If your cat is unhappy with this new situation, don’t worry: it’s also a great lesson for your child on how to share with others.

3. Make your child fear their diapers. Fear is a powerful motivator in all people, especially small children. Start referring to the diaper as “that white and absorbent scary monster that is sure to devour you” and “the baby eating creature that attaches to your bum”. It helps if you draw scary faces on the diapers and then run around the house screaming like you are terrified of it. Do this for a few weeks and your child is certain to start using the potty!

4. Replace the diapers your child wears with a strap on portable potty chair. Children are forgetful, and often they just forget that the potty is an option or they forget where the potty is located. Eliminate this problem by attaching the potty right to their person by attaching it with a belt or duct tape. This way, they have no option but to start using the potty. Latter, you can transition them the regular, less mobile toilet.

5. Make potty training a game. Toddlers love games! Unfortunately, toddlers are not very good at games. They have not yet developed eye hand coordination and have no ability to grasp abstract ideas. If you make potty training a game, it will have to be a really easy game without much in the way of rules or a challenge. Perhaps just make it a competition with another child, such as “lets see if you can be potty trained before little Sally down the street.”

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Want your Ex Girlfriend Back? 10 Signs That She Still Wants You.

Your relationship, for whatever the reason, came to an end. Now you realize that this was a terrible mistake, and you want your ex girlfriend back. How do you tell if she is willing to start over with you?
Perhaps she has moved on and wants nothing to do with you. Or perhaps she still has strong feelings for you. How can you tell? It is impossible to tell exactly how your ex feels. That might have been a reason you broke up in the first place!
The good news is that there are certain signs that you can look for that just might indicate she wants you back. I have compiled a list of those 10 signs that might show that she still wants you.

1. She continually says “I still want you” as she cries and begs for you to take her back. This is a hint that she might be interested in sparking the flames of love with you again. The key here is to not only listen to the words she is saying, and then try to determine what the message she is trying to convey to you non-verbally. When you listen to your heart, and not her sobbing tears, you will know if she wants you back or not.

2. She spray paints the words “lying pig” and “cheating bastard” on the hood of your car. This is a sign that she still cares deeply for you. Analyze the loops of the ‘p’ in ‘pig’. If they are rounded and slightly curved to the left, then she is still deeply in love with you. If the ‘y” in ‘lying” is hangs lower than any other letter, then she may have gotten over you. If the t’s in ‘bastard’ are not crossed in a parallel way, then she might have a tendency to lie. Either way, she felt strongly enough to paint your car so she might feel strongly enough to want you back in her life.

3. She claims you never actually broke up in the first place and refuses to move out and give you the key to your apartment back. I have seen this display time and time again. I have come to the conclusion that this is either a profound display of love, or the actions of a mentally unstable person. You will have to take time to discern which it is.

4. She refuses to open the handcuffs and un-gag you until you promise to take her back. It is especially difficult to know how someone feels when they are notoriously coy and unforthcoming with their true emotions. Try to look into her eyes when she behaves this way, and I am certain you will be able to ascertain whether or not she wants you back as her boyfriend. (Then try to remember your ‘safety’ word.)

5. She exhibits nervous behavior when she kills your children’s pet bunny then boils it in a pot on your stove. Sometimes it’s obvious when someone wants you back. Sometimes it’s obvious when you need to call the police when they want you back that badly.

6. She names her first child after you. This shows that she is very much in love with you and wants to carry a piece of you in the being she loves most in this world, her only child. Or, you have a really great name and she wanted to use it regardless of how poorly she still thinks of you. Or maybe she is not really that creative, and that was the first name she thought of because she doesn’t really even remember you. (On second thought, naming her child after you may not be an indication of anything.)

7. She threatens to blackmail you in order to expose you as the lying, cheating, disgusting pig and fraud that you are. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. So clearly, she is not indifferent if she is willing to extort you. This is a sign you still have a chance with her.

8. She holds your new girlfriend hostage at gunpoint, hoping to get to see you again. You have to be open to the possibility that she wants you back when she is willing to go through really creative lengths to be this romantic. If she cares enough to do a grand gesture as romantic as this, then I would have to say, ‘wake up and smell the coffee, dude’! She still wants you.

9. She goes to court to get more child support money from you. When this happens, it is so obvious that she is still a smitten kitten, and she wants her little pooh-bear back in her arms where he belongs! Everyone knows that litigation is the shortest distance between two hearts. Open your eyes and your heart and see that she still wants you.. . and some more money.

10. She tries to run you over with her car in a deserted parking lot, and then claims it was an accident. Twice. How can she be more obvious? Stop being so dumb, this girl is still madly in love with you!

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Mylesie's Guide to Faking Your Way Through Book Club, When You Didn't Read The Book

So, tonight is book group, and you didn't read the book...

Mylesie's Guide to Faking Your Way Through an Evening with Your Book Group

Okay, kittens, so you didn't have time or maybe inclination to read the latest selection from your Book Group's list. Perhaps you're hopelessly lazy. Maybe you have ADD or ODD. Or maybe you really don't care much for reading and you only attend book group for the delicious snacks. In any case: DON'T PANIC! First, let me tell you that you are not alone in your dereliction of Book Club duty. I have found over the years that about 25% of the members at any given time don't read the book. The reasons vary, and the excuses are legion.
Of course, yours truly would never willingly admit to not having read the book for Book Club, but if you find yourself wanting to escape the potential admonishment and humiliation from those who have read the book and are all smug and judgey about it, you can try these little tips to help get you through the evening unscathed. One note of warning: you will know the ending of the book almost immediately. Someone will invariably bring that up (first, most likely) as a talking point, so if you really don't want to know how it ends because you really intend to read it, this would be a time to call in sick.

1. The first rule of Book Club is: Never, NEVER admit to anyone in the group that you have not read the book. Yes, they seem like they're your friends, laughing at your jokes, asking you about your job or your love life, but even your closest comrade will rat you out in Book Group. There are multiple theories behind the motivation for this betrayal, but it can be avoided if you keep your yap shut.

2. Most Book Group meetings are centered around a pot luck meal. Bring something really delicious that seems to require prep. This serves two purposes: first, you are most likely to be forgiven if found out if you have brought a particularly yummy treat. Second, while the group is hashing out the symbolism, meaning, characterization, plot points, paradigms, etc., you are "busy" in the kitchen working on something very complicated. Using faux French words and high drama lends to the authenticity of your difficult dish. Laugh shrilly, and say something like, "I'm sorry, I have to go into the kitchen--my Napoleons des Boeufs need my attention before they completely implode."

3. Spend two minutes online reading the reviews of the book in question. One can garner a lot of information from the witticisms and intellect of those who are even more adept than you at pretending they read the book. Oh sure. You think those people really have time to read all those books? Please.

4. Fly under the radar. When other people discuss how they loved this or that, or couldn't get into that other thing, nod your head a little, or better, frown, rest your chin in your hand, and say "Hmmm...I don't know. I didn't think about it that way." If some smart ass decides to push you for an opinion at that point, say, "Well, I hadn't seen it the way (insert the last groupie's name) did. Come back to me. I'm still thinking about it."

5. Throw them off by asking a few brilliantly pointed questions. If you did your 2 minute homework, you will know at least two characters names and a brief plot point or two. Keep it vague, yet confusing in that post-modernist way we have all come to love and admire. "So what did you think of the variations in symbolism in that paradigm shift for (insert character's name here)." You can even tell them you read the reviews, which will make you appear to be well researched and will lend to your authenticity.

6. When in doubt, pour more wine. Nothing will get you out of a sticky situation faster than a generous pouring. Should one of your dear companions start to become aware that something is awry, quickly slosh more wine into her glass and ask if she really likes that particular wine because you "have a bottle of (something else) that you could open right now--it would be no trouble--really..." and by then the group will have moved on.

Good luck, darlings. Now seriously, do as I say (not as I do) and go and read the book!

*Calvin's Note: Thank you to my guest blogger Mylesie! Check out her awesome blog at: Dizzy Limit

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

10 Obvious Indications Your Next Door Neighbor is a Dangerous Criminal

He has a perfectly tended yard with a beautiful lush garden. It is common knowledge that the most dangerous criminals have a tendency to be really great horticulturalists. You may not know this, but it is a fact that 87% of all serial murders have been on their neighborhood's garden tour at one time or another. It is best not to trust anyone who has an unnatural preoccupation with growing plants.

He is quiet and keeps to himself. The one common element that surfaces during every interview with the next door neighbor of a dangerous criminal is they all say how surprised they are because this individual was “quiet and keep to himself.” Don’t find yourself in this same situation! If your neighbor is “quiet and keeps to himself” then immediately call the police. They are certainly a dangerous criminal.

He asks you to please stop going through his garbage. Most dangerous criminals really don’t like it when you go through their garbage. Don’t let this deter you from discovering your neighbor’s lascivious and unlawful tendencies by finding clues in their refuse! Dig away and learn to protect you and those you love.

He gets angry when you spy on him through his bedroom windows. If your neighbor was not a dangerous criminal, then he has nothing to hide. Then it only makes sense that when you are caught spying on someone who has nothing to hide, they should not get angry. It seems perfectly logical to me.

He is friendly and outgoing, personal, and has wonderful manners. My philosophy is that if something to too good to be true, it probably is. In the same way, if your next door neighbor seems really, really nice, he is certainly a dangerous criminal trying to deceive you by being “nice”. Do not be lured into a false sense of security! The nicer your neighbor seems, the more vigilant you need to be.

He expresses his displeasure when you drop in on him unannounced at odd hours of the day and night. Modern criminologist will attest to the fact that most crimes happen at odd hours of the day and night. It is important to know what your neighbors are doing at those times in order to protect yourself. Only those that are truly guilty of scandalous behavior will fault you for “popping in” from time to time in the middle of the day and night.

He doesn’t appreciate when you organize his mail and then hand deliver it to him. A good neighbor will recognize a good neighbor through their good neighborly qualities. A great quality in a neighbor is one who cares enough to go through a neighbor’s mail to scan for anything that might seem amiss. Again, if your neighbor is not a dangerous criminal, then they have nothing to hid and should not be annoyed when you do this.

He seemed to be cross when he discovers the surveillance equipment you planted in his home. If he is not a dangerous criminal, he should understand that it took a lot of time and money to plant those bugs in his house. Further, he should appreciate your sacrifice in reviewing hours and hours of video looking for illegal activities when you could be at the neighborhood BBQ.

He threatens to call the police if he finds you taking a bubble bath in his bathtub when he isn’t home again.
A recent study found that 74% of all dangerous criminals hate it when a total stranger used their bathtub when they were not at home. I recommend that you go ahead and take a luxurious bath in their house! This is a great way to test your neighbor for dangerous criminal tendencies.

He seems to be a real “family man”. He loves his beautiful and smart wife, his well behaved and happy kids, and has earned the trust and respect of the entire neighborhood through his good deeds and behavior. This is clearly a cover for a twisted, evil monster. If your neighbor fits this description, you are certainly dealing with a wicked, treacherous criminal. Do everything in your power to bring this iniquitous madman to justice.

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