Readers’ Expectations 6: Smoking Muppets, Legal Personalities, and Scottish Seinfeld

Typically, I publish a new post from the Readers’ Expectations series about once a month, after I’ve collected a handful of absurd searches people typed into Google to find Scenic Route Snapshots.  But within the past week, I’ve already met my quota.  So after only a week since the fifth installment, here’s #6:

“smoking Muppets mccarthy”- The only way I could see this happening is in a public service announcement with the McCarthy dummy smoking a cigar next to Kermit the Frog who has a worried look on his face, caption reads: “If you smoke, I’ll croak!”

“why saunas are awkward”- You know, I can’t really see how a public sauna could be awkward, other than the fact that only a loosely wrapped towel around your waist is the only thing keeping complete strangers from seeing your Netherlands, and keeping you from seeing theirs.

“why it’s so hard to meet single women”- A few clues: Stars Wars t-shirt tucked into black sweatpants, neon slap bracelet, Aviator glasses, horrible mustache, Doritos-stained fingertips.

“legal personalities”- It’s so hard today to live in a society where so many personalities are currently outlawed.   Like “outgoing”, “positive”, “friendly”, and “optimistic”.  Things have never been the since ever since the Soviets took over.  I mean…what I meant to say was… Communism is the only way!

“my public dreams”- The only way to outdo a reality show these days is to publicly display a person’s dreams on national television.  Participants are hooked up to a special device that broadcasts their dreams for everyone to see on a giant monitor, including the The Naked in Public Dream.  From James Cameron, director of Avatar, coming this Fall on Fox: “Your Worst Nightmare”.

“Seinfeld Scottish”- Growing up in a hometown that officially had no Jewish households, I clearly understood that Jerry Seinfeld is Jewish, not Scottish.  I’m trying to imagine Jerry Seinfeld in a kilt, playing the bagpipes, saying, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that, brothah…”

The Perfect Haircut for a Guy: A Modern Day James Dean Hairstyle

For a guy to talk about his own hairstyle is equally as taboo as one man telling another man how much he liked watching The Notebook.  But here’s the problem.  There are a lot of guys with awful hairstyles out there.  Combed-back, fluffy domes.  Chicken butt-heads.  Preacher-do’s.  The Weatherman.

But now finally, I’m willing to put my manhood on the line to present a simple, easy, and quick-to-fix hairstyle that most men can pull off.  Even for men with receding hairlines, this works.

I have been a man of many hairstyles in my 28.9 years.  From buzz cut, to faux hawk, to “the Ashton Kutcher”, to “the Sawyer from LOST”.  Maybe it’s because I’m so black-and-white of a person that since I couldn’t find the exact perimeters of a “perfect haircut”, my hairstyle was ever-evolving.  Always roaming, like the Incredible Hulk (TV version).

But it’s been a few months now, and I find myself getting the same haircut every 6 weeks.  That’s a new concept for me.  With easy to follow instructions, and pictures featuring yours truly, in shades (which plays down the “look at me/I’m on Twitter” persona that I try to avoid with a passion) I will help you obtain the perfect haircut you’ve always been looking for.

Getting the Haircut:

If possible, go to a barber.  (It’s not a real barber shop unless it has one of those red and white barber shop poles out front.)  A barber is more likely to do a cleaner job.  And I can’t explain it, but it’s somehow less awkward.  It’s just the classic way to do it.

Tell the barber you want a “2 guard on the sides and back” and “leave it one inch long on top”.  The barber will know automatically to “blend” the differences in length between the sides and the top.

For your sideburns, they should come down to the bottom of your “ear hole”.  Having sideburns (of the appropriate length) is a way of saying “I’ve got an edge, but not an obvious one”.  If your sideburns come down lower than the bottom of your ear lobes, you risk saying, “I wish I was in a rock band.”

The barber may automatically “texturize” your hair.  That means they are slightly making the length on top a little inconsistent to give it a bit of a messy look.  Don’t ask for the barber to texturize your hair.  That shows you know too much.  If the barber doesn’t automatically do it or ask you your preference, don’t worry about it.  It’s not that big of a deal.

On a side note, here’s the deal with shaving your face.  Don’t worry about shaving everyday.  Having a “barely there beard” is expected of the modern American man.  The formula is this:  Shave your face every 5 to 7 days, but shave your neck every 2 to 3 days.

Fixing Your Hair:

After getting out of the shower, carelessly dry your hair with a towel.  Mess it up as your dry it.  Do this until you hair is no longer wet.  I mean it.  You’re not going for “the wet look”.  That’s for douchebags, Italians on reality TV shows, and guys stuck in 1993.

There is only one product on the market that I currently fully recommend.  It’s American Crew (Matte).  Costs around $13.  It’s not sticky and it smells manly.  Like a cedar tree.

Dip your middle or pointer finger in the stuff, only getting enough to match the same size as a nickel.  Rub in the pomade (that American Crew stuff) all throughout your hair.  Make sure you don’t concentrate it into any particular area of your hair.  This should take less than 5 seconds.

Next, using your right hand, run your fingers back across the top of your head, while keeping your fingers close enough together that it causes your hair to stand straight up, but not straight back.

Now, run your hands down the sides of your head and down the back.  You don’t want the side or back to stick straight out, causing your hair to form a diamond shape.  That’s a bad thing.

Almost there.

Reach back to the top of your head, and make sure that it’s not stick straight out.  You don’t want a chicken butt.

Last step.  Barely dip your finger back in the pomade.  Touch up the very front.  This part needs to be going straight up, not straight out.

Success.  You now have modern/classic hair that doesn’t move.  An updated James Dean.  Or a pre faux hawk.

While at first, this process may appear to be time consuming, I easily do it in less than a minute every morning.  You’ll master this thing within a week.

Most importantly, don’t tell anyone I told you this.  Men do not talk about their hairstyles.  I’m only doing this to help you.  Be cool.

Just walk away, like we weren’t even talking.  “Hey, what’s that over there?”  You get the idea.

The Standard


Manspeak Table of Contents 

Volume -1: Boyspeak: http://wp.me/pxqBU-9d
Volume 0: Introduction http://wp.me/pxqBU-8G
Volume 1: Humor http://wp.me/pxqBU-1i
Volume 2: Heroism http://wp.me/pxqBU-1m
Volume 3: Filtration http://wp.me/pxqBU-1p
Volume 4: Stance http://wp.me/pxqBU-1s
Volume 5: Movement http://wp.me/pxqBU-1v
Volume 6: Law http://wp.me/pxqBU-3h
Volume 7: Bromance http://wp.me/pxqBU-3W
Volume 8: Relaxation http://wp.me/pxqBU-6a
Volume 9: Appearance http://wp.me/pxqBU-6f
Volume 10: Exploration http://wp.me/pxqBU-6O
Volume 11: Responsibility http://wp.me/pxqBU-8v
Volume 12: Transparency http://wp.me/pxqBU-8J
Volume 13: Composure http://wp.me/pxqBU-8N
Special Episode: The Bachelor Party http://wp.me/pxqBU-uY
Special Episode: The Perfect Haircut http://wp.me/pxqBU-xN


The Irony of Praying Before a Meal of Junk Food

Bless this greasy burger and these Twinkies to the nourishment of our bodies and our bodies to your service…


Saying the “blessing” before a meal is a complicated and trying process when there is a group of three of more people. I was made most aware of the awkwardness/intenseness involving the procedure during my Junior High and High School years with my church youth group. It always amused me that we were constantly eating fast food and asking God to bless it to the nourishment of our bodies.

The intensity of it is this: I was a hungry kid with a high metabolism. There was food in front of me, but I couldn’t eat it because I had to wait for everyone to be ready for the prayer. That’s cruel for a kid of any age. (Even at 28.)

The awkwardness of it is this: No one knew who was going to be asked to pray. There’s a bit of a short waiting game as the Designated Pray Person is elected. (And by now, I’ve learned to elect myself.)

But for those who suffer, there is mercy. I’m referring to the It’s Okay to Eat Fries, Peanuts, and Chips & Salsa Before the Prayer rule. For some reason, God isn’t concerned with us not asking his blessing for unofficial appetizers. However, if there is an actual appetizer, like a Blooming Onion for example, a prayer of tha

nksgiving and blessing is required.

And one must always be aware of the Salad Bar Clause. When dining at a restaurant with a salad bar or optional buffet of any kind, it’s important to make sure that someone prays before the first person leaves to go to the buffet. Otherwise, everyone will be obligated to wait for the buffet-goers to get back to their seats before the prayer can be said and everyone can begin eating.

Such anxiety! It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

The Teaching of Mr. Miyagi: Avoiding Awkwardness, Confrontations, and Fights

 

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who complain at restaurants about their order being less than perfect and those who just let it go. I have learned that my wife and I are the ones that don’t complain and just overlook it. The last thing we want when we’re out to enjoy a nice meal is a confrontation. It’s just not worth it to us to 1) call the waiter to the table and explain why our order is not right, 2) have to listen to him apologize, 3) have the manager come to our table and apologize and tell us our meal is free, 4) accept a free meal on account of someone’s minor mistake. I hate feeling awkward. It’s one of my quirks.

In a great movie that was made ten years ago called Fight Club, leader Tyler Durden gives his members a homework assignment: Start a fight with someone and lose. He then explains, “Most people, normal people, do anything to avoid a confrontation.” I can definitely vouch for that.

Why did telemarketing lasted for so long in our country’s history (until President Bush outlawed it a few years ago)? Because annoying and aggressive telemarketers were ultimately successful. While most people had enough confidence to politely say “no thanks” and hang up, many people caved to the confrontation. They would rather commit to a magazine subscription for two years and “not make the other person feel bad”. Or worse, become a victim of a time-share related pyramid scheme by a “friend”.

For every 30 no’s, there was one yes. And that yes brought good profit. Same thing applies to those annoying salesman in the middle isles at the mall that want to “give you a free ring cleaning”, A.K.A.- try to sell people something to clean their ring with.

I don’t have a problem with confronting someone if it’s about something important. But if it’s not, then it’s better time management to just avoid the situation. I don’t like having to argue with someone when I am solid in my decision. If I am asked to buy something or do something I don’t want to do, the answer is no. And if I’m further asked, then just to spite the person I tend to get aggressive with them, then later spend time thinking about how annoying they where. So my rule of thumb is the same as the point of the 1986 film Karate Kid Part II- the best way to win a fight is to avoid it.

Tips:


1) When at the mall or walking into or out of a Wal-Mart on Saturday, I put my cell phone up to my ear when I see a salesman. They prey on the weak and undistracted.
2) When someone is calling me on my cell phone from a number that is not already programmed as one of  my contacts, don’t answer it. It is definitely someone I don’t want to talk to.
3) When at a restaurant, order salmon, not steak. Then I don’t have to worry about my meal being undercooked. Also, I won’t be tempted so say the cliché phrase that your steak is “still mooing at me”.
4) When at the movies and I realize I’m sitting in front of some punk teenage kids that are going to be talking during the movie and putting their feet on the back of my seat, I just get up and sit somewhere else. They’re idiots and no matter how nicely I tell them, they’re gonna be annoying anyway.

The Realistic Fear of Being Awkward in Public

 

Growing up in a relatively small Baptist church, I know that overwhelming feeling of awkwardness I would get during at least one Sunday a month when the “special music” (the solo) is sung by someone who causes a deacon to utter “bless ‘em Lord” instead of “Amen!”. The kind of soloist that makes you look around for Simon Cowell to save the day. The kind of song that has a weird flute solo after the 2nd verse, and painfully ends with nothing but music for a full minute after the singing part is finished, leaving the soloist to either engage in a staring contest with the congregation or recite a somewhat related Bible verse to fill the gap.

I think I was scarred psychologically from it. My hands would always start shaking and my sister would have to whisper/shout for me to stop before I realized I was beginning to make a scene. It is very, very difficult for me to deal with situations like that.  Recently watching Clint Black auctioning jewelry on The Apprentice on Sunday gave me a fresh image of this kind of awfulness.

Maybe I’m just too empathetic. Maybe more than the average person, I too easily put myself in other people’s shoes. Maybe the reason this situation makes me so nervous is that I have a hidden fear of being in front of people with nothing to say or do. Many people have this nightmare that they are naked in public. But it’s the fear of public awkwardness that terrifies me.