The Daily Dump

A place where everyone (me) is welcomed to express their opinions openly and honestly. I encourage free thinking, free wheeling, off-the-cuff banter and monetary donations.

Monday, October 31

Confirmed: Child Molesters Scarier Than Ghosts

When I went off to college and started “living on my own” I found that I inadvertently adopted many of my parents’ customs, beliefs, rituals, etc. To this day I still use a rag to wash dishes even though a sponge is more convenient. I refuse to buy parmigiana cheese from the grocery store. And my perk coffee pot, for some unknown reason, is the lone exception to the rule that, “Everything, if touched, needs to be washed.” Like my mom does, I just rinse it out with lukewarm water and use it again the next day, the logic being “Why wash it If you’re only going to put more coffee in it the next day?” which is bizarre considering my mom washes the phone with Lysol and scrubs her vegetables with a product called Wash ‘Dem Veggies.

One of the more unfortunate hand-me-downs is a hatred for Halloween. My mom, sporting an irrational contempt for the holiday, used to pay my sister and I $20 a piece to not celebrate Halloween. She would buy us a couple bags of candy, give us our cash and treat it like any other Tuesday night. To this day I’m not sure why exactly she hated it so much. Maybe it was the scary movies with uneven plots, or the fussing with the costumes or the embarrassment of asking neighbors she didn’t like to give her kids candy. Or maybe it was the paralyzing fear that we would die from tainted candy given to us by malicious neighbors, hell-bent on taking out children who dare to extort candy from them with the ultimatum “trick-or-treat.” (This ultimatum was discussed at length by my friends and I the other night, the question being, “Why is it trick-or-treat instead of treat-or-trick, as in, “Give me a treat or I’ll trick you?” We concluded that it is merely a difference of intent, as in, “Give me the money or I stab you,” or, “I’ll stab you if you don’t give me the money.” In the former case your goal is to obtain the treat, without having to resort to a trick. In the latter, you are really a violent criminal who is determined to stab someone tonight, whether or not they give up the candy. Anyway . . .)

The few times we did go trick-or-treating as kids, we would return home, empty out our pails and immediately my mom would throw away anything that was unwrapped or homemade. She would then proceed to cut each piece of candy in half looking for poisonous needles. (Not just regular needles, I remember that distinctly. “Poisonous needles,” said to reinforce the fact that these people weren’t out to just hurt us, they were out to KILL US.) By age nine she had us so paranoid that eating the candy was an act of courage instead of an enjoyable time. My sister and I would hesitate, looking at each other with wide eyes before putting a Kit Kat in our mouths as if to say, “If I start choking, you know what to do!”

$20 and the promise of untainted candy became a blessing in the coming years. The only thing we really gave up in the deal was the costumes, which wasn’t a big loss really because I always had to wear a winter coat if I went trick-or-treating anyway. Meaning from the waist down I was a ninja / tiger / hockey player but from the waist up I was always just a kid in a wool coat. I would unzip my jacket before ringing another doorbell, trying to show them that I was a grim reaper, not a boy in a evening gown; but the effect was always lost.

So it was no surprise that my Halloween celebration this weekend consisted of a gathering of friends at my apartment, with only one of us in costume – my friend Scott who pulled off a spot on Robert Goulet. (The Girlfriend tried on the mustache at one point in the night. Thankfully I was out of room at the time, because from all the screams of, “OH GOD TAKE THAT OFF! TAKE IT OFF GOD!” I’m assuming it wasn’t a pretty sight.)

What WAS surprising, however, was that somehow the night turned into a round-table discussion on the misappropriation of punishment and lack of continuing legal action for convicted sex offenders; leading to one of the more unforeseeable moments of my life when Robert Goulet showed me how to use the [terrifying] sex offenders website to see all of the convicted rapists and sodomists in my area. The girlfriend became addicted to the site, sitting in front of the computer for half an hour, sipping her vodka/soda, her eyes glued to the screen. Every so often you would hear her scream, “Oh man! Look at this one!” and everyone would rush to the computer to gawk at a picture of Rapey McSex Offender as though he was an Agent Orange victim.

Then the night broke down into the usual “loud sing-a-long / let’s go get pizza,” leading to a hilarious encounter between my drunken, belligerent friend James and what appeared to be a slutty nurse. As we are crossing the street, Slutty Nurse is getting into a cab and James, for some reason seeing not a nurse but a bellhop screams, “Hey, Slutty Bellhop! Get me my bags!” I can only imagine this girl for the rest of the night asking her friends every ten minutes, “Are you sure I don’t look like a bellhop?”

In conclusion, I may not be an expert on Halloween, but here’s my suggestion – if you want something scary to do tonight to commemorate the holiday, forget the horror movies and Ouija board. Find some potentially dangerous candy, log on to the sex offenders website and refer to at least one girl you encounter as “Slutty Bellhop.” It’s a genuinely good time.

And carve a pumpkin because that’s fun too.

Saturday, October 29


Fitty Cent has been tapped to remake Ray Parker Jr.'s classic title track, “(Who Ya Gonna Call?) Ghostbusters.”

Said Mr. Cent, “Yo, I ain’t afraid of no ghost. I love syrup.”’

(OK, OK, I’ll drop it now. I promise.)

Friday, October 28


City officials are now reporting that the curious syrupy smell that overtook Manhattan and parts of the outer boroughs last night was actually caused by an underground river of maple syrup flowing underneath New York City’s transit system.

Obviously, it seems there is only one thing the city can do at this point. Call them:

OK, who thought about pancakes?!

New York Smells Good, Citizens Alarmed

The Girlfriend and I got home late last night and as we were getting ready for bed I asked her, “Why do I keep smelling syrup? It smells like waffles . . . and syrup.”

She had actually fallen asleep by the time I was done with the sentence, but I was positive that I was smelling syrup. I checked my own bottle of syrup in my refrigerator to make sure it didn’t spill. It was intact. The smell was, for once, not coming from my refrigerator.

Then I wake up this morning to Pat “the Man” Kiernan on NY1 actually reporting that many New York residents called in reports (?) of smelling maple syrup all across the city last night. I don’t know exactly how you go about calling in a report of smelling maple syrup, at least not without coming across as a major jackass. I mean, do you call 9-1-1?

Operator: “9-1-1 operator, what is your emergency?”


Operator: “Sir, I’m going to need you to calm down. Tell me what your emergency is.”


In any event, they still have no idea where the smell was coming from; but this was a citywide phenomenon. From Brooklyn Heights to Harlem, people claiming to smell syrup or a caramel latte or burnt sugar, raising the obvious question, “Why not just say syrup? You just have to be different?”

I can only hope that it’s not some sort of new terrorist technique whereby mercenary forces unleash a pungent yet pleasant odor across the city causing panic and alarm, jamming up the 3-1-1 line and, worst of all, forcing us all to wake up the next day to a city that no longer smells like confections but instead it’s usual urinal/car exhaust musk. This plus the impending day light savings clock change will have us depressed to the point of submission.

I fear what might smell might come next – Patchouli? Vanilla? A good red sauce? Oh the horror . . .

Thursday, October 27

The Sarah Silverman Dilemma

Do I find her more attactive because she’s so funny? Or do I find her so funny because she has such large breasts?

Peeing Ruins All The Feeling

I found a situation where my Snow Patrol Hypothesis doesn’t apply:

I was at the gym the other day and suddenly had to go to the bathroom, which struck me as strange, taking a piss in the middle of a really manly workout. But I decide that this is a rare opportunity to test my “Run” theory out at the urinal. So there I am, in the men’s locker room listening to my iPod (I’m telling you, this felt weird) and as the chorus starts up I’m mid-stream. I try to do the whole “look down forlornly, then look up slowly and sternly” thing that really makes the song hit home . . . and it just didn’t work. I didn’t feel special or intense, nor did I feel as though I were in a television drama. The only thing I felt was relieved. But that probably came from the peeing.

So there you have it – I was wrong about something. Mark it on your calendars:

October 27, 2005: Dan uses up his “wrong once a year” card.

Now I’m left wondering: Is their ANY song that can overcome the Bathroom Whammy? A song where you can contemplate the intensity of a vocalist’s emotion or the genius of a chord progression even whilst pooping? Stevie Wonder, “Overjoyed” perhaps?

While We’re On The Topic . . .

The three most interesting things that have happened to me at work in the past month:

1. Eyeballed a 70 page document and in one cut broke it into two 35 page sections. This is the most satisfying thing I’ve done in months.

2. I was getting phone calls from a recording telling me that I had won a vacation through some mysterious contest I never entered. Usually I would just hang up as soon as I heard the recorded voice say, ““Hi, this is Kate . . .” Finally, after the sixth call in an hour, I snapped and screamed into the phone, “LEAVE ME ALONE, KATE!” My boss overheard and asked who that was and before I thought about it I said, “Just a recording.” I can’t even imagine what my bosses say about me behind me back at this point.

3. I was drafting a letter to an attorney whose last name is “Crummey.” When my boss and I would talk about it, we would refer to it as “the Crummey letter.” I don’t think he found it nearly as funny as I did.

A Brief Tirade Concerning My Job

I remember a time when I liked my job. When I was young and I aimed the stapler to a perfect 45 degrees at the corner of the page. I felt bad using the copy machine for personal jobs and I used the same pen until it ran out, instead of now how I use the same pen until I drop it on the floor, then throw it away and get a new one.

Somewhere down the line I lost that.

Now all I can do is whisper an audible “WHAT THE FUCK?” every time TMJM (“The Most Jewish Man”) walks past my desk and, without stopping or looking at me, says something like, “They said party cloudy and I didn’t bring my sunglasses,” with the word “sunglasses” trailing out as he turns into his office.

Let’s just say that if farting out in the open at your office is an indication that you don’t like where you work, I think I need a new job.

Headline: “Woman Sees Husband Off To Iraq, Gets Fired.” And I Thought I Was Having A Bad Day.

Today is going to be a horribly slow day at work. Two of my bosses are out and I think the third one was asleep when I walked past his office this morning.

So instead of writing one big long post, rambling on about pooping and having the whole thing eventually break down into an incoherent tirade against Haloscan or Time Warner, I decided to write a lot of short ones. This will be more fun for various reasons, most of which I am keeping secret, because I can’t really think of them right now.

On that note, I found something in my cereal this morning that looked like a staple. Turned out it was just a “whole grain.” This is healthy eating?

Wednesday, October 26

Who Are You, Clown Face?


There are over 8 million people in New York City. I once read that if everyone in New York went out on the street at once, we would have to stack up six high just to fit. And yet you . . . you.

Since last summer, when I first say you at the 86th Street subway stop, I have seen you no less that 15 times. On different trains, in different subway stations, on the street, even at the GAP. How is this possible? When I was in high school, I would plan my day around walking past Trisha Bailey’s locker in hopes of seeing her. We were trapped together in a brick building for eight hours a day, yet I saw her less than I see you.

I first noticed you in the spring of ’04. You were at the 86th Street subway stop, waiting for the train. I immediately observed two things about you. One, you were dressed in prefect business sexual™ attire: knee length skirt, black boots, low cut tank top, but in a pastel color so it’s not too much. Two, you were wearing an unreasonable amount of make-up. I thought nothing of it at the time, but when I saw you there again a few weeks later, I became curious. And you because Clown Face.

I thought once I moved from the neighborhood and started taking the 77th Street local train instead, I would never see you again. But then, not more than a month after the last time I saw you, I board the train at 77th Street and who is sitting in front of me but you! Clown Face! On a different train, on MY train! BUT WHY?! Did you move too? Did you find out that I moved and switch trains to be with me? Are you in love with me, Clown Face?

I know very little about you. I know that you work in a major financial institution, because somewhere around our 7th run-in I noticed the bag you were carrying with the name on it. I know that you have a blue iPod mini. I know that you read the New Yorker. And I know that somewhere down the line, someone from Nassau county showed you how to put on make-up. Which is a shame, because I think underneath those layers you might resemble Jennifer Aniston. But I will never know . . . OR WILL I?

Yesterday, I saw you on the train home from Wall St. We ignored each other, like usual. That coy game we play. But this time, you exited the train at 77th Street with me. YOU DON’T LIVE HERE, CLOWN FACE! WHY DID YOU GET OFF THE TRAIN? Maybe you moved into the neighborhood, maybe you merely wanted to see where I live. I think I gave you the slip at the fruit stand on 3rd Ave. I never looked back. I can’t look back . . .

I fear that at some point in the future you will want our relationship to escalate, Clown Face. I am in a happy, committed relationship. I need you to know that I will not be seduced. I will not bite at your business sexual™ bait. It’s not going to happen, Clown Face! Maybe in another time, in another place, I could have wiped that make-up from your face and we could have been happy together, reading the New Yorker and listening to our iPods. But fate has a weird way of working. And in this city of 8 million, fate made a mistake this time by bringing us together. I’m sorry, Clown Face.

Tuesday, October 25

Shania Twain Says I Have HBO Right Where I Want Them

(click to enlarge)

To quote the great Shania Twain:

Looks like we’ve made it,
Look how far we’ve come my baby.
Might of took the long way,
But you know we’d get there someday.

Muddling in the swamp of obscurity, I’ve finally made it to the big time. I’ve made it to HBO. And anyone will tell you (except for the cast of “The Wire”) that once you make it to HBO, you’re golden. The only question now is, “How do I make money off this?” I’ve got a catch phrase from one of their hottest shows trapped in the smothering embrace of my blog. What are they going to do about it?

My friend James suggests I pitch it to them to make it part of the show with this dialogue:

"Yo Vince, you see this shit some jack ass back home wrote on his blag."

"What's a blag, Turtle?"

"Fuck you Drama, it’s like for writing and shit."

"Guys, guys, no worries I just won the lotto and we are buying a Chinese whore house full of virgins."

"I don't know Vince, seems risky…"

"Fuck you E, who elected you asshole in charge?"

"Fuck you, Turtle."

And that’s pretty much the only idea anyone has come up with yet, probably because it is a really lame situation with no real possibility for benefit and no valid reason to be excited.

But it did get me looking more at the search terms that led people to my site. One glance and you would immediately think that I was running a deviant porn/problem solving website. And then you remember that the name of the site if The Daily Dump and it all makes sense.

Here are a few of my favorites:

New York turtle donation

I feel bad for this person. I mean, all they’re trying to do is find a humane way to get rid of all their extra turtles. (Which raises the question: Who sees “The Daily Dump” and thinks, “They seem like a reputable place to get information on turtle donation.”)

Sexually unsatisfied housewives operating as prostitutes

Two things immediately come to mind:

1. I have NO idea how this one came back to me; and
2. Well don’t make me write it.

refrigerator not cooling well

The funny part is that I typed in almost the exact same search when my refrigerator first started crapping out on me. And I can tell you, my post was about as helpful as anything else you’ll find.

"how to beat a paternity test"

This is my absolute favorite. Do you realize what this means? This means that there is something like a 70% chance that a NBA player has read my blog. That’s awesome.

It’s Such A Nice Day, I Think I’ll Go To Brooklyn

I have to go to the court down in Brooklyn to do some “work.”

What that means for everyone around me is that for the remainder of the day you will not be able to do anything right, I will hate you no matter what and I don’t care if you’re elderly and you have trouble walking in the rain, you’re a real nuisance for getting in my way.

What that means for all of you is . . . not much. Except that I can’t write anything until I get back and I’m less amusing when I’m cold, wet and have Brooklyn all over me.

In the meantime, check out this website. If you’re one of the four or five people who doesn’t read Mulgrew, then you missed a link he posted a few days back. I’ll repost it here for your convenience:


Has to be one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while.

You just type in the name of a song (or artist or album) and it finds it for you. Then you can listen to it on your computer. I don’t know how “legal” it is, but it’s guaranteed to make any work day 25% better. Unless, like me, you’re in court in Brooklyn.

(Note: The primary reason for this post and all it’s unnecessary line breaks is to push Hasselhoff further down the screen. I don’t like having to treat my own blog like a porn site, where I have to shield the screen with my body every time I open it up at work.)

UPDATE: Continuing with the trend of not putting anything original here and just pointing out stuff other people have written, Bourbon Samurai had a link to this car commercial on his site:

Apparently the entire thing was filmed without the use of computer enhancement and every single little thing used in the building of the contraption is from the inside of the car. I totally bought into it until the tires rolling up the ramp thing. Seemed suspect to me. Take a look for yourselves.

Monday, October 24

How To Give Me An Aneurysm Before Noon

Haloscan debacle reaches new heights this morning when Haloscan inexplicably not allowing comments to be posted. At least one casualty has been recorded, an 80 year old secretary for a New York law firm. It seems that a blogger identified as “the belligerent intellectual” became so enraged at Haloscan, that he threw the elderly woman out a 19th story window in an effort to make himself feel better.

We’ll have updates as this situation progresses.

Sunday, October 23

How To Win My Heart, Especially If I Were German

When I leave the room for five minutes, make this my computer’s new wallpaper:

Friday, October 21

A Tribute to My Readers: "Thanks, Mom."

Here they are, culled from my email – the best comments that Haloscan took from my blog and treated like a stripper on a cruise ship with the Minnesota Vikings. Enjoy.

(Sorry I didn’t provide links to everyone’s profile, but I didn’t have all of them. And I learned in grade school that I shouldn’t chew gum if I don’t have enough to offer the whole class. I think this was the kind of thing they were talking about?)

Best Comment From My Little Sister, Proving That She May Be The Most Affected One Of Us All

It took me little while to get the "Brangelina" thing. At first, I thought, "Oh! That's how you spell braciole!" Then I thought, "Faux Italian city in Tennessee?" in all of about 3 seconds.

- Catherine, from the post Brangelina, The Homeless and Sitcoms

Best Comment Fulfilling The Promise Of The Blog Title

Once again you provide me with fantastic toilet reading.

- Matt, from the post Wearing Your Stupidity On Your Wrist

Best Comment Using The Phrase “Sucks Balls” Twice

Time Warner sucks ball down here in TX. We have some weird alien ran company named Grande. Seriously, you cant watch MTV when it rains. Amen to GW lost in H[ome]D[epot]. He sucks balls too.

- mrsg, from the post A Few Thoughts on Friday

Best Comment That Made Me Second Guess My Sexuality

You're the only guy I know that understands the whole Gilmore Girls/Cosby Show/MacGyver/Dawson's Creek thing . . .

- VespaRosso, from the post The Top Five List (Vol. 2)

Most Self Serving Comment

Someone tell that tall guy to shut up.

- Scott

Hey tall guy....shut up.

- Scott, from the post Further Proof That The NY Times Uses Big Words

Most Nostalgic Comment

I am going to name my kid "Colt 45" after the drink that led to me to losing my virginity to my first boyfriend.

- Betty, from the post Spears to name child "London" after city where she met Federline. Federline says, "But we hooked up in Cleveland first."

Best Post That Sounds Like Something You Would Be Caught Screaming Out Of Context When The Music At The Bar Stopped

Crap sounds good to me.

- Shopgirl, from the post More Bad Advice For Good People

Funniest Comment That Makes You A Little Queasy

Brings back memories of my dog, when young would go outside take a steaming poo and quickly (i guess while it was still warm?) munch it up in a few gulps. My mother would bang on the window screaming, "Jesus Christ Jesus NO!!" and Bonnie would look up wagging her tail . . . a poo hanging from her mouth.

- James, from the post A Tribute to My Best Friend (But He's Dead Now)

Best Comment Where I Only Know What Two-Thirds Of The Words Mean

You're so douchie.

- TP, from the post What It Means To Be Queens Boulevard

Best Comment That Should Be Turned Into An Indie Movie

As the daughter of an atheist who was raised Jewish but not technically Jewish - my grandmother was a lapsed Christian of some sort, my grand father however was Jewish, I completely understand I’m that Jewish non Jew who's mother has been answering the call of Satan.

- Fidget, from the post There’s Nothing Gentile About It

Best “Thank God You Said It Because I Was Thinking It But Didn’t Want To Say It” Comment

Lori and Dori? Man, talk about guaranteeing your children a life of ridicule and mocking. Oh, wait...

- Anonymous, from the post Aliens Come To Somalia, I Guess Not For Our Food

Best Comment From An Undercover Starbucks Employee

Also, another reason to love fall: Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks. They can seriously put a horrible morning right back on track.

- Tara, from the post Three Things I Thought Yesterday

Best “I Should Have Thought Of That” Comment

Other cough drop companies should create competing mystery coughers . . . you would never know which to offer . . . "Halls? Ricola? Sucrets? Glass of Robitussin? Dammit! WHICH ONE ARE YOU!!!"

- The Bourbon Samuri, from the post Being Nice May Finally Be Worth It

Best Comment That Will Prevent Me From Running For Political Office

How can you not like Thanksgiving. All you have to do is watch football while the women in your family cook a feast. Then its perfectly acceptable to take a nap. Not only that but its a four day weekend. What are you a communist?

- Anonymous, from the post A Top Five List Full Of Hate That You Just Have To Read

Best Example Of How Much Hermitude Loved Me

Fall is my favorite season, you bastard.

- Leslie, from the post A Top Five List Full Of Hate That You Just Have To Read

Best Comment That I Read In The Voice Of John Cleese For Some Reason

In other news, the city of London has decided to change it's name . . .

- Neil, from the post Spears to name child "London" after city where she met Federline. Federline says, "But we hooked up in Cleveland first."

Comment That Best Sums Up My Readers

Hey I'm still reading . . . when I'm sober.

- Kate, from the post Some Things Including Vomit, Genocide and The Easy Way to Prison

It’s Like My Parents Got Divorced, And It Really Is My Fault

After a long phone call with my therapist and some consoling comments by The Girlfriend (“Way to go, Dan,” or, “Can you hand me that book? Be careful, don’t delete it”), I’ve decided to just leave things the way they are with Haloscan. Much like when a loved one gets murdered and you want revenge on the killer but revenge won’t bring your loved one back, so too switching back to Blogger won’t bring my comments back.

Plus there are some benefits to using Haloscan. For people who aren’t hosted by Blogger, but still want to include a link to their blog, they can do so rather easily. Also, no need to go completely anonymous all the time. You can comment as “Sam” or “Dad” or “I’m Not Wearing Any Underwear” or whatever you want. This should make things easier on my mom and sisters, each of whom has gone through about four Blogger user names after forgetting their log in information. Also, there are trackbacks. If someone could explain to me what a trackback is, that would be awesome.

The only other downside, besides it deleting all the comments resulting in a severe drinking binge last night, is that it doesn’t include pictures for bloggers either. So if you’re very attractive, make sure to say so in your comments from now on.

Other than that, thanks to everyone who has commented thus far. It was like the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life” when I saw them all. Oh, and as a tribute to all the fallen comments I am planning a “Best Of” post for all the old comments I received. Hopefully up by the end of the day. And if one of your comments is included, you win something. Like the knowledge that you’ve secured a place in my heart or that weird feeling that makes you say, “That dude likes me a little too much.” So good luck.

Thursday, October 20


Call me Mr. Technology.

I saw this fancy “Haloscan” thing everywhere and decided to check it out. Turns out it’s free, which means I want it.

Turns out, when you click a few buttons it installs itself. How easy. How TRAGICALLY easy. Turns out, it also deletes all previous comments on your site in the process.


Luckily I do have all those comments saved in my email. So I can still print them out, tape them to my bedroom wall and read them before I fall asleep every night. In a way I guess that’s better than bringing my PC to bed with me like I do now.

And I thought I would like Haloscan. Until I found out that it doesn’t email you your comments like blogger does. I guess Haloscan doesn’t realize that those 5-8 emails per day are WHAT I LIVE FOR. So, Haloscan is short-lived on my site.

Now I have to find a way to get it back to normal. Should be fun for the guy whose first blog post was entitled HTML with the body reading “Blows.” In other words, any help would be appreciated.

And please start making comments because all of these zero are lowering my self-esteem by the second.

Being Nice May Finally Be Worth It

Genius advertising campaign.

Here’s how it works: Ricola has a “mystery cougher” touring around the country, coughing wherever he or she goes. If you offer the mystery cougher a Ricola to alleviate his or her scratchy throat, you win! The Mystery Cougher will offer you 50 envelopes to choose from containing checks ranging from $1,000 to $1,000,000.

The brilliance of this is manifold. First, it would be HILARIOUS to see someone rushing through a crowded subway station or a restaurant offering everyone who coughed a Ricola. What are the chances that someone gets beat up doing this? 10:1? 5:1? Hilarious. Second, I want TWO people in the same place rushing around offering everyone a Ricola, shoving each other out of the way to be the first one to offer the lozenge. Third, I want to see someone run up to a Spanish person who just coughed and offer them a Ricola, only to have the Spanish person make a gesture that they don’t understand and have the person FLIP OUT screaming, “How do you say, ‘Would you like a Ricola?’ in Spanish. HOW DO YOU SAY IT!” My head is spinning over this.

I heard on the radio this morning that the Mystery Cougher was in New York City today, so I signed up at the website. Then I read the official rules and the Frequently Asked Questions, which included the following gems:

I offered a Ricola to a person coughing but did not win.

You need to offer a Ricola to the official Ricola Mystery Cougher. If you offered someone a Ricola and they weren't the official Ricola Mystery Cougher you can still feel good that you did something nice.

What if I give the Mystery Cougher a Ricola at the same time as someone else?

It will be up to our official judges to determine who the first person to offer the Mystery Cougher a Ricola cough drop was. See the official rules for more details.

Fourth, I want to see two people offer a Ricola to a the Mystery Cougher at the same time and then have an official judge jump out of his hiding place and declare the proper winner. Seriously, I’m giddy over this.

UPDATE: I just received my first official clue by email:

This week, you could catch the Mystery Cougher reading a book at the library. Does he like a good mystery, or is she inspired by something a little more romantic?

A library? This is the best place to send someone to cough all day? Unbelievable . . .

But what’s even more unbelievable is that had I not woken up at just the right second to my clock radio this morning, I wouldn’t have heard a single word about this promotion. I can only assume that the majority of the people across the country didn’t hear about it, meaning that there is some poor person sitting in a library all day today coughing his brains out while the people around him think to themselves, “I wish this asshole would get a fucking Ricola or something.”

Wednesday, October 19

It’s Not Your Blog, It’s Mine

Reader Megarita left an interesting comment in yesterday’s post concerning breaking up a blogationship (glad to see we’re all coining ridiculous words now). Her question was: “How can I de-link without injuring delicate feelings?”

Tough stuff. But very doable, and if anyone knows how it’s me. I’ve been through every kind of break-up imaginable, from the long term relationship break-up to the “We never should have spent the night together in the first place” break-up to the “Actually, Dan, we’re not even dating” break-up, which was particularly painful because my excuse for breaking it off was that I thought we were moving too fast.

In theory, the blogeak-up (OK, that one doesn’t work) should be easier than a real life break-up due primarily to the fact that you don’t have to see the person face to face to do it.* Which reminds me of what was probably the most problematic break-up I ever encountered, with a girl I met in college:

My buddy Matt and I were hanging out at my apartment over the summer, and as he was out on the fire escape having a drink I suddenly heard him screaming, “Hey ladies! Where are you going?” Twenty minutes later we were meeting two girls at a bar around the corner. The only problem was that, from my second story apartment, Matt couldn’t really tell how tall “my” girl was. “My” girl ended up being a solid three inches taller than me. While she had no problem with it, I did. Unfortunately I was lonely at the time, going through the fourth of seven break-ups with my college girlfriend, so the relationship lasted about two weeks. During that time I loaned her a book, which by the way is a great way to woo a smart girl. Unless of course you plan on breaking up with her fairly soon and you want to get the book back.

In this case, I had no problem going with the “Just stop calling” method. We had only seen each other about three times and she was a full forehead taller than me. No surprises here. The problem was getting the book back. So the next time she invited me to here apartment (I think it was to watch a movie I had already seen three times – is there anything more painful than REwatching a movie with someone you don’t even like?), I programmed my cell phone in advance to the section where you can choose your ring tone. After being at her apartment for about 10 minutes, I discreetly reached into my pocket and pressed the button that would play the selected ring tone. Making pretend it was a real phone call, I took my phone out of my pocket and pretended to answer it. I had this imaginary conversation:

Me: “Hello.”

No one: “. . .”

Me: “Oh hey, what’s going on?”

No one: “. . .”

Me: “You’re at my apartment now? Why are yo-‘

No one: “. . .”

Me: “Ok, Ok I’m on my way. I’m a few blocks over, I’ll be there in about five minutes.”

No one: “. . .”

Me: (to girl) “Marty, . . .”

(OK, maybe here is a good time to note that I once hooked up with a girl named Marty. Besides the fact that the ONLY thing I could think of every time I looked at her was Marty McFly or how if she ever farted in front of another person, they would refer to her as Farty Marty for the rest of her life; but when I was first introduced to her (me being drunk already) we had this interaction:

Me: (to Marty’s friend) “Hey, I’m Dan. Nice to meet you.”

Her friend: “I’m Heather. Nice to meet you too. And this is my friend Marty.”

Me: (shaking Marty’s hand) “Marty? That’s a boy’s name.”

How we still made out that night is beyond me. I can only imagine that Marty and I miraculously crossed paths at the loneliest points of our lives and our time together was based entirely on the premise “Why not?”

Back to the conversation . . .)

Me: “Marty, I’m really sorry. But a friend of mine is at my apartment now. I forgot he was coming by to pick up some stuff for school.”

Marty: “Oh, that’s no problem. We’ll do it another night.”

Me: “Yeah. By the way, do you have that book I lent you? I actually need it for a paper I’m working on for my English class.”

No doubt, one of the lamest moments of my dating career. But it worked fine. And as though Marty somehow saw through my steel curtain of deception, she never called me again either.

So how does this translate to breaking off a blogationship? It doesn’t really. I mean, you could write the person an email saying, “Hey remember that link of yours I borrowed? I’m going to need to return that. Oh, hold on a sec, I’m getting a call . . .” But that makes no sense.

The best thing you can do is just delete the link. If they call you out on it, make pretend you have no idea what they’re talking about. Write them an email in response that says, “Saw your blog. It’s great! Keep up the good work.”

Or, when all else fails, there’s always honesty. Well not honesty, but making pretend to be honest. Something like, “Listen Daily Dump, your blog has gotten too good to be liked on my page. I’m bringing you down. So I’ve decided to set you free. I can’t stand the thought of being the proverbial cement block chained to your blog. Go! Take off! Be the bloggebrity I always knew you could be! And most importantly, don’t take no for an answer.”

As a last resort, for a nominal fee I will send them anonymous, untraceable threats to shut down their blog or I will harm their family. That’s The Daily Dump – all about helping.


* If you’re delinking a friend that you know outside of the blogosphere, and you will actually be forced to come face to face with this person in the future, there’s really no way to do it. Unless maybe you sleep with them, and tell them you’re delinking them immediately post-orgasm. Right after sex, The Girlfriend once told me she accidentally deleted an episode of “Lost” off my Tivo. I think I replied, “Whatever.”

Tuesday, October 18

It’s Like Losing a Friend You Never Had

I consider all the blogs I have listed on the right under the heading “Blogs That Had Me At Hello” to be my friends, even though I don’t actually know any of them (except This is 14th Street but her grammar and spelling are often times disastrous and offensive).

I consider us friends because we’re linked through some shared interest (like most friends are). We share a love of letting others into our lives, letting them read our most private thoughts and experiences and hoping that they will validate us by leaving comments. And because obviously we have a lot in common, otherwise I wouldn’t like their writing or their humor or their stories. And because if I ever needed money I wouldn’t hesitate to go to any of them.

Which is why it’s so painful that this morning I had to delete a blog off the list. Not This is 14th Street because she often fails to capitalize words at the beginning of sentences (?) and not Citizen of the Month because he likes to accuse me of pedophiliac intentions; no it was a much more sad reason than that. Hermitude in NYC has shut down her blog.

I first came across Hermitude in NYC as a link on someone else’s blog, as is the most common way to make new friends. Even though I don’t think “hermitude” is a word, I was immediately taken with her dry wit, her love of burritos and her incredible hair. There was no question: she had me at hello.

Over the next few months our relationship grew. I began commenting on her posts with off color and provocative remarks. We bonded over our war with Time Warner Cable, marking the first time we would link each other. We were on the fast track to forming a blog clique, replete with inside jokes and references to people no one else knew and incessant hyper-linking.

But then things changed. Hermitude had a birthday and a rebirth and wiped out all her previous posts and started anew. I could smell the change in the air like tuna salad.

She posted a few more times in the following weeks but then yesterday came the post I was fearing: “Farewell to Blogging.” I commented, begging her to stay. It was no good. She was already gone. Today it’s only: Not Found. No use checking the Blogger Knowledge Base for further assistance – I know they don’t have the answers to my problem.

It’s hard losing a friend, but it’s harder losing a friend you never knew, mostly because you don’t know how to say goodbye. Literally, you don’t know how to reach them in order to say goodbye. And even if you could reach them, you would have to say something like, “Hey, Hermitude? The Daily Dump misses you.” Meaning you would not only be referring to yourself in the third person, but in the third person blog name. That’s a hard thing to do, and more than a little embarrassing for someone like me with the word “dump” in their blog name. So I’ll just say this: “Hermitude, if you’re reading this – Good luck with whatever you do in life. You’ve been a great friend. Thanks for the bloggeries. (Kind of like blog memories, you know? Bloggeries? Or maybe Moggeries? I’m just rambling now . . . I’ve never been good at goodbyes.)

Monday, October 17

Angelina, sure. But falling out of love?

I was in a meeting this morning with one of my bosses and another [female] attorney going over a job I’ll be working on for the next couple of weeks. In this case it happened to be a divorce. Completely uncontested and amicable, as though they were two friends who decided to use a law firm to settle a bet: “Ok, ok, so I say that a whale’s penis weighs more than an elephant and HE says it doesn’t. Who’s right?”

Over the next twenty minutes, as we went over forms to be filed, calls to be made and items to be “hashed out” (whatever that means), I managed to make the three following very poor attempts at humor:

1. Boss: “They’re splitting everything down the middle.”

Me: “I hope there are no pets . . .”

2. Boss: “See if we need this notice about child support adjustments. There are no children involved, I don’t see why the court would require it.”

Me: “Well, I guess you never know.”

(Note: This joke is not only inappropriate, but it makes no sense. I can only guess that I was making some ambiguous reference to the wife being impregnated by another man without the husband knowing it. This of course fails to take into account the fact that were that to happen, the woman would then get very fat and, nine months later, an actual human would come out of her, that being the definitive evidence as to whether or not there were children involved in the divorce. When I made this comment, my boss chucked, looked confused and said, “Yeah,” while the female attorney just shifted uncomfortably in her seat, all of which seems about right to me.)

3. Me: “So why are they getting divorced?”

Boss: “They just don’t want to be married anymore.”

Me: “Well that’s not very exciting.”

And that last one is the one I have the most trouble with. Not the one where I suggest cutting animals in half or the one where I allude to the wife (our client) being a tramp, but that last one really bothered me because my response wasn’t me trying to be funny for my boss, but more of a natural reaction to discomfort. The thought that these people are ending their marriage because they, “Just don’t want to be married anymore” made me completely uncomfortable because I don’t get it. “She slept with the DHL guy,” “He gained 150 pounds,” “She converted to Muslim” – these things I get. But just saying, “Eh, I’ve got better things to do . . .” I can’t wrap my head around that.

If you ask me, this is why men are afraid of marriage. I know it’s the reason I am. It’s not a fear of commitment, or growing up or finally having to tell her about your hepatitis. It’s a genuine fear of making a bad decision. I liken it to the fear I will have one day when I finally buy a house. I lost weeks and weeks of sleep all three times I rented apartments in the past, and those were short-tem commitments with the caveat, “Hey, if you hate it you can always say you got fired and break the lease.” I can only imagine what my trepidation will be like when I finally buy a house with the idea in mind that I might “live out my days” in that wood and sheetrock structure. What if it develops a smell? What if gangs move into the neighborhood? Or a Wal-Mart? What then? Can you just bail out on all the hard work and all the memories you put into that house?

So too it is with marriage. You can’t just lie to her and say, “Hey, honey, I lost my job, I need a divorce,” because she’ll say, “You lost your job? How come you’re dressed for work then? Are you cheating on me? I’ll take everything you own! You were awful in bed too!” And then she’ll sleep with a very muscular guy and you’ll develop a drinking habit and catch VD from someone you meet off And sitting there in the waiting room of the doctor’s office to get your Gonorrhea shot, you’ll realize that all of this happened to you because you made one very bad decision a long time ago and, in retrospect, you really should have thought about it a little harder.

(Now I’m in the mood for a sentimental ending)

Needless to say, I was bothered by the whole meeting for some time afterwards. I went back to my desk and started doing some research. Then I got an email from a friend that started with the line, “This is cool even though I found it on a porn site . . .” Right then I knew that, regardless of the mistakes I may make in my life, I can always be assured that in one very important area I made the best choices possible: my friends.

Friday, October 14

Three Things I Thought Yesterday

Everyone should have the song “Run” by Snow Patrol on their iPod, if for no other reason than whenever it comes on you suddenly feel like you’re the star of a television drama series, and whatever you are doing at that moment becomes painfully important.

I was leaving the gym last night when it came on and right as the chorus started I threw open the door, walked out into the rain and I swear I was moving in slow motion. If only I was going to go confess my love to that girl from “Smallville” instead of going home to pat myself down with a wet paper towel and cook a frozen hamburger.

(Ed. Note: I plan on testing this theory by listening to this song on my iPod while doing a vast array of mundane things like peeling a carrot, writing an email to my mom, putting on a pair of pants, brushing my teeth, taking the garbage out, etc.)

I think “Lost” might be racist. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great show; but what’s with the black woman being the ONLY one doing laundry on the whole island? Is it just a coincidence that out of the 40 survivors she’s the one chosen to wash everyone’s clothes? And then they give her a white husband? And not just any white husband, but Sam Anderson, who I could have sworn starred in some TV show or movie as a slave owner? And what’s the platinum blond Australian chick doing the whole time? – taking a relaxing walk on the beach. It’s all one big coincidence? Really?

(Ed. Note, the next morning: It came to me last night where I knew him from. Turns out I was just thinking of his role as Sam Gorpley, the boss, on ‘Perfect Strangers.” But that had to do with the oppression of minorities too, in a way.)

(Ed. Note 2: I don’t get actors like Sam Anderson not having pictures of themselves on their imdb page. Considering the only way people recognize them is by seeing their face and saying, “I know that guy from somewhere . . .” you would think that putting a recognizable picture up would be a priority.)

So everyone (at least from New York) who berated me for hating Fall: is everyone enjoying the pleasant Fall weather?

Thursday, October 13

Holy Matrimony, Wholly Crap (Part 3)

You know what? The Artful (Judas) Dodger has a point. This is rambling. And you know why? Two reasons:

1. It was much funnier at the time, watching my family huddled at the end of a table, two drinks per person, with looks on their faces that said, “Is this really happening?”; and

2. The Artful Dodger is a bitter man.

So in an effort to conclude this epic tale of love in a Long Island catering hall, here we go – the reception highlights:

– There were mirrors on every wall of every room in the catering hall. I mean every wall. You couldn’t take a picture without having a flash bounce back at you from somewhere. My poor little sister actually became disoriented at one point. I thought she was going to live out one of those movie scenes where a person is stuck in a hall of mirrors with a killer and starts breaking mirrors trying to find which one is real.

– The food (more for it’s comedic value than for the nutritional value):

Even Nicole Richie would ask for more salad.

They forgot the eggs, bacon and cheese.

No, no – not so big. Please.

– The argument at our table over “live band” vs. DJ. I say that a DJ is always better, as long as he plays the music you want him to play and doesn’t score your wedding reception like it’s a roller skating rink. Everyone else says live band, at which point the live band at the reception breaks into “At Last” (cough, cliche, cough) by Etta James for the bride and groom’s song. This turns the topic of conversation to what my wedding song will be, which prompts The Girlfriend to get up and go to the bathroom. Then my mother, sister and I have this conversation:

Mom: “What song are you and I going to dance to at your wedding?”

Me: “I don’t know.”

Mom: “Well, the whole point of the mother/son dance is for the mother to have one last moment with her son before she gives him away to the bride. But there’s no way I’m ever giving you away.”

Me: “Why do I picture us dancing to “I’ll Be Watching You” by Sting?”

Mom: (laughing) “Great choice.” (then serious) “Great choice.”


– This quote (overheard while waiting at the bar) made by someone from the bride’s family in reference to the reception:

“This one is nice. I like it more than the last one. But the second one is still my favorite.”

– The Chocolate Fountain.

There was so much buzz about the chocolate fountain, you would have thought it was a record release party for the chocolate fountain. When it was finally unveiled, I have to admit it didn’t disappoint. Basically, it’s a cascading stream of melted chocolate that you dip strawberries, bananas or other pieces of fruit in. Or, if you’re like me, pieces of cake, cookies, coffee, your spoon and anything else you can find that will hold chocolate.

But then, the most priceless moment of the night, when the bride comes over to our table and this exchange happens:

Bride: “So does everyone love the chocolate fountain?

Everyone: “Oh yeah, it’s great.”

Bride: “It is, isn’t it!” (to my older sister) “Did you have one at your wedding?”

Sister: (so confused) “No?”

Bride: “Oh . . .” (She leaves the table.)

Sister: “What the hell was that?”

The Girlfriend: “You should have said, ‘No, but at my fourth wedding, I definitely will.’”

– Party favors:

Because you can never have too many.

Wednesday, October 12

Holy Matrimony, Wholly Crap (Part 2)

The wedding was for my sister’s husband’s older brother, so even though I assured her they would eat only appetizers, my mother still wouldn’t let me bring my friends. It was just me, The Girlfriend, my parents and my little sister (age 15). Of course my older sister was there too, but like I said before – she’s an Allen now. Not a Murphy. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding. She was just sitting with the wedding party. We still love her.)

The groom is 29 years old – a good-looking, clean-cut Irish Catholic. A couple of years ago, he broke it off with a serious girlfriend who his family loved (my sister says: “She's the one that helped Steve pick out my engagement ring. My mother-in-law still sends her Christmas cards.”) and started a new relationship with a new woman.

My sister knew this woman, but didn’t know she knew the woman until she met her . . . the second time. She recounts the story to me something like this:

“When Steve and I were looking at houses, her house was on the market and we actually went to look at it. This was before Steve’s brother had even met her! The place smelled.”

My sister is hyper-literate, reading multiple books a week and is prone to go on rants that Dickens might call “long-winded.” So it struck me as odd that her commentary on seeing the bride-to-be’s house was, “The place smelled.” What’s more, she never elaborated on how or why the house smelled, which, to me, is the most interesting part. But if I had to venture a guess, I would say that, in this woman’s defense, raising two children over the age of 18 doesn’t leave much time for cleaning.

Oh right, she has been married before. Three times. (And not “three times” like, “The first one was to gain citizenship, the second one was a drunk weekend in Vegas and the third one was tax related.” And not, “She’s a huge movie star in Hollywood and this is what they do there.” And she wasn’t a Mormon. We’re talking three legitimately failed marriages. All before the age of 45.)

Oh right, she’s 45. Years . . . old. (For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 45 years for the bride and 29 years for the groom. She’s winning by 16. Or losing, depending on how you look at it.)

Now, I like to think of myself as a romantic, as someone who can look past trivial characteristics like age, race and gender and see that when two people love each other, there is no rationale applied. Love is like Glaucoma: It will make you blind, and you might need medicine or even surgery to get better. And who knows? Maybe she’s like a Demi Moore 45, and then it’s all understandable.

(Note: She’s not a Demi Moore 45. She’s not a Demi Moore 65. But more on that later . . .)

The Girlfriend and I make it out to Long Island late on Friday night and, as usual, eat anything that’s uncovered in the kitchen and then get ready for bed. Incidentally, I’ve been going through an unexplainable bout of insomnia for a week or so at this point, so I’m planning on staying up for a while. Luckily, my friend Matt had hooked me up with “Arrested Development: Season 2” on DVD. And for that, I will always love him.

So I take a sleeping pill and get comfortable on the couch. Two episodes later, I decide to go to bed (this story is going somewhere, I promise) and sleep like a 10 month old child, waking up every couple of hours crying. Finally at 5:00am I get angry and take another sleeping pill, which isn’t recommended and in fact, is a quite a health problem. I wake up around 10:00 the next morning in what doctor’s might refer to as a “dangerous medicine induced haze,” meaning that I was a walking example of a person not fit to operate heavy machinery. This was my state as I got ready to go to the church for the wedding ceremony at 1:00.

After a large cup of coffee to try to counteract the medical coma, I’m in a weird mood that’s half giddy, half desperate for everyone around me to shut the hell up and leave me alone. We sit down at the church and The Girlfriend and I have this conversation:

Me: “I should have brought my Gameboy. You know, I could hold it in my lap and make pretend I’m acting all solemn by looking down when really I’d be playing it.” (Pretend to play with Gameboy.)

TG: (courteous smile)

Me: “You know, because we’re in church. It would look like I was praying. But really, I’d be playing the Gameboy.” (Do imitation of playing Gameboy again.)

TG: “Yeah . . . I know.”

My mother looks over and sees the glazed over, half-crazed look on my face and slides a little further down the pew.

The mass begins and the bride’s 20 year-old son walks her down the aisle. (I’m not sure of the chronology and history of the previous three marriages, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this isn’t his first time walking his mother down the aisle, the thought of which makes my head want to explode. I’m still not comfortable with the idea of slow-dancing with my mother let alone giving her away to a 29 year-old groom.)

Halfway through the ceremony I lean over to The Girlfriend and whisper, “I’ll give you $5 if you chuckle when the bride says, ‘as long as you both shall live.’” She turns down the bet, but it doesn’t matter because when the time comes for the vows, this happens:

Priest: (to bride) “. . . to love and honor you for all our years to come.”

Bride: (to groom) “. . . to love and honor you for all the rest of my years.”

(Audience laughs.)

Me: (To TG) “Are you kidding me? With all the practice you’d think she’d have it down by now.”

And then the priest pronounced them man and wife and, looking around at my brother-in-law’s side of the family, I couldn’t distinguish the tears of joy from the tears of grief. We got up, kissed and congratulated everyone on the way out and stopped on the way home to buy a pie to eat before we went to the reception.

(Next, the reception, which doesn’t start until 7:00. My mother screams: “Why would you have the reception five hours later?! That’s ridiculous, I’m going home to put my pajamas on.”)