Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Some time ago, I was having a conversation with my 2nd niece and felt compelled to point out that the high heels she was wearing were inefficient.

Me: I don’t think you can run very fast in those.

2nd Niece: Well, no, but they look good.

Me: But if you’re attacked by zombies, you won’t be able to get away. I mean, slow-zombies, maybe, but if it’s fast-zombies, you’re toast.

2nd Niece: A very good point, Uncle J.

She said that second line with a particular sort of half-smile and slight eye-roll that all my nieces and nephews give me when I offer important life advice. I’m assuming it’s a look of profound love and respect.

However, this conversation got me thinking: what if there was a way to make high heels more functional? I mean, if civilization ends in a shattering zombie or asteroid-induced apocalypse and the survivors need to fight their way through a mutant infested wasteland in search of food, water, and some way to charge their iPhones, why can’t they do it in style?

Therefore, let me present: Apoca-Heels, the first high-heel for the post-apocalyptic party

Here’s the idea: There are those heels with the thick soles, right? All you need to do is figure out a way to hinge the heel so that it folds into the sole, kinda like those tennis shoe/roller skate combos that kids try to kill themselves with. Just add a button or an app or a lever of some sort and viola: your inefficient high heel is now the model of stealth and speed.

Just imagine: you’re at a swanky party with all sorts of rad dudes and then a zombie/mutant/insurance salesman bursts through the window, screaming something about brains or deductibles. While all the other party-goers are tripping on their heels trying to get away, you just click a button and you’re ready to run the 210 in .5 with a .01a and $12.

I have no idea what those numbers are supposed to mean. And do people still say ‘rad-dudes?’ I haven’t been to a party in a while. Since, like, ’85.

And that’s not all! Put a chunky enough sole on the Apoca-Heel and you can add things like shotguns, knives, frying pans, or machetes. The only thing stopping you is your imagination! And the fact that adding a firearm to a pair of shoes is probably extremely dangerous and/or illegal.

Anyway, once I have secured funding, look for Apoca-Heels in fine retailers everywhere!

NOTE: Apoca-Lips would be a great name for a lipstick brand. I have no idea where that came from.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Bibliophile's Dilemma

I have a problem. It’s something that’s been an issue throughout my whole life and I can’t seem to stop. It’s cost me thousands of dollars, untold hours, and at times, left me isolated and alone.
I’m speaking, of course, about reading.

More specifically, about reading too fast.

You see, I read really fast. I’m not being immodest, it’s just what it is. It’s been a handy trait at many points in my life, especially college, but it’s also been kind of a pain in the butt. I buy a book, go home, and then start reading. Four or five hours later, I’m done. Books just don’t last for me and it’s kind of irritating.

Just last Friday I got a box of two books I ordered online and about four hours later, I’d finished the first one and was reaching for the second. I stopped myself and now the unread book sits by my chair, taunting me. Yet I know, if I pick it up, I’ll just read through the whole thing and then be sans books yet again.

When I was a kid, I used to buy two and three books a week. I had a part-time job and no expenses, so I could buy books. There was an independent bookstore near my work (Books & Books) so I would often browse through it before/after work. The owner had a reputation among my friends for being mean, but he loved me and once gave me a slightly damaged bikini calendar.  Of course, I was buying probably forty-bucks worth of merchandise a month.

In college, my dorm-mate read at a glacial pace. He spent an entire semester reading a Star Trek novel, while I went through a couple a week. Being an English major, it wasn’t bad, as I always had something to read for class. Now, I kind of envy Vince. He got like three-months enjoyment out of one book. 

Yes, libraries do exist, but I have a thing about keeping books. It’s not the smartest choice I could make, the fourteen-odd boxes of books in storage testament to that, but it’s what I do. Kindle/Nooks/Tablets are also an option, but I don’t really like reading on those. A book is a physical presence with a feel and a heft and a smell. Tablets are just kind of sterile, I guess.

Now, if they could make a tablet that smelled like a book, I’d be all over it. Which begs the question: could you get ‘book-smell’ air fresheners for your car? Or book-smell deodorant? These are things I would buy.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

It's All About the Lines

To the surprise of absolutely no one who knows me, I am a bit of a slob. Not a ‘half-empty cans of Coke everywhere’ kind of guy, but more like a ‘why is there a sock in the refrigerator’ kind of guy. I do clean my apartment on a regular schedule, but I confess that I’m just not very good at it.

You see, as a lad, I worked with my dad a lot. He was a contractor and I basically grew up on construction sites. I could literally build a deck when I was twelve. I also learned to swear and had strong opinions about trucks and tools, as well as a plethora of confusing ideas regarding women, divorce, the government, France, and women (again). This is what happens when you leave an eight-year-old alone with construction workers for extended periods of time. 

NOTE: I am in no way demeaning construction workers. I’m sure that I’d grown up surrounded by investment bankers, I’d have gotten equally weird information.

The upshot of this is that I never really learned to clean. My duties around the house consisted of dusting, cleaning up dog poop/vomit, and vacuuming. The vacuuming took the longest amount of time, but I learned to get the lines right.

Fast forward a long time and here I am, living on my own and in charge of an entire apartment. I do clean regularly (the vacuum lines are PERFECT!), but I’m at a bit of a loss when cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. I spray a lot of stuff that has ‘BLEACH’ in bold letters on the bottle and then wipe it off. Despite my best efforts, the kitchen and bathroom still look like a yeti sneezed on every surface and then wiped it off with its underwear. Yes, I am assuming Yeti wear underwear. Prove me wrong.

Imagine my surprise and delight then, when my apartment complex ran a special in conjunction with a maid service. They would come in and clean for half-price and your email address, so they could market at you for the rest of time.

I went for it.

One week later, two middle aged ladies and one younger one showed up at my door. I showed them around, told them not to pull the cord on the cobra trap, pointed out the stake-lined pit, then went into my office to work on something. They came in for a few minutes, to vacuum (decent lines, not great) and dust, then left me alone. They finished in about forty-minutes and left. I stumbled out of the office a bit later and beheld a strange sight.

My kitchen gleamed like a disco ball in a tanning booth. I could actually see my reflection on the stove clearly enough to recoil in horror. My bathroom was much the same. Part of me now wants to chase down those ladies and with an offering of latex gloves, learn the ways of the master.

However, there is a downside. Not wanting to ruin the perfection that my kitchen now had, I built a fire pit in my living room and now only cook there. Chicken is pretty easy, but you have to be careful shoving a skewer through a Pop-Tart.

Don’t ask how I’m getting around not using the bathroom.