Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I Now Know the Definition of Awkward

You remember that show "Kids Say the Darndest Things?" Bill Cosby would ask some kid a simple question like "How old is your Mom?" and the kid would reply something like "Oh...mommy is really old. Like 13." So cute. So cute.

You know what isn't cute? Kids don't only SAY the darndest things. They do the darndest things, too.

Case in point, when I was at my sister's on Christmas Eve, my five-year-old nephew wanted to show me some of his new "karate moves," complete with WAHHHHHH sound effects. No problem with that! He was air kicking and air punching his heart away. Ahhhhh, I think to myself. What a doll. He really is a sweet, innocent, little kid. LOVE HIM!

After a few minutes, he got a little tired of the air, and he got this crazed look in his eye. "Let me see your knee for a second, Uncle Mark." Hmmm. My knee? You want to kick me in my knee? That isn't very sweet OR innocent. Combine this with the fact that I have no idea if getting kicked in my knee by a five-year-old would hurt or not, I politely declined the request.

"That's ok. Want to punch my hand?"

"I'm not going to do anything." Snicker. Snicker. "Just let me see your knee for a second." Laugh. Laugh. Laugh.

"Want to punch both my hands?"

"NOOOOOooo, Uncle Mark. Just let me see your knee. I PROMISE I don't want to kick it" (as he gets in the ready-to-kick-position.)

Clearly outwitted, I figure I will try to distract him another way. This was a stupid, stupid mistake. I ever-so-slowly air kick what I think is going to be BY him, hoping this will distract him long enough so I can convince him to go back to (a) air kicking or (b) punching my hand. But, this being me, I, of course, misjudge what I am doing, and I end up grazing the outside of his pants. By his thigh. His upper thigh. His center, upper thigh. Sigh.

He pauses. And my nephew, my sweet, innocent, five-year-old nephew exclaims: "You just kicked me in my penis!"

I turn BEET red, and say: "NO I DID NOT! I hit your leg"

"No! That was my penis!"

"OK. OK. I'm sorry!"

My nephew doesn't believe in such empty words, I guess. He clearly believes in revenge. An eye-for-an-eye type kid. So, he charges at me. CHARGES at me. My sweet, innocent, little nephew CHARGES at me and starts trying to PUNCH me in the crotch!

I dodge him, and tell him to stop. And he does. For a second. Until he charges me again, full on SWINGING for my nuts with as much strength as his little five-year-old arms can muster.

At this point, I'm simply wishing I would have let the kid kick my damn knee. I tell him to stop. And this time he does. He really does. But I obviously didn't know who I was dealing with. This kid is just too darn smart for me.

As he appears to be fully under control, I turn 90 degrees to the right. A simple turn. To the right. I start to ask my sister a question, and...


I get a straight punch to the nuts from my nephew followed by HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAAH. And you know who was laughing? TAUNI! As I hunch over in pain, Tauni just laughs and laughs and laughs. I really want to say something to my nephew, but I can't get a word out because he and Tauni are now both laughing too hard. My sister, who has been watching this entire interchange, finally says:

"We don't hit people in the penis, M-."

You know, I'm not a parent, but I really wish that was a life lesson he would have learned about five minutes earlier.

Sweet and innocent, my ass.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What I Didn't Want For Christmas

Here is our couch. On its side. Box spring, pulled from the bedroom. Our belongings, thrown into the middle of the living room. We were robbed on Christmas. On Christmas! And it happened WHILE we were home.

But how did this happen? How did this start? Well, while my back was to the main part of the house, I was talking to Tauni and two of our friends. In mid-sentence, Tauni's face goes pale, her eyes go blank while looking at something behind me, and she let's out a PIERCING SCREAM, which I find a little odd because she doesn't normally do this in the middle of a conversation. So, I am more than a bit perplexed. Then, Tauni's scream is combined with her friend Nina screaming, and finally Nina's boyfriend Barrett screams, too (louder than the two girls combined).

Time always slows in instances like this, and as I turn my head to see what has them all so frightened, I feel like I'm going to see (a) a man with a gun (b) a ghost or (c) a screening of Jennifer Aniston's next film. Each thought clearly more terrifying than the last.

I didn't see any of these things, though. What I did see was a foot-long rat running from our Christmas tree into one of our bedrooms. And then the real fun began.

We go into the guest room to try and scare it out of the house. At this point, we don't want to kill the rat, we simply want to shoo it out of the bedroom, through the living room, and out the front door. We get some flashlights, and start poking around, and notice there is some poop on top of a suitcase in our closet. So, we all get some jobs to do:

My Job: Search in the closet for the rat with Sir Spanks A Lot (my trusty hobby horse).

Barrett's Job: Stand behind me with a broom.

Tauni's Job: Stand behind Barrett with another broom.

Nina's Job: Make sure the top of the kitchen table is ok in the dining room.

Pugs' Job: Be completely oblivious.

I pull out the suitcase, and the rat LEAPS AT ME and then darts under the bed. It's hilarious (now) how my scream led to Barrett's scream, which led to Tauni's scream, which led to Nina's scream (in the other room).

We then pull the mattress off the bed, and investigate one of the split box springs. This box spring has its lining still intact. Nope, not in there! We lift up the next box spring which we discover has no lining, and we watch the rat run around upside down (Inception style) INSIDE the box spring. This is accompanied by Tauni now screaming KILL IT! KILL IT! and Nina going into what I assume is the fetal position on the table in the next room. Don't get me wrong, I am not super stoked to be doing any of this either, but the reactions were CRACKING me up!

We eventually chase the rat into the living room and for the first time in the evening, one of the pugs, Maggie, actually starts to notice: Hey. Something odd is going on here, huh? as she playfully runs after the rat from the bedroom to under the couch (upright at this time) in the living room. Morrie, on the other hand, still has no idea what the Hell is going on. He is just wandering from room to room and periodically looks up at Nina who is living on the kitchen table.

In fact, throughout all our yelling and screaming to get the rat out, neither pug was any help AT ALL. The only thing they chased the entire night? The light from the flashlight. That's it. Basically, they ignored the rat, but we were VERY protected from the evil flashlight light. Thanks, guys!

Anyway, now the rat is in the living room, so we start setting up barricades to force it to go outside. We have a desk blocking our kitchen off, and the box spring blocking the back hallway off. We force it out from under the couch by tipping the couch over, but instead of running OUTSIDE to the free world...it decides to run through our barricade into the kitchen and behind our fridge.


So we get "smarter."

We set up an even BIGGER barricade and now we all get more SPECIFIC jobs to do.

My Job: I get to lunge at the rat with a flashlight and Sir Spanks A Lot and force it towards Barrett.

Barrett's Job: Use a broom to force it through our newly reinforced and barricaded path towards the front door.

Tauni's Job: Say "Kill it! Kill it!" as soon as it runs out.

Nina's Job: Stay on top of the kitchen table.

Pugs' Job: Chase the flashlight light.

We are all set. All the pieces are put into motion; I lunge at the rat, and chase it right towards Barrett. But the rat gets by Barrett and scurries INTO the Christmas tree, to which Tauni exclaims GOD DAMN IT, BARRETT! THAT WAS YOUR ONLY JOB! Classic.

SHIT! again.

So now we get even "smarter!"

We of course make an even BIGGER barricade which now includes multiple boxes, more pieces of turned-over furniture, shoes, etc. You name it....it was part of our impenetrable wall that was guaranteed to force this rat outside through the front door. There was nowhere for it to go once we got it out of the tree. We were SO SURE!

So again, we get more jobs:

My job: I get to take Sir Spanks A Lot and shake the tree and break some ornaments.

Barrett's Job: Stand on a chair and shake the top of the tree and break a curtain rod.

Tauni's Job: Glare at Barrett and me and scream KILL IT! KILL IT!

Nina's Job: Protect the top of the kitchen table.

Pugs' Job: Eat some dinner.

So, I shake the tree, the rat again LEAPS out....jumps onto Barrett (he screams), darts past Tauni (who completed her task of screaming KILL IT! KILL IT!...and even threw in some FUCKING KILL ITs for good measure) and under the kitchen table where a silent Nina was grappling with reality. At this point, she was just rocking. Silently rocking.

But somehow, someway, the rat found a HOLE in our "impenetrable barricade" and runs BACK into the hall instead of running outside....and ends up in our very well-loved (and not well-cleaned) office. Now we are truly fucked. We look around for it, and chase it around a bit, but there is no way we can get it for a number of reasons:

(1) We clearly suck at making barricades.

(2) We have failed at getting this thing out of our house for over an hour and now it is in our most cluttered room of our house.

(3) We are fucking idiots.

So, at about midnight on Christmas evening, Tauni and I make a sorrowful trek to a 24 hour CVS to buy a mousetrap. We don't want to do this...but at this point, Tauni is ready to sleep in her car. We get some peanut butter (which could kill me AND the rat), set a couple of traps, close the door, and figure he'll be dead by morning.


The only thing we find in the morning are two unsprung traps sans peanut butter. This rat is WAY too smart for us.

SHIT yet again!

Alas, I wish I could say this story ends well for our rat friend. But it doesn't. We ended up buying some better traps...and well, you can use your imagination.

But we were indeed robbed on Christmas, maybe even held hostage. For about twenty hours our dignity was taken away by a foot-long rat who taught me a couple very valuable lessons: I have no idea how to make a real barricade and I am NOTHING without my hobby horse.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

My Bike's new name is....

Clearly, this was a tough decision. There were 88 entries....which once again proves that people will do anything for a Starbuck's gift card (you whores). I am going to discuss my top ten favorites...but a complete list of all suggestions (in alphabetical order) is below.

10. Laurie C.'s Lycaenid Butterfly: This made my top ten because I actually had to look up what the fuck it meant. Also, it is so the opposite of anything I would ever name my bike, which I thought was VERY funny. Laurie didn't come right out and call me a wuss, she did so with style. That is a top ten name!

9. Laura L.'s Eva Longoria: The thought of riding around for hours on end with my ass on Eva Longoria's face seems oh-so-right. What a great name for a bike...and definitely a top ten suggestion!

8. Jody W.'s Barrio Star: This restaurant is my sworn enemy. They also don't know how to make ice tea. My deep hatred for it gets it in the top ten! (BOOOOOO BARRIO STAR!)

7. Darron E.'s Blue Job: I would love to live out Darron's fantasy of accepting (the name/a) "Blue Job" from him. A top ten name...but just a little too much teeth. Keep practicing!

6. Corrine H.'s Blue Steel: LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this name. The Zoolander reference is spot on. If only I rode to get more Orange...Mocha...Frapuccino's, this would have won!

5. Chris M.'s Darron: In my heart, I know this is a winning name. Just think about every time I sat on Darron, or put my keys in Darron's saddle bag, or clipped in to Darron, or got into aero position on Darron, or put Darron in my trunk, or lubed and oiled Darron....wow. TOO MUCH sexual tension. I just can't handle it.

4. Darron E.'s Bi-keurious: Defintely very, very clever. And true. This name hit just a little too close to home. And I told you this in confidence, Darron.

3. Kris C.'s Mark's Bike: In my opinion, the FUNNIEST entry. Simple. Love it.

2. Jason G.'s Collarboner: I have thought about this for about a day...and I have been going back and forth on Collarboner vs. The Manasse Chassis. Collarboner is relevant (I was on this bike when I crashed and broke my collarbone) and it has the word "boner." I mean...it seems so perfect. I would get to say "boner" so much more often!!! Very, very close to winning. But collarboner lost by a head (tee hee).

1. Jeff M's The Manasse Chassis: It rhymes. It's sassy (which also rhymes). It has my name in it. Clearly, Jeff M. knows me well enough to realize how completely egocentric I am: He included my name in the bike's name. Winner and the new owner of a $10 gift card to Starbucks!

Thank you for all the entries!

(Golden) Rod-rage
10 Cent Whore
Ball buster
Barrio Star
Barry Manilow
Bee magnet
Birth Control
Blue Job
Blue Steel
Blue Thunder
Crotch Rocket
da' brat
Dirty Sanchez
Double cups
Draft Dodger
El Guapo
Espeedy Gonzalez
Eva Longoria
Farty Pants
Future Source of Impotency
Grave Digger
Green Machine
Ha Nguyen
Happy Ending
Hayward Djabloumie
Highway Star
Kevin Bacon
Le schtroumpf
Lycaenid butterfly
Mark's Bike
Meat Grinder
Mistress Nutcrusher
Mom's Taxi
Mr. Yang
My Private Jet Plane
Not Tauni
Nut cracker
Nuts McGee
Old Bluer
On your Mark
Pedal Power
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
Poor Yorick
Queef Latifah
Road Warrior
Roadie McBikerson
Rusty Trombone
Saddle Sack
Sexy Beast
Silky Skids
Speed Chafer
Speedy McGee
Stuart Pantinkton
The Beast
The Blue Streak
The Hog
The Lance Armstrong Smashed Dong Two-Wheeled Get-Along
The Manasse Chassis
The Other Woman
The Pug Wagon
The Pussy Wagon
The Satllion
The Smurf
The Strawberry Shortcake
The Train
Toll Troll
Wheels of Fury

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bike Naming Contest

The Purpose: I have been riding my Specialized Tarmac for 2.5 years...and I have never named it/her/him.

Contest: Come up with a name for my bike, and you win a $10 gift card to Starbuck's (unless you HATE Starbuck's). You can enter as many times as you want. The contest ends at 5:00 PM, Friday, December 17th. You can put your suggestions here or on Facebook.

There have already been MANY excellent entries already. Good Luck!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

I Hate Eva Longoria...Revisited

Little did I know on August 16th, 2007, when I posted a brief blog about my distaste for (then) Eva Longoria-Parker , that I would be creating one of my most popular blogs of all time. I didn't have Google Analytics then...but I do now.

I installed this web tracking device this past summer (when I was procrastinating from swimming)...and COMPLETELY forgot about that until today (while procrastinating from swimming). And according to my blog's stats...the blog: "I hate Eva Longoria" (written over THREE years ago) is one of my top ten blogs THIS MONTH. Interesting.

But what does this mean? Let's investigate:

(1) Clearly, there are a lot of people (and bots) that hate Eva Longoria. So much so...that typing "I hate Eva Longoria" into Google is actually getting my blog tons of hits! (My blog is the number one hit on Google for such a search. Hurray?) If we keep this in perspective...how many people are typing "I hate Mark S. Manasse" into a search engine? Besides me...maybe only what...ten to twenty other people? (Just kidding Mark...we all love you and your similar looking name and face).

(2) The number of people who know I jokingly hate her is actually quite large. When the news broke about her getting a divorce, I received multiple emails, texts, and phone calls making sure that I had heard about it...even from people that I rarely talk to! This is crazy to me. The amount of people who know I have a pretend-hatred for some movie star I have never met probably outweighs the number of people who know how many siblings I have (hint: the answer is under two) or how many nipples I have (hint: the answer is over one).

(3) You can blast a big-time movie star and NOT get sued (until now?)....but you write a little blog about being anally raped during a colonic...and the lawyerly letters come FLYING in.

(4) The irony of re-writing about "hating Eva Longoria" is not lost on me. Maybe this will now become my most popular blog? Oh...the suspense is just killing me...

Google Analytics is cool...I have to admit. It is really neat to see how many people waste their time reading the crap I write. But what does it mean that Eva Longoria is one of my blog's main attractions? Is THAT not a slap in the face to me?

You win this round, Eva. I was just wondering, can I have your Spurs tickets? I assume you won't be needing them anymore (too soon?).