“How to Get a Camel into the Eye of a Needle”

How to get a camel through the eye of a needle is a very common question that isn’t often answered very effectively. Allow me to shed some light on the subject.

1. Visit the desert. You may want to make sure you have plenty of water and a cooler full of ice so that you do not die of exhaustion or heat stroke. Be sure to bring a needle.

2. Visit a camel rental and rent a camel. Make sure the camel is well behaved and in good health. Be prepared for some spit.

3. Tie one end of a tether or rope to your camel, and the other end to the nearest cactus. You may want to purchase some thick gloves prior to doing so. This will prevent your hands from being mauled by the cactus.

4. Find your needle. This step is essential.

5. Prepare yourself for a mind-blowing experience.

6. Ensure that a distance of at least 25 yards is between you and the camel.

7. Hold the needle very close to your face, so that you can see through the hole in the top (otherwise known as the eye.).

8. Adjust the needle so that the camel appears to be inside of the eye. You did it! You got the camel into the eye of the needle.

9. Convince your traveling companions and any spectators that you are not insane. Good luck!

Advertisements

How To Go To The Bathroom In The Office

Many people work in an office or other workplaces where we have to share a bathroom with other people, and most people are usually potty-trained by the time we begin our careers. However, if you share an office bathroom with enough people, you’ll know that the question “how to go to the bathroom” is not as trivial as it seems.  Judging by the behavior of some of our coworkers, many of us don’t use the bathroom correctly.  Here are a few hints on how to go to the bathroom in the office properly.

Just because it says "rest" room, it doesn't mean you have to stop working.

Just because it says “rest room”, it doesn’t mean you have to stop working.

Use the time you spend in the bathroom stall to call in to a meeting or make a personal phone call.  You have more privacy there, because the walls of the stall are higher than the walls of your cubicle.  Always pick a bathroom for its cell phone reception because the rest of the stuff there is pretty standard.

Do not flush. Flushing wastes water, and you know how your company is committed to slashing costs. Also, a flushing noise can disturb your colleagues in the nearby stalls who might be in a meeting.

If you need to use the stall, don’t automatically assume that a closed door means that the stall is occupied. Shake the door a little bit. If the door doesn’t open, it still doesn’t mean it’s locked from inside – the door could just be stuck. Look under it. You may see the shoes on the floor, but once again, don’t make any assumptions, because someone could have just left their shoes there. Instead, jump up a few times until you can glance over the door and decisively verify that the stall is occupied.

If you are the one inside, the only way to prevent people from jumping over stall the door to look at you, is to call in to the meeting from inside the stall.

If you work in a place where the stalls are always occupied (for example, where Arby’s is the only lunch place within driving distance), and you are sure that your co-workers will never read this post, you can always designate your own personal stall by tightening the door and leaving a pair of old shoes on the floor.

Remember, when the money’s tight, the workplace bathroom is the place where you can stock up on some free toilet paper.

How to go to the ladies room. Do not go into the ladies room if you’re a guy. This may seem obvious, but in some offices this advice can be really tough to follow with the company’s tendency for constantly moving the bathrooms and for using really gender-neutral signs on the bathroom doors.

This is how the men's and women's bathroom door signs look at the office that requires all employees to wear business suits.

These are the signs on the men’s and ladies’ bathroom doors from the office that requires all employees to wear business attire. Men’s restroom is on the left – you can tell because there are urinals inside.

Unlike the ladies’ room, the men’s room has a designated area for having brief in-person business meetings.  Just head to the nearest urinal and wait for the person you need to talk to.  Scientific studies have shown that people are more likely to be honest with you when their pants are down.

To maintain professional appearance, do not go to the bathroom empty-handed. Print out an article from the internet (this post is a good choice) to read and carry it with you to the bathroom in a neat stack or a folder. Also, waiting to go to the bathroom until the last minute will give your face an extremely concerned and professional look, and add the sense of purpose to your walk.

If your office doesn’t care about professional appearances, bringing printed reading materials is still a good idea. You think you can just read anything from your smartphone, but let’s see how useful your iPhone will be when you belatedly find out that somebody just used your stall to stock up on the toilet paper.

And finally, don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hands. That way, you can delay going back to the routine of your work.

How To Choose the Best Motel

This post first appeared on The Monkey Bellhop

motelcaliflower

 

Hello friends.  If you’re like me, you live for family road trips.  If you’re not, don’t read any further and go do something productive.  I’m the last guy to want to force you to stick around and read about something that you couldn’t give two hoots about.  I’m not being magnanimous here, I’d just expect you to do the same thing for me when you write about something on your blog that’s of no interest like “The Art of Blacksmithing is Alive and Well in Skokie, IL!” or “I Went to the Mall. It’s Crazy There!”.

Road Trips

There is nothing more rewarding or adventurous than a planned or spontaneous road trip. The exhilaration and feeling of excitement you get simply by locking up the house and yelling across the street to the neighbor you get along with that you won’t be back this way again for a few days, maybe more!  The opportunity to dust off some old organizational skills and call upon every working cell in your brain to successfully fill your car with your spouse, children, suitcases, duffel and sleeping bags, beloved pillows, stuffed animals, coolers and 275 pounds of iPods, iPhones, iPads, computers, navigation equipment, cameras, headphones and charging chords — all while leaving a postcard size space in the center of the rear windshield so you can identify whether the driver who is tailgating you is a headcase or not and whether or not you can safely give him “the look” the moment before he hurtles past you.

And of course, the steel will and determination required to not leap from the vehicle you are driving at 72 miles an hour when, 15 minutes in,  everyone begins arguing about when, where and what kind of food they will or will not eat and what type of motel they will or will not stay at for the night.

I’ve stayed in hundreds of motels across this great nation of ours, from smog encrusted California to the pristine, oil sheeny banks of the mighty Arthur Kill in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  From the Pat O’Brien’s tourist trapped, sticky red Hurricane rum soaked streets of the New Orleans French Quarter to the pristine, oil sheeny banks of the mighty Arthur Kill in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  From the Canadian owned and operated, how could they possibly be that friendly, I bet they say sarcastic things about me when my back is turned, jagged and slippery rocked Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia, to the pristine, oil sheeny banks of the mighty Arthur Kill in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  Yes, I always return to NJ.  It’s not because I love it.  It’s because I’m on probation.

Why Motels?

On long trips of 500 miles or more, the need to spend a night at a motel often arises. When I travel long distances by car, outside of knowing the ultimate destination, I don’t always plan ahead.   I like managing my vacations the same way I manage my life and as far as I know, it’s sort of worked out very well.  Depending on who you ask.  Do me a favor and don’t reach out to anyone direct.  If you’re that interested, I’ll get you a list.

Selecting the right motel is never easy as the motel industry, as a rule,  has its share of nebulous characters and nefarious practices.   Or is it nefarious characters and nebulous practices?  I don’t have time to look it up.  My wife has decided we need to get the house in order today and I’m already in trouble as it is.  Anyway, while you sleep — scratch that.  While you toss and turn at night or feign sleep so you can ignore the tossing and turning and complaints of your loved ones, the motel industry plots and schemes against you.  If there was such a thing as reincarnation, and such a thing as karma, and such a thing as the entire motel industry dying and being reincarnated, it would come back as a Venus Flytrap.  Most likely a national, loosely affiliated chain of Venus Flytraps.

What to Watch For and Consider When Selecting a Motel For the Night

On road journeys, there are two types of motel “environments”.   You have what I refer to as the “Major Chain” clusters that exist in larger towns and cities and are located directly off the highway exit — your Holiday Inn Expresses, Hilton Garden Inns, Marriot Courtyard Suites, Comfort Inns, etc.  They are often situated conveniently near six or seven major chain restaurants and two you never heard of but will check out to see if there is any local charm before heading over to Ruby Tuesdays.

The other motel environment is what I refer to as the “OK, I’m Getting Off At the Next Exit” category, situated in the, “For the love of God, the kids and I need to eat something and get some sleep!” part of the country which is two towns past all the major chains you flew past in spite of the whimpering and begging of your family.   Generally, these motels are located on the outskirts of unincorporated townships where people who have faked their own deaths for the insurance money live.

Since this is not a large market area, these motels are often unaffiliated with major chains but will give themselves names that sound vaguely familiar and reputable like “Motel 6 1/2″, “Hollandaise Inn”, “Marionette Motel Suites” or “Hitler Garden Inn”.  If you end up staying in a motel in this environment, whatever happens is as much your fault as the motel’s.

Restaurants in the “OK, I’m Getting Off At the Next Exit” category are practically nonexistent so I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of “Zagat’s 2013 Vending Machine Ratings Guide” before padding down the hall and deciding whether or not to spring for a microwavable cheesesteak sandwich with a picture of Artie Shaw on the label.

To be fair, the opportunity, though slim, exists that you may stumble upon a quaint, charming, independently owned motel in a remote corner of the world which is operated by a kindly, conscientious caretaker who has never stood in a lineup or spent weekends waiting on top of a large hill, mountain or garage roof to be picked up by extraterrestrials.   Regardless, always keep your wits about you when assessing motel options.  Legions of crafty proprietors across tourist trap communities all over America have learned that an enticing sign, facade and check-in area are the only investment needed to convince weary and road worn guests to sign on the dotted line.

It is only after, upon entering their rooms while pondering the limitless depths of their exhaustion and anticipating the good night’s sleep that will restore them in the morning, that the guests realize they have have agreed to pay $119.99 plus state, local, special occupancy, tourism and variable sundry taxes to spend the next eight hours in a room so sketchy, the Joads would have walked out to spend the night in their truck.

After years of staying in bad motels, I have assembled a list of experiences to remind me to look around and ask questions up front before deciding to check in or not.   I hope this list will help you as well:

How to Tell You Are In A Bad Motel:

  1. The night clerk is also the day clerk
  2. The majority of the signatures in the guest book are signed with an X
  3. When you turn on the television all the programs are in Kinescope
  4. The shampoo and conditioner comes in soy sauce sized packets
  5. The water pressure in the shower is so low, there’s no need to dry your back when you get out
  6. When the towel you wrapped around your waist brushes against the dresser two coats of varnish rub off
  7. A sign on the air conditioner warns that if you turn it up to “high”, you must inform the front desk first and sleep under a table or doorway
  8. The desk clerk comes to your room for coffee
  9. When you hear the couple in the next room moaning and banging the bed against the wall, it’s because they’re scratching themselves
  10. When you call the front desk, the clerk says, “We’ve already been made aware of the situation” before you have a chance to speak
  11. When you meet a fellow guest in the parking lot or reception area they ask. “How long are you in for?”
  12. You can hear your spouse or kids trying to fall asleep by repeating the mantra, “What ever doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.
  13. You are visited by ghosts in the middle of the night and when they scream at you to get out, somehow you can just sense they are good ghosts
  14. The outdoor, in ground pool has a 1974 Dodge Dart “play station” at the bottom of it.
  15. You’re almost 100% certain that the brown eyes in the mounted moose head above your bed were blue the day before.

My recommendation is whenever possible, to always select a nationally recognized motel within a major chain cluster area.  While a four star hotel and an advanced dinner reservation will enhance your marriage and delight your children, and a night at a clean and pleasant Holiday Inn Express will neither hurt or harm the marriage as long as there is some sort of pool to delight your children, a terror filled night in a joint called Eddie’s Hideaway Inn with an empty pool and a beagle with one eye snarling up at you from the bottom of it can lead to a request for separate vacations right in the middle of the one you’re currently on.

Negotiating the Motel Rate

The cost of any motel room is always 10% lower than advertised or stated over the phone.  In order to receive the 10% reduction simply say the following, “Do you have a?”  Before you finish saying the word “Do”, the check-in clerk will drop the rate 10%.  My understanding is that the discount could be associated with AAA or AARP but I’ve never been asked to show a card or prove membership.  I believe affiliation with AAA or AARP really doesn’t matter anyway because the motel clerk always marks up the room tax by an additional 10% .  It is widely known that there are only three people in the United States who understand how the hotel/motel room tax is structured in the first place and the odds of you being one of them are slim to none.

Using Motel Pools

An indoor motel pool is always the highlight for most children and normally the requests to go for a swim begin at the same time the clerk is jacking up the room tax to offset your AAA or AARP discount.  I have found the experience to be a mixed bag, with some motels going all out with large pools, free towels, attractive lighting and life preservers that aren’t actually bolted to the wall, while others seem to have “phoned in” their indoor pools, providing tiny, vaguely vat like cavities situated in gray, dimly lit rooms and located at the rear of the building where there is often a view of the highway you wish you were back on at that very moment.

While the shape, size and atmosphere may vary, there are two things that are common in every motel pool in every town or city in America.  The first is that there is some sort of chemical reaction that takes place between chlorine exposed skin and industrially laundered motel sheets and towels that creates the sensation that your body is either slowly being consumed by a low grade acid or being attacked by millions of tiny insects.  The second common aspect found in every motel pool in America is that no matter what time of day or evening you come in for a swim, there is a couple in the pool who are on their honeymoon.

So should you take the plunge?  I don’t see any lasting harm as long as you don’t try to soothe your skin afterward with the complimentary free lotion the motel provides.  I’m not a scientist or a chemist, but I will swear to you that there’s an ingredient in that skin lotion that reacts with the chlorine and industrial laundry detergent and believe me,  if you slather that stuff on after going for a swim, taking a hot shower, drying your body with one of those 80 grit towels and then climbing under the sheets,  you will wish you had never been born.

And as always, don’t go anywhere near the hot tub.

In Summation

Well, I hope I’ve provided you with some of the information and tools you need to choose the right motel for you and your family.  Finding decent lodging should never be a chore and road trips really are the only option people have these days if they truly want to get to those destinations the airlines say they can fly to but then don’t because God keeps messing with their weather.  If for any reason, after reading this article, you’ve decided motels are no longer an option, just remember there is always camping.

© 2013 The Monkey Bellhop and John Hartnett

How To Stay Single in Your 30s

Today’s post is brought to you by Sean Smithson

‘Modern day dating tips for the single man’

They say: “Don’t worry. You’ll find someone soon, I know it.” “You should meet my friend. She’ll be perfect for you.” “Hang in there. It just takes time…”

I say: Fuck off. Maybe I’m actually okay being single.

Contrary to what many people think, being single in your 30s isn’t actually the end of the world. Sure Friends re-runs are better with company. But at least you have complete control of the remote.

Then there’s the fact that unlike your taken friends, you get to drink as much as you like and behave like a complete wanker at weddings and need explain your actions to no one. Except if you ruin the wedding of course – I’ve come close.

And finally, there’s sex. Whilst it does seem counter-intuitive that being single would actually result in you getting more action than your coupled-up chums. Ask any of your friends in long term relationships and I’m sure you’ll find that they’re ‘doing it’ less than you.

Hell, even if they do get the green light – usually on weekends or special occasions – it’s pretty shit.

holytaco.com

holytaco.com

Starting to think that I may be onto something (and that I’m not just a bitter, soon-to-be-proud-owner-of-a-parrot-to-keep-me-company, loser)? Well follow these steps and you too can continue to enjoy the single life.

Oh and the best thing about this advice? When you finally decide that you do want to be with someone long term, just do the complete opposite!

1 – Continue doing what you’re doing as that seems to be working just fine.

However like me, if you find that ladies are just drawn to you or that your friends absolutely insist on trying to set you up, then try the following:

2 – Be a mildly obnoxious asshole on dates. You need to get the balance just right so that she’ll sleep with you but won’t want you to call her ever again.

Talking about your junk and how great you are in bed = good

Offering to pay for dinner = bad

I also find that talking about your previous conquests, visits to strip clubs or general lack of direction in life tend to nip things in the bud fairly quickly. Though perhaps wait until after you’ve seen her naked before mentioning any of these.

If you’re still struggling for ideas, check out the ‘How To’ guide to being an asshole.

3 – Watch copious amounts of porn / jerk-off loads. Though rumoured that this can lead to blindness, you guys seem to be reading this just fine… badum tssssh!

masturbatingBut seriously, not only will this help to keep your urges for companionship in check. It also means that you will avoid potential ‘relationship creating’ contact with the opposite sex as this task is usually best performed alone in the confines of your bedroom.

If you’ve somehow managed to procure an elusive ‘friend with benefits’ then I doff my cap to you sir. Though if you ever get the feeling that you’re headed towards commitmentville, tell her how much you masturbate and this is likely to result in a swift U-turn.

4 – Move back in with your parents. As nothing says ‘he’s a keeper’ like a guy who still lives at home with his mum and dad at the age of 30+.

mameatloaf

And if you didn’t scare her off with (3) then mention that you do most of your ‘work’ in your old bedroom!

5 – Be unemployed. Or if you currently have a job, get fired. The effects of this should be fairly self-explanatory.

If you really must work, then try to find a job that is fulfilling but with little chance of progression/recognition and even less chance of a steady income.

6 – Don’t have a car. As if you can’t even pick your date up then what are the chances of collecting your future kids from football practice?

7 – If you are somehow coerced into joining an online dating site, really put some thought into your profile. Ideally, you want something that makes a woman think ‘I’d hit that but he’s definitely not marriage material.’

This guy knows what I’m talking about.

The Mathematician

The Mathematician

8 – Finally, if all of the above options have failed and you still find that women would like to have a committed relationship with you, set up a blog about what a massive douche you are and send them the link.

Mine’s www.seansmithson.com

LIVE THE DREAM!

I’m off to have a few beers with the Mathematician…