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

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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…

How To Piss Me Off With Email

The following was submitted by Pieter of Ah Dad. . . 

1. Send me an email from the office next door that does not have any document, spreadsheet, meeting schedule or other piece of useful information attach to it.  Only use a few cryptic words to make it sound important.

I just think that if you have something to say to me, it might be more appropriate to get of your fat ass and walk the four metres to my office.  It will be beneficial to your health.  Walking would allow those little red bloods cells to speed up and then you might even burn a calorie or two, which I’m sure the hinges of your fridge will appreciate.

2. Send me a chain letter.  You know those mails that you forward to eleven friends to prevent yourself from walking home and getting maimed by a falling ostrich.

First of all, when you’re in the habit of forwarding chain letters, I’m surprised you still have friends.  It’s that annoying.  Life has taught me: There is no such thing as a free lunch.  Let’s put it in perspective, it actually means: There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. A. Free. Lunch.  If you think sending a picture of a crying girl to 11 people will open the heavens and make buckets of cash fall from the sky, well you’re just fucking stupid.  And the world doesn’t need to know that.

3. Send me a PowerPoint presentation with pictures of cats.

I hate cats.  They’re cunning and deceitful creatures.  As kittens they’re all cute and playful. Then they grow up to be bossy, toplofty, pompous and shit–Just like a teenager.  As the owner you’re only good enough to feed them, if they allow it.  Do this and I will go all chain letter and spam on your mailbox.

4. Send me a reminding email, forty seconds after the first one. 

I have a life and my only purpose on earth is NOT to sit and wait for your message.  I am sorry that I don’t climax and drop everything when your name pops up in my inbox.  I am also sorry that your concept of a reasonable reply time is out of tune with mine.  And if you have the balls to enlarge the font of the mail and write the word “reminder” on the top, then well. . . screw you.  Delete sequence initiated.

5. Send me a condescending mail with a smiley face.

We are not in kindergarten anymore.  Sarcasm is a science, a skill that I have worked on for many years to execute perfectly.  How dare you consider that adding a smiley face is enough to hide your initial intention?  Reading it gives me an uncontrollable urge to rearrange your face with a frying pan to resemble your chosen emoticon.

There it is.  Five easy ways to get my temper thermometer into crimson red by the click of a button.  Truth be told I am actually a real fun-loving, nice guy, but again that’s what they said about Dr Jeckyl.

 

How to Be a Tourist In New York City

The following post was written by Jenna Nobs.

1. Hold your iPhone at arm’s length from your face as you struggle to orient your direction on Google Maps. You might also consider carrying a sign that says, “Free mobile device, I won’t put up a struggle.”

2. Look right at the Empire State building and tell your friend that it’s not the Empire State Building. I mean it can’t be, because the other buildings around it look taller, right? Perspective, what’s that?

3. Buy a hotdog from a street vendor. Oh, this strange unwashed man is going to nestle this oddly pale dog into a bun with his bare hands? What a personal touch, isn’t New York City charming!

4. Run up to people in Elmo suits like it’s fucking Disney World. Walk away with a souvenir photo and a complimentary squeeze on the ass.

5. Marvel at people who have coated themselves in metallic paint to look like statues, then scream like a little girl when they jump at you. Natives, by contrast, never lose their cool. Twerking in the middle of the sidewalk, no problem. Body pulled out of the Hudson, another day on Law & Order. Remember tourists, always lose your cool.

6. Apologize for bumping into people, and I mean every single one. We live in a civilized society.

7. Point in a completely random direction when someone asks you where a major landmark is. It’s just so flattering, how can you not mask your ignorance in that situation?

8. Comment that you’re pretty sure this is the street corner where Ice-T called someone his bitch on SVU. It’s perfect because you can’t be wrong.

9. Hail a taxi like you’re sticking your hand into an open flame. New Yorkers do tend to bite.

10. Walk down the block in a random direction to determine whether you’re going uptown or downtown, then turn around because obviously you’re wrong. Again. Seriously do natives have an internal compass?

11. Make eye contact with pushy street vendors and listen to their ten-minute sales pitch/accept a lot of fliers you don’t want while native passersby snicker at your vulnerability.

12. Whip out your disposable camera every time you see a building that looks historical or a guy in a Spiderman suit. Feel free to block foot traffic as you do so.

13. Be in Times Square.

14. Don’t give up your seat on the subway, no matter how old, pregnant, or weak standing passengers may be. Jesus Christ you guys, I’m kidding– this is New York City, not Lord of the Flies. Have a fucking soul.

How to Not Get Caught in the Doritos Taco Hype

I nearly shit my pants when I heard Taco Bell will be adding a new Dorito taco flavor on Aug. 22. I realize that this is a common reaction associated with Taco Bell.

And then I realized, I needed to tamper down my excitement and lower my expectations. Yes it is a meat byproduct lovingly enveloped in a processed, MSG-ladened corn taco. Yes, America is still a leader in innovation and synergy-ation. Yes, I would be consuming my annual allotment of sodium in one bite.

But, gentle reader, there is more to life like:

  • butterflies
  • The Act of Killing, a documentary about remoreless killers in Indonesia
  • Bridezillas marathons on WeTV

It’s hard not to be excited when you learn that the new flavor is “Volcanic Assblaster.” I’ve just been informed that I am wrong. The new flavor is “Fiery” although I believe my guess rings true in a digestive sense.

It is very easy to be swept away in the Doritos Taco hype–to be the first to display your orange-hued finger like an Iraqi voting in his first election. This guide will help you above all remain calm and digestively sound.

1. You know when Taco Bell sounds good? At 2 a.m. after a night of mind-altering substances. The mind-altering substances have altered your mind to a point where that burrito tastes like a tenderloin birthed by a lobster.  On Aug. 22, refrain from all mind-altering substances.

2. Although it may be tempting, do not become friends with Doritos on Facebook or follow it on Twitter. Doritos is kind of a drama queen and you do not want any taco drama.

Scientific proof:

tacosadness

and

tacodrama

and

taconickel

3. Pick Aug. 22 as the day you actually take advantage of that gym membership you’ve been paying for and not using for two years. You can spend an hour on the elliptical or take Hula Hoop swing dance spin class. When you focus on your health, you will less likely be inclined to suck on the orange grease gushing from your Dorito taco.

4. Move to a country that does not have a Taco Bell. That would be….um…..Indonesia? Watch out for those remoreless killers.

5. Watch or read some food-related book that really examines the American food system. Be aware that this will result in you never eating again.

6. Break dance contest.

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Want to read more from Speaker7? You don’t?!? What the fuck is wrong with you?

How Not to Pack for Vacation

VacationYou’ve worked hard and now it’s time to think about getting away from all the stress associated with everyday life. It’s time for a holiday. Those vacations are usually a once a year trip that we plan, dream of and sometimes, obsess about. Every little detail is scrutinized over to squeeze out the maximum amount of pleasure from the limited period allotted for ‘time off.’ To ensure the most fun deemed feasible from your trip and, possibly off the radar of the local, friendly police force, here is a suggestion for how not to pack for a vacation. Some of the items on this list will more than likely land you in an extended holiday in a dank, dark prison cell, or worse, in the doghouse. Other items are things that, at the time, seemed like a good idea, but turned out to bring a little hell to our otherwise peaceful existence.

1. Porn.

Videos of you and your significant other engaged in clothing optional nocturnal activities should be left at home. These little discs of blackmail material can turn up missing while your luggage is being scanned by those trustworthy and upstanding security officers. Years from now, you don’t want to be running for some political office only to have your campaign derailed because of your raunchy sex tape (unless you decide to tweet pictures of you man parts like a certain politician from New York did and decide to run again – I really don’t wanna see your Weiner). Although, it could help you become an internet sensation. Instead, make new videos while on vacation as a souvenir of the great time you had while on vacation. Unlike other vacation videos, these will be sure to be watched over and over.

2. Illegal drugs.

Yes, it is a time to relax and forget about stressful things like work, bills, and the neighbor’s dog that barks all night. But, leaving the illegal substances at home will ensure almost stress-free travel to your vacation destination. Buy your recreational drugs when you get there, you will be stimulating the local economy and experiencing a little of the native culture. As an added bonus, if you are arrested for buying or using an illegal substance, you will get a free tour of the inside of their judicial and prison systems. Now that is something to write home about.

3. Weapons.

Unless you are an international spy, a rogue agent or a freelance hitman, it’s best to leave the weapons to the professionals. Those automatic rifles, blinged out pistols, and stun gun in a stapler are freakin’ cool, but they don’t belong on a plane, train or automobile (cruise ships might be ok – especially if you run the risk of going weeks without power and need to defend yourself or hunt for food). You don’t want to be joining your drug using buddies in the local pokey because you forgot to leave your Bowie knife cum bottle opener next to the case of Coors Light and the stack of adult rated, late night, home movies.

4. Exotic animals.

Only Hollywood types and eccentrics bring along their favorite Bengal tiger or barfy cute kinkajou. And you don’t want the local drug lord or crooked police chief taking notice of you and pressuring you into handing over your beloved pet or sacrifice a family member until you agree to his terms. Stop looking at your spouse like that. If it wasn’t for them, you’d probably be laying in a gutter somewhere, hung over from a three day bender and trying to remember your mother’s maiden name. You owe them your life. Leave Fluffy at home and everyone lives happily ever after. Ok, mostly happy. (Look what happened to Beiber and his poor little monkey – not *that* monkey, perv!)

5. Boyfriend/girlfriend (if you’re married).

Lest you are a master juggler, taking along your boyfriend/girlfriend and your spouse is probably not the wisest decision you will ever make. The probability of them crossing paths would send even the most ruthless and daring bookie heading for a safer bet. Save the rendezvous with the extra marital baggage for those boring, out of town meetings and conventions that your better half simply abhors.

6. Mother-in-law.

This is supposed to be fun, right? Why would you bring along a miserable, nagging, old hag that will probably complain about everything from the lumpy bed to the tight ass on the half-naked cabana boy serving watered down rum punch? Unless you plan on stuffing a dirty sock in her mouth and duct taping it in place, accidently forget to pick her up on the way to the airport and enjoy your well-earned holiday. Just don’t forget to turn off the cell phone and tell the front desk that you are unavailable.

7. Work.

No matter how much your pimp whines, leave his good for nothing ass at home. You need a little time to let your hair down, relax and enjoy life. After all, you earned that measly 10% that he allows you to keep from all that back breaking, knee scraping physical labor. And don’t even think about sending him anything. When he went on vacation, where were you? Yeah, you were working to support him. And who did he take on his vacation? He took that ho, Cindy-May. Girl, don’t even think about going back. You packed your bags, hopped a plane and now you’re in paradise. This is life’s way of telling you it’s time to start over.  Grab that pole and shake your money maker!

Bonus:

8. Friends.

Unless you can stand seeing them first thing in the morning without a caffeine injection, fresh clothes, make up, or showered, leave them behind. You may not want to ruin a perfectly good friendship and a vacation of a lifetime by freaking out when you see them naked. And how much do you really want to know about their bathroom routine? I didn’t think so.

Vacations are the time to set aside the stressors from work, home and life in general. A little forethought and planning can go a long way to ensure your vacation is postcard perfect. By leaving behind items that may induce stress, you are almost guaranteed to have at the best damn time allowed by law, unless it’s otherwise stated in the fine print.

Disclaimer: The author takes no responsibility for any reader’s actions if said reader takes it upon themselves to follow or ignore the following not so helpful hints and advice on packing for a holiday. Reader’s discretion is advised. Read at your own risk. Do not operate heavy machinery while texting. May cause erectile malfunction. Some assembly suggested. Only use under the direction of a trained medical professional – medical school drop outs count. You have been warned.

How to Compose the Greatest Tweet

Twitter is a huge deal. Without it, we would not know this:

parisinaneThink of all the wishes we would be missing out on when 11:11 happens twice a day, every day on Earth.

Twitter can be daunting considering all the tweets that are twitted out of twats every microsecond. That is, like, more than fifty. How can your tweet possibly compete?

tweet1I’m telling you, it can! By following these steps, you can generate a tweet that will reverberate throughout the Twittersphere for at least 30 seconds until you’re overshadowed by this:

rushtwitNow some people may argue that the need to share whatever thought your brain farts into your head is a colossal waste of time. That Twitter is a platform for narcissism, and leads us farther away from a life lived deliberately in the woods in some cabin without wi-fi.

I would say to them that a life lived deliberately is lame.

tweet2

1. It helps to be famous so try to get into movies or write some hit song or something. People tend to pay attention and retweet even the most inane tweets of celebrities.

celebritytweet2. If fame proves elusive, the next place to start is to see what’s trending. You’re more likely to get noticed if you are writing about the important issues of the microsecond.

trends3. Now that you’ve found your topic, it’s time to craft your tweet. You have only 140 characters to really wow the masses so you should write something really good. Don’t be discouraged if it takes you minutes or months to perfect the tweet. Keep in mind some people have obtained book deals from their twitty repartee.

awesometweet

If you find you cannot craft the perfect tweet, retweet someone else’s. Do not retweet this:

geraldo

4. If all else fails, be controversial. Why do you think Teresa Guidice is the highest paid cast member on The Real Housewives of New Jersey? 

sonotsexistThat one is actually real. Technology, I salute thee!

Now that you’re on the road to success, remember that you will have to do this every four to five seconds because that is the current shelf-life of the greatest tweet.

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Want to read more from Speaker7? Visit here. You can also follow Speaker7 on Twitter. She posts frequently between poops. 

How to Have a Conversation

Texting has become the preferred form of communication. It initially was invented to facilitate conversation when face-to-face or the phone was not possible. But now when given the choice, most people would prefer to shoot a text than deal with the expressions that exist on people’s faces and the squawking sounds that emerge from saliva-ridden mouths. Ewww…gross. 😉

Occasionally you will find yourself in the presence of another living being and actually have to conduct a conversation in “real time.” 😯

This can be daunting. You may find yourself wondering how to express emotion without the assist of emoticons. You may find yourself worried that LOL is less powerful when said aloud. You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife.

Don’t worry. Follow these steps and you will effortlessly sail through a conversation and then quickly return to your alloted 15 hours with your mobile device. 😀

1. Your natural instinct will be to answer the person’s questions through text.

conversationThis is a common mistake. The trick to having an actual conversation is to use your human body parts like your mouth, eyes and hands. Your lungs will supply the air that you need to get your voice going so take a breath and test out the vocal folds in your throat. Don’t get tense if you first sound like this “Unngghhhhhh????” You will get better with practice. Your eyes are necessary for looking at the other person. You can actually see how the person is responding to the sounds you are emitting. This way you can adjust your sounds if the person is making an expression like this: 😡

2. Practice beforehand. Try to use actual words rather than abbreviations when you are texting.

practice

3. While it may be taxing, you will need to respond to the person rather quickly since you are conducting a conversation in “real time.” You may be compelled to compulsively check Facebook to see if anyone has sent you life on Candy Crush Saga, but this type of behavior will disrupt the natural flow and rhythm of the real-time conversation. To avoid this, you should put your phone away. I see that you just set it off to the side, but you’re still looking at it. Put it out of sight. You just moved it a quarter of an inch. Put it where you cannot see it all. Okay, that’s better. . . why are you shaking?

4. Do not live-tweet or blog the converation while it’s happening. How do you tell someone she has arugula in her teeth? #awkward. That might make the person uncomfortable. Attempt to put all your attention on the other person and listen to the sounds squawking out of her saliva-ridden mouth. This will help you when formulating your response.

talking5. Don’t feel nervous if there are lulls in the conversation. There will be lulls because no one has any idea how to conduct face-to-face conversations anymore. Whatever you do, do not take a dick pic and text it to the person. You may think this will give you something to talk about, but no one in the world wants to see your penis.

dicpic______________________________________________________________________________

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How To Entertain Bored and Annoying Kids

bored, tired, summer, children, kids

Only two and a half more months til school starts.

In most areas, the long, hot summer is in full swing. Among the tweeting of the birds and the hum of lawnmowers is the distinctive whine of bored kids. Moaning and groaning about being tired of their expensive gaming systems, wall-sized entertainment centers complete with every channel known to mankind, and the multitude of social networking sites on their mobile devices.

As with many families these days, the household budget is probably stretched tighter than a thong on a hippo. So here are a few free and educational summer activities to encourage the future leaders of our country to use their minds and expand their horizons.

1. Stack Rocks

Stacking rocks, also called Rock Balancing, can be educational as well as entertaining. It teaches patience, balance, innovation and art. No special skills or supplies are needed. Just turn the little buggers loose in the back yard with a pile of rocks and tell them not to come in until all the rocks are stacked. You’ll be able to make it through a whole TV program without interruption. Choosing rounded rocks will increase the difficulty level and provide sadistic entertainment for parents watching from the comfort of a cool, air-conditioned house. Once the little darlings have mastered rock stacking, give them a bundle of sticks and have them work on stacking sticks.

2. Throw Rocks

After the kiddos have gone stark raving mad stacking rocks, find two barrels (or other suitable and durable containers) and place them approximately ten feet apart. Have the kids throw the rocks into one barrel. After all the rocks have been thrown into the first barrel, have them stand next to the full barrel and take turns throwing the rocks into the empty barrel ten feet away. Make sure there is nothing breakable anywhere nearby, odds are, it will get hit. After all the rocks have been thrown, have them pick up the rocks that didn’t make it into the barrel. Repeat until the sun goes down and it’s time to come in for dinner. This activity teaches hand and eye coordination, sharing, as well as developing muscle tone and balance.

3. Roadkill

Kids are fascinated by nature and wildlife. Forget the cutesy petting farms, nothing beats getting up close and personal with critters like playing with road kill. It allows them to examine animals without the danger of being bitten or contracting rabies, unless they stumble upon zombie road kill. To explore the ins and outs of the dearly departed creature, have the kids locate various sized sticks; this will enable them to push, open or turn over the roadkill and observe the squished side of the recently deceased animal. Some parents may prefer to supply their little future medical examiners with surgical gloves to keep their tiny mitts clean. Make sure to warn them not to eat any road kill they might find until it’s been properly prepared and cooked by an experienced road kill café chef.

4. Sprinkler

Running through the sprinkler can provide hours of entertainment for little Timmy and his sister Becky. They will learn about irrigation as the water nourishes the grass. Just make sure that the little Future Farmers of America move the sprinkler around the lawn to ensure even watering and avoid creating mud holes. If the children are provided with a bar of soap, this activity will double as a lesson in hygiene. Be sure to that the bar of soap is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. To keep the yard and the children insect free, use citronella soap. Plan this activity a day or two before hosting a BBQ and the party will be mosquito free. Allow time for the water to be absorbed into the lawn before holding the shindig.

5. Playing in Traffic

Playing in Traffic is an activity for the older children and teaches coordination, endurance, communication, and fearlessness. This game is especially beneficial for wimpy, scaredy cats. To begin, have the children stand facing each other from opposite sides of the road. Once a vehicle approaches, have them call out “CAR!” and run towards each other, ending up on the other side of the road from where they began. If they master this, encourage them to throw a ball out into the road in front of the vehicle before they begin their run towards each other. Bonus points are awarded if they make it through without bodily injuries or a trip to the hospital. This activity is not for the faint of heart. Safety equipment such as helmets, knee pads, and Kevlar armor are optional but highly recommended. To increase the difficulty level, have the amateur daredevils ride bicycles during this stunt.

6. Bugs

Insects are found on almost every continent on this big, fascinating planet. The little bugs outnumber humans a gazillion to one. And they come in a rainbow of colors and more shapes and sizes than Hollywood could make up in a low budget sci-fi movie. By collecting creepy-crawlies, your little mad scientist can investigate the boundaries of life and death. Some insects are more resilient to torturous stress tests than others. Ants are notorious for burning much faster than, say, a scorpion under the high intensity sunlight beam emanating from a well angled magnifying glass. Placing a variety of insects in an enclosed container demonstrates overcoming adversity and the survival of the fittest.  Truly a valuable lifelong lesson that they can benefit from as they leave the safety of home and school to battle it out in the dog-eat-dog world of Corporate America.

Don’t Let Them Lose Their Minds

Summer is often considered an anti-learning time for children as they lose a small percentage of what they gleaned during the school year and have to be re-taught the next school year. Prevent stagnant brains by encouraging children to unplug and get outside to explore their world. And it will cut down on the electric bill from having all those energy sucking gadgets and gizmos running non-stop all day. It’s a win-win for everyone. Heck, they might even pick up a new healthy hobby.