Nerd Rant: Wolverine; Forget The Geneva Convention, Let’s Talk About The Health Code

To paraphrase Julie Andrews, let’s start at the very beginning; a very good place to start. When you count you begin with 1, 2, 3; when some unknown individual violates the health code you begin with Wol-ver-ine.

If you are unfamiliar with Wolverine, the basic premise is that he has the ability to heal very quickly. This ability allowed him to survive a surgery that coated his skeleton with super-strong metal. My first point has nothing to do with the health code, but why on earth would you need a metal coated skeleton if your bones can immediately knit back together? Anyway, Wolverine has massive claws that somehow reside within his hands, if the movies are to be believed. These claws may or may not have been present before the skeleton augmentation surgery. They come out when he needs them, somehow, and are the source of his many health concerns.

Wolverine can be seen clawing through many substances you wouldn’t want in your body. Metal doors, asphalt, helicopters and their requisite fluids and fuels, and various beasts, creatures and common-folk. Wolverine cannot be seen scrubbing or even wiping down his claws before retracting them. This is concerning and there are a few options here. First is the idea that perhaps his skin makes such a tight seal around the claws that offending matter is wiped off as the claws retract. Ideally his skin would then heal closed before particulate could invade the skin leaving glops of gook or grit, depending upon what he has clawed, between the knuckles. If this is so, he is never shown wiping between his knuckles. The other option is that the stuff makes it into his system on the claws and if this is the case, it indicates that Wolverine has antiseptic blood. Unless they simply don’t bother to address it, Wolverine never suffers from infection after retracting his claws. He must have terrible hand-acne if this option is correct. If all that grit and particulate make it under his skin, his body must be constantly working to push bits of doors, poles and people back up through the surface of his flesh.

The most egregious violation that Wolverine commits is the disrespect he shows for the people and creatures he claws and the teammates fighting beside him. Even if he has antiseptic blood, it doesn’t mean that victims of his clawings know this. And let’s say it is a huge battle with many, many clawings. Does he pause between attacks to sanitize his claws so that he isn’t spreading potentially infected blood from victim to victim? And let’s also say that he is clawing to kill and isn’t concerned with infecting those he’s fighting. Does he just assume that everyone else has antiseptic blood? As he’s viciously slashing un-friendly folk, is he paying attention to the blood-borne pathogens he’s potentially flinging about in a manner that is much more intense than conventional war-time mayhem?

It has been said by some, and refuted by others, that Wolverine had bone claws before his skeleton surgery. Perhaps when he allegedly fought in the Civil War, this wasn’t an issue. Bone is porous to an extent. Perhaps the claws used to absorb the very blood they shed for neutralization by his internal organs. If this is the case my previous point is moot. He doesn’t realize the danger he is placing others in. HIV and tetanus may mean nothing to him, and he may not even realize he’s flinging these things about. Still, I’m sure those of us who actively avoid infections hope and pray that, one day soon, OSHA, EPA and maybe even PETA get together and educate Wolverine on modern health and safety concerns. Maybe even some sensitivity training is in order. He needs to consider that not everyone is a giant walking Germ-X factory and the true wolverines from which he derives his name may not wish to be besmirched by an inconsiderate maniac.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…enjoy the superheroes of your choice despite their downfalls. After all, they’re just as super-human as the next individual.

A don’t…follow in their footsteps. Unless you have money and are a Batman fan

 

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The 13th of Friday, 1st Part: Hilarious Tales of Unluckiness That Probably Didn’t Happen on a Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is a day to celebrate, fear, or at least obsess over one’s favorite or most frightening superstitions. I am not personally superstitious, however I always enjoyed pretending to be. My brothers and I, not understanding fully the Friday the 13th mythology, would gather in one another’s bedrooms on such nights and read scary stories. We didn’t wander through the day fearing cosmic reprisal of some sort. In order to make up for this oversight, I present a few of my families misfortunes.

Disclaimer of Implied Accuracy:

Few, if any, of the following unlucky accounts occurred upon a Friday the 13th.

My brother had a horrible temper. It didn’t take much to set him off and he would set off after my other brother and I with bb guns or knives at the slightest provocation. On one such occasion, we fled the house to evade him. We were tiring quickly and our angry brother was showing no signs of slowing as his nearly super-human rage kept a steady supply of whatever it was that motivated him flowing through his veins. He was gaining ground and I suddenly remembered that one of dad’s junk cars had power windows and keys in the ignition. I grabbed my non-angry brother and we used the last of our stamina in a mad dash to the vehicle. We had just locked the doors when The Angry One skidded to a stop by the driver’s side door and began banging on the windows. He suddenly froze and we could see in his eyes a wicked idea forming. He jumped up on the hood, dropped his pants and underwear, smashed his “manhood” on the windshield and began to smear mashed scrotum across our field of view. I turned on the windshield wipers. They smacked him and his scrotum skin became trapped beneath the blade. You would’ve thought this would’ve made him angrier, however, he jumped down laughing and high fived me when I exited the car.

The same brother got us kicked out of a trailer park because he climbed up on top of our trailer and mooned all the trailer park kids.

The same brother made the mistake of listening to me when I told him to jump onto the couch. He did a sort of running belly flop and smeared a cat turd all down his chest. As mom was flipping the cloth couch cushions over, she berated me for telling my brother to do something dumb. “You know he always does what you tell him!” Am I to blame for his idiocy? Apparently so.

My dad caught his pants leg on fire once, but he was wearing combat boots and didn’t notice until the flames got up above his mid-calf. Many weeks later he caught the other leg of the same pair of pants on fire and again didn’t notice until the flames were rather high upon his leg. He kept the pants as fire pants since all the frayed ends had already been burned off and they wouldn’t catch fire again. As far as I know, they didn’t.

I entered the kitchen for a snack and tossed the pack of firecrackers I’d had in my back pocket onto a loaf of bread. As I searched the kitchen for sustenance, the firecrackers began to explode, ripping the bread to pieces and catching the packaging on fire. I don’t know if this is lucky in that it wasn’t my butt that got exploded or unlucky in that the universe was trying to burn our house down.

I once leaned shirtless over a lit shadeless teddy bear lamp as a child and burned my armpit on the bulb. A thin layer of skin pulled off and stuck to the bulb. I had to go to the emergency room and, I suppose in order to offset the bill, dad refused to throw the bulb away and it lasted a long time. My skin continued to blacken and was still present on the bulb when it finally burned out. Ironically, I had won the teddy bear lamp as the only contestant in a cute kid contest.

While living in an R.V. park in Tucson, dad took us to the shower room and let us shower without shower shoes. We all came down with horrible athletes foot.

In the same R.V. park, my non-angry brother rode his bike with his eyes closed right into a saguaro cactus. He came home walking a bike with a flat front tire and had hundreds of cactus needles embedded in his face and chest. Mom and dad gave him a couple of Tylenol, waited 30 minutes, then got out the pliers and prayed the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops because of all the screaming.

Our R.V. caught fire whenever we tried to cook in it.

We were kicked out of a trailer park 30 miles from Mexico, by illegal immigrant neighbors who were so disgusted with the piles of junk surrounding our trailer that they would rather face the possibility of deportation than be our neighbors anymore.

Dad left junk out and some of it got stolen. He left a sign spray painted on a chunk of plywood that said “Dear thief, how would you like it if I stole from you?” Then he laid it on the ground. He didn’t even put it on a post.

My angry brother got bit on the big toe. By a rat. In a bed we all three shared. As our non-angry brother slept naked because he didn’t have any clean pajamas.

My dad let 8 year old me drive our car onto ramps so he could crawl under and work on it. I didn’t do well. I got up the ramps. I got over the ramps. I jumped from the driver’s side door as the car sped toward the woods on our property. The first time I ever crashed a car, I wasn’t even driving when it crashed. Dad had a lot more work to do after letting me help him work on the car.

Dad built his own septic tank and when he put dirt over it, it collapsed.

I was born into my family.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…consider yourself lucky if you aren’t related to me.

A don’t…judge me. I learned from all my family’s mistakes. My children are safe and are not even given the option of underage precision driving. Or any driving. They don’t even have those electric little kid cars. Also, we have no cactuses and I don’t build my own infrastructure.

The Flawed Wisdom of a Moldy, Over-ripe Alien Olive

The strange creature I refer to in the title is Yoda. If you are unfamiliar with the character, he resembles a moldy, over-ripe green olive. And he is from a planet other than Earth. He spouts sayings that, on the surface, seem wise. At the risk of incurring the wrath of other fans of the Star Wars universe, I intend to debunk a couple of these.

Some may wonder why I would bother to do this. Surely, my debunks can themselves be debunked. But don’t bother to ask why. There is no why. Let that suffice.

In one of Luke’s many mind-bending conversations with Yoda, the past-its-prime-piece-of-fruit explains that “there is no try.” He counsels Luke to “do or do not.” This is pointless advice. It is blindingly obvious that you either do or do not. A try is intangible because at the end of every try there is either a did or a did not. I suppose the crinkled up critter could be saying something about your mindset. If you go into something thinking that you will rather than that you’ll try, perhaps your chances of success will be greater. But his statements are unclear and open to interpretation. Where is the wisdom in that? If you are trying to teach a concept that will aid someone in saving the very universe is it not wise to avoid cloaking your lessons in ambiguity? Plain English, please! Perhaps I’m being silly. Perhaps English is his second language. Perhaps he is capable of plainer speech when he waggles his pimento and speaks whatever language it is that alien olives speak. I’m sure it sounds something like the squeaky sound slippery, rubbery Mediterranean fruits make as they’re ground by human teeth.

One of the very first lessons Yoda teaches Luke is that “wars not make one great.” We can ignore the very obvious grammatical errors since we’ve established that English is not Yoda’s native language. What  I’d like to focus on is the fact this is a response to Luke’s statement that he is looking for “a great Jedi warrior.” Luke never implied, inferred or otherwise construed that he thought war had made Yoda great. He plainly stated that Yoda was great at making war. He was a great warrior. Not “he was made great by war.” Granted, in order to be great at war, one must participate in war and much participation could make one great at waging war thereby implying that war made him great. However, if it is Yoda’s intent to convey this, he once again states it extremely vaguely. If Yoda’s intent is instead to engage in learned discourse with his student, who is obviously quite distressed and impatient, it might do him well to respond to the actual statement that was made and go into such confusing detail that thinking of the implications of what was said slows the students thought processes thereby calming the prospective Padawan.

At any rate, what can one honestly expect from a moldy old alien olive anyway?

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…peruse the Star Wars universe for more tidbits to be analyzed. Even if Yoda is one of your favorites it can be fun to philosophize about his philosophy.

A don’t…hack my wordpress account, find my address, hunt me down and force-choke me to death should you have taken some offense to this post. I may not be able to wield the force, but I had one day of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu training and, though I don’t remember much of it, I’m really good at hiding.

A List Of Pet Peeves Whose Existence Will Likely End Up On The Pet Peeves Lists Of Others

Following are some of my most incredulous pet peeves. Though they sound silly, they irritate me greatly. Enjoy.

  • Cling wrap that doesn’t cling
  • Coffee that doesn’t cough
  • A banana that refuses to vociferously promote banning Ana
  • Hitting a knot in a piece of wood with screw
  • Wondering whether the plural of Bigfoot is Bigfoots or Bigfeet
  • Children that refuse to listen
  • The misuse of there, they’re, their or then, than
  • The phrase “I could care less.” to describe a situation about which one fails to care. If you could care less, it means you care and are not interested in lowering your level of caring. The proper phrase is “I couldn’t care less.” in these situations.
  • The process by which cheese is made; cheese itself is on my favorites list
  • The sticky feeling left in my mouth following the consumption of Skittles
  • Cat food that doesn’t taste like cats
  • The fable that walking under a ladder is bad luck. It isn’t bad luck. It’s simply unsafe.
  • Poor attempts to redesign the classic comedy sketch “Who’s On First” by Abbott and Costello
  • Wearing wet socks
  • The number 11

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…celebrate your pet peeves. Nurture your hatred of the ridiculous. It could keep you from hating other people by giving you a venue through which to vent.

A don’t…hate people.

 

Jerkology 101: An Introduction

I, being a reluctant people pleaser and fantasizing unsung hero, have thought a lot about jerks. My distaste with verbal confrontation has inspired me to think deeply about the nature of jerks. I have been writing a field guide to common jerks.

Among my many eccentricities is an obsession with field guides. I have a field guide to fish. A field guide to birds. I have field guides to edible plants, poisonous plants, varmints, pests and survival techniques. If  “field guide” is in the title, I’ll find the money to buy it.

As I live with this obsession, combined with my fear of being verbally harangued by negative entities, it is only logical that I should create a field guide of my own. This field guide is entitled thusly: “Field Guide to Common Jerks”. It used to be “Field Guide to Common North American Jerks” until I realized that the types of jerks are universal. Versions of each jerk can be naturally found on every continent and in every city, town, settlement and village the world ’round.

I have written the field guide almost in its entirety. I had planned to publish it, but I decided that the stories of Sir Donkey Legs would be more marketable due to the originality of the characters (most of the credit is due to my children on that front). I still plan to publish the field guide, as soon I finish publishing my Sir Donkey Legs stories. So far there are two more ready to go, I’m  just waiting on funding.  The field guide will be given to the world. Until then, I offer it, for better or for worse, to my fellow bloggers.

I’ll begin by introducing you to Jerk philosophy. I have found that there are two basic types of Jerks. All of the Sub-Jerks fall under one of the following two categories: Active Jerk and Passive Jerk.

Active Jerks are those who actively try to physically hurt you. In this category you’ll find murderers, Satan himself and rapists. The Passive Jerk category includes such Jerks as those who insult you out of jealousy; cheaters and thieves.(Speaking of thieves, I used to work in a jail with a gentleman who would sing his own version of the classic hymn “Bringing In The Sheaves” which he called “Bringing In The Thieves” any time a new inmate arrived in our facility. If you’ve ever heard the original, you can imagine how humorous his version is in an incarceratory setting.)

This post is simply to introduce you to the idea of the philosophy of Jerkology. When you’re too afraid to confront others, you spend a lot of time thinking horribly of those who’ve insulted or mistreated you. The field guide is my way of passively dealing with that issue. I guess I myself am a form of passive jerk. Future posts will introduce you to the multiple different jerks contained within the guide. Be on the lookout for a book version, complete with illustrations, within the next few years.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…keep up to date on my Jerkology posts to determine whether or not you yourself are some sort of jerk.

A don’t…be a jerk if you can help it. At least not in public. Everyone deserves not to have been a jerk to. If that makes any sense at all.

Defining Grilled Cheese: Some Tasty Food for Thought

Let’s journey together through the culture surrounding some popular foods, pizza, chicken fried steak and grilled cheese.

I recently came to the conclusion that a grilled cheese sandwich is a sandwich, containing nothing but cheese, that has been grilled. If you add anything to it, it becomes  a grilled (whatever you put in it) sandwich. After all, many hot sandwiches contain cheese, are grilled or otherwise heated, and are not called “grilled cheese”. Consider the Philly Cheesesteak. The meat, toppings and cheese are grilled and generally served in a toasted bun. Not a grilled cheese.

Pizza supports this claim. Unless you are the sort of person who cannot or will not eat cheese, your pizza will have cheese. If the pizza only has cheese, it is a cheese pizza. If it has anything else on it at all, pepperoni, ham, onions, olives, what have you, it is no longer called a cheese pizza. It is called a (whatever you put on it) pizza.

I understand that what is true for one type of food may not be true for another. I heard it posited this evening that what makes a sandwich a grilled cheese is the way it is cooked (to a toasty, crunchy, golden brown) and the pull of the cheese as you bite into it.

I see what they did there and I don’t buy it.

I attack this claim with chicken fried steak.

Chicken fried steak is usually beef that has been fried in the same manner as chicken traditionally is. It is still steak. Frying it like chicken does not cause people to call it chicken simply because it is cooked like chicken. The same should apply to so-called grilled cheese sandwiches. You are basically breading and cooking whatever filling you’ve chosen as if it were a grilled cheese sandwich. Therefore a pulled pork “grilled cheese” sandwich, for example, should be called a grilled cheese cooked pulled pork. Granted, this is an awkward order to place, but we should follow the logic used with other foods.

You may ask why I would even consider this a problem. To support my indignation, I submit the devolution of the English language. If everyone were able to use words willy-nilly and we didn’t have the good old Oxford’s English Dictionary and multiple learned scholars preserving “Proper English” we would soon become unable to understand people from outside our own social circles.

In other words, it is ok to fry steak as if it were chicken and grill pork as if it were cheese, but if there are no watch-dogs we would soon be unable to order in unfamiliar restaurants due to the inaccurate naming and/or descriptions of foodstuffs.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…call food whatever you want. But follow the logic to prevent food related foul-ups.

A don’t…pay too much attention to this post. It’s just food for thought.

A Strange Scar and an Injury Lost to the Sands of Time: A Man Reminisces; Hopes He Was Kidnapped By Aliens

I have a scar on my right thumb. I have no idea where it came from.

I have plenty of other scars. I have two on my right hand from building floor trusses. Those clips they use to hold the trusses together can wreak havoc upon your hands if you aren’t careful and I nearly passed out as a result of both injuries but was able to drive on.

Drive on is a curious phrase. It doesn’t mean to me what it may mean to others. It has a connotation relative to operating a motorized vehicle. I instead see it as a means of encouragement during hard times. It was a favorite quote of my Drill Sergeants in basic training. “Drill Sergeant, I’m hungry.” And the Drill Sergeant said “Drive on, soldier.” So I did. I drove on. I completed basic training. I survived one tour of duty in a combat zone.

I have adapted “drive on” to apply to my non-military life. I have a set of dog tags that say “drive on” and I tap them against my chest any time I am facing a stressful situation. It is strange, perhaps, but it helps.

Those last two paragraphs aside, I cannot for the life of me figure out this scar on my thumb. I have asked my dad. He doesn’t remember any childhood injury I had that may have caused it. My truss building scars have nearly faded, but my thumb scar is as clear as ever.

The only solution I can conjure is that I have been abducted by aliens.

There are two options if this is the case.

Option 1: The aliens kidnapped me when I was a child. If this is so, it would explain my unreasonable anxiety about which I have recently posted. My fear of re-abduction is translated by my rational mind as a fear of everything else.

Option 2: I was recently kidnapped, implanted in the thumb, and given false memories of having wondered about the scar for years. This is implausible. They would have given me a memory of the injury that made the scar.

Conclusion: I was abducted by aliens when I was a child.

Most probably this is completely untrue. Despite the implausibility of this, I choose to believe it anyway. It is much more compelling than having slammed my thumb in a car door or something.

I bid you adieu…and a don’t.

Adieu…let your imagination run wild. It is mildly ok to imagine unrealistic scenarios.

A don’t…give the men in black any pertinent information, should they ever visit you. They will only use it against you.